Press Releases: August 2017

George Frederic Handel Parnasso in festa Andrea Marcon, David Hansen, Robin Johannsen, Kangmin Justin Kim, Jenny Högstrom, Silke Gäng, Francesca Ascioti, Luca Tittoto, La Cetra Barockorchester Basel, La Cetra Vokalensemble Basel. PENTATONE PTC 5186643 Andrea Marcon and La Cetra sparkle in this new release from PENTATONE of Handel’s forgotten masterpiece Parnasso in festa, recorded shortly…

Press releases: September 2016

(1) Wagner: Overtures, Preludes and Orchestral Excerpts (2) Roussel, Debussy, Poulenc. Orchestral works (3) Fantasies, Rhapsodies and Daydreams

Philip Glass and La Boulangerie

In his recently published memoirs, Words Without Music (2015), the American minimalist composer Philip Glass tells the story of a lesson in musical counterpoint he had one afternoon with the formidable Nadia Boulanger.  

A Bohemian in New York

Antonín  Dvořák (1841 – 1904) was a genial, unassuming man for whom life was “a very wonderful, uncomplicated thing”. Arriving in New York in 1892, his patron handed him over to the music critic James Huneker for the day’s excursion. This started innocently enough with Mass at a Bohemian church, but it soon degenerated into…

Confronting Nature in the Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams

For many, the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams [1872 – 1958] evokes a dreamy, nostalgic vision of England – more Downton Abbey than Dickens – with folk music blending with tranquil, rural landscapes, and a suggestion of Choral Evensong with “hallowed traditions and hallowed halls”. And his most popular works – The Lark Ascending, Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis and Fantasia on Greensleeves – tend to cement his status as the most quintessential composer of English pastoral music.

A contemporary critic and composer, Peter Warlock, once waggishly remarked that Vaughan Williams’ music is “… too much like a cow looking over a gate”. However, a deeper familiarity with his music gives the lie to this caricature. Vaughan Williams is adept at evoking landscapes and nature: from rural idylls and bustling cityscapes, to bleak and desolate wildernesses. Far from being reassuring, his music often has the power to be deeply unsettling.