LSM Newswire

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ondine June releases include new Philadelphia Orchestra recording of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6


TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 6 "PAthEtique", DUMKA

The Philadelphia Orchestra/Christoph Eschenbach



STREET DATE: June 10, 2008

New York, NY¬óOndine announces the June 10, 2008 North American release of two discs: Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 "Pathetique" and Dumka for piano, recorded by The Philadelphia Orchestra with Christoph Eschenbach; and Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor and Piano Concerto in D major (better known in its version for violin) performed by Olli Mustonen and the Tapiola Sinfonietta. Fact sheets with more information about these releases are attached.

With this release, The Philadelphia Orchestra and Christoph Eschenbach have now completed their recordings of the last three Tchaikovsky symphonies for Ondine. Enthusiastic critical acclaim and success followed on the release of the previous recordings of Tchaikovsky's Fourth and Fifth Symphonies, coupled each with one-half of The Seasons. This recording features the final Symphony No. 6 "Pathetique." Written in the last year of his life, this most melancholic of Tchaikovsky's symphonies is forever associated with the tragedy of his sudden death in 1893. The disc includes the seldom-heard piano masterpiece Dumka performed by Christoph Eschenbach on piano. reports, "Eschenbach makes full use of his orchestra's legendary tonal richness and instrumental color-qualities tailor-made for Tchaikovsky's scoring . . . (Artistic Quality 9 / Sound Quality 10)." Gramophone writes, "His (piano) touch is magical, with a natural feel for the flexible phrasing that the music calls out for." Finest SACD recording technology highlights the unique spirit of a live performance of the legendary Orchestra, as well as of its world-renowned and magnificent "Philadelphia Sound."

This is the seventh CD to be released under the "formidable

Ondine-Eschenbach-Philadelphia partnership" (Gramophone) which began in 2005, and has produced discs that have been honored with accolades including BBC Music Magazine's Disc of the Month, Gramophone's "Editor's Choice," The New York Times' "Top Ten Recordings of the Year," and the German Record Critics' Award, among others.

Olli Mustonen continues his acclaimed cycle of Beethoven Piano Concertos. In this second volume, the visionary Finnish pianist and conductor turns his talent to the Third Piano Concerto in C minor and the Piano Concerto in D major which Beethoven arranged himself from his Violin Concerto of 1806. While this Piano Concerto is seldom played in concert, with only a handful of recordings available, Mustonen regularly puts it on his programs, and it has become one of his signature pieces. As on the previous disc, Mustonen performs with the Tapiola Sinfonietta, with whom he has maintained close artistic ties for years, accompanying this Beethoven project with acclaimed tour performances in various European countries.

Mustonen has been called "a living dream of pianism, having broken through an expressive barrier that other players do not know exists," by The Sunday Times (UK). The super audio quality of this CD/SACD hybrid recording faithfully renders his unique mastery of piano sound and technique. The booklet includes extensive liner notes written by noted Beethoven scholar and author of the new complete Piano Concerto Edition, Dr. Hans-Werner Kˆºthen of the Beethoven-Archiv, Bonn.

About Ondine: Ondine was founded more than twenty years ago in Helsinki, Finland, where the company is still based and today offers an extremely eclectic catalogue of both contemporary Finnish music, as well as recordings with major Finnish and international artists.

Ondine's extensive catalogue includes more than four hundred recordings (two hundred and fifty of which are available physically) of artists and ensembles such as conductor and pianist Christoph Eschenbach, conductors Vladimir Ashkenazy, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Sakari Oramo, Leif Segerstam, John Storgˆ€rds and Mikko Franck, orchestras such as The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the London Sinfonietta, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Czech Philharmonic, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Helsinki Philharmonic, sopranos Karita Mattila and Soile Isokoski, pianist Olli Mustonen, violinist Pekka Kuusisto and clarinettist Kari Kriikku. The label has also had a long and fruitful association with the Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara, having recorded the premieres of many of his works and garnering many awards along the way.

The roots of Ondine date back to 1985 when founder Reijo Kiilunen released the very first Ondine album under the auspices of the renowned Finnish Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival. The label's initial mission was to produce one live album at the Festival each season. The fourth album, however, featured Einojuhani Rautavaara's opera Thomas (ODE 704-2), raising major international attention and opening up the possibility for North American distribution. Kiilunen, who was running the Festival's concert agency and had begun the recording activity part-time, soon decided to devote himself fully to the development of this new business, producing and editing the first 50 releases himself. In 1991, Seppo Siirala joined as producer, and the Helsinki-based company has been expanding steadily since, currently numbering six full-time employees. Today, Ondine continues to uphold its reputation as one of the most respected labels in classical music, and its products have received numerous prizes at the Cannes (MIDEM) Classical Awards, the Gramophone Awards, the BBC Music Magazine Awards and the Classical Internet Awards.

Universal Music Classical and Ondine entered into a distribution agreement that began on January 1, 2008. Both physical and digital distribution in the United States and Canada are covered under the agreement. Universal Music Classical comprises the Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Philips, and ECM labels and is a division of the Universal Music Group. For more information about Ondine, visit

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