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New Releases
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Grand Piano Masters · Piano Concertos by Beethoven & UstvolskayaGrand Piano Masters · Piano Concertos by Beethoven & Ustvolskaya
Grand Piano Masters
Piano Concertos by Beethoven & Ustvolskaya
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827):
Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 19
World Premiere Recording of the version for Piano & String Orchestra
by Vinzenz Lachner (1811-1893)
Galina Ustvolskaya (1919-2006):
Concerto for Piano, Strings & Timpani
With courtesy of Hans Sikorski Music Publishing Hamburg
Patricia Hase (Piano) · Ensemble Galina
Conductor: Peter Leipold
A concert recording from the Richard-Jakoby-Hall
of the Hanover University of Music, Drama & Media in Germany
HD Recording · DDD · c. 49 Minutes
CD
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***** Wonderful performance and very good recording quality
Wonderful performance and very good recording quality. I love the beauty of the interpretation and the combination of the two works!
An Amazon Customer on July 31, 2016 - Customer Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Review
Featured on Spotify
This release is featured on the Spotify list of 50 notable classical new releases
Spotify Editorial
Review
The first recording played without blunders is out!
The first recording of the Concerto for Piano, Strings & Timpani played without blunders is out!
'Galina Ustvolskaya official' on Facebook
Review
The Hannover-based pianist Patricia Hase has just released the Grand Piano Masters: Concertos by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) & Galina Ustvolskaya with conductor Peter Leipold and Ensemble Galina in with the record label K&K Verlagsanstalt this summer. A coffee addict and an avid reader who listens to German rap band Cro when she works out, Patricia tells primephonic’s Rina Sitorus about the new recording and her biggest wish in music.
Could you tell us about your newest album?
It’s very special for me to have recorded this album, because the conductor Peter Leipold and I are very close friends for many years now. It is so special for me to have this album recorded with him and the orchestra, Ensemble Galina. These wonderful concertos of Beethoven and Galina Ustvolskaya are two works which I'm addicted to.
Beethoven really is one of my favorite composers. It feels very natural for me to play his music. His early concertos are so fresh and full of spirit. The orchestra is young, the conductor is young, and I am young, so it was great to bring the spirit out of Beethoven's early works from his younger years. And Galina Ustvolskaya is one of the most impressive composers I've ever encountered. She was so strict and her music is uncomprimising, which really impressed me. I have a feeling that she really wanted to say something and not just merely make nice music.
The combination comes naturally - both works were written when the composers were young. I find that music written in that time of a person’s life actually says so much about our world today. It's hard to say which one I like better, I like both works just as much.  
You mention that the music is a reflection of the world today. Could you elaborate on that?
I think the main themes are always the same: love, passion, death, religion. What Beethoven wrote are the same main themes which belong to us today. It's really important to show the audience that his music is absolutely modern and it is important for us to get connected to our feelings and our lives. 
With all that in mind, I suppose you had had some kind of overall theme or mood in the back of your mind prior to the recording. Are you pleased with the final outcome?
Yes I had a very clear idea of how it should sound and how the music should feel. I was very hard on myself during the preparation – everything had to be better and better. But then, this recording was special because it was a live recording, so we only had one chance to get it right. So I stopped thinking when I entered the stage. My wish in that moment was to give everything I have and to leave my heart at that place, at that moment. Beforehand, I had been thinking it through so much, but once it started, I just let go, had fun and felt what was in the air. Maybe that’s what music is all about.
I hope one can hear that from the album.
Tell me about the audience during the recording.
It is always so interesting to see the audience. Their reactions are always so different every time. Every concert is very different but there is always a special atmosphere.
I remember the audience during the last recording so well. It was so quiet in the hall. It was in my hometown, Hannover, and there were many people in the audience who I knew. They were crossing fingers and I could feel that!
It was also so nice that backstage, right before we started, we all came together, for a big hug and I had the feeling that we had a great connection together. I had a feeling that everybody would give the best of what he or she can. It was such an amazing feeling, knowing that everybody wants to give their best. 
How would you describe the collaboration between you, Peter Leipold and Ensemble Galina?
Well, Peter and I know each other for many years and I learned so much about music from him. I performed my first piano concerto with him conducting. Then there was a time when we were just thinking: ‘We know so many wonderful musicians, why don't we bring them together and see what happens?’ We are professional colleagues but we are also really good friends with a good connection. I think people can hear it on the album, that when we come together, there is such a nice atmosphere. To play this first recording with so many friends on stage playing together was so amazing. I feel so proud when I see the album.
Is it too early to ask about how the reaction to your latest album has been?
We got so much feedback – the media wrote very very nice things about us! Konstantin Bagrenin, Galina’s widower, wrote us a letter and he was really impressed and that his wife would have loved it. I think I could cry!
What can we expect in the near future?
The label KuK wants to make another recording with me and maybe with the orchestra. We are still brainstorming about the project, but we have cool ideas, though we have to keep it secret at the moment. But don't you worry, more is coming!
What about your own project(s)?
Well I have a lot of concerts planned, and there is a possibility of a solo recording. It could be Schubert, my other favourite composer.
Where will you be in 10 years?
I hope I can play piano and continue being on stage for my whole life. It'll be great if I get the chance to make music and keep going in this very special and wonderful direction. But you never know what’s going to happen. I'm completely relaxed, so we'll see – the rest will come.
Any names you'd like to work with?
I really really like the violinist Isabelle Faust. It would be great for me to play with her, and I also really like the pianist Maria João Pires. I think she's so absolutely amazing. And so many conductors! Maybe to play once with the Berlin Philharmonic – of course that is the dream of every musician, I think. I played a lot with horn player Felix Klieser. These were such amazing experiences and maybe there's another chance to play with him again.
What do you do when you're not busy with recordings or concerts and how do you balance your music with other obligations, such as friends and family?
I really like to play sports and I'm addicted to coffee and chocolate. Sitting in a cafe, having a nice coffee while talking to a friend: that is the real Patricia. And I also like reading: from criminal stuff to music, biographies, funny stuff; I read everything!Balancing my music with the rest is much easier than I had thought it would be. I have many friends from all over the world which is perfect, since in most cities I play, there is somebody I know. I'm very connected to them through technology. And my family lives all over the world, so I'm used to that. I think the point is, they've already known me this way since the beginning. Because I also make music together with friends, we can combine friendship and the work. Sometimes during rehearsals with the orchestra we really have to be careful that we are not only talking about other [non-musical] stuff. People bring cakes, and during break we can talk about 'important private' stuff!
What is your biggest wish as a musician?
To break the distance between the audience and the people on stage. Sometimes I feel that the people in the audience are just watching the people who are on stage, so I find it important to get everything connected.
How would you achieve that?
I often talk to the audience and explain something about the works. Other times I tell them what I feel when I play, or just ideas of what it could be and leave it open, so that we can discuss it afterwards. For me it is interesting to know what the audience thinks. It makes it more alive and brings it closer to the present day.
Patricia Hase, in conversation with primephonic's Rina Sitorus
Gregorian Chants · Veri Solis RadiusGregorian Chants · Veri Solis Radius
Ensemble Vox Nostra
Veri Solis Radius
Musical networks in medieval Europe
Gregorian chants from the 12th & 13th century,
performed by the Vocal Ensemble Vox Nostra:
Amy Green · Susanne Wilsdorf · Ellen Hünigen
Werner Blau · Burkard Wehner (Musical Director)
A concert recording from the church
of Cistercian Abbey in Eusserthal (Germany)
HD Recording · DDD · c. 60 Minutes
CD
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It is not possible to overstate the importance of this recording
The first word that comes to mind on listening to this CD is haunting. As a procession entering into the abbey church (St. Bernhard, Eusserthal, Rhineland-Palatinate) we initially hear a distant group of singers approaching, as they get louder and fill the space with their resplendent voices we settle into a transcendental journey across ancient medieval Europe. Each of the five singers on this recording is a scholar specialist (musicology, paleography, theology) in this repertoire. They include, Amy Green (USA), Susanne Wilsdorf, Ellen Hünigen, Werner Blau, Burkard Werner (Germany). They gave a concert in the abbey church on September 8, 2013. This CD is a snapshot recorded on site in direct 2-track stereo digital. The sound quality is quite simply amazing. A restored church from what was left of the original ruined abbey Kloster Eusserthal, is widely known in Europe as a great concert acoustic. An ongoing series of performances is presented annually in the former Cistercian monument, near Annweiler am Trifels.
Vox Nostra to quote their notes, "…favors a slow, flowing style of performance in an appropriately restrained tempo. The vocal sound which results is rich in overtones, and fills the entire space; it allows the archaic and pure intervals of this music to be fully appreciated, and ensures that the complex weaving of the voices is clearly audible." This writer would have to qualify their approach and the amazing results as revolutionary and without president or rival. I feel like I have heard medieval chant for the very first time it is so startling and overpowering.
The repertoire is varied and all taken from original manuscripts in Spain, Italy, Scotland, Germany, England and France. The recording ends as it began. The singers exit the abbey church and their voices trail off into the distance into silence. It is not possible to overstate the importance of this new recording on a label that is almost totally unknown here in North America. Insist on listening for yourself Vox Nostra's artistic triumph Veri Solis Radius.
© 2015 Timothy Eaton Memorial Church
J. S. Bach · About the Kingdom of GodJ. S. Bach · About the Kingdom of God
Johann Sebastian Bach
Vom Reiche Gottes
The WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING of the great cantata "Vom Reiche Gottes"
with arias, choruses & chants from 18 Bach Cantatas, compilated by Hans Grischkat,
performed according to the traditions of the time
by Heike Heilmann (Soprano), Franz Vitzthum (Altus, Countertenor),
Johannes Mayer (Tenor), Falko Hönisch (Bass),
Maulbronn Chamber Choir, Ensemble il Capriccio
Conductor: Jürgen Budday.
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · Duration: c. 78 Minutes
CD
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***** A unique performance... This album is a treasure...

Electrifying live performance of mostly rarely performed J.S. Bach arias, choruses and chants, recorded on location at the 12th century Maulbronn monastery in Germany. The acoustics are beautiful, and the sound quality very convincing. Historical instruments were used for the performance, tuned to the exact pitch Bach would have been familiar with in his lietime. The result is intimate, moving and addictive. Of course it is a 'programme', with famous pieces followed by unusual tracks, but it provides an irresistible feeling of ensemble and wholesomeness.
The delicate Sinfonia opens the CD perfectly, operates magically on your brain and your senses to remove any feeling of oppression from what you cannot control of the outside world, and when the beautifully sung chorus of the same cantata follows, you know you are in for a treat that mixes adherence to the settings of the time and effective modern recording technology.
This album is not 'another Bach' album. It is unique, and it is a treasure.

"Edel" on Amazon.com (Verified purchase of the Audio CD)

Maulbronn Chamber Choir · Love & SorrowMaulbronn Chamber Choir · Love & Sorrow
Maulbronn Chamber Choir
Love & Sorrow
"Liebe & Leid"
An a-cappella-recording with works about love and sorrow
for 4- to 12-part mixed choir
by Robert L. de Pearsall (1795-1856), Robert Schumann (1810-1856),
Peter Cornelius (1824-1874), Sven David Sandström (*1942),
John Tavener (*1944), John Rutter (*1945), Branko Stark (*1954),
David Hill (*1957), Wolfram Buchenberg (*1962),
Jaakko Mäntyjärvi (*1963) & Eric Whitacre (*1970)
Conductor: Jürgen Budday
A recording from the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · Duration: c. 75 Minutes
CD
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One of the best German choirs

The Maulbronner Kammerchor, conducted by Jurgen Budday, can serve as a model example of the best that there is in the German style of this art: roundly shaped clear phrases, deliberately designed shadings of dynamics, precise articulation an a homogeneous balance of well-cultured voices. These caracteristics are symptomatic, regardless of whether they are singing a Mendelssohn motet or a modern psalm setting, light in presentation but studded with thoroughly rehearsed effects.

The Jerusalem Post

Review

***** Excellent and highly recommended

This a-cappella-recording contains an interesting collection of historical and contemporary choral works, excellently interpreted by the highly honored Maulbronn Chamber Choir, under the direction of Jürgen Budday. This project is incredibly exciting, contains a lot of new sounds and is absolutely diversified. This release is an absolute recommendation for all lovers of choral music.

'MichaelJG' at Barnes & Noble

Review

What a juicy sound this choir makes at full throttle!

This Liebe & Leid program was recorded at Maulbronn Monastery in Germany, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a very resonant space. It's in those echoes, in fact, that the charm of the release resides. This is a pretty good choir, to be sure; and a joyful noise is made in varied repertoire stretching from Robert Lucas de Pearsall's sumptuous "Great God of Love", to Eric Whitacre's tingly "Nox Aurumque", to Jaako Mantyjarvi's absorbing account of a true-to-life maritime disaster that took place on the Baltic.
What's more exciting, though, than any technical nuance or interpretive wrinkle is the high-octane sound of the Maulbronn singers performing in their very own sacred space. That's the draw, pure and simple. Texts and translations are available and necessary because the reverb cancels out some of the diction. But what a juicy sound this choir makes at full throttle!

Philip Greenfield - American Record Guide, April 2015

Sarah Wegener & Ensemble il capriccio · Arias & CantatasSarah Wegener & Ensemble il capriccio · Arias & Cantatas
Sarah Wegener & Ensemble il capriccio:
Arias & Cantatas
Sarah Wegener (Soprano) and the ensemble il capriccio
performs according to the traditions of the time:
George Frideric Handel ~ Gloria (Cantata) · Overture (Rinaldo) · Furie terribili · Lascia ch'io pianga · Se pietà di me non senti · Da tempeste · Farewell ye limpid springs · Eternal source of light divine
Henry Purcell ~ When I am laid · O let me weep · Fantasy upon a Ground
Giovanni Battista Ferrandini ~ Se d'un Dio · Scottish Traditional ~ Auld Lang Syne et.al.
Concert Master: Friedemann Wezel
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · c. 76 Minutes
CD
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A rich and warm voice in a splendidly recorded and produced release

Sarah Wegener enthralls listeners with the richness and warmth of her voice and approaches every role in a chamber musical way. She regularly works with Kent Nagano, Philippe Herreweghe, Thomas Hengelbrock, Heinz Holliger, Michael Hofstetter and Frieder Bernius. She studied with Professor Jaeger-Bohm in Stuttgart and took part in master classes with Dame Gwyneth Jones and Renee Morloc.
Here, Sarah performs with the Ensemble Il Capriccio arias and cantatas from the baroque era, thematically enhanced with modern compositions. The release documents a concert at the church of the German UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery in Germany 2015, splendidly recorded and produced by Andreas Otto Grimminger and Josef-Stefan Kindler for their series "Maulbronn Monastery Edition".

Presto Classical, November 2016

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