Mendelssohn’s Psalm Cantatas are small scale works for vocal soloists, choir and orchestra, based on well known psalms, expressing the general emotional content of the psalm in dramatic and romantic musical language. The writing is firmly rooted in the German choral tradition, no wonder for a composer who revived Bach’s Matthäus Passion in his time.
As Yannick Nézet-Séguin continues to explore the Romantic symphonic repertoire, it becomes increasingly apparent that he has a strong affinity for German composers, something not readily guessed of this Canadian maestro. There might be an underlying connection between his recordings of the symphonies of Anton Bruckner, for which he has received considerable attention and acclaim, and this 2014 Deutsche Grammophon album of the four symphonies of Robert Schumann, which shows Nézet-Séguin as a strong advocate for this somewhat discounted symphonist.
"In keeping with the Piano Concerto in D Minor, K. 466, the C Major Concerto was composed for the series of Lenten subscription concerts given by Mozart in 1765. This was an extraordinarily busy and successful period of Mozart's life, as we can gauge from a series of letters sent by his father Leopold to Mozart's sister Nannerl, now married and living with her husband in St. Gilgen. "Every day there are concerts; and the whole time is given up to teaching, music, composing and so forth…It is impossible for me to describe the rush and the bustle."…"
For these revelatory performances - captured live at acclaimed concerts in Paris - he conducts the superb Chamber Orchestra of Europe, one of the world’s preeminent chamber orchestras. Taking a fresh perspective on familiar music, Yannick Nézet-Séguin challenges the conventional view on the composer’s symphonies.
Fierrabras is a three-act German opera with spoken dialogue written by the composer Franz Schubert in 1823, to a libretto by Josef Kupelwieser, the general manager of the Theater am Kärntnertor (Vienna's Court Opera Theatre). Along with the earlier Alfonso und Estrella, composed in 1822, it marks Schubert's attempt to compose grand Romantic opera in German, departing from the Singspiel tradition.
Recorded On-Location at 12-th -century Armenian Monastery Saghmosavank
Sung in Armenian a cappella
Harnoncourt has already shown himself to be quite the Dvorak interpreter in other recordings, but this one may trump them all. With the Chamber Orchestra of Europe in blazing form, these performances show why these pieces are often used as encores.