Pleyel – Hidden Gems 4

One doesn’t need to look further than Wolfgang Amadé Mozart’s letter of 24 April 1784 to his father Leopold in Salzburg to describe Pleyel’s string quartets:

“Some quartets have recently been published by a certain Pleyel; he is a student of Haydn. Please try to get hold of them if you don’t yet know these; they are worth the effort. They are very well written and very pleasing. You will recognize his master in them right away. Very well, and it will be fortunate for music if in time, Pleyel is capable of replacing Haydn for us”.

Pleyel and Mozart − two contemporary composers who respected each other.

Ignace Pleyel’s string quartets represent an attractive challenge for experienced chamber musicians. The style is very familiar, yet the music is entirely new and full of surprises. For example, one discovers discrepancies between exposition and recapitulation, unexpected changes from major to minor keys, or the peculiar nature of the scoring, in which every instrument and ensemble member, even the second violin, is tasked with the continuation of the principal voice. Elegance is one of the main stylistic ingredients of Viennese Classicism, and it is also a principal focus of Pleyel’s compositional style. The beauty of Pleyel’s music is expressed with the utmost delicacy and with noble, deliberate restraint − a sign of true art. Dominik Hellsberg

Ensemble Ad Fontes – Pregón del cantante vagabundo

Ad Fontes would like to present you our first recording project: a CD with the title 'Prégon de un cantante vagabundo'. It is a poetic programme, which would like to present early instruments in and outside the usual context of early music. The title 'Prégon de un cantante vagabundo' brings the general idea of a timeless travelling singer, musician - troubadour - who is transmitting airs de cour and consort music from the time of Louis XIII, French traditional ballads in our arrangement, and finally contemporary music of composer Bardia Charaf on the text of Royds Fuentes-Imbert. Bardia's music is largery ispired by Spanish and oriental traditional, as well as early music.

Ensemble Ad Fontes Anne Simone Aeberhard, Blockflöten • Bruno Hurtado Gosalvez, Violone • Leonardo Bortolotto, Viola da gamba • Filipa Meneses, Viola da gamba • Mojca Gal, Violine in alter Mensur • Miguel Bellas, Archiliuto • Charlotte Nachtsheim, Harfe und Sopran • Sebastian Mattmüller, Bariton • Bardia Charaf, Perkussion • Alberto Arcos, Sprecher

Boris Bloch vol 10 – Aveu passionné

This CD is called "Aveu passionné". On the one hand because of the Tchaikovsky piece with the same title (in English "Passionate Confession"), on the other hand because of my deepest affection for Russian music, especially Russian opera, and last but not least because of my great love for the singer Galina Vischnevskaya. It may not seem obvious at first glance, but on closer inspection of the pieces selected here, this connection can be better understood, for not only Borodin, Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov, but also Glinka and Tchaikovsky are all first and foremost opera composers. Every time I perform their music on the piano, the whole cosmos of their operas hovers around me. As I have been fortunate enough to conduct some of these great operas myself – for example, Glinka's "Life for the Tsar", Dargomyshsky's "The Stone Guest", Mussorgsky's "Boris Godunov", Borodin's "Prince Igor", as well as some operas by Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky – they form some kind of elixir vitae that fires my imagination.

Alvaro Mendizabel – The sleep of reason

Álvaro Mendizabal: What does “classical guitar” mean? For me, this term encompasses the platonic dreams of countless of guitarists who, for the past four centuries, pursued the platonic dream of establishing a popular instrument within the realms of academia and the classical music establishment. Yet, despite the proliferation of academic degrees in “classical guitar” around the world over the past 60 years, guitarists rarely participate in the classical music mainstream. Largely ignored by orchestras and top concert venues, a single hand suffices to count the up and coming guitarists with major management and a sustained performing career within the classical music industry. How could this be? What do these ‘classical guitarists’ really do? “The Sleep of Reason” uses Tedesco’s musical setting of “El Sueño de la Razón Produce Monstruos” from Goya as the centerpiece of an album that distills 400 years of guitar “dreams” to explain the current realities of the guitar profession. By using each piece as a musical vignette, the listener embarks on a journey to discover and understand the term “classical guitar”.

Alvaro Mendizabal is a business executive trained in classical guitar by some of the most sought-after masters of the instrument, including Grammy winners Sergio Assad and David Russell, and Echo Klassik winner Prof. Joaquín Clerch. He has won prizes, performed with symphony orchestras in Latin America and the US, working also as an artist manager for IMG Artists. Always in search to broaden his artistic horizons, he currently advises large technology firms in Silicon Valley as a Strategy consultant specialized in the intersections between human-centric design, business and technology. This is his debut album.

Like Goya’s Caprichos, I have entitled each piece with a phrase in Spanish to create a programmatic effect that brings the listener into a journey to discover the classical guitar. Feel free to google the meaning of these phrases as you hear the album. I’ll give you a first hint: In Spanish, ‘Sueño’ can mean both ‘Sleep’ or ‘Dream’ – you choose!

Jiddische Lieder – Dalia Schaechter, Christian von Götz

The Yiddish Composer MORDECHAI GEBIRTIG (1877-1942) wrote songs about life in the jewish neighborhood of Kazimierz in the city of Krakow, Poland. The songs tell stories about rabbis and factory workers, gangsters and lovers. “During the day he polished furniture, at night he polished songs” said his contemporaries. Gebirtig was shot by Germans in the Krakow Ghetto on June 4th 1942. For the Gebirtig Project, opera-singer Dalia Schaechter and opera-director Christian von Götz collected the most important of his songs in an intense and personal recording. Some of the songs are recorded for the first time.