Super Artists in Super Audio Vol. 6 (2009)

Bach, Schumann, Haydn, Muffat, Rossini, Ellington, Wagenseil, Jianfen, Rachmaninov, Caplet, Veloso, Shostakovich, Mozart, Dowland, Farrenc, Mahler

Budapest Festival Orchestra, Lavinia Meijer, Frommermann, Dejan Lazic, Reinild Mees, Emily Beynon, Matthew Wadsworth, Amsterdam String Quartet, Rachel Podger, Paolo Giacometti, The Netherlands Bach Society, Netherland Chamber Choir, Pieter Wispelwey, Florilegium, Gary Cooper, Holland Baroque Society, Meridian Arts Ensemble, Jorgen van Rijen

Ivan Fischer, Jos Van Veldhoven, Peter Dijkstra

In presenting our 6th SACD sampler, Channel Classics can look back at an exciting 8 years since the introduction of Super Audio CD technology. Many people think that SACD's have had limited success in the commercial market but I see more releases from more labels with each passing month. In the end the high quality of this format (together with the backward compatibility) is a deciding factor against all other forms of listening. We have selected 19 tracks which we feel are most representative of our past years releases. These are placed in a random order so that every release has its own distinct flavor. Enjoy!
C. Jared Sacks
director/producer/recording engineer

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Ivan Fischer

Ivan Fischer is founder and Music Director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra. The partnership between Iván Fischer and his Budapest Festival Orchestra has proved to be one of the greatest success stories in the past three decades of classical music. Intense international touring and a series of acclaimed recordings for Philips Classics, later for Channel Classics have contributed to Iván Fischer's reputation as one of the world's most visionary and successful orchestra leaders.

He has developed and introduced new types of concerts, "cocoa-concerts" for young children, "Midnight Music" concerts for students, "surprise" concerts where the programme is not announced, "one forint concerts" where he talks to the audience, open-air concerts in Budapest attracting tens of thousands of people. He has founded several festivals, including a summer festival in Budapest on baroque music and the Budapest Mahlerfest which is also a forum for commissioning and presenting new compositions.

As a guest conductor Fischer works with the finest symphony orchestras of the world. He has been invited to the Berlin Philharmonic more than ten times, he leads every year two weeks of programs with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and appears with leading US symphony orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra.

Earlier music director of Kent Opera and Lyon Opera, Principal Conductor of National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC, his numerous recordings have won several prestigious international prizes.

Ivan Fischer studied piano, violin, cello and composition in Budapest, continuing his education in Vienna in Professor Hans Swarowsky’s conducting class. Recently he has been also active as a composer: his works have been performed in the US, Holland, Hungary, Germany and Austria, and he staged successful opera performances.

Mr. Fischer is a founder of the Hungarian Mahler Society, and Patron of the British Kodály Academy. He received the Golden Medal Award from the President of the Republic of Hungary, and the Crystal Award from the World Economic Forum for his services to help international cultural relations. The French Government named him Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. In 2006 he was honored with the Kossuth Prize, Hungary’s most prestigious arts award. He is honorary citizen of Budapest. In 2011 he received the Royal Philharmonic Award and the Dutch Ovatie prize. In 2013 he was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Academy of Music in London.

As of August 2011 Ivan Fischer is music director of the Konzerthaus Berlin and principal conductor of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin.

Budapest Festival Orchestra

Ivan Fischer is founder and Music Director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra. The partnership between Iván Fischer and his Budapest Festival Orchestra has proved to be one of the greatest success stories in the past three decades of classical music. Intense international touring and a series of acclaimed recordings for Philips Classics, later for Channel Classics have contributed to Iván Fischer's reputation as one of the world's most visionary and successful orchestra leaders.

He has developed and introduced new types of concerts, "Cocoa-Concerts” for young children, "Midnight Music” concerts for students, "Surprise” concerts where the programme is not announced, "One Forint Concerts” where he talks to the audience, open-air concerts in Budapest attracting tens of thousands of people. He has founded several festivals, including a summer festival in Budapest on baroque music and the Budapest Mahlerfest which is also a forum for commissioning and presenting new compositions.

As a guest conductor Fischer works with the finest symphony orchestras of the world. He has been invited to the Berlin Philharmonic more than ten times, he leads every year two weeks of programs with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and appears with leading US symphony orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra.

Earlier music director of Kent Opera and Lyon Opera, Principal Conductor of National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC, his numerous recordings have won several prestigious international prizes.

Ivan Fischer studied piano, violin, cello and composition in Budapest, continuing his education in Vienna in Professor Hans Swarowsky’s conducting class. Recently he has been also active as a composer: his works have been performed in the US, Holland, Hungary, Germany and Austria, and he staged successful opera performances.

Mr. Fischer is a founder of the Hungarian Mahler Society, and Patron of the British Kodály Academy. He received the Golden Medal Award from the President of the Republic of Hungary, and the Crystal Award from the World Economic Forum for his services to help international cultural relations. The French Government named him Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. In 2006 he was honored with the Kossuth Prize, Hungary’s most prestigious arts award. He is honorary citizen of Budapest. In 2011 he received the Royal Philharmonic Award and the Dutch Ovatie prize. In 2013 he was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Academy of Music in London.

As of August 2011 Ivan Fischer is music director of the Konzerthaus Berlin and principal conductor of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin.

Lavinia Meijer

Lavinia Meijer (born in South-Korea, 1983 and adopted into a Dutch family) started to play the harp at the age of 9. Within two years she was admissioned to study at the young talent class of the conservatory of Utrecht (Bachelor) and later at the conservatory of Amsterdam (Master). At both conservatories she graduated with Honours. Erika Waardenburg has been Lavinia’s principal teacher.

Her success at the conservatory of Amsterdam was a prelude on Lavinia’s career to come. She performed only contemporary compositions at her graduation concert, making a firm statement already: Lavinia is here to add new chapters to the history of music.

Besides performing the classic harp repertoire, Lavinia also experiments with electronic music, theatrical music, contemporary music, modern classics, jazz and pop. Several composers e.g. Paul Patterson (UK), Garrett Byrnes, and Jacob TV (Netherlands) have dedicated new compositions to her.

Already at a young age, Lavinia competed in several international harp competitions, winning prizes in the USA, France, Switserland, Israel, and Austria. Soon after her graduation Lavinia received the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship (London, 2006). In 2007 Lavinia was heralded as the “Rising Star” musician of her generation. She performed solo-recitals at concert halls like Musikverein (Vienna), Carnegie Hall (New York), Philharmonie (Köln), Jerusalem Theater, Seoul Arts Center, Royal Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Cité-de-la-Musique (Paris), Konzerthus (Stockholm), and Symphony Hall (Birmingham, UK).

In 2009, at the young age of 26, Lavinia received the highest distinction for a classical musician in the Netherlands: the Dutch Music Prize. In 2011 she was the recipient of an Edison Award for her album Fantasies & Impromptus

As a featured soloist, Lavinia performed harp concertos with renowned orchestras, such as Royal Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra Amsterdam, Israel Philharmonics, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Noord Nederlands Orkest, and Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. She performed with conductors such as Thierry Fischer, Frans Brüggen, Hannu Lintu, Thomas Ades and Marco Boni.

Her broad interest to find new sounds on and new compositions for the harp has let her to meet the American composer Philip Glass in 2011. He invited her to his concert in Amsterdam where she performed his Metamorphosis I-V on the harp. “You are the special effect of this evening”, he told Lavinia after the show, and he supported Lavinia to record a full album of Glass’ compostions. The result was overwhelming. Metamorphosis/The Hours received mostly 5 star reviews (not just in the Dutch press), and reached the certified Platinum status within half a year.

Jos Van Veldhoven

Jos van Veldhoven studied musicology at Utrecht University, and choral and orchestral conducting at the Royal Conservatory in TheHague. He has been artistic director of TheNetherlands Bach Society since 1983, in which capacity he regularly directs performances at home and abroad of the major works of JohannSebastian Bach, his predecessors and contemporaries.Van Veldhoven also directs the UtrechtsBarok Consort, which he founded in 1976. With these ensembles he has made a great number of national and international radio, tv and cd The Netherlands Bach Society recordings, and has appeared in festivals in theNetherlands, Europe, the United States and Japan.Jos van Veldhoven is a frequent guest conductor with Dutch and foreign orchestras, including DasOrchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn, The TokyoPhilharmonic Orchestra, the Robert Schumann Philharmonie, the Essener Philharmoniker, theBrabant Orchestra and the Limburg SymphonyOrchestra. Since 2001 he has collaborated with director Dietrich Hilsdorf on a cycle of stage dHandel oratorios at the opera houses of Bonn,Chemnitz and Essen.Jos van Veldhoven has attracted frequent attention with performances of newly discovered repertoire within the realm of early music, including noteworthy performances of oratorios by Telemann and Graun, Vespers by Gastoldi,reconstructions of Bach’s St Mark Passion, theso-called Köthener Trauer-Music and many unknown seventeenth-century dialogues. VanVeldhoven has conducted many contemporary premieres of Baroque operas by composers including Mattheson, Keiser, Andrea, Bononcini,Legrenzi, Conti and Scarlatti.Jos van Veldhoven is professor of choral conducting at the Amsterdam Conservatory and theRoyal Conservatory in The Hague. In 2007 he was appointed Knight of the Order of the NetherlandsLion for his pioneering services to early music.

Dejan Lazic

Pianist and composer Dejan Lazic was born into a musical family in Zagreb, Croatia, and grew up in Salzburg, Austria, where he studied at the Mozarteum. He is quickly establishing a reputation worldwide as “a brilliant pianist and a gifted musician full of ideas and able to project them persuasively” (Gramophone). The New York Times hailed his performance as “... full of poetic, shapely phrasing and vivid dynamic effects that made this music sound fresh, spontaneous and impassioned”. After a highly successful Edinburgh Festival recital, The Scotsman wrote recently: "Dejan Lazic shines like a new star!"

As recitalist and soloist with orchestra Dejan Lazic has appeared at major venues in Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Australia, and has been invited to numerous international festivals, including the world-famous BBC Proms in summer 2011.

In Spring 2008 he gave his orchestral debuts at New York’s Lincoln Center with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Iván Fischer and at London’s Royal Festival Hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Kirill Petrenko. He also gave highly successful recital debuts at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, London Queen Elizabeth Hall, Munich Prinzregententheater, Washington Kennedy Center, in Montreal, Tokyo, Beijing and in Istanbul. In Summer 2008 he performed Beethoven's 3rd Piano Concerto at the Beijing Great Hall of People in a televised pre-olympic gala concert for an audience of 7,000.

He also performed very successfully with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Vladimir Ashkenazy, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Giovanni Antonini, Atlanta and Seattle Symphonies under Robert Spano, Swedish Radio, Danish National, Indianapolis, and Sapporo Symphonies, as well as with the Seoul, Hong Kong, and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestras. In Winter 2010 he toured Spain with Bamberger Symphoniker under Jonathan Nott.

Other orchestral engagements lead him to the BBC Symphony in London, BBC Philharmonic in Manchester, Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Glasgow and Edinburgh, SWR Symphony in Stuttgart, MDR Symphony in Leipzig, Residentie Orkest in The Hague, Helsinki Philharmonic, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Orquesta Ciudad de Barcelona, and Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo. With Basel Chamber Orchestra and Giovanni Antonini he performs on tour, among others, at the Vienna Konzerthaus, Munich Herkulessaal, Cologne Philharmonie, and Brussels Palais des Beaux Arts. From 2008/09 season Dejan Lazic is “Artist in Residence” with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra in Amsterdam.

He also enjoys a growing following in the Far East to where he returned last season for a tour with NHK Symphony Orchestra. Other engagements there include those with Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra (including concerts at Tokyo's Suntory Hall & Metropolitan Art Space), Sapporo Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, NSO Taiwan, as well as a series of recitals throughout Japan and at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, China.

In November 2009 he toured Australia with the Australian Chamber Orchestra led by Richard Tognetti, including concerts at the world famous Sydney Opera House. In 2010/11 season he toured Europe, South America, and Asia with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Iván Fischer.

Alongside his solo career Dejan Lazic is also a passionate chamber musician.

He records exclusively for Channel Classics and has released a dozen of recordings so far. The 1st volume of his new "Liaisons" series with works by Scarlatti and Bartók was released in 2007 to great critical acclaim; the 2nd volume with a Schumann/Brahms programme was released in 2009, the 3rd volume with a C.P.E. Bach/Britten programme was released in 2011. In Fall 2008 he released a CD with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Kirill Petrenko playing Rachmaninov's famous 2nd Piano Concerto - a live recording that has earned rave reviews from critics and audiences worldwide and in addition it won the prestigious German Echo Klassik Award 2009. In February 2011 he released a disc featuring Beethoven's 4th Piano Concerto which was recorded live in Sydney with the Australian Chamber Orchestra led by Richard Tognetti.

Dejan Lazic is also active as a composer. His works include various piano compositions, chamber music (including String Quartet op. 9, written for Mstislav Rostropovich's 70th birthday gala), and orchestral works, as well as Cadenzas for Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven Piano Concertos. In 2007/08 season he premiered his piano cycle "Kinderszenen – Hommage à Schumann" op. 15 at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.

His recent arrangement of Brahms’s Violin Concerto for piano and orchestra saw its World Premiere on October 1, 2009 in Atlanta, USA, with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under their music director Robert Spano. This concert was also recorded live by Channel Classics and the CD was released in January 2010 to great critical acclaim.

Peter Dijkstra

Peter Dijkstra,born in the Netherlands in1978,is one of the leading choral conductors of our time.He comes from a musical family,and as a boy soprano he was in demand as a soloist, for example in opera productions such as Die Zauberflöte with The Netherlands Opera.He studie dchoral and orchestral conducting and voice at the conservatories of The Hague,Cologne and Stockholm,and graduated with honours.Peter Dijkstra was awarded the Kersjes-Van de Groene kam Prize for orchestral conductors in2002,and when he went on to win the Eric Ericson Award 2003 in Stockholm his international career was launched.He now works regularly with choirs such as The Netherlands Chamber Choir,bbc Singers, rias Chamber Choir Berlin,CollegiumVocale Gent and The Danish Radio Choir.Dijkstra is in command of a broad repertoire ranging from early music to premiers of newly composed works.But he is also a welcome guest conductor with orchestras like the SymphonyOrchestra of the Bavarian Radio,Munich RadioOrchestra, dso Berlin,Sinfonietta Amsterdam,Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra and the JapanPhilharmonic.He also enjoys working with period instrument orchestras such as the Akademiefu?r Alte Musik Berlin and Concerto Köln. In 2005,Peter Dijkstra was appointed artistic director of the Choir of the Bavarian Radio inMunich,where he collaborates with conductors including Mariss Jansons,Nikolaus Harnoncourt,Riccardo Muti and Claudio Abbado. 

Reinild Mees

After extensive piano studies with Gérard van Blerk (Amsterdam), Malcolm Frager (USA) and Noël Lee (Paris) the Dutch pianist Reinild Mees concentrated her activities on accompanying singers and instrumentalists in recital. High-ranking artists as Elly Ameling, Gérard Souzay and Sandor Végh helped her refine and perfect her talents in this demanding métier.

Today Reinild Mees is a much sought-after accompanist for song recitals and duo concerts. She performs regularly in radio and television broadcasts. For Channel Classics Records she has recorded a number of interesting CD’s: The Complete Songs of Sir Edward Elgar, Ottorino Respighi, Franz Schreker and Karol Szymanowski. Currently she is recording all songcycles of Robert Schumann with the German baritone Jochen Kupfer, playing a historical grand piano from Schumann’s time. All of her CD’s have received extremely good reviews in Gramophone, Fono Forum, Musica, Luister and other magazines. In 2004 Reinild Mees won the Szymanowski - Award and the Medal 'Merit of Polish Culture' for her achievements in promoting the song repertoire of Karol Szymanowski. Recently the Szymanowski CD's won the FRYDERYK AWARD, the most prestigious music award in Poland for the best recording of Polish music in 2004.

As a vocal coach Reinild Mees has taught at the Amsterdam and Utrecht Conservatory, the European Centre for Opera and Vocal Art (Ghent) and the Opera Studio Nederland. In addition to accompanying masterclasses for Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Irmgard Seefried, Galina Vishnevskaja and other famous singers she played as an official accompanist for a number of international competitions. 

In order to promote the revival of the beautiful songs, mainly from the interbellum, which have been neglected after the Second World War, Reinild Mees founded the 20th Century Song Foundation. This foundation aims to bring back the musical treasure to the public by producing (semi-staged) song recitals with special themes: Spotlights concerts.

Emily Beynon

Emily Beynon is principal flautist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam. She was born in Swansea, South Wales. She began her flute studies as a junior at the Royal College of Music with Margaret Ogonovsky and then went on to study with William Bennett at the Royal Academy of Music and with Alain Marion in Paris. In 2002 Emily was made a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.Equally at home in front of the orchestra as in its midst, Emily has performed as concerto soloist with, amongst others, The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, the major BBC Orchestras, NHK Symphony, the Vienna, Prague, Netherlands and English Chamber Orchestras and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.As a chamber musician she works regularly with her sister, the harpist, Catherine Beynon and the pianist Andrew West, and has made guest appearances with the Nash Ensemble, Skampa Quartet, Steven Isserlis, Dame Felicity Lott, Jean-Yves Tibaudet, the Kungsbacka Trio and Brodsky Quartet.She has broadcast regularly for BBC Radio 3 and has featured in several television documentaries for Thames Television, the BBC and AVRO (Nederlandse Omroep Stichting)An enthusiastic protagonist of new music, Emily has had many new works written for her, by some of the UK's leading composers: Sally Beamish, Jonathan Dove, John Woolrich and most recently a BBC commission by Errollyn Wallen called "All the Blues I see" written for and premiered by Emily and the Brodsky Quartet.Also a passionate and dedicated teacher, Emily is frequently asked to give masterclasses all over the world and in 2009, together with Suzanne Wolff, established the Netherlands Flute Academy. In 2008, she released a cd with music from Beamish, Musgrave, Tann, Beach, and Farrenc, on Channel Classics Records.

Matthew Wadsworth

Matthew Wadsworth, lutenist, is in great demand as a soloist, continuo player and chamber musician. He has appeared at major festivals in the UK, Europe and North America and can frequently be heard on radio, both in live performance and on disc.

Matthew has recorded for Avie, Deux-Elles, Linn and EMI Records. His CDs, “When Laura Smiles”, (featuring music by Phillip Rosseter), “Away Delights” (Robert Johnson) and “14 Silver Strings” (Kapsberger and Piccinini) have received international critical acclaim.
Matthew is delighted to have recently been taken on as a solo artist by Channel Classics, and their first collaboration, ‘Masters of the Lute’ was Editor’s Choice in Gramophone Magazine, December 2006.
Matthew studied lute with Nigel North at London’s Royal Academy of Music, winning the London Student of the Year award in 1997 for his work on the development of Braille lute tablature. He then spent a year at the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague and now has a post at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. Wadsworth was recently made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music and was nominated by The Independent as a “Rising Star for 2005”. He is also Musical Ambassador for Britain's National Talking Newspapers and Magazines.

Recent engagements have included the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, the Georgian Concert Society (Edinburgh), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York) and the Lufthansa, Beverley, Spitalfields, Budapest, Vancouver, Mitte-Europa and Innsbruck festivals. Matthew has also worked with The Academy of Ancient Music, English Touring Opera, Birmingham Opera Company, The Netherlands Bach Society, I Fagiolini, The English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, The Musicians of the Globe, Arion, Constantinople and The Theatre of Early Music, among others.

Rachel Podger

Rachel Podger is one of the most creative talents to emerge in the field of period performance. Over the last two decades she has established herself as a leading interpreter of the music of the Baroque and Classical periods. She was educated inGermany and in England at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she studied with David Takeno and Micaela Comberti. After beginnings with The Palladian Ensemble and Florilegium, she was leader ofThe English Concert from 1997 to 2002 and in 2004 began a guest directorship with The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with whom she appeared in a televised bbc Prom in 2007.

As a guest director and soloist she has collaborated with numerous orchestras including Arte dei Suonatori (Poland), Musica Angelica and Santa Fe ProMusica (usa), The Academy of Ancient Music, The European Union BaroqueOrchestra, Holland Baroque Society, the Handel and Haydn Society (usa), Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (usa). Rachel has toured and recorded extensively with fortepianist Gary Cooper. Rachel records exclusively for Channel Classics and has won numerous prestigious awards including the Baroque Instrumental Gramophone Award for La Stravaganza in2003 and the Diapason d’Or de l’année in the Baroque Ensemble category for the LaCetra Vivaldi concertos with Holland Baroque Society in 2012.

Rachel directs her own ensemble, Brecon Baroque, with whom she has recorded Bach’s Violin Concertos, released in October 2010 to outstanding reviews. She is also Artistic Director of her own festival: the Brecon Baroque Festival. Rachel is an honorary member of both the Royal Academy of Music (where she holds the Michaela Comberti Chair for Baroque Violin) and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (where she holds the Jane Hodge Foundation International Chair in Baroque Violin) and teaches at institutions throughout the world.

Paolo Giacometti

Paolo Giacometti performs all over the world as a soloist and as a chamber musician, both on period and on modern instruments. He was born in Milan, Italy in 1970, but has been living in the Netherlands from his early childhood. He studied with Jan Wijn at the Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam, where he graduated with the highest distinction. Also Gyorgy Sebök was an important source of inspiration and had a significant influence on his musical education. Paolo Giacometti has won many prizes at both national and international competitions. He has played with renowned orchestras under distinguished conductors such as Frans Brüggen, Kenneth Montgomery, Laurent Petitgirard, Michael Tilkin and Jaap van Zweden. Apart from his activities as a soloist, Paolo Giacometti’s love for chamber music has resulted in a successful co-operation with leading musicians such as Pieter Wispelwey, Gordon Nikolich, Alois Brandhofer, Janine Jansen, Bart Schneemann and Viktoria Mullova. Paolo Giacometti is a much sought-after musician at chamber music festivals in Europe, Canada and the United States. He has performed in concert halls all over the world including the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Teatro Colon (Buenos Aires), Wigmore Hall (London), Théâtre du Châtelet (Paris) and Seoul Arts Centre (South Korea). Paolo Giacometti records exclusively for Channel Classics. His impressive discography has been widely acclaimed by the international press. His recordings include Rossini’s complete piano works, a remarkable project that started in 1998 and was completed in 2007. In Rossini’s homeland critics say: "... Rossini has finally found his pianist ...". For the third recording of this series Giacometti was distinguished with the Edison Classical Music Award 2001. His recording of Schumann’s Humoreske, Fantasiestücke and Toccata has received the BBC Music Magazine’s Benchmark and Performance of Outstanding Quality distinctions. His recording of the Dvorák and Schumann piano concertos have been acclaimed by Gramophone as "... one of the best concerto disks I have heard in a long while ...".  Among Paolo Giacometti’s chamber music recordings, a recording with works by Schubert with cellist Pieter Wispelwey has received the Choc du Monde de la Musique and Luister 10 awards, while another recording with works by Chopin, Fauré and Poulenc, also with Pieter Wispelwey, has been awarded the Diapason d’or.  Paolo Giacometti is also a dedicated piano professor at the Robert Schumann Musikhochschule Düsseldorf.

The Netherlands Bach Society

Founded in 1921, The Netherlands Bach Society is the oldest Early Music ensemble in the Netherlands, and possibly in the whole world. Yet along with the musicians, its artistic director Jos van Veldhoven is still continually in search of contemporary ways of presenting this music, whether it be the traditional performances of the St. Matthew Passion in Naarden, other works by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) or music by his predecessors, successors, contemporaries and fellow spirits.

The programmes are often compiled in an original way and thus give a refreshing view of the various musical styles from Schütz/Monteverdi to Haydn/Mozart, as well as of the central composer Bach himself. The flexibility of the ensemble makes it possible to perform works from the secular and sacred repertoires in a great variety of combinations of musicians. In the concerts, top priority is given to beauty, emotion, quality and authentic experience.

For a long time now, the activities of The Netherlands Bach Society have not been restricted to Naarden or Het Gooi, in the Netherlands. They are attracting growing national and international attention from large concert halls and important music festivals, and the ensemble increasingly plays the honourable role of cultural ambassador.

Besides working with principal conductor Jos van Veldhoven, The Netherlands Bach Society also performs with leading early music specialists from the Netherlands and abroad, such as Rinaldo Alessandrini, Peter Dijkstra, Richard Egarr, Gustav Leonhardt, Paul McCreesh, Lars Ulrik Mortensen and Masaaki Suzuki.

In order to reinforce the authentic experience, the concerts are supported where necessary by fringe programming, including introductions, workshops, exhibitions and book publications. Further emphasis is provided by the educational projects, which have also received several awards (e.g. Euro Media Award and the Classical Music Award from the Dutch Association of Theatres and Concert Halls (VSCD)).

The Netherlands Bach Society and Jos van Veldhoven have recorded several CDs for Channel Classics, including the Great Organ Mass with the organist Leo van Doeselaar and Bach's St. Matthew Passion. Illustrated editions of the Christmas Oratorio, the St. John Passion and the Mass in B minor have been published in collaboration with Museum Catharijneconvent.

Pieter Wispelwey

Pieter was born in Haarlem in the Netherlands in 1962 and grew up with his two younger brothers in Santpoort, where his parents still live. At the age of 19 he moved to Amsterdam and has remained in the same 17th century house on the Noordermarkt ever since. Pieter's diverse musical personality is rooted in the training he received-firstly from regular exposure from a very early age to his father's amateur string quartet when they rehearsed at the Wispelwey home, to lessons with Dicky Boeke and Anner Bylsma in Amsterdam followed by studies with Paul Katz in the USA and William Pleeth in the UK. It was also Dicky Boeke who encouraged him to listen to as much music as possible but particularly sowed the seeds for his love of Renaissance music (Italian and English madrigalists!) and German Lied. These genres, particularly the performances of Dietrich Fischer Diskau, have been a constant source of inspiration for Pieter. In 1990 his first recording with Channel Classics, The Bach Cello Suites, was released to great acclaim and in 1992 he was the first cellist ever to receive the Netherlands Music Prize, which is endowed upon the most promising young musician in the Netherlands; thus his path was secured to the busy and varied career he has today.

Pieter has always been at home on the modern cello with metal and/or gut strings as he is on the baroque 4 string and 5 string cello. Therefore he covers a repertoire from JS Bach to Elliott Carter drawing on a palett of sounds and colours available from his range of instruments, string set-ups and bows. Having grown up in an age and country where hearing period instruments was very much the norm for concert-goers, Pieter naturally developed his conviction that, in the right conditions, much 18th and 19th century music sounds far better on gut strings than on metal. However he is not a purist in the sense that if conditions are less than ideal (no fortepiano, too big a hall, too hot, too humid, too dry acoustically etc.) then he is more than happy to pick up his modern cello with metal strings (which therefor is quite often the case).

Recitals have always played a major part in Pieter's concert diary. As a recitalist with piano, he has all the main repertoire at his disposal which is always ready for performance, often at very short notice. He is not, and has never been, the type of soloist who tours the world with one or two recital programmes and a couple of concertos per season. On the contrary, a typical week in Pieter's life (if one can be said to exist) could well include the Bach suites, with perhaps 2 different recital programmes, a couple of concerto appearances with a student masterclass thrown in for good measure! He has appeared as recitalist all over the world including the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Wigmore Hall (London), Chatelet (Paris), Teatro Colon (Buenos Aires) and Sydney Opera House. Future exciting engagements include Bach and Britten suites at the Lincoln Centre, New York and a return visit to the Edinburgh Festival.

Pieter has appeared with a variety of orchestras and ensembles both with and without conductors. Notable projects without conductors have been the touring and recording of the Schumann and Shostakovich cello concertos with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. This orchestra has, without doubt, provided for Pieter the happiest and most satisfying musical collaborations of his career to date, not least due to the genius of leader and musical director, Richard Tognetti. He has also appeared, with conductor, with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC symphony orchestra, the Russian National Symphony, Camerata Academica Salzburg, Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen to name but a few and has recorded with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic. Future engagements with orchestras include the Halle, the Japan Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Herbert Blomstedt and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Marc Minkowsky.

Florilegium

Regular performances in some of the world’s most prestigious venues have confirmed Florilegium’s status as one of Britain’s most outstanding period instrument ensembles. Since their formation in 1991 they have established a reputation for stylish and exciting interpretations, from intimate chamber works to large-scale orchestral and choral repertoire.

Concert venues include Sydney Opera House, Esplanade (Singapore), Teatro Colon (Buenos Aires), Wigmore Hall and Royal Festival Hall (London), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam),Konzerthaus (Vienna), Beethoven-Haus (Bonn), Handel-Haus (Halle) and Frick Collection (New York). The numerous residencies Florilegium have held over the years include being the first period instrument Ensemble-in-Residence at London’s Wigmore Hall. This Residency was for three seasons and involved the group performing several series of concerts each year and becoming actively involved in the Hall’s education work. Since September 2008 they have been Ensemble in Association at the Royal College of Music in London, where they are responsible for coaching 18th century baroque chamber music. Their over twenty recordings for Channel Classics have been awarded many prizes including a Gramophone Award nomination, Editor’s Choice from Gramophone, Diapasons d’Or and Chocs de la Musique. Florilegium’s cd of Telemann’s Paris Quartets Vol 2 received the Classical Internet Award from Classicstoday.com. The Bach Cantatas disc with Johannette Zomer was awarded a 2008 Edison Award, Dutch music’s most prestigious prize. The second volume of Baroque Music from Bolivian Missions was nominated for a 2008 bbc Music Magazine award, and bbc Music Magazine selected volume 3 as Disc of the Month for April 2010. A disc of music by Pergolesi was released in May 2010 and was bbc Music Magazine’s cd choice in the vocal category in July 2010. Future recordings include Florilegium’s arrangements of Bach’s Organ Trio Sonatas, and a recording of Couperin’s Les Nations.

Gary Cooper

Gary Cooper is an English conductor and classical keyboardist who specializes in the harpsichord and fortepiano. He is known as an interpreter of the keyboard music of Bach and Mozart, and as a conductor of historically informed performances of music from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods.Gary Cooper studied organ and harpsichord at Chetham's School of Music, the John Loosemore Centre, and was an organ scholar at New College, Oxford, where he graduated with First Class Honours. In 1990 while still a student at Oxford, he co-founded the New Chamber Opera, and has conducted many of their performances, including a complete recording of Rameau's cantatas and a new production of Handel's rarely performed opera, Orlando, at Sadler's Wells Theatre in 2006.

Between 1992 and 2000, he was a member of the baroque ensemble, Trio Sonnerie, with whom he performed regularly throughout Europe and the United States. Cooper made his Wigmore Hall solo recital debut on 1 December 2000 with a performance of Bach's complete Well-Tempered Clavier, and has frequently appeared as a recitalist both in the UK and in Europe. Several of his performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, including his 22 November 2004 recital at the Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall in Manchester and his 29 January 2006 Wigmore Hall performance of Mozart's sonatas for piano and violin with violinist Rachel Podger, broadcast live as part of the European Broadcasting Union's Mozart Day.Gary Cooper has conducted for many ensembles including, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Hanover Band, and English Touring Opera (Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Handel's Alcina). He also teaches harpsichord and fortepiano at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the Birmingham Conservatoire, and is Visiting Professor of fortepiano at the Royal College of Music.

Holland Baroque Society

Free of fuss and convention, Holland Baroque Society takes to the stage with a variety of programmes. Baroque music is the key, but these musicians build bridges to other styles and arts. Balanced between tradition and renewal, they pursue the topicality of musical experience. In recent years Holland Baroque Society has collaborated with prominent Baroque musicians including Paolo Pandolfo, Quatuor Mosaïques, Emma Kirkby, Milos Valent and Hidemi Suzuki, and with composer Nico Muhly, singer and song- writer Teitur and jazz trumpeter Eric Vloeimans.

For this innovative approach the ensemble was awarded the Kersjes Prize and the VSCD Classical Music Prize in 2008, and more recently the Diapason d’Or 2012. It has brought Holland Baroque Society to all sorts of venues, from the Vienna Konzerthaus to the Amsterdam pop temple Paradiso, and from Vredenburg concert hall in Utrecht to the World Exhibition in Shanghai.

There are more projects under preparation, with Porgy Franssen, Marcus Creed, Giora Feidman, Amandine Beyer, Calefax Rietkwintet, Cappella Amsterdam, Orkater and Sergio Azzolini. Holland Baroque Society has invested just as much ambition and energy in countless Kids Only concerts and educational projects, through which thousands of children have made acquaintance with classical music. The aim is to give them a pure listening experience, and this produces pure reactions like “I’d never heard of those sunny instruments before.”

Meridian Arts Ensemble

Meridian Arts Ensemble, a sextet comprised of five brass players and a percussionist, is America’s leading brass group exploring the music of today. Founded in 1987, with nine commercial CD releases, over fifty premieres, and performances on four continents and in forty-nine states, Meridian’s exciting and ambitious musical ap- proach has changed the face of classical music.
Now a faculty ensemble at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music, the ensemble began its career looking away from academic music and toward the American vernacular. Meridian’s arrangements of the music of Frank Zappa brought critical and popular acclaim, interviews on NPR’s Weekend Edition, and performances in concert halls and rock clubs. Commissions from Milton Babbitt, Elliott Sharp, Tania Leon, Su Lian Tan, Mark Applebaum, Hermeto Pascoal, Nick Didkovsky, David Sanford, The Common Sense Composers’ Collective, Stephen Barber, John Halle, and Kirk Nurock have created a balanced and broad ranging repertoire for brass and percussion that peers into every corner of today’s musical experience.
Meridian’s catalog of nine CD’s on the Channel Classics label represents an equally broad look at the music of today. From an album of Baroque and Renaissance music to the latest release exploring the music of Central and South America, Meridian’s discs have garnered critical acclaim and a large and passionate popular following.
Meridian Arts Ensemble has succeeded in bringing classical music to popular audiences. Consistently attracting a diverse audience base, the ensemble has worked tirelessly to keep the traditions of classical music alive, to spread the appeal of these traditions, and to revisit these traditions from a contemporary sensibility.

Jorgen van Rijen

Principal trombonist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Jörgen van Rijen is also much in demand as a soloist with a special commitment to promoting his instrument, developing new repertoire for the trombone and bringing the existing repertoire to a broader audience. He is a specialist on both the modern and baroque trombone. He has performed as a soloist in most European countries, as well as the United States, Canada, Japan, China, Korea, Russia, Singapore and Australia and performed concertos with orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Combattimento Consort Amsterdam and the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra. In the coming seasons Jörgen will appear as a soloist with orchestras such as the Taiwan Philharmonic, Nagoya Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and on tour in Japan with Michel Becquet.

Jörgen was awarded the Netherlands Music Prize in 2004, the highest distinction in the field of music, by the Dutch Ministry of Culture. In 2006 he received the prestigious Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, which is presented yearly to a selection of the most promising and talented young international soloists and ensembles. He has won other major prizes, including first prizes at the international trombone competitions of Toulon and Guebwiller.

In a review of his first CD, the music magazine 'Luister' wrote: 'Van Rijen is a real ambassador of his instrument, which is still not often used as a virtuoso brass instrument among composers. But there are not that many trombonists who reach the brilliant level of Van Rijen. In sound, dynamic, colour, musical understanding and expressiveness, Van Rijen is unequalled...'.

Many new pieces have been written for Jörgen, including a trombone concerto by Theo Verbey, commissioned by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In the season 2010 / 2011 he will appear in concerts with the Combattimento Consort Amsterdam and the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra. In the spring of 2012 Jörgen has premiered a trombone concerto by Kalevi Aho that was written for him as a commission from the Borletti-Buitoni Trust, with concerts with the The Hague Philharmonic, the Oulu Sinfonia in Finland and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. About that last concert The Times wrote: "... van Rijen and Aho turned the trombone into a fount of melodic grace and gambolling, cradled over four generous movements by an equally refined orchestra..." Plans for the future include new commissions by Florian Maier and James MacMillan.

Jörgen teaches at the Amsterdam Conservatory and has been appointed International Visiting Professor at the Royal Academy of Music, London. He is also an active chamber musician. He was one of the founders of the New Trombone Collective and the RCO Brass.

He plays exclusively on instruments built by Antoine Courtois and has released 3 CDs on the label Channel Classics.

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Super Artists in Super Audio Vol. 6 (2009)

Bach, Schumann, Haydn, Muffat, Rossini, Ellington, Wagenseil, Jianfen, Rachmaninov, Caplet, Veloso, Shostakovich, Mozart, Dowland, Farrenc, Mahler

Budapest Festival Orchestra, Lavinia Meijer, Frommermann, Dejan Lazic, Reinild Mees, Emily Beynon, Matthew Wadsworth, Amsterdam String Quartet, Rachel Podger, Paolo Giacometti, The Netherlands Bach Society, Netherland Chamber Choir, Pieter Wispelwey, Florilegium, Gary Cooper, Holland Baroque Society, Meridian Arts Ensemble, Jorgen van Rijen

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SEL5509: Super Artists in Super Audio Vol. 6
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Tracks
1.
Bach-Cantata - Non sa che sia dolore
Bach
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2.
Bach-Six Motets Jesu Meine FreudeGute Nacht
Bach
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3.
Schumann Davidsbundlertanze op 6-Wild und lustig
Schumann
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4.
Haydn String Quartet op 64 no 6-Allegro
Haydn
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5.
Muffat-concerto VII-Deliciae Regum
Muffat
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6.
Rossini String Sonata in G-Allegro
Rossini
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7.
Holland American Line-It don't mean a thing
Ellington
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8.
Wagenseil-Concerto in E flat major-Allegro Assai
Wagenseil
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9.
Haydn-sonata in C
Haydn
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10.
Chinese Lieder-Mama in the Candlelight
Jianfen
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11.
Rachmaninov Concerto no 2 Adagio Sostenuto
Rachmaninov
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12.
Caplet-a la Francaise-Meijer
Caplet
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13.
Veloso-Michelangelo Antonioni
Veloso
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14.
Shostakovich Concerto nr 2-Allegretto
Shostakovich
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15.
Bach-Meine Freundin du bist schon
Bach
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16.
Mozart-Sonata in F kv 377 Tempo di Menuetto
Mozart
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17.
Dowland-Sir John Smiths his Almaine
Dowland
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18.
Farrenc-Trio op 45-Scherzo
Farrenc
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19.
Mahler-Symphony no 4-Ruhevoll
Mahler
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