Gabriel Fauré’s musical language bridges a gap between the romanticism of the 19th century and the new worlds of music which appeared in the 20th, employing subtle harmonic changes and a gift for melody to combine innovation with an entirely personal idiom. His First Piano Quartet is filled with characteristic French colour and lyricism, and the Piano Trio in D minor is a late work whose musical language is familiar from his songs. Both the Pavane and the popular Sicilienne express nostalgia for earlier times, and the short Pièce has great simplicity and charm.
"Felix August Bernhard Draeseke was a composer of the "New German School" admiring Liszt and Richard Wagner. He wrote compositions in most forms including eight operas and stage works, four symphonies, and much vocal and chamber music.During his life, and the period shortly following his death, the music of Draeseke was held in high regard, even among his musical opponents. His compositions were performed frequently in Germany by the leading artists of the day, including Hans von Bülow, Arthur Nikisch, Fritz Reiner, and Karl Böhm. However, as von Bülow once remarked to him, he was a "harte Nuß" ("a hard nut to crack") and despite the quality of his works, he would "never be popular among the ordinary"." ~Wikipedia
Amazon.com Customer Review
This Erato disc contains six generally minor works by Pierre Boulez. These works are minor in that they are less grand in their proportions but they are generally not minor in quality. The collection reminds me vaguely of the concept of "b-sides" in rock music, and just as with many rock acts, one feels that some gems are unfairly neglected. Two of the pieces here are among Boulez's earliest acknowledged works. The Sonatine for Flute and Piano and the Piano Sonata No. 1 both date from 1946, when Boulez was still trying to find his own sound going beyond the basis he found in the Second Viennese School. The Sonatine is inspired by Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony op. 9 in form and by Berg in its serial material, while both the Sonatine and the Piano Sonata find inspiration in Webern and Schoenberg for the virtuoso and "delirious" piano parts. The former is a rather unexciting work, I'd call it juvenalia even if Boulez thinks it worthy of preservation. However, the latter is a rich piece which displays new sides of itself on every listen. I quite enjoy Pierre-Laurent Aimard's performance here, it has a savagery to it unlike the methodical touch of Jumppanen or the nimbleness of Biret. The Ensemble Intercontemporain and BBC Singers perform, conducted by the composer himself. The pieces were recorded in the projection space at IRCAM, and so the sound quality is very good indeed. I heartily recommend this to the Boulez fan.
This recording presents the CD debut on Brilliant Classics of the Gutman Trio, named after Natalia Gutman, world famous cellist, one of the few surviving of the generation of 20th century soviet musicians, like Richter, Gilels, Kogan, Kagan, Rostropovich and Oistrakh. For their debut CD they chose two of the cornerstones of the romantic piano trio repertoire, the first and third piano trio by Brahms. The first trio Op. 8 is a gorgeous work from Brahms' early years, brimming with youthful passion and vitality; the third trio is in C minor mood, dark, grim and powerful.
Victor Eresko won the first prize at the Marguerite Long International Competition in Paris in 1963, when he was a twenty-year old student of the Moscow Conservatoire. At the time Marguerite Long said about Eresko: "This young pianist is not only a virtuoso but an inspired poet having an excellent command both of the sound and the keyboard. He reminds me of Rachmaninov".from the LP cover
It is easy to understand why Chausson’s Concert is not as regular a feature of concert programmes as, say, Franck’s Violin Sonata. After all, a work for piano, violin and string quartet must surely have an instrumental imbalance. How can Chausson occupy all three violin parts for nearly forty minutes? In short, he does not. Nor does he try. Much of the Concert is essentially a sonata for violin and piano with an accompanying, though essential, string quartet. Chausson’s refusal to involve the quartet at every juncture merely to justify the players’ fees results in a signally well-balanced late Romantic work. When the quartet does feature on an equal footing, the effect is all the more telling. The fingerprints of Franck can be detected readily throughout the Concert, but in this and the Piano Quartet, Chausson’s individuality overcomes his teacher’s influence. Indeed, there are premonitions of Debussy, Ravel and even Shostakovich. Tangibly the product of live performances, these accounts traverse the gamut of emotions, bristling with energy, lyricism and conviction, and ensuring that this disc will never gather much dust.
These extraordinary performances were recorded live at the Herodes Atticus Odeon in Athens in 2004 and offer the first musical encounter between Daniel Barenboim and Simon Rattle. One-time rivals for the post of principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, they here unite, happy to pay tribute to each other in a performance of Brahms’s First Piano Concerto of an epic grandeur and raw emotional intensity. Barenboim, pianist, conductor and political activist, has clearly reached the pinnacle of a dazzling career (a prophecy of his recent London performances of the complete Beethoven sonatas and concertos) that has ranged from prodigy to the fullest maturity. Caught on this form, few musicians can approach him in stature. Rattle launches the opening tutti with an explosive force, and after an oddly stiff and self-conscious entry (music that Tovey claimed as equal to anything in Bach’s St Matthew Passion) he quickly declares his true status, playing with a dark eloquence and with a breadth and range of inflection that allows him to savour every detail. Rarely can the first movement’s coda have emerged with such frenzied emotion, and here in particularly both Barenboim and Rattle combine to sound like King Lear raging against the universe (“Blow winds and crack your cheeks…”). The second movement, Brahms’s response to Schumann’s attempted suicide, is weighted with an almost unbearable significance and intensity, and in the finale Wolf’s strange dictum, “Brahms cannot exult”, is turned topsy-turvy.
James Dillon, born October 29, 1950 in Glasgow, Scotland, is a Scottish composer often regarded as belonging to the New Complexity school. Dillon studied art and design, linguistics, piano, acoustics, Indian rhythm, mathematics and computer music, but is self-taught in composition.
Honors include first prize in the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in 1978, the Kranichsteiner music prize at Darmstadt in 1982, and three Royal Philharmonic Society composition awards; most recently for his Fourth String Quartet.