Finnish pianist Janne Mertanen, known mostly for Chopin recordings, here takes on probably the most-often-recorded pairing in the Romantic piano literature, the Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54, of Schumann, and the Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16, of Grieg. Does Mertanen have anything new to say here? Perhaps not totally, but his Grieg, from the very first grand gesture, is in the top rank of recordings of this well-loved work. The first movement is a dramatic tour de force, with the momentum carrying the music through what is often a rather leisurely episodic structure, and the central-movement nocturne is extremely delicately done.
Ondine continues its exciting releases focusing on 20th century masterpieces together with conductor Hannu Lintu and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. This release is dedicated to the orchestral works by the pioneer of Italian modernism Luciano Berio. Berio’s 5-movement Sinfonia, is undoubtedly his most well-known work, written for the New York Philharmonic and dedicated to Leonard Bernstein. It has become one of the key works and principle musical manifestations of the 1960s bringing together collage technique and modernism.
With his seven symphonies the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius marks a high point in the symphonic repertoire of the 20th century. The music evokes the ghostliness of the Finnish landscape, carries an inner strength and depth and proves itself full of technical fi nesse that still poses a challenge for both conductors and performers. For Sibelius “a symphony is not a ‘composition’ in the ordinary sense. Rather, it is a declaration of faith at different stages of one’s life.”
Most recordings of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 1 in D major present it as it was published in 1899, in the definitive four-movement version. Yet an earlier state of the work was the 1888 tone poem Der Titan, which not only lent its title as an unofficial nickname for the work, but also contained the Blumine movement, which Mahler dropped from the final score. Curiously, many modern conductors have incorporated it back into the symphony as the second movement, even though its slow tempo and sentimental mood break the momentum and excitement created by the joyous first movement.
This release continues a series of recordings of Erikki-Sven Tuur's works. Tuur has written symphonies, concertos as well as commissions by various well-known orchestras. This album contains two concertos featuring the rising Finnish clarinetist Christoffer Sundqvist and star violinist Pekka Kuusisto together with Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Hannu Lintu. Clarinet Concerto Peregrinus Ecstaticus was written to a commission by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and premiered together with the soloist Sundqvist and Lintu in 2013.
Star violinist Christian Tetzlaff performs Béla Bartók’s (1881–1945) two masterpieces in a new recording with Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hannu Lintu. This recording continues both artists’ highly successful series of recordings on Ondine.