Heinz Holliger + I Musicia – Albinoni, Marcello & Vivaldi – Oboe Concertos (2012)

FrontCover1Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni (8 June 1671 – 17 January 1751) was an Italian Baroque composer. While famous in his day as an opera composer, he is mainly remembered today for his instrumental music, such as the concerti.

Born in Venice, Republic of Venice, to Antonio Albinoni, a wealthy paper merchant in Venice, he studied violin and singing. Relatively little is known about his life, especially considering his contemporary stature as a composer, and the comparatively well-documented period in which he lived. In 1694 he dedicated his Opus 1 to the fellow-Venetian, Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni (grand-nephew of Pope Alexander VIII); Ottoboni was an important patron in Rome of other composers, such as Arcangelo Corelli. His first opera, Zenobia, regina de Palmireni, was produced in Venice in 1694. Albinoni was possibly employed in 1700 as a violinist to Charles IV, Duke of Mantua, to whom he dedicated his Opus 2 collection of instrumental pieces. In 1701 he wrote his hugely popular suites Opus 3, and dedicated that collection to Cosimo III de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany.

In 1705, he was married; Antonino Biffi, the maestro di cappella of San Marco was a witness, and evidently was a friend of Albinoni. Albinoni seems to have no other connection with that primary musical establishment in Venice, however, and achieved his early fame as an opera composer at many cities in Italy, including Venice, Genoa, Bologna, Mantua, Udine, Piacenza, and Naples. During this time he was also composing instrumental music in abundance: prior to 1705, he mostly wrote trio sonatas and violin concertos, but between then and 1719 he wrote solo sonatas and concertos for oboe.

AlbinoniUnlike most composers of his time, he appears never to have sought a post at either a church or noble court, but then he was a man of independent means and had the option to compose music independently. In 1722, Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria, to whom Albinoni had dedicated a set of twelve concertos, invited him to direct two of his operas in Munich.

Around 1740, a collection of Albinoni’s violin sonatas was published in France as a posthumous work, and scholars long presumed that meant that Albinoni had died by that time. However, it appears he lived on in Venice in obscurity; a record from the parish of San Barnaba indicates Tomaso Albinoni died in Venice in 1751, of diabetes mellitus.

Most of his operatic works have been lost, largely because they were not published during his lifetime. However, nine collections of instrumental works were published. These were met with considerable success and consequent reprints. He is therefore known more as a composer of instrumental music (99 sonatas, 59 concerti and 9 sinfonia) today. In his lifetime these works were compared favourably with those of Corelli and Vivaldi. His nine collections published in Italy, Amsterdam and London were either dedicated to or sponsored by an impressive list of southern European nobility. Albinoni wrote at least fifty operas of which twenty-eight were produced in Venice between 1723 and 1740. Albinoni himself claimed 81 operas (naming his second-to-last opera, in the libretto, as his 80th). In spite of his enormous operatic output, today he is most noted for his instrumental music, especially his oboe concerti. He is the first Italian known to employ the oboe as a solo instrument in concerti (c. 1715, in his 12 concerti a cinque, op. 7) and publish such works, although earlier concerti featuring solo oboe were probably written by German composers such as Telemann or Händel. In Italy, Alessandro Marcello published his well known oboe concerto in D minor a little later, in 1717. Albinoni also employed the instrument often in his chamber works.

Albinoni2
His instrumental music attracted great attention from Johann Sebastian Bach, who wrote at least two fugues on Albinoni’s themes (Fugue in A major on a theme by Tomaso Albinoni, BWV 950, Fugue in B minor on a theme by Tomaso Albinoni, BWV 951) and frequently used his basses for harmony exercises for his pupils. Part of Albinoni’s work was lost in World War II with the destruction of the Dresden State Library. As a result, little is known of his life and music after the mid-1720s.

The famous “Adagio in G minor” for violin, strings and organ, the subject of many modern recordings, is by some thought to be a musical hoax composed by Remo Giazotto. However, a discovery by musicologist Muska Mangano, Giazotto’s last assistant before his death, brought up new findings. Among Giazotto’s papers, she discovered a modern but independent manuscript transcription of the figured bass portion and six fragmentary bars of the first violin, “bearing in the top right-hand corner a stamp stating unequivocally the Dresden provenance of the original from which it was taken”. This provides support for Giazotto’s account that he did base his composition on a source. (by wikipedia)

The oboe on these recordings was played by Heinz Holliger:

Heinz Robert Holliger (born 21 May 1939) is a Swiss oboist, composer and conductor.

Holliger was born in Langenthal, Switzerland, and began his musical education at the conservatories of Bern and Basel. He studied composition with Sándor Veress and Pierre Boulez. Holliger took first prize for oboe in the International Competition in Geneva in 1959.

He has become one of the world’s most celebrated oboists, and many composers (including Olivier Messiaen, Luciano Berio, Elliott Carter, Frank Martin, Hans Werner Henze, Witold Lutosławski, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Krzysztof Penderecki, and Isang Yun) have written works for him. He began teaching at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg, Germany in 1966.

In 1972 Holliger, Maurice Bourgue (fr) (oboe), Klaus Thunemann (bassoon), and Christiane Jaccottet (continuo) et al. recorded the Six Trio Sonatas for Oboe and Bassoon by Jan Dismas Zelenka. This recording is credited for the “Zelenka Renaissance”.

Holliger has also composed many works in a variety of media. Many of his works have been recorded for the ECM label.

Heinz Holliger

Invited by Walter Fink, he was the 17th composer featured in the annual Komponistenporträt of the Rheingau Musik Festival in 2007 in chamber music and a symphonic concert that he conducted himself, including works of Claude Debussy and Robert Schumann along with his Lieder after Georg Trakl and Gesänge der Frühe on words of Schumann and Friedrich Hölderlin.

On the occasion of Paul Sacher’s 70th birthday, Holliger was one of twelve composer-friends of his who were asked by Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich to write compositions for cello solo using his name spelt out in German names for musical notes on the theme (eS, A, C, H, E, Re); Holliger contributed a Chaconne for Violoncello Solo. The compositions were partially presented in Zurich on 2 May 1976. The whole “eSACHERe” project was (for the first time in complete performance) performed by Czech cellist František Brikcius in May 2011 in Prague. (by wikipedia).

And he was accomponied ny the legendary I Musici ensemble:

I Musici (pronounced [iˈmuːzitʃi]), also known as I Musici di Roma, is an Italian chamber orchestra from Rome formed in 1951. They are well known for their interpretations of Baroque and other works, particularly Antonio Vivaldi and Tomaso Albinoni.

Among their engagements, the original Chamber Orchestra completed acclaimed tours of Southern Africa 1956, and again in 1967, with a few replacement performers

In the 1970s, I Musici recorded the first classical music video and, later, the group was the first to record a compact disc for the Philips label.

One of their founding members and first violin, Felix Ayo, is still active as of 2012. (by wikipedia)

This is a reference album of the baroque oboe, with additional works by Alessandro Marcello and Antonio Vivaldi: What a unique sound … Another chance to discover the magic of this music !

 

IMusici60s

I Musici during the Sixties

Personnel:
Maurice Bourgue (oboe)
Maria Teresa Garatti (harpsichord)
Heinz Holliger (oboe)
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I Musici

BookletBackCover1

Tracklist:

Tomaso Albinoni: Concerto a 5 in D minor, Op.9, No.2 for Oboe, Strings, and Continuo:
01. Allegro e non presto 4.08
02. Adagio 5.22
03. Allegro 2.52

Tomaso Albinoni: Concerto a 5 in F, Op.9, No.3 for 2 Oboes, Strings, and Continuo:
04. Allegro 4.55
05. Adagio 3.09
06. Allegro 3.50

Alessandro Marcello: Oboe Concerto in D minor:
07. Andante e spiccato 3.32
08. Adagio 4.23
09. Presto 3.45

Tomaso Albinoni: Concerto a 5 in G minor, Op.9, No.8 for Oboe, Strings, and Continuo:
10. Allegro 4.24
11. Adagio 2.39
12. Allegro 4.03

Tomaso Albinoni: Concerto a 5 in C, Op.9, No.9 for 2 Oboes, Strings, and Continuo:
13. Allegro 4.08
14. Adagio 3.18
15. Allegro 3.42

Antonio Vivaldi: Oboe Concerto in C, R.446:
16. Allegro 3.15
17. Adagio 3.36
18. Allegro 2.01

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Maurice André – Concertos pour trompette (1987)

FrontCover1At the height of his career, the name of Maurice André, who has died at the age of 78, was synonymous with the trumpet. Not only was he largely responsible for establishing the trumpet as a popular solo instrument, but he also dominated the scene in the 1960s and 70s with a punishing schedule of concerts (an average of 180 a year) and more than 300 recordings, many made on his trademark piccolo trumpet.

As the winner of a prestigious international competition in Munich in 1963, he was sought out by the conductor Karl Richter, who needed a player with star quality for the taxing trumpet parts of such works as Bach’s B Minor Mass. Other notable conductors with whom André worked at this time included Karl Böhm, Karl Münchinger and Herbert von Karajan. He made an immensely successful recording with Karajan of a transcribed concerto by Vivaldi.

MauriceAndré01It was the lack of repertoire for the trumpet that persuaded André to make arrangements of works for violin, oboe and other instruments. He played them on the piccolo trumpet, an instrument designed to deliver the higher range with facility, and proceeded to stun audiences with a winning combination of technical brilliance and sweetness of tone.

André was a big man, with bushy eyebrows and fleshy fingers. Often the tiny instrument seemed to disappear from view beneath his hands. But he was a huge inspiration to generations of trumpeters, not least his pupils at the Paris Conservatoire, where he taught from 1967 to 1978. He continued to tour after that, first with his brother Raymond, also a trumpeter, and later with his children Nicolas and Béatrice (trumpeter and oboist respectively).

MauriceAndré02His farewell concert took place in 2008 in St Nazaire Cathedral, Béziers, in southern France, by which time André was officially in retirement. He had moved to a hilltop villa in the Basque country, where he developed his talents as a woodcarver and painter, but continued to practise the trumpet for four or five hours a day.
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Born in Alès, France, at the foot of the Cévennes mountains, André was the son of a coalminer who was also an amateur trumpet player. His father presented the 12-year-old André with a cornet and was so impressed by the boy’s potential that he sent him to study with a friend of his, Léon Barthélémy, a former student at the Paris Conservatoire.

Having taught André for four years, Barthélémy urged his father to send the boy, who had in the meantime followed his father down the mine, to study at the Conservatoire. Since the family could not afford the fees, André joined a military band, enabling him to secure a free place there. He studied with Raymond Sabarich, receiving first prize for both cornet and trumpet after his first and second years of study.

MauriceAndré03His early orchestral posts were with the Lamoureux Orchestra (1953-60), the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra (1953-62) and the Opéra-Comique (1962-67), but his success in the Munich competition effectively launched his career as a soloist. He had in fact been invited to sit on the jury of the competition, but decided to participate himself. It was at this time that he met and married his wife, Liliane, who supported him loyally as manager and companion on his tours, not least in the early years when his career was slow to take off.

André’s eventual success was founded on a solid technique, superb breath control and seemingly inexhaustible stamina, attributed by him to his years in the coalmine: “I built myself up when working in the mine at 14 years old, when I was moving 17 tons of coal a day,” he once said.

Certainly the technique was formidable. Playing a three-valve Selmer instrument (a fourth valve was added by the manufacturer in 1967 in collaboration with André to extend the register downwards), he effortlessly negotiated the stratospheric pitch range for which the Baroque repertoire was notorious. In the virtuoso faster movements, his tone sparkled brilliantly; in the slow movements it was creamy and seductive. As Karajan once opined: “He’s undoubtedly the best trumpet player, but he’s not from our world.”
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MauriceAndré05Since the 1970s, Baroque performance practice has developed considerably, with more variety of phrasing and articulation. Both soloist and orchestral accompaniments on many of André’s recordings now sound inflexible, with dirge-like tempi for slow movements. But at the time, this style of playing was thrillingly new and original. It was his lesser-known predecessor Adolf Scherbaum who introduced the piccolo trumpet and its repertoire, but André who brought it global popularity.

Though André was far from a devotee of contemporary music, the sound of which, he said, reminded him of the coalmine, he did have music written for him by several composers including André Jolivet, Henri Tomasi, Boris Blacher, Antoine Tisné and Jean Langlais. A biography, Maurice André: Une Trompette pour la Renommée (A Trumpet for Fame, 2003), was written by his student Guy Touvron, and his memoirs were published under the title Le Soleil Doit Pouvoir Briller pour Tout le Monde (The Sun Has to Shine for Everybody, 2007).

This is a sampler with some of his finest recordings … he was a master of the trumpet !

MauriceAndré06Personnel:
Maurice André (trumpet)
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Orchestre de Chambre Franz Liszt (CD 1: 01 . 03., 17. + 18.)
Maxence Larrieu (flute)
Janos Rolla (violin)
Bernhard Schenkel (oboe)

Orchestre de Chambre de Wurtemberg conducted by Jörg Faerber (CD 1: 04. – 08.; CD 2: 04. – 09., 16. + 19.)

Academy of St.Martin-in-the-fields conducted by Neville Marriner (CD 1: 09. – 16.; CD 2: 10. – 12.)
Bernard Soustrot (trumpet)

London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jesus Lopez-Cobos (CD 1: 19. – 21.; CD: 2: 13. – 15.)

Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Muti (CD 2: 01. – 03.)

BackCover1Tracklist:

CD 1:

Johann Sebastian Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F major, BWV 1047:    
01. Allegro 5.21
02. Andante 3.53
03. Allegro assai 3.00

George Frederick Händel: Water Piece, suite for trumpet, strings & continuo in D major, HWV 341:
04. Overture 1.50
05. Gigue. Allegro 1.45
06. Air 2.01
07. Bourrée 1.06
08. Marche 1.31

Georg Philipp Telemann: Concerto for trumpet, 2 oboes, strings & continuo in D major, TWV 53:D2
09. Allegro
10. Grave 0.47
11. Arie 3.52
12. Grave 0.32
13. Vivace 2.23

Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel: Concerto for trumpet in D major:
14. Allegro 3.01
15. Andante 2.52
16. Allegro 2.42

Michael Haydn: Trumpet Concerto in D major, MH 104:
17. Adagio
18. Allegro 3.12

Franz Joseph Hadyn: Trumpet Concerto in E flat major, H. 7e/1:
19. Allegro 6.53
20. Andante 4.09
21. Allegro 4.57

CD 2:

Giuseppe Torelli; Sinfonia for trumpet, strings & continuo in D major (“Trumpet Concerto”)
01. Allegro 2.30
02. Adagio – Presto – Adagio 3.01
03. Allegro 1.48

Tomaso Albinoni: Concerto à cinque, for oboe, 2 violins, viola, cello & continuo No. 2 in D
04. minor, Op. 9/2:
04.. Allegro e non presto
05. Adagio 5.30
06. Allegro

Giuseppe Tartini: Trumpet Concerto in D major, D. 53 (arrangement of Violin Concerto in E major):
07. Allegro
08. Andante 2.49
09. Allegro grazioso 3.15

Antonio Vivaldi: Double Trumpet Concerto for 2 trumpets, strings & continuo in C major, RV 537:
10. Allegro
11. Largo 1.03
12. Allegro 3.21

Benedetto Marcello: Oboe Concerto in C minor, SF. 799 (attributed to A. Marcello)
13. Allegro moderato 4.05
14. Adagio 5.00
15. Allegro 3.26

Domenico Cimarosa: Trumpet Concerto in C major:
16. Introduction. Larghetto 3.20
17. Allegro 2.56
18. Siciliana 2.44
19. Allegro giusto 2.30

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MauriceAndré04Maurice André,  born 21 May 1933; died 25 February 2012

Herbert von Karajan – Albinoni – Pachelbel – Corelli – Vivaldi (1986)

FrontCover1Some reviews about this album:

I confess I should not probably enjoy this disc as much as do, especially rich orchestral treatments romantically projected by Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic, but what performances especially the Albinoni taken so slowly and so passionately.

Gave him full rating as I am very found of music by Albinoni. Bought it as a present for my partner who also loves Albinoni’s music.

Very good tho very Germanic performances… the Albinoni adagio almost unrecogniseable at such a sedate tempo… but still interesting.

I bought two CDs, both of which included Albinoni’s Adagio. I love this piece and wish I could remember which version I had had in previous times on album. I know its written for organ, but really hate the sound of it! Someone should record it and substitute another instrument.This version of Adagio seems slower, but well recorded.
Thoroughly enjoyed listening to this, bought because I heard the music playing when running an E Advent calendar. Perfect for background music.Lovely version of Pachelbel’s Canon.

These great compositons were recorded between 1970 – 1972.

BookletBackCover1Personnel:
Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Herbert von Karajan

Booklet02ATracklist:

Tomaso Albinoni (+ Remo Giazotto):
01. Adagio, for violin, strings & organ in G minor, T. Mi 26 10.10

Arcangelo Corelli: Concerto Grosso in G minor (“Christmas Concerto”), Op. 6/8:
02. No. 1, Vivace; Grave; Allegro 4.30
03. No. 2, Adagio; Allegro; Adagio 3.48
04. No. 3, Vivace 1.26
05. No. 4, Allegro 1.52
06. No. 5, Pastorale (Largo) 5.12

Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto alla rustica, for strings & continuo in G major, RV 151:
07. Presto 1.10
08. Adagio 1.37
09. Allegro 2.23

Antonio Vivaldi: Violin Concerto, for violin, strings & continuo in E major (“L’amoroso”), RV 271:
10. 1. Allegro 4.21
11. 2. Cantabile 2.24
12. 3. Allegro 4.35

Johann Pachelbel: Canon and gigue, for 3 violins & continuo in D major, T. 337:
13. Canon 4.35
14. Gigue 2.07

Francesco Manfredini: Concerto Grosso in C major, Op. 3/12 “Christmas Pastorale”:
15. Pastorale 5.02
16. Largo 2.57
17. Allegro 2.57

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