Ensemble Consolazione vol 2 – Musik für Traversflöte und Guitarre

Ensemble Consolazione has existed in the current formation since 1995, and originally played twentieth-century literature for flute and guitar on modern instruments. The two Czech musicians discovered their common interest in early music and historical instruments, and so the duo began with the historical performance of virtuoso “duo concertanti” from the early nineteenth century already during their studies at the Prague Conservatory. Since 2002 Ensemble Consolazione has played exclusively on original instruments or copies thereof, dedicated itself intensively to research on historical interpretation techniques, and resurrected forgotten repertoire for this formation from archives and library collections. The sound of the original instruments as well as the faithful-to-the-text interpretations lend this entertaining and witty music lightness and tonal balance, also making it possible for the listener to enjoy the nuances of the dynamics and articulation. This music, which contains many virtuoso and attractive melodies from popular operas, is brought to life again and heard in its former freshness.

Tatiana Chernichka – Chopin. 24 Etudes

Why Chopin’s 24 Etudes?
The 24 Etudes of Frédéric Chopin have a special place in the literature for the piano. These concert études are among the most difficult and most original of all works for the piano, and no pianist can resist coming to terms with at least several of them.

The foundation of my journey as a pianist, as well as to my connection to the 24 études, was laid already before my birth. Born into a family of musicians from Novosibirsk, I represent the fifth generation of pianists. My mother, Olga Volchkova (1946-1984), was an outstanding pianist who studied under Heinrich Neuhaus and Yakov Zak at the Moscow Conservatory. Upon graduation, she was appointed to the faculty of the Conservatory in Novosibirsk, where she taught, lived and became a mother.

My mother was the first person in Novosibirsk to perform all 24 études in concert. In November 2014, I repeated this with a performance in the same concert hall, thus becoming the second person in my home town to play the études in concert.

The recording of my CD coincided with the 70th anniversary of my mother's birth, and I wish to dedicate this recording to her memory.

Aleksey Semenenko – Taste the Best

Taste The Best ∙ The Stars of Tomorrow

The Cologne University of Music, Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), ARS Produktion and the Association of Friends and Supporters of the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln e. V. are enabling the production of professional CD recordings, in order to support the outstanding artists.

Participating musicians are required to fulfill a number of strict artistic criteria as part of the internal audition. The winner of the "Taste the Best" Prize is determined by a jury consisting of faculty members of Cologne's University of Music and Dance.

Zala Kravos – DEBUT

Zala: About the Programme

This album contains some of my preferred compositions that I had been playing for several years, it is like a mirror in which I can see reflections of my playing, which now belongs to the past, it is one of the first pages that I have turned in the book of my musical activities.

Brahms' Ballads Op. 10 were quite a discovery for the young girl that I was more than three years ago, especially the first one, "Edward", which is also the darkest and cruellest. Adults around me were often surprised at how I felt this music, rarely – if ever – played by children. I was intrigued by their surprise as the music and the feelings it conveys seemed perfectly natural to me. Do we have, deep inside, unconscious, inborn understanding of cruelty and tragedy?

I played this ballad for my second yearly exam at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in June 2014. The jury was chaired by my rather severe and demanding teacher Maria João Pires, who at times had brought me to tears during her lessons. After the exam, Maria congratulated me and said that my rendition of Brahms had moved her to tears.

Liszt's ballad is, like Brahms' "Edward", based on a poem, the famous German ballad Lenore (which was also adapted in Slovene by the great romantic poet Prešeren). With its tumultuous fight between evil and good, it represents for me a transition, a hair-raising horse ride, from the darkest side of the (pre)romantic piano music on this album to much brighter and peaceful atmosphere.

I have always enjoyed playing Chopin and it is obvious to me that he was a great pianist himself as his music is written in such a natural way for a performer. When I was eleven, one of my first performances of the four impromptus took place in the old hall of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, which looks pretty much like an old Parisian salon, just bigger. Alan Weiss, American pianist and piano teacher, came to listen. I was still small and slender and my sound was not very powerful, but he seemed so enthusiastic about it, saying that that was exactly how Chopin should be played. When I played Chopin for him again privately, he declared that I was born for Chopin.

The composition Crystal Dream that closes the CD is particularly dear to my heart. Albena wrote it for me when I was eleven with the aim of introducing me to a more modern style. She is always happy when I play it and keeps repeating that I have a good sense for contemporary music. I think that every style of music has to be played with respect and commitment.

Finally, I remember a piano teacher saying, several years ago, that my playing was… well, too adult, that I should play more like a child. I was astonished as I was a small child and I played just how I imagined and felt that that music should be played. This is also true for the music on this album.

Florian Klaus Rumpf. Mandoline – Bach. Sonaten und Partiten 1

"Bach. Sonaten und Partiten 1" stellt die erste CD meines 4-teiligen Bach-Projekts dar, das die Aufnahme der 6 Sonaten und Partiten, BWV 1001-1006 gespielt auf der Mandoline und der 6 Suiten, BWV 1007-1012 gespielt auf dem Liuto Cantabile, ein 5-chöriges Mandoloncello, umschließt. Sagenhafte Kompositionen von Johann Sebastian Bach vereint mit dem transparenten Klang der Mandoline.

Die 6 Sonaten und Partiten von Johann Sebastian Bach gehören zu den am häufigsten aufgenommenen Werken für eine Soloinstrument. Während es Aufnahmen von Violinisten wie Sand am Meer gibt, haben sich bisher nur 2 Mandolinisten an diesen Werkkomplex gewagt und CDs veröffentlicht, deren Programme ausschließlich aus den Sonaten und Partiten bestehen.

Chris Thile (USA) und Shmuel Elbaz (Israel) haben mit ihren Aufnahmen der amerikanischen und der israelischen Mandoline ein Denkmal gesetzt. Beide Länder haben ihre eigene Schule des Mandolinenspiels und auch eigene Bauarten. Mit meiner CD "Bach. Sonaten und Partiten 1" sollen Bachs Kompositionen aus der deutsch-mandolinistischen Sicht beleuchtet werden.