"This compact disc presents all the studio recordings that remain from a time when, as a twenty-five year old champion of the avant-garde, I had to seek for every possible occasion of playing the new works of our composers. In those days, they were hounded and ripped apart by ideological critics; now they are recognized as the masters of new music. Audiences today need to realize with how much excitement and trust people discovered and took over the new currents seeping in from Europe through the Iron Curtain. These works represent and symbolize a marvelous epoch of friendship, a time when we came to know new horizons and discovered ourselves in the Soviet Union's huge, heterogeneous spaces." (Alexei Lubimov. May 2003)
"Ferenc Fricsay: A Life in Music" consists mostly of top notch 1950s mono recordings in excellent sound, from DG's back catalog. I knew of Ferenc Fricsay (1914-1963) mostly from his recording of Bartok's Piano Concertos 1,2,and 3 with pianist Geza Anda. Fricsay also recorded Mozart's operas "Don Giovanni" and "Die Zauberflote", both with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in the cast for DG; also Beethoven's 9th Symphony; Bartok's "Concerto for Orchestra", and "Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta", all for DG.
"The band was founded around the end of 1978, when they began their career as part of the Neue Deutsche Welle. Their music is not typical of the NDW genre. It was influenced heavily by western rock music, and their lyrics were often critical of politics and society. The members viewed themselves as punks, whose only association with the NDW was the fact that they appeared at the same time. As testament to that they wrote on their Homepage: "Ja wir haben den Scheiß eben mitgemacht!" (Yeah, we went along with that shit)." en.wickipedia.org
Fröhliche Menschen pilgern kurz vor Weihnachten in die lokalen Einkaufszentren, um Geschenke für ihre Lieben zu finden. Zwei Betrüger, getarnt als Nikolaus und Elfe, wollen die Gelegenheit nutzen, um die Kundschaft auszurauben. Doch der perfekt ausgeklügelte Plan gerät ins Stottern, als ihnen ein gewitzter Achtjähriger die wahre Bedeutung des Weihnachtsfest erklärt.
Paavo Järvi’s outstanding reputation makes him one of the most sought-after conductors on the international stage. Born in Tallinn, Estonia, he studied percussion and conducting at the Tallinn School of Music before moving to the USA in 1980, where he continued his studies at the Curtis Institute of Music and at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute with Leonard Bernstein.
There are all sorts of correspondences, musical and otherwise, that confer unity on this eclectic mix of works. John Corigliano's Fantasia, given a smashing performance by Grimaud that milks every ounce of poetry and mystery from its quieter moments, is based on the Allegretto of Beethoven's Seventh (just as Pärt's Credo quotes Bach). Both Beethoven's Choral Fantasy and Pärt's Credo are written for the unusual combination of piano, chorus, and orchestra, and both in their different ways seek to bring order from chaos (or in musical terms contrast "improvisation" with "composed" music). The odd man out here (conceptually at least) is Beethoven's Tempest Sonata, in which Grimaud finds similar qualities via its supposed inspiration in Shakespeare's eponymous play. In any case, it takes no special pleading to include two works by the same composer, and its inclusion makes for a thoughtful and attractive concept album that not incidentally keeps the focus squarely on Grimaud.