These classic recordings need little comment from me on artistic grounds. Heifetz's account of the Mendelssohn never has been bettered for sheer dazzling virtuosity, and although the Beethoven is more controversial (some find it "cold"), I love its unaffected, truly classical purity. Besides, you also get Munch and the Boston Symphony, no mean bonus. It's interesting to compare the two performances in multichannel sound, since the Beethoven is two-track, while the Mendelssohn offers three.
All are equal before the work, before the mysteries of a score; this was Claudio Abbados heart-felt conviction. For him, the willingness to be open to one another and to the independent life of musical processes was the only prerequisite for making music. In the live performances documented here for the first time, Abbado could be sure of the devotion of these world-class artists: the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA, the sopranos Christine Schäfer and Juliane Banse, as well as the actor Bruno Ganz. They shared his credo of listening togetherness (Die ZEIT) that made possible those precious moments of musical truth toward which this great conductor strove throughout his life.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Otto Klemperer s death, EMI Classics pays tribute to the incomparable conductor with the release of an extensive edition of 11 luxurious yet affordably-priced boxsets. The second edition of three is available this January. Klemperer Edition: Concertos is a 6-CD set presents a comprehensive survey of Klemperer s renowned conducting of concertos. Although Klemperer had primarily been contracted to provide orchestral music for the EMI Classics catalog there were soloists who benefitted from his presence in recording concertos.
With his very own “mysterious seductive power and legendary elegance” (Le Monde), Claudio Abbado opened for the last time the LUCERNE FESTIVAL in the summer of 2013. Only a few months later, the world had to bid farewell to a monumental artist, humanist, great conductor and orchestra founder. Even in the concert itself, documented here, lived a moment of farewell, as the three great works performed tell of the transience of life. The centerpiece of the Eroica is the funeral march revealing “abysses of shattering dimension” - an “intense experience” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung). This record, the last audio-visual documentation of his work, captures once again the extraordinary atmosphere of “vibrant emotionality” that always emerged when Abbado created music with his “orchestra of friends”.
There are two really famous Beethoven violin sonatas, the Kreutzer and the Spring. The Kreutzer Sonata inspired the story by Leo Tolstoy, which in turn became the subject of Janácek's First String Quartet, so if you're into comparative studies in the arts, there's a thesis topic for you! The Spring Sonata was featured in Woody Allen's Love and Death, among other places. And perhaps most intriguingly of all, the scherzo of the late sonata, Op. 96, turns up quite clearly in the third movement of Mahler's Second Symphony.
Pianist David Breitman writes of his new release of Beethoven music for piano and cello: “I first became interested in historical keyboards as a piano student in Boston in the 1970s. Boston was then, and is still, an early music centre, and I had frequent opportunities to hear renaissance and baroque ensembles in concert. I eventually decided to take some harpsichord lessons with Robert Hill, freshly returned from Amsterdam where he had been studying with Gustav Leonhardt."
Equally acclaimed as a pianist and composer, Michael Brown has been described as ‘one of the most refined of all pianist-composers’ (International Piano) and ‘one of the leading figures in the current renaissance of performer-composers’ (The New York Times). His unique artistry is reflected in his creative approach to programming that often interweaves the classics with contemporary works and his own compositions.