Chamber Music

Chamber Music
CDs and Longplay Music Releases:
Chamber Music
Glass & StonesGlass & Stones
Vienna Glass Armonica Duo
Glass & Stones
A concert with the Vienna Glass Armonica Duo (Glass Armonica & Verrophone),
Christa Schönfeldinger (Glass Armonica) & Gerald Schönfeldinger (Verrophone)
plays works by Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741),
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Gottfried Keller (1819-1890),
Carl Röllig (1754-1804), Edward Grieg (1843-1907),
Arvo Pärt, Ennio Morricone and Gerald Schönfeldinger
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · ca. 55 minutes
CD
EUR 22,00
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One of the most satisfying glass harmonica discs ever
The Vienna Glasharmonika Duo, consisting of husband and wife Gerald and Christa Schönfeldinger, is one of the longest established groups wholly devoted to performing music written for glass and their K&K-Verlagsanstalt release Glas & Steine (Glass & Stone) is of an in-concert recording from the summer of 2006. Christa Schönfeldinger performs on a reconstructed instrument that is almost exactly like the glass armonica that Benjamin Franklin invented in 1761 rather than the crystal glasses in a suitcase instrument more commonly used since Bruno Hoffman revived glass music in the 1950s. Gerald Schönfeldinger plays a modern instrument called a Verrophon that consists of a set of test tube-like glasses and contributes three original compositions to the program written in an idiom very well suited to this exotic combination of instruments. The recording, touted as a "Direct 2-Track Stereo" release, is excellent, made at Maulbronn Monastery in Austria, which has superb acoustics. Although the program includes the expected Mozart K. 617a and arrangements of some other pieces by him, it does expand upon our notions of glass harmonica music. Especially notable is the inclusion of Arvo Pärt's Intervallo, written in open score and usually played on the organ but perfectly well suited to the glass harmonica. Ennio Morricone's Il Gatto is included as a way to vary the sound of the program, which includes some glasses as struck with soft mallets in addition to the usual bowing with the fingertip. However, the most striking piece is Vienna Glasharmonika Duo's transcription of Edvard Grieg's lyric piece Der Kobold, which succeeds well in stretching the boundaries of these instruments, demonstrating that fast passagework is possible and the glass harmonica need not be limited to long, sustained notes, even though that's the kind of musical texture that suits it best.... ...Glas & Steine is one of the most satisfying glass harmonica discs ever. The resonance of Maulbronn Monastery helps take the edge off the sometimes-piercing top notes of the glass - notable especially in studio-made recordings - and provides an ambience that is appropriately ghostly and evocative...
Uncle Dave Lewis - All Music Guide
Grand Piano Masters · AppassionataGrand Piano Masters · Appassionata
Grand Piano Masters
Appassionata
Lilya Zilberstein plays
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827):
Sonata No. 2 in A Major, Op. 2, No. 2
Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata"
Instrument: Concert Grand Piano D 280 by C. Bechstein
A concert recording from Bad Homburg Castle
in Germany, October 2007
HD Recording · DDD · c. 52 Minutes
CD
EUR 22,00SpotifyApple MusicAmazon Digital MusiciTunes MasteredFor...HDtrackseClassical HDQobuz HDReview
***** The best sounding recording of a piano
This performance of two Beethoven sonatas recorded before a live audience in a castle in Germany by pianist Lilya Zilberstein is incredible in two respects. First, the Appassionata is played as well as anyone I know, including the many legends of the keyboard who have recorded this masterpiece. Zilberstein has it all--technique, style, and passion. Equally remarkable is the sound. This is the best sounding recording of a piano I have ever heard--it must be heard to be believed, and if you are lucky to have a fine sound system you are in for a stupendous aural treat. If wish to hear a magnificant performance in otherwordly fidelity I urge you to track this release down before it becomes unavailable.
'Oldnslow' on Amazon.com
Review
***** Exceptional Appassionata
Sonata 23 is a war horse. There are literally 3-5 dozen versions online from older versions Schnabel (much too fast) to Brendel and Horowitz (quite staid) Kissin Gilels Schiff Goode and others. This one has superb recording. It is live and one can feel the tension with the audience. It is exceptionally clean and not exceedingly fast. You can hear the nuances that lay buried in the ear with the speedsters. She has wonderful rubato moments and the phrase to phrase dynamics are exceptionally well done. Importantly it is very exciting to hear though you know every note; it appears fresh as I feel it is new, modern interpretation. Congratulations Lilya. I hope to hear you in concert in Boston.
'George R. Collison' on Amazon.com
Review
***** Even among all Beethoven sonatas on the market, this one stands out
The disc is a product of Germany's K&K label, which specializes in live performances held in historically significant, if not acoustically appropriate, locations. Here they manage both. The Castle Church of Bad Homburg offers a fine ambiance for piano music in general and for Zilberstein's muscular, dynamic style in particular.
The disc offers the first half of a live concert whose date is localized only to October 2007; the second half was devoted to music of Brahms. At 52 minutes the program is short, but it is complete in itself, and one wants to hear the other disc if only to find out whether Zilberstein can sustain the intensity level from this half.
Zilbertstein has managed to devise fresh, fully realized interpretations of these two sonatas - no small feat, especially in the case of the ubiquitous Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 ('Appassionata'). Hear Zilberstein's exquisite shaping of the work's brooding opening page. The Beethovenian short-short-short long motif that plays such an important role in binding the music together is introduced in the shadows, but soon enough emerges as an exclamation with sufficent force to propel the main theme through its numerous harmonic transformations.
The level of tension in the entire sonata is remarkable; even the middle movement seems to see the with repressed energy. The early Piano Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 2, No. 2, is equally strong, with a unique rhythmic conception of the main theme. Just sit and listen: even among all the Beethoven sonatas on the market, this one stands out.
James Manheim, All Music Guide USA
Grand Piano Masters · ImpromptuGrand Piano Masters · Impromptu
Grand Piano Masters
Impromptu
Franz Vorraber plays
Franz Schubert (1797-1828):
Impromptus Opus 90 (D899) I-IV
& Wanderer Fantasy Opus 15 (D760)
Instrument: Concert Grand Piano: D 280 by C. Bechstein
A concert recording from Bad Homburg Castle in Germany
CD · DDD · c. 63 Minutes
CD
EUR 22,00
SpotifyApple MusiciTunesQobuzReview
***** A wonderful and delicate piece of music...
I wish to write this review not only praising the quality and beauty of music contained on this album but also to thank K&K Verlagsanstalt personally for their generosity towards me. I am a film student who has just finished producing my graduate film. During post production I sort through many different recordings of Schubert Impromptus in particular the Impromptu Op.90 No.3 in G flat major. I felt this music would be appropriate for my film as it holds a certain bitter sweet quality that is rarely found is seldom come across. I chose the recording of K&K's as I believed it to be the most beautiful, with the lovely expression contained in the performance and overall clarity of the piece. I contacted K&K shortly after hearing it and they were kind enough to grant me the use of their recording for which, I am forever grateful.
I cannot explain my gratitude towards K&K Verlagsanstal and also Franz Vorraber for such a virtuoso performance. All I can give is my support of their products and recommendation to others purchase their music.
'Glynncat' on Amazon.com
Review
***** Beauty
This is real music... it's classic and its a beautiful melody... verry catchy and it's soothing. Pretty much just awesome!... not kiddnig.
'Holly Jo McCoy' on iTunes
Review
Qualitative recording
This is a qualitative recording without background noise.
'TianSky' on iTunes
Grand Piano Masters · The NightwindGrand Piano Masters · The Nightwind
Grand Piano Masters
The Nightwind
Severin von Eckardstein plays
Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata No. 14 in A Minor D. 784
Claude Debussy: Images, Set 2, L 111
Nikolai Medtner: Piano Sonata in E Minor, Op.25 No.2
"Night Wind" & 3 encores by Prokofiev, Scriabin and Tchaikovsky.
Instrument: C. Bechstein Concert Grand Piano D 280
A concert recording from the Philharmonia Mercatorhalle
in Duisburg (Germany), April 15th 2012.
HD Recording · DDD · Duration: c. 77 Minutes
CD
EUR 22,00SpotifyDeezerApple MusicTIDALiTunesPrime PhonicPresto Classical HDQobuz HDReview
Severin von Eckardstein Live at Duisburgs Mercatorhalle
The seriousness and intensity with which von Eckardstein imbues Schubert's Sonata in A Minor; the wealth of tone colours this winner of Brussels's Queen Elisabeth Music Competition draws from the C. Bechstein concert grand piano for Debussy's Images; the virtuosity of his interpretation of Medtner's sonata: all this really breathtaking. Ingo Hoddick states in an article published in the Rheinische Post: "Von Eckardstein is captivating through his music with clear tonal contours and his serene and passionate approach of playing the piano. He does it all with virtually no gimmickry or flamboyance - which cannot be said of many contemporary artists..." The CD also includes three poetic pieces by Prokofiev, Scriabin and Tchaikovsky. These encores offered to the euphoric audience demonstrate von Eckardstein's sensitivity in conjuring a magical atmosphere from a C. Bechstein concert grand piano.
Bechstein.com
Haydn · Grand duos pour deux guitaresHaydn · Grand duos pour deux guitares
Joseph Haydn · François de Fossa:
Grand duos pour deux guitares
Four divertimentos for stringquartet by Joseph Haydn,
edited for guitar-duo by François de Fossa (1775-1849),
performed with historical guitares from the 19th century
by the ensemble Duo Sonare:
Jens Wagner & Thomas Offermann
A concert recording from the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · c. 60 Minutes
CD
EUR 22,00SpotifyDeezerApple MusicAmazon Digital MusiciTunes MasteredFor...eClassical HDQobuz HDPresto Classical HDReview
***** Elegant music with a superb sound...
These are pleasing contemporary arrangements of Haydn's relatively little-known Divertimenti for string quartet. Undemanding, elegant music which adapts well to the two guitar medium, and has an added interest because this duo plays always on instruments of the respective musical era, rebuilt copies: 'after all, they played on new guitars back then, so why should we have to give concerts with old ones?' !
The sound as recorded in the Laymen Refectory of the 1147 Maulbronn Monastery is superb, and the pleasure vastly enhanced by looking at the fabulous website, with pictures instantly putting you right into the ambience of this World Heritage Site where some 25 concerts are held annually.
Andy Smith on Amazon.com
Review
A superb guitar duo
I was absolutely privileged to witness three concerts by this superb guitar duo. I own all their recordings and don't feel there are many better at historical guitar interpretation than they.
Toka Reva on YouTube
Musica Sacra · Die ZeitMusica Sacra · Die Zeit
Musica Sacra · Die Zeit
'The period of time' - Songs, arias and instrumental music from the 17th and 18th century by Johann Rist, Johann Schop (c.1590-1667), Nikolaus Adam Strungk (1640-1700), Heinrich Scheidemann (c.1595-1663), Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) & Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788).
Dorothee Mields (Soprano) & Ensemble Hamburger Ratsmusik: Simone Eckert (Viola da gamba & Diskant-Viola da Gamba), Ulrich Wedemeier (Theorbo), Michael Fuerst (Harpsichord).
A concert recording from the church of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
CD · DDD · c. 60 Minutes
CD
EUR 22,00
SpotifyDeezerGoogle PlayApple MusicAmazoniTunesHD TrackseClassical HDPresto Classical HDPrime PhonicReview
A spirited rediscovery of true expression that's centuries old
This album is part of a series recorded live at the medieval-era Maulbronn Monastery in southern Germany, but it explores the music of a very different region: the Hamburger Ratsmusik, doubtless a strange name to Anglophone ears, is the Music of the Hamburg City Council, a concert series with a tradition a half a millennium long. It petered out and was then revived.
This concert, conceptualized by gambist and ensemble leader Simone Eckert, collects a group of pieces from the 18th century, all connected by the single theme of time (die Zeit)... The combination of pieces is largely unlike anything that's been put on disc before, and many of them are unknown. The program combines simple, strophic settings like Johann Schop's "O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort" (O Eternity, You Thunder-Word), from the mid-17th century, with Telemann's simple moralistic cantatas, more involved Bachian pieces, and instrumental works of several kinds.
Soprano Dorothee Mields does an exceptional job of communicating the sober but appealing mood of the music, so different from the operatic ideals that informed even much of the output of Bach, and the backing musicians keep everything lively even as the emotion level is low-key; the two Telemann trio sonatas included are nicely differentiated by accompaniment, with one featuring a theorbo continuo.
The whole program breathes and feels like a spirited rediscovery of true expression that's centuries old, and the sound from the monastery is well suited to this music. Recommended, partly in hopes that the album will stimulate further exploration of the repertory from Hamburg, an immensely influential city in its day.

James Manheim, All Music Guide USA

Musique baroque de TelemannMusique baroque de Telemann
Musique baroque de Telemann
The Wolfgang Bauer Consort plays works by Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767), performed according to the traditions of the time:
Concerto in D for trumpet, 2 violins & B.C. ~ Concerto a 3 Clarin, Tympani, 2 Violin, Viola e Cembalo ~ Violin Sonata in A ~ Trumpet Concerto No. 2 ~ Sonatas "Sabato" & "Domenica" ~ Ouverture in D.
Soloists: Wolfgang Bauer (Baroque Trumpet), Dietlind Mayer (Violin), Petra Müllejans (Violin), Ludwig Hampe (Viola), Georg Siebert & Ingo Goritzki (Oboe)
A concert recording from the church of Monastery Maulbronn
CD · DDD · c. 73 Minutes
CD
EUR 22,00
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*****This is incredible! There are no tracks that I want to skip
This is incredible! I enjoy baroque music but am in no way a classical music buff. I had never known of Telemann until I happened upon this by chance. I heard an excerpt that totally caught my attention when I was flipping through car radio stations. It was so fetching that I immediately had to search the web to find out about Telemann & this CD. Luckily I found it. It is so tasteful. The 35 short concertos flow so well together & provide enough variety to keep it engaging using instrumentation original to the baroque era. None of it is irritating. There are no tracks that I want to skip. The lead trumpet, violin, etc. are clean , light , skillful. This CD is so beautifully done, and it has a positive effect on the soul. Highly Recommend.
TealBlue02 'TealBlue' (Mason Dixon Line, MD/DE) on Amazon
Review
Great music by a brilliant composer played by a superb ensemble
'Bachanalia' on eMusic.com
Review
The striking ambience of this particular recording was truly eye-opening...
This fine disc is yet another in the stunning series of CDs produced by the enterprising Josef-Stefan Kindler and Andreas Otto Grimminger and recorded in the sublime acoustic of the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Maulbronn monastery near Heilbronn in Germany. Telemann has become quite well served on record of late but this eclectically mixed concert is a joy just to sit back and relax with the sounds of trumpet, string instruments and clarinets competing for attention. I have recently had the opportunity to listen to several CDs from the Concentus Musicus Wien in numerous Telemann works but the striking ambience of this particular recording was truly eye-opening. Each soloist led by the able virtuoso Wolfgang Bauer brings the works to life in an uncanny sense of historically informed music making. This is a joyful disc which deserves the widest possible currency.
Gerald Fenech on Classical Net
Schubert: The Death And The Maiden & Janácek: Intimate LettersSchubert: The Death And The Maiden & Janácek: Intimate Letters
Schubert: The Death And The Maiden
& Janácek: Intimate Letters
Leos Janácek: String Quartet No.2 "Intimate Letters"
& Franz Schubert: String Quartet in D Minor "The death and the Maiden",
performed by the Amati Quartet.
A concert recording from the German UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
CD · DDD · c. 65 Minutes
CD
EUR 22,00
SpotifyClassics OnlineReview
An extraordinary reading that rises to the moment
The severe sound environment of the Maulbronn Abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the German state of Baden-Württemberg that dates to the twelfth century, has given rise to a series of recordings covering varying aspects of music from the Western concert tradition. That sound environment is put to intelligent use in this string quartet recital, which pairs well-worn pieces but gives them unusually intense interpretations that are heightened by the hard resonance of the sound. Sample the very beginning of the Schubert "String Quartet in D minor, D. 810" "Death and the Maiden", to get yourself into the disc; the opening chords might be described as slashing. Move on to the second-movement variation set built on the song that gives the quartet its name; where many quartets let a sort of debilitated gloom hang over much of the movement, everything here is a life-and-death struggle. The stronger of the two performances on the disc is that of Janácek's 1928 "String Quartet No. 2," subtitled "Intimate Letters," a hypersubjective work whose emotional content could have been drawn straight from one of Sigmund Freud's contemporaneous psychotherapy sessions. The work is as dissonant as almost any other of its period that does not completely reject tonality, but the dissonance is used in the service of untrammelled expression. The letters evoked are those between the composer and his married mistress. Yet the Amati Quartet's performance, ringing around the monastery walls, brings to mind, to use John le Carré's memorable simile, thoughts that are like birds stuck in a greenhouse. It's an extraordinary reading that rises to the moment offered by a specific performance space, and the disc as a whole, while not for those who like the emotional temperature of their classical music kept to medium, is decisively recommended to those wanting to try out the Maulbronn series.
James Manheim, All Music Guide
Review
I enjoyed it tremendously
It took me completely unawares when the dramatic opening bars of "Death and the Maiden" gripped me by the throat and threatened immediate life-extinction; I felt as if I were living the story myself, and though no maiden, I could certainly relate to her death-obsessed plight. This version is almost orchestral in feeling. While it is true that there is a huge amount of reverb in this space - well, it is a monastery - this only partially accounts for the destructive vehemence that the Amati gives this work. They see and saw their way as if it were the world's last concert, or the devil himself was in the audience. I enjoyed it tremendously...
Steven E. Ritter, FANFARE Magazine
Review
Another thumbs up for this extremely enterprising German label
The enterprising German label K&K has made a name for themselves by issuing critically acclaimed recordings of oratorios and other sacred works in the haunting location of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Maulbronn Monastery. This CD features two string quartets by masters in the genre, Franz Schubert and Leoš Janácek played by the legendary Amati Quartet, one of the finest ensembles currently recording. Both works come across quite beautifully in the sumptuous acoustic and as expected, the Amati play with their exemplary brilliance especially in the "Intimate Letters" which is certainly very hard to bring off. This is another thumbs up for this extremely enterprising German label.
Gerald Fenech on Classical Net
String Quartets by Veress & BeethovenString Quartets by Veress & Beethoven
Veress & Beethoven
String Quartets
The Orpheus Quartet plays
Sandor Veress: Stringquartet No. 2,
Ludwig van Beethoven: Stringquartet op. 59/2, E minor,
Franz Schubert: Stringquartet in C minor, D 703
A concert recording from the German
Unesco World Heitage Site Maulbronn Monastery
DDD · c. 60 Minutes
CD
EUR 22,00SpotifyClassics OnlineReview
A terrific performance...
A terrific performance and the equally rare chance to hear one of Europe's most thoughtful Ensembles. Sándor Veress has been overshadowed by his Hungarian compatriots, but on the rare occasions when I encounter his music I always find it worth hearing. His First Quartet, premiered in Prague in 1935 but written four years earlier, is demonstrably from the same soil as Bartók and Kodály, but quite individual. Its first movement is in slow-fast-slow form, after which comes an Andante and finally a highly rhythmic Vivo. The German based Orpheus Quartet gives a terrific performance to end this concert, recorded live in the convent at Maulbronn... The disc is worth pursuing for the rare Veress and the equally rare chance to hear one of Europe´s most thoughtful ensembles. Since the disc was made, the Orpheus has changed its second violinist and we have had the appalling news of the death of leader Charles-André Linale.
Tully Potter, The Strad UK
Review
***** A real feeling of being in the concert
I first heard the Orpheus Quartet in Spain and have collected their studio recordings. I was eager to hear them again, and K&K's series of live concert recordings from Maulbronn has given me an opportunity to hear how they were playing two years on. However, whilst writing this review, I am saddened to learn from the Orpheus Quartet website that their leader, Charles-André Linale, was killed in a car crash last month. Chamber music is given in the lay refectory, and reverberation is long during pauses after Beethoven's sf chords, but you soon get used to that, and it is more than compensated for by the bloom on the sound - you have a real feeling of being there with the audience. The Orpheus four have exactly the right feeling for the not-easy Schubert Quartettsatz and Beethoven's Op. 59/2, which can be a long haul; with all repeats, it was gripping from beginning to end. In this June 2002 concert their novelty was a quartet by Sandor Veress, an excellent composer heard infrequently in UK. Without any studio editing, the accuracy of these performances is remarkable and testifies to the good health of this top string quartet in what, it transpires, will have been one of their last recorded concerts with their multinational founder members; the exceptional performance of the Beethoven a worthy memorial for Charles-André Linale.
Andy Smith on Amazon.com
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