Johannes Brahms – The Piano Concertos – Stephen Hough, Mark Wigglesworth, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg (2013) [hyperion 24-96]

Johannes Brahms – The Piano Concertos – Stephen Hough, Mark Wigglesworth, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:37:53 minutes |  1,59 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  | Source: hyperion-records | Artwork: Front cover | © Hyperion Records
Recorded: January 2013 at Salzburger Festspielhaus, Austria

This attractively priced double set is one of Stephen Hough’s most important recordings. ‘Britain’s greatest living pianist’ (The Mail on Sunday) is joined by the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg and international conductor Mark Wigglesworth in their Hyperion debut for Brahms’s Piano Concertos. These works are among the greatest in the genre, and shore up Brahms’s reputation as both a symphonist and a piano composer. Separated by twenty-two years and widely differing in their reception (the first was scorned and the second a huge success), they are monumental in scale, impassioned and truly romantic, forward-looking in form and requiring both great virtuosity and intimacy from the pianist. Stephen Hough has performed them in concert for many years to ecstatic acclaim: this new recording is surely one of his most desirable offerings.

‘I ended up delighted by and in complete admiration of Hough’s boldness. He has become a warmer player of increased range in Brahms, and unafraid to take risks … the concertos call for a brilliant, interesting and capricious personality who will make them compelling as discourse. I cannot believe Brahms would have expected anything else’ –Gramophone

‘Stephen Hough has proved himself a superb Brahms player in various discs of the solo piano music, and this very satisfying double album of the two Concertos confirms and augments his reputation. Clearly working in absolute rapport with Mark Wigglesworth … Hough brings an unusually wide range of keyboard colour to bear on Brahms’s piano writing. Added to that his complete understanding of the broadest trajectory and subtlest nuances of these works is reflected in his subtle flexibility of tempo and dynamics to underline expressive points that in some other performances go for nothing … this admirable set richly deserves its five stars’ –BBC Music Magazine

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Johannes Brahms – Symphony No. 2, Tragic Overture, Academic Festival Overture – Budapest Festival Orchestra, Ivan Fischer (2014) [Qobuz 24-192]

Johannes Brahms – Symphony No. 2, Tragic Overture, Academic Festival Overture – Budapest Festival Orchestra, Ivan Fischer (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 01:08:20 minutes |  2,02 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  | Source: Qobuz | Artwork: Front cover | © Channel Classics Records B.V.
Recorded: Palace of Arts, Budapest, February 2012

A remarkable, transparent purity can be heard in Brahms’s Second symphony. It is a sharp contrast to the huge arsenal of ideas collected in the First Symphony, which Brahms had worked on for many years. Here in his Second he shows us his masterful skill in developing large-scale architecture from the simplest motifs. To give the first of these to the horns is a logical choice; Brahms always used natural horns and resisted the more modern instruments. Horns can ideally explore the purest of all musical ideas: the journey through the overtones.
Similar purity is present in all the themes. When at the start the basses step down a semitone and step back again, nobody could guess what a rich new world would develop from this cell. The last movement is also built on a simple tool: repeated, equal notes follow each other in regimental order (a classical tradition often heard in final movements by Haydn or Mozart). Is this Brahms’s most nature-related symphony? Considering the complicated organisms that develop from the simplest cells, yes, it is. Brahms certainly has the divine, creative talent to show us how this process can work in music. –Iván Fischer

“indeed Fischer and his players seem content to let the untroubled optimism of the symphony shine through…The six-minute scherzo, often likened with some justification to Schubert, is a particular delight…Fischer’s brass are, once again, on top-notch form here – neither too timid nor too ostentatiously forceful.” –Presto Classical

“Who needs another Brahms Second Symphony? Well, after Iván Fischer’s exhilarating Brahms No 1, we can all benefit from the intense freshness and lyricism that his Budapest forces bring to this music, along with their roots in eastern Europe…Fischer is superb at clarifying the textures.” –The Observer

“it is even more integrated in thematic structure than the First, and it is that balance between detailed focus and spontaneity that Ivan Fischer and his Budapest Festival Orchestra strike so convincingly here. Fischer’s moderate speeds ensure that his subtle tempo modifications always sound natural.” –BBC Music Magazin

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Johannes Brahms – Serenades – Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Riccardo Chailly (2015) [PrestoClassical 24-96]

Johannes Brahms – Serenades – Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Riccardo Chailly (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 1:05:13 minutes |  1,11 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  | Source: prestoclassical.co.uk | Artwork: Front cover , Booklet | © Decca
Recorded: Gewandhaus zu Leipzig, 22–24, 29 & 30 May 2014

Following the ‘Gramophone Record of the Year’ award-winning set of the Brahms Symphonies, Riccardo Chailly turns his “rare talent for transforming music ripe for rediscovery” to Brahms’s Serenades. This exquisite recording renews these unjustly neglected and rarely performed works in performances of “trademark clarity” (Gramophone Record of the Year 2014) and marks the first Decca recording of these works since Kertesz in 1968.
Forming part of the wider Brahms project undertaken by Chailly and his Leipzig orchestra, this release restores an importance to these works which they rarely receive. In Chailly’s hands they emerge not just as precursors of the symphonies but powerful and individual works in their own right.

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Busoni & Strauss – Violin Concertos – Tanja Becker-Bender, BBC Scottish Symphony, Garry Walker (2014) [hyperion 24-96]

Busoni & Strauss – Violin Concertos – Tanja Becker-Bender, BBC Scottish Symphony, Garry Walker (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:03:02 minutes |  1,08 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  | Source: hyperion-records | Artwork: Front cover | © Hyperion Records
Recorded: June 2013 at City Halls, Candleriggs, Glasgow, Scotland

German violinist Tanja Becker-Bender returns to the Romantic Violin Concerto series having dazzled the critics with her ‘great lyrical force and tremendous sense of drama’ in her recording of the Reger concerto. Here she appears with Hyperion house band the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Garry Walker, in Volume 16: concertos by Busoni and Strauss, each composer’s only example of the genre.
In D major, the key of Beethoven’s and Brahms’s violin concertos, Busoni’s Violin Concerto is clearly intended to continue their lineage—significantly, Busoni wrote cadenzas for both of them—although it never descends into mere imitation. Although it uses quite a large orchestra, it is transparently scored, with plenty of Italianate cantilena for the soloist. Also included is Busoni’s transcription of the Benedictus from Beethoven’s Missa solemnis, which brings the solo violin to the fore, with instrumental obbligati representing the vocal contributions.
The seventeen-year-old Strauss wrote his Violin Concerto in 1881–2, during his final year at the Ludwigsgymnasium. The work was dedicated to Strauss’s violin teacher Benno Walter (1847–1901), concertmaster of the Bavarian Court Orchestra. The work is fairly unknown on the concert platform; as Tully Potter writes in his booklet notes, Tanja Becker-Bender’s interpretation should win it new friends.

Busoni’s Violin Concerto (1896-97), despite the success of the Second Sonata that shortly followed it, has never enjoyed much popularity, either in the concert hall or on disc. While it is an early work, not wholly representative of the mature composer, it is beautifully crafted, full of lyricism and appealing melodies. True, the ideas perhaps lack the distinctive memorability of those in the Second Sonata or the great Piano Concerto of a few years later (as well as the latter’s heavenly length) but the Violin Concerto is nevertheless a work that leaves one the better for having heard it, especially in such a splendidly rendered performance as this from Tanja Becker-Bender, superbly accompanied by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under the excellent Garry Walker.
Frank Peter Zimmermann set the bar for modern recordings in his Editor’s Choice Sony disc but Becker-Bender’s is its equal. She plays with a sweet tone, sureness of intonation and complete understanding of Busoni’s music, and I would be hard-put to choose one over the other as first choice. Couplings will be the deciding factor: those wanting an all-Busoni programme can safely rest with Zimmermann, who chose the Second Sonata; those who like their concertos and chamber music separate may prefer Becker-Bender, especially as she includes the premiere recording of the Beethoven-Busoni Benedictus from the Missa solemnis.
Becker-Bender’s main coupling is the even earlier, youthful D minor Concerto (1881-2) by this year’s sesquicentennialist, Richard Strauss. She plays it for all its worth though cannot disguise the longueurs of the opening, overlong ‘Allegro’ (though she does make it palatable). Her accounts of the ‘Lento ma non troppo’ and concluding ‘Prestissimo’ are winning. An excellent disc. –Guy Rickards, Gramophone

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Billie Holiday – Body And Soul (1957/2011) [Acoustic Sounds DSF Mono DSD64/2.82MHz]

Billie Holiday – Body And Soul (1957/2011)
DSF 2.0 Mono DSD64/2.82MHz | Time – 00:37:13 minutes |  1,6 GB | Genre: Jazz , Blues
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  | Source: Acoustic Sounds | Artwork: Front cover | © Verve Records
Recorded in Los Angeles #1, 3 January 7, 1957; #2, 4, 5 to 7 January 9, 1957; #8 January 3, 1957.

Mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound from the original analog master tapes to vinyl and PCM. The DSD was sourced from the PCM. George listened to all of the different A/D converters he had before he chose which to use, and he felt the George Massenburg GML 20 bit A/D produced the best and most synergistic sound for the project.

Small jazz groups brought out the best in Billie Holiday – especially groups as good as the one heard on this classic 1957 recording. Ben Webster, Harry “Sweets” Edison and the other members of this stellar ensemble were not just gifted soloists but sensitive accompanists as well. Lady Day was rarely more ably supported than she was on this program of sturdy standards, including three gems by the Gershwin brothers -and she rarely sounded more luminous.

This session comes from close to the end of the line (1959) in the erstwhile swinging company of Barney Kessel on guitar, Ben Webster on tenor, and naysayers will be quick to point out that Lady Day wasn’t in peak form here. But Billie Holiday with some of the platinum chipped off the pipes is still way better than a buncha finger-snappin’ wannabes anyday. Her interpretations of the title cut, “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” and “Darn That Dream” hold you in the palm of her hand with their gentle swing and the band support here is never less than stellar. This Mobile Fidelity reissue (also available as an audiophile vinyl pressing) features in-the-control-room sound that makes this session sound even cozier. The Lady sings and swings. –Cub Koda

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Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Mosaic (1961/2015) [Qobuz 24-192]

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Mosaic (1961/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 00:40:06 minutes |  1,61 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  | Source: Qobuz | Artwork: Front cover | © Blue Note Records
Recorded: October 2, 1961 at at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

Mosaic is a 1961 jazz album released by Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers on Blue Note Records. It was the first album recorded by one of the most critically acclaimed Jazz Messengers lineups: Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone), Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Curtis Fuller (trombone), Cedar Walton (piano), Jymie Merritt (bass) and Art Blakey (drums). They recorded and performed together from 1961 into 1964. Hubbard, Walton and Workman became permanent members of the group following the 1961 departures of trumpeter Lee Morgan, pianist Bobby Timmons and bassist Jymie Merritt, though Merritt and others would appear infrequently on subsequent recordings.

This is the one that started it: Mosaic, recorded in 1961, was the first recording of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers as a sextet, a setting he kept from 1961-1964. The band’s front line was trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, trombonist Curtis Fuller, and tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter; Cedar Walton played piano and Jymie Merritt (a criminally underappreciated talent) was the bassist. Everything on this set was written by the musicians in the band. Walton wrote the burning title track; its blazing tempo and Eastern modes were uncharacteristic of the Jazz Messengers sound, but it swings like mad. Hubbard contributed two pieces to the album, the first of which is the groover “Down Under,” with its blues gospel feel. The bandmembers dig their teeth into this one, carrying the blues theme to the breaking point as Hubbard fills in between. But the horn charts are so sharp, so utterly devoid of excess, that they won’t let the listener go. Shorter’s “Children of the Night” is a fine example of the tunes he would compose for the Miles Davis Quintet a bit later. While it’s a hard bop swinger to be sure, his use of modality and counterpoint between the soloist and the front line is exemplary and his solo bites hard and fast as he tears up and down the registers of the horn. Fuller’s “Arabia” is a basic blues groover, and the playing is inspired throughout. The disc closes with Hubbard’s “Crisis,” which opens with Merritt and Blakey ushering in the rest of the band. Walton first plays a repetitive minor-key riff. When the horns enter, Walton keeps the theme, Merritt moves over a bit to dig in between the lines, and Blakey keeps it all anchored because in this tune rhythm is everything. Hubbard was in many ways a soul-jazz composer before there was such a thing, and the motifs in this tune prove it — as does his beautiful blowing in his solo. This is a fine recording and should be owned by any Blakey fan. –Thom Jurek, AllMusic

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Arne Domnerus, Bengt Hallberg, Georg Riedel, Egil Johansen + Lars Erstrand – Jazz at the Pawn Shop (1977/2014) {2XHD} [AcousticSounds 24-192]

Arne Domnerus, Bengt Hallberg, Georg Riedel, Egil Johansen + Lars Erstrand – Jazz at the Pawn Shop (1977/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 01:28:06 minutes |  3,38 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  | Source: acousticsounds.com | Artwork: Front cover , Booklet | © 2xHD Fidelio
Recorded: December 6-7, 1976 at The Pawnshop (Stampen) Jazz Club in Stockholm, Sweden

For the 2xHD transfer of this recording, the original 1/4”, 15 ips CCIR master tape was played on a NAGRA IV-S Tape recorder – the same model as used in the original recording – with a pair of Dolby 361, using a hi-end tube preamplifier with OCC silver cables. We did an analog transfer for each HiRez sampling and A & B comparisons were made with both the original LP, using the Kronos turntable, as well as with the best available CD, using the Nagra HDDac and dCS Vivaldi DAC, throughout the process. 192kHz was done using Ayre QA9pro.

Jazz at the Pawnshop is a multi-session recording made by Gert Palmcrantz on December 6-7, 1976, at Jazzpuben Stampen (Pawnshop) in Stockholm, Sweden. A pawnshop had operated on the site prior to the jazz club. Proprius Records founder Jacob Boethius produced the album, and it has been issued at least five times under multiple labels and formats. The album is widely regarded by audiophiles as the best jazz recording of the 20th Century.

 

Tracklist:
1. Limehouse Blues 10:12
2. I’m Confessin’ 08:01
3. High Life 07:11
4. Struttin’ with Some Barbeque 06:42
5. Jeep’s Blues 06:57
6. Stuffy 07:06
7. Oh, lady, be good! 09:15
8. Here’s that Rainy Day 05:31
9. Barbados 08:13
10. How High the Moon 06:28
11. Take Five 06:58
12. Everything Happens to Me 05:13

Personnel:
Arne Domnérus – alto saxophone, clarinet
Bengt Hallberg – piano
Georg Riedel – bass
Egil Johansen – drums
Lars Erstrand – vibes

Download:

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or

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Angus & Julia Stone – Angus & Julia Stone (2014) [Qobuz 24-44.1]

Angus & Julia Stone – Angus & Julia Stone (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44.1 kHz | Time – 01:00:07 minutes |  686 MB | Genre: Folk, Indie
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  | Source: Qobuz | Artwork: Front cover , Booklet | © Discograph
Recorded: Shangri La Studios in Malibu, California. Additional recording at The Complex in LA, California and Grand Street Recording in New York, NY.

The brother and sister duo, Angus & Julia Stone present their third, self titled album. After taking a break as a creative pair to focus on individual albums, the two artists are back together again with their latest record from American Recordings. Producer Rick Rubin comments on the album and the siblings, “This album is extraordinary; Angus and Julia are truly unique musicians. They are authentic and pure people who do things from the heart. I’ve never worked with anyone like them before.”

Australian sibling folk-rock duo Angus & Julia Stone broke big with their 2010 sophomore album, Down the Way. The album, which debuted at number one in Australia, took home five ARIA music awards, including Album of the Year. On the heels of their success, the famously shy duo began work on a follow-up, but eventually shelved the idea in favor of taking some time off to pursue solo work. However, coaxed back into the studio by super-producer Rick Rubin, the Stone siblings eventually returned to their ruminative, melodic, and often melancholy collaborations with 2014’s Angus & Julia Stone. In many ways, what you see is pretty much what you get from the Stones, with their shaggy hair and hippie-chic clothes matching their penchant for acoustic introspection. Indeed, there aren’t too many surprises here, with the siblings sticking to their formula: intimate, folky songs with poignant lyrics that usually bend toward the darker, sadder aspects of life. What commands your attention, however, is the way that Julia’s cherubic, sandpaper doll of a voice contrasts with Angus’ more clear-toned and casual vocal style. They also display a knack for coming up with lyrics that contain bittersweet, poetic juxtapositions, always hinting at deeper, more complex emotions. On “Other Things,” duetting in clipped unison phrases, they sing “Go put the cat outside/’Cos we’ve got things to do,” and “There’s a plane in the sky/If those people fall they will die/I’ve got other things on my mind.” It’s this kind of focus on the ennui, the mundane tragedy that permeates many people’s daily lives, that works as creative fodder for Angus & Julia Stone. Ultimately, it’s that ennui, combined with the pair’s heartbreaking sense of melody, that makes this album a delightfully sad yet engaging listen. –Matt Collar

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Andrew Hill – Point Of Departure (1964/2015) [Qobuz 24-192]

Andrew Hill – Point Of Departure (1964/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 00:39:48 minutes |  1,56 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  | Source: Qobuz | Artwork: Front cover | © Blue Note Records
Recorded: March 21, 1964 at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

Pianist and composer Andrew Hill is perhaps known more for this date than any other in his catalogue — and with good reason. Hill’s complex compositions straddled many lines in the early to mid-1960s and crossed over many. Point of Departure, with its all-star lineup (even then), took jazz and wrote a new book on it, excluding nothing. With Eric Dolphy and Joe Henderson on saxophones (Dolphy also played clarinet, bass clarinet, and flute), Richard Davis on bass, Tony Williams on drums, and Kenny Dorham on trumpet, this was a cast created for a jazz fire dance. From the opening moments of “Refuge,” with its complex minor mode intro that moves headlong via Hill’s large, open chords that flat sevenths, ninths, and even 11ths in their striding to move through the mode, into a wellspring of angular hard bop and minor-key blues. Hill’s solo is first and it cooks along in the upper middle register, almost all right hand ministrations, creating with his left a virtual counterpoint for Davis and a skittering wash of notes for Williams. The horn solos in are all from the hard bop book, but Dolphy cuts his close to the bone with an edgy tone. “New Monastery,” which some mistake for an avant-garde tune, is actually a rewrite of bop minimalism extended by a diminished minor mode and an intervallic sequence that, while clipped, moves very quickly. Dorham solos to connect the dots of the knotty frontline melody and, in his wake, leaves the space open for Dolphy, who blows edgy, blue, and true into the center, as Hill jumps to create a maelstrom by vamping with augmented and suspended chords. Hill chills it out with gorgeous legato phrasing and a left-hand ostinato that cuts through the murk in the harmony. When Henderson takes his break, he just glides into the chromatically elegant space created by Hill, and it’s suddenly a new tune. This disc is full of moments like this. In Hill’s compositional world, everything is up for grabs. It just has to be taken a piece at a time, and not by leaving your fingerprints all over everything. In “Dedication,” where he takes the piano solo further out melodically than on the rest of the album combined, he does so gradually. You cannot remember his starting point, only that there has been a transformation. This is a stellar date, essential for any representative jazz collection, and a record that, in the 21st century, still points the way to the future for jazz. –Thom Jurek, AllMusic

The folks at Music Matters have been reissuing classic Blue Note albums of the 1950s and 1960s at an aggressive clip, and have been careful to include virtually every style of music the label recorded, including some of its more challenging material. Pianist Andrew Hill’s Point of Departure (1964) will never be mistaken for light cocktail jazz, but it’s inclusion in this reissue series displays Music Matters’ commitment to more adventurous material.
In 1964, the term avant-garde could have been applied to any number of different musical angles in jazz. The free experiments of John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman, with their pure emotional howling set within very limited contextual framework, are perhaps the most notorious. But there was another avenue that retained a significant structural environment with greater emphasis on composition,even if those compositions were themselves quite a stretch. Hill’s third recording as a leader, the diabolically brilliant Point of Departure, may be the apex of this school.
This album includes some of the fiercest, high density writing of the era, with each track featuring tight, byzantine written statements and full-throated blending of timbres. The music includes dissonant harmonies, often employing multiple melodic ideas, and often played very fast. It would be easy to imagine the musicians scratching their heads on the first run through, struggling with music that reached for new levels of complexity. Nevertheless, and despite the very complicated, wrought compositions, the band plays rather loosely. They’re all there, but a perfect precision performance does not appear to have been Hill’s core demand. Instead, people come in and out slightly ahead or behind the beats, and even when they’re harmonizing, cacophonous filigrees abound.
On top of all that—and that’s already a lot—Point of Departure features extraordinary improvising. Eric Dolphy—on alto sax, flute and his trademark bass clarinet—pursues pathways that make perfect sense within the music, but still sound like they’ve arrived from another planet. Joe Henderson’s tenor work is right out there with Dolphy, and Kenny Dorham’s trumpet adds a bright brass blare over all of it. Hill’s piano is all over the map, and he plays the way he writes: inventive, unpredictable, and fearless. Notably, although the improvising is very aggressive and forward-looking, everyone still keeps his statements within the context of the music. Nothing on this record ever veers off into free territory.
As with all of Music Matters’ reissues, Point of Departure comes as two 45 RPM LPs. A decent turntable is a necessity. But the vinyl itself is pressed with tremendous quality control, so with good equipment these records reveal details that no CD will ever approach. It also helps that the original session, engineered by Rudy Van Gelder, was particularly well-recorded, with excellent clarity and instrument scale.
Point of Departure is a cornerstone jazz recording that every serious jazz listener should hear. The Music Matters pressing simply adds elevated sound quality to what was already a musical masterpiece. –Greg Simmons, All About Jazz

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Alfred Schnittke – Symphony No. 3 – Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Vladimir Jurowski (2015) [PrestoClassical 24-96]

Alfred Schnittke – Symphony No. 3 – Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Vladimir Jurowski (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 52:07 minutes | 883 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  | Source: prestoclassical.co.uk | Artwork: Front cover , Booklet | © PentaTone Classics

Recorded: at the Haus des Rundfunks, RBB, Berlin, Germany in July 2014.
The organ has been recorded separately at the Seifert organ of the St. Matthias-Kirche, Berlin-Schöneberg in October 2014.

One hundred and eleven musicians celebrating a large-scale symphony. That sounds like Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, or Arnold Schoenberg. In fact, the composer of this symphony, Alfred Schnittke, had precisely these composers (and many others) in mind back in 1981. Whereas he initially mirrored certain styles from figures as Mahler, Mozart, Bach, Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Shostakovich, he was soon also borrowing concepts from “trivial music”, folklore, jazz, tango, as well as many other styles. He himself described his compositional technique as “polystylistic”, which was more than just a technique, but an aesthetic programme: a serious effort to break through the vicious circle of the self satisfied and self sufficient avant garde music.
Alfred Schnittke’s Symphony No. 3 testifies all this searching, this “in-betweenness”. The four movement work — an opening Moderato, followed by an Allegro, a long movement marked Allego pesante, with the briefer finale marked Adagio — was commissioned for the ceremonial opening of the new Gewandhaus in Leipzig. He used the prestigious commission from Leipzig as a moment to confront not only the multi layered historical past, but also the weakened current state of affairs while remaining highly respectful of the achievements of both the past and the present.
Released on SACD by PENTATONE, this symphony is recorded with Vladimir Jurowski conducting the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin. Jurowski states, “He (Schnittke) was not alone in his capacity of ‘seismograph of the cultural nightmares of his/our present’”. The conductor’s insightful, unique reading and his collaboration with an orchestra who are on top form undeniably produced nothing less than a magnificent tribute to Schnittke’s great and intricate score.
Schnittke’s Third Symphony is one of the most exciting compositions he has written, and Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Jurowski are brilliant messengers of this distinctive musical message, in a SACD with sound of high class.

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