Most recordings of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 1 in D major present it as it was published in 1899, in the definitive four-movement version. Yet an earlier state of the work was the 1888 tone poem Der Titan, which not only lent its title as an unofficial nickname for the work, but also contained the Blumine movement, which Mahler dropped from the final score. Curiously, many modern conductors have incorporated it back into the symphony as the second movement, even though its slow tempo and sentimental mood break the momentum and excitement created by the joyous first movement.
With his seven symphonies the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius marks a high point in the symphonic repertoire of the 20th century. The music evokes the ghostliness of the Finnish landscape, carries an inner strength and depth and proves itself full of technical fi nesse that still poses a challenge for both conductors and performers. For Sibelius “a symphony is not a ‘composition’ in the ordinary sense. Rather, it is a declaration of faith at different stages of one’s life.”
This awaited release is the first disc in a series of Olli Mustonen and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hannu Lintu performing the Piano Concertos by Sergei Prokofiev. Without a doubt some of the most substantial twentieth century masterworks, Prokofievs piano concertos prove the composers brilliant piano skills. The composer premiered his First Piano Concerto in 1914. The Third Piano Concerto is the most popular of Prokofievs concertos. The piece took several years to complete, and premiered in Chicago in 1921. Prokofievs Fourth Piano Concerto (for the left hand) is the most rarely heard of the three concertos featured on this recording.
Ondine continues its exciting releases focusing on 20th century masterpieces together with conductor Hannu Lintu and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. This release is dedicated to the orchestral works by the pioneer of Italian modernism Luciano Berio. Berio’s 5-movement Sinfonia, is undoubtedly his most well-known work, written for the New York Philharmonic and dedicated to Leonard Bernstein. It has become one of the key works and principle musical manifestations of the 1960s bringing together collage technique and modernism.
The style in which the Finnish composer Sebastian Fagerlund composes might be described as ‘magic realism’, combining elements of surrealism with factual narrative. Drawing upon the symphony orchestra’s full spectrum of colours, the music reflects not only the traditions of impressionism, modernism and post-minimalism but also reveals the composer’s acute ear for other genres, from cool jazz to ambient music. An earlier recording of orchestral works by Sebastian Fagerlund was described in BBC Music Magazine as displaying 'boundless technical resource at the service of a considerable imagination'. These qualities, and his receptivity towards different musical traditions Fagerlund shares with Pekka Kuusisto, to whom the violin concerto Darkness in Light is dedicated. The title of the work is a subtle reference to a quote from author Haruki Murakami’s novella Firefly: ‘Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it’. The disc closes with the orchestral work Ignite, composed for and performed here by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, under its chief conductor Hannu Lintu.
Violinist Augustin Hadelich, one of the fastest-rising stars of his generation, releases his first major concerto recording, pairing the Violin Concertos of Jean Sibelius and Thomas Adès, only the second recording of British composer’s work. He is superbly supported by Hannu Lintu conducting the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
Ondine is pleased to announce the second CD in their Enescu cycle. The first release featuring Symphony No. 2 and the Chamber Symphony Op. 33 was highly praised by critics and nominated for the Gramophone Awards 2013. Enescu is Romania’s most notable composer – and one of the most neglected composers of the 20th century. This release demonstrates a master of orchestral colour and impressive imagination.
Ligeti’s works on this disc provide an excellent cross-section of the metamorphosis in his compositional technique over a period of 30 years. The Violin Concerto incorporates influences from Medieval and Renaissance music, from late Romantic music and various contemporary styles.
Angela Hewitt turns to two of Mozart’s greatest and most popular concertos for her latest album. Together with her frequent collaborators, the Orchestra da Camera di Mantova and brilliant Finnish conductor Hannu Lintu, she presents these works in performances which are both elegantly stylish and profoundly felt.