Press release: Baarn, The Netherlands, March 2018
Besides the two releases that have already been announced with Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Bejun Mehta, March is also the month of Schubert’s Aus der Ferne performed by the Signum Quartett and of Mozart Divertimento, where Jonathan Crow, Douglas McNabney and Matt Haimovitz catch the singular spirit of Mozart’s take on Bach.
In April, PENTATONE presents Hidden Gems with the Reed Quintet CALEFAX; Martinů’s distinctive musical voice by Deborah & Sarah Nemtanu, Magali Demesse, Mari & Momo Kodama, Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille and Lawrence Foster; scintillating jazz-inspired concertos by Maurice Ravel and George Gershwin by Denis Kozhukhin, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and Kazuki Yamada; Songs on Poems by Emily Dickinson with Lisa Delan, Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille and Lawrence Foster.
A fresh perspective on Schubert’s Romanticism and lyricism
Hailed as one of the most adventurous and outstanding string quartets of today, both in the performance of modern pieces and the core repertoire, Signum Quartett now releases its first PENTATONE recording with an all-Schubert program. Aus der Ferne illuminates the Romanticism and lyricism of this great master. By combining string quartets with lieder arranged for string quartet, the members of the Signum Quartett aim to show how Schubert’s instrumental and vocal music crosspollinate each other. The fact that Schubert quotes openly from his own songs in his chamber music underlines the strong connection between the two, and this album takes this connection a step further.
The concept for the album grew out of the Schubertiad, where chamber music and vocal works would be heard side by side in an intimate setting. A further idea was to compliment one of the late quartets with an earlier one - perhaps lesser-known but not a lesser piece. The B-flat major quartet and the Rosamunde Quartet, both featured on this album, share a delicacy and fragility of spirit; convey a longing from afar. These instrumental works gain significance by being accompanied by the lieder arrangements, created by quartet member Xandi van Dijk. These arrangements present quintessential Schubert lieder such as Du bist die Ruh, Wandrers Nachtlied and Lachen und Weinen in a new, fascinating light.
This album is released as 1 Super Audio -CD and in digital formats for streaming and high resolution downloads. (Article number: PTC 5186673)
PENTATONE OXINGALE SERIES, Mozart’s Take on Bach
Matt Haimovitz, Jonathan Crow, Douglas McNabney
Mozart’s brilliance at the keyboard is well known, but it was his joy in playing the viola – and the musical dialogue and kinship of playing with friends – that led the composer to write his music for string trio. This album features Mozart’s Divertimento in E-flat major, as well as his string trio arrangements of three fugues from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier. In the three additional preludes to his Bach arrangements, Mozart reached an impressive symbiosis between Bach’s musical language and his own style. Jonathan Crow, Douglas McNabney and Matt Haimovitz catch the singular spirit of Mozart’s take on Bach and offer one of the most animated interpretations of Mozart’s Divertimento.
Previously released in the US alone as Mozart the Mason on Oxingale, this 2006 recording will now be released worldwide and digitally for the first time as part of the PENTATONE OXINGALE SERIES.
This album will be released as 1 Super Audio -CD and in digital formats for streaming and high resolution downloads. (Article number: PTC 5186714)
The Golden Touch
Marek Janowski , WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne
Acclaimed in the Netherlands and abroad, the members of Calefax arguably invented a completely new genre: the reed quintet. Hidden Gems documents the quintet’s own rich history: each track is a reminder of remarkable Calefax programs of past years. If this album chronicles anything, it is the way Calefax lives and breathes—every piece on this recording evokes, for the musicians, cherished memories. Switching genres and periods with consummate ease, this adventurous new release for PENTATONE from the reed quintet Calefax is a superb collection of well-honed arrangements of less familiar works, all played with the ensemble’s customary verve, passion, and mellow sound.
From the frothy virtuosity of Corelli and Locatelli to the haunting beauty of Gesualdo, Satie, and the heartfelt introspection of Nina Simone, it’s an astonishingly varied and intriguing programme. As well as pieces by Franck and Janáček, it includes one commission, Look for Me by Nico Muhly, based on an American folk song, and an arrangement of the Chinese popular song Er Quan Ying Yue. All these pieces have regularly featured in Calefax’s concerts and they fully showcase the ensemble’s versatility and mastery.
Watch the video clip here
This album will be released as 1 Audio -CD and in digital formats for streaming and download. (Article number: PTC 5186696)
‘A slice of heaven’ – concertante works by Bohuslav Martinů
Lawrence Foster, Mari Kodama, Momo Kodama, Sarah Nemtanu, Deborah Nemtanu, Magali Demesse , Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille
Bohuslav Martinů’s distinctive musical voice, which infuses the great Czech tradition with modern idioms, is showcased in this captivating survey of his concertante works, performed by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille conducted by Lawrence Foster.
The Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra is a lively and rhythmic tour de force. Breezily energetic and relentless, it is full of jazzy inflections and high speed fireworks, pausing only in the tranquillity of the slow movement for moments of serene calm. By contrast, the Concerto for Two Violins and Orchestra is a warm, lyrical work in the Romantic tradition.
With its intricate and interweaving solo lines, expansive melodies and dance-like syncopations it’s an engaging work of considerable charm which deserves a wider audience. The Rhapsody-Concerto for Viola and Orchestra is a dreamily nostalgic work whose simple melodies, radiant lyricism and soaring viola line make it one of the 20th century’s most performed viola concertos.
This release reunites the Kodama sisters in the studio following their scintillating recording of Tchaikovsky ballet suites for PENTATONE. In a review of a public performance of the Martinů Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra, the Ziebline journal wrote “Mari and Momoyo Kodama are extraordinary … The fingers of the Japanese musicians were flying with diabolic ease and finesse: a stunning finale.”
This album will be released as 1 Super Audio -CD and in digital formats for streaming and high resolution downloads. (Article number: PTC 5186658)
Ravel, Gershwin and all that jazz
Kazuki Yamada, Denis Kozhukhin , Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Exuberant high spirits, pulsating rhythms and breathless virtuosity jostle with urbane sophistication and deeply felt sentiment in these scintillating jazz inspired concertos by Maurice Ravel and George Gershwin, played with élan by Denis Kozhukhin and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande under Kazuki Yamada in this release from PENTATONE.
A sparkling divertissement with witty orchestration and sizzling virtuosity, Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major is and one of his best-loved works thanks to its impeccable style, dashing humour, and its hauntingly beautiful slow movement.
In a change of mood, Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand in D major is a darkly hued, powerful work with a heroic grandeur realised in a fearsomely difficult piano part that traverses the keyboard to dazzling effect. Tin Pan Alley beckons with Gershwin’s breezily confident and polished Piano Concerto in F major. With an inventive score that artfully combines jazz elements, heart on sleeve melodies and brilliant pianistics, the result is irresistible.
This album will be released as 1 Super Audio -CD and in digital formats for streaming and high resolution downloads. (Article number: PTC 5186620)
A Certain Slant of Light - Songs on Poems by Emily Dickinson
Lisa Delan, Lawrence Foster , Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille
The exceptional nature and musicality of Emily Dickinson’s poetry has attracted many composers. A Certain Slant of Light features musical settings of Dickinson poems by four outstanding American composers: Aaron Copland, Gordon Getty, Jake Heggie and Michael Tilson Thomas. The collection of songs featured on this album reveals the diversity of Dickinson’s oeuvre, as well as the rich 20th- and 21stcentury tradition of American art song composition. These songs are interpreted by the renowned American soprano Lisa Delan, together with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille under the baton of Lawrence Foster.
Delan has been featured on varied PENTATONE releases, including three American song recitals. Reviewing Delan’s 2016 recording Out of the Shadows, critics praised her “musicianship and responsiveness to the text” (Gramophone), “scrupulous and passionate accounts” (New Music Connoisseur), “liquid emotion and straightforward braininess” (Blog Critics), and “clarity and rhetorical relevance” (The Rehearsal Studio). Opera News noted “It's gratifying to find a singer involved so intimately and actively with the music of her time” and Music Web International added “Lisa Delan is probably one of the most versatile singers now before the public”.
This album will be released as 1 Super Audio -CD and in digital formats for streaming and high resolution downloads. (Article number: PTC 5186634)
photo by Marco Borggreve