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…
Nothing could be more different than Arrau's approach to Mozart even in the early stages of his career. Certainly, other pianists in those days gave full value to the dramatic power of the minor-key sonatas. But very few approached with the sheer volcanic force he brought to those bass octaves and no-holds-barred style in seemingly less serious works.
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.
The repertoire choices here seem curiously conservative, considering the course of Jordi Savall's career in recent years. The answer to that conundrum lies in the date of recording – 1991. Back then, Savall was a much more mainstream kind of period performance performer, so a disc of Mozart's Requiem would have seemed like a logical choice for him, especially given that the year marked the bicentenary of the composer's death.
Claudio Abbado isn't a name one associates with early music, in light of his impressive career conducting the masterworks of the Romantic and modern eras. Indeed, he didn't conduct any music by J.S. Bach with the Berlin Philharmonic until as late as 1994. Yet when he's leading the talented Orchestra Mozart of Bologna in Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, his ease with the music and his players is obvious, and the performances have almost as much Baroque style as many versions by period ensembles of greater longevity. Abbado led this ensemble in all six Brandenburgs in 2007 at the Teatro Municipale Romolo Valli in Reggio Emilio, and the live performances were recorded by Deutsche Grammophon with close attention to details, as befits chamber music.
This series of performances dates from between 1966 (when the six quartets Nos. 14-19 dedicated to Haydn were recorded) to 1973 and was rightly saluted on its completion as a fine achievement. The playing of the Quartetto Italiano has a freshness, range and subtlety that vividly realizes the music in all its variety, while technical problems seem to have been solved so that the music-making can be both spontaneous-sounding and thoughtful throughout.
The grandest of Mozart's wind serenades in performances that fully measure up to their wit and profundity. Philippe Herreweghe's attributes as a conductor, perviously revealed in an outstanding series of baroque and classsical choral works, are revealed in these warm and wise period performances, with outstanding playing.– The Guardian
Franciscus (30 October 1934 – 13 August 2014) was a Dutch conductor, recorder player and baroque flautist.