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Édouard LALO (1823–1892)
Juan MANÉN (1883–1971)
Tianwa Yang, Violin • Barcelona Symphony Orchestra
These two concertos – one a staple of the repertoire, the other almost unknown – share melodic richness and a Spanish influence. Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole reflects the quicksilver technique of its dedicatee, Pablo de Sarasate, in its ingenious and virtuosic passagework, with its moods and rhythms indelibly Iberian in feel. Joan Manén, in his day almost as famous as his fellow Catalan Pau Casals, was an admired virtuoso violinist and a prominent composer. His Concierto español, the first of three violin concertos, is suffused with technical demands, lyric warmth, and rhapsodic nostalgia. Soloist Tianwa Yang’s Sarasate recordings have received international acclaim.
Gustav MAHLER (1860–1911)
Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen1
Das Lied von der Erde2
arr. Arnold Schoenberg (1874–1951)
Susan Platts, Mezzo-Soprano2 • Charles Reid, Tenor2
Roderick Williams, Baritone1 • Attacca Quartet
Virginia Arts Festival Chamber Players • JoAnn Falletta
Arnold Schoenberg founded the Society for Private Musical Performances in 1918 to perform contemporary music from ‘Mahler to the present ’. Mahler had been an early supporter of Schoenberg’s music, and Schoenberg repaid the favour by arranging Mahler’s orchestral works for chamber ensemble and including them at the society’s concerts. The colourful Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen are given a feel of great intimacy in this form, while the lighter scoring of Das Lied von der Erde has the advantage of clarifying instrumental textures, its magical effects capturing ‘the finite nature of earthly things’.
Richard DANIELPOUR (b. 1956)
Songs of Solitude†* • War Songs†*
Toward the Splendid City
Thomas Hampson, Baritone*
Nashville Symphony Orchestra
†WORLD PREMIÈRE RECORDING
Acclaimed as one of America’s leading contemporary composers, Richard Danielpour wrote Songs of Solitude as a response to the events of 9/11. Drawing on the poems of W.B. Yeats, the work enshrines a sense of economy and sparseness, formed of a set of six powerful orchestral songs. The motivating force for War Songs was a series of photographs of the young men and women killed in the Iraq War. The song cycle, with its texts by Walt Whitman, was written for the Nashville Symphony to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. Toward the Splendid City is a portrait of New York City driven by Danielpour’s love-hate relationship with his hometown.
Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732–1809)
Op. 1, No. 1 • Op. 33, No. 5 • Op. 77, No. 1
Goldmund Quartet –
Florian Schötz, Violin I • Pinchas Adt, Violin II
Christoph Vandory, Viola • Raphael Paratore, Cello
Joseph Haydn claimed to have discovered the string quartet form by accident. His Op. 1, No. 1 has the cheerful five-movement form of a Divertimento, while the glorious and harmonically daring Op. 77, No. 1 was among the last he completed in the genre. Falling between the two, Op. 33, No. 5 is full of rhythmic surprises and a theme that gives it the nickname ‘How do you do?’ The award-winning Goldmund Quartet is considered one of today’s most exciting young European string quartets.
Erwin SCHULHOFF (1894–1942)
String Sextet1 • Violin Sonata No. 22
Duo3 • Cinq Études de jazz4
Spectrum Concerts Berlin – Boris Brovtsyn1,2, Valeriy Sokolov1,3, Violins • Philip Dukes1, Maxim Rysanov1, Violas
Jens Peter Maintz1,3, Torleif Thedéen1, Cellos
Eldar Nebolsin, Piano2,4
The music of the Prague-born prodigy Erwin Schulhoff has become increasingly popular in recent decades. He moved through successive creative phases and, on this recording, Spectrum Concerts Berlin focuses on music written between 1924 and 1927. The Cinq Études de jazz explore the “rhythmic intoxication” he described in a letter to Alban Berg, while the Duo for violin and cello and the Violin Sonata No. 2 offer striking parallels to similar works by Bartók, Kodály, and Debussy. The String Sextet contains violent contrasts and almost Cubist montage and was a key work in Schulhoff’s artistic development.
Mohammed FAIROUZ (b. 1985)
Dann Coakwell, Tenor • Michael Kelly, Baritone
Indianapolis Children’s Choir
Indianapolis Symphonic Choir and Symphony Orchestra
Hailed by The New York Times as ‘an important new artistic voice’ and by Gramophone as ‘a post-millennial Schubert,’ Mohammed Fairouz is one of the most significant composers of vocal music of our time. His oratorio Zabur (Arabic for ‘psalms’) is a kind of war requiem documenting a conflict’s effects on human beings, most notably children. Though cast in a contemporary setting, in a city under siege, Fairouz evokes a timeless world, acknowledging tragedy while asserting an eternal, luminous hope that transcends the disastrous present.
Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919–1996)
Symphony No. 17, ‘Memory’
Suite for Orchestra†
Siberian State Symphony Orchestra • Vladimir Lande
†WORLD PREMIÈRE RECORDING
One of the most significant projects of Mieczysław Weinberg’s later years was his symphonic trilogy On the Threshold of War. Symphony No. 17, which bears the dedication ‘In memory of the fallen in the Great Patriotic War’, is the largest-scale of the three and a probing work of considerable depth and unforgettable power. Symphonies Nos. 18 and 19 can be heard on Naxos 8.573190 and 8.572752. With its eloquent themes and ready climaxes, the Suite is one of Weinberg’s most intriguing scores to have survived the difficult early 1950s. This performance is thought to be both the first of the work and the first recording.
Straight from the Heart – The Chansonnier Cordiforme
Ensemble Leones • Marc Lewon
The Chansonnier Cordiforme is a songbook, probably copied in 1475 for a roguish but musically cultivated priest named Jean de Montchenu – a contemporary chronicler called him ‘dissolute and full of all the vices’. The beautiful manuscript containing 43 songs is, uniquely, heart-shaped and covered in velvet. This recording presents both a representative cross-section of the manuscript’s repertoire, the majority of which is set to French texts and is among the best known and beautiful of the age, and a portfolio of differing performance options including instruments. In addition to works by such luminaries as Gilles Binchois and Johannes Ockeghem – music of elegant melody, textural refinement, and sometimes startling harmonic turns – there are ingenious and anonymous parodies of popular songs.