Although from different generations and styles, the three works on this disc are a good sample of Madrid’s avant-garde and musical concerns of the last thirty years, preoccupations and creative concepts which, from the traditional and classical reminiscences of Tomás Marco’s Concierto para violonchelo y orquesta (1974-1976), culminate and come to fullness in the perfect and meticulous language of Olavide’s Tránsito (1992) and Adagio con variaciones (sobre un Adagio de Hugo Wolf) by Alfredo Aracil (1997).
Olavide studied composition initially with Victorino Echevarría at the Conservatorio Superior de Madrid, then in Belgium at the conservatories of Antwerp and Brussels. He attended the Darmstadt Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik where he worked with Pierre Boulez and Luciano Berio, and later studied with Karlheinz Stockhausen and Henri Pousseur at the Second, Third, and Fourth Cologne Courses for New Music in 1964–65, 1965–66, and 1966–67. For twenty years he lived and worked in Geneva, returning to Spain in 1991. Olavide composed orchestral, chamber, solo, and electronic music. In 1986 he received the Premio Nacional de Música, and in 2001 the Premio Reina Sofia.
After their highly acclaimed recordings of Arriaga's complete works, Paul Dombrecht and his splendid Il Fondamento ensemble bring his orchestral works to us with the same level of performance. With their unique mixture of lyricism and science, breathtaking from such a young composer, the four works assembled here build a most welcome integral recording on period instruments, performed with the most communicative warmth ……
Berlioz was the first Romantic master of the orchestra. His music hasn't been surpassed in terms of sheer brilliance and accuracy of effect. This set includes all of the overtures, the Symphonie fantastique, Harold in Italy, the Royal Hunt and Storm from Les Troyens, orchestral music from The Damnation of Faust and Romeo and Juliet, and the completely insane Grande Symphonie funebre et triumphale. Davis achieved his reputation as a conductor as a Berlioz specialist, and he proves an expert advocate on behalf of this stimulating, bizarre, and totally original genius.
This is the second volume in a series from Neeme Järvi and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande dedicated to the orchestral music of the Swiss-born composer Joachim Raff. Although he was a highly popular and prolific composer during his day, his works quickly fell out of the repertoire after his death and are largely forgotten today. The idiomatic performances by Neeme Järvi and his Swiss orchestra in Volume 1, described as ‘peerless’ by BBC Music (*****), suggest that they are the perfect performers to reinvigorate interest in Raff’s music. This second volume features the rhapsody, Abends, and a number of overtures and preludes alongside Symphony No. 5. Subtitled Lenore, the fifth is one of Raff’s so-called programme symphonies, the only one based on a precise extra-musical source: Gottfried August Bürger’s poetic ballad of the same name. The shorter works show very different sides of Raff’s compositional personality.