Dvořák: String Quartet No 12 in F major, Op 96, American (26:43)
Tokyo String Quartet
After 43 years, one of the supreme chamber ensembles of our time leaves the concert stage at the end of the 2012-2013 concert season. In its final recording, the world-renowned Tokyo String Quartet presents a pair of popular chamber works offering a glimpse into the private world of two Czech composers: Antonín Dvořák and Bedřich Smetana.
Kallor: Here Now (7:19)
Gregg Kallor, piano
‘A Single Noon’ is a musical tableau of life in New York City, told through a combination of composed music and improvisation. The nine movements are meant to be evocative snapshots – moments of caffeinated bliss, embarrassing subway mishaps, the buzzing energy of a city driven by dynamic, thoughtful, talented and slightly crazy people – that coalesce into a more complete story like an album of postcards or memories.
Moszkowski: Caprice espagnol (6:50)
Jeffrey Biegel, piano
‘A Grand Romance’ celebrates the intimacy of the relationship between pianist and public, with a sampling of finely honed pieces of the Romantic era. Penned by composers who were highly accomplished keyboardists themselves, it represents a genre of pianism unashamed of sentiment, frill and facility, and luxuriating in the expressive sophistication of the instrument and the wooing of the crowd.
Bull: In Nomine IX (6:24)
Alan Feinberg, piano
While others provided popular tunes and simple dances for the new instrument called the ‘virginal,’ John Bull offered up experimental, challenging works, pieces that exuberantly overstepped conventional musical expectations. Fashioning a group of these works to function in concert and translating them to the wildly different timbre of the modern piano has been an exciting venture into the 16th and 17th century avant-garde. Bull’s music is brimming with invention and inspiration, power and passion. – Alan Feinberg
Scheidt: Galliard Battaglia (1:57)
Dowland: The King of Denmark’s Galliard (1:23); Flow my teares (4:04)
De Moy: Pavana d’Aurick (2:54)
Brade: Paduana (3:38); Galliard (1:22)
Jan Kobow, tenor; Hamburg Ratsmusik / Simone Eckert
Around 1600, John Dowland was one of Europe’s best-known and most influential composers. He spent years in France, Germany, Italy and Denmark, and everywhere he went he became acquainted with local composers. His music continued to be valued, arranged and disseminated throughout Europe even a quarter of a century after his death.
Mahler: Symphony No 1 in D major: I, Langsam. Schleppend (15:56); Blumine (6:48); II, Kräftig bewegt (8:16)
London Philharmonic Orchestra / Vladimir Jurowski
Vladimir Jurowski has been Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra since 2007. In this live 2010 concert performance of Mahler’s First Symphony at London’s Royal Festival Hall, Jurowski includes the original second movement, Blumine. He believes the inclusion of the movement “makes the links between the three early symphonies much more apparent.”
New Release of the Week
Stolz: Venus in Seide: O mia bella Napoli (4:59)
Lehár: Das Land des Lächelns: Dein ist mein ganzes Herz! (3:25)
Piotr Beczała, tenor; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / Łukasz Borowicz
Austrian singer Richard Tauber (1891-1948) was one of the most widely celebrated musical celebrities of his time. A prominent exponent of popular song and operetta, Tauber’s career was closely associated with operetta’s golden age in pre-war Europe. In this recording, Piotr Beczała shares his deep affinity for this timeless music in a recital of favorites by Lehár, Kálmán, Robert Stolz, Johann Strauss, Jr. and others, continuing the tradition of legendary predecessors like Fritz Wunderlich and Nicolai Gedda.
Mozart: Exsultate, jubilate, K 165 (14:13)
Julia Lezhneva, soprano; Il Giardino Armonico / Giovanni Antonini
Still in her early twenties, Julia Lezhneva astounds audiences wherever she sings. Praised for her ‘pure tone’ (Opernwelt), her brief appearance at the 2010 Classical Brits in London, at the invitation of Kiri Te Kanawa, was the talk of the evening, and since then her career has rocketed. This is her debut album for Decca Classics: four sacred motets by Handel, Vivaldi, Porpora and Mozart accompanied by Il Giardino Armonico and Giovanni Antonini.
New Release of the Week
Ravel: Gaspard de la nuit (22:32)
Conrad Tao, piano
At eighteen years old, Conrad Tao has already accomplished more than most classical musicians do in a lifetime. A world-class pianist, concert–level violinist and acclaimed composer, Tao is also a Gilmore Young Artist prize winner and a U.S. Presidential Scholar. His debut album is anything but traditional. The recording features two of his own compositions, Meredith Monk’s Railroad (Travel Song), a selection of Rachmaninoff preludes and Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit.
Lindberg: EXPO (10:08)
New York Philharmonic / Alan Gilbert
This new album features world-premiere recordings of works by Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg. The works were written for and performed by Music Director Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic during Lindberg’s tenure as composer-in-residence from 2009 to 2012. The CD includes concert recordings of three Philharmonic commissions: EXPO, Al largo and Piano Concerto No. 2 with pianist Yefim Bronfman.