C 987 199conductor of both the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, was discovered by Orfeo as someone to be promoted on album. Orfeo had engaged him to conduct the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in recordings of Shostakovich’s two violin concertos with soloist Arabella Steinbacher. It quickly became apparent that, in him, they had one of the great conductors of his generation in the making, a development that took place at breathtaking speed. Following his appointment as principal conductor and music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Orfeo persuaded him to take on a number of ambitious recording projects: Tchaikovsky’s complete symphonies (the first three were recorded but not released following Nelsons’ departure to Boston); symphonic poems and other orchestral works by Richard Strauss; and works by Stravinsky and Shostakovich. In so doing, Orfeo was able to faithfully record the legacy of his time at Birmingham, which proved the first major international step in Andris Nelsons’ career.
ORFEO 1 CD C 985 191
Daniel-François-Esprit Auber (1782-1871) was long considered as one of the most typically French and most successful opera composers of the 19th century.
C 985 191His overtures were once favourites of the light Classical repertoire.
This opéra français, first performed on 3 May 1825, relates to the venerable tradition of the rescue opera, topical since the French Revolution. Both book and score were equally successful. The opera represents a decisive development in Aubers style, a turning away from imitation of Rossini to Boieldieu’s simplicity and thereby to a specifically French tradition. It was the first of Auber’s mature opéra-comiques, an international success, characterized by an Italianate sparkle with French grace and lyricism.
The work remained in the repertoire from 1825 to 1896 and was performed 525 times. By the 1850s it had been translated into German, Danish, Swedish, Polish, Czech and Hungarian. On German stages this opera remained one of Auber’s most popular works, given as late as 1950 in Vienna.
ORFEO 1 CD C 984 191
After J. S. Bach’s solo cello suites in the early 18th century, the genre experienced a fallow period until Zoltán Kodály set the pace with a monumental sonata for solo cello in 1915.
C 984 191It inspired a variety of similar works, but Kodály’s 30-minute sonata still stands “like Mount Everest”, to quote Daniel Müller-Schott, the soloist on this recording. His programme also includes music by Prokofiev, Hindemith, Henze, Crumb and Casals, and features a work of his own for the first time: Cadenza continues the tradition of compositions that other cellists have always added to their recital programmes. “Here, you can recognise influences of the solo works that have influenced me over the years. In Cadenza, the contrasting elements of the world of my instrument appear in the closest space – the cello in pure lyricism, just as sequences catapulting themselves into the highest registers in rhythmical savagery and immediately concluding the movement after a final culmination.” (Daniel Müller-Schott)
ORFEO 1 CD C 934 191
‘From the very beginning,
C 934 191I had enormous respect for Die Winterreise, because it demands everything from the narrator. Whenever I open a page where I have set the notes aside to gain a fresh view, I have new questions. And sometimes I don’t find an answer to everything. This ‘process’ never stops.’ – Pavol Breslik
With his 3rd Lieder album for Orfeo, Pavol Breslik sets foot on the Mount Olympus of German song with Schubert’s Winterreise. His recording of Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin (C737151) was internationally acclaimed, telling us that he has further depth of thought about the masterwork on this recording:
‘We artists are always strongly influenced by the work we are just doing. We put our entire soul into it and do our very utmost to present it to the listener. Only whoever has really felt suffering, can sing about suffering. Here, it is a question of authenticity.’
ORFEO 1 CD C 983 191
‘Sharon Kam is a clarinetist with an exceptionally wide expressive range.’ – Edward Greenfield
Sharon Kam is one of the world’s leading clarinetists. For her debut album on Orfeo (and performing for the first time in this trio line-up),
C 983 191she delivers a dramatic, sharply contrasting programme that is presented chronologically. Performing with her brother Ori Kam (viola) and the pianist Matan Porat, the programme begins and ends with music by Mozart and Bartók, the latter's Contrasts producing possibly the most original and captivating contribution to the repertoire for this combination of instruments. In between are works by Schumann and Brahms that contain multi-layered biographical references and are closely related in their romantic spirit.
ORFEO 1 CD C 950 191
For her eighth album on Orfeo, Baiba Skride presents a programme of works by the Hungarian composer Béla Bartók. In addition to his own instrument,
C 950 191the piano, the violin remained the most important instrument for Bartók throughout his life. This is probably due to the fact that, with its subtle versatility and traditional associations, the violin was eminently suited to his folk music transcriptions and adaptations. This new recording demonstrates Baiba Skride’s facility in conveying this special Hungarian atmosphere. She's supported by the WDR Sinfonieorchester under Norwegian conductor Eivind Aadland.
ORFEO 1 CD C 968 191
C 968 191long and exceptionally fruitful creative life, Richard Strauss (1864–1949) composed only a few works for the cello. Only three have survived and small as that number may seem, those cello works are critical to the composer’s development. Daniel Müller-Schott sees the early Sonata for cello and piano op. 6 and the late tone poem “Don Quixote” op. 35 as marking the path that was to lead Strauss within the space of a few years from Romanticism to the Modern era in music. The cellist highlights this watershed in Strauss’s artistic development with his own transcriptions, expressly made for this CD, of the Lieder “Zueignung” op. 10/1 and “Ich trage meine Minne” op. 32/1.
ORFEO 2 CD MP1901
In the 1830s, Louis Spohr
MP1901was commonly considered undisputedly the greatest living composer. He was inspired to write his four clarinet concertos, which have always ranked among Spohr’s most popular works, by his acquaintance with the Thuringian clarinetist Johann Simon Hermstedt. Up to today, the decidedly virtuoso clarinet concertos have been a challenge for any clarinet soloist, as they mirror Spohr’s view of the form of the solo concerto as a projection surface to flaunt technical skill in an ideal symbiosis with the poetic and lyrical contents of the music.
ORFEO 22 CD C980120
The opera house on the Ring opened on 25 May 1869 with a festive performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
C980120It was an event that not only generated great excitement in Vienna, but also attracted considerable attention beyond the borders of the Hapsburg empire. Since then the opera house has remained in the public spotlight. For 150 years it has been an internationally important institution, and the affairs of Wiener Staatsoper are always also matters of public interest to an extent found in no other city in the world.
With this anniversary CD box set, school and online projects, streaming and the inclusion of the federal provinces, the opera house on the Ring is setting new boundaries; two exhibitions (at the opera house on the Ring and at the Theatre Museum) and a number of publications will focus on the history and current artistic events in the Vienna opera scene; and on the anniversary itself, the artists and the opera house itself will be honoured.
ORFEO 1 CD C 982 191
If the legend of the ‘sermon to the birds’
C 982 191constitutes a magnificent example of narrative art on the piano, for this way of expressing extra-musical ideas solely with notes the three series of Années de Pèlerinage would seem to be a salient cycle in Liszt’s oeuvre. These ‘years of pilgrimage’ contain a total of 26 character pieces, forming a kind of musical diary for Liszt’s years of travelling. After the very successful release of Volume 1 (C944182) the young and talented italian pianist Francesco Piemontesi takes care of the second part, “Italy”. Again, an impressive movie accompanies the pianist on his trip throug Italy, on the traces of Franz Liszt. This DVD shows not only the beauty of the landscape but also interesting statements of Francesco Piemontesi about his actual recording.
ORFEO 2 CD MP1902
Hardly any other singer was more
MP1902 associated with and devoted to the nigh 300 songs by the Austrian composer Hugo Wolf than Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Utterly convinced by the richness of Wolf’s oeuvre, Fischer-Dieskau took Wolf’s previously hardly heeded songs to many stages throughout the world. Reger was frowned upon as an ‘awkward traditionalist’ and ‘piece worker’, but Reger’s songs show a completely different, moving and profound side of the composer, who takes a significant position in the song composition of the turn of the century. Even Fischer-Dieskau did not devote himself to Reger exactly frequently, unlike his downright encyclopaedic approach in other fields. In his recording of a number of particularly fine gems among Reger’s orchestral songs, he was supported by Gerd Albrecht. The outcome is an artistic symbiosis of the highest quality, testifying to a passion and ardency that can be found seldom: a veritable sound document!
ORFEO 15 CD C 981 115
From 1961–79, Kubelík was principal conductor of the
C 981 115 Symphony Orchestra of Bavarian Radio in Munich. He had found there his new musical home. He led the BR Symphony Orchestra to new heights, developing a unique sound and performance culture in a perfect diversity of repertoire from Baroque music up to free tonal Expressionism and to Karl Amadeus Hartmann and Benjamin Britten. As a musician, his prime directive was lyrical phrasing as well as clear and conscious articulation of the harmonic tensions and the vitality of the rhythmical and metric flow. He always had all these elements in mind, seeking to balance them. And Kubelík loved the gorgeous, lush sound, but never at the price of diaphanousness.
This CD Edition gives us a detailed overview about his legendary interpretations and is also a time document of his long time working period in the city of Munich.
Chormusik & Oratorien
Edition zeitgenössisches Lied
Symphonie & Konzert