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Image Symphony in D
Malmö Opera Orchestra / George Vass

kr 159
Image Songs to Texts by Heine, Burns and Scandinavian Po
Ann-Beth Solvang, mezzo soprano
Erling R. Eriksen, piano

With recordings of his symphonies and piano music now available, the Norwegian composer Eyvind Alnæs (1872-1932) is slowly emerging from obscurity to take his place as an important successor to Grieg.

Alnæs' music, like Grieg's, marrying an essentially lyrical style with the melodies and rhythms of Norwegian folk-music - but also, in his later output, with an awareness of Debussy and French impressionism.

In this recital of Alnæs' atmospheric songs - most of them not previously recorded - Erling R. Eriksen, whose playing of Alnæs' piano works can be heard on an earlier Toccata Classics CD, returns to his music in the company of Ann-Beth Solvang, one of Norway's best mezzos.

This CD marks the 140th anniversary of Alnæs' birth and the 80th of his death and includes a number of first recordings.

Ann-Beth Solvang, born in Norway, was a member of Hamburg Opera from 2008 to 2011, singing a wide range of roles. She now works freelance. This is her first recording for Toccata Classics.

Erling R. Eriksen is professor of piano in the Department of Music and Dance at the University of Stavanger; as of 2009 he teaches also at the Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo.

1-4 Four Songs to Texts by Nils-Magnus Folcke, Op. 34
5-6 Four Songs to Texts by Gustav Fröding and N. M. Folcke, Op. 35
7-8 3 Poems by Nils Collett Vogt, Op. 29
9-13 Five Songs to Texts by Robert Burns and Heinrich Heine, Op. 6
14-16 Three Songs to Poems by Viggo Stuckenberg, Op. 26
17-18 Four Poems by Herman Wildenvey, Op. 30
19-24 Six Songs to Texts by Anders Hovden and A. O. Vinje, Op. 22
25 Three Songs for a Middle Voice to Texts by Nils Collett Vogt, Op. 23
26-27 Four Songs to Texts by Oscar Stjerne and Nils- Magnus Folcke, Op. 41

kr 159
Image Viola Concerto / Violin Concerto
Nikolay Sachenko, violin
Yuri Bashmet, viola

Novaya Rossiya Orchestra / Claudio Vandeli; Alexander Slatkovsky

The Modernist era wasn't too kind to the violin concerto, so it's easy to understand why Igor Raykhelson takes the last generation of Romantics as a starting point for his work in the genre. Raykhelson's career to date has been divided between Russia and America. It has also been divided between jazz and classical, with the emphasis shifting decisively toward the classical in recent years.

Both dichotomies are played out in these concertos. Rachmaninoff is a clear model (to the point of quotation in the Viola Concerto), with Raykhelson drawing on his predecessor's success in bridging Russian and American tastes. But the Romanticism is up against competition from Raykhelson's jazz side, with swung rhythms and jazzy chords appearing in the finales of both works. In fact, these concertos, which date from 2007 and 2005, respectively, mark an endpoint in the composer's journey from jazz pianist to classical composer, so the jazz only has a nominal presence in what is otherwise a predominantly late-Romantic aesthetic. It integrates well enough, but it always feels constrained, with the soloists only occasionally breaking into jazz rhythms and never even contemplating improvisation.

kr 159
Image Piano Music Vol. 1
Adolf Jensen (1837-79) is one of the major figures of German Romanticism. Though dying early, he composed a large corpus of songs and piano music, in a language fusing the heritage of Schumann, Chopin and Liszt into an individual style distinguished by its melodic and lyrical appeal.Yet Jensen has been almost entirely forgotten: there is almost nothing of his huge output of piano pieces and songs available on CD.This first in a series of recordings of his music hopes to restore his name to circulation. The extensive booklet notes are by one of the experts on nineteenth-century piano music, Rohan Stewart-McDonald.Erling R. Eriksen is professor of piano in the Department of Music and Dance at the University of Stavanger. This is his third CD for Toccata Classics. Of the first, a recital of Alnaes piano music (TOCC0067) Peter Burwasser wrote in Fanfare: 'Eriksen plays it with great panache and affection' and in The Guardian Tim Ashley commented on the second, a recital of Alnaes songs (TOCC0124): 'They're exquisitely performed by ultra-refined mezzo Ann-Beth Solvang and pianist Erling R. Eriksen'. In recent years Eriksen has given master-classes in Guangzhou, Nanjing, Paris, Pescara, Rome, Stockholm and Weimar. In 2000 was awarded the Grieg Prize for services to Edvard Grieg and his music.

kr 159
Image Two Songs For Baritone And Orchestra - Concerto pe
kr 159
Image Piano Music Vol 1
Reinhard Oppel (1878–1941) was a major figure in inter-War Germany, as composer, teacher and theoretician. His rich, late-Romantic music encompasses symphonies, chamber and choral music, songs and works for piano. His music went underground in East Germany – literally: after World War II, when his family fled west from the occupying Russian army, they hid his music under the garden shed and there it remained, unknown, until the fall of Communism, when his son was able to return and retrieve it. This first CD of his heart-warming, Dvorákian piano music begins a series of releases intended to win Oppel’s music the audience it deserves.

Heejung Kang, piano

kr 159
Image Music for String Orchestra
kr 159
Image Songs for Baritone and Piano
Havergal Brian (1876–1972) is renowned as the composer of 32 powerful symphonies (then the largest symphonic cycle since Haydn), 21 of them composed after his 80th birthday; his First Symphony, The Gothic, is reputed to be the largest ever composed. But in the first part of his career Brian was also active on a smaller scale, his songs attracting the advocacy of singers as prominent as John McCormack and John Coates. The range of emotion in these songs is nonetheless vast, from folky innocence via Shakespearean irony to deep tragedy. Brian Rayner Cook’s performances can be taken as authoritative: he studied the songs with the composer. The CD is completed by the Legend for violin and piano, Brian’s only surviving piece of chamber music.

kr 159
Image Piano Music and Songs
kr 159
Image Choral Songs in Honour of Victoria
kr 159
Image Chamber Music
kr 159
Image Complete Piano Music, Vol 2
The piano music of the Czech-born composer Antoine Reicha (1770–1836) – friend of Haydn and Beethoven, teacher of Berlioz, Liszt and Franck – is one of the best-kept secrets in music. He was an important influence on composers of the next generation but apart from an innovative set of fugues his piano works have remained almost unknown since his own day. Encompassing Baroque practices as well as looking forward to the twentieth century, they are full of harmonic and other surprises that show this liveliest of minds at work. The massive variation-set on a French gavotte recorded here for the first time reveals a composer who tempers his learning with a vivid sense of humour.

kr 159
Image Russian Folksong
kr 159
Image Chamber Music
Robert Kahn, born in Mannheim in 1865, was one of the oldest Jewish composers to have to flee from Hitler he left Germany in 1938 and settled in Biddenden in Kent, where he died in 1951.He produced a large body of gloriously attractive chamber music, expertly crafted and basically Brahmsian in style.His three violin sonatas, written over a twenty-year-period at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries, reveal a lyrical composer in the Romantic mainstream but capable of considerable formal inventiveness.

kr 159
Image Music for Strings 1
kr 159
Image Chamber Music
kr 159
Image Libro secondo d'arie
kr 159
Image Song Of The Exiles And The Deportees (The)
Jurgita Mintautiene, soprano
Gintautas Skliutas, tenor
Dainius Jozenas, piano

Vilnius Jauna Muzika Municipal Choir / Vaclovas Augustinas

The Lithuanian Vladas Jakubenas (1904–78) is one of a lost generation of Baltic composers. A student of Schreker in Berlin, he returned home to help build the musical culture of his country. The Nazi invasion and Soviet occupation drove him into exile and, after five years in refugee camps in Germany, he settled in Chicago, playing an impotant role in the Lithuanian diaspora in North America.

These eighteen choral songs show the deep identification of his late-Romantic style with the folk-music of the land he was forced to leave behind.

Vaclovas Augustinas (b. 1959) graduated from the Department of Choir Conducting (1981) and the Department of Composition (1992) of the Lithuanian Academy of Music. Since 1992 has been conductor of Jauna Muzika. Some of his compositions have received prizes at national and international competitions and have been published by Alliance Music Publications and Laurendale Associates (USA). Vilnius City Municipal Choir Jauna Muzika was founded in 1989 by the conductor and composer Remigijus Merkelys and its long-lived director Algimantas Gurevicius. The choir received the highest award – Grand Prix Europeo – at the Grand Prix Winners Contest organised by the International Federation for Choral Music in Varna (Bulgaria) in 1993. Earlier this year Toccata Classics released a CD of Bronius Kutavicius’ oratorio The Seasons (TOCC 0200), which featured Jauna Muzika.

kr 159
Image Organ Works Vol 2
kr 159
Image Eleven Etudes
kr 159
Image Harmonischer Gottes-Dienst, Vol. 1
This is an issue of considerable potential significance, the opening installment in what is planned as a complete recording of Telemann's 1725/26 Harmonischer Gottes-Dienst, the first integral cycle of church cantatas for the liturgical year ever published. Ever the astute self-publicist, Telemann had first announced in the Hamburg press plans to publish a cycle of cantatas as early as 1723, but the late delivery of the texts by the poet, Pastor Michael Brandenburg, forced Telemann to turn to a new cycle, Harmonischer Gottes-Dienst. For this, he sought the help of various poets, but in the end employed texts that were mostly the work of a young Hamburg writer, Arnold Wilckens, who based them largely on the Epistle for the day.

Planned more with domestic than church use in mind, the 72 cantatas are chamber works scored for a single voice, an obbligato instrument (specified with characteristic pragmatism by the composer as "a violin, or oboe, or flute, or recorder"), and continuo. The earliest cantatas of the cycle, sold by subscription, were ready by the end of 1725, in time for the issue of the first in the cycle, the cantata for New Year's Day. Numerous reprints and the number of published copies still extant testify to the success of the venture, a success that was doubtless responsible for Telemann issuing a second collection in 1731-32.

kr 159
Image Cello Concerto
kr 159
Image Russian Settings of Robert Burns
kr 159
Image Complete Piano Music
kr 159
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