You will probably be as incredulous as I was to learn that the greatest cycle of Mahler symphonies comes not from any of the usual suspects - Abbado, Bernstein, Chially, Haitink, Kubelik, Rattle, Sinopoli, Solti, Tennstedt - but from the unsung Gary Bertini, who spent the better part of his career as music director of the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra. Unlike any of those more publicized sets, each of which includes a misfire or two, Bertini is consistently successful from first to last; his performance of each of these works can stand comparison with the very best available.
This is a gem of a CD. It's a well-chosen, well-performed and well-presented anthology of mid-Baroque German sacred cantatas. Bass Peter Kooij and the seven-person L'Armonia Sonora are directed by gambist Mieneke Van der Velden. They have a close and warm affinity not only with one another, but also for the music; it's music as varied as it's beautiful. Its rich, sustained sonorities will stay with you long after you have finished the uplifting experience of listening to the CD. Released on the enterprising Ramée label De profundis clamavi comprises seven sumptuous examples of the music written in the north German Länder in the period after the Thirty Years War. It's music which not so much 'reflects' that profound conflict, as is 'affected' by it – weighed down with detached regret and unselfconscious resignation.
Manuel Tomadin follows up his first album for Brilliant Classics, of Weimar-composed chorales by J.S. Bach (94456), with some little-known musical treasures from Hamburg c.1700 complemented by a bona-fide rarity by Bach, a chorale fantasia believed to date from between 1705 and 1710 and rediscovered as recently as 2008.
Last year's revival of Jan Philipp Gloger's controversial 2012 production was greeted (as so often in Bayreuth) with huge acclaim. He translates the tale of the Dutchman, whose travails can only be redeemed through the unconditional love of a woman (Senta), to a future time, where part-human/part-cyborgs grind out an existence in a world completely subservient to business and commerce. In the modern fan-making factory, which replaces the world of Senta and her fellow seamstresses, we see a final tableau in which the Dutchman's and Senta's heavenly union is commemorated' by the factory workers now producing souvenir statuettes of the couple. The production stars Samuel Youn, Ricarda Merbeth, and Franz-Josef Selig, and is conducted by Christian Thielemann, arguably the greatest Wagnerian conductor of today.
Ondine's successful Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) recordings with the NDR Sinfonieorchester conducted by Christoph Eschenbach continue with another release featuring two major symphonic works by the composer: Symphonie ‘Mathis der Maler' and Symphonie in E-flat. The orchestra's and Christoph Eschenbach's previous Hindemith release together with Midori won a Grammy Award in 2014. The ‘Mathis der Maler' Symphony is based on an opera that treats the life of the Renaissance painter Mathias Grünewald. Hindemith started to work on the symphony already prior to the completion of the opera. The symphony was premiered with great success by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Wilhelm Furtwängler on 12 March 1934. Hindemith wrote his Symphonie in E-flat during his exile in the United States in 1940. The Symphony is absolute music in the tradition of the four-movement symphony of Beethoven and the romantic period.
Built in the 1760s, "Blue House" is one of the most beautiful palaces of Basel from the late Baroque period. The wealthy owner, Lucas Sarasin, was an avid amateur musician; he put on not only an instrument but also a music collection, of which over 1,300 titles are preserved in the University Library Basel. The Trio Sonatas for two violins and basso continuo take, with 214 titles, a special place and were probably acquired in order for Sarasin and its concertmaster could play together: works of the best contemporary composers, of which for this SACD the "Mannheim" Johann and Carl Stamitz and Anton Fils and the "Milan" Sammartini, Conti, Pugnani and J. Chr. Bach were chosen. The award-winning young ensemble "The musical garden" makes this music "between the Baroque and Classical" into an impressive experience.
Norbert Schultze war ein deutscher Komponist und Dirigent. Er verwendete bei seinen Kompositionen auch die Pseudonyme Frank Norbert, Peter Kornfeld und Henri Iversen. Seine bekannteste Melodie war die des Liedes Lili Marleen.
"Bernstein stamps his outsize personality on every bar and regularly has you convinced it is Mahler's own" (Gramophone). Filmed on tour at Berlin's Philharmonie, this account of the valedictory Ninth Symphony is an intense interpretation, expressing Bernstein's conviction that modern man had at last caught up with the message encoded in Mahler's last completed work. Having made his famous 1966 studio recording of "Das Lied vin der Erde" in Vienna, Bernstein re-recorded this in Israel with the same searing subjectivity. René Kollo draws on the voice of a great Wagner tenor, while Christa Ludwig, the greatest exponent of the contralto songs at the time, is unbearably poignant in the final movement's fusion of elation and sadness.