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Classical Music Home > Featured Releases - Septembre 2020

Featured Releases - Septembre 2020

HENZE, H.W.: Der Prinz von Homburg [Opera] (Staatsoper Stuttgart, 2019)
Hans Werner HENZE (1926–2012)
Der Prinz von Homburg
Libretto by Ingeborg Bachmann
After the play by Heinrich von Kleist

R. Adams • Böcker • Margita • Schneiderman • Kallenberg • Ebbecke • Orchestra of the Staatsoper Stuttgart • Meister • Kimmig

Der Prinz von Homburg resonates powerfully with Hans Werner Henze’s pacifist perspective. The opera is based on a play by Heinrich von Kleist that opposes authority, celebrating a dreamer rather than a classical hero, and individualist freedom rather than militarist nationalism. Ingeborg Bachmann’s libretto heightens this message, and Henze’s chamber-music setting is at once powerful and unpredictable. This visually stunning production stretches from intimate transparency to dramatic heights, in a critically acclaimed staging by the award-winning director Stephan Kimmig.

Also available on Blu-ray (NBD0115V)


BEETHOVEN, L. van: Missa solemnis [Documentary and Performance]
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770–1827)
Missa solemnis
Documentary and Performance
A film by Uli Aumüller

Winkel • Harmsen • Kohlhepp • Kataja • Kammerchor Stuttgart • Hofkapelle Stuttgart • Bernius

Beethoven’s Missa solemnis is the one work the composer admired above all his compositions. It was written for his great patron and friend Archduke Rudolf of Austria at around the same time that he embarked on his Ninth Symphony and as the writer Donald Tovey noted, ‘there is no choral and no orchestral writing, earlier or later, that shows a more thrilling sense of the individual colour of every chord.’ This insightful documentary follows Frieder Bernius on a journey of discovery as he immerses himself in Beethoven’s monumental masterpiece in preparation for a recording.

Also available on Blu-ray (NBD0116V)

Visit and bookmark our Beethoven 250th anniversary mini-site, which will be regularly updated with new content


BREINER, P.: Slovak Dances, Naughty and Sad
Peter BREINER (b. 1957)
Slovak Dances

Palúch • Lenko • Friedl • Slovak Philharmonic • Breiner

Peter Breiner is one of the world’s most performed composer/arrangers, with a boundless musicality that has led him to create fusions of music from a variety of genres. Drawing on traditions established by Brahms and Dvořák and showcasing leading folk music soloists, his Slovak Dances are an exuberant and kaleidoscopic monument rooted in Slovak musical folklore. It comprises 16 symphonic fantasias on songs that evoke varying emotions with an autobiographical element that follows Breiner’s life from his origins in Humenné and Košice to New York.


MANÉN, J.: Violin Concerto No. 3 ‘Ibérico’ • Symphony No. 2 ‘Ibérica’
Joan MANÉN (1883–1971)
Violin Concerto No. 3 ‘Ibérico’ • Symphony No. 2 ‘Ibérica’

Valderrama • Barcelona Symphony Orchestra • Darrell Ang


Joan Manén was an admired and prolific Catalan composer who wrote in all genres, from opera to transcriptions. He was also one of the leading violinists of his day and made the first recording of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. Manén’s Violin Concerto No. 3 ‘Ibérico’ is a brilliantly written and unashamedly Romantic work that exudes Iberian vitality without recourse to Hispanic effects. Cast on a huge scale, the Symphony No. 2 ‘Ibérica’ calls for an exceptionally large orchestra, with music that is pastoral, Spanish-flavoured and, at times, solemn.


AMIROV, F.: One Thousand and One Nights • Symphony ‘The the Memory of Nizami’
Fikret AMIROV (1922–1984)
One Thousand and One Nights
Symphony ‘To the Memory of Nizami’

Kyiv Virtuosi Symphony Orchestra • Dmitry Yablonsky


Fikret Amirov is one of Azerbaijan’s best-known 20th-century composers in the classical tradition, and the inventor of the ‘symphonic mugam’ based on traditional folk melodies (as can be heard on 8.572170). Symphony ‘To the Memory of Nizami’ reflects the character of the celebrated and influential Muslim poet and philosopher Nizami, who was born in the ancient city of Ganga in Azerbaijan. Amirov’s skill in evoking fantastic worlds is heard in a suite derived from the ballet One Thousand and One Nights, in which this famous narrative about the seductive and perilous Orient resolves from a cinematic chase into a memorable love scene and final triumphant celebrations.


BOLLON, F.: Your Voice Out of the Lamb • Four Lessons of Darkness • Dogmatic Pleasures
Fabrice BOLLON (b. 1965)
Your Voice Out of the Lamb
Four Lessons of Darkness • Dogmatic Pleasures

Petri • Salo • Fukacová • Moser • Odense Symphony Orchestra • Philharmonisches Orchester Freiburg • Deutsche Radio Philharmonie • Poppen • Milton • Bignamini


Internationally acclaimed and award-winning conductor Fabrice Bollon has in recent years attracted attention as a composer with a keen ear for unique and unusual timbres. Your Voice Out of the Lamb is one of the most spectacular and virtuosic works written for recorders, ranging from the sub-bass to the miniature garkleinflötlein, also using live electronics for a variety of expanded effects. The exciting and dynamic Four Lessons of Darkness is the first ever concerto for the electric cello, and Dogmatic Pleasures is a set of short, virtuoso orchestral pieces filled with humour and irony.


KODÁLY, Z.: Sonata for Solo Cello • Duo for Violin and Cello • LIGETI, G.: Sonata for Solo Cello
Zoltán KODÁLY (1882–1967)
Sonata for Solo Cello • Duo for Violin and Cello
György LIGETI (1923–2006)
Sonata for Solo Cello

Gabriel Schwabe • Hellen Weiß

Zoltán Kodály’s later years were dominated by a series of choral works but his early reputation centred upon chamber music, notably two string quartets, a Cello Sonata (8.553160) and the two masterpieces heard on this recording. The Duo for Violin and Cello, Op. 7 combines Classical form with folk influence, while the Sonata for Solo Cello, Op. 8, with its expanded harmonies and tone colours, is one of the greatest solo cello works since Bach’s Cello Suites. György Ligeti continued the Hungarian lineage with his Sonata for Solo Cello, a succinct but pivotal work in his compositional development.


RUTTER, J.: Anthems, Hymns and Gloria for Brass Band (arr. L. Vertommen)
John RUTTER (b. 1945)
Anthems, Hymns and Gloria for Brass Band
Arr. Luc Vertommen

Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus • Black Dyke Band • Darius Battiwalla • Nicholas Childs

John Rutter, Britain’s most successful contemporary choral composer, has written most of his sacred music to commission, and for use in church services. Composed for his first American tour, Gloria was also his first great international success, combining an ethereal quality with moments of exhilaration. Two other popular works are also represented: Pie Jesu from the Requiem, and This is the Day, composed for the wedding of HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011.


BRONSART, I. von: Jery und Bätely
Ingeborg von BRONSART (1840–1913)
Jery und Bätely
Libretto by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Van der Plas • Bruker • Kalaidjian • Freier • Edén • Malmö Opera Orchestra • Salvi

A native of St Petersburg, Ingeborg von Bronsart studied with Liszt in Weimar, her striking appearance earning her the nickname ‘Ingeborg die Schöne’. Goethe’s libretto for Jery und Bätely is a charming and bucolic tale of unrequited romance between a pretty Swiss milkmaid and an eligible bachelor who are ultimately brought together by some farcical matchmaking. Bronsart brings life to this story with exquisite music, from an exciting overture through an uninterrupted evolution in melody and harmony to a spine-tingling finale, delivering a Singspiel that helped establish her reputation as a successful composer for the stage.


SCHUMANN, R.: Romances, Ballads and Melodramas (Lieder Edition, Vol. 9)
Robert SCHUMANN (1810–1856)
Schumann Lieder Edition, Vol. 9
Romances, Ballads and Melodramas

Detlef Roth • Ulrich Eisenlohr

Robert Schumann’s literary background and cultivated taste is revealed in his choice of texts for musical setting. The emphasis in this collection is on songs with a narrative character, such as the tragic tale of Die feindlichen Brüder (Op. 49, No. 2) in which two brothers kill each other in a duel for love of the same girl. Further stories are drawn from those by Hans Christian Andersen. In around 1850 Schumann embarked on a series of melodramas with dramatic spoken dialogue over musical accompaniment. Notable among these lurid tiles of murder and retribution is the Ballade vom Haideknaben.


LISZT, F.: Transcriptions (Complete Piano Music, Vol. 55)
Franz LISZT (1811–1886)
Complete Piano Music, Vol. 55

Andrey Ivanov

Copenhagen-born Eduard Lassen spent 40 years in Weimar where he was to succeed Liszt as music director in 1858. Lassen was an accomplished stage composer writing music for Das Nibelungenlied and Goethe’s Faust that enjoyed considerable popularity, and from which Liszt made piano transcriptions, drawing on high points in the dramas. He also wrote music for a play by Spanish poet Calderón, to which Liszt responded by transcribing an extensive Symphonic Intermezzo. Liszt also imbues the music of his contemporaries Mendelssohn, Meyerbeer and Donizetti with great fervour and virtuosity.


FUCHS, R.: Violin Sonatas Nos. 1–3
Robert FUCHS (1847–1927)
Violin Sonatas Nos. 1–3

Hyekin Chung • Warren Lee

Not only was Robert Fuchs an admired friend of Brahms but he nurtured a prodigious number of pupils, among whom were Enescu, Korngold, Mahler, Wolf, and Sibelius who called Fuchs ‘a clever orchestrator, professional to his fingertips, and very happy as a composer’. The three Violin Sonatas, composed over a 24-year period between 1877 and 1901, exemplify Fuchs’ superbly crafted and melodious grace, with soaring Romanticism spiced with occasional Hungarian colour, folkloric themes and vivacious finales.



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