Claudio Abbado (1933-2014) was one of the outstanding personalities in the history of the Berliner Philharmoniker. He made his debut with the orchestra in 1966 and was their chief conductor from 1990 to 2002. In May 2013, their unique partnership ended with Claudio Abbado's last concert with the orchestra – a “triumph”, in the words of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The programme included two of the most important works of musical Romanticism: Hector Berlioz's visionary Symphonie fantastique and Felix Mendelssohn's magical, shimmering music for A Midsummer Night's Dream. Audio and video recordings of this memorable evening are now being released in a hardcover luxury edition. The bonus material includes a historical documentary about Abbado's first year as chief conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker. In addition to extensive texts, the booklet contains numerous photos, some of which have never been published before.
Blutengel are a German pop musical group formed by singer Chris Pohl (also of the groups Terminal Choice, Tumor, and Miss Construction and the owner of the Fear Section label) after he had to leave Seelenkrank due to contractual and legal problems. The lyrics are written primarily in German and English and are presented with male and female vocals. The themes of the songs usually centre around themes common in Gothic fiction such as love, vampirism, sexual fetishism, death, and immortality. The band calls their musical style dark pop…
This album of Handel vocal selections should delight the listener with its clear, bell-like soprano and its period orchestra, its Handelian melismas and reverential songs to God. Soprano Dorothea Craxton sings with such a beautiful, creamy sound and smooth technique that one does not hear her breaths. However, this album disappoints for the sole reason that the recording quality is off-balance, often relegating Craxton to sound like a member of the ensemble as opposed to soloist (or being overpowered by one of the ensemble).
In East Germany in the early 1970’s Martin Zeichnete worked as a sound editor for DEFA, (Deutsche Film-Aktiengesellschaft), the state-owned film studio. Like many young East Germans of the time he would listen furtively to West German radio at night and became infatuated with the Kosmische Musik or ‘Krautrock’ epitomised by the likes of Kraftwerk, Neu! and Cluster emerging from his neighbouring country. Martin, a keen runner, hit upon the idea of using the repetitive, motorik beats of this new music as a training aid for athletes. He thought it could benefit the mind as well as the body with the pulsing, hypnotic music bringing focus. A ‘borrowed’ prototype of Andreas Pavel’s Stereobelt showed Martin the technology to provide music on the move already existed and could easily be adapted for runners.
Sir Thomas Beecham was acknowledged as the finest interpreter of Delius' music during the last century. The composer's friend and biographer, his performances remain a benchmark against which all must be judged. This invaluable anthology contains some of the finest he taped for EMI in the 1940's and 50's. The first two discs contain all those works he recorded in stereo. They comprise a selection of shorter works, the complete Florida Suite and a wonderful 'Songs of Sunset' - settings of 'fin du siecle' poems by Ernest Dowson - splendidly sung by John Cameron and Maureen Forrester.
Rocker Peter Maffay was the best-selling German pop star of his generation, wielding his celebrity to become a powerful advocate for antiwar efforts and an outspoken critic of domestic abuse. Born Peter Alexander Makkay on August 30, 1949, in Brasov, Romania, he was 14 when his family relocated to his parents' native Germany. Soon after, he founded his first rock band, the Dukes…
Recordings of all the Beethoven symphonies with their chief conductor are always a milestone in the artistic work of the Berliner Philharmoniker. So it was with Herbert von Karajan and Claudio Abbado, and expectations are correspondingly high for this cycle conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. Where does the special status of these symphonies come from? Simon Rattle has an explanation: “One of the things Beethoven does is to give you a mirror into yourself – where you are now as a musician.” In fact, this music contains such a wealth of extreme emotions and brilliant compositional ideas that reveal the qualities of the orchestra and its conductor as if under a magnifying glass.