This newest release from BR KLASSIK explores the genre of the 19th and 20th century Rhapsody, featuring works from masterful composers Emmanuel Chabrier, George Gershwin, George Enesecu, Maurice Ravel, and Franz Liszt. The concert-like atmosphere of this recording makes this a truly unique release, as these works were recorded live in Munich as recently as October 2015. The five rhapsodies featured here come from different regions and the composers unique styles can be heard in each of their works. Chabriers Espana is centered around Iberian and folk music which was very popular at the time. Liszts Hungarian Rhapsody contrasts this work with its use of Hungarian folk melodies. The ever-popular Rhapsody in Blue from George Gershwin throws Americana into the mix with its blues roots. Mariss Jansons and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks never fails to please with their brilliant interpretations and performance quality. World-renowned Russian pianist Denis Matusev is brilliant as the Rhapsody in Blue soloist.
Tom Harrell is in a classical mood on his genre-blending First Impressions. This isn’t new for the brilliant trumpeter-composer. The six-part suite The Adventures of a Quixotic Character, off Harrell’s 2014 album Trip, had a classical feel to it, and this new album’s liner notes, by Robert Baird, trace Harrell’s blending of classical music and jazz in his earlier work. But the emphasis of that fusion is heightened on First Impressions, and the jazz/classical recipe is seasoned with tastes of other styles as well.
'Snow' is the title Stephan Micus has given to his 18th album for ECM. It is the outcome of continuous work he has carried out on journeys and in the studio since the release of his 'On the Wing' in early spring 2006. 'To me, snow is one of the most beautiful of all natural phenomena', explains Micus, who has been living in Spain for many years. 'It’s closely associated with lasting impressions of my original home in Bavaria, especially the long moonlit walks I used to take when I lived in the Alpine foothills. I've always regarded snow as the essence of magic, even more so today now that there's so little of it and the glaciers are disappearing.' Micus's music has always drawn on impressions of nature and the countryside.