Eroica Trio – Plays Gershwin, Ravel, Godard & Schoenfield (1997)

FrontCover1The Eroica Trio is an American piano trio consisting of Erika Nickrenz, piano; Sara Parkins, violin; and Sara Sant’Ambrogio, cello.

The trio take their name from Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony. They have toured and recorded widely, and released six recordings for Angel/EMI Classics Records, garnering multiple Grammy Award nominations.

The founding members of the trio were Nickrenz, Sant’Ambrogio, and Adela Peña. They were all trained at the Juilliard School. In addition to being accomplished musicians, the Eroica Trio have attracted attention in the chamber music world from some as physically attractive, stylishly dressed women.

The trio took first prize in the prestigious Walter W. Naumburg Chamber Music Competition in 1991. Their first compact disc recording Eroica Trio won National Public Radio’s 1997 Performance Today Award for “Debut Recording of the Year.”

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In addition to touring with a varied piano trio repertoire, the Eroica Trio often appear in concert with major orchestras performing the Beethoven Triple Concerto.

The Eroica Trio commissioned a triple concerto by American composer Kevin Kaska. It was premiered by the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra in November 2001. They have also commissioned several works from American composer Bruce Wolosoff, including “The Loom,” inspired by the watercolors of Eric Fischl; that work was released on the Montage Music Society’s album Creating Music Inspired by Visual Art. (wikipedia)

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Among the best-known piano trios, the Eroica Trio is also one of the most successful all-women chamber ensembles in the world. Winners of the 1991 Walter W. Naumburg Chamber Music Competition, the ensemble went on to a successful debut at Lincoln Center and several tours of the United States, Europe, and Asia. The trio quickly gained a reputation for passion and excitement in its performances and for innovative programs.

Pianist Erika Nickrenz, who began playing piano at age six and performed her first concerto at 11, has received the Rockefeller Award and has been featured in the PBS series Live from Lincoln Center.

Australian violinist Susie Park, who replaced founding member Adela Peña in 2006, has won top honors in the Indianapolis, Menuhin, and Wieniawski International Violin Competitions, and has appeared as soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony, as well as with the Korean KBS Orchestra and orchestras in Sydney and Melbourne. Cellist Sara Sant’Ambrogio has won many international competitions and received a medal at the International Tchaikovsky Violoncello Competition. She has toured extensively as a soloist and played with orchestras in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, St. Louis, Moscow, and Izmir. She has released several solo CDs and joined in crossover performances with Rufus Wainwright, VAST, Angela McCluskey, and hip-hop artist Beatrice.

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The group took its name from Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, “Eroica.” It is one of the most active piano trios in the field of orchestral performance, and plays more concerts of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto than any other trio. It commissioned a triple concerto from composer Kevin Kaska, which was premiered in 2001 with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. The Eroica Trio also premiered Tango for Seven by Raimundo Penaforte, composed for an innovative combination of string trio plus string quartet, and which was premiered with the St. Lawrence String Quartet.

Recording for Angel/EMI Classics, the Eroica Trio’s repertoire has included the music of Maurice Ravel, Sergey Rachmaninov, Dmitry Shostakovich, and Antonin Dvorák, as well as lighter fare by George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, Astor Piazzolla, and Mark O’Connor. (by Rovi Staff)

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And here´s their first album:

One of the most sought-after trios in the world, the Eroica Trio thrills audiences with flawless technical virtuosity, irresistible enthusiasm and sensual elegance. Whether playing the great standards of the piano trio repertoire or daring contemporary works, the three young women who make up this celebrated ensemble electrify the concert stage with their passionate performances. The Trio’s self-titled debut CD, which features works by Ravel, Benjamin Godard, a commissioned arrangement of the Gershwin Preludes, and Paul Schoenfield’s Café Music, was awarded NPR Performance Today’s “Debut Recording of the Year” and featured in Time Out New York’s “Top Ten Recordings” of 1997. (press release)

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A first-rate debut album that lightens the mood of chamber music
The wisdom of crowds can do a belly flop sometimes, and it’s happened here with the lead review, which has incited a pile-up of negative votes against the Eroica Trio’s debut album. I hope prospective buyers won’t be misled. This is a beautifully played program caught in perfect sound. The program is winning and at times playful. EMI’s PR approach was aimed at finding a younger audience for chamber music, clearly. With three pretty young graduates of Juilliard to publicize, they struck a blow against the shriveled prune image that emanates fro, say, the Beaux Arts Trio.

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The Eroica Trio doesn’t just look young; they play young. The fluffy arrangement of Gershwin’s Three Preludes actually swings, and throughout there’s an air of energy and exuberance. The group was founded in 1991, six years before their debut album was released, and they had won the prestigious Naumburg Award. Almost everything I’ve heard from them rises to a very high level of musicianship. I especially admire the pianist, Eriak Nickrenz. the best piano trios are led by a pianist with a strong personality, and she has one, particularly in their excellent CD of the first two Brahms piano trios – I’d rank it among the two or three best I’ve ever heard.

Personal taste can’t be argued against, but the two-star review’s complaints are pure fantasy. The ERoica play slow music as well as they play fast music. The main item here, the Ravel Trio, is flawless. The Jazzy Cafe Music by Paul Schoenfield, an expert at tongue-in-cheek, brings a smile. If anything on this album is less than first-rate, I can’t hear it. (by Huntley Dent)

In other words: An awesome trio:

Recorded at the St. Stephen’s Church, Tiburon, California, July 4 – 8, 1997

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Personnel:
Sara Sant’Ambrogio (cello)
Erika Nickrenz (piano)
Adela Peña (violin)

Alternate front+backcover:
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Tracklist:

George Gershwin: Three Preludes
01. Prelude I 4.38
02. Prelude II 7.50
03. Prelude III 1.57

Maurice Ravel: Piano Trio
04. Modéré 10.17
05. Pantoum 4.14
06. Passacaille: Très Large 9.32
07. Finale: Animé 5.22

Benjamin Godard:
08. Berceuse 5.51

Paul Schoenfiel: Café Music
09. Allegro 5.52
10. Andante Moderato: Rubato 6.10
11. Presto 4.30

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The official website:
Website

Philadelphia Orchestra – Gala (1958)

FrontCover1The Philadelphia Orchestra (founded in 1900 !) is an American symphony orchestra, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. One of the “Big Five” American orchestras, the orchestra is based at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, where it performs its subscription concerts, numbering over 130 annually, in Verizon Hall.

From its founding until 2001, the Philadelphia Orchestra gave its concerts at the Academy of Music. The orchestra continues to own the Academy, and returns there one week per year for the Academy of Music’s annual gala concert and concerts for school children. The Philadelphia Orchestra’s summer home is the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. It also has summer residencies at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and since July 2007 at the Bravo! Vail Valley Festival in Vail, Colorado.

The first record from 1926 … The Nutcracker Suite … see below
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The orchestra also performs an annual series of concerts at Carnegie Hall. From its earliest days the orchestra has been active in the recording studio, making extensive numbers of recordings, primarily for RCA Victor and Columbia Records.

The orchestra’s current music director is Yannick Nézet-Séguin, since 2012. (wikipedia)

And here´s one of their countless albums, called “Gala” and we hear 4 msterpieces of classic music (see tracklist).

And I´m very glad, that this old album is in a more or less good condition … so my vinyl rip should be s pleasure for everyone, who loves this kind of music, like I do.

Enjoy the power of classic music !

And the first time I heard a small little part of the “Nutcracker Suite” was while I´m listening the Emerson, Lake & Palmer album “Pictures At The Exhibition” and we should never forget, that Ravels “Bolero” was on a Colosseum album …

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Personnel:
Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy

Eugene Ormandy

Tracklist:

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a:
01. Miniature Overture 3.12
02. Danses Caracteristiques: March – Dance Of The Sugar-Plum Fairy – Russian Dance (Trepak) – Arabian Dance – Chinese Dance – Dance Of The Reed-Pipes 12.04
03. Waltz Of The Flowers 6.30

Claude Debussy:
04. Clair De Lune (from “Suite Bergamasque”) 4.13

Edvard Grieg:
05. Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46 12.08
05.1. Morning Mood
05.2.Ase’s Death
05.3. Anitra’s Dance
05.4. In The Hall Of The Mountain King

Maurice Ravel:
06. Bolero 14.04

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Maurice Ravel + Claude Debussy – Bolero + Le Mer (1989)

FrontCover1Two famous concerts from the classical music history:

Before he left for a triumphant tour of North America in January 1928, Maurice Ravel had agreed to write a Spanish-flavoured ballet score for his friend, the Russian dancer and actress Ida Rubinstein (1885-1960).

The idea was to create an orchestral transcription of Albeniz’s piano suite Iberia. But on his return Ravel discovered that the orchestration rights had been granted to the Spanish conductor Enrique Arbós. Although Arbós generously gave up these rights, Ravel abandoned the idea and set about preparing an original score.

Ravel had long toyed with the idea of building a composition from a single theme which would grow simply through harmonic and instrumental ingenuity. Boléro’s famous theme came to him on holiday in Saint-Jean-de-Luz.

MauriceRavelHe was about to go for a swim when he called a friend over to the piano and, playing the melody with one finger, asked: “Don’t you think that has an insistent quality? I’m going to try to repeat it a number of times without any development, gradually increasing the orchestra as best I can.”

He began work in July. By Ravel’s standards the piece was completed quickly, in five months – it had to be ready for Rubinstein to choreograph.

“Once the idea of using only one theme was discovered,” he asserted, “any conservatory student could have done as well.”

BoleroThe relentless snare-drum underpins the whole of the 15-minute work as Ravel inexorably builds on the simple tune until, with a daring modulation from C major to E major, he finally releases the pent-up tension with a burst of fireworks.

Boléro was given its first performance at the Paris Opéra on November 20, 1928. The premiere was acclaimed by a shouting, stamping, cheering audience in the midst of which a woman was heard screaming: “Au fou, au fou!” (“The madman! The madman!”). When Ravel was told of this, he reportedly replied: “That lady… she understood.”

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, he said: “I am particularly desirous there should be no misunderstanding about this work. It constitutes an experiment in a very special and limited direction and should not be suspected of aiming at achieving other or more than it actually does.”

Yet although Ravel considered Boléro one of his least important works, it has always been his most popular. (classicfm.com)

La mer, trois esquisses symphoniques pour orchestre (French for The sea, three symphonic sketches for orchestra), or simply La mer (i.e. The Sea), is an orchestral composition (L 109) by the French composer Claude Debussy.

Composed between 1903 and 1905, the piece was initially not well received, but soon became one of Debussy’s most admired and frequently performed orchestral works.

The work was started in 1903 in France and completed in 1905 at Grand Hotel Eastbourne on the English Channel coast. The premiere was given on 15 October 1905 in Paris, by the Orchestre Lamoureux under the direction of Camille Chevillard.

GrandHotelA typical performance of this piece lasts about 23 or 24 minutes. It is in three movements:

“De l’aube à midi sur la mer” – très lent – animez peu à peu (si mineur)
“Jeux de vagues” – allegro (dans un rythme très souple) – animé (do dièse mineur)
“Dialogue du vent et de la mer” – animé et tumultueux – cédez très légérement (do dièse mineur)

Usually translated as:
“From dawn to noon on the sea” or “From dawn to midday on the sea” – very slow – animate little by little (B minor)
“Play of the Waves” – allegro (with a very versatile rhythm) – animated (C sharp minor)
“Dialogue of the wind and the sea” or “Dialogue between wind and waves” – animated and tumultuous – give up very slightly (C sharp minor)

ClaudeDebussyLa mer is a masterpiece of suggestion and subtlety in its rich depiction of the ocean, which combines unusual orchestration with daring impressionistic harmonies. The work has proven very influential, and its use of sensuous tonal colours and its orchestration methods have influenced many later film scores. While the structure of the work places it outside of both absolute music and programme music (see below on the title “Three symphonic sketches”) as those terms were understood in the early 20th century, it obviously uses descriptive devices to suggest wind, waves and the ambience of the sea. But structuring a piece around a nature subject without any literary or human element to it – neither people, nor mythology, nor ships are suggested in the piece – also was highly unusual at the time.

Debussy called La mer “three symphonic sketches,” avoiding the loaded term symphony. Yet the work is sometimes called a symphony; it consists of two powerful outer movements framing a lighter, faster piece which acts as a type of scherzo. But the author Jean Barraqué (in “La Mer de Debussy,” Analyse musicale 12/3, June 1988,) describes La mer as the first work to have an “open” form – a devenir sonore or “sonorous becoming… a developmental process in which the very notions of exposition and development coexist in an uninterrupted burst.” Simon Trezise, in his book Debussy: La Mer (Cambridge, 1994) notes, however, that “motifs are constantly propagated by derivation from earlier motifs” (p. 52).

Bolero2Personnel:
Boston Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Seji Ozawa (01. + 02.)
Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Carlo Maria Guilini (03. – 05.)
Boston Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas (06.)

BookletBackCover1Tracklist:

Maurice Ravel (recorded 1974):
01. Tempo Di Bolero Moderato Assai 15.01
02. La Valse  11.58

Claude Debussy:

La Mer (recorded 1980):
03. I. From Dawn Till Noon On The Sea De L’aube à Midi Sur La Mer  9.25
04. II. Play Of The Waves Jeux De Vagues 7.18
05. III. Dialogue Of The Wind And The Sea Dialogue Du Vent Et De La Mer  8.38

06. Prélude à L’apr#s-Midi D’un Faune (recorded 1971) 9.32

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Donald Runnicles – Grand Teton Music Festival (2010)

FrontCover1The Grand Teton Music Festival (GTMF) is known for orchestral performances equaling the grandeur of our Teton Mountain setting. Hailing from great orchestras, musicians return to the Tetons each summer to perform challenging repertoire.

Maestro Donald Runnicles has led the Grand Teton Music Festival as its Music Director since 2006. Runnicles is concurrently the Music Director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony.

The Grand Teton Music Festival began in 1962. Concerts in the early years took place in a canvas tent at the base of Rendezvous Mountain. Through the years the Festival has grown into one of the nation’s finest, and now takes place in acoustically-acclaimed Walk Festival Hall.

Donald Runnicles is concurrently the General Music Director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin; Chief Conductor of BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Principal Guest Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; and Music Director of the Grand Teton Music Festival. Maestro Runnicles’ career can be characterized by high quality of performances strongly centered in grand romantic opera and symphonic repertoire of the late 19th and 20th centuries.

DonaldRunniclesAs General Music Director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Mr. Runnicles has primary responsibility for the musical forces of this historic company which produces, on average, twenty five productions per season. This season, Mr. Runnicles conducted Don Carlo, Otello, Tristan und Isolde, Billy Budd, and Werther among others.

Born and raised in Edinburgh, Mr. Runnicles literally returned home to take up the post as Chief Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (BBC SSO). He conducts five of the BBC SSO’s main series programs in the orchestra’s Glasgow home and leads this orchestra in two programs at the London Proms each summer.

Maestro Runnicles has been Music Director of the Grand Teton Music Festival (GTMF) since 2006 and recently renewed his commitment through 2019. At GTMF he designs the repertoire; conducts four weeks; and participates as a pianist in a number of chamber concerts.

Runnicles’ commercial recording of Wagner arias with Jonas Kaufmann and the Deutsche Oper Berlin won the 2013 Gramophone prize for best vocal recording.

In March of 2015 he will, once again, conduct at the Berlin Philharmonic. Then in June of 2015 he returns to the San Francisco Opera (where he conducted for seventeen years) for a new production of Berlioz Les Troyens.

TetonVillage02Christmas time in Teton Village

And this is a very special CD:
“This recording is not for sale or broadcast. For promotional use only.”

All pieces recorded live by the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra in Walk Festival Hall, Teton Village, Wyoming durch the 2010 Summer Season (it was the 49th Summer Season: June 30 – August 14, 2010 !)

All you have to do is to listen and enjoy these rare recordings with wonderful compositions by classic composers like Beethoven, Ravel, Brahms, Mozart …

TetonVillage03Personnel:
The Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra conducted by Donald Runnicles

BookletTracklist:

Ludwig van Beethoven:
01. Symphony No. 5 in C minor, op. 67 – Allegro con brio 7.41

John Adams:
02. Slominsky´s Earbox 7.43

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:
03. Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550 – Molto allegro 9.33

Johannes Brahms:
04. Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, op. 15 – Adagio 12.41

Edward Elgar:
05. Introduction & Allegro for Strings 13.55

Maurice Ravel:
La Valse 12.25

 

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TetonVillage01Founded in the early 1960’s, Teton Village was modeled after European-style villages and has continued to evolve and progress into a mature, year-round, family-friendly retreat. Teton Village is located just 12 miles from the town of Jackson (Jackson Hole) at the base of Rendezvous Peak. Jackson Hole is a high mountain valley located along the western border of the state of Wyoming. The name “hole” derives from language used by early trappers (or mountain men) to describe a valley surrounded by mountains. These valleys contain rivers and streams which are  good habitat for beaver and other fur-bearing animals the trappers were seeking.

Jackson Hole is surrounded by the Teton mountain range on the west and the Gros Ventre mountain range on the east. With foothills and jagged peaks, the Tetons are commonly associated with Jackson Hole and are a popular sightseeing attraction for many visitors. The Gros Ventre Range contrastingly is geologically older than the Tetons and has a much broader width, encompassing huge expanses of wilderness.