A FanFaire-NSSmusic CD GIVEAWAY... 



WIN this new CD of Profoundly Transcendent Orchestral Music - to be released November 9
One of FanFaire's Holiday Giveaway Bonanza!


For her second recording with the Bay Area's conductor-less chamber orchestra, NADJA SALERNO-SONNENBERG, renowned violinist and Music Director of the NEW CENTURY CHAMBER ORCHESTRA (NCCO) has chosen extremely well. This recording of works of extraordinary profundity and transcendence by three giants of classical music--SAMUEL BARBER, RICHARD STRAUSS, and GUSTAV MAHLER--showcases the depth of the ensemble's musicality, the range of its repertoire, and the individual member's talent as solo performers. The second recording on the NSS Music label, it is most definitely a valuable addition to NCCO's growing CD catalog of works (now seven altogether), mostly by 20th/21st century composers, that reflect the ensemble's fresh and innovative "new century" approach to concert programming.

Entitled 'LIVE," the CD is the tenth in the catalog of NSS Music, the record label founded in 2005 by SALERNO-SONNENBERG-- the creative and entrepreneurial outgrowth of her well-known passion for sharing beautiful music that spans across musical genres.

The CD title echoes the label's emphasis on recordings of live performances; in this case it refers to the recording of the ensemble's LIVE performance of "METAMORPHOSEN," RICHARD STRAUSS' unique composition for solo strings that is the album's centerpiece. Purposely subtitled "A Study for 23 Solo Strings" and scored for 10 violins, 5 violas, 5 cellos, and 3 basses--each playing as a solo instrument, NOT as an ensemble or orchestra member even if there are some moments in the piece when they do play together. It is unmistakably a piece for grieving, composed in the last years of Strauss' life and completed in 1944 when much of Germany lay in ruin, his beloved homeland having suffered a most catastrophic metamorphosis as a result of unspeakable Hitlerian excesses. Indeed, at the passage in the score that echoes the Funeral March of Beethoven's Third Symphony ("Eroica"), Strauss himself inscribed the words "In memoriam."

  LISTEN to an excerpt from "Metamorphosen" by RICHARD STRAUSS.

It is flanked in this album by what must be among the world's most plaintive music...

...on the front end by SAMUEL BARBER's Adagio for Strings, the very first notes of which are enough to stimulate the tear glands, setting the album's intensely elegiac mood. Composed for string orchestra from the second movement of his string quartet when he was in his 20s, the Adagio is Barber's most popular orchestral work. World-premiered by Toscanini in 1938, it has since been played at the funerals of prominent public figures (e.g., ALBERT EINSTEIN, LEONARD BERNSTEIN, PRINCESS GRACE) or in commemorative radio broadcasts (e.g., on the deaths of FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT and JOHN F. KENNEDY) and more recently, in a ceremony memorializing 9/11.  The emotional yet peaceful intensity that builds up with the melodic line as the piece progresses can send copious tears streaming down one's cheeks. No small wonder that this Adagio was voted as "the world's saddest music" in a 2004 BBC listener poll.


  LISTEN to an excerpt from "Adagio for Strings" by SAMUEL BARBER.

The album's final piece is the tender, heart-wrenching Adagietto from the 4th movement of GUSTAV MAHLER's Symphony No. 5. Scored for string orchestra and harp, it is perhaps the most familiar--because most frequently used (or "abused" - as some would say)-- extract from his great works. Often heard as a stand-along piece. It was played by Leonard Bernstein at the funeral service for ROBERT F. KENNEDY and is the dominant theme in Luchino Visconti's 1971 film Death in Venice, based on Thomas Mann's novella of the same title . The mood is one of intense longing, which was most likely the emotion that inspired its writing by Mahler as a musical love letter to his future wife, ALMA SCHINDLER.

  LISTEN to an excerpt from the "Adagietto" from Symphony No. 5 by GUSTAV MAHLER (also the background music heard on this page).

There may be a curious twist of irony in the choice of the title "LIVE" for a CD of outwardly funereal music.  But on second thought, and more intent listening--and as NADJA SALERNO-SONNENBERG notes in her program note, there are in the pieces "countless moments of exuberance and transcendence and joy." And why not? Death after all, may not necessarily be the end or opposite of life but a joyous transfiguration, as in the mystical "Liebestod" (or "love-death") exemplified in Wagner 's Tristan und Isolde.


In partnership with ,
FanFaire
is pleased to give away
20 copies of this CD.

This CD of the "three most glorious works ever written"
could be yours FREE!

The GIVEAWAY ended on December 15, 2010




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