Symphony No. 2 "Lobgesang"
Malin Hartelius, soprano
Jörg Dürmüller, tenor
Douglas Boyd, conductor
Mendelssohn Bartholdy must have held his symphony-cantata Lobgesang
in particularly high regard. It was printed as his second symphony,
following the publication of his first symphony, but at a time when
his Italian Symphony and Reformation Symphony had already been composed.
Shortly after its publication the work was performed to great acclaim
in Winterthur - which means that this new recording by the Musikkollegium
Winterthur stands in the best tradition. Led by its principal conductor
Douglas Boyd, the Winterthur symphonic cycle on MDG reaches its magnificent
String Quartets Vol. 7
op. 77,1 &
2, 103, 42
"All my strength is gone." Joseph Haydn wrote these words
on the final page of his unfinished last string quartet. One can hardly
believe him when one listens to this new release by the Leipzig String
Quartet - and encounters a composer in full possession of his creative
powers. There is nary a trace of the infirmity of old age or fading
inspiration; rather, the master draws on all the rich experience of
his long artistic life. "I am old and weak" - this self-quotation
from his song "Der Greis" (The Old Man) seems to be pure
New Piano Music
from Eastern Germany
Is there - or was there - an original "East German music"?
Steffen Schleiermacher, who grew up in Halle an der Saale in the former
German Democratic Republic, has set out in quest of its traces and
selected his traveling companions. His teachers from Leipzig and his
(East) Berlin study years such as Siegfried Thiele, Friedrich Goldmann,
and Friedrich Schenker are among them as well as former and current
friends of his and inspiring artistic personalities such as Reiner
Bredemeyer, Hermann Keller, Nikolaus Richter de Vroe, Knut Müller,
and Wolfgang Heisig. The result is a surprisingly rich and varied
program thoroughly dispelling a number of mistaken notions about the
East German music scene.
Piano Quartet No. 1op. 23
Klaus Schilde, piano
Karsten Heymann, violin
Jean Rieber, viola
Ulrich Bode, violoncello
Hugo Stähle was only twenty-two years old when he died of encephalitis
- an immense loss for music, as this long-awaited rerelease of his
Piano Quartet demonstrates. It is hard to imagine that it was Stähle's
opus 1: perfect in form, rich in early romantic melodic exuberance,
it is in every way a match for the works of much more famous masters.
Opera Arias and Instrumental Works
In the booming early music recording market the opportunity to present
new discoveries is a special privilege. Here the La Ricordanza ensemble
performs fascinating dance and instrumental pieces and arias by the
baroque composer Reinhard Keiser.
Music scholars such as Johann Adolph Scheibe or the feared Mattheson
saw in Reinhard Keiser simply "the greatest original genius that
Germany has ever produced." In fact, the brilliant composer celebrated
triumphs in the opera house as well as in the church, and his highly
dramatic style became the model for many composers who after him went
on to write music history.