Released in the year of Claude Debussy's death centenary, this album demonstrates the exceptional harmonic and colouristic richness of his music. Centrepiece of the album is La Mer (1903-1905), a musical realization of the composer's "sincere devotion to the sea" that revolutionized orchestral composition in the early twentieth-century.
In Rossini’s Petite Messe solennelle (1863-1867), sacred tones blend seamlessly with allusions to his comic operas. “Is this sacred music which I have written or music of the devil?”, the composer tellingly asked himself in a personal letter. Rossini’s enigmatic but highly enjoyable mass demonstrates his rich musical palette, ranging from “archaic” remnants of Bach, Haydn and Mozart to harmonic audacities that point towards the music of Fauré and even Poulenc. Despite this stylistic range, the Petite Messe solennelle sounds unmistakably Rossinian, and continues to enchant audiences to this day. Initially composed for a small ensemble of singers accompanied by two pianos and a harmonium, the piece is presented here in Rossini’s orchestration.
This double album offers a testimony to Stravinsky’s overwhelming musical heritage, covering all the phases of his creative life. Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) is twentieth-century music! More than any other composer, he continued to develop his compositional style throughout his seven-decade-spanning career, innovating and adopting all the most important musical trends of his century. Historically, the musical journey starts with one of the first recordings of the recently rediscovered Funeral Song (1909), composed as a tribute to his teacher Rimsky-Korsakov. The next phase in his development is represented with the raw but tremendously refined Rite of Spring (1913), Stravinsky’s most famous work that created a scandal at its Paris world premiere, and immediately turned him into a star. His Neoclassical style is showcased by Jeu de cartes (1937) and the Concerto in D (1947), whereas Agon (1957) presents Stravinsky’s original take on Schoenberg’s serialism. This multifarious repertoire is performed by the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg and their Music Director Gustavo Gimeno, who continue their acclaimed PENTATONE series of composer portraits that already featured monographs of Shostakovich, Bruckner, Ravel and Mahler.