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last updated: 30/10/2017

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

Symphony No. 8 C major D 944

Brandenburger Symphoniker
Peter Gülke, conductor

MDG 901 2053-6


Franz Schubert's Symphony in C major very much deserves its popular designation: it is indeed "The Great." After all, its playing length of an hour means that it transcends the dimensions of everything that came before it. Moreover, with this mighty feat Schubert was very much inviting direct comparison with the works of a certain composer who was almost thirty years his senior: Beethoven. Peter Gülke and his Brandenburg Symphony discover hidden and more obvious allusions while situating this gigantic work, complete and unabridged, in a previously hardly noticed, surprising comparative context and present the results in vibrant SACD sound.

Georg Hendrik Witte (1843-1929)

Piano Quartet op. 5, Horn Quintet op. post.

Mozart Piano Quartet
Radovan Vlatkovic, horn
Cornelia Gartemann, violin

MDG 943 2046-6



For forty years Georg Hendrik Witte influenced the course of music history in the city of Essen. Important events occurred during this productive era, and the overpowering premiere of Gustav Mahler's fateful Sixth Symphony was a special milestone. Witte's undisputed accomplishments as a conductor and orchestra manager have completely obscured his compositional oeuvre. The Mozart Piano Quartet has teamed up with friends on this recording of the composer's Piano Quartet and Horn Quintet, two chamber works from his early Leipzig period revealing to us a highly talented, evidently outstandingly educated artist determined to follow his own path in musical life.

Peter Feuchtwanger/Johannes Brahms

Piano Music

Lennart Felix, piano

MDG 904 2047-6



As an educator Peter Feuchtwanger left his mark on several generations of pianists. With his individual technique based on uncompromising naturalness, he helped the young Martha Argerich to achieve her breakthrough. Very much interested in Far Eastern and Indian culture, Feuchtwanger also repeatedly composed for unusual instrumental combinations and wrote "Dhun," a work commissioned by the unforgettable Yehudi Menuhin, who premiered it with Ravi Shankar. Lennart Felix, one of Feuchtwanger's youngest pupils, is now commemorating his teacher, who died in 2016, with a very special epitaph: he presents Feuchtwanger's works along with the Paganini Variations by Johannes Brahms - a greater act of homage could hardly be imagined!

W. A. Mozart

Early String Quartets Vol.3

Leipziger Streichquartett

MDG 307 2044-2


The conclusion of a very special edition! The Leipzig String Quartet performs four new works and with them rounds off the series of the early string quartets composed by the sixteen-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart during his journeys to Milan and Vienna. Now that the general inspection of Mozart's quartets by this ensemble is complete, the only question is: Why have these youthfully fresh pieces so very much been overshadowed by the ten famous "great quartets"?

Steffen Schleiermacher (*1960)

Sound and Colour

Ensemble Avantgarde
sonic.art Saxophone Quartet
Wolfgang Heisig, Phonola

MDG 613 2005-2


Delicate pianissimo passages, gripping rhythms, grand melodic developments, decibel-force noise registers: Steffen Schleiermacher's works fully exploit the extremes of musical sound. Inspired by masterpieces from the visual arts, this composing internationalist commands an extremely sensuous and varied range of expression without equals in contemporary music. Along with the Ensemble Avantgarde, the Sonic.Art Saxophone Quartet, and Wolfgang Heisig on the player piano, Schleiermacher creates a musical self-portrait offering a rewarding listening experience for fans of new music - and others too!