Born in Brussels, Belgium, but raised in Israel, pianist Edna Stern began taking lessons at age 6 and became a student of Viktor Derevenko at the Rubin Academy in Tel Aviv. After a return to Brussels, Stern worked with Martha Argerich, then moved to Basel in 1996 to study with Krystian Zimerman. Attendance at master classes led by Alicia de Larrocha, Andreas Staier, and Leon Fleisher at the International Piano Foundation inspired to her to follow Fleisher to the Peabody Institute…
The new recordings of Chopin's works on period instruments allow contemporary listeners to discover the historical models, bringing us closer to the original and to the long-forgotten sound of the Romantic era.
"Greer is a highly accomplished player of the natural horn… I find Greer's playing very musicianly: unusually graceful in the phrasing of the quick movements, with gentle, thoughtful playing in K417 and some lovely smooth and clear lines in K495, while the slow movements are all beautifully done—the Romance of K447 refined and graceful, that of K495 often truly poetic with happy details of timing. And there is no shortage of wit in the finales, or of high spirits. Greer improvises his cadenzas: in the first movement of K495 he does, rightly I think, simply a longish flourish, with no reference to the themes of the movement." (Stanley Sadie, Gramophone Magazine)
This pair of clarinet quintets from the revivified Sony Classical label presents a performer and a composer who have both been shaped by Jewish vernacular materials, and the combination delivers everything you hope it will. Osvaldo Golijov's Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind was composed 1994, before this Argentine composer entered a period of sustained popularity. Unlike his later riotously genre-crossing style, this one focuses on his own Jewish musical background.
MOZART 111 combines the best of the Austrian master's music with the best of Deutsche Grammophon's Mozart recordings, bringing together a total of 111 works, while retaining, as far as possible, the original album releases with their cover art. There's enough of everything here to stock a shop, as they say, in performances that have stood the test of time and performances that make you sit up and listen to Mozart afresh the perfect way to discover, rediscover and savor the incomparable genius of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Because Mozart's earliest symphonies are performed less often than the later masterpieces and are consequently underrepresented on disc, Nikolaus Harnoncourt's period performances with Concentus Musicus Wien may have an added value beyond sheer musical excellence. Much has been written about how these works are miraculous manifestations of the young Mozart's genius, and their consistently high quality obviates criticism for their few shortcomings. But these symphonies really do sound magical and even startling in Harnoncourt's vital renditions, and Concentus Musicus delivers them with boisterous enthusiasm and full bow, with absolutely no precious Rococo affectations. Brisk tempi, tight ensemble playing and the clear timbres of original instruments contribute to the authenticity of the performances, but these may count less than the gusto, humor, and freshness that the musicians display in each work. The woodwinds and horns are especially robust and earthy, and Harnoncourt draws out their distinctive colors and striking rhythms to contrast them more effectively with the strings. Deutsche Harmonia Mundi's sound is immaculate, without doubt the best the label can offer, and the acoustics of Kasino Zögernitz are ideal for balance and resonance.(Blair Sanderson)
This Collection of Mozart fetaures some of the leading period-instrument ensembles and spans the oeuvre of Mozart's works. Included excellent readings of the 'Prague' Symphony and the Requiem.
Musical scholar that he is, Charles Mackerras adopts period performance practice, but opts for modern instruments. The Prague Chamber Orchestra is one of the world's best small ensembles. They play this music with impeccable wit, sophistication, and style. Of course, Mackerras himself studied in Prague–Mozart's musical home away from home–and has long enjoyed an excellent relationship with the city's orchestras and musicians. With swift tempos, employment of a harpsichord accompaniment, and all the repeats taken in each work, these finely honed interpretations offer a uniquely consistent view of Mozart's symphonic achievement. Telarc's superb sound allows the music to fall very gratefully on the ear.–Dave Hurwitz