Tag Archives: eClassical

Katarina & Svante Henryson – High, Low Or In Between (2015) [eClassical 24-96]

Katarina & Svante Henryson – High, Low or In Between (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 50:10 minutes | 869 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: eclassical.com | @ BIS Records
Recorded: April 2014 at Artipelag, Gustavsberg, Sweden

vante Henryson, the Swedish cellist, composer, double bass and electric bass guitar player, has been awarded the Nordic Council Music Award of some 50’000 Dollars in a ceremony on Iceland. Starting as a double-bass player in the Oslo Phil, he continued as a rock musician in one of Sweden’s more famous hard rock bands, while at all times exploring the classical cello in his own imaginative way, fusing the classical with impulses from other genres.
I have deeply admired him for many years, but only when hearing him and his singing wife Katarina (of Real Group fame) at a private party, had the chance to really approach them with a recording idea. This materialized and the SACD was recentky released.
We take this opportunity to re-present it at very favourable conditions here and now for a few days. Congratulations, Svante! Way to go!!! And congrats to the Nordic Council for a choice, as excellent as it is daring! –Robert von Bahr

Continue reading Katarina & Svante Henryson – High, Low Or In Between (2015) [eClassical 24-96]

Robert Schumann – The Violin Sonatas – Ulf Wallin, Roland Pontinen (2011) [eClassical 24-88.2]

Robert Schumann – The Violin Sonatas – Ulf Wallin, Roland Pontinen (2011)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 01:14:06 minutes | 1,15 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: eClassical | Digital Booklet | © BIS Records

Music Web International March 2012: “With highly impressive playing, sound and presentation it is hard to find fault with this excellent release”.

Continue reading Robert Schumann – The Violin Sonatas – Ulf Wallin, Roland Pontinen (2011) [eClassical 24-88.2]

Respighi – Sinfonia drammatica, Belfagor ouverture – Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liege, John Neschling (2016) [eClassical 24-96]

Ottorino Respighi – Sinfonia drammatica, Belfagor ouverture – Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liege, John Neschling (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:10:03 minutes | 1,18 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: eClassical | Digital Booklet | © BIS Records
Recorded: April 2015 at the Salle philharmonique, Liège, Belgium

Ottorino Respighi is primarily associated with his Roman trilogy, composed between 1916 and 1928 and celebrating the eternal city and its fountains, pines and festivals. Respighi was however a highly prolific composer – in most genres – and all of his orchestral works, composed both before and after the trilogy, display the qualities that have made the Pines and Fountains of Rome core repertoire in concert halls around the world. After recording the Roman trilogy with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, John Neschling has continued to explore Respighi’s lavish orchestral scores with the Belgian Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, on discs released to international acclaim: Neschling has been described as ‘one of the finest advocates this composer has ever had, delivering all the fireworks and the depth too’ (MusicWeb-International.com), and his musicians have been praised for displaying ‘orchestral refinement on the highest level’ (Klassik-Heute.de). On the team’s third disc, the turn has come to Respighi’s Sinfonia drammatica – a score of epic proportions (58 minutes plus in the present performance) for a correspondingly large-scale orchestra. Both these factors may explain in part why it is rarely performed and recorded, but the work also has a dark-hued, intense – and, indeed, dramatic – character which will surprise those only familiar with Respighi’s more extrovert scores. Closing the disc is the better-known Belfagor Overture, a work from 1924 in which Respighi rescued material from an opera with the same title which had been less than warmly received at its première in 1923. Described as a ‘lyric comedy’, the opera tells the story of how a devil – Belfagor himself – comes to earth to learn more about love between humans, and the orchestral overture highlights the two main characters, Belfagor and Candida, ‘the girl, pure, loving and faithful’.

Continue reading Respighi – Sinfonia drammatica, Belfagor ouverture – Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liege, John Neschling (2016) [eClassical 24-96]

Sergei Prokofiev: Romeo And Juliet Suites – Andrew Litton, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra (2007) [eClassical 24-44,1]

Andrew Litton, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra – Prokofiev: Romeo And Juliet Suites (2007)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44.1 kHz | Digital Booklet | 607 MB | Genre: Classical
Genre: Classical | Official Digital Download – Source: eClassical | © BIS Records

Combined, Prokofiev’s three suites from Romeo include about half of the score. Still, most conductors who want to give us a full CD (or even a full LP) of Romeo pick their own extracts from the complete ballet instead of stringing together the suites. That’s probably at least partly because they don’t share Prokofiev’s preferences when it comes to favorite moments—but it’s also because, as written, the suites are organized for musical rather than narrative coherence, and thus provide little sense of the play’s dramatic trajectory. One way around the second of these issues, of course, is to reorder the suites: that’s, for instance, what Mitropoulos does with selections from the more popular First and Second. Here Andrew Litton pushes that idea to its limit, giving us all 20 movements of the three suites “in the order the music appears in the ballet score.”

Composer: Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor: Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

Continue reading Sergei Prokofiev: Romeo And Juliet Suites – Andrew Litton, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra (2007) [eClassical 24-44,1]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Divertimento – Trio Zimmerman (2010) [eClassical 24-88,2]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Divertimento – Trio Zimmerman (2010)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 59:25 minutes | 0,98 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: eClassical | Digital Booklet | © BIS Records
Recorded: July 2009 (Mozart) and July 2010 (Schubert) at Nybrokajen 11 (the former Academy of Music), Stockholm, Sweden

Classics Today 10/10: “This is a magnificent recording”; Music Web International: “Beautifully presented and recorded this impressive disc will prove a most worthwhile addition to any chamber music collection”.

Continue reading Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Divertimento – Trio Zimmerman (2010) [eClassical 24-88,2]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Concertos for Two & Three Pianos – Alexei Lubimov, Ronald Brautigam, Manfred Huss (2007) [eClassical 24-44,1]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Concertos for Two & Three Pianos – Alexei Lubimov, Ronald Brautigam, Manfred Huss (2007) 
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:09:02 minutes | 596 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: eClassical | Digital Booklet | © BIS Records
Recorded: September 2006 at the Florianikirche, Straden, Austria

 

There is only a limited number of works for two or more solo instruments with orchestra. One reason may be that the concerto genre in the 19th century became the stomping ground of the great virtuosi of the day, and the works themselves vehicles for the great and unique talent of one, special performer – not two, or three. Mozart, however, was evidently attracted by the sinfonia concertante genre and created some of the finest examples of it, such as the Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola and the Concerto for Flute and Harp, as well as his two concertos for more than one piano. The ‘Lodron Concerto’ for three pianos was composed in 1776 for Countess Lodron and her daughters. It is Mozart’s third piano concerto and the young man’s irrepressible sense of fun is obvious: in his liner notes conductor and pianist Manfred Huss calls the concerto ‘a true musical joke, in which the musical line is divided between the three players quite arbitrarily; one piano continues what another has started and the third will conclude. The listener hardly notices the humour, however, as the music sounds quite “normal”, and only the pianists know (and the score shows) what Mozart is up to.’ When the composer three years later returns to the task of writing for more than one piano, the result is quite different. The Concerto in E flat major KV 365, composed for Mozart himself and his sister Nannerl, is according to Huss ‘in many respects Mozart’s first ‘big’ piano concerto. It is the first in which we find the very characteristic intertwining of the woodwind and the piano part, accomplished very effectively and virtuosically.’ Mozart seems to have been fond of the work, so fond that for a later performance he added clarinets, trumpets and timpani to the orchestra. Both versions of the score are found on the present recording, played by Alexei Lubimov and Ronald Brautigam, two of today’s finest performers on the fortepiano. The two versions frame the triple concerto, in which Lubimov and Brautigam are joined by Manfred Huss, artistic director of the eminent Haydn Sinfonietta Wien, who here make their first appearance on BIS.

Continue reading Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Concertos for Two & Three Pianos – Alexei Lubimov, Ronald Brautigam, Manfred Huss (2007) [eClassical 24-44,1]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Complete Works for Flute & Orchestra – Sharon Bezaly (2008) [eClassical 24-44,1]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Complete Works for Flute & Orchestra – Sharon Bezaly, Julie Palloc, Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, Juha Kangas (2008)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:21:52 minutes | 733 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: eClassical | Digital Booklet | © BIS Records
Recorded: April 2005 and October 2007 (Flute & Harp Concerto) at Kaustinen Church, Finland

When the greater part of the programme on this disc was released as the BIS 2005 Catalogue Disc, the response was electrifying. Sharon Bezaly was described as ‘God’s gift to the flute’ in The Times (UK), and a quote from the review in BBC Music Magazine is representative: ‘Bezaly’s exquisite, technically immaculate, compelling playing sets new standards in this repertoire, as do Kalevi Aho’s stunning cadenzas, composed especially for this recording.’ Other reviewers agreed, and the disc received top marks in Le Monde de la Musique, Crescendo, Musica and other magazines as well as on radio stations and web sites such as Classics Today. This staggeringly successful title – 145 000 copies sold worldwide! – is now made available again with the important inclusion of a newly made recording of the Concerto for Flute and Harp. At a session in October 2007, we reunited the performers and recording crew of the 2005 disc in the original venue, with the addition of the eminent harpist Julie Palloc as co-soloist. Furthermore, Finnish composer Kalevi Aho again provided the cadenzas for the work, as he had for the other concertos on the disc. The result is not to be missed – a 24 carat, complete collection of all Mozart’s works for flute and orchestra, on a hybrid SACD with the extremely generous playing time of 81 minutes and 52 seconds!

Continue reading Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Complete Works for Flute & Orchestra – Sharon Bezaly (2008) [eClassical 24-44,1]

Gustav Mahler – Symphony No.9 – Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Alan Gilbert (2009) [eClassical 24-44,1]

Gustav Mahler – Symphony No.9 – Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Alan Gilbert (2009)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1kHz | Time – 01:22:22 minutes | 730 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: eClassical | Digital Booklet | © BIS Records
Recorded: 2nd–7th June 2008 at the Stockholm Concert Hall, Sweden

The love affair between Alan Gilbert and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra began in December 1997 with a performance of Mahler’s First Symphony. In 2000 Gilbert became chief conductor and artistic advisor of the orchestra, remaining in that post until 2008 – a period which has been described as ‘a golden age’ in the history of the orchestra. For his farewell concert as chief conductor, Gilbert chose to close the chapter by performing Mahler’s last symphony, No. 9 in D major, and the present recording was made in conjunction with this very special occasion. It was a fitting choice of repertoire in another respect as well: Mahler composed his Ninth in 1909-10, after having accepted the post of music director of the New York Philharmonic, the very orchestra that Gilbert now goes on to take charge of. The symphony is often regarded as the composer’s monumental – both in terms of scale and emotional scope – leave-taking of the world. In his insightful liner notes, Arnold Whittall acknowledges the difficult circumstances in Mahler’s personal life at the time of composition, but rather than nostalgia he finds in it a momentum propelling the symphonic genre far into the future: ‘Mahler’s Ninth is one of the crowning glories of symphonic history, and many would argue that it has only rarely been equalled, and probably never surpassed, in the century since its completion.

Continue reading Gustav Mahler – Symphony No.9 – Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Alan Gilbert (2009) [eClassical 24-44,1]

Sharon Bezaly plays Flute Concertos by Khachaturian & Rautavaara (2016) [eClassical 24-96]

Sharon Bezaly plays Flute Concertos by Khachaturian & Rautavaara (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:19:10 minutes | 976 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: eClassical | Digital Booklet | © BIS Records
Recorded: [1–3] February 2010 at the Sala São Paulo, Brazil; [4–11] November 2014 at the Sibelius Hall, Lahti, Finland

On close to 40 discs, flutist Sharon Bezaly has impressed and delighted critics and listeners worldwide, earning the description ‘God’s gift to the flute’. Her wide-ranging discography naturally includes the core repertoire, such as the concertos by Mozart, Nielsen, Rodrigo and Reinecke, but also a large number of works written especially for her. The works on the present disc owe their existence to two other flutists, however: Jean-Pierre Rampal, who transcribed Aram Khachaturian’s violin concerto for his own instrument, and Gunilla von Bahr, for whom Einojuhani Rautavaara composed his ‘Dances with the Winds’ in 1974. Khachaturian wrote his concerto in 1940, dedicating it to David Oistrakh, who also gave the first performance. The composer always had a particular liking for the work, and when Rampal in 1968 asked him to compose a concerto for the flute, Khachaturian instead suggested that he should transcribe it. Rampal was given carte blanche when it came to making the necessary changes, and thus reworked the solo part completely. The orchestral score – here performed by the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra conducted by Enrique Diemecke – was left unaltered, however. In a manner of speaking, Rautavaara’s concerto is not a solo concerto, as it is written for all the four instruments of the flute family. In the first and the last of the four movements the soloist plays the normal ‘flauto grande’ and the bass flute, while the second movement is written for piccolo and the third for alto flute. After completing the work, the composer made a revised version in which the most unusual of these instruments, the bass flute, was replaced by the alto flute. The present disc provides a unique opportunity to compare the two versions, as Sharon Bezaly includes both of them, supported by the Lahti Symphony Orchestra under Dima Slobodeniouk, the orchestra’s new principal conductor.

Continue reading Sharon Bezaly plays Flute Concertos by Khachaturian & Rautavaara (2016) [eClassical 24-96]

Ronald Brautigam plays Joseph Haydn Piano Concertos with Concerto Copenhagen & Lars Ulrik Mortensen (2004) [eClassical 24-44.1]

Joseph Haydn – Piano Concertos – Ronald Brautigam, Concerto Copenhagen, Lars Ulrik Mortensen (2004)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:15:54 minutes |  688 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  – Source: eClassical | Digital Booklet  | © BIS Records

Here is a jewel of a record. Fresh from his triumphant reading of Haydn’s entire output for the fortepiano Ronald Brautigam now brings us four concertos for piano and orchestra by the great composer. The piano concerto of this period naturally means Mozart. No one would dispute his pre-eminence in the genre. But when we actually listen to Haydn, as opposed to nodding at his technical ability, breadth of application and so on, we are always surprised; his music is not just brilliantly skilful but deeply impassioned and full of delightful surprises. Lars Ulrik Mortensen is also a musician to bring out these elements. Widely recognized as a harpsichord player of unusual insight and personality he directs the period ensemble Concerto Copenhagen from the continuo bench. Surely no one can fail to respond to this heart-warming disc?

Continue reading Ronald Brautigam plays Joseph Haydn Piano Concertos with Concerto Copenhagen & Lars Ulrik Mortensen (2004) [eClassical 24-44.1]