New Releases featuring Mahler, Mozart and the Canadian Brass

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Three recent recordings offer a new spin on familiar classics: Mahler's First Symphony with its original Blumine movement; Mozart piano concertos downsized for a chamber group; and Schumann transcribed for brass quintet.

Mahler's Symphony No. 1
London
Philharmonic Orchestra
Vladimir
Jurowski; conductor
LPO
Available at Arkivmusic.com

The London Philharmonic Orchestra, led by 40-old Russian conductor Vladimir Jurowski, presents this bracing and fresh rendition of Mahler's First Symphony. This live performance includes the symphony's original second movement, Blumine, which Mahler jettisoned. The performance of this and the rest of the symphony crackles with precision and style: the explosive first movement horn fanfares, the trio’s plodding folk dance, the wonderfully macabre funeral march, and the blazing tumult and silky melodies of the finale.

 

Mozart Concertos Nos. 13 and 14, Eine kleine Nachtmusik, etc.
Chamber Players of Canada
Janina Fialkowska, piano
ATMA Classique
Available at Arkivmusic.com

Being a savvy businessman, Mozart rescored his concertos household use, in the hope that the Viennese zeal for domestic string playing would get him a few new admirers and make him some money. The Chamber Players of Canada, an Ottawa-based group, joins Polish-Canadian pianist Janina Fialkowska in Mozart's chamber versions of Piano Concertos Nos. 13 and 14. Fialkowska’s crisp playing takes center stage here, and the recording also includes the popular solo piano variations Ah Vous Dirai-Je, Maman, and a solid account of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by the strings.

 

Canadian Brass: Carnaval
Schumann's Carnaval, Kinderszenen

Opening Day
Available at Arkivmusic.com

Released in June, Canadian Brass's newest album takes on Schumann’s Carnaval and Kinderszenen. Carnaval represents masked carnival-goers in nine short pieces while Kinderszenen’s 13 pieces reminisce on Schumann’s childhood. Both were originally written for piano solo but transcribed for the brass quintet by trumpeters Christopher Coletti and Brandon Ridenour. Canadian Brass tubist (and remaining original member) Chuck Daellenbach articulates the importance of preserving "the musical heart of the work – not just the melodies, rhythms and harmonies, but character and mood – while adding colors that the piano, even in the hands of the greatest virtuoso, can only hint at."

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