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A Recital with Renée Fleming
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Classical MPR: America’s soprano Renee Fleming opens Minnesota Orchestra season
The Current: Renee Fleming on the importance of teachers, curiosity and hard work
New Classical Tracks: Renee Fleming’s ‘Guilty Pleasures’
Classical MPR: Renee Fleming: from MetLife Stadium to Met Opera in one week
Song Travels: Renee Fleming On ‘Song Travels’
This concert is Renée Flemings very personal homage to Fin de Siècle Vienna. At the turn of the last century, the capital of the Austrian Empire was also one of the cultural centers for the fine arts and, in particular, for music. With this selection Renée Fleming presents the full variety of this unique era.
Bach by Joshua Bell
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New Classical Tracks: Bach & Bell
As follow up to last-year’s acclaimed and chart-topping all-Beethoven recording, Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell continues as Music Director and Conductor of the world-renowned ensemble, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. On their new collaboration, this time with Bell also as a soloist, he conducts ASMF mostly from the concertmaster’s chair in an all-Bach program. Joshua Bell is the first American and first person to hold the title of Music Director since Sir Neville Marriner formed the orchestra in 1958.
Stella di Napoli by Joyce DiDonato
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New Classical Tracks: Star of Naples
Following the success of her crowd-sourced ‘Best Of’ collection “”reJoyce”” and her electrifying Drama Queens album of Baroque arias, Joyce DiDonato returns to her heartland repertoire to celebrate the birth of Bel Canto opera in 19th-century Naples.
On Stella di Napoli (Star of Naples), the American mezzo-soprano’s creamy tone and dramatic prowess breathe new life into little-known arias by Mercadante, Michele Carafa (a student of Cherubini and close friend of Rossini), Carlo Valentini and the prolific opera composer Giovanni Pacini, whose Stella di Napoli (1845) gives the album its title. Joyce worked closely with Italian conductor Riccardo Minasi (whose previous projects include Bellini’s Norma with Cecilia Bartoli) to bring three unjustly neglected arias to light in new editions and world premiere recordings.
Alongside these little-known gems, Joyce presents a sumptuous Bel Canto banquet with music by the three greats - Bellini, Rossini and Donizetti - including the latter’s Maria Stuarda: a tour-de-force signature role for Joyce, recently screened in cinemas and released on DVD from the New York Metropolitan Opera.
Joyce DiDonato won a 2013 Grammy for her last Bel Canto album “”Diva, Divo,”” declared “”an ideal vehicle for her glorious mezzo voice in which the most fiendish coloratura ornaments and trills sound effortless”“. (The Observer)
Rachmaninov: The Complete Works
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New Classical Tracks: Revisiting Rachmaninov
32 CD Box Set featuring complete works of Rachmaninov plus a CD titled “The Real Rachmaninov” - Vladimir Ashkenazy and Rob Cowan discuss the Russian Romantic.
Schubert: Works for Solo Piano, Vol. 1 by Barry Douglas
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New Classical Tracks: Getting to know Schubert
Classical MPR: Pianist Barry Douglas on the transformative power of education
Exclusive Chandos artist Barry Douglas, having produced two highly regarded discs of solo works by Brahms, now embarks on the complete solo piano works of Franz Schubert. This first volume features two large-scale works, the ‘Wanderer’ Fantasy and the Sonata in B flat major, alongside two Schubert songs transcribed by Liszt.
Homecoming, A Scottish Fantasy by Nicola Benedetti
New Classical Tracks: 'Homecoming, A Scottish Fantasy'
Nicola Benedetti presents a Scottish program for the year that sees Scotland in the limelight bringing together Scottish folk artists and a Scottish orchestra
Nicola Benedetti celebrates an important year for Scotland with an album of its most famous and best-loved music, featuring songs such as Loch Lomond, My Love is Like a Red Red Rose and more
The album also includes collaborations with leading Scottish folk musicians including well-known folk singer Julie Fowlis (whose voice can be heard on the Disney/Pixar hit film, Brave), along with Phil Cunningham (accordion) and Aly Bain (fiddle)
Nicola performs Bruchs much loved Scottish Fantasy with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
2014 is Scotlands year. In July, Glasgow hosts the Commonwealth Games. In September, the Scottish people will go to the polls in an Independence Referendum and the Ryder Cup comes to Scotland
Nicola Benedetti was born in Scotland and is fiercely proud of her Scottish roots. She is passionate about promoting music education and is a patron of Sistema Scotlands Big Noise project, a music initiative partnered with Venezuelas iconic El Sistéma.
Eventide by Voces8
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New Classical Tracks: Moments of Reflection
Classical MPR: Voces8: Helping the next generation
Voces8 make an extraordinary debut on Decca with Eventide. Eight young singers forming one perfect sound add a contemporary edge in stunning original arrangements from plainchant to Paul Mealor and from Saving Private Ryan to Emeli Sande?.
Eventide has wide-ranging appeal for a mass market. The album evokes the magical space between day and night, a time for unwinding, for finding the calm and solace we all seek. Eight perfectly-blended voices interwoven with haunting melodies for solo cello, harp and saxophone provide an immersive sonic experience which will soothe, beguile and inspire.
Evoking the spirit of Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensemble’s chart-topping Officium,one of the most successful classical albums of the 90’s, Voces8 and saxophonist Christian Forshaw create their own captivating sound world with arrangements ofthe ancient Latin hymn Te lucis ante terminum and Tallis’s setting of the same text The album’s rich tracklist embraces everything from medieval plainsong to an uplifting transcription of John Williams’s “Hymn to the Fallen” from the Grammy Award®-winning soundtrack to Saving Private Ryan Also included are exquisite never-before heard arrangements of Emeli Sande?’s “Where I sleep” and Second Eve by rising star Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo, as well as Morten Lauridsen’s sublime O magnum mysterium and recent scores by Eric Whitacre and Royal Wedding composer Paul Mealor.
The group travel one million miles per year to give concerts and lead workshops all over the world, including war-torn and disaster stricken areas where they provide music as a form of solace.
ZOFORBIT: A Space Odyssey by ZOFO
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New Classical Tracks: Not Your Typical Piano Duet
In this third album from GRAMMY® nominated ensemble ZOFO, the critically acclaimed piano duo takes the listener on a metaphorical exploration of the galaxy with mesmerizing, outer space-themed duet works by four noted composers of the 20th and 21st centuries - Gustav Holst, George Crumb, David Lang and Urmas Sisask preformed on one piano - four hands.
Since joining forces as a professional duo in 2009, Eva-Maria Zimmermann and Keisuke Nakagoshi - ZOFO - have electrified audiences from Carnegie Hall to Osaka, Japan with their dazzling artistry and outside-the-box thematic programming for piano-four-hands. This prize winning Steinway Artist ensemble - one of only a handful of duos worldwide devoted exclusively to piano duets - is blazing a bold new path for piano-four-hands groups by focusing on 20th and 21st century repertoire and by commissioning new works from noted composers each year.
ZOFO’s debut album MIND MELD (DSL-92151), released by Sono Luminus in April, 2012, received a 2013 GRAMMY® Award nomination in the category of Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance. MOSH PIT (DSL-92167), ZOFO’s second release, put the duo’s considerable keyboard skills to the test in exciting, high energy, evocative dance-themed duets from an all American group of noted 20th century composers.
ZOFORBIT, ZOFO’s third album with Sono Luminus, takes the listener on an intragalactic voyage through the Milky Way, with musical visits to the planets of our solar system, to bright stars of the galaxy, and back again. Estonian composer Urmas Sisask sets the mood with the other-worldly sounds of his composition The Milky Way, featuring innovative inside and outside the piano techniques that evoke a sense of the cosmos. The journey continues with a tour of Gustav Holst’s The Planets, and visits to the stars Alpha Centauri and Beta Cygni as musically envisioned by George Crumb in his one-piano-four-hands masterpiece Celestial Mechanics (Makrokosmos IV). The space exploration concludes with David Lang’s Gravity, which metaphorically coaxes the listener back to earth in slow-moving patterns of descending notes.
All the Things You Are by Leon Fleisher
New Classical Tracks: A Record of Reminiscences
Leon Fleisher–“the pianistic find of the century,” said Pierre Monteux–was born in San Francisco in 1928 and accepted into the studio of master pianist Artur Schnabel at age nine. Seven years later Fleisher made his New York Philharmonic debut, and in 1952, won the Queen Elisabeth competition, leading to a series of legendary recordings made with conductor George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra. In 2014, Leon Fleisher, approaching his 86th birthday, completed the present recording, consisting largely of works for left hand, including one of the pianist’s specialities—Bach’s Chaconne, arranged for left hand by Brahms. The album also features works composed for Leon Fleisher by George Perle, Leon Kirchner, and Dina Koston as well as gorgeous renditions of favorites by George Gershwin and Jerome Kern. All the Things You Are is Leon Fleisher’s first solo album in nearly a decade, and is a testament to the enduring musicianship of a great artist.
The Silver Album by Anne-Sophie Mutter, Lambert Orkis
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New Classical Tracks: Expect the Unexpected
With this special 2-CD collection including world-premiere recordings of Previn and Penderecki and new recordings of Ravel and Massenet Anne-Sophie Mutter and Lambert Orkis mark 25 years of a level of artistic partnership that is rare, even in the highest echelons of concert performance
The celebrated violinist says: Meeting Lambert was a stroke of luck for me. It quickly became clear how perfectly we breathe and phrase together. With Lambert I can do anything.
It was in December 1988 that Anne-Sophie Mutter and Lambert Orkis gave their first joint recitals in America and immediately sensed that they shared a mutually sympathetic way of thinking about music which neither felt would ever change. For Anne-Sophie Mutter such an affinity is either there or it isn t. It s hard to put it into words (…) Ever since the two of them have explored the musical worlds of many different composers in a wonderful artistic partnership.
For Lambert Orkis, the question of how such a partnership between artists can survive for so long without even the faintest murmur of disagreement is very simple: We like one another, we like each other s playing and we like each other s company. This makes things a lot simpler, because we work very hard.
Of course, we talk to each other, but we say very little about interpretation. We talk about politics and religion or about her dogs and my cats and we never argue.
And about Anne-Sophie Mutter he says: Her playing is incredibly beautiful and well-informed, her taste absolutely sound, even in contemporary music. Anne-Sophie combines a very real delight in music with a spirit of adventure and an enormous passion for the matter in hand.
Schubert: String Quintet & Quartettsatz by Cypress String Quartet
New Classical Tracks: A Gift of Time
The Cypress String Quartet is a wonderful ensemble (Gramophone) whose extremely fine playing (Classical Reviewer) has lent itself to music of Dvorák and contemporary Americans on their recordings for AVIE. They now turn to core 19th-century fare, some of the greatest chamber music ever written: Schubert s single-movement Quartettsatz, and the composer s final chamber work, the enduring String Quintet, joined by eminent Canadian cellist Gary Hoffman. The Cypress elegant, clear signature sound lends itself perfectly to these two masterworks.
Dvorak and America by Kevin Deas, Benjamin Pasternack, Zhou Qian, Edmund Battersby, Michael Worfe
New Classical Tracks: Dvorak and America
The centerpiece of this programme is the first ever recording of the Hiawatha Melodrama, a concert work for narrator and orchestra designed to show the kinship between Dvorak’s New World Symphony and Longfellow’s poem The Song of Hiawatha, which Dvorak said had inspired him in the symphony. It takes music from the symphony, as well as passages from the American Suite and Violin Sonatina, and fuses them with the poem, which is recited by a bass-baritone. Also included is music by Arthur Farwell, who was influenced by Dvorak, and was a proponent of Native American music. This recording thus celebrates the crosscurrent of influences between the Czech composer and American music and culture.
Time For Three by Time For Three
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New Classical Tracks: Time for Three
The album showcases not only the trios melody-rich string weave but also its unique flair for collaboration. It was these compelling qualities that led Universal Music Classics to sign the trio as their first U.S. act to their newly branded label. Time For Three features tracks co-produced by Rob Moose from Bon Iver, Grammy-winning producer David Lai, critically acclaimed Steven Hackman and memorable pairings with pop singer-songwriter Joshua Radin, jazz saxophone icon Branford Marsalis, Decca s young cello star Alisa Weilerstein, ukulele ace Jake Shimabukuro, and folk-pop sister duo Lily & Madeleine.
Blanc by Angele Dubeau
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New Classical Tracks: Blanc by Angele Dubeau
Angele Dubeau’s new CD, ‘Blanc’, tells the violinist’s story of her fight against breast cancer. The music and the color it evokes contain messages of healing and hope.
Mendelssohn Adams Violin Concertos by Chad Hoopes
New Classical Tracks: Chad Hoopes
Chad Hoopes - Mendelssohn & Adams Violin Concertos (Naïve Records)
"I’ve always wanted to put Mendelssohn on my first album with orchestra because it’s a piece that I have played since I was so young," says violinist Chad Hoopes. "It was one I loved so much and one I felt I could contribute to the rich legacy that this piece already has to offer."
Violinist Chad Hoopes is 19 years old. He started playing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in E minor 10 years ago, and he’s just recorded it with Kristjan Jarvi and the Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra. Chad was born in Naples, Fla., and he grew up in Minnesota where he was inspired early on by the Minnesota Orchestra. After taking part in the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Young Artist Program, he now studies in Kronberg, Germany.
When it comes to making music, Chad’s primary goal is to develop his own unique character. That’s one reason he paired the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with one by John Adams. Adams wrote his concerto for Jorja Fleezanis, the former concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra, who premiered this work the year Chad was born. “I think people might expect seeing a Mendelssohn and a Tchaikovsky concerto or a Mendelssohn and a Bruch violin concerto on the same album, but I didn’t want to put out another one of those recordings,” Chad explains. “It’s great, but for me it was not so exciting and so I thought to myself maybe something American because I’m American and I felt that was important. And also one of the most important things was to play something from a living composer. To keep music alive and to keep the next generation involved with music, playing music from a living composer is important. So I listened to a few things and listened to the Adams and didn’t fall in love with it at first but thought, ‘You know, this is something that could be really cool.’
"I ordered the score and spent maybe a month looking at it and playing some things and I called my manager and said, ‘Oh, I don’t think it’s possible, I don’t have a strong connection with the piece, it’s incredibly difficult’; I didn’t have hope for it. And my manager said, ‘Well, you know what? You’ve taken the time already. Why don’t you spend one or two more months with the piece, see if anything changes and if not, you’ll have time [to find something else].’ And so I spent those next couple of months looking at this piece and working on it. And I have to say, those two months were critical because I fell in love with the piece and I had this connection with it and it worked." Read More