Various Artists – The Classic Christmas (1996)

FrontCover1.jpgMany large-scale religious compositions are performed in a concert setting at Christmas. Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (Weihnachts-Oratorium, BWV 248), written for Christmas 1734, describes the birth of Jesus, the annunciation to the shepherds, the adoration of the shepherds, the circumcision and naming of Jesus, the journey of the Magi, and the adoration of the Magi.[16] Peter Cornelius composed a cycle of six songs related to Christmas themes he called Weihnachtslieder. Setting his own poems for solo voice and piano, he alluded to older Christmas carols in the accompaniment of two of the songs.

Various notable composers have written instrumental works for Christmas, including Antonio Vivaldi’s Violin Concerto RV270 “Il Riposo per il Santissimo Natale” (“For the Most Holy Christmas”) and the Christmas Concerto (1690) by Arcangelo Corelli. Other classical works associated with Christmas include:

  • Pastorale sur la naissance de N.S. Jésus-Christ (c. 1670) by Marc-Antoine Charpentier; Christus (1847)
  • an unfinished oratorio by Felix Mendelssohn
  • L’enfance du Christ (1853–54) by Hector Berlioz
  • Oratorio de Noël (1858) by Camille Saint-Saëns
  • The Nutcracker (1892) by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  • Fantasia on Christmas Carols (1912) and Hodie (1954), both by Ralph Vaughan Williams
  • A Ceremony of Carols (1942) by Benjamin Britten.

Informal Scratch Messiah performances involving public participation are very popular in the Christmas season. Performances of George Frideric Handel’s oratorio Messiah are a fixture of Christmas celebrations in some countries, and although it was originally written for performance at Easter, it covers aspects of the Biblical Christmas narrative. (by wikipedia)

And here´s a nice collection of classic Christmas compositions.

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Personnel:

Bernhard, Hannes, Wolfgang Läubin, Norbert Schmitt, Simon Preston:

Bernhard Läubin (trumpet)
Hannes Läubin (trumpet)
Wolfgang Läubin (trumpet)
Simon Preston (organ)Timpani
Norbert Schmitt (timpani)

Luciano Pavarotti & The National Philharmonic Orchestra:
Luciano Pavarotti (vocals)
The National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Kurt Herbert Adler

Berliner Philharmoniker:
conducted by Herbert von Karajan

Wiener Sängerknaben:
conducted by Uwe Christian Harrer

Wiener Philharmoniker:
conducted by Claudio Abbado

Philharmonia Orchestra:
Bryn Terfel (vocals – Bass on 06.)
Kathleen Battle (vocals on 13.)
conducted by Paul Daniel (on 06.)
conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini (on 13.)

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra:
Edward Brewer (organ)
counducted by Guillermo Figueroa

London Symphony Orchestra:
Cheryl Studer (soprano vocals)
counducted by Ion Marin

Wiener Philharmoniker & Anne-Sophie Mutter:
Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin)
counducted by James Levine

José Carreras – Coral Salvé De Laredo – Sociedad Coral Debilbao:
José Carreras (vocals)
conducted by Damián Sanchez

The Monteverdi Choir & The English Baroque Soloists:
conducted by John Eliot Gardiner

Bryn Terfel & Malcolm Martineau:
Malcolm Martineau (piano)
Bryn Terfel (Baritone)

Dresdner Kreuzchor:
conducted by Matthias Jung

Choir Of St. Paul’s Cathedral & English Chamber Orchestra:
Kiri Te Kanawa (Soprano)
Thelma Owen  (harp)
conducted by Barry Rose

Martha Argerich & Nicolas Economou:
Martha Argerich (piano)
Nicolas Economou (piano)

London Symphony Orchestra & Plácido Domingo:
Plácido Domingo (Tenor)
conducted by Karl-Heinz Loges

Jessye Norman, Daniel Barenboim, Wolfram Christ:
Daniel Barenboim (piano)
Wolfram Christ (viola)
Jessye Norman (Soprano)

The English Concert Choir & The English Concert:
conducted by Trevor Pinnock

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Tracklist:

Bernhard, Hannes, Wolfgang Läubin, Norbert Schmitt, Simon Preston:
01. Sinfonies De Fanfare: Rondeau (Mouret) 1.58

Luciano Pavarotti & TheNational Philharmonic Orchestra:
02. O Holy Night (Minuit Chrétien) (Adam) 4.16

Berliner Philharmoniker:
03. March from  The Nutcracker (Tchaikovsky) 2.22

Wiener Sängerknaben:
04. O Christmas Tree (O Tannenbaum) (Traditional) 1.39

Wiener Philharmoniker:
05. The Sleighride (Die Schlittenfart) (Mozart) 2.33

Philharmonia Orchestra:
06. White Christmas (Berlin) 5.01

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra:
07. Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring (Jesus Bleibet Meine Freude (Bach) 3.26

London Symphony Orchestra:
08. Ave Maria (Gounod/Bach) 2.11

Wiener Philharmoniker & Anne-Sophie Mutter:
09. Méditation From Thais (Massenet) 6.43

José Carreras – Coral Salvé De Laredo – Sociedad Coral Debilbao:
10. The Nativity (Ramirez) 3.58

Bernhard, Hannes, Wolfgang Läubin, Norbert Schmitt, Simon Preston:
11. See, The Conquering Hero Comes (Händel) 3.02

The Monteverdi Choir & The English Baroque Soloists:
12. Jesy, Joy Of Man’s Desiring (Jesus bleibet meine Freude) (Bach) 2.31

Philharmonia Orchestra:
13. Pie Jesu From Requiem (Fauré) 4.06

Berliner Philharmoniker:
14. Christmas Concerto (Corelli) 3.52

Bryn Terfel & Malcolm Martineau:
15. The Three Kings (Die Könige) (Cornelius) 2.37

Dresdner Kreuzchor:
16. Silent Night (Stille Nacht) (Gruber/Mohr) 3.35

Choir Of St. Paul’s Cathedral & English Chamber Orchestra:
17. Ave Maria Op.52/6 D 839 (Schubert) 3.38

Martha Argerich & Nicolas Economou:
18. Dance Of The Reedpipes (Tchaikovsky) 2.12

London Symphony Orchestra & Plácido Domingo:
19. Muñequite Linda (Magic Is The Moonlight) (Grever) 3.50

Jessye Norman, Daniel Barenboim, Wolfram Christ:
20. Geistliches Wiegenlied Op. 91/2 (Brahms) 6.12

The English Concert Choir & The English Concert:
21. Hallelujah from Messiah (Händel) 3.58

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The Classical Jazz Quartet – Christmas (2002)

FrontCover1.jpgOkay, let´s start with another collection of Christmas albums:

As high-concept jazz groups go, few have been as fun, laid-back, and boisterous as the Classical Jazz Quartet. Taking classical compositions and transforming them into upbeat jazz anthems, the group isn’t afraid to make drastically unique changes to the music they cover. The group first came together when bassist Ron Carter contacted pianist Kenny Barron to work together. Discussing the prospect of covering Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, vibraphonist Stefon Harris and drummer Lewis Nash were soon called in and the group decided to go ahead with the project. Released in 2001, their rendition of the classic Christmas ballet was a playful reinvention that swung hard and fun. A year later, The Classical Jazz Quartet Plays Bach did the same for the 17th century baroque composer. (by Bradley Torreano)

The Classical Jazz Quartet recorded a series of sessions utilizing Bob Belden’s arrangements of classical music, though this session draws primarily from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite. The cast of musicians, including pianist Kenny Barron, vibraphonist and marimba player Stefon Harris, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Lewis Nash, is never less than impressive, though the album production and, occasionally, Belden’s charts don’t always serve their considerable talent. Handel’s famous Hallelujah from The Messiah is a promising start, though it is strangely and suddenly truncated by a rapid fadeout just over the five-minute mark.

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Better is the extended workout of J.S. Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, which gives the musicians a chance to stretch out. The remainder of the album is devoted to music from The Nutcracker Suite, which duplicates the music heard on The Classical Jazz Quartet Play Tchaikovsky, meaning that those already owning that CD aren’t likely to purchase this release for just two new tracks. “The Swingin’ Nut” (Overture Miniature) is a bluesy chart that gets stuck in a boring vamp instead of developing upon its famous theme as a source for improvisation. But the remainder of Belden’s arrangements inspire top-notch performances, especially the playful “Blues à la Russe” (Russian Dance Trepack) and the delicious bossa nova treatment of “Mirlitonova” (Dance of the Reeds). Highly recommended for listening, at any time of year. (by Ken Dryden,)

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Personnel:
Kenny Barron (piano)
Ron Carter (bass)
Stefon Harris (vibraphone, marimba)
Lewis Nash (drums)

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Tracklist:

01. Hallelujah From “The Messiah” (Händel) 5.25
02 Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring (Bach) 8.40
03 Overture Miniature From “The Nutcracker” (Tchaikovsky) 6.28
04 March From “The Nutcracker” (Tchaikovsky) 4.50
05 Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy From “The Nutcracker” (Tchaikovsky) 6.54
06 Russian Dance Trepack From “The Nutcracker” (Tchaikovsky) 5.59
07 Dance Of The Reeds From “The Nutcracker” (Tchaikovsky) 6.54
08 Waltz Of The Flowers From “The Nutcracker” (Tchaikovsky) 7.24

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Vladimir Horowitz – Horowitz The Poet (1991)

FrontCover1.jpgVladimir Samoylovich Horowitz (October 1 [O.S. September 18] 1903 – November 5, 1989) was an American classical pianist and composer born in the Russian Empire. He was acclaimed for his virtuoso technique, his tone color, and the excitement engendered by his playing. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest pianists of all time. (by wikipedia)

Vladimir Horowitz had a complicated relationship with Schubert’s last piano Sonata. He revered the Sonata from the 1930s on, but felt it was too small scale a work for performance in today’s large concert halls. He finally gave it a try in 1953, playing it at the 25th Anniversary of his American Debut. One critic wrote that “Horowitz subjects poor, innocent Schubert to the most neurotic bombardment.” The hypertense, oversized 1953 performance is one of the most uncomfortable piano recordings ever made.

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Despite his difficulties in bringing it to life, Horowitz remained fond of the Sonata and often played it at home. His conception mellowed over the years, and friends urged him to perform it again. Horowitz played the Schubert at several recording sessions in March of 1986, about one month before his Moscow concert. So, his mind may have been elsewhere during these sessions. On the positive side, there is a welcome sense of relaxation, he plays the often neglected first movement repeat, and he gets the tempos right. It’s nice to hear the second movement, marked Andante sostenuto, played at the intended tempo – instead of Adagio or even Largo. But there are too many negatives here: Horowitz gussies up the piano writing (adding fifths in the left hand and lowering bass notes), breaks apart phrases, and generally disrupts the flow of the music to the extent that what is left is a parody of Schubert’s most sublime piano sonata. He’s also not quite up to snuff technically in the last movement.

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The pianist himself recognized the problems with this performance – calling it “fussy” – and refused to grant Deutsche Grammophon permission to release it. (Other pieces recorded during those sessions, Schubert’s Moment Musical No. 3, the Schubert-Liszt Serenade, and Soirees de Vienna No. 6, were released on the “Horowitz at Home” CD in 1989.) In 1991, Wanda Toscanini Horowitz overrode her late husband’s rejection and allowed the Sonata to be released. It says something about Mrs. Horowitz’s musical judgment that she approved the release of a substandard performance of a highly regarded musical work, but she refused RCA permission to release Horowitz’s astounding live performances of Balakirev’s Islamey and Liszt’s St. Francis Walking on the Water because she felt they were unmusical warhorses. She was clearly more interested in associating her husband’s name with snob repertoire than in great performances.

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Horowitz had a more steady relationship with Schumann’s Kinderszenen. The pianist played it frequently in concert from the 1940s on. This version, his fourth official recording of the work, is from a live performance in Vienna’s Great Golden Hall in May of 1987, one of Horowitz’s last concerts. In many ways, it’s also his finest recording of Kinderszenen. Horowitz’s two studio renderings, from 1950 and 1962, are fairly straightforward accounts, with occasional lapses into pianistic micromanagement and hints of nervousness when there should be repose. A 1982 live recording is almost the opposite, with bizarre rubatos, distended ritards, slack rhythm, and almost no coherence. But here, in 1987, Horowitz has pulled himself together and plays with simplicity, controlled freedom, and conviction. It is often said that the elderly sometimes return to a childlike state. In old age, Horowitz had achieved communion with Schumann’s visions of childhood lost.

The sound is fine in both works, with remarkably little audience noise during the live Kinderszenen. (by Hank Drake)

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Personnel:
Vladimir Horowitz (piano)

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Tracklist:

Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata In B Flat Major, D 960:
01. Molto Moderato 19.12
02. Andante Sostenuto 8.02
03. Scherzo: Allegro Vivace Con Delicatezza 4.12
04 Allegro Ma Non Troppo 7.38

Robert Schumann: Kinderszenen:
05. Von Fremden Ländern Und Menschen 1.35
06. Kuriose Geschichte 1.05
07 Haschemann 0.32
08. Bittendes Kind 0.50
09. Glückes Genug 0.40
10 Wichtige Begebenheit 0.51
11. Träumerei 2.34
12. Am Kamin 1.19
13. Ritter vom Steckenpferd 0.40
14. Fast zu ernst 1.29
15. Fürchtenmachen 1.38
16. Kind Im Einschlummern 1.40
17. Der Dichter spricht 2.07

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VladimirHorowitz1October 1, 1903 – November 5, 1989)

Ludwig Güttler + Virtuosi Saxoniae – JS Bach Orchestral Suites (2014)

FrontCover1.jpgLudwig Güttler (born 13 June 1943) is an internationally known German virtuoso on the Baroque trumpet, the piccolo trumpet and the corno da caccia. As a conductor, he founded several ensembles including the chamber orchestra Virtuosi Saxoniae. His name is sometimes written in English as Ludwig Guttler.

He received a number of awards including Discovery of the Year in 1983, and Frankfurt’s Musikpreis for extraordinary achievements in 1989. He was a founding member of the Rheingau Musik Festival and has appeared regularly since the first season in 1988.

As head of the society of the Dresdner Frauenkirche, Ludwig Güttler promoted the reconstruction of this famous Baroque church, which was destroyed during World War II and was rebuilt in 1994–2004. In recognition of these contributions, Queen Elizabeth II appointed him Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in November 2007.

Güttler was born in 1943 in Sosa, in the Ore Mountain region of Saxony. He studied at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik – Mendelssohn-Akademie in Leipzig with Armin Männel. From 1965 to 1969 he played in the orchestra of the Handel Festival in Halle and from 1969 to 1980 with the Dresden Philharmonic. He has been teaching the trumpet at the Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber in Dresden until 1990, and at the annual Güttler01International Music Seminar in Weimar from 1980 to 1990.

Since the mid-1970s, Güttler has been mainly active as a soloist and later as a conductor, at home and abroad, devoted mainly to the trumpet literature of the 18th century, especially the high-pitched piccolo trumpet. He was also involved in the development of a modern brass instrument to play parts designated for the historic corno da caccia. The instrument was made by Friedbert Syhre in Leipzig.

Güttler is also musical director of the festival “Sandstein und Musik” (Sandstone and Music) in Saxon Switzerland, founded in 1983 and of the festival Musikwoche Hitzacker in Hitzacker. Güttler is a member of the Sächsische Akademie der Künste (Saxon Academy of Arts).

Güttler founded the Leipziger Bach-Collegium in 1976, the Blechbläserensemble Ludwig Güttler in 1978, and in 1985 the chamber orchestra Virtuosi Saxoniae.[3] The group of members of the Staatskapelle Dresden concentrates on performing music from the 18th century found in Dresden libraries, in the fields of opera, sacred music and chamber music.

He supported the Rheingau Musik Festival from the beginning in 1988, both as a performer and a curator. In 2011 he appeared with his Brass Ensemble.[5] In 2012, he conducted his orchestra Virtuosi Saxoniae in Eberbach Abbey in works by Bach, Handel, Johann Friedrich Fasch, Christoph Förster, Telemann and Mozart, as part of the series “Companions along the way”.

Güttler03In 1983 he received a record prize of the Deutsche Phono-Akademie in Hamburg as “Discovery of the Year”. In 1988 he was the second recipient of the Georg-Philipp-Telemann-Preis of Magdeburg, in 1989 the Frankfurter Musikpreis. In both 1978 and 1985 he received the National Prize of East Germany, which he returned in 1989, asking that the money should be devoted to the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche.

After the German reunification, Ludwig Güttler became chairman of the society for promoting the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche Dresden and curator of the foundation Stiftung Frauenkirche. He regularly conducted “Wiederaufbaukonzerte” (concerts for the reconstruction).[9] For his involvement in the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche, he received several honours. President Horst Köhler awarded him in September 2007 the Great Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. Erich Iltgen awarded him the Sächsische Verfassungsmedaille on 26 May 2005. Queen Elizabeth II appointed him Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in November 2007 in recognition of his contributions to the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche and his significant contribution to the reconciliation of the two peoples by this project. (by wikipedia)

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Can one ever tire of the dancing inspiration that animates these four portmanteau collections which have delighted both serious and casual listeners ever since Bach compiled them for use in social occasions as the 30-something Kapellmeister at the briefly enlightened court of Prince Leopold of Cöthen, exulting in the multifarious influences which he had absorbed and could place at the service of a compositional mind of unequalled intellectual brilliance yet always conscious of his music’s need to entertain, to give delight as well as accompany the sober thoughts of his congregations?

Not, at any rate, in these performances from a virtuoso German ensemble hailing from Bach’s own part of the world and masterminded by a superb trumpeter-turned-conductor who well understands the exuberant, public character of these suites, their occasional purposes, for all that in such moments as the famous Air from the G major Suite, No.3, they appear to take on a more confiding aspect, drawing the listener in before dispelling the tension with another jolly minuet or charming sarabande.

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This generously filled CD presents the complete Orchestral Suites (Overtures) by J.S. Bach. Bach’s Suites count among his most popular and most frequently performed works, they are quintessential Bach: majestic, noble, tender and full of energy. They contain some of Bach’s evergreens: the Air from the 3rd Suite and the Badinerie from the 2nd Suite.

Played by the Virtuosi Saxoniae conducted by trumpeter-conductor Ludwig Güttler, modern instruments in Historically Informed Performance Practice, the best of both worlds. (press release)

Recordings: 1990-1992, Lukaskirche, Dresden/Germany

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Personnel:
Joachim Bischof (cello)
Ludwig Güttler (trumpet)
Eckart Haupt (flute)
Friedemann Jähnig (viola)
Thomas Käppler (timpani)
Günter Klier (bassoon)
Manfred Krause (oboe)
Andreas Lorenz (oboe)
Heinz-Dieter Richter (violin)
Roland Rudolph (trumpet)
Mathias Schmutzler (trumpet)
Roland Straumer (violin)
Guido Titze (oboe)
Werner Zeibig (bass)

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Tracklist:

Suite In C BWV 1066:
01. Ouverture 5.37
02. Courante 1.38
03. Gavotte I & II 2.27
04. Forlane 1.16
05. Menuet I & II 2.45
06. Bourrée I & II 2.25
07. Passepied I & II 3.02

Suite In B Minor BWV 1067:
08. Ouverture 6.25
09. Rondeau 1.39
10. Sarabande 2.52
11. Bourrée I & II 1.50
12. Polonaise I & II 2.59
13. Menuet 1.09
14. Badinerie 1.20

Suite In D BWV 1068:
15. Ouverture 6.35
16. Air 4.16
17. Gavotte I & II 3.11
18. Bourrée 1.15
19. Gigue 2.39

Suite In D BWV 1069:
20. Ouverture 6.49
21. Bourrée I & II 2.53
22. Gavotte 1.44
23. Menuet I & II 3.29
24. Réjouissance 2.17

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Klazz Brothers & Cuba Percussion – Mozart Meets Cuba (2005)

KlazzBrothersFrontCover1In celebration of the anniversary of Mozart’s 250th birthday in 2006, Klazz Brothers & Cuba Percussion dedicated their new album to the genius of composition and improvisation, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The album is part of the quintet’s sophisticated crossover series between classical music, jazz and Latin-American rhythms. “Mozart meets Cuba“ invites the listeners to join in on an imaginary musical trip to Cuba, where they get to experience the Viennese Classic in a mould-breaking innovative way. Witty and playful and with a delicate musical intuition the arrangements of the Klazz Brothers & Cuba Percussion lead Mozart and his music on to novel musical dimensions, fusing the most beautiful compositions of the great Salzburg genius with the rhythm and harmonies of Latin jazz. Klazz Brothers & Cuba Percussion pay homage to a great composer of an extraordinary dramatic art, that is as relevant as it was 250 years ago. Thus, the ensemble has created a unique conversation between the Caribbean and the occident, glossily reconciling classical sonata themes with the Caribbean dancing rhythm. As a result the „Serenade No. 13“ is transformed into a cha-cha-cha and „The Turkish March“ converted into a “Cuban” one. Next to it, two single compositions are united to one piece as can be heard with Pamina’s aria from “The Magic Flute”. The aria is combined with „Besame Mucho“, motives of Ennio Morricones’ “Once Upon a Time in the West” resound within the overture of „Don Giovanni“.

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The programme „Mozart meets Cuba“ premiered at the Munich Philharmonic Hall in 2005. It was broadcasted worldwide by Euroarts. In the same year the same-titled album was released with Sony Classical, which was awarded the “Echo Classic” in the category “Classic Beyond Borders”, thus presenting the second “Echo” award for the successful quintet. Their international tour started just in time for Mozart’s birthday on 27th January 2006 with a concert at the “Wiener Konzertverein”, followed by various other performances at renowned concert halls such as the “Berlin Philharmonic Hall”, the “Gewandhaus Leipzig” and the “Semper Opera Dresden”.

“Mozart meets Cuba” becomes a memorable musical experience thanks to the unique intensityof the quintet’s impressive creativity in perfectly blending music of different genres. (grandmontagne.de)

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As a follow up to their accomplished fusion effort last year, “Classic Meets Cuba”, the Klazz Brothers and Cuba Percussion have collaborated again for much of the same, only this time focusing specifically on the works of Mozart. If the results are not quite as exhilarating as the first effort, it may be that the novelty feels somewhat worn this time despite the often virtuoso playing displayed here. Recalling some of Vince Guaraldi’s work in the 1960’s, the jazzy arrangements are once again supplemented with the beat-heavy Cuban rhythms churned out by Alexis Herrera Estevez on timbales and Elio Rodriguez Luis on congas. What continues to impress on this recording is how well the two sides of the ensemble – Estevez and Rodriguez on one and on the other, pianist Tobias Forster, bassist Killian Forster and drummer Tim Hahn – mesh so well in making all the disparate musical elements balance without contrivance.

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Many of Mozart’s most renowned pieces are here in reconfigured form. The warhorse Piano Sonata K. 545 (“Sonata Facile”) turns into a sunny Caribbean number, “Calypso Facile”, while the staccato-tempo Turkish March evolves into the propulsive “Cuban March”. More creatively, the familiar Piano Concerto No. 21, K. 467 turns into an African-accented bolero named appropriately “Afrolero” complete with a faraway-sounding whistle, while Eine Kleine Nachtmusik K. 525 becomes a percolating dance number, “Bomba de la Noche”. Even more audaciously, they turn the overture to “Don Giovanni” into a slow, evocative bolero number, “Don Muerte”, and the familiar aria, “La Ci Darem La Mano” into a lovely piano-dominated ballad, “Reich Mir Die Hand (Your Hand in Mine)”. Somewhat less successful are the two selections derived from “The Magic Flute” – “Yo Siento Mucho”, a cha-cha version of “Ach, Ich Fuhl’s” and Forster’s extended piano riffs based on the potpourri passage, “Salzburger Schafferl”. Latin pop artist Lou Bega lends his saucy vocals to “Son de Mozart”, a clubby reinvention of Fantasia in C Minor, K. 475. This is fun listening for fans of Latin-classical fusion. (Ed Uyeshima)

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Personnel:
Alexis Herrera Estevez (timbales)
Kilian Forster (bass)
Tobias Forster (piano)
Tim Hahn (drums)
Elio Rodriguez Luis (percussion)
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Lou Bega (vocals on 16.)
Olivier Roland Kerourio (harmonica on 08.)
Mario Felix Hernandez Morejon (trumpet on 08. + 16.)

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Tracklist:
01. Guantánameritmo – Sonate c-Moll KV 457 / 2.59
02. Salzburger Schafferl – Die Zauberflöte 5.16
03. Calypso Facile – Sonate C-Dur KV 545 / 6.11
04. Poema con Cohiba – Klarinettenkonzert 3.07
05. Kubanischer Marsch – Türkischer Marsch 4.00
06. Afrolero – Klavierkonzert Nr. 21 / 5.08
07. Don Cajon 0.34
08. Don Muerte – Don Giovanni 5.03
09. Sonatadur – Sonate A-Dur KV 331 / 3.29
10. Wenn Son, Danzon – Klavierkonzert Nr. 23 / 4.32
11. Reich mir die Hand – Reich mir die Hand, mein Leben 4.44
12. Tercero de la Noche – Eine kleine Nachtmusik 5.07
13. Yo siento mucho – Die Zauberflöte 4.48
14. Bomba de la Noche – Eine kleine Nachtmusik 3.59
15. Hasta la vista Mozart 2.27
16. Son de Mozart – Fantasie c-Moll 4.21

Music composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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California Guitar Trio – Pathways (1998)

FrontCover1.jpgCalifornia Guitar Trio (CGT) is a band of three guitar players founded in 1991. The three—Paul Richards of Salt Lake City, Utah, Bert Lams of Affligem, Belgium, and Hideyo Moriya of Tokyo, Japan—met at a 1987 Guitar Craft course, in which Robert Fripp instructed them in the New Standard Tuning (NST). After completing several of Fripp’s Guitar Craft courses, the three toured as part of Robert Fripp and The League of Crafty Guitarists.

Continuing their collaboration then in Los Angeles, they founded The California Guitar Trio in 1991. They continue to play in the New Standard Tuning.[1] Their performances and recordings include original compositions, surf covers, and classical re-workings of classical music. Their influences include European classical music, rock, blues, jazz, world music, and surf music.

In 1992 and 1993 with Fripp and Trey Gunn, they toured and recorded as The Robert Fripp String Quintet.

The Trio’s music was featured during the television coverage of the 1998 and 2000 Olympic Games. It has been featured on CBS, NBC, CNN WorldBeat, and ESPN TV programs.[citation needed] They performed on the 2003 Grammy Awards-nominated track “Apollo” on Tony Levin’s CD Pieces of the Sun.[citation needed] CGT music served as wake-up music for the crew aboard NASA’s Space Shuttle Endeavour.

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The California Guitar Trio performed as an opening act for King Crimson, from which bassist Tony Levin and drummer Pat Mastelotto regularly join the CGT for live shows. CGT has shared the stage with many performers, including John McLaughlin, David Sylvian, Tito Puente, Leftover Salmon, Taj Mahal, Steve Lukather, Simon Phillips, Adrian Legg, Adrian Belew, Jon Anderson.

The Trio has released 16 albums: seven studio CDs featuring original CGT songs and a variety of other works spanning numerous genres, four live releases, and a Christmas CD with Christmas music. Lams has also made a solo album of Bach preludes titled Nascent.

In August 2004 they released Whitewater, which was produced by Tony Levin. It features mainly original works of the CGT, offset by a puzzle-work arrangement of a Bach lute suite and a mashup of “(Ghost) Riders in the Sky” with The Doors’ “Riders on the Storm.” This was followed in 2008 by Echoes, an album composed entirely of covers, and 2010’s Andromeda, the band’s first release to consist entirely of original material. The 2012 release Masterworks is an all classical music compilation featuring music by Beethoven, Bach, Vivaldi, Rossini and Part. Guitarist Fareed Haque played on Vivaldi’s “Winter”, and Tony Levin played upright bass and cello on four tracks. (by wikipedia)

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This is the 3rd album from the California Guitar Trio. Fresh from recent tours with King Crimson and John McLaughlin they have recorded a heady brew of classics and contemporary material. Everything from Beethoven’s 5th symphony, the theme tunes to Pulp Fiction, thought to newly-commissioned avant-grade pieces, all performed on 3 guitars. Track highlights includes: “Arroyo,” “Leap,” “Adagio for Strings (Barber),” “Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven),” and more!

“Pathways” is the California Guitar Trio’s 1998 release and bestselling album to date, featuring original compositions and amazing arrangements of the works of Beethoven. InsideOut, who have released numerous CGT recordings, write, “The California Guitar Trio consists of three revered musicians who aren’t actually natives of the “Golden State.” Actually, two of the members aren’t even from the United States! Bert Lams is from Brussels, Belgium; Hideyo Moriya is a native of Tokyo, Japan; and Paul Richards hails from Salt Lake City, Utah.

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The technical wizardry of the California Guitar Trio is breathtaking, and so is the wide range of instrumental music the group performs — everything from unique originals to dazzling, cleverly arranged reinterpretations of classical, jazz and surf rock pieces. Elements of blues and country are blended into the California Guitar Trio’s style too. Their diversity is unparalleled. There’s simply nothing the California Guitar Trio can’t do musically.”

On “Pathways”, a significant level of performance maturity is clearly in evidence. Thankfully, such maturity has been assigned to a repertoire consisting of classical arrangements along with original, intelligent progressive compositions that match well to their classical sensibility.

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In addition to the guitar trio configuration, a number of tracks include saxophone played by Bill Janssen and Roger Lambson. The touch tapped Warr Guitar, performed by Trey Gunn, is included on a few of the tracks as well.
“Pathways” will serve as a beautiful introduction to the work of the California Guitar Trio. It showcases some of the finest examples of their warmly sensitive musical expression. (jazz-rock-fusion-guitar.blogspot.com)

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Personnel:
Bert Lams (guitar)
Hideyo Moriya (guitar)
Paul Richards (guitar)
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Bill Janssen (saxophone on 03., 07., 09., 10. + 13.)
Trey Gunn Warr (guitar on 03., 07., 09., 10. + 13.)
Roger Lambson (saxophone on 09. + 13.)

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Tracklist:
01. Allegro Con Brio, Symphony No. 5 (Beethoven) 5.26
02. Arroyo (Lams/Richards/Moriya) 3.38
03. Pathways (Lams/Richards/Moriya) 4.27
04. Leap (F’unicelli) 2.51
05. Adagio Opus 11 (Barber) 3.59
06. Great Divide (Lams/Richards/Moriya) 2.32
07. Scramble (Lams/Richards/Moriya) 1.59
08. Classical Gas (Williams) 2.51
09. Kaleidoscope (Moriya) 0.56
10. Ananda  2:49
11 Adagio Sostenuto, Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven) 2:42
12 Presto Agitato, Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven) 4:45
13. Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring (Bach) 2.40
14. Misirlou (Leeds/Roubanis/Tauber/Wise) 1.55

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Stil alive and well:

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Daigo Hanada – Ichiru (2017)

FrontCover1.jpgA very discreet musician, Daigo Hanada is a young Tokyo-based pianist and composer sharing his time between his native Japan and Berlin. Apart from two Nils Frahm reworks and a one track contribution (“Again”) to the Piano Cloud Series – Volume One compilation released last year on the 1631 Recordings, Daigo Hanada has spent a lot of time maturing and perfecting his art away from the public eye. But when the first notes of “Silhouette” start playing, there is little doubt that Daigo Hanada is a very talented musician. His full-length solo début album Ichiru was released on 27 February 2017 last on the Montréal-based label Moderna Records.

“Equipped with only an upright piano, a pair of microphones and his two hands” read the official press release, “Hanada worked for the better part of a year on these pieces in bringing them to their final form”. As a result, Ichiru is a stripped-down and concise recording, going straight to the essential core of the compositions with the carefully placed microphones scrupulously capturing the live mechanics of the piano.

“Equipped with only an upright piano, a pair of microphones and his two hands” read the official press release, “Hanada worked for the better part of a year on these pieces in bringing them to their final form”. As a result, Ichiru is a stripped-down and concise recording, going straight to the essential core of the compositions with the carefully placed microphones scrupulously capturing the live mechanics of the piano.

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“It was raining heavily but a very quiet day – I was just sitting by the window and looking outside, watching the rain fall continuously but randomly. That’s when I got this idea of falling ambient sound in the back”.

The last two tracks on the album, both much longer than the rest, draw the music towards a more electro-acoustic and ambient texture with their layering and slightly saturated meandering notes.

Almost coming out of the blue, Daigo Hanada’s Ichiru is a subtle, very expressive and captivating début. (Guillaume, spellbindingmusic.com)

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Personnel:
Daigo Hanada (piano)

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Tracklist:
01. Silhouette 2.10
02.Butterfly 2.07
03. Weak Me 2.58
04. Fragment I 2.08
05. Portrait 0.57
06. Pfau 2.07
07. Ichiru 2.20
08. Hue 3.17
09. Fragment II 2.15
10. Solitude 2.46
11. And This Is How It Ends 4.09
12. Close 7.51

Music composed by Daigo Hanada

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