At the heart of Beethoven’s life’s statement as a composer lies the cycle of sixteen string quartets, which, to this day, has retained a special status and reverence. Since 2012, the Elias String Quartet has been immersed in its Beethoven Project, performing all Beethoven’s string quartets at venues throughout the UK. In this live recording, the ensemble captures both the intimacy and grandeur of the works. With an ever-expanding recording catalogue that has been met with widespread critical acclaim, the quartet is delighted to release this disc, the first volume of its complete Beethoven cycle to be recorded live at Wigmore Hall over the coming Seasons.
The music of Brahms held an important place in Sir John Barbirolli's repertoire and these recordings of the symphonies, made with the Vienna Philharmonic in 1966 and 1967, stand as one of the peaks of his discography. Barbirolli's relationship with this music is rooted in his time as an orchestral cellist, and these performances are notable for their rich, ripe sonorities and expansive warmth. This Japanese SACD reissue features the 2011's EMI Remaster.
Herbert Blomstedt's Beethoven cycle with the Staatskapelle Dresden is one of the great ones, as much for the magnificent playing of this finest of all German orchestras as for Blomstedt's effortlessly musical interpretations.' - David Hurwitz, Editorial Reviews - Amazon.com
"…Musikproduktion Dabringhaus und Grimm produced this gold SACD with its customary unprocessed digital sound, so the reproduction is as faithful to the actual performances as can be managed, and the presence of the orchestra is truly something to behold. While purists may still take issue with the use of modern instruments, the large size of the orchestra, and a few minor issues, even they will recognize that Blunier has learned a great deal from the early music camp and that his interpretations are intelligent and insightful. They also have an appealing warmth that is sometimes lacking in versions with original instruments, and the vigorous playing certainly keeps the music from seeming fussy or sterile." ~allmusicguide
The Beethoven set includes the first two piano concertos (No. 1 in two versions, one with cadenzas supplied by Glenn Gould) together with Beethoven’s only completed opera in its final version: Fidelio. He always had a strong and fervent view of freedom and its resonance still rings true today nearly two hundred years since its first performance.
The Finnish maestro John Storgårds, Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, presents his first recording on Chandos, a complete symphonic cycle of his nation’s greatest musical export, Jean Sibelius. The triumphant premieres of Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2, with their big tunes and great romantic sweep, established the international reputation of Sibelius as a symphonist, some audiences even considering him Beethoven’s natural successor. The symphonies that followed chart Sibelius’s development as one of the most individual composers of the early twentieth century. Each symphony has its unique approach, whether it be the classicism of the Third, the brooding modernism of the Fourth, or the icy stillness of the Sixth, so evocative of the Finnish landscape.