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Captivating Pops with Kurt Bestor
This 2-CD set include the entire Kurt Bestor concert (music and narratives by Kurt Bestor).
Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg is a music drama in three acts, written and composed by Richard Wagner. It is among the longest operas commonly performed, usually taking around four and a half hours. It was first performed at the Bavarian State Opera, in Munich, on June 21, 1868. The conductor at the premiere was Hans von Bülow.
The story is set in Nuremberg in the mid-16th century. At the time, Nuremberg was a free imperial city and one of the centers of the Renaissance in Northern Europe. The story revolves around the city's guild of Master Singers, an association of amateur poets and musicians who were primarily master craftsmen of various trades. The master singers had developed a craftsman like approach to music-making, with an intricate system of rules for composing and performing songs. The work draws much of its atmosphere from its depiction of the Nuremberg of the era and the traditions of the master-singer guild. One of the main characters, the cobbler-poet Hans Sachs, is based on a historical figure, Hans Sachs, the most famous of the master singers.
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg occupies a unique place in Wagner's oeuvre. It is the only comedy among his mature operas, and is also unusual among his works in being set in a historically well-defined time and place rather than in a mythical or legendary setting. It is the only mature Wagner opera based on an entirely original story, devised by Wagner himself, and in which no supernatural or magical powers or events are in evidence. It incorporates all of the operatic conventions that Wagner had railed against in his essays on the theory of opera: rhymed verse, arias, choruses, a quintet, and even a ballet.
This performance by the CMD German Opera Company of Berlin and conducted by Dominique Beaulieu.
McCormick Percussion Group
Robert McCormick, conductor
1 THE ALABADOS SONG PAUL BISSELL
Alex Delgado, solo marimba
CONCERTINO FOR TWO MARIMBAS AND SIX PERCUSSIONISTS
JAN VAN LANDEGHEM
Emory Blake and Grant Beiner, solo marimbas
2 COMODO CON AMORE
CONCERTINO FOR MARIMBA AND FOUR PERCUSSIONISTS
CHIHCHUN CHI-SUN LEE
Ryan Wilson, solo marimba
4 MOVEMENT I
5 MOVEMENT II
6 MOVEMENT III
7 CONCERTO FOR MARIMBA AND PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE
Beran Harp, solo marimba
8 CONCERTINO FOR MARIMBA AND PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE
Emory Blake, solo marimba
9 THE CREATION CAYENNA ROSA PONCHIONE
Matt Dickson and Lee Hinkle, solo marimba
Cayenna Rosa Ponchione, guest conductor
J.S. Bach: Easter Oratorio, BWV 249
Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Easter Oratorio, BWV 249 was composed in Leipzig and first performed on April 1, 1725.
Mozart: Litaniae de venerabili altaris sacramento in B-flat Major, K. 125
Hieronymus Joseph Franz de Paula Graf Colloredo von Wallsee und Melz is now the Archbishop of Salzburg and Mozart, as still having the church title of Cavalier, is now under the employ of the new Archbishop.
Colloredo, with considerable pressure for the Imperial Court in Vienna, was elected to the new Archbishop of Salzburg position, as Colloredo dutifully implemented reforms as dictated by Emporer Joseph II. Under his reign pilgrimages and superstitious practices were banned, processions were restricted, church decoration was limited and musical settings of the mass were shortened. Also, many Latin hymns were replaced with German hymns. Due to these changes, the Archbishop was greatly resented by the citizens of Salzburg. This resentment would last until Colloredo fled Salzburg on December 12, 1801 to evade the advancing French troops under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte.
While Colloredo was ultimately successful in enforcing Joseph II’s changes. Colloredo was described as unpopular with the citizens of Salzburg, extremely autocratic with a dictatorial attitude that provoked hostility in the cathedral chapter and of civil servants.
However, Colloredo is well known in musical history as a patron and employer of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He did, however, become exceptionally annoyed with Mozart’s frequent absences and after a number of arguments, Mozart’s position as Church Cavalier was terminated with the words “Let him go then, I don’t need him.”
Colloredo was a devoted fan of Mozart. He not only commissioned several works but he also played the violin in the church orchestra whenever a work by Mozart was being performed.
“Litany of the Venerable Sacrament of the Altar in B-flat” was commissioned, composed and performed in March 1772.
This work is scored for soprano, alto, tenor, bass, mixed chorus, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, strings and organ.
This performance by the CMD Philharmonic of Paris is conducted by Dominique Beaulieu
Ergo - New Music for Piano and Chinese Folk Instruments - Zhen Chen
With his Navona debut ERGO, pianist and composer Zhen Chen makes an impressive contribution to the decades-long legacy of composers blending Chinese and western instruments and musical materials.
This musical trend can be traced back 20 years, when a potent generation of Chinese and Taiwanese composers who began to explode across American and European concert stages. Luminary composers like Bright Sheng, Tan Dun, Chen Yi, and Zhou Long paved the way for younger Chinese artists like Zhen Chen, who uses ERGO to continue this blend of his native musical culture with many parts of the Western musical tradition.
ERGO places piano alongside two of the most familiar traditional Chinese instruments to Western audiences: the pipa – a kind of Chinese lute – and the erhu – a bowed Chinese string instrument. Chen’s use of spacious piano accompaniments and straightforward and expressive melodies makes this combination sound natural while retaining its unique charm.
While the album’s compositions don’t directly draw from Chinese folk tunes, Chen does an excellent job of creating musical contexts that suit the piano, pipa, and/or erhu, as well as his typically naturalistic subject matter. The titles of many of the composer’s pieces describe a landscape, which he, accordingly, seems to illustrate with his music.
These pieces – such as Stroll by the Lake, Springfield, and others – are composed with clear forms that proceed with a gentle, rhythmically consistent piano accompaniment, from which a tender, sometimes plaintive, melody will emerge and develop in one or more solo instruments.
Chen’s melodies and textures play to the strengths of his instrumental forces, and he demonstrates keen awareness of their coloristic similarities and differences. Moreover, his harmonic language tends towards pentatonic and natural minor scales, though the song Plum Blossom Chant, for voice and piano, beautifully mixes different forms of the minor scale.
Two works on ERGO stand out in their style, rhythmic intensity, and playfulness: Turpan Tango and Dance Floor Banter. These pieces are based on Western dances – the tango and waltz, respectively – with Turpan Tango most notably departing from the album’s overall contemplative character for a more raucous mood. With this said, Chen’s earnestness, which abounds in his inward-looking music, remains a driving factor in these two dance pieces, and helps connect them with ERGO’s other works.
Wagner: Tristan und Isolde
Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde”, an opera in 3 acts based on a libretto by the composer, was composed between 1857 and 1859. The opera’s premiere was at the National Theater in Munich on June 10, 1865. Wagner referred to the work not as an opera, but as an “action.”
This opera, or action, was enormously influential among Western classical composers such as Gustav Mahler, Igor Stravinsky, Richard Strauss, Arnold Schoenberg, Benjamin Britten, Max Steiner and many others. “Tristan and Isolde” continues to be the driving influence for almost all of today’s composers in classical music.
Due to it’s influence, “Tristan and Isolde” is considered the greatest work by Wagner ever composed.
Yuri Botnari - National Radio Orchestra of Romania
Please see images for complete track listings.
SWSO Youth Concerto Classic 2017
Beethoven: Overture to Egmont
Grieg: Concerto in A minor, Op. 16 - 3. Allegro molto moderato, Britanee Dalton, piano
Stamitz: Concerto in D Major - 1. Allegro moderato, Elly Winder, viola
Elgar: "Nimrod" from Enigma Variations
Saint-Saens: Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33 - 1. Allegro non troppo, Abby Harris, cello
Rachmaninov: Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18 - 1. Moderato-Allegro, Sarah Sun, piano
Götterdämmerung or Twilight of the Gods, WWV 86D, is the last in Richard Wagner's Ring cycle. It received its premiere at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus on August 17, 1876, as part of the first complete performance of the Ring.
The title is a translation into German of the Old Norse phrase Ragnarök, which in Norse mythology refers to a prophesied war among various beings and gods that ultimately results in the burning, immersion in water, and renewal of the world. However, as with the rest of the Ring, Wagner's account diverges significantly from his Old Norse sources.
This performance by the CMD German Opera Company of Berlin, is now available for purchase at ClassicalRecordings.co
Butterflies in the Labyrinth of Silence
Please refer to images for complete track listings