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Image Arvo Pärt - Mullova - Järvi
The works on Viktoria Mullova’s new album devoted to Arvo Pärt’s music for violin stem from the composers study of medieval church music, and are products of what Arvo Pärt himself describes as a ‘tintinnabuli’ style, developed by the composer in the 1970s through studying medieval church music ‘I have discovered that it is enough when a single note is beautifully played. This one note, or a silent beat, or a moment of silence, comforts me. I work with very few elements – with one voice, two voices. I build with primitive materials – with the triad, with one specific tonality. The three notes of a triad are like bells and that is why I call it tintinnabulation.’

They have become some of the most iconic pieces in the contemporary repertoire and have reached out way beyond the usual ‘classical’ music world in their popularity. This album was recorded in the presence of the composer.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Orchestral Works, Vol 1
Volume 1 in a series of albums covering Bartok’s major works for orchestra. Conductor Thomas Dausgaard writes ‘To celebrate the great scope and stylistic variety in Bartok’s works, this new series of his orchestral works aims at bringing together on each disc two or more stylistically contrasting works. Whether inspired by impressionistic or late romantic music, by Gypsy music as heard on the streets of Budapest, peasant music from Hungary and Eastern Europe, Arabian music around the Mediterranean, or is a synthesis of many influences towards the end of his life, Bartok’s music speaks to us with an irresistible vitality, passion, humour and compelling seriousness. No more so than in this albums youthfully exuberant Suite no 1 (here in its uncut original version (1st time on record)) and his last completed orchestral work, concerto for orchestra (in this performance incorporating his final changes), where remarkably he returns to the five movement structure of the 1st Suite’.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Enigma Variations
The third Elgar album from Petrenko and the RLPO, a critically acclaimed team of Elgarians, brings together three masterpieces, In the South, a vibrant and colourful depiction of the Southern Italian coast, the Serenade for String Orchestra, and the Variations on an original theme, known as the Enigma Variations. Elgar’s breakthrough masterpiece was conceived in 1898 during a moment of dispirited idleness. He had come home exhausted from a day of violin teaching and was absent-mindedly extemporising at the piano when his wife, Alice, called out: ‘Edward, that’s a good tune.’ What Elgar’s fingers had stumbled upon were in fact hints or fragments of a melody, each starting after the first beat of the bar – ideal for variation treatment. Now contemplating that theme, Elgar began to imagine how certain friends of his might play it or make it their own ....

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Violin Concerto, Romances & Rondo
Beethoven’s Violin Concerto represents the supreme challenge for violinists. Far from being a virtuoso display piece, this is chamber music on a large scale, the last and greatest ‘classical’ violin concerto, giving the soloist no place to hide with a solo part that is often very exposed against sparse orchestral accompaniment. A lukewarm reception at the concerto’s premiere in 1806 led to it being forgotten until Joseph Joachim resurrected it in the 1850s and restored to its rightful position as one of the greatest and most popular concertos for the instrument. This is James Ehnes’ first recording of this concerto, and he is supported sensitively by the award winning RLPO and fellow violinist-turned-conductor, Andrew Manze. The combination of soloist, orchestra and conductor on this recording is a dream team.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Tales from Russia
Simon Trpceski presents a fascinating programme of Russian classics, two of which are heard in unfamiliar guises as works for solo piano – Mussorgsky’ Night on a Bare Mountain, in the arrangement by Rimsky, and then the latter’s Sheherazade. The programme starts with Prokofiev’s delightful ‘Tales of the Old Gramdmother’. Trpceski’s new album is a pianistic tour de force and will delight pianophiles!
Other information

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Violin Sonatas 1-3 op. 12
The second volume of the Beethoven Violin Sonata cycle from James Ehnes and Andrew Armstrong follows the critically acclaimed release of sonatas nos.6&9 ‘Kreutzer’. ‘Ehnes and Armstrong are stunningly responsive in the finale’ (op.47)’…ravishing in the slow movement’ op.30/1 said Gramophone of the earlier album, concluding the review ‘’..a compelling addition to Ehnes and Armstrong’s remarkable discography’
This new album contains the three early op.12 sonatas which Beethoven dedicated to his teacher Antonio Salieri, and ends with the early variations from a theme from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image The Lark Ascending & Fantasia on a Theme By Thomas
Andrew Manze and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s cycle of the 9 Vaughan Williams symphonies have been praised by the reviewers, and their live performances rapturously received. This album contains the most popular of his shorter orchestral works – The Tallis Fantasy, Greensleeves, the Lark Ascending and the wonderful Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus. The Serenade to Music is heard in the rarely performed orchestral version – this album will be a must have for all fans of the composer!

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Symphonies Nos. 7 (Antarctica) & 9
The final volume in the RLPO/Andrew Manze Vaughan Williams Symphony cycle contains ‘Sinfonia Antartica’ No.7 and his final enigmatic symphony, the 9th. The 7th drew its inspiration from music RVW had composed for the film ‘Scott of the Antartic’, though very little of that score actually made it to the symphony. This often mis-understood work is a true symphony that draws on themes from the film. The composer headed each movement with a literary quotation, and these are narrated on this recording by the distinguished actor Timothy West, following in the footsteps of Sir John Gielgud and Sir Ralph Richardson. The 9th symphony dates from his final years and shows no trace of any creative decline. It is a challenging forbidding work and if music could be hewn from granite, then this symphony is a supreme example. RVW initially thought of a programme based on Thomas Hardy’s ‘Tess of the d’Urbevilles’, but characteristically denied this. However his manuscripts show otherwise!

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Miroirs
Melvyn Tan embraces three centuries keyboard style tracing the inspirations for Ravel’s ground-breaking works for piano. By exploring new pianistic territory, Ravel mirrored Scarlatti and Liszt in experimenting and expanding the possibilities of the keyboard, now setting it free in highly coloured, impressionistic washes of sound which evoke situations, landscapes and characters.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Sea Symphony; The Lark Ascending
The penultimate album in the critically acclaimed Vaughan Williams symphony cycle from the RLPO and Andrew Manze is of his 1st Symphony ‘A Sea Symphony’ set to words by Walt Whitman. Premiered in 1910, the start of this work is one of the most dramatic of any symphony, and one that displays an extraordinary, epic self-confidence in handling such large forces. The work had been in RVW’s mind since 1907, just before his studies with Ravel in Paris. The Lark Ascending, the Romance for violin and orchestra dates from 1914, is probably the composers most popular work, and will forever be associated with the horrors of the First World War. The version for orchestra heard here was made in 1920. It is a revolutionary work in the context of British music of the time – a rhythmic freedom and flow and imagery makes it very much of its time.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image The Firebird; Le Coq d'Or
After the critically acclaimed Rite of Spring (ONYX4182) the award - winning team of Vasily Petrenko and the RLPO continue their survey of the Stravinsky ballets with The Firebird. As with the earlier album, the coupling is a fascinating one. Stravinsky was Rimsky’s star pupil, and his influence on Stravinsky can be detected clearly in the opulent and exciting score of The Firebird. Rimsky’s Golden Cockerel suite was arranged from music from his 1909 opera based on the story by Pushkin.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image 12 Études; Gaspard de la nuit
Joseph Moog has established an enviable reputation as one of the most exciting virtuosos of our time with wide ranging repertoire that often takes him far off the beaten track. His ONYX recordings include concertos by Rubinstein, Moszkowski, piano sonatas by Tchaikovsky and Scharwenka, and arrangements of Scarlatti sonatas by, Friedman, Tausig, Gieseking and others. Recipient of Gramophone magazine’s ‘Young artist of the Year’ award in 2015 the magazine wrote of him ‘Clearly he is already among the most brilliant of pianists’ In 2012 he was awarded the ICMA Young Artist of the Year award, and in 2014 collected the ICMA best solo instrument award for his album ‘Scarlatti Illuminated’

For his new album Joseph has chosen an all French programme featuring Debussy’s 12 Etudes, and Ravel’s ‘Gaspard de la nuit’ one of the most challenging works in the solo piano repertoire.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Chandos Te Deum; Chandos Anthem No. 8
Before coming into contact with James Brydges, Earl of Carnarvon, Handel was is dire straits in London. His pension of £200 a year for teaching the Royal princesses had stopped, as had the public taste for opera. London had plunged into a hedonistic, alcohol- and gambling-driven lifestyle, where the bawdier things were the better. Brydges, one of the most colourful and roguish figures of the day, had built himself a vast palace (from wealth plundered whilst he was Paymaster General during the Spanish Wars of Succession) to rival anything the King could boast of – Cannons House in north London, set up as a rival court to King George I, where he employed Handel to replace Johann Pepusch as Kapellmeister. No surprise that the Earl has been described as ‘having no enmity with his conscience:’ The ‘King of Bling’ would have 13 Chandos Anthems and the Te Deum on this recording composed by a grateful Handel. It couldn’t last, though, and Handel was eventually lured back to the embrace of the Royal Court and London’s rediscovered love of opera. Now the 1st Duke of Chandos, Brydges had lost his vast fortune and his home in the South Sea Bubble financial crisis of 1720, and Cannons House was demolished, its treasures and features sold off. It was as if it had never been – except for Handel’s glorious music composed at Cannons House.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Violin Concertos; Stream of Limelight
Three works written for James Ehnes, and receiving their premiere recordings. James Newton Howard’s music will be familiar to movie fans the world over. His 120 film scores include ‘The Prince of Tides’, ‘Michael Clayton’, ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’, ‘The Village’, ‘Defiance’ and ‘The Hunger Games’ (the recording was produced by the legendary T Bone Burnett) and he is one of the most respected composers currently working in film. Commissioned to write a concerto for James Ehnes and the Pacific Symphony, Howard admitted to feeling ‘thrilled, excited, expectant and ultimately terrified’.

Pulitzer Prize (String Quartet No.2) winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis first composed for Ehnes in 2007 ‘Two movements (with Bells) and a few years later the violin concerto followed.

Bramwell Tovey and James Ehnes musical relationship goes back to 1990, and they have performed together countless times. Stream of Limelight gives James’s incredible technique ample opportunity to dazzle, and is a superb finale to this fascinating album of new compositions.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6
95 kr (159 kr)
Image From Russia with Love
95 kr (159 kr)
Image Piano Concerto No. 21 & Piano Works
"... South Korean pianist Yeol Eum Son, a model of clarify and fleetness, whose performance at the 2011 Tchaikovsky competition has received an astonishing ten million views on YouTube. She's better still in the album's solo pieces, particularly the K330 Sonata and the lively variations on a silly little aria, Lison dormait. A winning album all round, and there's I no Mozart bust in sight."
The Times april 2018

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Cello Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2
95 kr (159 kr)
Image Shadow Walker (Concerto for Two Violins) & Symphon
95 kr (159 kr)
Image The London Connection
95 kr (159 kr)
Image Piano Concerto No. 2
Brahms was 48 years old and at the height of his powers when he completed his Piano Concerto No.2. The Olympian B flat Concerto is, famously, not only one of the most technically challenging of all piano concertos to play but also one of the longest and a supreme test of the soloist’s technique and stamina. Not far behind it in terms of the challenges it presents the soloist with is the early Burleske for piano and orchestra by Richard Strauss. Dedicated to Hans von Bülow as a thank-you present, Bülow however, refused to learn it, considering it to be ‘unplayable’. This may have had something to with the fact that Bülow’s hands could barely span an octave – an insuperable obstacle in a work that demands superlative, stamina-sapping octaves - but which begs the question why the composer should write something so physically unsuitable for his mentor. This is repertoire in which Joseph Moog excels

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Company
Taking its title from the 2nd String Quartet by Philip Glass, the Borusan Quartet's exciting new album focuses on contemporary repertoire, embracing the spiritual minimalism of Arvo Pärt's 'Summa', to the expansive 4th Quartet of Peteris Vasks. This work, with its multi-faceted emotions swings from the contemplative to the combative: "I saw an angel flying over the world; the angel looks at the world’s condition with grieving eyes, but an almost imperceptible, loving touch of the angel’s wings brings comfort and healing", wrote the composer of the quartet's finale. The work has moments of conflict reminiscent of Shostakovich in places: a depiction of the condition of the world today perhaps?

The world of theatre is the background to the Glass. The source of this Quartet was a 1983 dramatisation of Samuel Beckett's prose poem 'Company'. Traditional music from the Borusan Quartet's homeland and in particular Anatolia is to be found in the String Quartet No.2 'The Untold’ by Turkish composer Hasan Ucarsu. It draws on Turkish folk music and traditions, especially the festival of 'Hidrelliz' which celebrates the coming of Summer. The songs of Neset Ertas were in the composer's mind when writing this quartet, especially in the 2nd movement. Rhythmically complex it is a colourful and dramatic work influenced by the music of the composer’s country in the same way as Hungarian folk music colours Bartok's Quartets and Balkar and Kabardinian folk music does in Prokofiev's F major Quartet. Born in 1965, Hasan Ucarsu studied in Turkey with Ahmed Adnam Saygun and then in the USA with George Crumb.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image The Rite of Spring
Three works inspired by Spring – Stravinsky’s iconic and revolutionary 1913 ballet The Rite of Spring depicts Russian pagan tribes celebrating the emergence of Spring with frenzied dances and ritual sacrifice. The music has a rhythmic complexity and violence that caused a riot to break out at its premier in Paris. Rachmaninov’s Spring Cantata tells the story of a husband who has struggled through the harsh Russian winter knowing his wife has been having an affair with a younger man. He swears he will kill them, but on seeing the wonder of spring all around him, relents and forgives them both. Debussy’s early ‘Printemps’ of 1885 was said to have been inspired by Botticelli’s ‘Primavera’. Debussy was staying at the Villa Medici in Rome when he wrote this colourful and joyous work.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2

Walton’s First Symphony burst onto the musical scene in 1935 and quickly became recognised as a masterpiece. The influence of Sibelius and Beethoven can clearly be heard, but it is Walton’s brilliant use of the orchestra and grasp of form that shines through: a remarkable achievement for a composer of 33 years. The Second symphony has never had an easy time, in both escaping the shadow of its older sibling, and in overcoming the hostility of the late 1950s and early '60s when avant-garde was de rigeur. Fortunately it is now clearly a masterpiece to rank alongside No.1. It is assured, mature and confident, subtle and refined, from a composer at the top of his game. High voltage performances from Kirill Karabits and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra is Classic FM’s Orchestra in the South of England. It was formed in 1893 and throughout its illustrious history it has worked with some of the finest composers, conductors and musicians in the world including Elgar, Bartók, Sibelius, Holst, Stravinsky, Vaughan Williams and Sir Thomas Beecham.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image In Schubert's Company
‘I am not superstitious. Especially numerology which never occurred to me as something attractive, or something that had ever play a role in my life or had freakish power over something. Nevertheless, when I started collecting repertoire for this album, which is dedicated to Schubert's 220th anniversary, some works on the disc accidentally appeared to be connected. Schubert's 5th symphony was recorded in Riga just about 200 years after it was composed. Franz was 20 years old when he wrote it.

Leonid Desyatnikov's "Wie der alte Leiermann", for violin and orchestra, which I decided to arrange for the viola especially for this project, was composed 20 years ago for Schubert's 200th anniversary.


On a more serious note, Schubert touches me deeply. Not only with his music and his sensitive soul, but also his life story is fascinating to me. Composer, elementary school teacher, poet, philosopher, pianist, singer, violinist, violist!...

With this album, I present myself as a commissioner of new music, arranger, solo performer and conductor. I would like to believe I am 0.22% closer to understanding Schubert’ writes Maxim Rysanov.

Schubert’s sunny 5th Symphony, 3rd Violin Sonata and Polonaise for violin & orchestra, are joined by three contemporary composers who each draw on Schubert’s music for their compositions. A darker, tormented Schubert from his final years is the source for their works – Winterreise, Erlkönig and the late Fantasy for violin & piano providing the inspiration. The haunting beauty of Schubert’s music continues to exert a powerful influence on performers, composers and music lovers alike.

137 kr (229 kr)
Image Siècle
Leonard Elschenbroich and the BBC Scottish Symphony explore a century of French music for cello with a program of works by Dutilleux, Messiaen, Ravel, Debussy & Saint-Saëns.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Symphony No. 2
"What’s the matter with them Billy? They sit there like a lot of stuffed pigs!" Elgar commented to his friend W.H Reid, the leader of the Queen’s Hall Orchestra after the chilly reception given to the 2nd Symphony at its premiere in 1911. More emotionally complex and ambiguous than the first symphony, the 2nd seems to hint at the apocalyptic events that would be unleashed just three years on. "Be like a woman dropping a flower on a man’s grave" wrote the composer of the ‘Spirit of Delight' theme in the coda of the second movement.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4
Andrew Manze’s interpretations of Vaughan Williams’ Symphonies have met with acclaim from audiences and critics alike. This second volume in the cycle from the RLPO and Andrew Manze feature Nos 3 & 4: two works heavily influenced by the Great War and its aftermath. A repressed seething rage and sorrow at the futility of the war pervades No.3, "It is really wartime music - a great deal of it originated when I used to go up night after night in the ambulance wagon at Ecoivres" said the composer. The 3rd has been called RVW’s ‘War Requiem’. The 4th is a violent and turbulent work, reflecting the post Great War world and the political turmoil of the 1930s. The audience was perplexed by the nature of the music "I don’t know if I like it, but it’s what I meant" he said after the premiere.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Impromptu
After his wonderfully quirky and highly praised Haydn & Ligeti album, Shai Wosner returns to solo piano repertoire for his next project. As always with this artist, there is something very different on offer - Impromptus by Chopin, Dvorak, Liszt, Gershwin, and Schubert rub shoulders with Beethoven's Fantasy Op.77 - the nearest thing we have to a Beethoven 'improvisation'. The composer did indeed improvise this work at a private house performance, then went home and wrote it down from memory! Ives's Improvisations 1&3 round off an eclectic programme.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Life, Love & Afterlife: A Liszt Recital
Dejan Lazic; on this, his first album for ONYX, pays tribute to a composer and his legacy as a piano virtuoso, organist, improviser, arranger, conductor, teacher, author, philanthropist and traveller. Liszt lived life to the full, and this recital captures that love of life, his genius as a pianist and composer, a traveller with a restless and curious mind. Liszt’s respect for the music of other composers is to be found in his arrangements for piano of orchestral, operatic and other vocal works. From Wagner’s operas to Schubert Lieder via Beethoven Symphonies, his deep love for the music is apparent and such arrangements gave this music a wider audience in both the salons and domestic settings that lives on today.

"Embarking on a recording project like this obviously required a substantial amount of preparation time. But once the date has come it was of a tremendous importance to capture and to honour the spontaneity of Liszt’s versatile, eclectic, and revolutionary genius", writes Dejan in his introduction to the recital, captured at a live performance at Hohenhems, and one further day in studio conditions.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Piano Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2
Rachmaninov started composing Sonata No. 1 Op. 28 in the spring of 1907, in Dresden, whilst also working on his Symphony No. 2 and the opera 'Monna Vanna'. He wrote to a friend on 8th May 1907: “The Sonata is without any doubt wild and endlessly long... No one will ever play this composition because of its difficulty and length”. The composer revealed later that the 1st movement related to [Goethe's] Faust, the 2nd one to Gretchen and the 3rd was the flight to the Brocken and Mephistopheles.

The 2nd Sonata op. 36 is an astounding feat of compositional ingenuity, created out of a single thematic seed. As with several of his works, Rachmaninov felt dissatisfied with the first version of 1913 and eventually revised it in 1931, significantly shortening it and thinning out the texture. The transcription of Tchaikovsky's 'Lullaby' for piano, Op. 16 No. 1, which Rachmaninov made in August 1941, is his last work. It is a remarkable coincidence that one of the very first pieces that he wrote as a 13-year-old in 1886 was the arrangement of another composition by Tchaikovsky.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3
Prokofiev was just 21 when he first performed his First Piano Concerto in Moscow, on 25 July 1912, with his teacher Nikolay Tcherepnin conducting. That same year, even as he was composing his ferocious Second Piano Concerto, Prokofiev was contemplating composing "a little pendant, something a little lighter". The Third Concerto has the kind of grace, economy and ‘balance’ that one might almost call Classical. Indeed, it has stylistic traits in common with Prokofiev’s First Symphony known as the ‘Classical’. It has become one of the 20th century’s most popular concertos.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Violin Sonatas Nos. 6 & 9
The duo of old friends James Ehnes and Andrew Armstrong has established itself as one of the most exciting of our times. Their albums of violin sonatas by Franck & Strauss, and Debussy, Elgar & Respighi have been praised by critics worldwide. For their new album, they turn to Beethoven, and two A major sonatas with very different moods. The 9th ‘Kreutzer’ is a huge work, heroic and turbulent in character – a kind of concerto for violin and piano. It is middle period Beethoven at its most dramatic. In contrast, the 6th sonata is a serene, introspective work of great beauty which has tended to be overlooked by its more outward looking siblings. The intimacy of this sonata – especially the slow movement is all the more surprising when the original finale was removed by the composer and became the finale of the ‘Kreutzer’. Beethoven wrote the gentle variations to conclude the 6th sonata.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Symphonies Nos. 3, 4 & 6
Petrenko’s Tchaikovsky promises to be one of the most important orchestral releases of 2017. Universal praise from reviewers for the first volume of Symphonies 1, 2 and 5 bodes well for this eagerly-awaited release: Gramophone gave Volume One an Editor’s choice and it reigned as a top 10 UK Classical chart title for 7 weeks in 2016.

137 kr (229 kr)
Image Musica Nostalgica
For those wanting to explore the chamber music of 20th-century master, Alfred Schnittke, this CD is the perfect place to start. The disc ends with a highly personal musical memorial to Schnittke by Leonard Elschenbroich as both composer and performer, who has had since his early years a deep interest in both the man and music: arguably the greatest Russian composer since Shostakovich.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Complete Sonatas
Winner of the Gramophone Magazine’s Young Artist of the Year award in 2015, the year he was nominated for a Grammy for the Moszkowski & Grieg concertos album, Joseph Moog is recognised as one of the truly outstanding young virtuoso pianists of our time. The same magazine, reviewing Moog’s Rachmaninov 3rd concerto called it "one of the most formidable" performances in the catalogue – praise indeed!

For his new release Joseph has turned to Chopin – the complete piano sonatas. The first sonata is a rarely heard work. It shows the young composer as yet untouched by the influences of Beethoven, Hummel, Field, Kalkbrenner and the other great composer pianists of the period. It owes more to Mozart and the late classical period. By the time of the 2nd sonata, Chopin had fully absorbed the early romanticism of Hummel and Field, and developed a strong distinctive voice. The slow movement, a funeral march is one of the most famous pieces of music ever composed. The 3rd sonata is a masterpiece, one of the greatest works for piano of the 19th century, and represents the total mastery Chopin had achieved by the end of his tragically short life.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Complete Violin Concertos
James Ehnes is recognised the world over as one of the great violinists of our time – famed for his brilliant technique and musical intelligence as both soloist and chamber musician. These recordings of the complete Mozart Violin Concertos made over ten years ago for CBC and long out of the catalogue sound as fresh as the day they were made. James directs a hand-picked orchestra of colleagues who are as meticulous and fine musicians as he is. The cadenzas in all the concertos are by Ehnes who studied the composer’s own cadenzas of the contemporaneous piano concertos–especially Nos 8 & 9 K246 and 271.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Cello Sonatas Nos. 1-5
Beethoven’s sonatas for cello and piano span his entire creative life. The Op.5 sonatas date from the late 1790s and therefore are products of his early years as a virtuoso pianist and aspiring composer in Vienna, where he had settled after leaving his native Bonn.

The 3rd sonata Op.69 dates from the composer’s ‘middle period’, and is contemporary with the 4th and 5th Symphonies and the Razumovsky String Quartets. It is one of his greatest chamber compositions, a work of great beauty, full of surprises and seemingly limitless inventiveness.

The two sonatas of Op102 were composed at the beginning of Beethoven’s visionary ‘late period’ and rub shoulders with the last violin sonata, the piano sonatas Nos.27, 28 and 29 ’Hammerklavier’. Beethoven’s later fascination with the baroque fugue surfaces not only at the end of the ‘Hammerklavier’ but also in the finale of the 5th sonata, reaching its apex in the Grosse Fugue’ Op.133 a few years later.

These performances were recorded immediately after live performances at Wigmore Hall, the culmination of a tour of all 5 Sonatas and the Variations across the USA and the UK in conjunction with Texas-born, Ralph Kirschbaum's 70th birthday.

137 kr (229 kr)
Image String Quartet No 14; String Quartet Voces Intimae
Death preyed heavily on the minds of both Schubert and Sibelius when they were composing the two string quartets on this new CD from the Ehnes Quartet. Sibelius had undergone several operations to remove a tumour in his throat. The bleak and highly personal 4th Symphony is the masterwork from this period, but the string quartet ‘Intimate Voices’ of 1908 should not be underestimated. Taut and highly concentrated, it has an almost Haydnesque construction, and the quartet’s first movement’s sheer perfection of form approaches that of the 3rd Symphony’s opening movement. "I am the most unhappy and wretched creature in the world…whose health will never be right again" wrote Schubert to a friend in 1824. With his emotions veering from happy memories of earlier years to shuddering terror at the prospect of death, he composed two string quartets and the Octet over a two- month period. The D minor quartet makes ingenious use of his earlier song ‘Death and the Maiden’ from 1817 in the slow movement’s variations. ‘Give me your hand, you fair and gentle creature; I am a friend and do not come to punish’ sings Death soothingly. The music captures Schubert’s fearful state of mind in a remarkable ‘freeze frame’ effect.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image String Quartet No 3; String Quartet No 2
The Kuss Quartet’s fourth ONYX album is a programme of Brahms and Schoenberg, and they are joined by the German soprano Mojca Erdmann in three Brahms Lieder, and the 2nd of Schoenberg’s four string quartets.

After composing his First Chamber Symphony Op.9 in 1907, Schoenberg wrote "Now I have established my style I know now how I have to compose" However his next work showed a great deviation in style, and tonality is tenuous is the extreme – Schoenberg bids tonality farewell in this extraordinary composition. Setting Stefan George’s poems ‘Litanei’ and ‘Entrücking’, the 2nd Quartet caused a scandal. At the first performance "all hell broke loose" wrote the composer "'Stop it! Stop it! We have had enough!' shouted a well known critic. It was then that people forgot their drawing room manners. Part of the audience joined in the riot …not much of the music penetrated the noise" Brahms’s intense concentrated musical thinking heavily influenced Schoenberg. Like the younger composer however, Brahms was very much "a natural continuer of properly understood good old tradition" (Schoenberg’s words describing his own music) and his 3rd Quartet harks back to the classicism of Mozart, especially the ‘Hunt’ Quartet, also in B flat major.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Violin Concerto; Symphony No 4
Two major works from Sir James Macmillan make their CD debut! The Violin Concerto is performed on this disc by its dedicatee Vadim Repin.

Reviewing the world premiere, David Nice of The Arts Desk lauded, "As soloist Vadim Repin and conductor Valery Gergiev whirled us tumultuously through its hyperactive songs and dances, there was so much I wanted to savour, to hear again. That won't be a problem. So long as there are violinists of Repin's calibre able to play it, the work is here to stay."

The 4th Symphony is dedicated to Donald Runnicles and was written to celebrate his 60th birthday. Sir James MacMillan is one of today’s most successful composers. His musical language is flooded with influences from his Scottish heritage, Catholic faith, social conscience and close connection with Celtic folk music, blended with influences from Far Eastern, Scandinavian and Eastern European music.

The 4th Symphony recording is from the 2015 BBC Proms and was the world premiere performance "Densely, at times exotically scored, it was grandly played. Runnicles conducted it with great affection and dignity" Tim Ashley, The Guardian

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Master & Pupil
Melvyn Tan has a strong association with the music of Beethoven having made pioneering recordings for EMI of the 5 Piano Concertos and the Choral Fantasia with Sir Roger Norrington and the London Classical Players. He also made several discs of the sonatas, and one very special recording on the then newly restored Broadwood piano that was Beethoven’s own instrument. On this disc Melvyn plays on a modern Steinway. The theme of the CD is Master & Pupil.

Focusing on three of the great pianist composers of the 19th century who represent the beginning of a long line of masters and pupils that can be traced to the present day via Martin Krauss and Edwin Fischer to Alfred Brendel and Paul Lewis.

The young Carl Czerny (along with Ferdinand Reis) became a long term pupil and friend of Beethoven at the early age of 10, performing some of the concertos, and working with Beethoven on preparing works for their premiers – not an easy task. A brilliant virtuoso and a highly skilled (if over productive) composer, his legacy lives on to this day in his studies – every pianist will have come across these. His reputation was held in high regard by Liszt, Brahms and Debussy, and it was the young Liszt that Czerny took under his wing in 1819. Liszt later dedicated his 'Transcendental Studies' to Czerny. In 1823 Beethoven saw the 12 year-old Liszt perform and after kissed the child on the forehead. Liszt’s monumental B minor Sonata is the true heir to Beethoven’s visionary late sonatas.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Violin Concerto
Jan Mrácek, violin
Lukás Klánsky, piano
Czech National Symphony Orchestra / James Judd

"...the slow movement is lyrically turned and warmly phrased out..."
Gramophone (august 2016)

"Jan is a worthy winner. He has fascinated us from the first round. Not only with his technical skills, but also with his charisma on stage" the chairman of the jury of the 2014 Fritz Kreisler Competition announced after Mrácek’s performance with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra was met with thunderous applause. Prior to this Mracek has studied with the great Czech master Václav Hudecek, as well as with Levon Chilingirian, Gavriel Lipkind, and Ida Haendel.

For his debut CD, Jan Mrácek has chosen an all Czech programme devoted to Dvorak. The violin concerto has often been given a hard press, and as a result has always found itself on the margins of that exclusive ‘club’ of great concertos. But this is to misunderstand the originality and genius of this concerto. Dvorak was a superb violinist with a deep understanding of the capabilities of his instrument. The concerto was dedicated to Joseph Joachim. The easy charm and lyricism of the music has always appealed to the public. The haunting Romance in F originally formed the slow movement of an early String Quartet op9, and has the ability to stick in the listener’s memory long after the music has stopped. Mazurek op49 was dedicated to Pablo de Sarasate and is typical of Dvorak’s ‘Slavonic’ style. The Four Romantic Pieces op75 were composed for a group of friends of varying musical abilities, and are charming, easy going works.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Symphonies Nos. 1, 2 & 5
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra / Vasily Petrenko

The eagerly awaited Tchaikovsky Symphony cycle from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Vasily Petrenko gets underway with Symphonies 1, 2 & 5. In 2015 The

Tchaikovsky Album with Petrenko and the RLPO became one of the best-selling classical CDs in the UK and met with praise from reviewers and was released to coincide with the orchestra’s 175 anniversary. Volume I of the Symphonies looks set to replicate that success and critical acclaim.

137 kr (229 kr)
Image Lieder
Florian Boesch and Malcolm Martineau have recorded the three great Schubert song cycles for ONYX, and have earned a formidable reputation as a partnership that delivers in recital and in the studio, some of the most thought provoking and challenging interpretations of Schubert lieder of our time. ‘Inspired and quite unforgettable’ said Gramophone of their ‘Winterreise’. ‘Never, in my experience, has Winterreise sounded bleaker than in this magnificently sombre and vivid account’ The Sunday Times.

‘Unquestionably superb’ The Guardian. For ‘Die Schöne Müllerin’, the BBC Music Magazine commented ‘one of the most challenging and provocative new recordings of this cycle – and one of the best performed and recorded’

Their new CD is a wonderful selection of Schubert Lieder from early in his career to some of the songs from his last years.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Cello Concertos
Pavel Gormziakov, cello
Orquestra Gulbenkian / Erik Heide

This CD marks the debut recording of one of the most precious Stradivarius cellos, the remarkable instrument from his ‘Golden period’ made in 1725. Known as the ‘Chevillard King of Portugal’ it was owned by King Dom Luis I in the 19th century, and after the King’s death was placed in the Museum of Music in Lisbon. In 2014, Pavel Gormziakov played the recently restored cello, and knew at once that this was the perfect choice for his planned Haydn recording. The instrument hadn’t left the museum, and as a national treasure was forbidden from being removed. However with the assistance of the head of the museum and the director of the Gulbenkian music department, the cello was allowed to journey under armed police escort to the recording venue!

Haydn’s two cello concertos have become firm favourites in the concert repertoire, but it was only in 1961 that the score of the C major work resurfaced in Prague. The slow movement of the remarkable 13th Symphony has an extensive solo cello part, written for Josef Weigl.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Piano Concertos
Shai Wosner, piano
Danish National Symphony Orchestra / Nicholas Collon

‘Humour and seriousness, for me, always go together’
György Ligeti

'In a moment of most excellent humour I have written a quite new Capriccio for the pianoforte whose tastefulness, singularity and special construction cannot fail to win applause from connoisseurs and amateurs alike' Joseph Haydn

Shai Wosner has established himself as one of today’s leading Schubert interpreters. He also is equally at home in classical, romantic and contemporary repertoire, often in unusual combinations which are both thought provoking – Brahms and

Schoenberg for example, or delightfully quirky as on his new recording for ONYX of the concertos and capriccios of Haydn and

Ligeti . Shai Wosner writes - ‘There aren't too many composers in music history who are likely to use subtitles such as ‘It takes eight of you to castrate a boar’

(‘Acht Sauschneider müssen sein’). Like a naughty smile under the more official Capriccio in G Major by Joseph Haydn from 1765, its origin remains mysterious - most likely a forgotten Austrian folk song - but it would have no doubt been relished wholeheartedly by the 20th-century composer of the Nonsense Madrigals.

Apart from connections with Central-European folk music (Haydn's "Ungarese" style, Ligeti's early Capriccios, for example) or the fact that both were towering figures already in their lifetime (like 'Papa' Haydn, Ligeti carries unparalleled direct or indirect influence on almost every young composer today), a particular richness of humour that transcends centuries links their music music - like two distant relatives sharing an old family joke’.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Concerto for Orchestra / Violin Concerto No. 2
Augustin Dumay, violin
Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal / Kent Nagano

When the eminent Hungarian violinist Zoltán Székely, a personal friend of the composer’s, as well as a frequent recital partner, commissioned Bartók to write a concerto in the summer of 1936, it was, according to the violinist’s recollection, a large-scale, one-movement, variation form, that Bartók was keen to explore. Székely, however, was more interested in having a conventional three-movement piece to add to his repertoire, and Bartók duly acquiesced, composing a work that takes the virtuosity and melodic richness of the Romantic concerto tradition and recasts it in the terms of his own, highly personal idiom, with all its contradictions – spiky yet warm, bold and yet contained. Bartók had made a late decision to leave Hungary, well after the outbreak of World War II, had been given a research post at Columbia University in New York, and embarked on concert and lecture tours across the US. But the Columbia post was soon curtailed, and Bartók’s rapidly deteriorating health snuffed out his concert career. The American performing rights society ASCAP took on financial responsibility for the composer’s healthcare, and two of Bartók’s fellow émigrés, Szigeti and the conductor Fritz Reiner, persuaded the conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Serge Koussevitzky, to commission an orchestral piece. Convalescing at Saranac Lake, New York, in the summer and early autumn of 1943, Bartók wrote his 'Concerto for Orchestra', the perfect synthesis of all the elements of his mature style, and by virtue of its accessibility, the piece that brought him a far wider audience than he had previously known.

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Violin Sonatas
James Ehnes, violin
Andrew Armstrong, piano

After a rapturous critical reception for their Franck & Strauss Violin Sonatas, [see below] James and Andrew turn their attention to three violin sonatas all composed around the years of World War I. The Sibelius 'Berceuse' also dates from the war years when Finland was isolated from the rest of Europe. Sibelius was short of money and busy writing the 6th and 7th symphonies, and planning his 8th: the six short pieces of Op. 79 were attractive to publishers who were wary of large scale works with little chance of commercial return during the hostilities. Debussy would die in 1918 and had, like Elgar, composed very little during the conflict. 'I want to work,' he wrote to his publisher Durand, 'not so much for myself, as to provide a proof, however small, that thirty million Boches can t destroy French thought'. Elgar told a friend 'I cannot do any real work with the awful shadow hanging over us' he said. Suffering from ill health, Elgar wrote the sonata in Sussex where a copse of gnarled lightning-ravaged trees, near his house on the South Downs, inspired him to embark on three late great chamber works. Respighi s sonata inhabits a heroic late romantic almost Brahmsian world, seemingly unscathed by the devastation of the War to end all wars .

95 kr (159 kr)
Image Reves d’Espagne!
Henk Neven, baritone
Hans Eijsackers, piano

Spain and Spanish themes are at the core of this unusual and attractive recital from Dutch baritone Henk Neven. Ibert's Quatre chansons de Don Quichote, Shostakovich's Six Spanish Songs op100 imbue the Spanish theme with an unmistakable Russian flavour, Ravel's Trois chanson de Don Quichote, Dorumgard Spanish Traditional Songs.

95 kr (159 kr)
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