Press release: Baarn, The Netherlands, October 1st, 2016
The highlighted November albums include unique collaborations with outstanding artists. Sisters Mari Kodama and Momo Kodama release their first album together and they could not have chosen a more intriguing one to start with. As well, cellist Johannes Moser and pianist Andrei Korobeinikov combined their talents to give their best performance of some of the finest Russian cello repertoire. The South Dakota Chorale, along with Organist Christopher Jacobson, give voice to the historical Masses by Marcel Tyberg. Conductor Andres Orozco-Estrada brings another gem with a beautiful recording of Ein Heldenleben & Macbeth with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony.
PETER ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY: Ballet Suites Transcribed for Piano Duo / Nutcracker, Op. 71 / Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66 / Swan lake, Op. 20
Mari Kodama (Piano), Momo Kodama (Piano)
Together for the first time in the recording studio, the sisters Mari and Momo Kodama are on scintillating form in these lively arrangements of music from Tchaikovsky’s ballets Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and the Nutcracker. In another first, the release contains the first ever recording of Arensky’s transcription of the timeless Nutcracker together with notable arrangements by Debussy and Rachmaninov. Conceived on a grand scale, Tchaikovsky’s colourful, often passionate scores for the ballets Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and the Nutcracker abound with graceful melodies, arresting harmonies and exuberant orchestration. The music has proved enduringly popular with audiences and rates among Tchaikovsky’s most familiar and best-loved works. Composers such as Arensky, Debussy and Rachmaninov made arrangements of these works for piano – not mere reductions but wholesale realisations of the works, combining subtlety and insight with their own technical polish.
“Our challenge was to use just two pianos … to bring the same sense of scale, with just two pianos the atmosphere is more intimate, it brings a different quality to the music. And the composers who made the transcriptions brought their own personality to bear on the works. So we tried to reflect that in our playing.” (Mari and Momo Kodama)
The sisters Mari and Momo Kodama both pursue busy international careers. Momo specialises in French and Japanese composers and 20th century and contemporary composers; she has been widely praised for her ‘attractive, lyrical tone’ and ‘technical brilliance’. Mari has established an international reputation for profound musicality and articulate virtuosity; she has recorded extensively for PENATONE, including an acclaimed cycle of the complete Beethoven piano sonatas. This album will be released as 1 Super Audio -CD and in digital formats for streaming and high resolution downloads. (Article number: PTC 5186579)
SERGEY RACHMANINOV & SERGEY PROKOFIEV: Works for Cello and Piano
Johannes Moser (Cello), Andrei Korobeinikov (Piano)
The achingly beautiful, haunting lyricism of early Rachmaninov and the soaring effusiveness of late Prokofiev are glowingly brought to life by the German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser and the Russian pianist Andrei Korobeinikov in this new PENTATONE release of richly expressive 20th century cello sonatas and other works. Composed during troubled periods in the composers’ lives, the cello sonatas are life-affirming works. Rachmaninov’s arresting sonata which he wrote following a nervous breakdown is not unlike his perennially popular Second Piano Concerto: a journey from brooding melancholy to untrammelled joy, with a transcendentally beautiful slow movement. Prokofiev wrote his outstanding sonata while labouring under considerable hardship. It is by turns restrained and movingly lyrical, but the hair-raising final movement with its bravura passagework ends the work in a blaze of defiance.
About this recording, Moser said “When we were talking about repertoire with PENTATONE, I thought about doing a really core repertoire Russian disc with this amazing Russian pianist [Andrei Korobeinikov]…He is a true master and true champion of this music and I feel very honoured to have him as a partner on this disc.”
Described by Gramophone as “one of the finest among the astonishing gallery of young virtuoso cellists” and by the LA Times as a musician who “…connects with the audience in a way that only great artists do”, this is Johannes Moser’s second outing for PENTATONE. His first album of concertos by Dvořák and Lalo was widely praised for his “performance of enormous flair and effervescence” (BBC Music Magazine) and “his dazzling virtuosity, free, passionate phrasing and immense energy … that recalls Pablo Casals’ iconic 1937 recording” (Strings). And he electrified audiences at this year’s BBC Proms in a performance of Dutilleux’s ‘Tout un monde lointain …’
Johannes Moser plays on a cello by Andrea Guarneri, made in 1694, from a private collection. This album will be released as 1 Super Audio -CD and in digital formats for streaming and high resolution downloads. (Article number: PTC 5186594)
MARCEL TYBERG: Masses
South Dakota Chorale (Choir), Brian A. Schmidt (Conductor), Christopher Jacobson (Organ)
Marcel Tyberg was an accomplished Viennese composer, conductor and pianist. Unfortunately, due to the conditions of World War II, Tyberg, only 1/16th Jewish, was sent to his death and his musical career was prematurely extinguished.
When Marcel Tyberg was murdered at Auschwitz, his music was lost with him. Until now. Anticipating the Nazi movement in his region in 1943, Marcel gathered his friends in secret to share his music one last time. One friend recalled, “There was a childlike joy and tenderness in him that is only seen in great souls shortly before their return home. The tears ran down my cheeks. We all had the feeling that he will not be with us much longer.” That night Marcel entrusted his compositions to a friend — including the two Masses, his only sacred manuscripts that exist today. Only a few days later, Marcel was captured in a night raid by the Nazi Gestapo and was later counted among the millions murdered at Auschwitz. His music was kept by friends and eventually ended up in Buffalo, NY where the Buffalo Philharmonic began uncovering his symphonies in 2008.
Tyberg’s Masses reverberate the joy of a devout man and brilliant musician. Their late-Romantic structure and harmonic composition resemble other masters like Mahler and Bruckner, and their symphonic breadth encompass a vast range of human emotion. From the intimate iterations of “Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus” (Holy, holy, holy) in both Mass settings, to the roaring organ solo in the “Sanctus” of the Messe di fascile in F major, to the painfully beautiful soprano solo in the “Agnus Dei” of the Mass in G major. This album will be released as 1 Super Audio -CD and in digital formats for streaming and high resolution downloads. (Article number: PTC 5186584)
RICHARD STRAUSS: Ein Heldenleben & Macbeth
Frankfurt Radio Symphony (Orchestra), Andrés Orozco-Estrada (Conductor)
The celebrated young Colombian maestro Andrés Orozco-Estrada continues his critically acclaimed series of recordings for PENTATONE with this release of the evocative tone poems Macbeth and Ein Heldenleben by Richard Strauss, performed here with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony.
These gripping works, with their intricate scoring and compelling narratives, are orchestral tours de force, demonstrating Strauss’s gift for filling a huge orchestral canvas with vivid and exquisite details while maintaining a sense of drama.And they are stunningly brought to life in this recording with PENTATONE’s state of the art multi-channel surround sound. Strauss’s brooding tone poem Macbeth is a psychological portrait of the main protagonists in the play, the insecure and vacillating Macbeth and his wife, the ambitious but deranged Lady Macbeth. Strauss’s often highly charged score suggests the mounting horror and dread of the ill-fated couple and their domestic unease, the work ending on a sombre note following their deaths and the triumphal march of Macduff. In Strauss’s striking and florid masterpiece Ein Heldenleben, there’s little doubt who the real hero is but Strauss himself. While he was roundly mocked at the time for his audacity, there’s also little doubt that this bold and dramatic tone poem is no mere cornucopia of orchestral effects; it’s a life-affirming work which ends not in a triumphal blaze, but in a mood of quiet resignation.
Andrés Orozco-Estrada is one of the most sought-after conductors of his generation. Music Director of the Houston Symphony and Chief Conductor of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, he is also Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He has been widely applauded for his style and command, Triblive writing that “He is energetic and passionate, but also possesses genuine lyrical sensibilities and is exceptionally attuned to full orchestral textures.”
This is Orozco-Estrada’s second recording for PENTATONE with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony. His first recording, the Stravinsky ballets The Firebird and The Rite of Spring, was praised by Gramophone for his ability to “unearth an astonishing amount of detail at relatively spacious tempi” and for “PENTATONE’s awesomely precise recording”. This album will be released as 1 Super Audio -CD and in digital formats for streaming and high resolution downloads. (Article number: PTC 5186582)