Composer Douglas Bielmeier’s BETTY AND THE SENSORY WORLD is an enveloping musical work that soothingly twists time into a languid river of sound. Along these lines, BETTY AND THE SENSORY WORLD unfolds as one massive work that, though it may be marked in seven constituent sections, flows with very little delineation from one movement to another. This is not to say, however, that BETTY AND THE SENSORY WORLD is static or overly repetitive. Rather, Bielmeier’s creation simply exists on an atypically large scale, which demands the kind of gradual, almost furtive, evolution of musical ideas that characterizes this work.
The opera is set in Rome and is based on the life of Cola di Rienzi (1313–1354), a late medieval Italian populist figure who succeeds in outwitting and then defeating the nobles and their followers and in raising the power of the people. Magnanimous at first, he is forced by events to crush the nobles' rebellion against the people's power, but popular opinion changes and even the Church, which had urged him to assert himself, turns against him. In the end the populace burns the Capitol, in which Rienzi and a few adherents have made a last stand.
Performed by the CMD Grand Opera Company of Berlin
Conducted by Dominique Beaulieu
Aus Italien (From Italy), Op. 16, is a tone poem for full orchestra composed by Richard Strauss in 1886 when he was 22 years old. It was inspired by the composer's visit to Italy (encouraged by Johannes Brahms) in the summer of the same year, where he travelled to Rome, Bologna, Naples, Sorrento, Salerno, and Capri. He began to sketch the work while still on the journey.
The full score of the work, Strauss's first tone poem, was completed in Munich on September 12, 1886. The work is named by the composer as "Symphonic Fantasy", and is dedicated to his mentor Hans von Bülow. It is the only work by Richard Strauss for which he himself wrote a specific program. The entire work takes over forty minutes to perform.
Strauss incorporated the tune of "Funiculì, Funiculà" into the symphony's fourth part "Scenes from Neapolitan Life", thinking it was a traditional Italian folk song, when it was in fact a piece written by Luigi Denza in 1880. Denza filed a lawsuit against Strauss and eventually won.
Exciting new Ravello Records release I DREAM AWAKE consists of chamber music composed by new PARMA composer Bill Whitley. Whitley’s music is characterized by meditative and trance-like qualities inspired by various forms of meditation practice, and, above all, the artistic installations of Alexander Calder. Indeed, Whitley’s music seems to be primarily concerned with depicting and embodying experiences, whether they be sensory, natural, spiritual, or human experiences.
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Attila is an opera in a prologue and three acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera, based on the 1809 play Attila, König der Hunnen (Attila, King of the Huns) by Zacharias Werner. The opera received its first performance at La Fenice in Venice on 17 March 1846.
Ezio's act 2 aria of heroic resolution È gettata la mia sorte ("My lot is cast, I am prepared for any warfare") is a fine example of a characteristic Verdian genre, and it achieved fame in its own time with audiences in the context of the adoption of a liberal constitution by Ferdinand II. Other contemporary comment praised the work as suitable for the "political education of the people", while, in contrast, others criticised the opera as "Teutonic" in nature.
Performed by the CMD Grand Opera Company of Venice
Recorded by Classical Music Discoveries
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Tension between Mozart and Archbishop continue to grow. Something has to break soon.
Bassoon Concerto, K. 191
Missa brevis in F, K. 192
Helen Chase, bassoon
Dominique Beaulieu, conductor
CMD Philharmonic and Chorus of Paris
Works by John Robertson.
1. Vallarta Suite, Op. 47
2. Strut In - A March, Op. 34
3. Symphony No. 2, Op. 63
Symphony No. 6 in A minor by Gustav Mahler is a symphony in four movements, composed in 1903 and 1904 (revised 1906; scoring repeatedly revised). Mahler conducted the work's first performance at the Saalbau concert hall in Essen on May 27, 1906. It is sometimes referred to by the nickname Tragische ("Tragic"). Mahler composed the symphony at what was apparently an exceptionally happy time in his life, as he had married Alma Schindler in 1902, and during the course of the work's composition his second daughter was born. This contrasts with the tragic, even nihilistic, ending of No. 6. Both Alban Berg and Anton Webern praised the work when they first heard it. Berg expressed his opinion of the stature of this symphony in a 1908 letter to Webern:
"Es gibt doch nur eine VI. trotz der Pastorale." (There is only one Sixth, despite the Pastoral.)
An Alpine Symphony (Eine Alpensinfonie), Op. 64, is a tone poem written by German composer Richard Strauss in 1915. Though labelled as a symphony by the composer, this piece forgoes the conventions of the traditional multi-movement symphony and consists of twenty-two continuous sections of music. The story of An Alpine Symphony depicts the experiences of eleven hours (from daybreak just before dawn to the following nightfall) spent climbing an Alpine mountain. An Alpine Symphony is one of Strauss's largest non-operatic works in terms of performing forces: the score calls for about 125 players in total.
Joana Filipe Martinez, conductor
CMD Grand Opera Company of Venice Orchestra