Following the success of her discs of Romantic and Late Romantic repertoire, Vilde Frang has recorded Mozart’s Concertos Nos. 1 and 5 ‘Turkish’ and the Sinfonia Concertante K364, enabling music lovers to hear the Norwegian violinist perform Classical repertoire on disc for the first time. The impetus for this album was a 2012 orchestral tour of Asia conducted by Jonathan Cohen in which Vilde performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5. The vibrancy of their musical collaboration was something both artists were keen to repeat and commit to disc. Jonathan’s Cohen’s chamber orchestra, Arcangelo, proved the ideal partner, joined by violist Maxim Rysanov in the Sinfonia Concertante.
Composer Edouard Lalo's work encompassed the period of Romanticism that witnessed the evolution of the romance de salon genre into the melodie francaise or French art song. It is an injustice of posterity that only Faure, Duparc and Debussy acquired true fame in this genre. This collection from baritone Tassis Christoyannis and pianist Jeff Cohen featuring the two scenes de salon for voice and piano, the seven romances and the 23 melodies, shows that Lalo easily stands alongside his more well-known countrymen.
On Soli, Tamsin Waley-Cohen's 2015 release on Signum Classics, the violinist explores modernist repertoire composed between 1944 and 2005. Because these solo violin pieces by Béla Bartók, George Benjamin, Krzysztof Penderecki, Elliott Carter, and György Kurtág are challenging for both the player and the listener, one should approach this CD with some awareness that they reflect different phases of the avant-garde movement that dominated music in the last half of the 20th century. In quieter selections where the moods are primarily brooding or lyrical, Waley-Cohen produces a vibrant tone and smooth phrasing that make her playing easy to appreciate, even when the music isn't recognizably tonal. However, in louder, dissonant passages, notably in sections of the Bartók Sonata, Benjamin's Canon for Sally, Carter's Remembering Aaron, and Kurtág's Anziksz Kellerannanak, the close microphone placement makes her bowing sound overly resinous and scratchy, which can be hard to enjoy. Even so, few violinists dare approach this bracing material, and Waley-Cohen is to be commended for devoting a whole album to such cutting-edge pieces solely on her terms, without making compromises.
A 50 CD Original Jackets Collection celebrating the greatest Classical and early romantic recordings from Decca’s pioneering early music label L’Oiseau-Lyre. The box features orchestral, vocal, chamber and solo piano music from Christopher Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music, Malcolm Binns, Andras Schiff, the Music Party, the Esterhazy Quartet among others.
Haydn's Sinfonia Concertante in B flat major for violin, cello, oboe, and bassoon, Hob. 1/105, is among his most recorded works, and among his most utterly joyful. But it has rarely reached the heights of ebullience achieved in this historical-instrument reading by the small British ensemble Arcangelo and its conductor, Jonathan Cohen. The list of things to be enthusiastic about is long, but it begins with the differentiation of the instruments in the solo passages, with the period oboe and bassoon of Alfredo Bernardini and Peter Whelan, respectively, having the depth of texture to stand up to the brilliant Stradivarius violin and Guarneri cello of Ilya Gringolts (a renowned soloist in his own right) and Nicolas Altstaedt.
What these sound recordings attempt to do is to bring you face-to-face — or, perhaps more appropriately, sound to-heart — with actual works of the troubadours and, occasionally, of others in their circle of influence. The task is daunting for so many reasons: songs got written down decades, even centuries, after their dates of creation; only about ten percent of the original melodies survive; and most direct knowledge of how performers worked out their interpretations at the time has been lost. We know nothing whatsoever about the singing style, or about the techniques of instrumental accompaniment that may have been employed. These performances, therefore, of necessity, reflect a confluence of musicological and philological knowledge with performers' instincts and intuitions, as all of these tendencies interacted with each other at a specific moment in history, the late twentieth century.
Eight centuries of Christmas music from France, Spain, and the New World. Under Joel Cohen’s vibrant direction, this generous and varied anthology, occupying three entire CD's and containing three hours of music, presents some of The Boston Camerata's most beloved and successful Christmas recordings, originally produced between 1986 and 1999, to a new generation of music lovers.
The program on this release by baritone Matthew Rose is innovative and useful in a couple of different ways. First, although performers have sometimes tried to bring 18th century opera to life by programming arias written for specific singers, this has usually been applied to countertenors. They were generally the stars, it's true, but they weren't the only ones. The Italian comic baritone Francesco Benucci was one of the leads of Joseph II's Italian opera company, the original Figaro, and the original Leporello in Don Giovanni in the Vienna premiere (the second production).