Like the legendary pianists of the 19th and early 20th century, such as Sigismund Thalberg, Franz Liszt, Leopold Godowsky, and Ignace Jan Paderewski, it often sounds as if Marc-André Hamelin has more than 10 fingers. His ability to play fiendishly difficult music, make it sound as if it's a stroll in the park, yet imbue it with musical sensitivity makes him worthy of the description "super-virtuoso" by The New York Times' Harold Schoenberg. Hamelin studied at the Vincent d'Indy School of Music in Montréal with Yvonne Hubert, a pupil of Cortot, then received bachelor's and master's degrees at Temple University, working under Russell Sherman and Harvey Weeden.
In this live recording from the Royal Festival Hall the OAE shines its musical torch into the realms of some later repertoire, shedding new light on the music of Mahler. Conducted by Principal Artist Vladimir Jurowski, this album includes the Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer), written in the wake of an unhappy affair with a soprano, and the extraordinarily exciting and powerful Totenfeier, Mahler’s first foray into orchestral music, and later reworked into the opening movement of his second symphony.
The music of Alexander Aronovich Knajfel was considered too advanced for Soviet Russia in the 1960s, and he was blacklisted from the Union of Soviet Composers in 1979 for having participated in festivals of Soviet music in the West without official permission. Despite this, Knaifel produced a large number of works, both theatrical and orchestral.
It can be truly said of Adelaide di Borgogna that, like a rose, it bloomed but a day - l’espace d’un matin.” First performed in Rome on the 27th December 1817, it enjoyed very few revivals. In 2011 the Rossini Festival in Pesaro presented the second staged performance of Adelaide di Borgogna since 1825. The story of the opera was taken from a historical event that took place in the medieval period, marking the end of an independent Italian kingdom and leading to the birth of the German Holy Roman Empire through the efforts of Otto I of Saxony. Caught between political rivalry and the love of two men, Adelaide of Burgundy struggles to fight for her people and chooses Otto, the better ruler, for herself and her kingdom.
Julian Anderson is one of the UK’s most exciting living composers. He has been described by The Times as ‘a composer to cherish’ and by the Evening Standard as ‘one of the finest composers of his generation’. His work Harmony opened the 2013 BBC Proms and his opera Thebans will be premiered at English National Opera in May 2014. This season he also starts a three-year post as Composer in Residence at Wigmore Hall.
"…Lehár also was a strongly original voice whose harmonic and textural experiments resulted in the striking Debussyian whole-tone scales toward the end of Altwiener Liebeswalzer ("Old Vienna Love Waltz"), or the Wagnerian snarling horns at the start of the Grützner Waltz. (…) All pieces receive expert and enthusiastic performances by the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra under Michail Jurowski, and CPO's warm, vibrant, and fully-present sound enhances a thoroughly enjoyable program." ~classicstoday.com
"This delightful disc of Viennese fluff contains some marvelous tunes, plenty of enticing waltz music. The comfortable, slightly soft edged recording suits the music perfectly." ~classicstoday.com