LSM Newswire

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ondine Announces New Releases for January 2009

Ondine Announces North American New Releases for January 2009




ODE 1132-5

Release date: January 27, 2009

"I was saved by music," wrote Czech composer Josef Suk about his Asrael Symphony, a work born out of the tragic loss of his teacher Antonˆ‚n Dvo‰ôˆ°k in 1904. Dedicated to Dvo‰ôˆ°k, Asrael is a funeral symphony named after the biblical angel of death who leads the souls of the deceased to the land of eternal bliss. While composing the first movement of this anguished work, Suk also lost his wife Otilie who was Dvo‰ôˆ°k's favorite daughter. Widely considered Suk's greatest work, Asrael remains a masterpiece of the late-Romantic repertoire which can easily be compared in scope and emotional range to Bruckner and Mahler.

An expert in Czech music, Vladimir Ashkenazy conducts a masterful and intense performance of this deeply moving work. His recording with the Helsinki Philharmonic is the first release of this work in super audio quality.


Mahler: Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection"

Simona Saturova, Yvonne Naef

The philadelphia Singers Chorale

The Philadelphia Orchestra

Christoph Eschenbach, conductor

ODE 1134-2D (2CDs)

Release date: January 27, 2009

One of the great Mahler conductors of our time, Christoph Eschenbach has a particularly close connection to the spiritually charged healing qualities of Gustav Mahler's music. His recording of the Sixth Symphony, with The Philadelphia Orchestra, was hailed by Gramophone as "maybe the Sixth of first choice, sonically and interpretatively," and stated, "No Mahlerian will want to miss it!" This new release features the Second Symphony ("Resurrection"), which was one of Mahler's most popular and successful works during his lifetime. The famous use of a chorus as the centerpiece of the Finale has often invited comparison with Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. The celestial Urlicht song of the fourth movement is performed by the celebrated mezzo-soprano Yvonne Naef.

This is the eighth 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.




JOHN STORGˆÖRDS, conductor

ODE 1135-2

Release date: January 27, 2009

Matti Salminen is an acoustic phenomenon and possibly the finest authentic bass singer of our time. The winner of two Grammies owes his legendary reputation to a uniquely powerful and dark voice, and he continues to sing Wagner, Mozart and Mussorgsky roles at nearly every prominent opera house and concert hall in the world.

On this new recording (entitled Elˆ§mˆ§ni lauluja ’Äì "Songs of my life"), Matti Salminen performs rarities aside from the standard repertoire and delivers a personal account of orchestral songs from compatriot Finnish composers, including the great Jean Sibelius. Accompanied by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra under its new chief conductor John Storgˆ€rds, Salminen is completely at home singing this music. Many of these songs about nature and love deserve greater attention or discovery, and this exceptional disc represents an ideal vehicle.


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

Labels: ,


Post a Comment


Create a Link

<< Home