NEW PICKS: Choices of New Classical CDs, DVDs, Books
Tuesday, 12 December 2006
DECEMBER BRIDGE RELEASES Topic: BRIDGE Releases
December releases from Bridge Records
Music of John Harbison, Vol. 1;Due Libri dei Mottetti di Montale (1980-1989), Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, mezzo-soprano; Greenleaf Chamber Players; Concerto for Oboe, Clarinet and Strings (1984); Peggy Pearson, oboe, Jo-Ann Sternberg, clarinet, Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, Scott Yoo, conductor; Piano Sonata No. 1 “Roger Sessions In Memoriam”(1985), Robert Shannon, piano; Mirabai Songs (1982) (trans. Robert Bly), Georgine Resick, soprano, Warren Jones, piano
BRIDGE 9200 DDD Total Time: 71:48
Bridge is pleased to be re-releasing the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson’s spectacular recording of John Harbison’s poignant setting of Eugenio Montale poems of memory and loss, Due Libri dei Mottetti di Montale. Originally released on the Archetype label, this work and Harbison’s virtuosic Concerto for Oboe, Clarinet and Strings, will now be restored to the active catalog. One astute critic referred to the Concerto as "scenes from a marriage." This metaphorical marriage between solo winds and strings contains quarrels, precarious balances, comic relief, misunderstandings and eventual unanimity. Combined with Harbison’s Sonata No. 1 and his masterful and popular Mirabai Songs, as sung by Georgine Resick in the version with piano, this disc presents the first in an ongoing series of recordings dedicated to John Harbison’s music. The Piano Sonata No. 1 was written for Robert Shannon, Ursula Oppens, and Alan Feinberg on a consortium commission from the National Endowment for the Arts. It bears the inscription “Roger Sessions In Memoriam.” Dedicatee Robert Shannon gives the score a brilliant and transparent reading.
Clara Rockmore: The Lost ThereminAlbum; Fritz Kreisler: Liebesleid; Johann Mattheson: Air; Antonin Dvorák: Humoreske; Anis Fuliehan: Pastorale from the Concerto for Theremin*; Franz Schubert: Ave Maria; Frédéric Chopin: Nocturne in C sharp minor (Op. Post.); Gaspar Cassadó: Requiebros; J.S. Bach: Adagio; Heitor Villa-Lobos: Aria from Bachianas Brasileiras, No. 5*; J.S. Bach: Celebrated Air; Richard Heuberger: Midnight Bells (arr. Kreisler); Maurice Ravel: Kaddish; George Gershwin: Summertime; Avery Robinson: Water Boy; Manuel Ponce: Estrellita**; Louis Louiguy: La vie en rose; Clara Rockmore, Theremin; Nadia Reisenberg, piano; * with cello ensemble; **accompaniment arranged and performed by Jorge Morel, guitar
BRIDGE 9208 ADD Total Time: 61:03
Long regarded as “The Queen of the Theremin,” Clara Rockmore’s virtuosity as the world’s leading exponent of the theremin, was commonly acknowledged during her long and successful career. Intimately involved with Leon Theremin in the development of the instrument, Clara Rockmore’s career as a thereminist had her performing with major orchestras and with her sister, the legendary pianist, Nadia Reisenberg. The Rockmore/Reisenberg duo is heard on this CD in 13 never-before released tracks, recorded in 1975. Also heard here are three tracks with the accompaniment of a cello ensemble, and one with the accompaniment of the much admired Argentine composer/guitarist, Jorge Morel. This recording comes with a booklet which includes numerous historic photographs of the performers, as well as excerpts from an interview conducted by Robert Sherman, in which his mother, Nadia Reisenberg; his aunt, Clara Rockmore; and the electronic pioneer Robert Moog discuss their lives and the background of their involvement with the theremin and its creator, Leon Theremin.
Paul Lansky: Music Box; Wordless; Chatter of Pins; Pavane Noir; On F; Two by Two; Composition Project for Seniors; B-O-B-O; The Joy of F# Minor; PassaKaglia; Music Box
BRIDGE 9210 DDD Total Duration: 59:20
Bridge is pleased to present Paul Lansky’s latest collection of new electronic compositions. This spectacular collection contains Lansky’s most expressive work to date- from the exhilarating virtuosity of his latest hiphop-inspired ‘chatter’ piece, to the introverted lyricism of his Pavane Noir. Lansky writes that “For the past several years I’ve been in a reactive phase when it comes to making electronic music. Rather than exploring ‘new sonic realms’ or looking for ‘new ways of hearing the world’ I’ve been turning to the computer for more old-fashioned tasks. On five of the tracks (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) I sing, for want of a better term. My efforts range from the serious, Pavane Noir, and Two by Two, to the oddball, B-O-B-O, PassaKaglia, to the celebratory, Wordless. Chatter of Pins, is a response to an invitation by Keith and Mende Obadike to contribute a track of music inspired by hiphop. The text, spoken by me and by my wife, Hannah MacKay, is from an old English folksong, A Paper of Pins, in which a suitor woos a maid with different proposals, only to meet rejection until he offers her the key to his desk and, consequently, his money. She accepts but he then declines when he realizes she loves his money more than him.”
These Paul Lansky CDs and DVD are available from Bridge:
Alphabet Book: BRIDGE 9126; My Cinema for the Ears (DVD): BRIDGE 9117; Ride: BRIDGE 9103; Conversation Pieces: BRIDGE 9083; Things She Carried: BRIDGE 9076; Folk Images: BRIDGE 9060; More Than Idle Chatter: BRIDGE 9050; Homebrew: BRIDGE 9035
Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber: Harmonia artificioso-ariosa: diversi mode accordata (1696); Partias I-VI; Rebel, Jorg-Michael Schwarz, director
BRIDGE 9213 DDD Total Time: 72:21
The music of Biber is widely assumed to have gone out of vogue with violinists before the middle of the eighteenth century. Biber's reputation, however, lived. In 1789 Charles Burney wrote in his "General History of Music", "of all the violin players of the last century, Biber seems to have been the best, and his solos are the most difficult and most fanciful of any music I have seen of the same period." Biber's Harmonia artificioso-ariosa (1696) is a collection in seven parts (partias), each employing a different tuning. Of the six partias heard on this recording (Nos. 1-6), five are for two violins and bass; and one is for violin, viola and bass. The “artifice” Biber refers to is a procedure now known as scordatura (mistuning). Each of the pieces uses a different tuning in the upper parts. Only the Partia VI is written for violins in normal tuning. The performances on this disc are by the superb baroque ensemble, REBEL. Hailed by the New York Times as "sophisticated and beguiling" and praised by the Los Angeles Times for their " astonishingly vital music-making", the virtuosic New York based ensemble (pronounced re-BEL) has earned an impressive international reputation through their tours and recordings. Rebel can also be heard performing recorder concertos and sonatas of Vivaldi on their highly praised CD, "Shades of Red", BRIDGE 9173.
New Releases from BRIDGE RECORDS Now Playing: NOVEMBER 2006 Topic: BRIDGE Releases
George Perle: Retrospective; Disc A: Nine Bagatelles (1999)*, Horacio Guttiérrez, piano; Three Inventions for Solo Bassoon (1962), Steven Dibner, bassoon; Adagietto con affetto from Chansons Cachées (1997), Shirley Perle, piano; Two French Christmas Carols (arr. 1958) The New York Virtuoso Singers, Harold Rosenbaum, conductor; Triptychfor Solo Violin and Piano (2002), Curtis Macomber, violin, Chistopher Oldfather, piano; Brief Encounters (String Quartet No. 9) (1998); DePaul String Quartet; Concerto No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra (1992), Michael Boriskin, piano, Utah Symphony, Joseph Silverstein, conductor; Disc B: Serenade No. 3 for Piano and Chamber Orchestra (1983), Richard Goode, piano, Music Today Ensemble, Gerard Schwarz, conductor; Solo Partita for Violin and Viola (1965), Curtis Macomber, violin and viola; Six Celebratory Inventions (1981-95), Molly Morkoski, piano; Bassoonmusic (2004), Steven Dibner, bassoon; Quintet for Strings (1957-58), Chicago String Quartet
BRIDGE 9214A/B (two discs) DDD Total Time: 2:33:43
Bridge’s “George Perle: Retrospective” celebrates the music of one of America’s greatest compositional voices with a two-disc set of pieces written between 1957 and 2004. Encompassing solo, chamber, choral and orchestral music, the album presents twelve compositions, including the premiere recordings of six of George Perle’s pieces, and re-issues two major Perle recordings:the Concerto No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra; and the Serenade No. 3 for Piano and Chamber Orchestra. In addition to these major Perle masterpieces, the set includes rarities such as Perle’s lovely arrangement of Two French Christmas Carols from 1958, and his last completed composition, Bassoonmusic of 2004. The recordings are performed by many of Perle’s greatest champions, including Horacio Guttiérrez, Curtis Macomber, Michael Boriskin, Joseph Silverstein, Richard Goode, and Gerard Schwarz, and also includes a short work performed by the composer’s wife, pianist Shirley Perle. Along with more than two-and-a-half hours of music, Bridge’s “George Perle: Retrospective” includes a booklet with historic photographs of George Perle with many of the 20th century’s leading musicians.
Songs and Encores: A Recital of American Song; Judith Bettina, soprano; James Goldsworthy, piano; Milton Babbitt: Phonemena (1969-70) (voice and piano version); Now Evening, After Evening (2002); Pantun (2001); The Waltzer in the House (2003) (voice and vibraphone), with Tom Kolor, vibraphone; Christopher Berg: Ode to a Grecian Urn (2000); Chester Biscardi: Baby Song of the Four Winds (1994); Guru (1995); Recovering (2000); Tobias Picker: Native Trees (1992); To the Insects (1992); Half a Year Together (1987); When we meet Again (1985); not even the rain (1996); Mel Powell: Levertov Breviary (1997); David Rakowski: Georgic (2000); Musician (1990) with Curtis Macomber, violin; Sara (2002) (piano solo); Three Encores (1991)
BRIDGE 9199 DDD Total Time: 72:34
The beloved American soprano, Judith Bettina is heard on this disc in a highly varied recital of recent American song. Accompanied by her husband, the distinguished pianist James Goldsworthy, the pair present numerous first recordings of songs composed for and dedicated to them. Indeed this disc is a tribute to Ms. Bettina’s long relationships with a stylistically broad range of American composers. Referring to this stylistic breadth, annotator Hayes Biggs writes that “it is possible to view the individual songs as points along a continuum, from those exhibiting a relatively diatonic harmonic language (Christopher Berg, Tobias Picker) to an idiom that at times refers more or less obliquely to tonality but is considerably more chromatic (Chester Biscardi, David Rakowski) to one that is completely chromatic and untethered from tonality (Milton Babbitt, Mel Powell). Despite their differences, however, all of these composers in their unique ways are at root emblematic of a great and continuing lyric tradition in American music.” New York Magazine called Judith Bettina “a sensationally accomplished soprano”, and this disc offer ample evidence of her great gift.
Music of Ferde Grofé and George Gershwin; Ferde Grofé: Mississippi Suite (1925), Harmonie Ensemble/New York, Steven Richman, conductor; George Gershwin: Second Rhapsody for Orchestra with Piano (orchestrated by Ferdé Grofe) (1931); Lincoln Mayorga, piano, Harmonie Ensemble/New York, Steven Richman, conductor; Ferde Grofé: Gallodoro’s Serenade for Saxophone and Piano (1958), Al Gallodoro, alto saxophone, Lincoln Mayorga, piano; Ferde Grofé: Grand Canyon Suite (1929-31), Harmonie Ensemble/New York, Steven Richman, conductor
BRIDGE 9212 DDD Total Time: 63:48
Bridge Records is very pleased to be releasing a recording focusing on the music and musical relationships of three key American musical figures of the 1920s and 30s– Ferde Grofé, George Gershwin and Paul Whiteman. During his tenure as chief-arranger with the Whiteman Band (1920-1932), Ferde Grofé composed two of his finest works– The Mississippi Suite, and The Grand Canyon Suite, both recorded here in superb performances by the Harmonie Ensemble/New York. In addition to his own compositions, Grofé arranged hundreds of works for the Whiteman Band, and his orchestration of Gershwin’s Second Rhapsody, premiered the same year (1932) as the symphonic version, is performed here by pianist Lincoln Mayorga and the Harmonie Ensemble/New York. The Second Rhapsody is George Gershwin’s portrait of Manhattan. This new recording of Grofé’s orchestration is given its premiere recording on this Bridge CD. Al Gallodoro was the phenomenally gifted solo reed player of the Whiteman Band, and this disc includes a new recording of Grofé’s tribute to Gallodoro’s art. This recording was made by the great Gallodoro just weeks before his 91st birthday. Steven Richman and the Harmonie Ensemble/New York have issued some of the day’s most exciting and historically informed recordings of older American music. Their brilliant Copland CD (BRIDGE 9145), which included notable Copland premiere recordings, was preceded by their Grammy-nominated “Stravinsky: Premieres and Rarities” (KOCH 7438)
Beethoven Sonatas, Volume 3; Garrick Ohlsson, piano; Sonata No. 3 in C Major, Op. 2, No. 3; Sonata No. 9 in E Major, Op. 14, No. 1; Sonata No. 10 in G Major, Op. 14, No. 2; Sonata No. 25 in G Major, Op. 79
BRIDGE 9207 DDD Total Time: Bridge Records is pleased to be releasing Volume 3 of Garrick Ohlsson's Beethoven Sonata cycle, as part of its new Garrick Ohlsson Edition. Beethoven Sonatas, Vol. 3 includes Ohlsson’s readings of four sonatas. Beethoven astonished the music world with his early set of three piano sonatas, Op. 2. Though clearly ‘early Beethoven,’ the C major sonata is a thoroughly mature masterpiece. The relatively short, and highly lyrical Op. 14, No. 1 sonata is an adventurous piece, a work with more than a touch of latent Romanticism. And its companion, Op. 14, No. 2 explores many new avenues of rhythmic development. The Op. 79 Sonata belongs to the group of sonatas where Beethoven was composing with extreme concision. Garrick Ohlsson’s readings of these four sonatas are full of the virtuosity and passion that have marked his recent live performances of these works. This release follows the pianist's Complete Beethoven Sonata cycles at the Tanglewood and Ravinia Festivals this summer, and will precede his Beethoven performances throughout the USA during the 2006-2007 season. Garrick Ohlsson is widely regarded as one of the great virtuosi currently performing on the international concert stage. With an active repertoire of more than 80 concertos, a full schedule of solo recitals and chamber music engagements, Mr. Ohlsson's brilliant music making has graced the world's concert halls ever since he won the 1970 Chopin International Piano Competition.
These Garrick Ohlsson CDs are also available on Bridge: Music of Charles Wuorinen; BRIDGE 9008 Bach: Goldberg Variations; Handel: Suite No. 2; BRIDGE 9193 Beethoven Sonatas, Vol. 1: Op. 7, Op. 78, Op. 101; BRIDGE 9198 Beethoven Sonatas, Vol. 2: Op. 111, Op. 81A, Op. 2, No. 2
Louis Moreau Gottschalk: Deuxième Banjo, Op. 82; Solitude, Op. 65; Solitude, Op. 65; La Brise (Valse de Concert); Souvenir de la Havane (Grande Caprice de Concert); Le Chant du Martyr (Etude de Concert); Manchega (Etude de Concert); La Savane (Ballade Creole); Union (Paraphrase de Concert on the National Airs “Star Spangled Banner,” Yankee Doodle,” and “Hail Columbia). Lambert Orkis, piano
BRIDGE 9206 ADD Total Time: 43:56
Recorded in 1982, this re-issue of Lambert Orkis’s program of Gottschalk piano works brings back to the catalog one of the landmark recordings of the revival of interest in the great 19th century American composer/virtuoso. Orkis performs on an 1865 Chickering concert grand piano, an instrument similar to the Chickerings that Gottschalk employed on his American concert tours. Gottschalk was born in New Orleans in 1829, the first child of a large, well-to-do Jewish family. His family lived not far from Congo Square (now Louis Armstrong Park), where the music of Afro-Americans–music that would eventually evolve into jazz-- was played. Gottschalk’s virtuoso compositions for piano made significant use of this music, combining it with forms developed in his studies and travels in Europe. Lambert Orkis has received international recognition as chamber musician, interpreter of contemporary music, and performer on period instruments. He has appeared world-wide in recital in North America, Europe, and Asia with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter since 1988 and with cellist Mstislav Rostropovich since 1983, and continues to perform with The Castle Trio, a period instrument ensemble in residence at Washington’s Smithsonian Institution.
These other Lambert Orkis recordings are available from BRIDGE:
Beethoven: Sonata, Op. 57 “Appassionata” (3 performances on different pianos) BRIDGE 9169 Wernick: Sonata No. 2; Primosch: Sonata-Fantasia; BRIDGE 9131 Wernick: Piano Concerto and Violin Concerto; BRIDGE 9082 Crumb: A Little Suite for Christmas Wernick: Sonata No. 1; BRIDGE 9003
Claude Debussy: The Complete Piano Music, Vol. II; Bennett Lerner, piano; Disc A: Douze Études (Books 1 and 2); Disc B: Suite bergamasque; Étude Retrouvée; Suite bergamasque No. 2
BRIDGE 9211A/B (Two Discs for the price of one) DDD Total time: 83:08
Volume 2 of Bennett Lerner’s ‘Complete Debussy’ presents compositions from the composer’s three periods: early Romantic salon pieces; coloristic and pictorial works from his middle period; and late compositions, in which Debussy headed into abstraction and neo-classicism. In the Douze Études of 1915, Debussy displays his masterful ability to derive an astonishing range of colors, textures and moods from a limited amount of material. Suite bergamasque was written in 1890 while the 22 year old composer was still under the influence of composers including Wagner and Massenet. In the form of a Baroque suite, the Suite bergamasque is Debussy’s tribute to the elegance and charm of the commedia dell’arte. Étude Retrouvée (1915) is an unfinished work. The page numbering indicates that this work was worked on and planned as a part of the Douze Études. The three pieces grouped here as Suite bergamasque No. 2 are from 1905, and were originally intended to be published together as Suite bergamasque. However, the publisher Fromont, in spite of Debussy’s objections, went ahead with the publication of the earlier works grouped under that title, works that Debussy felt were no longer representative of his style. The performances and annotation of Volume I of this CD series were received with glowing reviews. Writing in Audiophile Audition, critic Gary Lemco writes that Vol. One’s “annotation, besides the virtuosity of his playing, testifies to the erudition that illumines every note of Lerner’s execution.”
Also available: Complete Debussy Piano Music, Vol. I, Bennet Lerner, piano (BRIDGE 9186)
The Music of Elliot Carter Mood:
amorous Topic: BRIDGE Releases
The Music, of Elliott Carter, Volume Seven
Dialogues (2003) for Piano and Chamber Orchestra, Nicolas Hodges, piano, London Sinfonietta, Oliver Knussen, conductor; Boston Concerto (2002), BBC Symphony Orchestra, Oliver Knussen, conductor; Cello Concerto (2001), Fred Sherry, cello, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Oliver Knussen, conductor; Asko Concerto (2000), Asko Ensemble, Oliver Knussen, conductor
BRIDGE 9184 DDD
This highly anticipated recording, a Bridge co-production with the BBC, presents first recordings of four major Elliott Carter compositions, all composed within the past six years. Conducted by the distinguished British conductor, Oliver Knussen, these recordings tell the amazing tale of an American composer, well into his nineties, composing at the peak of his powers. Malcolm McDonald writes that “Carter is not far short of his own centenary, and continuing to produce highly complex, sophisticated scores with an energy that would hardly be conceivable even in a much younger man.” The composer traveled to London and Amsterdam to oversee the performance and recording of these four works.
Dialogues for piano and chamber orchestra was a BBC Radio 3 commission for the brilliant young British pianist Nicolas Hodges and is scored for piano solo and a chamber orchestra comprising 18 instruments. Carter writes that “Dialogues is a conversation between the soloist and the orchestra: responding to each other, sometimes interrupting one another or arguing.” Hodges, Knussen and the London Sinfonietta give a reading of electrifying intensity. Boston Concerto was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and is based on a William Carlos Williams poem, “Rain”, a verse chosen to convey the composer’s enduring love for his wife Helen, the dedicatee of Boston Concerto. Describing the diaphanous textures of this work, Bayan Northcott writes of Boston Concerto that “despite occasional deep sonorities, the whole work has a kind of distanced lightness, seeming to hover in mid air.” Carter’s Cello Concerto is a twenty minute span introduced by the soloist alone, playing a cantilena that presents ideas later to be expanded into a series of linked movements. The concerto is played by long-time colleague and valued Carter interpreter Fred Sherry who, during the composition of the work, consulted with Carter about the finer details of the cello writing. Scored for a large orchestra that frequently plays with intimately drawn orchestral textures, the Cello Concerto was commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and was first performed by the CSO with Yo Yo Ma, cello soloist and Daniel Barenboim, conductor. Carter completed the concise 12 minute Asko Concerto in January 2000 to a commission from the Asko Ensemble of Amsterdam and the recording on this disc is of its first performance in the Concertgebouw on April 26 of that year. The composer writes: “Although the music is in light-hearted mood, each soloistic section approaches ensemble playing in a different spirit.”
Bridge has also just issued Volume Six of this series which features Rolf Schulte’s performance of Carter’s Violin Concerto (BRIDGE 9177).
Topic: BRIDGE Releases
Steven Mackey: Interior Design: Sonata for Violin and Piano (1996), Curtis Macomber, violin; Aleck Karis, piano; Interior Design (2003), Curtis Macomber, violin; Humble River (1997) Susan Nidel, flute; Curtis Macomber, violin; Maureen Gallagher, viola; Gregory Hesselink, violoncello
BRIDGE 9183 DDD Total Time: 70:02
This disc presents premiere recordings of three works by the American composer, Steven Mackey. The disc features violin virtuoso Curtis Macomber on all three works, and documents the long relationship that Macomber has had with Mackey’s music. Macomber writes: “Much of what I find so successful in Steve’s music is that kind of willingness to explore the immediate, the vulnerable, the personal and sometimes the downright silly. He’ll tap from whatever source suits the moment, be it a naive children’s tune or some bluesy plaint. There’s an intelligence and a discerning judgement for proportion and scope, but it’s his audacious use of the vernacular that I particularly love and enjoy playing.” The three works recorded on this CD certainly indulge in the traits mentioned by Macomber, and benefit tremendously from the violinist’s committed, heroically played performances.
These Bridge CDs feature music by Steven Mackey and performances by Curtis Macomber:
Steve Mackey: “Lost and Found” Music for Electric Guitar; BRIDGE 9065
Music of Mario Davidovsky, Vol. 3; BRIDGE 9171
Songs of Amy Beach; Patrick Mason, baritone, Joanne Polk, piano
Twilight, Op. 2, No. 1; Empress of Night, Op. 2, No. 3; The Summer Wind, Op. 14, No. 2; Sweetheart, Sigh No More, Op. 14, No. 3; Golden Gates, Op. 19, No. 3; Villanelle, Op. 20; Wouldn’t That Be Queer, Op. 26, No. 4; Within My Heart, Op. 29, No. 1; Anita, Op. 41, No. 1; The Year’s at the Spring, Op. 44, No.1; Ah, Love, but a day!, Op. 44, No. 2; Come, ah, come!, Op. 48, No. 1; Good Morning, Op. 48, No. 2; Go Not Too Far, Op. 56, No. 2; Shena Van, Op. 56, No. 4; Baby, Op. 69, No. 1; O Sweet Content, Op. 71, No. 2; Wind o’ the Westland, Op. 77, No. 2; In the Twilight, Op. 85; Mine Be the Lips, Op. 113; Dark Garden, Op. 131; I Shall Be Brave, Op. 143
BRIDGE 9182 DDD Total Time:
Amy Beach (1873-1942) was probably the first woman composer to gain attention for writing successfully in the large forms of the nineteenth century: symphony, concerto, oratorio and chamber music. But it is in her songs and solo piano music that we glimpse a more private and intimate Beach. Beach produced more than 120 songs, only a few of which are known to the general public. This superb CD presents 22 of Beach’s finest songs, a selection which ranges from some of her earliest published efforts through her later brooding masterpieces. American baritone Patrick Mason is accompanied on this recording by leading Beach specialist, pianist Joanne Polk. Together, Mason and Polk’s penetrating interpretations make an excellent case for these songs as major English language song literature.
These Patrick Mason recordings are also available on Bridge:
Schubert: Die Winterreise; with Phyllis East, piano; BRIDGE 9053
Songs of Ravel, Faur?, Poulenc and Dutilleux; with Robert Spillman, piano; BRIDGE 9058
Stephen Sondheim: Sunday Song Set; with David Starobin, guitar; on BRIDGE 9009
Tod Machover: VALIS, an opera on the novel by Philip K. Dick; BRIDGE 9007
Elliott Carter: Three Poems of Robert Frost; with Speculum Musicae; on BRIDGE 9014
Topic: BRIDGE Releases
Great Performances from the Library of Congress, Volume 22
Henryk Szeryng, violin; Gary Graffman, piano
Brahms: Sonata No. 1 in G major, Op. 78; Schumann: Sonata No. 1 in a minor, Op. 105; Beethoven: Andante piu tosto allegretto, from Sonata, Op. 12, No. 2 in A major; Mozart: Rondo: Allegro, from Sonata in C Major, K. 296
BRIDGE 9179 ADD Timing: 56: 13
This disc is the second Szeryng/Graffman disc Bridge has released, and is taken from concerts that the duo gave at the Library of Congress in 1970 and 1971. In his review of the first Bridge CD (a Beethoven recital- BRIDGE 9165) critic Jed Distler writes: “In his autobiography, pianist Gary Graffman warmly recalls his chamber music collaborations with violinist Henryk Szeryng. Judging from these Beethoven performances, the Szeryng/Graffman partnership yielded exciting results.” And indeed, the exciting results are continued in this collection. The disc begins with the duo’s superbly wrought recording of Brahms’s G major Sonata- a reading that is notable for its precision and involvement. This is chamber music-making at its best, with both artists playing off each other with inspired spontaneity. The Schumann A minor Sonata performance, called by critic Irving Lowens in The Evening Star “the high point of the evening”, is one of almost savage intensity and impassioned music-making. Szeryng announces two encores from the stage- movements by Beethoven and Mozart, and a cheering audience sends the artists home with ‘Bravos’ ringing in their ears.
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Updated: Thursday, 13 October 2005 8:11 PM EDT
Topic: BRIDGE Releases
Music of Elliott Carter, Volume Six
Violin Concerto (1990), Rolf Schulte, violin, Odense Symphony Orchestra, Justin Brown, conductor; Four Lauds for solo violin (1984-2000), Rolf Schulte, violin; Holiday Overture (1945, rev. 1961), Odense Symphony Orchestra, Donald Palma, conductor
BRIDGE 9177 DDD Timing: 57:38
In celebration of Elliott Carter's 97th birthday, Bridge Records is proud to be issuing Volume Six of its Elliott Carter Edition. This series of recordings has garnered high critical praise including three Grammy nominations, BBC Music Magazine’s “Best of the Year”and the ASCAP Deems Taylor Prize. Volume Six features violin virtuoso Rolf Schulte’s highly anticipated recording of Carter’s Violin Concerto, and listeners will surely be thrilled by his electrifying performance. Schulte, in a spectacularly gripping account of Carter’s masterpiece, gives us state-of-the-art violin playing, and British conductor Justin Brown leads the Odense Symphony Orchestra of Denmark in a reading that captures the detailed and panoramic emotional range of this score. Schulte then steps into the spotlight with a superb account of Carter’s collection of violin solos- Four Lauds. Rolf Schulte was the dedicatee of the final movement of this set, “Fantasy- Remembering Roger” (1999), and his performance here takes up where his Violin Concerto reading leaves off. What ultimately makes Schulte’s readings of Carter’s music so exceptionally satisfying is his complete mastery of the technical aspects of this music. Schulte’s playing is so assured and deeply committed that he has the rare ability to transcend the music’s surface difficulties, and reveal its humanistic emotional core. Volume Six concludes with a performance of Carter’s early Holiday Overture, a brassy and celebratory composition that heralded the end of World War II and led to the beginning of Carter’s mature style. Notes by British musicologist Malcolm McDonald, and a number of rare photographs of the composer complete this disc.
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Updated: Thursday, 13 October 2005 8:12 PM EDT
Wednesday, 14 September 2005
Topic: BRIDGE Releases
Visions Int?rieures: The Developing Song Cycle; Georgine Resick, soprano; Andrew Willis, fortepianos (Disc One); Warren Jones, piano (Disc Two). Disc One: Conradin Kreutzer (1780-1849): Wanderlieder; Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826): Die Temperamente bei dem Verluste der Geliebten; Sigismund Thalberg (1812-1871): Sechs Deutsche Lieder; Peter Cornelius (1824-1874): Brautlieder; Adolf Jensen (1837-1879): Ges?nge aus dem Spanischen Liederbuch, Op. 4; Disc Two: Jean Cras (1879-1932): Robaiyat; Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937): Bunte Lieder; C?sar Cui (1835-1918): Four Sonnets, Op. 48; Arthur Honegger (1892-1955) Trois Chansons; Ture Rangstr?m (1884-1947): Hafvets sommar
BRIDGE 9168A/B (Two CDs) DDD
Soprano Georgine Resick's Visions Int?rieures, is a survey of the development of the song cycle. Ms. Resick sings in German, Polish, French, Swedish, and Italian, in this two-CD tour-de-force which presents a superb selection of works and composers rarely heard today. The great flowering of the song cycle occurred in early nineteenth century Germany, with its greatest representations being the well-known cycles by Schubert and Schumann. These cycles inspired numerous imitations, many of which, while not attaining the depth and breadth of their models, are charming and integrated works. On Disc One, entitled The Early German Song Cycle, Ms. Resick is accompanied by Andrew Willis, performing cycles of Weber and Kreutzer on a copy of a Louis Dulcken fortepiano (Munich 1815-20). The duo then performs cycles of Cornelius, Thalberg, and Jensen on an original 1841 B?sendorfer. On Disc Two, entitled The Wanderer: The Song Cycle in Migration, Ms. Resick is joined by Warren Jones, performing late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century cycles on a Steinway D. In an interesting cultural crossover, The Wanderer presents songs by a Russian composer of French-Lithuanian descent setting Polish poems; a German-influenced Polish composer setting German poetry; a French influenced Italian, and French composers setting translations of texts from Persia and Denmark.Georgine Resick is an internationally recognized soprano in both the operatic and concert fields. Renowned for her Mozart and Strauss interpretations, she has sung a wide variety of leading roles with the Vienna State Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Paris Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and numerous others. Her previous releases on BRIDGE have received glowing reviews from the international press: Men's Songs, Women's Voices (BRIDGE 9152) and Songs of Grechaninov (BRIDGE 9142).
SEPTEMBER RELEASES Topic: BRIDGE Releases
The Art of Elaine Bonazzi
Monteverdi: Songs from Scherzi Musicali (1632): Io ch’armato sin hor; Eri gia tutta mia; Maledetto sia l’aspetto; Messenger Scene from L’Orfeo; Britten: A Charm of Lullabies, Op. 41 (1947); Brahms: Gestillte Sehnsucht, Op. 91, No. 1; Geistliches Wiegenlied, Op. 91, No. 2; Ravel: Chansons Madecasses (1926)
Elaine Bonazzi, mezzo-soprano; with Ellen Mack, piano; Timothy Day, flute; Karen Tuttle, viola; Steven Kates, cello
BRIDGE 9176 DDD Total Time: 52:40
Bridge is pleased to release this superb vocal recital by the great mezzo-soprano, Elaine Bonazzi. Recorded at the Peabody Conservatory in 1985, this studio recording was never released, and is being issued in a new re-mastering by engineer Adam Abeshouse.
The career of mezzo soprano Elaine Bonazzi has been an extraordinary one. Called “a fantastically gifted actress and singer” by The Washington Post, Bonazzi earned a singular reputation for her vivid and memorable portrayals on the opera stage. As an oratorio and orchestral soloist, she was one of the leading mezzos of her generation and was equally at home on the recital and concert stage. Bonazzi made her debut in Santa Fe in 1958 in the role of Meg Page in Falstaff. In Santa Fe, over the next 35 years, she sang everything from the title roles in Carmen, Regina, and The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, to important roles in the American premieres of Berg’s Lulu, and Hindemith’s News of the Day (with Hindemith conducting). It was at Santa Fe that she began her long association with Igor Stravinsky, when she played Baba the Turk in The Rake’s Progress in a production supervised by the composer. She was subsequently chosen by Stravinsky for a number of premieres, including The Requiem Canticles, which she recorded, and Le Rossignol at The Washington Opera, which she also recorded. At New York City Opera, Bonazzi made her debut in Ned Rorem’s Miss Julie, and she was cast by Stephen Sondheim as Mrs. Lovett in his Sweeney Todd, and Madame Armfeldt in A Little Night Music. Other American companies with which Bonazzi appeared included the Metropolitan Opera at the Forum, and the companies of Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Houston, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Wolf Trap, Seattle, Dallas, Houston. In 1985, the year this recording was made, Byron Belt, writing for Newhouse Newspapers, summed up what composers, audiences, and critics alike had felt about this unique singer: “Elaine Bonazzi is the rarest of artists—a superb performer who is admired deeply…as a singer and woman who is sensitive, gifted and able to communicate music and the meaning of words as few stars of the stage can achieve so consistently.”
Music of Mario Davidovsky, Volume 3
Synchronisms No. 5 (1969) for five percussion players and electronic sounds, The Manhattan School of Music Percussion Ensemble, Jeffrey Milarsky, conductor; Duo Capriccioso, for violin and piano (2003) (premiere recording), Curtis Macomber, violin, Aleck Karis, piano; Synchronisms No. 6 (1970) for piano and electronic sounds, Aleck Karis, piano; Quartetto (1987) for flute, violin, viola and violoncello, Speculum Musicae: Susan Palma Nidel, flute, Curtis Macomber, violin, Maureen Gallagher, viola, Eric Bartlett, violoncello, Synchronisms No. 9 (1988) for violin and electronic sounds, Curtis Macomber, violin; Chacona (1971) for violin, violoncello and piano, Speculum Musicae: Curtis Macomber, violin, Eric Bartlett, violoncello, Aleck Karis, piano
BRIDGE 9171 DDD Total Time: 55:05
This CD presents six new recordings of Mario Davidovsky compositions spanning a period of nearly thirty-five years, performed by some of his leading champions. Featured are three of Davidovsky’s “Synchronisms” pieces for instruments and electronic sounds. This series of path-breaking works (including the Pulitzer Prize-winning No. 6 for piano and electronics) incorporates some of the Argentine-born Davidovsky’s best known compositions. The Synchronisms series presents the listener with brilliantly imagined ‘sonic-spaces’ that combine extreme instrumental virtuosity with an accompanying pre-recorded track that utilizes both electronic and concrete sounds. The music that Davidovsky offers is notable for its highly musical interweaving of materials from radically differing sound sources. In addition to the Synchronisms pieces, three chamber works round out this collection. Duo Capriccioso, heard in its first recording, is a whimsical dialogue between violin and piano. Quartetto contrasts delicate unison writing with ferociously biting tuttis; and Chacona is a granitic masterpiece of heroic virtuosity. CD annotator Eric Chasalow writes that “Davidovsky was already a composer of great accomplishment when Aaron Copland brought him from Argentina to Tanglewood in 1959. There, Milton Babbitt recognized the young composer’s potential and made the crucial suggestion that he travel to New York City.” Davidovsky eventually became director of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, where he came into contact with Edgard Varese and many other leading musicians of the day. Chasalow calls Davidovsky “one of the truly original musical voices to have emerged from post war America....with this music we are drawn into a world that is highly coherent, elegant and compelling.”
These Mario Davidovsky recordings are also available on Bridge:
Volume One: Flashbacks (1995); Festino (1994); Romancero (1983); Quartetto No. 2 (1996); Synchronisms No. 10 (1992); String Trio (1982)
Volume Two: Shulamit's Dream (1993); Scenes from Shir ha-Shirim (1975); Biblical Songs (1990)
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Updated: Thursday, 1 September 2005 8:26 PM EDT