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 Antonín Dvořák in 1904. Dedicated to Dvořák, 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 Dvořák'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.





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 Elämäni lauluja – "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 Storgårds, 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 Storgårds 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: ,

Saturday, January 19, 2008

ATMA News and New Releases: January 2008

ATMA rings in the New Year with two superb new recordings.

Wind chill
chamber version

Christoph Prégardien - tenor
Joseph Petric - accordion
Pentaèdre - wind ensemble
Danièle Bourget - piccolo, flute, alto flute
Martin Carpentier - clarinet, bass clarinet
Norman Forget - oboe d'amore
Louis-Philippe Marsolais - horn, baroque horn
Matthieu Lussier - bassoon

Winterreise as you've never heard it before!

ATMA launches the New Year with a unique recording that offers a fresh take on Schubert's superb song cycle, Winterreise, originally scored for voice and piano. This new version by oboeist Normand Forget features one the world's foremost lyric tenors Christoph Prégardien in an arrangement for voice, accordion (Joseph Petric) and wind ensemble (Pentaèdre). While remaining faithful to the original text, Forget's arrangement breathes new life into Schubert's melodies and evokes all the colours of the original piano score.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828): Winterreise - Cycle of 24 lieder on poems by Wilhelm Müller

ATMA ACD2 2546

Forget's version of Winterreise will be performed by Pentaèdre, Joseph Petric and baritone Philip Addis at the Almonte Town Hall in Almonte, Ontario on February 9, 2008. Visit for details.

Pax Romana

Polychoral music in the churches of Rome and the Vatican

Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal

Christopher Jackson, Artistic Director

Sylvain Bergeron - theorbo
Karen Kadevarek - cello
Réjean Poirer - positive organ

Roma Triumphans is the newest recording by Christopher Jackson's Roma Triumphans includes music for two or more choirs by Italian and Spanish Renaissance composers. Some of these works called for as many as ten choirs, with singers placed on platforms in the nave of St. Peter's Basilica - an aural parallel to the building's splendid architecture!

Luca Marenzio (1553-1599); Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611); G.P. da Palestrina
(1525?-1594); Orazio Benevoli (1605-1672); Giovanni Giorgi (?-1762);
Vincenzo Ugolini (1570-1638)eorg Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759).
Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal (SMAM), and brings to life the glory of Rome's polychoral tradition. Recorded in hybrid SACD format and featuring music composed for the Vatican and several other Roman churches,

SACD2 2507

Christopher Jackson leads the SMAM in several concerts performed in churches in and around Montréal from March 13-28, 2008. The program features music included on the Roma Triumphans recording. Visit for details.

Looking ahead in 2008...

Several ATMA recordings were short-listed for Best of 2007 lists by major music critics across Canada and beyond. In 2008, look for more new releases by brilliant artists performing inspiring repertoire. Herewith, a sneak preview of what's in store over the coming months. Visit for updates.

Soprano Suzie LeBlanc headlines a stellar cast of singers including Allyson McHardy, Nathalie Paulin and Matthew White in Antonio Caldara's 1715 oratorio, La Conversione di Clodoveo, Re di Francia.

Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin - who adds the title of Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic to his list of prestigious international posts, which includes Music Director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra - returns with a recording of Bruckner's monumental Symphony No. 9 with the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, the second CD in ATMA's Bruckner cycle. Volume II of harpsichordist Alexander Weimann's recordings of the complete keyboard works by Alessandro Scarlatti will be released this year, as will lutenist Sylvain Bergeron's first solo disc.

Dream-team Nathan Berg and Julius Drake make their ATMA debut with a much-anticipated program of German lieder recorded last spring in London's Henry Wood Hall. Canadian mezzo-soprano and Jessye Norman protégé Susan Platts returns with a recording of German romantic repertoire by Clara Schumann, Robert Schumann and Brahms. Virginia Parker prize-winning pianist David Jalbert makes his ATMA debut with a stunning recording of music by Shostakovich.

Contributing to ATMA's rich roster of vocal ensembles is The Nederlands Kamerchor (Netherlands Chamber Choir), a professional vocal ensemble that concentrates on a wide range of a cappella repertoire. Watch for the choir's debut ATMA recording featuring music by Alessandro Scarlatti. Award-winning vocal chamber ensemble Les Voix Baroques was founded by Canadian countertenor Matthew White, and returns with a recording of settings of the Song of Songs by various composers ranging from Palestrina to Willan.

Labels: , ,