The Gemini Series features an impressive roster of singers, conductors, soloists, and ensembles of international renown, all from the incomparable EMI Classics stable. EMI's rich legacy of recording expertise comes to the fore in performances from the 1960s to the 1990s. Gemini titles are predominantly collections of single composers and fantastic value with well over an hour of music on each CD, making them the ideal place to start or develop a collection of classical music. Each 2-CD set contains over two hours of music for a fantastically low price. Attractively designed and packaged in space-saving brilliant boxes, each set includes three-language booklets with detailed notes on the music.
Franz Ignaz Beck is increasingly acknowledged as one of the most forward-looking and inventive of mid-eighteenth-century symphonists. A student of the celebrated Johann Stamitz, Beck was trained in Mannheim, a focal point of new approaches to orchestral writing. Although small in scale, his Op. 2 set includes some of the most striking and harmonically daring works of their kind from the period.
The Cello Concerto No.1 in C Major, Hob. VIIb/1, by Joseph Haydn was composed around 1761–1765 for longtime friend Joseph Weigl, then the principal cellist of Prince Nicolaus's Esterhazy Orchestra. The work was presumed lost until 1961, when musicologist Oldrich Pulkert discovered a copy of the score at the Prague National Museum. Though some doubts have been raised about the authenticity of the work, most experts believe that Haydn did compose this concerto.
This is music that is very close to Robin Ticciati's heart; he describes Schumann as one of his favourite composers and has often spoken about how important poetry, colour and story are to Schumann's music. Symphony No. 1 'Spring', blazes and sparkles with joy, Symphony No. 2 finds its way carefully through to the safe haven of its final movement, the much-loved Symphony No. 3 ‘Rhenish' moves with huge ease and assurance to a resonant and joyful conclusion. Symphony No. 4 is radical in the way each movement attacks the start of the next movement with barely a pause, and in its minute-and-a-half-long, shimmering and horn-call-filled transition to the finale. Under Ticciati and the SCO it is magnificent, the radical, soaring, disturbing and exhilarating symphony Schumann intended.
For these revelatory performances - captured live at acclaimed concerts in Paris - he conducts the superb Chamber Orchestra of Europe, one of the world’s preeminent chamber orchestras. Taking a fresh perspective on familiar music, Yannick Nézet-Séguin challenges the conventional view on the composer’s symphonies.