Mahler’s 9th in Görlitz: great things happened
„For the beginning of the new concert season, the audience in the Görlitz theatre clearly sensed that something special was going to happen: something supernatural instead of pleasant orchestral optimism. At the end, the applause began gradually and then grew and grew. Music Director Ewa Strusińska challenged her Neue Lausitzer Philharmonie – and herself – in one of the key works of music history and made great things happen.
Strusińska saw to it that the musical flow, right from the first movement on, would not be smooth[…]. Arches of tension, charged with energy, stopped and collapsed, as if Death itself had made its presence known. In the Rondo movement, the brass glowed and blinded in its fierce light, and the Adagio finale already began to shine in. The conductor opened this long movement in all of its breadth, with great calm and at the same time with the greatest intensity, making fragility itself audible. The vast harmonics, pushed to their extremities, had a direct emotional and liberating impact. Utter silence followed the last sounds“.
Karsten Blüthgen, Sächsische Zeitung, Sept. 12, 2019
Now available! Adolfo Gutiérrez Arenas with Dvořák – and Piotr Pławner with Moniuszko
Following his successful recording of Beethoven‘s cello sonatas with pianist Christopher Park, Adolfo Gutiérrez Arenas – one of the noblest Spanish cellists (Arturo Reveter) – has now released on the label lbs his recording of works for cello and orchestra by Dvořák, together with the Magdeburgische Philharmonie conducted by Kimbo Ishii. Along with the famous concerto in B minor appear the Rondo in G minor, Silent Woods and the transcription of a Dvořák song.
The Polish violinist Piotr Pławner – always on the lookout for fascinating rarities – presents his latest discoveries with his quartet on the label cpo. The father of Polish song and Polish opera, Stanisław Moniuszko, celebrates his 200th birthday this year. He also wrote two string quartets, full of humour, irresistible melodies and compositional subtleties. And here is another surprise: the piano quintet by Juliusz Zarębski, Franz Liszt’s favourite student and musical confidant.
Grandiose Finale – Ewa Strusińska and the BBC Natioanal Orchestra of Wales at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World
On June 22nd, the international vocal competition“ BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2019“ drew to a close in the exceptional accoustics of St. David’s Hall with a furioso grand finale. The jury – composed of Dame Kiri te Kanawa, Wasfi Kani, Dame Felicity Lott, Frederica von Stade and José Cura and chaired by Sir David Pountney – awarded its first prize to the Ukrainian baritone Andrei Kymach. David Nice wrote in Theartsdesk: “The whole event is a miracle of organisation and hard work – kudos especially to some distinguished more-than-accompanists … the BBC National Orchestra of Wales …. and Ewa Strusińska (she especially had an engaging line in communication; would that the camera could have been on her more often).”
Triumph for Timothy Chooi at the Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels
Last night just after midnight, it was official: Timothy Chooi was awarded the second prize at the renowned Queen Elizabeth Competition. The audience acclaimed his impassioned, vibrant and poetic interpretation of the Tchaikovsky violin concerto with standing ovations, and the press emphasized especially the clarity of his musical craft and his ability to communicate the work’s emotional core. Here are some excerpts: “He possesses a true sense of music… He breathes music… Poised and self-confident… Effortless playing… Flamboyant energy… A breathtaking performance… An impassioned, alive and delicate reading of the concerto… Completely deserved standing ovations”.
The jury was composed of distinguished artists, among whom were Natalia Prischepenko, Arabella Steinbacher, Lorenzo Gatto,, Patrice Fontanarosa and Vadim Repin.
Welcome – NEW at UR classics
UR classics is expanding constantly since its foundation in November 2018. We are delighted to welcome our 8th artist, French pianist and conductor Jean François Heisser.
Jean-François Heisser is an all-around artist, leading a versatile career as a pianist, conductor and teacher, fueled by vast cultural knowledge and tireless intellectual curiosity. His transcription of Berlioz‘ Symphonie fantastique for two pianos, recorded with Marie-Josèphe Jude on a piano Pleyel vis-à-vis was released in January 2019. One of France’s foremost Beethoven interpreters, his repertoire as conductor, soloist and chamber musician is much larger, running from Weber, Chopin, Saint-Saëns, Ravel, Bartók, Prokofiev, de Falla, Mompou to Messiaen, Stockhausen and Philippe Manoury. Artistic Director of the Nouvelle Aquitaine Chamber Orchestra since 2001, he has firmly established the orchestra as one of the finest French chamber ensembles. And he is President of the International Maurice Ravel Academy, Artistic Director of the Soirées Musicales Arles as well as of the Festival de l’Orangerie de Sceaux.
Ewa Strusińska brings Scotland to Saxony – a triumph with bagpipes and Mendelssohn
„The clarinet begins its imitation of bagpipes in Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony – and a breathtaking evening of music returns to its thematic point of departure, just as it heads to its roaring finish. A listener cries „Sensational!“ right into the last chord of the finale. A salvo of jubilation explodes, the public breaks out into rhythmic applause and one visitor asks his partner if it’s always as good as this. Maybe he’ll now be coming more often to concerts of the Neue Lausitzer Philharmonie. Ewa Strusinska, Artistic Director since the start of this season, uses her alert and intensive beat with a clear purpose and brings genuine fresh wind to the river Neisse. It’s an approach which might not always meet with approval. But this Polish conductor gets that approval beyond the shadow of a doubt.“
Karsten Blütghen, Sächsische Zeitung
Welcome – NEW at UR classics
We are delighted to welcome the Spanish cellist Adolfo Gutierréz Arenas at UR classics.
He received decisive impulses from cellists such as Janós Starker and Bernard Greenhouse and has made his name as an exceptional chamber musician and soloist. Appearances at festivals like the Mendelssohn Festival of the Gewandhaus Leipzig, the Ravinia Festival, the Montreal Symphony Summer Festival and performances with the London Philharmonic under Vladimir Jurowski, the Orquesta Nacional de España under Ton Koopman and
„Best communicator” – the Canadian violinist Timothy Chooi celebrated in Chemnitz
Timothy Chooi, First Prize of the International Joseph Joachim Violin Competition Hannover 2018, gab his German orchestra debut with the Robert Schumann Philharmonie Chemnitz. Torsten Kohlschein wrote an enthusiastic review in the “Freie Presse” on Feb. 14, 2019: “Max Bruch’s violin concerto No. 1 was reason enough to hear this concert. The Canadian soloist Timothy Chooi attained a powerful interpretation of the virtuoso and lyrical sides of this work. His bow was full of power and he was especially impressive in his subtly differenciated vibrato. Indeed, he made his instrument sing. Chooi is just as young as was Bruch when he composed this work. That explains the youthful fire and passion with which Chooi conveyed this work to the audience. The audience exploded with standing ovations.”