Start with Zemlinsky – New CD of the Feininger Trio
A few days ago, the first CD of a new cycle has been released in which the Feininger Trio combines Johannes Brahms‘ three piano trios with works of younger Viennese composers: Alexander Zemlinsky, Ernst Krenek and Erich Wolfgang Korngold. On this first CD, the trio op. 101 by Brahms is paired with Zemlinsky’s trio op. 3. The first reviews particularly underline the „extremely elegant approach and beautiful tone“ and also the musicians‘ ability to fuse their evident individuality into a perfectly united ensemble sound. Johannes Brahms: Klaviertrio Nr. 3, op. 101; Alexander von Zemlinsky: Klaviertrio op. 3, Feininger Trio (Christoph Streuli; Violine, David Riniker, Cello, Adrian Oetiker, Klavier); 1 CD CAvi 8553489.
Rediscovery: Lost Treasure of European Art Song
The highlight of long-term cooperation between the label eda records and Deutschlandfunk Kultur: on June 4, the world premiere recordings of all songs and melodramas by the Polish-Jewish composer Szymon Laks (1901 – 1983) – long known primarily for the account of his survival „Music of Another World“ – will be released.
Owing to the outstanding quality of the music as well as of the Polish and French texts, but above all against the background of the experiences that flowed into them and make them a testimony to deeply moving humanism, these works deserve a special place in the musical history of the twentieth century.
Performers: Ania Vegry, soprano; Dominique Horwitz, speaker; Katarzyna Wasiak, piano
“Fresh, rousing and dynamic” – the new album of the Duo Brüggen-Plank
The new CD of the duo Brüggen-Plank was released this January. Its centerpiece is Beethoven’s final violin Sonata, the tenth, op. 96 in G major. It is superbly and meaningfully surrounded by the Sonata in G major Op. 5 by Jan Václav Voříšek and the Sonata in F minor by Archduke Rudolph of Austria. As with the recordings of works by Szymanowski and Enescu, the critics are full of superlatives: “two really brilliant musicians”, “greatly played and absolutely worth hearing”, “a listening pleasure” “finely tuned interaction, elegance and sensitivity”, “a compelling and intelligent program idea”. The CD has been released by Audax Records:
New Year – a new Ensemble!
UR classics is growing further! We are very happy to welcome at the beginning of this year the Feininger Trio on our roster. Founded in 2005 by Adrian Oetiker (pianist) and the Berliner Philharmoniker Christoph Streuli (violinist) and David Riniker (violoncellist), the trio is a regular guest at many European festivals and concert series. The stylistic variety and the expressive and gripping playing of the trio is documented on a number of recordings with Czech and French piano trios, in a program with actress Katharina Thalbach and on the recently finished recording of trios by Brahms, Korngold, Zemlinsky and Roslavecz. Welcome!
What is possible
Most countries don’t allow live concerts during these weeks, but that doesn’t mean that the artists of UR classics have nothing to do. Here are some of their activities:
Ewa Strusińska was a member of the jury for a composer’s competition in Poland and premiered the prize-winning works with the Spółdzielnia Muzyczna Contemporary Ensemble. The concert was streamed live from Stalowa Wola. Piotr Pławner played concerts without live public but streamed for everybody, in a recital in Poznań as well as with his new orchestra, the Silesian Chamber Orchestra in Katowice.
Shao-Chia Lü is one of those happy artists who are able to conduct for a live audience: a concert with the Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra in Taipeh and for Christmas a production of La Bohème at the National Theatre in Taichung (co-production with the Opera Zurich). Spain as well offers concerts for a live audience: Adolfo Gutiérrez Arenas in November played Shostakovich’s first cello concerto, conducted by Anu Tali and a recital with pianist Josu de Solaun in Alicante as well as a recital for the 90th birthday celebrations of Cristobal Halffter in December.
Svetoslav Borisov is rehearsing behind closed doors at the Magdeburg Theatre for his next premiere (Rigoletto) at the end of January 2021. So does Ania Vegry at the Anhaltisches Theater Dessau. She also is preparing her next CD – songs by Szymon Laks – to be released at the beginning of next year.
The Duo Brüggen-Plank also is finishing their next CD (Erzherzog-Rudolf project a spart of the Beethoven anniversary year), and they are planning a new concert cycle. Zofia Neugebauer is preparing new chamber music programs, for flute and piano, harpsichord, harp, wind trio, double bass… And Jean-François Heisser, infatiguable and optimistic as ever, is preparing new projects for his Orchestre de Chambre de la Nouvelle Aquitaine, his different festivals and the Académie Maurice Ravel in St. Jean-de-Luz.
Opera again, at last – Svetoslav Borisov with Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette in Magdeburg
What an opulent production, a feast of music and voices which Karen Stone, the General Manager of the Magdeburg Theatre, brought to stage in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette in early October. For Svetoslav Borisov, the Principal Conductor and Deputy Music Director, this was his second Gounod premiere in Magdeburg following his greatly acclaimed “Faust”. Once again, the press was enthusiastic: “Svetoslav Borisov demonstrated his enormous feeling for sound and made the reduced orchestra glow in all its colours.”
A Stunning Start – Ania Vegry at La Voix humaine
Ania Vegry had a brilliant debut as a member of the ensemble of the Anhaltisches Theater Dessau in its new staging of Poulenc’s La Voix humaine. The Mitteldeutsche Zeitung wrote: “Both as a singer and as an actress, this soloist mastered the hour-long and exceptionally demanding work with bravour”. And just the next day, Ania Vegry was the star guest for the benefit concert “Live Music Now” in Hanover, as a special former scholarship-holder. She sang three arias by Florian Leopold Gassmann – and in the Neue Presse, Jörg Worat was full of enthusiasm for what he heard: “Full of life, full of nuances, charming and seductively effortless”.
The first concerts
At last – after six months of forced shut-down our musicians are back performing for a live-audience:
Ewa Strusińska conducted the Neue Lausitzer Philharmonie in their first symphony concerts between September 11 and 18. Jean-François Heisser played together with Bertrand Chamayou and the Labèque sisters in the opening concert on Sept. 15 of the festival Ravel in Saint-Jean-de-Luz. Piotr Pławner performed three concerts this month with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Łodz and as play-conduct with Sinfonia Iuventus in Warsaw. Zofia Neugebauer returned to the stage with concerts at the festival Krzyżowa Music and at the Summer Music Academy in Hundisburg. The Duo Brüggen-Plank received enthusiastic applause for their interpretation of Enescu’s third sonata at the Pianosalon Christophori on Sept. 17. Ania Vegry will be the soloist in a new production of Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine on September 24 at the Anhaltisches Theater Dessau. And on October 3rd, Svetoslav Borisov will conduct the premiere of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette at the Opera in Magdeburg.
As early as June, Shao-Chia Lü and his Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra were celebrated for their performance of Mahler’s 9th symphony and on July 14, Adolfo Gutiérrez Arenas played – together with Christopher Park – all Beethoven cello sonatas with no intermission at the Festival Música y Danza in Granada.