Notes & Reviews:
The Kuss Quartet's fourth album for Onyx explores the strong musical and philosophical links between Johannes Brahms and Arnold Schoenberg. Both composers were simultaneously radical and traditional - a combination that was born out of the periods of musical transition in which they lived. The program begins with Brahms's lighthearted, almost Mozartean String Quartet No.3, followed by a selection of his emotionally charged lieder sung by German soprano Mojca Erdmann. The recording's conclusion looks toward the future with Schoenberg's magical String Quartet No.2, which features Erdmann singing settings of Expressionist poetry by Stefan George.
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Jean Baptiste Antoine Forqueray (1699-1782): Pièces de Clavecin / Mitzi Meyerson, harpsichord
Stravinsky: The Firebird; Bartok: Piano Concerto No. 3; Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin / Yefim Bronfman, piano; Valery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra
J.S. Bach: Christmas Oratorio / Joanne Lunn, soprano; Mary Bevan, soprano; Clare Wilkinson, mezzo; Ciara Hendrick, alto; Nicholas Mulroy, tenor; Thomas Hobbs, tenor; Matthew Brook, bass; Konstantin Wolff, bass
Alina Rotaru plays harpsichord works of John Bull, William Byrd, Orlando Gibbons - "Parthenia" / Alina Rotaru, harpsichord
Josquin des Préz (1440-1521): Missa Di dadi; Missa Une Mousse de Biscaye / Peter Phillips, The Tallis Scholars
Elgar: Enigma Variations; In the South 'Alassio' / Martin Brabbins, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Alfred Hill (1869-1960): Piano Concerto; Piano Sonata; George Frederick Boyle (1886-1948): Piano Concerto; "The Romantic Piano Concerto, Vol. 69" / Piers Lane, piano; Johannes Fritzsch, Adalaide Symphony Orchestra
Thomas Tallis (1505-1585): Motets & Songs / Andrew Carwood, The Cardinall's Musick
Bartók: Mikrokosmos 5; Eight Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs; Romanian Folk Dances; & more / Cédric Tiberghien, piano