Fine works by any standards, the two string quintets on this disc become even more significant in light of the marginal role accorded to chamber music in the flowering of Russian music during the second half of the 19th century. The common goal of many composers of the period was the creation of a national musical idiom based on Russian folk song, and to them chamber music seemed far too abstract as well as too closely associated with German traditions. There were of course exceptions, and Alexander Glazunov is an obvious example: never a dogmatic nationalist he was himself a competent amateur cellist who learned his craft by playing chamber music, and composed a number of chamber works: in his worklist the Quintet in A major appears between the third and the fourth of his seven string quartets.
The unifying idea of the concerto provides a way to get a handle on György Ligeti's experimental spirit, for a concerto here represents several fundamentally different things. The Cello Concerto of 1966, right at the height of Ligeti's exuberantly fearless adventures in 1960s Germany, might almost be called an anti-concerto, with the cello doing its best to hang on the edge of silence. Sample the very first movement, both for the precision of cellist Christian Poltéra's work at the low end of the dynamic spectrum and for the ideally clean engineering work by the BIS label, operating in a variety of Norwegian venues and mastering them, well, masterfully. The Chamber Concerto for 13 Instruments and the Melodien are essentially concertos for orchestra, with distinctive roles for each of the instruments, while the five-movement Piano Concerto, completed in 1988, is a fine and technically demanding example of Ligeti's later pulse-based, polyrhythmic style. Throughout, Norway's BIT20 Ensemble, a group of flexible size, delivers superb Ligeti performances, with the requisite laser-like focus on individual details but not losing a certain liveliness and humor that underlie it all. A superior Ligeti album.
On this disc, Christian Poltéra and Kathryn Stott chart the gradual development in Dvořák’s composition for cello. The disc includes chamber works that Dvořák composed originally for cello and piano or arranged for the combination including Polonaise in A major, the Rondo in G minor and Silent Woods which was originally a piano duet.
The Swiss cellist Christian Poltéra here performs works by Frank Martin, Arthur Honegger and Othmar Schoeck. This follows a series of discs from Poltéra that were dedicated to these three composers. His disc of Frank Martin’s music (BISCD1637) was a Gramophone Editor’s Choice.
Believed to have been composed between August 1775 and January 1777, the Concerto In E Flat Major for two pianos technically counts as being the tenth of Mozart's twenty-seven concertos, that huge and prodigious body that would set the standards for all piano concertos from Mozart's time forward. Although it is not performed with the same frequency as his later works (especially the final eight concertos, 20-27), this "Double" piano concerto, believed to have been composed by Mozart for performance by him and his sister Maria Anna ("Nannerl"), is nevertheless a fascinating experiment of Mozart's, one that requires a pair of solid keyboard virtuosos to do (and for the composer's Seventh piano concerto, you needed three soloists). Fortunately on this 1984 Teldec recording, we have the required two keyboard virtuosos, both of whom come from very divergent musical backgrounds. Austrian-born pianist Friedrich Gulda came from a classical music background and began exploring jazz later on in his life; while Chick Corea is one of the best-known pianists in American jazz music, and, like fellow jazz musicians Wynton Marsalis and Herbie Hancock, developed a great feel for classical music.
Frank Peter Zimmermann (* 27. Februar 1965 in Duisburg) ist ein deutscher Violinist. Regelmäßige Kammermusikpartner sind die Pianisten Enrico Pace und Christian Zacharias, sowie der Cellist Heinrich Schiff. Seine Aufnahme des Doppelkonzertes von Brahms mit Heinrich Schiff erhielt den Deutschen Schallplattenpreis…
The sixth disc in this highly acclaimed series combine two works in which Mozart's powers as an orchestrator come to the fore. Concerto No. 18 in B flat major, K 456, is sometimes referred to as one of the composers military concertos on the basis of the march-like main theme of the first movement. But more striking is the variety of ways that Mozart employs the various groups of instruments: strings, wind instruments and, of course, the piano. This aspect certainly didn't pass unnoticed by a listener as initiated as Mozart's father Leopold: in a letter to his daughter Nannerl he described how his enjoyment of the orchestral interplay had brought tears to his eyes.