Of Ottorino Respighi's vast output, only a handful are commonly played today. The so-called "Roman Trilogy" certainly tops the list of his most familiar, popular works. On the other end of the continuum is the Concerto in modo misolidio, a piano concerto in the mixolydian mode. Why this riveting work is not played more often is anyone's guess. It incorporates Respighi's innate talents as a master orchestrator, his deference to classical forms (in this case, the three-movement concerto format), and his love of ancient music and modes.
It was during the winter of 1900–01 that Elgar began to sketch what he hoped would turn into a symphony – his first. But the sketches were quickly absorbed into several shorter pieces, one of which was the Cockaigne overture. Although composed in the rural area of the Malvern Hills, the work is nevertheless an unashamedly populist portrait of ‘old London town’, complete with references to whistling errand boys and a marching band – the composer himself described the music as ‘cheerful and Londony’.
Anu Komsi, Finland’s ‘coloratura assoluta’, here presents a wide-ranging programme, from mad scenes and rage arias from 18th- and 19th-century operas, to Alyabyev’s ever-soaring Nightingale and the silvery tinkling of Lakmé’s Bell Song. Komsi also performs later examples of coloratura, including Glière’s glittering Concerto for coloratura and orchestra, and La Machine de l’être by the composer John Zorn – a work which she premiered in New York City in 2011.
Joshua Bell lights of the stage with this dazzling performance of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, the centerpiece of the Nobel Prize Concert in Stockholm in honour of the 2010 Nobel Laureates. Part of the official Nobel Week, this tribute concert opens with music by Beethoven that urgently evokes the spirit of freedom from tyranny. Closing the evening is a glowing account by Sakari Oramo and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic of Sibelius's monument to orchestral majesty, the titanic Fifth Symphony.
This new release features the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Sakari Oramo performing Sergei Prokofiev’s Symphonies Nos. 5 and 6. These two symphonies, composed in 1944 and 1947, are very different in mood, but stylistically closely related. The Fifth was written amid the chaos of the Second World War and seeks to find a positive solution; but in the Sixth, completed soon after war, the mood is darker. Both feature Prokofiev’s melodic writing at its best.
As the present principal conductor of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Sakari Oramo has chosen works by Edward Elgar, a composer whose music he has been a fervent advocate of since his tenure at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Oramo’s commitment to Elgar has been rewarded with a medal of honour from the British Elgar Society.
…In 2001 Batiashvili appeared in a recording premiere of the Olli Mustonen Concerto for 3 violins, with fellow violinists Jaakko Kuusisto and Pekka Kuusisto, on the Ondine label. Over the next few years her career blossomed with major concert dates across Europe and the U.S. In August 2006 she premiered the Lindberg Concerto at Avery Fisher Hall, with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Louis Langrée conducting. Batiashvili signed a recording contract with Sony in 2007 and went on to record the Beethoven Violin Concerto for that label and a disc of works by Mozart and Britten. In 2008 Batiashvili gave the premiere in London of the Kancheli double concerto Broken Chant, for violin, oboe, and orchestra, with her husband François Leleux and the BBC Symphony Orchestra…
Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg (b. 1958) writes in large, monolithic blocks of sound, with dense harmonies and melodies that often move in short, crabbed steps. That hasn't changed, but the two recent pieces included on this disc suggest a new concern with humanizing values and communicative clarity. "Seht die Sonne," which the San Francisco Symphony co-commissioned and gave its North American premiere in 2008, is as massive and solidly built as anything else in Lindberg's catalog. What's different is the melodic grace of the writing and the gleaming transparency of the orchestral textures, beautifully rendered by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under conductor Sakari Oramo. The companion piece, "Graffiti," is a choral setting of various Latin scribbles - commercial, philosophical, obscene or inscrutable - left behind along the streets and alleyways of Pompeii. The use of Lindberg's trademark sonorities to conjure up ancient walls is a little obvious, and there's more than a whiff of sword-and-sandal cliches here; but the cumulative effect of the piece is powerful in spite of it all.