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Tag: Donald Runnicles

Donald Runnicles, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra – Britannia (2007) [2.0 & 5.1] {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Donald Runnicles, Atlanta SO – Britannia: Elgar, Davies, Turnage, Britten, MacMilan (2007)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 71:11 minutes | Scans included | 4,08 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/96 kHz | Full Scans included | 1,39 GB
Features Stereo and Multichannel Surround Sound

The Atlanta SO play brilliantly for Runnicles, and aside from coolly matter-of-fact performances of two of Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance marches, the conductor proves a persuasive interpreter of some challenging scores.

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Berliner Philharmoniker – Donald Runnicles conducts works by Strauss and Elgar 2011 1080p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

Both works in this concert with Donald Runnicles represent the brilliance of the art of orchestration at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century – and yet they could be hardly more contrasting in terms of expression and attitude. For while Edward Elgar’s First Symphony impresses with its nobility and sensitivity, Richard Strauss’s Don Quixote is, not least, a biting satire.

Don Quixote’s skewed perception of the world, the clash of his dreams and an incomprehensible reality give Strauss the opportunity for wonderfully ironic effects – but also to create a differentiated characterization of the tragicomic hero. Strauss’s Don Quixote is represented by a solo cello, played here by Ludwig Quandt, principal cellist with the Berliner Philharmoniker since 1993. Amihai Grosz, principal violist with the orchestra since 2010, gives voice to Sancho Panza.

As in Don Quixote, in Elgar’s First Symphony we experience a wide range of expression: triumphant grandeur, delicacy, and even the hymn-like rapture which helped Elgar’s march Pomp and Circumstance to world fame. Elgar’s personality shines through again and again as a unifying element – the sensitive gentleman who with this symphony, wanted to send a message of “great charity (love) and a massive hope in the future.” The premiere, given in Manchester, was conducted by Hans Richter, who was also a regular guest with the Berliner Philharmoniker. For him, the symphony represented “the greatest symphony of modern times, written by the greatest modern composer – and not only in this country.”

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Berliner Philharmoniker – Donald Runnicles conducts a concert “à la française” 2015 1080p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

Donald Runnicles specialises in performances of requiems. At least this impression could arise if you look back on the Philharmoniker concerts the Scottish conductor conducted since 2003: he had already conducted the requiems by Benjamin Britten, Hector Berlioz and Johannes Brahms. This time, the general music director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin conducts Maurice Duruflé’s requiem.

The work is the best-known creation of the French composer, who was one of his country’s great organists in the 20th century. Duruflé, who studied with Louis Vierne and Paul Dukas, was inspired in his requiem by the Gregorian melodies of the Catholic liturgy, which he in some cases quotes in the original and drapes in very subtle sounds. By this means he created a vocal composition of suggestive character – archaic, transcendent, consolatory. And the work makes one thing very clear: Duruflé’s musical language is rooted not only in Gregorian chant, but also in French Impressionism.

The programme begins with a work by Duruflé’s contemporary and colleague Olivier Messiaen: Hymne. Like Duruflé, Messiaen was also an organist. The Catholic church, the liturgy and piety also strongly shaped his musical oeuvre. The orchestral composition, an early work by Messiaen, has a sacral character and is characterised by a richly coloured, atmospherically dense musical language. Claude Debussy’s poetic cantata La damoiselle élue is another early work. While in this work the young composer is still under the influence of Richard Wagner’s music, Debussy’s personal style is already apparent.

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Berliner Philharmoniker – Brahms’s Requiem with Donald Runnicles and the Atlanta Symphony Chorus (2009) 720p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

It is Brahms of all people, the aloof North German, who has given us perhaps the most human of requiems. In contrast to the Catholic requiem mass, it is not the vision of the Last Judgement which forms the core of the work but succour for those in despair, which is suggested from the very first line: “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” It is this central concept, besides the splendour of the music, which has ensured the continuing popularity of Brahms’s German Requiem.

This performance by the Berliner Philharmoniker, under the baton of Donald Runnicles, is particularly appealing due to the participation of the Atlanta Symphony Chorus. The choir has partnered the orchestra on several occasions in the past and has always impressed with its sophisticated sound. Also following this guest appearance, the Tagesspiegel wrote: “You can hardly believe your ears when the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus raises its voice in the Philharmonie. It develops a stylistic sensibility that anticipates the angular density of Mahler’s Eighth, and later, with gentle optimism, makes it sound as if it were a piece by Mendelssohn. Loud cheers for the exceptional singers from Atlanta.”

The Philharmoniker have also worked for several years with composer Sebastian Currier. Following a number of chamber performances, the orchestra, with Marie-Pierre Langlamet as soloist, performs the première of Currier’s Harp Concerto. In doing so, they present one of the most interesting American composers of his generation, whose musical language was once characterised by the Washington Post as “lyrical, colourful, firmly rooted in tradition, but absolutely new”.

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James MacMillan – Violin Concerto & Symphony No. 4 – Vadim Repin, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Donald Runnicles (2016) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

James MacMillan – Violin Concerto & Symphony No. 4 – Vadim Repin, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Donald Runnicles (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 01:05:26 minutes | 1,03 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HighResAudio | Booklet, Front Cover | © Onyx Classics
Recorded: Royal Albert Hall, London, 3 August 2015 (Symphony No.4 – World Premiere); City Halls, Glasgow, 6 March 2016 (Violin Concerto)

Two major works from Sir James Macmillan make their CD debut! The Violin Concerto is performed on this disc by its dedicatee Vadim Repin.

Reviewing the world premiere, David Nice of The Arts Desk lauded, “As soloist Vadim Repin and conductor Valery Gergiev whirled us tumultuously through its hyperactive songs and dances, there was so much I wanted to savour, to hear again. That won’t be a problem. So long as there are violinists of Repin’s calibre able to play it, the work is here to stay.”

The 4th Symphony is dedicated to Donald Runnicles and was written to celebrate his 60th birthday. Sir James MacMillan is one of today’s most successful composers. His musical language is flooded with influences from his Scottish heritage, Catholic faith, social conscience and close connection with Celtic folk music, blended with influences from Far Eastern, Scandinavian and Eastern European music.

The 4th Symphony recording is from the 2015 BBC Proms and was the world premiere performance “Densely, at times exotically scored, it was grandly played. Runnicles conducted it with great affection and dignity”  – Tim Ashley, The Guardian

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