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Brilliant Classics

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Image 12 Sonatas for Flute and B.C.
Jed Wentz transverse flute
Musica ad Rhenum

Johan Helmich Roman (1694-1758) is called the "Father of Swedish music" and also the "Swedish Handel". And with good reason, as his instrumental works match Handel's chamber music in charm, virtuosity formal structure and tunefulness. In fact Roman met Handel during his stay in England, and Roman's admiration for the master is evident.

No better advocate for these somewhat neglected works than Jed Wentz and his musical companions of Musica ad Rhenum. Not only are they thoroughly aware of the stylistic details of the music and its performance, but they also hugely enjoy themselves playing these flute sonatas, written "for the advanced dilettante, well versed in style and technique" (as Roman himself describes it).

Excellent liner notes by Jed Wentz (a fine player as well as an eminent scholar).

53 kr (89 kr)
Image String Quartets, Vol. 1
Diogenes String Quartet

With over 600 lieder as well as sacred, chamber, orchestral and piano music to his name, Franz Schubert was one of the most prolific and influential composers of his generation -- a man whose music, heavily influenced by the likes of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, drove critics to later argue whether he was of a Viennese Classical or Romantic disposition. Many of Schubert's instrumental works remained unpublished during his lifetime, and it was only in the decades following his untimely death that the young Austrian's genius came to be fully appreciated.

Schubert is perhaps best known as a song composer, and the first volume of this series focuses on the lyrical qualities of his early string quartets. The disc begins with the 1823 'Rosamunde' Quartet No.13 in A minor D804: rooted in the world of song, the work earned its nickname from the slow movement -- a set of variations on a theme from the composer's incidental music to Wilhelmine von Chézy's play Rosamunde (written the year before). Also featured is the Quartet in D D94, which, despite its late numbering, is now believed to be one of Schubert's earliest string creations. Here the dramatic harmonic shifts point to a composer who, even in his teenage years, was already seeking to escape the confines of the Classical period.

Formed in Munich in 1996, the young Diogenes Quartet stands as one of the most acclaimed ensembles of its generation. Here they perform with aplomb, combining freshness of interpretation with technical mastery to create superlative readings that document the beginnings of Schubert's chamber music career.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Violin Sonata, Cello Sonata, Piano Trio
These original works and arrangements for violin, cello and piano by Claude Debussy span the composer's protean career, from the early Piano Trio of 1880 to the Cello Sonata of 1915 and the Violin Sonata, completed in 1917 as part of an abortive six-sonata project which ended halfway when he died the following year. Especially since the performances are given with the experience harvested by three musicians who are better known as early-music specialists, soaked in the philosophy of historically informed performance practice, they offer an intriguing survey, unique on record, of the composer's development. As Harold Schonberg, music critic of The New York Times, wrote, it would be amusing to invite classical music 'experts' to listen to the Piano Trio, with its expressive reminiscences of Schumann, and then guess who the composer is: few of them would say Debussy. And yet the two late sonatas masterfully shuffle the cards of Impressionism, pre-Classical sonata structures and Stravinskian distance and eccentricity: the Cello Sonata originally bore a heavily symbolic title (Pierrot faché avec la lune) relating to the paintings of Watteau with their elusive mixture of melancholy and irony. It uses the timbre of early music and citations from the great French harpsichordists to conjure up Pierrot's moody, troubled world, which was that of the slyly smiling masks of the commedia dell'arte.

The arrangements are the work of several hands, among them Debussy himself, of better-known and justifiably popular works that revel in the sophisticated evocation of mood through lyrical melody and evanescent textures, including 'The Girl with the Flaxen Hair' and 'Minstrels'.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Complete Works For Cello And Piano
Many of Liszt's works were transcribed for other instruments, both by the composer himself and other musicians.These hauntingly beautiful pieces for cello and piano were originally written for piano solo or the voice. They are from the final period of his life and are the product of his old age and his quest for spirituality. Far from the virtuoso brilliance of his earlier works, their intense and romantic melodies express melancholy and desolation, the sparse textures and harmonic instability daringly looking forward to the twentieth century. The rich and warm expressive qualities of the cello undoubtedly make these pieces even more effective.

The most significant work in this collection is La lugubre gondola, a compelling piece written after Liszt had a premonition of Wagner's death. It was inspired by the Venetian gondola funeral processions he observed during a visit to the city to see Wagner.The music conveys the stillness of a Venetian lagoon, the unsettling harmonies also evoking the underlying darkness and despair. Another work with a very personal connection is the nostalgic Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth, a transcription of one of his songs. Nonnenwerth was an island in the Rhine where Liszt spent time with Marie d'Agoult and their children, and his fondness for the work resulted in many different versions for solo piano, voice and piano duet as well as this version for cello and piano. There are also transcriptions for cello and piano by other musicians of some of his most popular piano works, including the six Consolations, Angelus! from the third volume of Années de Pelèrinages and the Liebestraum No.3.

The performers of this moving collection of works are the Italian cellist Francesco Dillon and the pianist Emanuele Torquati. Francesco Dillon performs as a soloist and with chamber groups all over the world and has made several recordings of unusual cello repertoire, including an album of Schumann rarities for Brilliant Classics.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Entartete Musik
This set brings together the complete works for saxophone and piano, by composers who were judged by the Nazi regime in the thirties as entartet (degenerated). Their common stylistics (as if there are such qualities as to be called degenerated..) include a tendency to modernism and escape from traditional (preferably teutonic) musical language, an openness for other musical forms and styles, such as jazz and AfroAmerican influences, and lastbut notleast a Jewish origin. The saxophone was the Nazis worst enemy,harboring all degenerated qualities in one.The composers included are Erwin Schulhoff (his famous Hot Sonata, the most frequently performed saxophone sonata of the 20th century), Hindemith, Dessau, Dressel, Jacoby, Gál and the notorious Herr von Knorr.A fascinating panorama of an era of buoyant creativity, brutally suppressed by a totalitarian regime.Vibrant and intense performances by two excellent musicians, David Brutti and Filippo Farinelli, who already recorded a fantastic set for Brilliant Classics of Saxophone works by Charles Koechlin (BC 9266).

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Piano Quintets & String Quartets
Roberto Plano, piano
Quartetto Noferini

Giovanni Sgambati (1841- 914) was one of the few 19th century Italian musicians who worked outside the native operatic tradition of Donizetti and Verdi. As a conductor, composer, teacher and pianist, he promoted symphonic and chamber music alongside his younger and now more renowned colleague Giuseppe Martucci.

Records of Sgambati's music have largely confined themselves to his orchestral and piano works (as well as his magnum opus, a Requiem Mass), but transfers of a dusty 78 show him having enormous fun with the Scherzo of Dvorák's Piano Quintet.

This set redresses the balance and reveals Sgambati as a chamber musician no less accomplished in composition than performance, within the German tradition that he worked hard to introduce to Italian concert societies: Mendelssohn and Schumann are keynote influences here. The first string quartet and piano quintets are early works, dating from 1864 and 1866 respectively; the latter written in the fairly unusual key of F minor (think Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony) for which Sgambati appears to have had a special fondness, given the many piano pieces he also composed in that key.

The second string quartet (1882) and piano quintet (1876) are more chromatically developed to embrace some of Wagner's idiom (Sgambati also wrote a concert overture on the subject of Rienzi); and when Wagner heard Sgambati give a performance of the quintet at the Royal Court of Savoy he was sufficiently impressed to suggest to his publisher Schott that they also publish Sgambati's work. This proved to be a turning point in Sgambati's career, as well as the beginning of a friendship between the two composers. Roberto Plano's previous disc for Brilliant Classics, of the piano music of Smetana (94788), won warm critical appreciation; this new disc will likewise appeal to all fans of Romantic musical byways.

Giovanni Sgambati (1841-1914) was an important composer of 19thcentury Italy. A pupil and disciple of Franz Liszt he was one of the most brilliant pianists of his day. However, he was a composer, a conductor, a teacher and a patron as well, composing symphonies and chamber music in a country where opera was predominant.

Sgambati's musical language is romantic pur sang. Rooted in the German tradition of Mendelssohn and Schumann he was further influenced by his great mentor Franz Liszt and by Wagner (as so many in that age).

This 2CD set contains two string quartets and the two piano quintets, impressive works of substantial length, richly textured and full of instrumental virtuosity.

Excellent performances by Italian forces, the great pianist Alberto Plano (a Van Cliburn Competition winner) and the Quartetto Noferini.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Complete Music For Clarinet
This release presents the complete music for clarinet and piano by Ferruccio Busoni. The works span Busoni's whole creative life, from the classical forms of his youth to the highly chromatic and expressionist language of his mature age.

Ferruccio Busoni went into history as one of the greatest pianists who ever lived, and as the composer of an extraordinary and eclectic oeuvre, consisting of piano works, chamber music, a monumental piano concerto and operas. His father Ferdinando Busoni was a famous clarinettist, so no wonder this instrument had a special attraction for Ferruccio.

As a bonus two works by his father Ferdinando are included in the programme, a Melodia and a Rêverie, exquisite genre pieces of the late 19th century.

Italian clarinettist Davide Bandieri is a versatile musician and scholar, he plays solo clarinet in the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, is an avid chamber music player and is specialised in contemporary music. He wrote the extensive liner notes for this set himself.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Music for String Quartet, Piano Trios & Piano Quin
After years of comparative neglect Giuseppe Martucci is taking his rightful place as one of the most important late romantic Italian composers. His style is a happy and individual mix of Wagner and Verdi, dramatic chromaticism softened by lyrical, bel canto style melodies. Martucci was a composer, conductor, teacher, and excellent pianist, who made extensive European tours as a soloist. His music from his early period is written in sophisticated salon style, charming and picturesque. Later Martucci wrote more substantial works, like the two Piano Trios and Piano Quintet recorded on this release, full blooded romantic music in which the virtuoso pianism is proof of Martucci’s great gift as a performer.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Complete Chamber Music for Clarinet
For this release, clarinettist Davide Bandieri is joined by a superlative group of musicians, all determined to shine a light on some of Hindemith’s most sensitively scored chamber music. As a keen amateur clarinettist himself, Hindemith composed for the instrument throughout his life. This repertoire therefore takes us on a journey right from his early works in the 1920s – when the composer was influenced by the ailing conservative composer Arnold Mendelssohn – to the mid 1950s, when his music had been strongly shaped by Schoenberg’s ideas about tonality. Characteristically for Hindemith, much of his clarinet repertoire is Hausmusik – written for a domestic setting rather than public performance. A sense of intimacy can therefore be heard alongside the composer’s typical wit. The Musikalisches Blumengärtlein is one of Hindemith’s many parody pieces, with tongue-in-cheek comic effects in its unusual instrumentation and original movement names like the punning ‘Canon (for shooting)’. Throughout his life, Hindemith was determined not to let his music become part of the ‘routine’ of professional musicians. He was careful to keep his compositions light, and to compose for all sorts of instruments and genres, leaving us with a fascinating legacy. The musicians on this album are all experienced interpreters of chamber music; several, including Davide Bandieri, have long played with the prestigious Lausanne Chamber Orchestra. The Quartetto Savinio, who join Bandieri for the Quintet Op.30, have been described as the ‘one worthy heir to the Quartetto Italiano’ (L’Unità). The pieces on this double-CD are evidence of Paul Hindemith’s love for the clarinet, an instrument of which he was a keen amateur player and for which he wrote a considerable amount of music. The Clarinet Sonata, Quartet and Quintet were intended for the concert hall, while the other pieces were written for amateurs to be played in more private settings, Hindemith’s mission being to create approachable music for as many people as possible. In all these works Hindemith’s particular style shines through: from the strict neo-classicism, the “Neue Sachlichkeit” to vigorous expressionism, all sharing his joy of invention and creation. Played by Italian master clarinettist Davide Bandieri, who played solo clarinet in the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and Mahler Chamber Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado. For this recording he secured the collaboration of such eminent instrumentalists as pianist Matteo Fossi, violinist Duccio Ceccanti and cellist Vittorio Ceccanti. Recorded in Perugia, Italy, in May, June and October 2016. Contains liner notes and biographies of the artists. For this release, clarinettist Davide Bandieri is joined by a superlative group of musicians, all determined to shine a light on some of Hindemith’s most sensitively scored chamber music. As a keen amateur clarinettist himself, Hindemith composed for the instrument throughout his life. This repertoire therefore takes us on a journey right from his early works in the 1920s – when the composer was influenced by the ailing conservative composer Arnold Mendelssohn – to the mid 1950s, when his music had been strongly shaped by Schoenberg’s ideas about tonality. Characteristically for Hindemith, much of his clarinet repertoire is Hausmusik – written for a domestic setting rather than public performance. A sense of intimacy can therefore be heard alongside the composer’s typical wit. The Musikalisches Blumengärtlein is one of Hindemith’s many parody pieces, with tongue-in-cheek comic effects in its unusual instrumentation and original movement names like the punning ‘Canon (for shooting)’. Throughout his life, Hindemith was determined not to let his music become part of the ‘routine’ of professional musicians. He was careful to keep his compositions light, and to compose for all sorts of instruments and genres, leaving us with a fascinating legacy. The musicians on this album are all experienced interpreters of chamber music; several, including Davide Bandieri, have long played with the prestigious Lausanne Chamber Orchestra. The Quartetto Savinio, who join Bandieri for the Quintet Op.30, have been described as the ‘one worthy heir to the Quartetto Italiano’ (L’Unità). The pieces on this double-CD are evidence of Paul Hindemith’s love for the clarinet, an instrument of which he was a keen amateur player and for which he wrote a considerable amount of music. The Clarinet Sonata, Quartet and Quintet were intended for the concert hall, while the other pieces were written for amateurs to be played in more private settings, Hindemith’s mission being to create approachable music for as many people as possible. In all these works Hindemith’s particular style shines through: from the strict neo-classicism, the “Neue Sachlichkeit” to vigorous expressionism, all sharing his joy of invention and creation. Played by Italian master clarinettist Davide Bandieri, who played solo clarinet in the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and Mahler Chamber Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado. For this recording he secured the collaboration of such eminent instrumentalists as pianist Matteo Fossi, violinist Duccio Ceccanti and cellist Vittorio Ceccanti. Recorded in Perugia, Italy, in May, June and October 2016. Contains liner notes and biographies of the artists.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Wind Sextet and Trios
Brilliant Classics already has one disc of Louise Farrenc (1804-1875) in its catalogue, which is one more than most recording companies. The Piano Quintets (BC94815) were an ear-opening discovery and delight for anyone interested in 19th-century chamber music; Farrenc’s originality is plain to hear, and in these works she developed the genre beyond what had seemed to be its Brahmsian apex. A more extensive opportunity is now offered to become acquainted with an aesthetic of great formal confidence and expressive delight, with these new recordings of Farrenc’s two piano trios and her Wind Sextet. The trios were frequently performed during the years after their composition in 1844, five years after the piano quintets. By this time she had been appointed Professor of Piano at the Paris Conservatoire; the only woman in so senior a rank until the turn of the new century. Remarkably, the Sextet of 1851-2, foreshadowing Poulenc’s composition 80 years later, is the first instance of a work that combines the piano with a full wind complement of flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon. All three works bear traces of neo-classical echoes of Hummel and Mendelssohn. If, from a structural point of view, they follow Classical models - sonata-allegro or sonata-rondo form in the outer movements, framing an animated Scherzo and Trio (except for the Sextet, in only three movements) and a rhapsodic slow movement - his harmonic progressions are notably adventurous, often leading the listener into unexpected territory. The Sextet, in a dramatic C minor, is a muscular, concertante piece, in which the piano is as dominant as the piano quintets by Brahms and Schumann, but any momentary imbalance is soon overcome, and the equilibrium between the instruments is generally governed with extreme care. The tone of the two trios is more intimate and the conversation between instruments more delicate and mellow. Clarinet and cello are ideally matched by their dark colours (as can be noted in the soulful Adagio), whilst the Flute Trio, in a wistful E minor, is a rare example of a 19th-century chamber work featuring an instrument that by then was regarded primarily as a member of the symphony orchestra. Louise Farrenc was born in 1804 into an artistic family of painters and sculptors, living in a “commune” near the Sorbonne in her native Paris. At an early age she was admitted to the Paris Conservatoire, where she studied composition and piano, and where she met her future husband, the flautist Aristide Farrenc. Farrenc’ s early compositions were in cultivated Salon style, her later works however are of a more ambitious nature, she composed large scale chamber music and even symphonies. The clarinet and flute trios and the wind sextet on this new recording are written in the Classical/Early Romantic style of Weber, Hummel and Clementi, music of fresh imagination, charm and scintillating instrumental virtuosity. Played with brio and zest by I Solisti del Teatro Dell’Opera di Roma, an elite group led by pianist Linda di Carlo, who already successfully recorded an earlier Farrenc CD (BC94815).

59 kr (99 kr)
Image Etudes for Cello Solo
53 kr (89 kr)
Image 12 Trattenimenti armonici per camera Op. 6
Tomaso Albinoni is one of the greatest composers of the Italian Baroque, together with Vivaldi, Corelli and Locatelli. The greatest part of his works however is mostly unknown. Therefore, Brilliant Classics plans to issue a substantial series of his works, starting with this first recording of the complete Trattenimenti Armonici. A series of 12 sonatas, for violin, cello and instrumental ensemble, in Sonata da Chiesa style: small scale, alternating fast and slow movements. The violin has a leading role in the typically Italian vocal writing of the solo part.

Italian Baroque specialist Carlo Centemeri made already an excellent recording for Brilliant Classics of music by Bassani (BC94259), which received 5 star reviews in Amadeus and Diapason. He now leads the Zero Emission Baroque Orchestra in this new recording of Albinoni, playing on period instruments.

Liner notes written by the artist.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Complete Violin Sonatas & Complete Viola Sonatas
Darius Milhaud is one of the most colorful and versatile composers of 20th century France. He was active in all fields and genres of composition: opera, choral, orchestral, chamber and solo works, a prolific writer and bold spirit, a member of the French composer’s group “Les Six,” a modernist influenced by jazz, polytonality and Brazilian culture. This new recording contains the complete violin and viola sonatas, highly attractive works in which the formal structures of the sonata form are imbued with the temperament, colors and perfumes of the Provence, the natural habitat of Darius Milhaud. This release is an excellent performance by Mauro Tortorelli, who plays both violin and viola, and pianist Angela Meluso, who already successfully recorded for Brilliant Classics the Violin Sonatas by Saint-Saens, which received 4 and 5 star reviews in the international press.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Flute Quintets
53 kr (89 kr)
Image Complete Music for Violin & Piano
Erwin Schulhoff was a Czech composer of German-Jewish descent. He received his musical education in Cologne, Leipzig and Vienna. Under the Nazis he was captured for his Jewish identity and his music, which the Germans considered “Entartet.” Tragically, he died in a concentration camp in 1942. Schulhoff’s music started in the late romantic style of Brahms and Reger. Later he was influenced by the newly developed Jazz music, Dadaism and Czech folk music, all three fused into his own personal musical language. This new recording presents his complete output for violin and piano: one violin solo sonata, two sonatas for violin and piano and a suite for violin and piano. This is highly original and dramatic music in which the tension of the “Zeitgeist” is everywhere apparent. Here, this music is performed by Bruno Monteiro and Joao Paolo Santos, who have already successfully recorded the music for violin and piano by Szymanowski for Brilliant Classics.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Violin Sonatas
53 kr (89 kr)
Image Chamber Music For Clarinet
Luigi Magistrelli, clarinet
Italian Classical Consort

The ever-expanding catalogue of Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach on Brilliant Classics (most of it contained in a 30-CD box, 94640), now reaches his music for clarinet, which has received much less attention on record than his orchestral or keyboard works but is no less melodically fertile and formally inventive than his better-known music.

The clarinet was in its infancy when Bach began to write for it, late in life, having left his position in Berlin as court composer to Frederick the Great, and taken over the directorship of the five principal churches in Hamburg after the death of his godfather, Georg Philipp Telemann (who, as ever, got there first when it came to exploring the potential of new instruments, with various works including a lovely and doleful duet-concerto for two clarinets in D minor).

Sometime after his move to Hamburg, Bach created six single movement sonatas for clarinet, bassoon and fortepiano (H516-21, Wq 91/1-6) of which the keyboard parts are recycled from earlier works, as are several other pieces here, including music which he had originally composed for flute, perhaps for Frederick to play. The Quartet in A minor (H537, Wq93), however, certainly dates from early 1788, originally written for flute (or, as here, clarinet), violin and treble and bass keyboard lines: thus a trio in practice.

The two clarinet duets here are the shortest works on the disc, yet not the least affecting, within the harmonically searching idiom, dubbed Empfindsamkeit, of which Bach became the most noted practitioner, exciting the admiration and imitation of Mozart, Beethoven and countless others who came after him.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Chamber Music
Child genius Francesco Cilea, sent to study law at just seven years of age, became a celebrated composer in late-19th- and early-20th-century Italy. Among his most famous works are the operas Adriana Lecouvreur, L'arlesiana and Gina, and the symphonic poem Il canto della vita, which was written in 1913 for the centenary of Verdi's birth. He was awarded membership of the Accademia d'Italia in recognition of his musical achievements.

Many of Cilea's chamber music compositions were written while the composer was in his 20s - these include the Cello Sonata in D and Trio for violin, cello and piano, both of which display a distinctive lyricism that would become a feature of much of Cilea's mature work. The Theme and Variations and the Canto were written much later, and were originally composed for orchestra. Here they are performed in the composer's re-arranged version for piano and cello.

Performing together for the first time on the Brilliant Classics label, each of the performers on this recording enjoys an international reputation: Ilaria Cusano (violin), Jacopo Di Tonno (cello) and Domenico Codispoti (piano).

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Trio Sonatas / Harpsichord Transcriptions from Lul
Despite stylistic differences, which are largely attributable to their difference in age, d'Anglebert and Hotteterre nevertheless have quite a lot in common. Both were active at the court of Louis XIV, obtaining the title of Musicien de la Chambre du Roi, and both were substantially influenced by Jean-Baptiste Lully, the musician who is universally considered the creator of a cultural model for French music that ultimately prevailed over the Italian model.

Jacques-Martin Hotteterre was the celebrated recorder virtuoso-composer of his day, no less distinguished than Paganini and Liszt would be in their own contexts. Hotteterre's gift was for toning down and understating the differences between the French and Italian idioms, skilfully adapting the Italian models to suit his own cultural setting at the royal court in and around Paris, thereby imbuing them with new forms whose original structures are fully integrated into the composition.

A few decades older than Hotteterre, Jean-Henry d'Anglebert adhered to the classic model of 17th-century French Baroque music, his works for harpsichord representing a significant example of the style at its maturity. These transcriptions of works by the master Lully are remarkably dense, not least because the one keyboard has to embrace and express the five parts of Lully's orchestral ensemble. But they are also full of ornamentation, which was a feature of all d'Anglebert's music.

Les Eléments is a dynamic chamber ensemble fully in tune with modern scholarship and historically informed performance values. This is its second recording.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Music for Viola and Guitar
Although best remembered for his eccentric personality and extraordinary playing, Niccolò Paganini was also an excellent composer. Indeed, he was a man of two halves: the consummate performer who stunned (and shocked) concert halls with his sheer virtuosity, and the thoughtful musician who composed intimate chamber music for domestic settings. It is this second Paganini that is the focus of this release, which features two specially transcribed works for viola and guitar (originally for violin) alongside one of the composers original works for this combination of instruments.The works are significant in that they record Paganinis deep affection for the guitar, whose role alters during the course of the recital: relegated to simple accompaniment that provides timbral and harmonic support in the Six Sonatas MS26, in the Sonata concertata it contrastingly partakes in the melody and virtuosic brilliance (Gramaglias transcription for viola here bringing to the fore the intrinsic balance of the work, with the overlapping of the timbres creating a sound tapestry of great intimacy). The use of the viola throughout the compilation also highlights the extent to which Paganini helped to expand this instruments repertoire; this is particularly evident in the Sonata per la Grand Viola MS70, an original work for the instrument whose brilliance reflects its ultimate destination for the concert hall, the composer using the guitar as a means of working out the orchestration for the later concerto.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Café 1930, Music for Violin and Guitar
It had previously been said that in Argentina 'everything can change except the Tango'. And then there was Astor Piazzolla, who revolutionised this genre in the mid-20th century. Creating a new genre that would become known as the Nuevo Tango, Piazzolla added influences of jazz and classical music to create his spell-binding music.

The Histoire du Tango, the first work to be feature on this compilation, is a tribute to the development of the Tango, including movements such as 'Bordel 1900' and 'Nightclub 1960'. Originally written for flute and guitar, it is performed here in the version for violin by Piercarlo, one of the artists on the recording. The Études tanguistiques show particular virtuosic elements such as the use of percussive articulation, double harmonics and complex double and triple stops. The collection also includes Celos, as well as Piazzolla's only work for guitar, the Cinco piezas - an insight into folk melodies and rhythms of Argentinian culture, combined with an unmistakeable streak of classicism.

Violinist Piercarlo Sacco, winner of the 1992 Prix Spécial du Jury at the Yehudi Menuhin competition in Paris, has been hailed as 'a musician of international standing. An outstanding talent among the violinists of his generation' (Il Corriere del Mezzogiorno). Also performing on the recording is acclaimed guitarist Andrea Dieci, described as 'an impressive guitarist' by The New York's Times Herald. A sought-after teacher, he is currently based at the Tartini Conservatoire in Trieste.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image String Quintet / String Sextet
Ensemble CORDIA
Stanley Ritchie violin I
Hedwig Raffeiner violin II
Olga Arzilli viola I
Guus Jeukendrup viola II
Stefano Veggetti cello I
Franziska Romaner cello II

Anton Wranitzky (1761-1820), a near-contemporary of Beethoven, was a leading figure in Vienna's highest musical circles. He was under the patronage of Prince Lobkowitz and in that capacity he led the world premieres of Beethoven's 3rd and 6th symphonies. Beethoven held him in high esteem as a composer.

Wranitzky's skills and originality are shown in these two works for string ensemble. The Quintet in the unusual combination of 1 violin, 2 violas and 2 cellos, create fascinating deep sonorities from the ensemble. Ensemble Cordia present these beautiful Works for the first time on CD, played on original instruments by leading specialists in the Early Music field. The ensemble already won high critical acclaim for their earlier recordings for Brilliant (Telemann, Baroque arias and others). Although Anton Wranitzky (1761-1820) may not be a household name to listeners today, this skilled composer was one of the central figures of Viennese musical life at the turn of the 18th century. Like his teacher Haydn, he was a recipient of Prince Franz Joseph Maximilian Lobkowitz's patronage and support.

As Kapellmeister and composer for the prince's court ensemble,Wranitzky was at the forefront of Vienna's musical culture, and it was in this position that he led the first private performances of Beethoven's 'Eroica' and 'Pastoral' symphonies, among others. Later in his career he became orchestral director of the main theatres in Vienna, although the patronage that he had relied on dwindled later in his career, as Lobkowitz and other supporters experienced financial difficulties. Wranitzky's chamber music reveals a voice of some individuality. The two works on this disc are scored for fascinating but rather unusual combinations of instruments, possibly in response to the musicians employed at the prince's court: the Quintet in E flat features the grouping of one violin, two violas and two cellos, and the Sextet in G is scored for two each of violins, violas and cellos. In both works, the unusual sonorities that these combinations create are explored imaginatively, while Wranitzky's approach to texture, theme and structure shows him to have been a composer of great skill and originality.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Chamber Music
Often cited as the most distinguished neoclassical composer of post-war America, Robert Muczynski (1929-2010) was born in Chicago to Polish parents. This album of chamber music surveys an output which is always restless and unpredictable thanks to the embrace of both Bartokian harmonies and structures as well as the more lyrical yet open-ended language of Samuel Barber. The Cello Sonata of 1968 is often considered to be Muczynski’s chamber music masterpiece, in which the problems of balance and register inherent to the genre are not only solved but transcended with a mastery especially evident in the central Scherzo. From a year later, the Fantasy Trio Op.26 is a welcome addition to the clarinet-cello-piano trio genre established by Beethoven. Energy and punchy rhythmic interplay are hallmarks of Muczynski’s music, as the earlier Flute Sonata engagingly demonstrates: in its whimsical, abrupt, headstrong progress through a compact four-movement form, it may even be considered the most important such work by an American composer. Muczynski took technical agility and devil-may-care confidence for granted in his interpreters; in this case, an international quartet of musicians based in the US. There is an extended booklet essay by the pianist Dmitry Samogray which places both composer and works in invaluable context. Any listeners curious to fill out their appreciation of American music beyond Copland and Bernstein will want to hear this release. Robert Muczynski (1929-2010) was born in Chicago, son of a Polish and Slovak immigrant. At the age of 5 he started his piano lessons, and later studied at the DePaul University composition with Walter Knupfer and Alexander Tcherepnin. Muczynski may safely be called the most important neoclassical composer of post-war America. His style bears influences from Bartók, Barber, Bernstein and occasional jazz elements. This new recording contains some delightful chamber for various instruments: the flute sonata, trio for clarinet, cello & piano, the cello sonata, and duos for flute and clarinet: attractive music full of vitality and exuberant energy. Wonderful performances by Ginevra Petrucci (flute), Dorotea Racz (cello), Gleb Kanasevich (clarinet) and Dmitry Samogray (piano), all four of them seasoned soloists and ensemble players. The booklet contains excellent liner notes written by Dmitry Samogray.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Complete String Quartets
Quartetto Eleusi

Born into a humble family in 18th century Italy, Pietro Nardini's talent for violin playing led him to Livorno to study with the celebrated Giuseppe Tartini, where he reportedly became as good a violinist as his teacher. He travelled throughout Europe and was resident musician at several of its major courts - notably Tuscany, where he was Director of Music. Such was his reputation as an extraordinarily expressive technician that he was asked to play in the presence of King Ferdinand and Queen Carolina in Naples as well as Wolfgang and Leopold Mozart, not to mention other celebrities of the age.

His string quartets, initially written for the amateurs of the Florentine public, were widely commercial and published all over Europe, and this is reflected in their simplistic nature. The first three, in which the violin is the prevalent instrument, seem to follow the European traditions of the era, while the final three give equal prominence to the viola and cello. The pieces show a certain modernity when compared to his other chamber works in the lack of basso continuo and use of simple sonata form, as well as a possible German influence in the imitative parts. Performing the works is the acclaimed Quartetto Eleusi, one of Europe's leading ensembles in the field of historically informed performance.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Music for Violin and Piano
Minimal Music for Violin and Piano This CD includes three compositions for violin and piano by three contemporary composers from three countries together, both of their national music tradition as well as the minimal music are connected: The album presents works by the American artist Philip Glass (* 1937), the Georgian Giya Kancheli (born 1935) and the Estonian Erkki-Sven Tüür (* 1959) opposite. As different as the origin of the composer, so different are their individual studies: Pulsating rhythms, restrained intimacy and a dance-like finale characterize Glass' "Sonata for Violin and Piano" (2008); in Kancheli's "Time ... and again" (1996) are compared with silence and improvised sound cascades; in Tüür "conversio" (1994) a rhythmic interaction between the two instruments is constructed that transforms from contrapuntal progressions gradually in parallel.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Sonatas for Flute and Guitar
FLUTE María José Belotto
GUITAR Gonzalo Noqué

An instrument that is almost entirely absent from the output of the great pre-twentieth-century composers, the guitar has long been viewed as a means to discovering new repertoire and neglected composers. One such example is Ferdinand Rebay, whose works (which have only recently come to light) present a unique case in bridging the central-European gap. This release is dedicated to his two Sonatas for Flute and Guitar.

Rebay believed that the blending of wind and guitar timbres produced a far more attractive sound than that of winds and piano, and the two sonatas -- written in 1942 -- date from an immensely productive period as regards the composer's chamber duo output for guitar. Heavy in dialogue, they reveal a technique deeply rooted in Viennese tradition; from the Neoclassical style of the First, whose Scherzo exudes Beethovenian inspiration, to the stirringly Romance feel of the Second, with its broad phrasing and intensely lyrical passagework, these are two strikingly different works of character that together illuminate a fascinating area of past-century music-making.

In representing the first recording of the two sonatas -- works that currently exist only in manuscript form -- this release forms a significant addition to Brilliant Classics' chamber music discography. The two young Spanish artists on the disc, María José Belotto and Gonzalo Noqué (who created the performing editions), set a high standard with their virtuosic display, arguing a strong case for why this composer deserves to be better known.

First recordings of the works made in 2011.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Complete Music for Cello and Piano
Italian chamber music rarities of the romantic Giuseppe Martucci (1856 1909) was one of the most important Italian composers of instrumental music of the second half of the 19th century, in a time when Italian music was dominated almost overwhelmingly from the opera. Stylistically he was close to the classic-romantic tradition of Beethoven Schumann Brahms, but added his works typically Italian lyricism and virtuosity added. This CD summarizes Martucci complete music for cello and piano, which was built over a period of ten years from 1880 to 1890: The Cello Sonata in F sharp minor, Op 52, an impressive work that Martucci wrote with just 24 years, the ". Due Romance "op. 72, the processing" Romanza "and believed to be ambitious chamber works that" these rarities Tre Pezzi "op. 69th were Played by two outstanding chamber musicians, the widely revered cellists Roberto Trainini, for example, prices for cello competitions could achieve in Mark Neukirchen, Belgrade, Rome and Hamburg, and the equally successful pianist Massimiliano Ferrati.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Complete Music for Cello and Piano
Casella was, if it isn't a contradiction in terms, a kind of neoclassical Romantic; of sufficient pianistic skill that he was admitted to the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 13 and thus perhaps escaped from the pressure to plough the furrow of operatic verismo already so well tilled by his countrymen. Instead he made his mark as a composer of abstract, instrumental music such as these two cello sonatas.

The First Sonata, like his other youthful compositions, reveals various stylistic influences: there are hints of Debussy, Mahler and Strauss, as well as traces of what Casella had learnt from Fauré. Even in these early works, however, the composer's own personality comes across clearly in the search for what was new and hitherto unexplored ground. The Second Sonata reveals a change in compositional approach. In fact, it bears witness to his interest in a style that he defined as 'baroque in its monumentality'. With its four movements it is more extensive, with dynamics based on deep contrasts between passages that are passionate and vigorous, and others in which the atmosphere is quietly intimate. The same rhythmic energy returns in the Tarantella, composed in 1929 along with the Notturno for violin and piano, transcribed by Luigi Silva in 1931, and ultimately reworked by Casella for cello and orchestra in 1934.

Andrea Favalessa and Maria Semeraro are young Italian musicians who regularly play together in a fruitful artistic partnership that has won them international recognition and numerous awards.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Complete Music for Violin
Carlos Damas, violin
Jill Lawson, piano

Frederico de Freitas (1902-1980) was one of the most important musical figures of 20th century Portugal: a composer, conductor (founder of the Portuguese radio orchestra), writer, teacher and instrumentalist (piano, violin).

His early compositions are inspired by the musical trends of the time (polyrhythms and polytonality). He later developed a more classical style, in which his own harmonic language (augmented modality) and the inspiration of his country's rich folk music tradition are the most important elements.

This CD contains de Freitas' complete works for violin and piano - music of a rich originality, worthy to discover and cherish.

Portuguese violinist Carlos Damas is a strong advocate of this music: sensuous tone, intimacy and passion, perfectly suited to the music's mood. Pianist Jill Lawson is an excellent partner, the duo having already successfully recorded for Brilliant Classics (Antonio Fragoso, works for violin and piano, BC 94158).

The booklet contains excellent liner notes by Ivan Moody.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Music for Flute, Clarinet and Piano
53 kr (89 kr)
Image Chamber Music With Bassoon
Andrea Bressan, bassoon
Mario Paladin, viola

Ex Novo Ensemble
Schola Cantorum San Rocco

Philippe Hersant (born 1948) is one of the most remarkable and successful composers of his native France. A student of André Jolivet he embraced tonality and modality, finding his own unique voice, eclectic, open and appealing to a wide audience. He won numerous prizes: Grand Prix de la ville de Paris, Grand Prix SACEM, Victoires de la Musique Classique 2016, and the Légion d’honneur.

This new recording presents his music for the bassoon, a still neglected but versatile and expressive wind instrument. Included are the duos for bassoon and viola, 8 Pieces for bassoon and instrumental ensemble and works for bassoon solo.

Played with great conviction and imagination by Italian bassoonist Andrea Bressan and the Ex Novo Ensemble.

Liner notes written by the composer.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Sonatas
Alessandro Ciccolini, violin
Il Coro d'Arcadia

Pietro degli Antoni (1639-1720) was a founding member of the famous Accademia Filarmonica in his native Bologna, an institution bringing together professional musicians "so well united that they always play together, creating fine sound". Many famous composers were member: Vitali, Tosi, Colonna, and later Corelli, Bononcini, Torelli and Bassani. Even Mozart, when visiting Bologna, became a member, being highly impressed by the sheer size and quality of the Accademia (.."the music was grave and majestic.." he wrote home).

Antoni was a prominent member of the Accademia, and was active as composer and chapel master in various churches, writing sacred vocal works, but also opera and chamber music.

This new recording presents Antoni's "12 Sonatas Op. 4" for violin and basso continuo, multi-movement works, alternating allegros with rapid brilliant passage work with adagios full of "affects" and arioso style melodies.

Alessandro Ciccolini is one of Italy's foremost baroque violinists. A composer and editor as well, he reconstructed Vivaldi's opera Montezuma, as recorded by Alan Curtis for DG. He successfully recorded Albinoni's Opus 4 for Brilliant Classics.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Piano Sonata in E / Quattro Fantasie
Pietro De Maria, piano

Guido Alberto Fano was born in Padua in 1875. After his studies with Martucci he went to Germany and Austria to develop as a pianist and composer, and received support from Richard Strauss, who thought highly of him. During his long lifetime (he died in 1961) he held important posts at the conservatories of Naples and Milan, active as a promotor of Italian instrumental music.

Fano’s substantial E major Piano Sonata (over 35 minutes) is written in late romantic style, rich and dense, highly polyphonic and chromatic and of the highest technical level (Busoni loved the work). It is one of the most important Italian piano sonatas, on a par with the Martucci sonata. The four Fantasies are lighter in mood, a warm Mediterranean pendant of Schumann and Brahms.

Superb performance by one of Italy’s foremost pianists, Pietro de Maria, who recorded for Decca the complete piano works of Chopin.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image The Two String Quartets
Roffredo Caetani (1871-1961) was born into a noble family in Italy. His godfather was nobody less than Franz Liszt, who first recognized his musical talent, and who entrusted him to the care of his own pupil Sgambati. Caetani’s first string quartet was written when he was eighteen years old, modeled on the middle quartets by Beethoven. Twenty years later he wrote his second string quartet, an homage to his great inspiration Franz List. The work is in one continuous movement using the Hungarian scale, lending a unity to the melodic material. The Alauda Quartet was founded in 2011 by students at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Since then they have performed in such venues as the Purcell Room of the Queen Elisabeth Hall and the church of St. Martin In The Fields.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Bassoon Trios
Massimo Data, bassoon
Mario Carbotta, flute
Piero Barbareschi, piano

A delightful programme featuring the bassoon in duo and trio formation chamber music, centred around the substantial and neglected Bassoon Trio WoO37 by Beethoven.

This new recording presents a brilliant duo for bassoon and flute by Devienne, a trio for flute, bassoon and piano by opera composer Donizetti, a virtuoso Fantasia on Verdi themes by Morlacchi/Torriani and Beethoven's masterpiece.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Bassoon Kaleidoscope
Bram van Sambeek - bassoon
Joost Bosdijk - bassoon
Ellen Corver - piano
Rick Stotijn -double bass
Izhar Elias - guitar
Marieke Schneemann - flute
Sven Figee Hammond - organ
Maria-Paula Majoor - violin
Marijn Korff de Gidts - drums

The programme on this new recording spans nearly 400 years, and brilliantly showcases the many colours and moods that the bassoon is ideally suited to creating. The music ranges from the early Baroque sonata of Böddecker, dating from 1651, through to Saint-Saëns's witty, elegant late sonata (1921) and Hagen's remarkable Harlem Nocturne from 1939, featuring the innovative and brilliant combination of Hammond organ, drums, guitar and bassoon! Gubaidulina's Duo Sonata of 1977, Piazolla's Café 1930 and Dubois's Sonatine Tango of 1984 provide dazzling and contrasting 20th century flavours, as does the splendid Trio for flute, bassoon and piano by Chick Corea, which appeared on his 1970s album Inner Space. This album is an audio kaleidoscope of sound, colour and moods, a tribute to the bassoon's versatility.

A more insanely varied program will be hard to find. "Dutch Music Prize" winner Bram van Sambeek selected an extremely diverse repertoire, spanning 400 years, in which the bassoon plays a prominent role: from the Baroque elegance of Böddecker, through virtuoso variations of Rossini and Saint-Saëns, to the fascinating world of 20th century bassoon music by Gubaidulina, Piazzolla and Chick Corea: a true kaleidoscope! Bram van Sambeek secured the collaboration of the best Dutch instrumentalists, among which guitarist Izhar Elias, flutist Marieke Schneemann and pianist Ellen Corver.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Towards Verklärte Nacht
Gabriella Sborgi, mezzo-soprano
Sextet of the Orchestra da Camera di Mantova / Alessandro Maria Carnelli

This CD presents a fascinating musical illustration of the paths which led to the composition of Verklärte Nacht, Arnold Schoenberg’s masterpiece for string sextet, the late romantic outpouring of a harmonic and melodic language at the end of its development, and at the same time the beginning of a new language.

Alessandro Maria Carnelli, scholar, musicologist, author and musician compiled a number of works which deeply influenced Schoenberg: the 6- part (sextet) Ricercar by J.S. Bach, songs by Brahms and Berg transcribed for voice and string sextet, two unfinished works for string sextet by Zemlinsky (a close friend of Schoenberg), all culminating in the work itself, Verklärte Nacht by Schoenberg.

Performed by mezzo-soprano Gabriella Sborgi and a string sextet formed with the principal players of the Orchestra da Camera di Mantova, conducted by Alessandro Maria Carnelli.

The booklet contains extensive information on the background of this intriguing conceptual album.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Spleens et Détresses / Piano Quintet
Muza Rubackyte, piano
Anaïk Morel, mezzo- soprano
Terpsycordes Quartet

Louis Vierne (1870-1937), having been taught by César Franck and Widor, became a famous organist. His most important post was that of the Notre Dame in Paris, where he was celebrated for his improvisations. As a composer indulged in the post-Wagnerian language of his era: highly complicated counterpoint, dense, chromatic harmonies and an exalted, spiritual atmosphere characterise his works.

This new recording presents his magnificent Piano Quintet, a monumental work (of the same proportions and scope as Cesar Franck’s piano quintet) suffused with an overwhelming emotional intensity, caused by the sudden death of the composer’s child.

The song cycle “Spléens et et détresses” on poems by Verlaine breathe a mixture of mystical emotion and sensual ardour.

Beautiful performances by mezzo soprano Anaïk Morel, the Quatuor Terpsicordes and the great Lithuanian pianist Muza Rubackyte, who already recorded successfully a CD with piano music by Louis Vierne (BC 95154), which received 5 stars in Diapason.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Six String Quartets
First recording of the string quartets by Campagnoli.Bartolomeo Campagnoli (17511827) learned his trade with famous Italian musicians Tartini and Nardini. As a virtuoso on the violin he travelled Europe, where he held several important posts in Freising (Bavaria), Dresden and Stockholm, before settling as Kapellmeister of the famous Gewandhausorchester in Leipzig. Campagnoli claimed for himself the german learnedness with Italian soul, and his string quartets, the relatively new and hot genre of his days (with Joseph Haydn as the supreme creator and master), abound inlyrical melodies set into the firm musical structures of the first Viennese School.Simone Laghi, leader of the Ensemble Symposium, did extensive research into the music of Campagnoli, and prepares its first Edition. Their masterful performances breath historical insight and pure delight in themusics originality. Extensive liner notes written by Simone Laghi.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Music for Viola and Ensemble
Italian composer Alessandro Rolla lived from 1757 till 1841, outliving both Mozart and Beethoven, his most important musical influences. He was an extraordinary virtuoso on the viola, the 'Paganini of the viola', were it not that he was actually the teacher of Paganini. Many of the technical innovations that Paganini introduced in his devilish violin works were invented by Rolla.This new recording presents several concertante works for viola and orchestra, the style firmly rooted in Viennese Classicism, the melodies glowing with Italian warmth and elegance.Played by Simonide Braconi, principal violist of the famous Scala Orchestra, the orchestra Rolla himself conducted in his time.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Music for Guitar and Fortepiano
53 kr (89 kr)
Image Music for Violin and Piano
Alessandra Génot, violin
Massimiliano Génot, piano
Carlo Negro, piano

Leone Sinigaglia (1868 - 1944) was a cosmopolitan intellectual, who lived in Germany, Tchechoslowakia, where he formed close friendships with Johannes Brahms and Antonin Dvorák respectively. Of Jewish origin he died under Nazi terror in his native Turin. He was highly respected by Mahler, Fürtwängler, Nikisch and Toscanini, who premiered his orchestral works in America.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Violin Sonatas
Although sometimes disregarded as a conservative composer, looking back at atime when other composers were looking to the future, SaintSaënss output towards the end of his life actually remained highly original. His music for violin and piano is no exception. An experienced traveller, SaintSaëns was inspired by his voyages in East Asia, particularly China, and these exotic elements come to the fore in Triptyque Op.136, the almost sonata, which was the last of the composers major works for violin and piano. The three sections, Prémice, Vision congolaise and Joyeuseté, are a tribute to the composers fascination with the East, a popular topic in France at the time. The earlier works, the two violin sonatas and Berceuse, or lullaby, are also less indicative of SaintSaënss conservatism than many would believe. Indeed, the listener is treated to a variety of innovations, such as frequent crossaccents in the second sonata and the rapid changes of metre that appear in various phrases in the first sonata. It is true, though, that SaintSaëns refused to allow his output to be engulfed by the Wagnerian tradition gathering pace in Germany, and this means that his music remains characteristically and unabashedly French.Mauro Tortorelli and Angela Meluso have been performing together for years and are experienced interpreters of SaintSaëns and his contemporaries. Their critically acclaimed recording of Camillo Sivoris works for violin and piano was praised in both Gramophone and Amadeus, with Angela Meluso singled out for her lively and responsive playing. Both performers have their moments to shine in the recordings on this new release, and their lengthy musical partnership leads to a perfect balance between violin and piano.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Violin Sonatas
"The record catalogue is awash with recordings of the three Violin Sonatas, but I doubt if any are more satisfying than this. Pauk and Vignoles know each other very well, and the partnership works on every level. The big, high-octane swagger we hear from some international soloists is replaced here by a superbly subtle, understated approach that pays dividends. They take the G major Sonata spaciously, but do not forfeit momentum in the process and the delicacy of the music comes across
convincingly, helped by the warm, well-balanced recording. Pauk's sweet-toned 1714 Stradivari glows with a Viennese affection, and Vignoles partners with superb understanding. Though they are probably at their best in the gentler music, it would be wrong to suggest that any necessary intensity or passion is lacking -- try the development of the Allegro amabile of the A major Sonata, where the passion and excitement are tangible. These are deeply satisfying readings of great music." (MusicWeb)

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Piano Quartets
The two Piano Quartets by SaintSaëns on one CD.Camille SaintSaëns was a highly prolific and eclectic composer, two adjectives which may bear a negative undertone, but not in the case of SaintSaëns, a genius who absorbed all current musical styles and forged them in his own inimitable, unique language, extremely wellcrafted, intelligent, charming, brilliant and with an astonishing gift for a good tune.This new recording presents the two piano quartets, virtuoso works which deserve a firm place in the concert repertoire.Brilliant performances by the Italian Avos Quartet, who play with perfectly blended sound with unusual ease (the Italian magazine Archi).Booklet contains detailed notes on the works, as well as artist biographies.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Complete Music for Clarinet and Piano
Claudio Conti, clarinet
Roberta Bambace, piano

This year 2016 sees the commemoration of the death of Max Reger (1873-1916), one of the most intriguing and misunderstood German Romantics.

Reger's Clarinet Sonatas Op. 49 are clearly modelled on the clarinet sonatas Op. 120 by Brahms. Characteristic are the long melodic lines, the intense, intertwining dialogue between the two instruments, the extended chromatic harmony and the overall complexity of both texture and counterpoint.

Beautiful performance by Italian clarinettist Claudio Conti, prize winner of several international competitions, and Roberta Bambace, piano.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Music for Cello and Piano, Vol 2
Francesco Dillon (cello) & Emanuele Torquati (piano)

An original programme featuring works for cello and piano by Schumann, arrangements of works written originally for other instruments. Schumann himself left the choice of instrument open for some of his works: the clarinet, oboe and cello often changed roles.

The Romanzen Op. 94 were originally for oboe and piano, but work very well played on the cello, as arranged by the famous 19th century cellist Grützmacher. Also the violin sonata Op. 105 fares excellently through the golden, melancholy sonorities of the cello.

Schumann lived his whole life under the spell of the great Johann Sebastian Bach, and as a tribute to Bach's genius Schumann added a piano part to the famous Cello Suites.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Serenades For Flute, Violin and Viola
The first phrase of Reger’s Op.141 Serenade plunges the listener into the world of joyful music-making among friends circa 1780. The immediate modulation to a higher key in the second phrase brings us back to the more knowing world of late-Romanticism, and Reger thereafter moves between the two with great charm and no little skill. Light and effervescent the temper of these serenades may be but they also make considerable demands on their performers to keep up with the composer’s breathless turn of phrase and invention; these Italian musicians are fully up to speed. The Larghetto slow movement of Op.141 is an expressive high-point on the disc and, like much of Reger’s music, it is far too little known given its tender appeal to the general listener. With these two works, Reger was evidently paying homage to a Classical spirit whichfound its fulfilment – at least in this unusual instrumentation – in Beethoven’s Serenade. The six movements find the young Beethoven at his most carefree and effervescent: even the Andante and variations (which would become a conduit for profound thoughts later in his career) is as light as air and bubbling with melody and witty repartee. Anyone who only knows Beethoven from the symphonies, sonatas and concertos has a very pleasant surprise in store with this disc. Andrea Oliva is principal flautist of the Orchestra dell’Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, and has made many notable recordings with them and their music director, Sir Antonio Pappano, but he has also enjoyed a successful career as a soloist: according to Sir James Galway, he is ‘one of the best flutists of his generation, a shining star in the world of the flute.’ He has recorded Bach sonatas with Angela Hewitt and the chamber music of Saint-Saëns (BC95165) and Dutilleux (BC94738) with his Santa Cecilia colleagues, both released by Brilliant Classics. This new recording brings together 3 Serenades for the unusual combination of flute, violin and viola by Ludwig van Beethoven and Max Reger. The Serenade Op. 25 by Beethoven is a youthful work full of good humour, charm and wit, in the same spirit as his popular Septet. Reger’s Serenades are not exactly brimming with jollity, they are mature works in which the composer’s craftsmanship is embedded in a deeply poetic and even dramatic content. In the booklet the three Italian musicians are giving their own personal views on the music in the form of an interview with renowned musicologist Valentina Lo Surdo: highly original, interesting and revealing!

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Complete Violin Sonatas
Martistella Patuzzi, violin
Mario Patuzzi, piano

Othmar Schoeck (1886-1957) is one of the most important composers of 20th century Switzerland. Of the same generation as Berg, Bartók, Szymanowsky, Stravinsky and Webern he adopted such stylistic elements as presented by his contemporaries, while maintaining his own personal voice of lyricism and late romantic Weltschmerz.

The three (complete) violin sonatas which are recorded here span his entire lifetime, and reflect the musical developments of the century: from tonally extended chromatism in Reger style to expressionistic austerity.

Played with obvious love and dedication by Lugano-born violinist Maristella Patuzzi and her father Mario Patuzzi.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Kreutzer Sonata and Sonata In A
These are not modern arrangements of two classic violin sonatas but classic examples of the art of transcriptions, made by two superb French cellists in the last half of the 19th century. They cater less for the demand of amateur musicians for repertoire for domestic music-making – even in their originals, the sonatas lie somewhere beyond the technical level of all but the most accomplished performers – but for the growing number of professional cellists who sought more than showpieces for their recitals yet were understandably frustrated by the lack of substantial contributions to the cello repertoire by composers of their time. The greatest Parisian cellist of his day, August Franchomme, arranged the ‘Kreutzer’ Sonata in 1867. It is among Beethoven’s most ambitious pieces of chamber music, symphonic in scale. Reportedly, the first transcription for the cello was made by Carl Czerny, at the request of Beethoven himself. However, Czerny considerably simplified the most important virtuoso passages that had made this sonata a piece for seasoned musicians. Franchomme also made certain adaptations, inevitable when transcribing a piece of this complexity for a lower instrument, but he retained its sense of thrill and danger. The cello version of Franck’s sonata has been better known since Jules Delsart made it in 1888, two years after its original composition and two years before Franck’s death. Great cellists including Maisky and Rostropovich have performed and recorded the sonata, but this pair of Italian musicians give it a new and enlightening context with the Beethoven sonata. This is Roberto Trainini’s second recording for Brilliant Classics after his album of the cello sonatas by Bohuslav Martinu (BC94816). This new recording presents two iconic violin sonatas in an arrangement for cello and piano. Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata and Franck’s Violin Sonata are two undisputed masterpieces of the violin repertoire. Their power of structure, expression and imagination transcends their mere instrumental restrictions, their human message stands above the musical matter. The arrangement for cello and piano sheds a new light on the music, enriching and enhancing its dark and dramatic atmosphere, while giving a new dimension to their lyrical and ethereal sections. The Beethoven arrangement is by the famous 19th century cellist Franchomme (also dedicatee of Chopin’s cello sonata), the Franck arrangement is by Jules Delsart, with permission of Franck himself. Beautiful and heartfelt performances by Roberto Trainini and Cristiano Burato, who already successfully recorded cello sonatas by Martucci for Brilliant Classics (BC94816).

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Complete Music for String Quartet
Hugo Wolf is best known today for his extraordinary and highly popular Lieder; his small body of compositions for orchestra and chamber ensemble are, sadly, performed and recorded far less. However, the works for string quartet recorded on this disc reveal the seriousness with which Wolf approached this small-scale genre.

Wolf's interest in the string quartet grew out of his immersion in chamber music as a child - his father organised musical evenings where family members would play the popular French and Italian repertoire together. The String Quartet in D minor was composed in 1878, when Wolf was 18 years old and living in Beethoven's old apartment. The legendary composer's influence can be heard in Wolf's work, along with a hint of Wagner - Lohengrin in particular.

The Intermezzo in E flat followed in 1886, a short piece that nevertheless displays Wolf's consummate skill in manipulating and developing a single theme to a state of considerable complexity. However, the Italienische Serenade is probably the best known of the works featured here, an extended rondo movement that conveys a curious mixture of passion and humour. Quartetto Prometeo's fine performances demonstrate a perceptive understanding of Wolf's musical genius, illuminating both the despair and sense of resolve that defined his character. An exciting new recording, this disc will be particularly welcomed by fans of the quartets of Beethoven, Schumann, Schubert and Brahms.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image String Quartets Nos.1-3
Nicolò Paganini developed the violin technique to an unparalleled level of virtuosity, which even today is attainable by only a few.

Sharing the same opus number as the famous set of 24 Caprices for solo violin, these three wonderful quartets enjoyed considerable popularity during Paganini's own lifetime. Composed 1815--18, they were dedicated to the King of Sardinia and the Duke of Naples, Vittorio Emanuele I.

That Paganini often performed these works himself explains why they differ somewhat from quartets by his contemporaries: the first violin is effectively a soloist, giving the composer the opportunity to display his virtuosic brilliance against a background of support from the other players. In lieu of writing markings and instructions in the parts, therefore, it is left to the performers, especially the first violinist, to improvise decorative passages -- a freedom Paganini would have enjoyed and encouraged.

The style of the music is pre-Romantic, and the overall feel is one of Haydn and Mozart's world -- only simplified. Well constructed and balanced with a hint of the romantic exuberance found in the composer's concertos and caprices, these delightful works contain some beautiful melodic writing and comprise a fantastic disc which illustrates another facet of Paganini's genius.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Flauto d'Amore
Ginevra Petrucci, flauto d'amore
Paola Pisa, piano

The Flauto d’Amore first appeared in the Baroque, when woodwind instruments were frequently included in chamber ensembles, and it was soon considered the most prominent of the flute family, right after the ordinary flute. It was built in B flat, in A and in A flat. Composers such as Quantz favoured the Flauto d’Amore for its warm, full bodied and tender tone.

The programme on this CD features delightful transcriptions for Flauto d’Amore and Piano of popular Lieder, spanning 150 years: Plaisir d’amour by Martini, Sicilienne by Paradis, Adelaide by Beethoven and many more “musical bonbons”, ending with Francis Poulenc.

Ginevra Petrucci is an excellent Italian flute player, noted for her innovative programmes. She already recorded Flute Quintets by Kuhlau (BC 94769) and Romantic Flute Concertos by Dupuy and Büchner (BC 95192), to great critical acclaim.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Piano Quintets
Hummel, Onslow and Dussek are all contemporaries of Beethoven (1770-1827). All three were not only piano virtuosos, but composers as well.

It is not by chance that the name of the Nepomuk Fortepiano Quintet refers to the composer Hummel. The ensemble consists of piano, 2 violins, viola, cello and double bass. This unusual combination is similar to the one Schubert later used for his Trout Quintet. Since their foundation in 1999 the musicians specialize in performing such music on period instruments.

The three quintets on this CD have a classical form and have a pleasant optimism in common. Extremely clear, sparkling and contagious performances by this Dutch ensemble. This is how this music should sound. A beautiful sonorous recording.

The Dutch classical music magazine 'Luister' (March 2007) awarded this CD with top marks: 10.

53 kr (89 kr)
Image Complete Music for Flute and Guitar
Sara Ligas, flute
Omar Fassa, guitar

Renowned in his lifetime throughout Europe as a performer and instrument maker, virtuoso guitarist and opera singer Luigi Legnani’s compositions are tragically under-represented in recordings and concert programmes. This is despite his body of over 250 works published by many of the major publishing houses of the time. Fresh, new ensemble AriusDuo have therefore presented themselves as the newest champions of his work, with a recording of his entire extant works for flute and guitar. Well established in their native Italy, and passionate exponents of unfamiliar repertoire both old and new for the pairing, the duo seek to find new enthusiasts for this much over-looked composer.

Thoroughly operatic in nature, and with equal amounts of showmanship from both instruments, the Duetto Concertante Op.23 and Gran Duetto Op.87 are two resplendent

works, offering all the energy and expression of the opera seria and opera buffa so central to 19th-century Italian music. Cavatina d’Ernani and Cavatina d’Elvira, on the other hand, are explicit arrangements of songs from Verdi’s Ernani, an opera portraying the amorous exploits of an outlawed nobleman. The pieces realise the sumptuousness and elegance of the original songs’ passionate confessions of love, whilst exploiting the technical brilliance of each performer.

53 kr (89 kr)
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