Opus Klassik Awards 2022

Opus Klassik Award er Tysklands største musikkpris og
den deles ut i 27 kategorier (Årets instrumentalist, Årets opera,
Årets dirigent med flere). Juryen består av topprepresentanter
fra musikk- og mediebransjen.
Viser 12 varer
Image Årets dirigent
Opus Klassik Awards 2022, Årets dirigent, tildeles Vladimir Jurowski, for hans fantastiske innspilling av Strauss sin storslåtte «Alps Symphony» med Berlin Radio Symphony på Pentatone.

Strauss: Eine Alpensinfonie (Alpine Symphony)
Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin
Vladimir Jurowski

Vladimir Jurowski and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester continue their PENTATONE journey through the heights of German late-Romantic repertoire with a recording of Richard Strauss’s Eine Alpensinfonie. The Alpine Symphony was inspired by the composer’s experiences during a mountain trail, and is an audience favourite thanks to its picturesque, idyllic charm and powerfully evocative score. To Jurowski, the attraction of this piece lies not so much in the picturesque, but rather in Strauss’s Nietzschean embrace of living in the now and the transformative power of being in complete harmony with sublime nature. In that respect, this album shares a kinship not only with Jurowski’s previous recording of Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra (2017), but equally with his acclaimed interpretation of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (2020), in which he also recognizes a composer coming to terms with the mortality of man while celebrating the immortal nature of Life. Seen in this light, Strauss’s Alpine Symphony becomes much more than just an exquisitely scored postcard. The Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin has a vast PENTATONE discography. Together with their chief conductor and artistic director Vladimir Jurowski, they have recorded Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (2020), symphonic works from Mahler and Strauss (2017), violin concertos by Britten and Hindemith together with Arabella Steinbacher (2017), and Schnittke’s Third Symphony (2015).

kr 189
Image Årets instrumentalist
Prokofiev: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 & Sonata for Solo Violin

Tianwa Yang (violin)
Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
Jun Märkl

Prokofiev first became fascinated by the violin upon hearing the playing of his private teacher, Reinhold Glière. A dozen years later Prokofiev wrote his ViolinConcertoNo.1– a work of contrasting open-hearted lyricism and whimsical playfulness that features a wild central Scherzo with dazzling technical gymnastics. By contrast, the Violin Concerto No. 2 is emotionally reserved and sardonic with an inspired plaintive and long-arching slow movement. Composed to an official Soviet commission for an ensemble piece to be played by talented child violinists in unison, the witty and upbeat Sonata for Solo Violin can also be played by a single performer.

kr 119
Image Årets instrumentalist
The Art of English Horn

Dominik Wollenweber (cor anglais)
Berliner Philharmoniker
Sir Simon Rattle

“The English horn needs a soft, round vibrato ... We are among those who can move people to tears,” says Dominik Wollenweber about his instrument. Let us not be misled by the humble conduct, and the absence of laudatory articles and glossy photographs. Wollenweber is one of the world’s finest cor anglais players. Claudio Abbado has even labelled him the “best player of all time”. Since 1993, Dominik Wollenweber has been with the Berliner Philharmoniker, members of which keep him company throughout the present recording. Conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, the orchestra accompany Wollenweber in Sibelius’s wonderful tone poem The Swan of Tuonela. It is difficult to imagine an album dedicated to the English horn without the Largo from Dvorák’s New World Symphony or without the solo from Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. On the other hand, Bach’s Concerto in G major and Schubert’s Impromptu No. 3 may come as a surprise, while Jean Françaix’s Quartet is simply bound to lift the listener’s spirit. If you love the English horn’s singularly dark velvety color, which otherwise can only be heard rather as a gleam of a gem stone on the large canvases of symphonic pieces, then this album is definitely for you. And those who have yet to discover the beauty of the cor anglais will undoubtedly savor the musical menu drawn up by a true master of the instrument. An irresistibly lovely tone. The English horn in the hands of a true master.

kr 219
Image Die tote Stadt (2DVD)
Korngold: Die tote Stadt

Bayerische Staatsoper
Kirill Petrenko
Simon Stone (director)

The premiere of Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Die tote Stadt at the Bayerische Staatsoper in autumn 2019 was praised both by press and audiences. Marlis Petersen (Marie / Marietta) and Jonas Kaufmann (Paul) sang the main roles, with the Bayerisches Staatsorchester under Kirill Petrenko’s baton, in the intense staging by Simon Stone. After the opening night, Joshua Barone wrote in the New York Times: “[The] work’s comeback may have reached its peak at the Bavarian State Opera. It’s difficult to imagine a better case for Die tote Stadt than was made in Munich.” The boundary between dream and reality increasingly dissolves as Paul, mourning his dead wife Marie, meets the dancer Marietta. With her looks so similar to Marie’s, Marietta becomes the object of the projection of Paul’s erotic desires. His grief has the traits of a ritual: The carefully composed strands of his dead wife’s hair are guarded like a relic. Following a nerve-racking “vision“ with cathartic effect, Paul is finally reeled back to reality. He can leave the Belgian city of Bruges as the place of his death cult. The original title of the piece, “Triumph des Lebens“ (Triumph of Life), is symbolic of the main character’s personal development.

kr 359
Image Årets komponist
Peteris Vasks: Musica dolorosa, Musica serena, Musica Appassionata & Klatbutne

Münchner Rundfunkorchester
Ivan Repusic

All the works of the Latvian composer Peteris Vasks on this release are written for string orchestra: the three connected compositions "Musica serena" (2015), "Musica dolorosa" (1983) and "Musica appassionata" (2002), and also Vasks' Concerto No 2 for Violoncello and Strings, also known as "Klatbutne" (“Presence”, 2011/12). Vasks' three instrumental pieces here are light-hearted, tragic (dealing with the death of his sister as well as the political situation in Latvia at the time), and passionate, providing an overview of the diversity of his work across a timespan of almost three decades. His deeply spiritual Cello Concerto, which was premiered by Sol Gabetta and the Amsterdam Sinfonietta and conducted by Candida Thompson in Ghent, refers in its title to the pure being of his music - which is present, without distance, in every movement of the bow. The beauty that Peteris Vasks evokes in his works would not be possible without the experience of violence and cruelty in this world. He grew up in a country deprived of liberty, and He grew up in a country deprived of liberty, and because of his faith and his artistic convictions he was subjected to reprisals from Russian cultural doctrine. His father, a Baptist pastor, was considered an "enemy of the state", and his homeland was under Soviet control. As a result Vasks developed a vision of freedom and subtle protest in his music. Vasks' expressive, direct and often deliberately simple music quickly became the mouthpiece of the long-suppressed Latvian people, giving the nation a proud voice that can be heard worldwide. Today, alongside Arvo Pärt and Erkki Sven-Tüür, Peteris Vasks is one of the most famous composers from the Baltic states of the former Soviet Union. On April 16, 2021, the music world will celebrate his 75th birthday.

kr 159
Image Årets unge talent
Bottesini: Revolution of Bass
Dominik Wagner

Virtuoso repertoire, brilliantly arranged: Dominik Wagner releases his Bottesini album "Revolution of Bass" on Berlin Classics. The debut-album presents, the solo Double Bass Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp minor as well as two duets with Benjamin Schmid on violin and Jeremias Fliedl on cello. Additionally some Bonustracks featuring soprano and piano. The musicians will be accompanied by the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn under Emmanuel Tjeknavorian - a great wish of Dominik Wagner, who played the first concert together with Tjeknavorian ten years ago and has been close friends with him ever since.

kr 159
Image Årets solistinnspilling, opera
Jeanine De Bique

”Jeanine De Bique guidar med blixtrande vokalakrobatik. Hennes inlevelse gör att man slungas in i en känsla av att vara på plats i teatersalongen. Att orkestern levererar puls och en rik dynamik lyfter upplevelsen ännu ett snäpp.” (Carl-Henric Malmgren, Opus)

With rich texture and bold femininity, Jeanine De Bique releases her debut album “Mirrors” on October 22, 2021 on Berlin Classics! Miss De Bique is accompanied by the renowned baroque orchestra Concerto Köln, with musical direction by Luca Quintavalle. The album focuses on baroque arias and includes three world premiere recordings. Arias of heroines such as Rodelinda, Alcina and Cleopatra, composed by George Friderich Handel and his contemporaries- Carl Heinrich Graun, Riccardo Broschi and Georg Philipp Telemann complete the program. The female protagonists are central to the album’s title and concept. “Mirrors” is the profound intimacy of Handel arias explored and juxtaposed with unknown arias of the same characters from the music of his contemporaries. Yannis François, musicologist and concept creator for the album explains: “The listeners can experience different reflections of the same character as if they were looking at themselves through a broken mirror.” The arias tell of key moments in the psychological development of the protagonists, illuminate the diversity of the female experience and the relatable perspectives of their lives. The repertoire, adapts to the extraordinary temperament of Jeanine De Bique's voice, is designed to be rich in contrast and varied, allowing the versatile florescence of colors of her voice to stir and bloom. Mr. François remarks: “Not many sopranos can easily jump from Handel's Rodelinda to Weber’s Agathe to Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music! The possibilities of developing a program for her debut album were endless!"

kr 159
Image Årets kammermusikk
Clarinet Works
Sharon Kam

Sharon Kam discovers Hindemith on her third album on Orfeo label. Even if some people still consider him “too modern” today, Hanau-born Hesse Paul Hindemith is undoubtedly one of the most influential German composers of the generation after Richard Strauss. Few of his immediate colleagues have found their way into the international repertoire to the same extent that he has, or influenced subsequent generations through comparably extensive educational work. All three works for clarinet featured on this recording date from years of extensive travel: the Quartet for Clarinet, Violin, Cello, and Piano was written in 1938 around the time of his emigration to Switzerland, the Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in 1939 during the course of the tours of the USA that immediately followed the emigration, and finally, the Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra in 1947 (written for and premiered by Benny Goodman) when Hindemith left his American exile to visit Europe again for the first time after the Second World War. Sharon Kam has teamed up with her long-standing musical partners Enrico Pace , Antje Weithaas , and Julian Steckel for the chamber music part of the album, and with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony under the musical direction of Daniel Cohen for the clarinet concerto.

kr 159
Image Årets kammermusikk
21 meters 60: that's the length of the tubes of the three instruments that give us an extraordinarily low-frequency experience on a new GENUIN album: Tubists Constantin Hartwig, Fabian Neckermann, and Steffen Schmid perform music from Monteverdi to the present on their trio's debut release. Their creative arrangements combine a wide variety of styles and genres: Monteverdi's canzonettas are given a completely new warmth and roundness. Astor Piazzolla's famous Libertango surprises us with pulsating rhythms and rough edges. And finally, the three tuba players take us to the cinema, to a tongue-in-cheek and breathtaking homage to Morricone. Our recommendation: take a deep breath and immerse yourself in this extraordinary world of sound!

kr 159
Image Årets symfoniske innspilling
Mozart: Serenades

Berlin Barock Solisten
Reinhard Goebel

“I see the future of Baroque orchestral music in the hands of modern ensembles – the fetish of the ‘original instrument’ has had its day, but not the profoundly trained professional who guides an orchestra into the deeper dimensions of the composition. For it isn’t the instrument that makes the music, but the head!“ (Reinhard Goebel) The Süddeutsche Zeitung reveres him as an ‘icon of early music’, and the New York Times applauds him as a ‘light in a sea of mediocrity’. Reinhard Goebel specializes in the repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries; As an expounder of period performance practice for both early music ensembles and modern orchestras, and as an endless fount of knowledge about gems of the repertoire, he is a world-renowned specialist. In May 2018 he was named artistic director of the Berliner Barock Solisten with whom he pursued an intensive artistic collaboration for years.

kr 169
Image Årets kor
Singer Pur
Among Whirlwinds

According to a dictionary, a whirlwind is 1. A small rotating wind and 2. A wild person, moving briskly and violently. Both associations inspired us to choose this title for our recordings. In earlier centuries, women composers rocked many conventions, and today women composers sometimes still have to contend with considerable resistance or prejudice. The women who took up the pen for us in this project are all vibrant, strong and inspiring personalities with enormous focus and concentrated creative energy. The selection of works originate from female composers all over the world. Singer Pur are a German vocal sextet founded in 1991 founded by former members of the Regensburger Domspatzen. The five original members were joined by a soprano in 1994. The sextet is focused on classical music, but have also performed and recorded traditional folk songs.

kr 129
Image Årets filmmusikk
Schnittke: Film Music Vol. 5

Rundfunkchor Berlin
Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin
Frank Strobel

The seductive, addictive potential of this music can be heard and felt straight away. His film music, an important pillar of his livelihood, embodies almost everything that characterizes Schnittke's music as a whole. It heralds a musical personality which, precisely because of its conscious use of tradition in the twentieth century, represents a solitary exception. Curious – not greedy for the old – he collected discarded or worn-out remains of music history, cleaned and polished them, and placed them in strikingly new contexts. The principle of drawing from and making use of the past was not well received in the strongholds of the avant-garde, but was all the more enthusiastically embraced by film viewers and concertgoers. 25 years ago Schnittke had encouraged the young conductor, arranger, and film music expert Frank Strobel to condense the music of his film scores into suites and to republish them for concert use. Since then, Strobel has arranged around a third of Schnittke’s over 60 pieces of film music and successively recorded them with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra.

kr 159
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