Name: Claudio Abbado Conducts Mozart and Beethoven
Year: 2011/2012
Genre: Classical
Directed by: Michael Beyer
Conductor: Claudio Abbado
Artist: Christine Schäfer (soprano), Juliane Banse (soprano), Bruno Ganz (narrator), Lucerne Festival Orchestra

Issued: United States | Accentus
Duration: 1:29:07
Size: 21.42 GB

All are equal before the work, before the mysteries of a score; this was Claudio Abbado’s heart-felt conviction. For him, the willingness to be open to one another and to the independent life of musical processes was the only prerequisite for making music. In the live performances documented here for the first time on DVD/Blu-ray, Abbado could be sure of the devotion of these world-class artists: the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA, the sopranos Christine Schäfer and Juliane Banse, as well as the actor Bruno Ganz. They shared his credo of “listening togetherness” (DIE ZEIT) that made possible those precious moments of musical truth toward which this great conductor strove throughout his life.

Recorded live at the Concert Hall of KKL Luzern, 19–20 August 2011 (Mozart) and 8–10 August 2012 (Beethoven).


Camargo Guarnieri – Symphonies Nos.1 & 4 – Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, John Neschling (2003)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44.1kHz | Time – 00:58:06 minutes | 520 MB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: | © BIS Records AB
Recorded: February 2002 at the Sala São Paulo, Brazil

Continuing its excellent series of Guarnieri Symphonies, the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra under John Neschling presents another program of marvelous music that deserves the widest possible exposure outside of its native Brazil. Guarnieri’s First Symphony was composed in 1944 and dedicated to Serge Koussevitsky. It’s as fine an example of American (in the widest sense) neo-classicism as anything by Copland, Harris, or Piston, and it’s worth pointing out that this confidently mature work actually precedes much of those composers’ symphonic output, as it does, say, Tippett’s, whose rhythmic complexity and contrapuntal business it in some ways resembles. The central slow movement, marked “Profundo”, is particularly well sustained and supports the composer’s claim to be regarded a major 20th century symphonist. Symphony No. 4, in three brief movements lasting less than 20 minutes, is subtitled “Brasília”, but it’s dedicated to Leonard Bernstein and was largely composed in New York. Both Bernstein and the composer were especially impressed by the marvelous central slow movement (which is as long as the two outer movements combined), and in particular with its “crazy” climax. A pellucid, formally elegant, richly scored work based on Brazilian folk music (but never slavishly so and never at the expense of structural coherence), it would make a terrific “first half” piece at a typical symphony concert. The Abertura Festiva lives up to its name, being brilliantly scored with an especially colorful percussion battery–and like the eponymous piece by Shostakovich, it’s simply a joy from start to finish. If you acquired the first disc in this series (and if you didn’t, you should be ashamed), then you know that Neschling and his orchestra turn in first-rate playing. Only a bit of strain in the big fugue toward the end of the First Symphony’s opening movement reveals the string players under pressure, but otherwise this is world-class music-making in the service of world-class music. Glorious sonics, solid on the bottom and bright but never shrill on top, complete a most attractive picture. –David Hurwitz, Classics Today


Felicien David – Le Desert – Accentus, Orchestre de chambre de Paris, Laurence Equilbey (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48kHz | Time – 01:33:26 minutes | 938 MB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | © naïve classique
Recorded: May 2014 at the Cité de la musique, Paris (France)

Il est grand temps que le chef-d’œuvre de Félicien David intègre enfin le répertoire des orchestres français ; certes, l’ouvrage est assez inclassable puisque ni symphonie, ni oratorio, ni mélodame, il emprunte un peu à tous les genres. David considérait Le Désert comme une « ode-symphonie », néologisme qui lui permettait de faire un peu ce qu’il voulait. L’album propose deux versions : l’une avec le narrateur, ce qui en fait un mélodrame, l’autre sans narrateur, ce qui en fait une sorte de symphonie lyrique. Composé en 1844, Le Désert ne manque pas de montrer certains points communs musicaux avec Harold en Italie (1834) mais aussi avec L’Enfance du Christ écrit bien plus tard, en 1854 : pollinisation croisée ? David, qui a passé de longues années en Algérie et en Afrique vers 1832-33, est revenu avec le cerveau rempli à raz bord de tournures orientalisantes, et Le Désert lancera cette nouvelle mode musicale exotique, et nombre de ses œuvres auront pour sujet toutes sortes de contrées lointaines -–dont la musique endémique n’était pas assez connue pour que le public pût réellement en goûter l’authenticité ou pas. Mais chaque morceau caractéristique – le chant du muezzin, la fantaisie arabe, la marche de la caravane, l’hymne à la nuit… – est un petit bijou de caractère. Dès sa création, Le Désert plaça David au firmament des compositeurs de son temps ; et s’il n’est pas un génie du niveau d’un Berlioz (la postérité s’est d’ailleurs chargée de placer chacun sur l’échelle), il mérite mille fois d’être enfin remis à la place d’honneur qui lui est due.


Kalevi Aho – Piano works – Sonja Fraki (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 73:22 minutes | 1,12 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: | © BIS Records AB
Recorded: January 2013 at Nya Paviljongen, Grankulla, Finland

Known particularly for his orchestral output – 16 symphonies and 21 concertos to date! – the Finnish composer Kalevi Aho was recently described in Gramophone as having ‘a strong claim to the title of greatest living symphonist’. But as followers of the ongoing releases of his music on BIS will know, Aho has also composed a large number of works for smaller forces – quartets and quintets, duos and solo pieces. On the present disc, the Finnish pianist Sonja Fräki presents his output for solo piano, comfortably fitting on one disc, but nevertheless spanning some 30 years of a long career. The disc in fact opens with Aho’s earliest published work, the Nineteen Preludes from 1965-68, written before the composer had begun any formal studies of either composition or the piaNo.There is even a first version of Prelude No.8 dating from 1963, when Kalevi Aho was in his early teens and was just beginning to teach himself the piano, writing music intended mainly as practice pieces for his own use. Since then Aho has composed for other budding pianists – the Two Easy Piano Pieces for Children and the Sonatina – but as in much of his other music, the works for piano display his characteristic fascination with the virtuosic and technically brilliant side of music-making. On the present disc, this quality comes to the fore in the Sonata, with its sparkling first movement and percussive, toccata-like second movement followed by a searching Tranquillo molto, characterized by a trill which continues almost without interruption throughout the movement. Commissioned as a set piece for a piano competition, Solo II is likewise a challenge for any pianist, and forms part of a series of big (roughly ten-minute) solo works for various instruments, of which several have been recorded by BIS.


Title: Wacken – Louder Than Hell – Der Film
Release Date: 2014
Genre: Rock, Documentary
Director: Norbert Heitker
Artist: Rammstein, Alice Cooper, Deep Purple, Motörhead, Henry Rollins, Don Airey, Breanna Banfield, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Katie McHoes, Steve Morse, Ian Paice, Micha Reese, Salman U. Syed, Cielu Wang and more

Wacken ist einzigartig. Unbeschreiblich. Fast Legende. Einmal im Jahr, an drei Tagen im August, ist das kleine Dorf in der norddeutschen Provinz Epizentrum, Massenphänomen und Welthauptstadt der etwas härteren Gangart. Dann reisen knapp 75.000 Metalheads aus der ganzen Welt zum Wacken Open Air an, um ihrer Musik und deren Hohepriestern – den größten Bands der internationalen Metal-Szene – zu huldigen. Und natürlich um gemeinsam zu feiern. Seit 1990, als das erste Wacken Open Air mit knapp 800 Besuchern nicht viel mehr war als eine schräge Idee, ist es Jahr für Jahr gewachsen. Bis heute hat es sich zum weltweit größten Open Air Festival seiner Art entwickelt, bei dem die Tickets jedes Jahr innerhalb weniger Tage ausverkauft sind. Und das lange bevor die beteiligten Bands überhaupt feststehen. Schon viel wurde über das Festival berichtet, geschrieben, dokumentiert. Aber was genau ist es, das Wacken so besonders macht? Was macht die Faszination dieses Festivals aus, was die Magie – die „Seele“? Was hat Wacken, was andere nicht haben? Schwer zu sagen, mit bloßen Worten, Zahlen oder Anekdoten. Und trotzdem irgendwie ganz einfach: Um Wacken zu verstehen, muss man Wacken erleben.
Ein Film für alle, die wieder in Wacken sein werden, für alle, die es immer gern gewesen wären, und für alle, die schon immer wissen wollten, was es damit auf sich hat. –Die Welt (more…)