Ticciati and the SCO: “Our hearts beat at the same speed”

As Robin Ticciati enters his final season with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Linn celebrates his memorable tenure as Principal Conductor with a recording of four of the most sublime orchestral masterpieces ever written. The Brahms Symphonies are to be released on 23rd March. Ticciati, talking about  this landmark recording, extolled his partnership with the SCO: “Our hearts beat at the same speed”.

Talking to the Pavel Haas Quartet

‘They seem always immersed in all they play, both in terms of their rapport but their instinctive understanding of the score too.’ Said The Gramophone of the new Pavel Haas Quartet album Antonín Dvořák – Quintets, Op. 81 & Op. 97 (SU 4195-2), that the ensemble recorded with excellent Israeli pianist Boris Giltburg and former member violist Pavel Nikl. We spoke to members of the Pavel Haas Quartet…

How did you arrive at the idea of recording Dvořák’s quintets Opp. 81 and 97?

Veronika Jarůšková: We decided to make a recording of the two works out of friendship. Boris Giltburg is a kindred soul to us, as a musician and a human. We first got together three years ago in the Netherlands, where we performed Dvořák’s Piano Quintet. And we could immediately feel that we understood one another completely.

Peter Jarůšek: We are not only connected as musicians; we also feel a personal affinity. I would say these aspects are like communicating vessels. We are close friends, and in the future we would like to perform together other quintets too.

Veronika Jarůšková: Pavel Nikl, our former colleague and founding member, had no doubts as to the project. I personally would call the album a friendly encounter with beautiful music.

How often have you given performances with musicians outside your ensemble?

Peter Jarůšek: We have naturally most frequently played in the basic configuration, as a string quartet. Now and then, we have been afforded the opportunity to perform with a guest, mainly in the second half of our concerts, and we then play as a quintet. Of late, we have often been joined by Boris Giltburg or Denis Kozhukin, another top-notch pianist. We have always really enjoyed our performances together, even though the two musicians are different.

Veronika Jarůšková: In February 2018, we are scheduled to perform sextets, and we will again be joined by the violist Pavel Nikl, and the cellist Tomáš Jamník. Sextets require superlative and seasoned chamber players, possessing an extraordinary sense for chamber music. The concerts are part of the “Czech It Out” project, within which we and several other Czech soloists and ensembles will be appearing at the new hall of the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.

When a renowned and well-coordinated quartet and a superb solo pianist get together, who determines the character of the music? How did it go during your recording sessions?

Veronika Jarůšková: I don’t think anyone was the boss. The music itself was paramount. So we simply strove to honour the music. Given that Boris Giltburg is a soloist of global calibre, he is a fantastic chamber player, possessing an incredible sense for musical colour.

Peter Jarůšek: What was of major significance was that we had played the two Dvořák quintets at numerous concerts. Hence, we had the feeling that the time was ripe. We did consider another option – quintets by Brahms and Dvořák – but we really wanted to record the two Dvořák pieces at the Dvořák Hall of the Rudolfinum in Prague.

Did you make the album with the usual recording team?

Peter Jarůšek: Yes, we did. We are happy to work with Jiří Gemrot and Karel Soukeník. They are outstanding professionals and we would like to record all our albums with them.

What repertoire will you be performing in the new concert season?

Marek Zwiebel: We have always thought over our repertoire approximately two years in advance. Subsequently, the agency would present our ideas to the promoters and organisers of concerts. Our repertoire during the current season includes Schubert’s String Quartet No. 13 in A minor, “Rosamunde”; Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 7; and Dvořák’s String Quartet No. 14 within our first programme; and Stravinsky’s Concertino and Ravel’s String Quartet in F major within another concert programme.

And what about performances abroad? Which of them are you looking forward to the most?

Veronika Jarůšková: We are really excited about returning to Wigmore Hall, and are looking forward to the concert at the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. We will also be making our debut in Bern, Switzerland. Furthermore, we are scheduled to tour North America, within which we will perform in Houston, Vancouver, Atlanta, Kansas City and other places. In 2018, we will give our very first concerts at two new halls – the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin, and at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. Afterwards, we will visit Geneva, Copenhagen and the Benelux region. We feel honoured to have been invited to debut at the Musikverein in Vienna. At the end of the season, we will be flying off to tour South Korea, China and Taiwan.

For further details, please visit: www.pavelhaasquartet.com

Chandos catalogue on all streaming platforms from January

Starting January 2018, the complete Chandos catalogue will become available on all streaming platforms worldwide. The six-month quarantine which was applied to streaming platforms will be entirely removed from this date, making Chandos’ previous and future releases available on all streaming platforms including Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, Qobuz, Primephonic, Idagio, Tidal, etc.
Chandos Records is one of the world’s premier independent classical music recording companies, best known for its groundbreaking search for neglected musical gems. The company has pioneered the idea of the ‘series’ and proudly includes surveys of the work of such composers as Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Parry, Walton, Grainger, Berkeley, and Bridge. Renowned for its superb sound quality,

New Releases from Proper Music

Vasily Petrenko has been awarded the Artist of the Year at the Gramophone Awards –  perfect timing to herald the new recording of Scriabin’s Symphony No 2, coupled with the Piano Concerto performed by Kirill Gerstein, accompanied by the exceptional Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. Other Proper Music new releases include a bumper crop of Australian Eloquence discs, a batch that pays homage to the much-loved British soprano Jennifer Vyvyan, many of whose Decca recordings appear on CD for the first time. These include ‘Mr. Bach at Vauxhall Gardens’ (J.C. Bach), Scarlatti duet-cantatas with Elsie Morison, the first complete recording of The Fairy Queen (Anthony Lewis) two litany settings by Mozart, and scenes/arias by Mozart and Haydn. Further Jennifer Vyvyan recordings are scheduled for 2018.


Recent reissues of Eduard van Beinum on Decca Eloquence have been critically appraised, and this month sees the great Dutch conductor in Baroque dress. His affectionate reading of the Bach Orchestral Suites appears on a single CD for the first time, newly remastered. His incandescent accounts of two of Johann Christian Bach’s Sinfonias are coupled with the Handel-Harty Fireworks Music and Water Music suites, as well as an ‘explosively performed’ (High Fidelity) Trumpet Voluntary (Clarke).


A trailer highlighting many of these recordings is now available: https://youtu.be/DNNQkGl8Jac


The label released some wonderful recordings over the Summer which I have also added into the excel listing just in case you missed them.  They includes the release of Dame Nellie Melba’s Farewell (Covent Garden, 1926) remastered from the original metal masters and restored to Melba’s preferred French pitch. The extensive booklet includes an essay by the historian of voices, Roger Neill, who co-compiled the recent critically-acclaimed Eloquence set ‘From Melba to Sutherland: Australian Singers on Record’ (482 5892) as well as rarely-seen photographs.


Eduard van Beinum’s legacy for Philips and Decca continues to be mined on Eloquence with all the symphonies and concertos of Mozart he was to record – a slim, but invaluable collection which includes several titles like the B-flat Symphony KV319 (Decca) and the Clarinet Concerto (with Bram de Wilde, Philips) receiving their first Decca CD release. Also beautifully remastered for this release is a Berlioz collection on Decca.


The dynamic relationship of Karel Ančerl with the Czech Philharmonic has been well documented but his brief but productive partnership with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra (for Philips) has long been forgotten. Accompanied by a keenly detailed booklet appreciation, this valuable collection makes an invaluable contribution to our understanding of an unfailingly warm and astute musician.


Two 2CD sets of music by Auber round off this month’s Eloquence releases. Both are conducted by Richard Bonynge. The first is a reissue of his recording of Le Domino noir, which starred Sumi Jo in the title role and won a Penguin Rosette award. The second, curated by Bonynge himself, brings together Auber’s theatrical and orchestral works, ranging from the First Cello Concerto and the ballet substantial music for Marco Spada, to shorter balletic works and operatic arias with Joan Sutherland, Huguette Tourangeau, Richard Conrad, and, from the ABC’s archive, Angela Denning, Heather Begg and Anson Austin. The recordings span from 1963­-80.


In celebration of the 35th anniversary of winning First Prize and the Gold Medal at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, as well as his 60th birthday in August, Antonio Meneses adds to his distinguished discography with three works with orchestra he has not previously recorded: Schumann’s Cello Concerto in A minor, Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto No. 1, and Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme. Continue reading

RSK announce a great September


RSK annouce a great September: Dunedin Consort celebrate Monteverdi’s 450th anniversary with a glorious performance of the Vespers and Robin Ticciati launches a new recording partnership with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchestra with a Debussy album featuring Magdalena Kožená. Robin Ticciati will take up his new position with the multi award-winning Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester from the beginning of the 2017-18 season. To launch this exciting new partnership Ticciati and the DSO present Debussy’s La Mer, Fauré’s Pelléas et Mélisande and the premiere recording of composer Brett Dean’s arrangements of Debussy’s Ariettes oubliées featuring Magdalena Kožená.


George Liu signs with Warner Classics

Pianist George Li, silver medallist of the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition has signed with Warner Classics and releases his debut recording. Liu celebrates his newly-signed exclusive  contract with his recording debut, the solo recital Live at the Mariinsky. The young American, winner of the silver medal at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 2015, offers an enthralling programme of Haydn, Chopin, Rachmaninov and Liszt. It was recorded live at the Mariinsky Concert Hall in that other great Russian city, St Petersburg, in October 2016. Continue reading

Pierre-Laurent Aimard signs with PENTATONE

PENTATONE has announced that Pierre-Laurent Aimard, one of today’s most celebrated musicians and winner of the 2017 Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, has signed with the label.The French pianist intends to record key works from his repertoire, spanning three centuries and ranging from Bach to Kurtág.  His move to PENTATONE follows an exclusive association with Deutsche Grammophon that began nearly a decade ago.