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Cat. No. CHSA 5101 Price: £11.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHSA 5101 - Berio: Orchestral Realisations
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Available From: 15 January 2012
Berio: Orchestral Realisations

Berio had an abiding fascination with reconciling the past and the present, which can be seen in his orchestral realisations of works by Mahler and Brahms, and most notably, in Rendering (1990), his typically creative completion of unfinished symphonic sketches by Schubert.
 
In Rendering, Berio – in his own words – sets himself the target of ‘following those modern restoration criteria that aim at reviving the old colours without, however, trying to disguise the damage that time has caused, often leaving inevitable empty patches in the composition’. In the ‘restoration’, Schubert’s sketches have been beautifully orchestrated in period style, and the ‘empty patches’ have been filled with music composed by Berio himself, in his own voice – thereby successfully combining the musical worlds of the early nineteenth and late twentieth centuries into one convincing whole.
 
The Clarinet Sonata by Brahms embodies the composer’s taut and concentrated compositional style. In transcribing the work, Berio felt that, when experienced in the less intimate surroundings of today’s concert halls, the extreme compression of Brahms’s late chamber music style was in need of some additional support, and his version, recorded here, includes a fourteen-bar orchestral introduction to the first movement, leading into Brahms’s own, much shorter opening phrase, as well as five additional bars at the beginning of the second movement.
 
Berio completed his orchestration of six early songs by Gustav Mahler in 1987, and conducted the first performance with the Toscanini Orchestra on 7 December that year, with Thomas Hampson the baritone soloist. The six songs in this orchestrated set are ‘Hans und Grete’, ‘Phantasie’, ‘Scheiden und Meiden’, ‘Erinnerung’, ‘Frühlingsmorgen’, and ‘Ich ging mit Lust durch einen grünen Wald’.
 
The Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra is conducted by Edward Gardner, with Roderick Williams the baritone soloist in the songs by Mahler and Michael Collins the soloist in Brahms’s Clarinet Sonata.

Reviews

“...Baritone Roderick Williams is exceptional. This segment [The Six Early Songs] is worth the price of admission... Chandos’s sound is magnificent, and the Norwegian players sound great.”

Allen Gimbel  – American Record Guide – July/August 2012 

 

"Edward Gardner continues to expand his masterful catalogue of contemporary music recordings. This superb programme reveals an aspect of Luciano Berio’s creative output which may prove a pleasant surprise to many who have already tested his musical waters and withdrawn their toe with a mild ‘eek!’ of modern music mortification.Berio made numerous arrangements, orchestrations and transcriptions, at times leaving the original relatively intact, in certain instances using his own idiom to enrich or, in the case of Rendering, complete a score left unfinished by its original composer... If you are scared of Berio, please re-adjust your trepidations with this disc. You will be missing a great deal if you allow prejudice to put you off. The character of the original composers is preserved and enhanced by Berio’s treatments of their scores, and the extended Schubert will give you the kind of thrills, chills and bewitchment you won’t find in many other recordings. Chandos’s 5.0 surround and stereo recording is a treat as per usual, with a marvellous balance between atmosphere and detail, also presenting soloists and orchestra in pleasantly unified acoustic harmony."
 
Dominy Clements - Musicweb-international.com - 3 May 2012

               *****     Exceptional
Guiseppe Rossi - Musica magazine - May 2012

                Performance ****      Recording *****

“...The 20th-century Italian composer’s versions of the Mahler songs are straightforward and affectionately sung by Roderick William... The arrangement of Brahm’s Clarinet Sonata is a little more interventionist ... at the starts of the first two movements. Michael Collins’s tone is bright and direct... the slow movement and Ländler-like Allegretto are delightful. The recording is clean and sympathetic. Berio himself looms larger in Rendering... The sound of the celesta, alien to Schubert, signals these departures into dream world, which Gardner captures atmospherically. His assured sense of style in Schubert’s material is compelling.”

Martin Cotton – BBC Music Magazine – Awards Issue 2012


“This is a typical Chandos disc; interesting repertoire ripely recorded by fine performers.”
Nick Barnard – musicweb-international.com – 5 April 2012

"... The playing of the Bergen Philharmonic confirms its current status, with opulent sound and detailed notes ... A welcome and apposite coupling, cordially recommended."
Richard Whitehouse - International Record Review - April 2012

            Performance *****                  Sonics *****
“A wonderful disc of Berio’s (sometimes radical) interventions... Chandos have produced one of their finest sounding discs for some time here: expansive, detailed and rich that manages to avoid blurring any of the lines. Strongly recommended.”
Polly Nominal – SA-CD.net – 23 January 2012  
 

“... Gardner shapes it all beautifully, and his soloists – Michael Collins in the Sonata, baritone Roderick Williams in the songs – are suave and refined...” ****
Andrew Clements – The Guardian – 3 February 2012

 

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