Yo-Yo Ma Plays Cello Masterworks is an eight-CD box set of previously released material recorded in the 1980s and 1990s, and presumably so familiar to his fans that the package doesn't even come with a booklet. It really is a no-frills affair, right down to the thin cardboard sleeves that repeat the same photograph on the box, instead of offering original cover art. But the greatest disappointment is that only three of J.S. Bach's Six Cello Suites were included, so listeners seeking them should forego this budget package and find the complete suites, which Ma recorded twice.
Bach showed that the cello can dance, but composers from Rossini to Shostakovich have favored it as an instrument of pensive reflection and brooding melancholy. The playful cover photo notwithstanding, SOLO features Yo-Yo Ma in five 20th century cello works of a serious nature, all with folk influence and all echoing at least a bit of the troubles of the times in which they were written.
As orchestras and conductors have been demonstrating for more than a century, you don't have to be Bohemian to play Dvorák. All you need is profound musicality, a deep love of life, and an overwhelming urge to communicate. These are all qualities that Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra demonstrate in full in this 2000 Channel Classics recording of the composer's Eighth and Ninth symphonies. In these performances, one hears not only edge-of-the-chair excitement from the Hungarian musicians, one hears joy, happiness, and good old-fashioned fun. Listen to the rollicking horn trills in the Eighth's Finale, the thundering timpani in the Ninth's Scherzo; the interplay between winds, strings, and brass in the coda of the Eighth's Scherzo; the lush string tone in the Ninth's Largo; the headlong rush of the Eighth's opening Allegro con brio; or the awesome power of the Ninth's closing Allegro con fuoco.
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These recordings which were assembled to keep alive the memory of unique moments and meetings, are those prime compositions that were written in a state of excitement, with the passion and innocence of first look. Eleni Karaindrou / From the liner notes: Music lovers of Eleni Karaindrou have every reason to rejoice. More than 3 hours of music, written for 22 plays, directed by Antonis Antypas (1986-2010) moved to a historical version - documentary on the Mikri Arktos, a 3 CD to accompany an elegant book, enriched with photographs of performances, reviews and information on the recordings. The cooperation of Eleni Karaindrou director and partner Anthony Antipa began in 1986 when he suggested she composed music for "Victory" by Loula Anagnostakis.
A native of Munich, Karl Amadeus Hartmann (1905-1963) was without a shadow of a doubt the greatest symphonist in the Central European tradition since Bruckner and Mahler. The sketches and early versions of six of his eight symphonies had their origins in one of the darkest periods in world history – from 1933 to 1945 – when the Nazis were in power and Hartmann gradually withdrew completely from public life. This period, which culminated in Hartmann’s own ‘Innere Emigration’ (inner emigration), represented a decisive turning point in his creative development…
Though generally performed on the organ, the music of the great Dutch keyboard master Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck deserved to find another, no less intense means of expression on the harpsichord. These songs, dances and polyphonic pieces, played by Sébastien Wonner on a copy of a Ruckers, a Flemish instrument of 1612, allow us a glimpse into domestic life, as in a painting by Vermeer. This disc, Mr. Wonners first solo recital recording, was recorded in the auditorium of the convent of Saint-Ulrich, Sarrebourg, August 2013. A bilingual book French and English is included.