At the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in France in 1815, tributes to the executed Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were frequently offered, and two of the most important compositions used for their belated memorials were Luigi Cherubini's Requiem in C minor and Charles-Henri Plantade's Messe des morts in D minor. Cherubini's work was performed at a ceremony in 1816, shortly after the monarchs' remains had been moved to the royal crypt in St. Denis, while Plantade's score was revised and performed in 1823 for the thirtieth anniversary of Marie-Antoinette's death.
There is no shortage of recordings of Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18, one of the most popular pieces in the classical repertory ever since its slow-movement clarinet solo underlaid the quintessence of cinematic romance, Brief Encounter. But this one, by pianist Alexandre Tharaud (he may not be as well known as the decision to omit his first name in the graphics would presume, but he's getting there), is worth strong consideration.
Much-awaited has been the new recording of the Machaut Messe de Nostre Dame from Bjorn Schmelzer and Graindelavoix, one of Glossas long- standing artistic family members. Following on from the trio of discs devoted to music in the spirit of the medieval master draughtsman Villard de Honnecourt the Antwerp-based ensemble currently in residence at the Fondation Royaumont in France has now turned to the first-known composer of an integral mass cycle: Guillaume de Machaut, who was a canon at Reims Cathedral in the fourteenth century.
The performances heard on this recording by the superstar duo of violinist Itzhak Perlman and pianist Martha Argerich do not exactly form a discrete group: the first work, Schumann's Violin Sonata No. 1 in A minor, Op. 105, was recorded live in 1998, while the rest consists of 2016 studio recordings. The 1998 performance, however, was part of a concert in Saratoga Springs, New York, that provided the stimulus for the joint recording. The Schumann sonata performance was not released at that time, and the rest of the program expands on the music it presents. It's nice to have the Schumann, which has a good deal of tension and energy. As for the rest, it's hard to point to a clear decline in the skills of either of the septuagenarian performers.
Soprano Elīna Garanča has been known mostly for bel canto roles. With Revive, she seems to inaugurate a new direction in her career with a selection of dramatic, mezzo-soprano range pieces. Cynics might guess that the title refers to that new direction itself, or simply to the collection of rather obscure music that makes up most of the second half of the program.
As a part of the 25-years party Gamma Ray re-releases their albums as an anniversary edition. The start of this series was already done a few months ago, followed now by the second wave. One of the real highlights in this cycle is "Lust For Live"…
In the 20th century, the great American composers – simmering in the mighty melting pot – evoked Hollywood glamour, folksy landscapes, irresistible swing, poignant nostalgia, showbiz pzazz, sweet sentiment, streetwise sophistication, and hypnotic minimalistic drive. This 6-CD box – featuring such citizens of the world as Simon Rattle, André Previn, The Labèque Sisters, Renaud Capuçon, Hélène Grimaud and Paavo Järvi – take us on an exhilarating journey across the musical horizons of the USA.
A decade of performing, touring and recording has given the three players in Phronesis a matchless rapport. That inspires an ever-flowing fountain of new music, captured to perfection on this, the Anglo-Scandinavian trio’s sixth CD and their fourth for Edition Records. The chemistry joining pianist Ivo Neame – with his Django Batesian rhythm-swaps hitched to classic jazz roots in Bill Evans and Chick Corea – to Jasper Hoiby’s double-bass muscle and the maniacally personal sound of drummer Anton Eger make Phronesis a wonderful live band. But though live recordings have represented them best, this single-day Abbey Road session gets very close.
“Beat” was released in June 1982 just eight months after the 80s Crimson lineup debut album “Discipline”. It marked the first occasion where a King Crimson line-up had remained intact for a two album stretch and was also the first album by the band to employ a separate producer – Rhett Davies. The juxtaposition of lyrics heavily influenced by 50s beat luminaries Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady. The complex polyrhythmic musical textures of the ‘80s Crimson, the strength of the songs and the cohesion of the studio performances, all helped the album chart upon release in the US and the UK…