Edouard Lalo – Works for Violin and Orchestra – Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Granada City Orchestra, Kees Bakels (2009)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44.1kHz | Time – 69:39 minutes | 630 MB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: eClassical.com | © BIS Records AB
Recorded: December 2007 at the Manuel de Falla Auditorium, Granada, Spain

In 1878 Édouard Lalo wrote to the Spanish violin virtuoso Pablo de Sarasate: ‘Your arrival in my life has been my greatest artistic opportunity… without you, I would have continued to write insignificant odds and ends’. The three works gathered here all spring from this arrival, beginning with the Violin Concerto, composed in 1873. The melodious and charming concerto held a great significance for the composer, who regarded it as his first work truly worthy of the name. In the eye of the public it was soon to be overshadowed, however. The première of Symphonie espagnole, in 1875, was followed by performances all over Europe, always in the expert hands of Sarasate. Neither a symphony nor a concerto, it is rather a five-movement suite in which the soloist and orchestra converse as equal partners. First in a long line of Spanish-themed works by French composers (including Bizet’s Carmen, Chabrier’s España, Debussy’s Iberia and Ravel’s Rhapsodie espagnole), it may be regarded as a composer’s tribute to his violinist’s country of origin. Three years later the Scandinavian accents of Fantaisie norvégienne were possibly the result of an encounter with the Norwegian composer and violinist Johan Svendsen. There is no doubt that Lalo was once more composing with Sarasate in mind, however. He wrote to the violinist: ‘I believe that I have succeeded in being amusing without being common… Feel free to add violinistic devilishness if you like.’ Whatever liberties Sarasate may have taken with the solo part, the première, conducted by Max Bruch, was again a great success. So great, in fact, that Lalo soon transformed it into a purely orchestral work, without soloist, giving it the title Rapsodie norvégienne. Standing in for Sarasate on the present disc is Jean-Jaques Kantorow, whose recording (on BIS-CD-1470) of Saint-Saëns’ Third Violin Concerto – incidentally another work dedicated to Sarasate! – was nominated for both a Gramophone Award and a BBC Music Magazine Award in 2008. Here he receives fine support from the conductor Kees Bakels, his collaborator on the Saint-Saëns disc, and the Granada City Orchestra, of which he himself was the artistic director during the years 2004-2008.

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La voce della passione: Passion chants between the Middle Ages and Sicilian Folklore – Noemi La Terra, Ens. Donnafugata, Lamentori di Montedoro (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44.1kHz | Time – 01:13:32 minutes | 739 MB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: eClassical.com | © Raumklang
Recorded: 28.–31. Oktober 2013, Schlosskirche Goseck und 27. März 2013, Chiesa Madre, Montedoro (CL), Sizilien

The tradition of Passion songs during the “Settimana Santa,” Holy Week, exists to the present day in many areas of southern Italy: weeping Madonna statues are carried in processions through the streets of the cities and villages so that the Mater Dolorosa can see “with her own eyes” the Crucifixus – the Christ statue taken down from the cross – laid out in every church. The songs that are heard during these processions number among the most moving testimonies of Christian musical history, linking, as they do, the transcendental sorrow of the devout at the death of Jesus and the very real sorrow of a mother for her deceased son. They are the last legacy of a direct participation of the people in the rites around Jesus Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection.
The singer NOEMI LA TERRA has researched the traditional Passion songs of her native Sicily and compiled for her debut CD, together with DONNAFUGATA and the LAMENTATORI DI MONTEDORO – singers of lamentations from a small village in the Sicilian province of Caltanissetta – a unique collection of medieval Passion music still sung today: archaic, heartfelt, and touching.

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Johan Brouwer plays Bach, Bohm, Couperin and Forqueray (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 01:10:38 minutes | 1,63 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: highresaudio.com | © Aluid Records
Recorded: 2014

Bach and the French baroque :: The working title of the programme is Bach and the French baroque. L’art de toucher le clavecin by François Couperin (1668-1733) was published in 1716 as a manual for the French style and gives important instructions for playing the harpsichord as regards finger positions and ornamentations. The préludes are written-out improvisations in the style of the Préludes non mésurée.
The Suites of Georg Böhm (1661-1733) were produced in an environment orientated towards France, like the court in German Celle, where the French consort of Duke Georg Wilhelm resided. After her husband’s death, she lived for some years in Lüneburg, where Böhm worked in the Johannis-Kirche. Besides the usual dances, the Suite in F Minor played here contains for instance a French Ciaconne.

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