BGKO is a stable band that regularly performs in Barcelona and all Europe. But more than that, it’s an ever growing family of professional musicians and singers that are often invited for guests appearances. As musicians and singers from Turkey, Slovenia, Switzerland, England, Russia, Serbia, India, France, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Iran and Israel gave their contribution to the never-ending story, the BGKO brought Klezmer, Gipsy and Balkan music to all generations of Barcelona. Nevertheless, the interaction became mutual and the city became a melting pot with so many different styles and cultures to embrace, so many ears to play for, and so many dancing feet to move.
“Del Ebro al Danubio” consists of 12 striking soundscapes that serve as a bridge between different cultures that BGKO was inspired by: Romanian, Russian and Serbian gypsy songs; purifying Hungarian, Transylvanian, Klezmer and Albanian dances; contemplative melodies of Lebanese Arabic-Catalan tradition, Jewish and Bosnian sevdah.
In this superb audiophile package of the four symphonies of Robert Schumann, Simon Gaudenz, and the Odense Symphony Orchestra give clear and focused performances that serve to clarify the often-criticized orchestration and to create a nearly chamber-like atmosphere in many passages. By avoiding the conventional homogenous orchestral blend, reducing vibrato in the strings, and emphasizing the distinctive timbres of the woodwinds and brass, Gaudenz brightens Schumann's timbral palette considerably and balances dynamics to make textures more transparent. Beyond this, Gaudenz keeps the tempos fleet and the rhythms spry, and opens up the music to let it breathe.
Eduardo Mata was an internationally known conductor. He conducted a wide repertoire and was particularly recognized for twentieth century music, particularly of Latin American composers. He began studying guitar when he was about eight years old. In 1953, he enrolled in the National Conservatory of Music, studying with Rodolfo Halffter and Jose Moncayo. From 1960 to 1963, he was in the composition workshop of Carlos Chavez and Julián Orbón. After winning a Koussevitzky Fellowship, he traveled to Tanglewood where he continued his studies in composition under Gunther Schuller and in conducting from Max Rudolf and Erich Leinsdorf…
López-Cobos is an excellent conductor with a wide repertory, best known for late-Romantic and the more colorful early 20th century literature. López-Cobos first led the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 1970, and would serve as general musical director for that company from 1981 to 1990. López-Cobos was named principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic and served there from 1981 to 1986. In 1986, López-Cobos was named principal conductor and music director of the Cincinnati Symphony. With Cincinnati he would embark on an extensive recording schedule with Telarc, resulting in recordings of works by Respighi, Ravel, Richard Strauss, Wagner, Bruckner, Mahler, Falla, Bizet, Franck, and Dukas…
Many classical music listeners will be familiar with the name Darius Milhaud, but how familiar are they with his output? The owner of a bold, individual style, Milhaud was active for much of the 20th century, a modernist who is counted among the group of composers known as Les Six (a term coined by the music critic Henri Collet in 1920) and who was much influenced by jazz, polytonality as well as the sounds of Brazil. Bringing together many of his orchestral works, some of which are conducted by the composer himself, this release is the perfect starting-point for those wishing to become acquainted with his art.
This long-awaited third CD by the legendary New Klezmer Trio is pure pleasure. Their first two CDs, released in 1990 and 1995 respectively have long been Tzadik favorites, combining elements of jazz and improvisation with the Jewish tradition in ways both thoughtful and surprising. This is a masterful new recording by one of the classic bands in the New Jewish Renaissance. Naftule Brandwein via Jimmy Giuffre.