Alexander Melnikov, Isabelle Faust and Jean-Guihen Queyras present Beethoven Piano Trios
An All-Star Piano Trio
By giving the stringed instruments the status of genuinely equal partners with the piano, it was Beethoven who gave the piano trio the form it was to retain throughout the 19th century. This album presents the composer's last two works in the genre, Op.70 No.2 dedicated to Countess Marie Erdödy, and the celebrated 'Archduke' trio, which marked the final public appearance of its composer. All three eminent Beethovenians, violinist Isabelle Faust, Cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras and pianist Alexander Melnikov join forces here in performances that set a new standard.
At the 2010 Gramophone Awards, violinist Isabelle Faust and pianist Alexander Melnikov were praised for "a searching and very poetic collection of Beethoven's sonatas" upon winning the chamber music category. The Guardian wrote, "[they] are ideal partners, wrestling with the musical dialogue with poise, imagination and freshness."
2014 ALEXANDER MELNIKOV IN CONCERT
Poulenc’s Stabat Mater, which the composer described as, "a requiem without despair," was written in 1950 following the death of Christian Bérard, a leading figure of 1940s Paris who designed the sets for Cocteau’s films and plays. This masterly work, dedicated to the Virgin of Rocamadour, gives pride of place to the chorus and clearly shows its line of descent from the French motets of the age of Louis XIV. It is paired with the Sept Répons de Ténèbres, Poulenc's last choral work. Although sacred in nature, it was written for a non-religious celebration, the opening of New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. This recording's superb cast features soprano Carolyn Sampson and the Estonian Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra led by Daniel Reuss.view
Bavarian Radio Symphony
Named 2014 Conductor of the Year by Musical America, Pablo Heras-Casado has made his name exploring repertoire that is outside of the mainstream. For his second recording on the harmonia mundi label, Heras-Casado conducts Mendelssohn's Symphony No.2, nicknamed Lobgesang (Hymn of Praise). Commissioned to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the invention of the printing press, the work is a massive symphony-cantata for soloists, chorus and orchestra. Although clearly inspired by Beethoven's ninth, the comparison did the work no favors with critics of the time and eventually it fell into an unjust obscurity. The symphony consists of a three-movement instrumental 'overture' followed by ten movements for orchestra, soloists and choir set to texts from the Lutheran bible. Joined by sopranos Christiane Karg and Christina Landshamer and tenor Michael Schade, Heras-Casado leads the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir in a powerful performance of this sweeping vocal and choral epic.view
Hailed by the Philadelphia Inquirer as, "The most intellectually and vocally gifted male art-song interpreter of his generation,” baritone Matthias Goerne presents the eighth volume in his ongoing Matthias Goerne Schubert Edition for harmonia mundi. The featured work is Schubert's setting of Goethe's two-part poem Wanderers Nachtlied. A celebrated Schubert interpreter, Goerne is renowned worldwide for his complete commitment to the composer and text. On this new 2-CD set he is joined by two exceptional collaborators, pianists Helmut Deutsch and Eric Schneider.view