This powerful record brings together two of the most seminal works for viola and orchestra of the twentieth century. Although these pieces are as different as they are similar, together they form a distinct balance of sentiment and execution.
Das Orchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn, seit 1995 unter der Leitung von Marc Soustrot, wurde 1897 in Koblenz als Philharmonisches Orchester gegründet und zehn Jahre später von der Stadt Bonn übernommen. Erst 1957, mit Errichtung der Beethovenhalle, erhielt es seinen jetzigen Namen. Von großen Dirigenten geleitet hat sich das Orchester in der deutschen und internationalen Musikszene etabliert. Soustrot gehört zu den wenigen französischen Dirigenten, die sich nicht auf Konzert oder Oper spezialisiert haben und daher über vielseitige Erfahrungen in beiden Bereichen verfügen…
Die Komponistengeneration Österreichs, der Horst Ebenhöh angehört, deckt - wie es ähnlich wohl auch früher gewesen war - stilistisch und kompositionstechnisch das ganze zur Zeit erfassbare Spektrum des vom Menschen Denk- und Hörbaren ab und ist unendlich weit gestreut.
Blickt man auf die zweite Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts zurück, erkennt man, dass sich einerseits in der jeweils kontemporären Musik vieles im Sinne der Avantgarde verändert hat, andererseits, dass vieles im Sinne der Tradition fast unverändert erhalten geblieben ist.
The listener may be forgiven for not knowing that any Debussy "Edgar Allan Poe Operas" existed, for neither of the works recorded here was ever completed. Moreover, and you don't learn this unless you read the notes or have investigated for yourself, one of them was hardly begun. After the success of Pelléas et Mélisande in New York, Debussy was encouraged to adapt a pair of Poe's short stories for a new American production. Debussy needed little encouragement and quickly produced a pair of scenarios, but other projects intervened, and the operas were never finished. The more complete one is La chute de la maison Usher (The Fall of the House of Usher), for which there are substantial sketches and several full realizations including the one here by "creative musicologist" Robert Orledge.
Franz Schubert never achieved the success as a composer for the stage that the aspired to, and even since his genius has been fully recognized, his dramatic works have not found their way into the repertoire. This is due not so much to the quality of the music, which is often very high, but to the fact that Schubert devoted himself to a form, thesingspiel, which wasn't quite an opera, but a play with interpolated musical numbers that fell quickly out of style and has never made a popular comeback. Several Mozart singspiele, particularly Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Die Zauberflöte, have remained in the repertoire due to the large percentage of musical numbers they contain, their dramatic appeal, and their extraordinary music, criteria that Schubert's work doesn't meet.
Karl Richter’s recordings of Bach’s orchestral and sacred music influenced an entire generation of musicians and listeners, presenting the conductor’s unique sound and style. When Richter recorded Bach’s works, he freed them from a ponderous tradition that had mired the music in romantic sounds and idiom. Richter lightened Bach’s music, and, with an orchestra of outstanding musicians, helped bring it toward the more modern interpretations that listeners have become familiar with today. This is still a bit far from the historically-informed performances that are pretty much the norm, but there is a unity and natural originality that comes through the music in these recordings.
…And, in fact, Elias has rarely been performed with greater respect for the original than it is here under the conductor Christoph Spering, who has recorded this “sacred opera” with his New Orchestra and the Chorus Musicus Köln in Essen’s Philharmonic Hall with the composer’s “dramatic ideal” fully in mind and heart. (…) The result was in fact an oratorio in opera form and a wealth of dramaturgical elements that absolutely enthralled the public. Fresh Interpretation Just as the composer would have wanted it, Christoph Spering has selected a full chorus and a magnificently dimensioned orchestra for this recording. The New Orchestra performs on historical instruments and in the two years since its founding has gained renown as an outstanding interpreter of the music of the romantic era. (…) Brisk tempos, sharp delineation, powerful expression, and interpretive freshness are the hallmarks of this new discovery for the MDG Live label.
Happy birthday, Franz Liszt! The Beethoven Orchestra Bonn under its conductor Stefan Blunier and the pianist Claudius Tanski present orchestral works and piano music by this Austro-Hungarian great, including the overture to Goethe’s Torquato Tasso and the Totentanz of 1849, on the occasion of the two hundredth anniversary of his birth. A finely nuanced extra comes in the form of an orchestration of La lugubre gondola by John Adams.