IN FEBRUARY 2016 PENTATONE, the classical music label specialising in high-end surround sound recordings, will present four albums with repertoire ranging from very well-known to very intriguing.
Igor Stravinsky – The Rite of Spring & The Firebird (Suite 1919)
Andrés Orozco-Estrada – Frankfurt Radio Symphony
This album combines Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) and the 1919 L’Oiseau de Feu, (The Firebird Suite). The Frankfurt Radio Symphony is under the direction of its Chief Conductor, Andrés Orozco-Estrada. Born in Colombia and trained in Vienna, he is one of the most sought-after conductors of his generation, currently holding not only the position of Chief Conductor in Frankfurt, but also the position of Music Director of the Houston Symphony and Principal Guest Conductor with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
After impresario Serge Diaghilev heard Stravinsky’s Feu d’Artifice in St. Petersburg, he immediately recognised the potential of the music for ballet purposes and commissioned Stravinsky to write L’Oiseau de Feu. Its premiere in 1910 at the Paris Opera was an enormous success and marked the beginning of the spectacular collaboration between Stravinsky and Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, which brought forth Le Sacre du Printemps.
This album is released on SACD and in digital formats for streaming and high resolution downloads (96 kHz, 24 bit PCM recording) [PTC 5186556].
Vivaldi – 6 Bassoon Concertos
Gustavo Núñez – Academy of St Martin in the Fields
This album offers a selection of six of Vivaldi’s bassoon concertos, performed by Uruguayan bassoonist Gustavo Núñez, principal bassoonist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and considered one of the best bassoonists of his generation. He is accompanied by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.
It would be no exaggeration to name Antonio Vivaldi as the “pioneer of the bassoon concerto”. Not only did he write what is thought to be the first-ever solo concerto for bassoon, but during his lifetime he also created the largest group of works ever written for the instrument until then: 39 solo concertos, all of excellent quality. It is most likely an indication of Vivaldi’s fondness of the bassoon. Unfortunately there are no historical sources to determine for whom Vivaldi wrote these concertos, but given their technical demands and the quality of the musical writing, one can assume they were written for an accomplished virtuoso. Perhaps they were composed for one of the members of the orchestra of the Ospedale della Pietà, a home for abandoned and orphaned children in Venice, where Vivaldi was violin teacher and music director for more than 30 years.
This album is released on SACD and in digital formats for streaming and high resolution downloads (1 bit DSD, 2,8 mHz recording) [PTC 5186539].
Dvořák – Overtures
Jakub Hrůša – PKF – Prague Philharmonia
We probably all know Antonín Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances, his Symphonies or his chamber music, such as the Dumky Trio or the American string quartet. This album however, reveals some of the more hidden treasures of his repertoire, namely five of his overtures, of which he wrote no less than thirteen. For their orchestral colour but also their rich expression of poetic content, as well as their purely musical invention and structural mastery, these overtures constitute gems of special brilliance in the treasury of Dvořák’s compositional bequest.
The PKF – Prague Philharmonia recorded this album in January 2015 at the Forum Karlin in Prague under the baton of their 2009-2015 Music Director and Chief Conductor Jakub Hrůša.
This album is released on SACD and in digital formats for streaming and high resolution downloads (1 bit DSD, 2,8 mHz recording) [PTC 5186532].
Shuffle. Play. Listen. [PENTATONE OXINGALE SERIES]
Matt Haimovitz – Christopher O’Riley
This album will be the fourth issue of the PENTATONE OXINGALE series: an out-of-the-box double release with works for cello and piano, performed by cellist Matt Haimovitz and pianist Christopher O’Riley, including a booklet containing an interview by way of liner notes. While the first album features classical music, the second one contains pop music, arranged for cello and piano by Christopher O’Riley.
As Matt Haimovitz says: “When we’re in concert we go between Stravinsky and Radiohead, and then John McLaughlin and then some Bach and Ravel. But for us it’s part of the same trajectory, and it fits seamlessly and naturally in a program. For me, a classical listener will be interested in Radiohead or any of the tunes we’re playing on the pop side. I think what we’re doing has a sincerity to it. We’re getting to the spirit of it. We’re translating it in a very different way than the original, and I think they would appreciate that there are some complex things going on contrapuntally, harmonically and lyrically. There’s a richness there.”
This album is released on 2 SACDs and in digital formats for streaming and high resolution downloads (96 kHz, 24 bit PCM recording) [PTC 5186546].