Listen to TRACK 3: Piano Concerto ‘Spiritualist’: III. Natural Answer: Allegro deciso
Kenneth Fuchs is one of America’s leading composers. He celebrates his unique fifteen-year recording history with conductor JoAnn Falletta and the London Symphony Orchestra with this stunning release of three new concertos and an orchestral song cycle.
Listen to TRACK 3: Memory Eternal to the Fallen Heroes: III. Give rest, O our Saviour
In the face of the devastation wrought by the First World War, Alexander Kastalsky conceived a musical service of remembrance for the fallen. A pivotal figure in Russian musical life – he was a student of Tchaikovsky and acclaimed as the founder of a new, national church music – Kastalsky composed a choral-orchestral Requiem, for the concert stage. Simultaneously, he worked on the a cappella version heard on this recording to be sung in Russian Orthodox churches. Following the basic structure of the Orthodox Panihida, or memorial service, Memory Eternal, and the short sacred pieces that end the programme, reveal Kastalsky's masterful use of choral sonority and colour, his weaving of complex polyphonic textures, and his graceful use of ancient chant melodies.
Jules Massenet’s fairy-tale opera Cendrillon (‘Cinderella’) was an immediate success at its premiere in 1899 at the Opéra-Comique in Paris. Massenet, then at the height of his powers, creates a magical sound-world full of wit, enchantment and perfumed elegance to match librettist Henri Cain’s coming-of-age adaptation of this classic fairy tale. The colourful fantasy world created by the acclaimed stag director Barbrara Mundel and set designer Olga Motta features the British-Swiss soprano, Kim-Lillian Strebel, in her critically acclaimed title role.
Listen to TRACK 4: String Trio in A major, Op. 12: I. Espressivo
Although Polish-born virtuoso and composer Karol Józef Lipiński embraced the innovations of Paganini and other 19th-century virtuosos, he disdained ‘empty’ technique devoid of musical depth, preferring the artistic ethos of Spohr, Tartini and Viotti. Described as ‘lyrical Slavic folk tunes with elements of the ballad’, the expertly crafted G minor and A major String Trios are notable for their warmly expressive themes to go along with the bravura runs and doublestopping heard in the primo violin part. Lipiński’s Capriccios Opp. 10 and 27 can be heard on 8.572665.