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Tag: Ronald Brautigam

W.A. Mozart – Ronald Brautigam – Piano Concertos Nos. 19 & 23 (2013) [Hybrid-SACD] {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Piano Concertos Nos. 19 & 23
Ronald Brautigam / Die Kölner Akademie / Michael Alexander Willens
SACD ISO (2.0/MCH): 2,30 GB | 24B/88,2kHz Stereo FLAC: 806 MB | Full Artwork | 3% Recovery Info
Label/Cat#: BIS # BIS-1964 SACD | Country/Year: Sweden 2013, 2012
Genre: Classical | Style: Viennese School, Piano

What a versatile pianist Ronald Brautigam is! I have recently been enjoying his RBCD set of Rachmaninov Preludes, played on a modern Steinway, and here he serves up the next episode in his on-going set of Mozart Piano Concertos on a Viennese Walther Fortepiano of c. 1795 (Paul McNulty replica). Die Kölner Akademie as usual provide sterling orchestral support on period instruments, under the direction of Michael Alexander Willens.

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Ronald Brautigam – Mendelssohn: Piano Concertos (2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Ronald Brautigam – Mendelssohn: Piano Concertos (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:14:02 minutes | 1,22 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © BIS

This is the ninth installment in Ronald Brautigam’s series of the complete piano concertos by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. As on previous discs, Brautigam whose ‘muscular yet sensitively nuanced command of Mozartian discourse’ (BBC Music Magazine) is supported by Die Kölner Akademie under Michael Alexander Willens. The opening work on this installment is the C major concerto, K 415, which was first performed on 23rd March 1783 in the presence of Emperor Joseph II. K 415 was composed in conjunction with the Concerto No. 11 in F major, K 413, which in contrast is a more intimate creation, especially in its Larghetto middle movement, in which Mozart achieves some of his most memorable writing, with the various textures of the orchestra providing a cushion of sound for a delicious cantabile aria for the piano a model that was to become almost a trademark of his later concerto slow movements. The disc closes with Concerto No. 8 in C major, K 246, composed some six years earlier. Mozart wrote it for Countess Antonia Lützow, one of his father’s pupils, and in terms of technical difficulty, it is among the least demanding of his piano concertos which nevertheless didn’t stop Mozart from performing it himself on several occasions.

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Ronald Brautigam – Beethoven: Hammerklavier Sonatas Opp. 81a, 90 & 106 (2009) {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Ludwig van Beethoven – Ronald Brautigam – Hammerklavier Sonatas Opp. 81a, 90 & 106
SACD ISO (2.0/MCH): 3,12 GB | 24B/88,2kHz Stereo FLAC: 1,02 GB | Full Artwork | 3% Recovery Info
Label/Cat#: BIS # BIS-SACD-1612 | Country/Year: Sweden 2009
Genre: Classical | Style: Viennese School, Piano

BBC Music Mag., Nov 2009:
“… a fine recital, & the most impressive instalment so far in Brautigam’s Beethoven cycle. The warm-sounding reproduction Graf piano from around 1819 has been very well recorded.”

Ronald Brautigam, one of Holland’s leading musicians, is remarkable not only for his virtuosity & musicality but also for the eclectic nature of his musical interests. In 1995 he began what has proved a highly successful association with the Swedish label BIS. Among the more than 30 titles released so far are Mendelssohn’s Piano Concertos & the complete piano works of Mozart & Haydn on the fortepiano. The year 2004 saw the release of the first of a 17-CD Beethoven cycle, also on the fortepiano.

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Isabelle van Keulen, Ronald Brautigam – Strauss, Rota, Respighi – The violin sonata around 1900 (2009) [Official Digital Download DSF DSD128/5.64MHz]

Isabelle van Keulen, Ronald Brautigam – Strauss, Rota, Respighi – The violin sonata around 1900 (2009)
DSF Stereo DSD128/5.64 MHz | Time – 02:14:20 minutes | 5,28 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: nativeDSDmusic | Booklet, Front Cover |  © Challenge Records

At the turn of the 19th to the 20th century the violin sonata experienced a considerable renaissance. A fundamentally conservative genre, it suddenly sparkled with vitality. Mozart developed its classical formula: violin and piano are two equal partners in dialogue with neither the piano being reduced to a mere accompanist nor the violin being reduced to mere colouring of the melody voice; a three-movement-pattern; the first movement being based on the so called sonata form with two themes of clearcut atmospheric contrast and their developement.

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Isabelle van Keulen, Ronald Brautigam – Grieg, Elgar, Sibelius – Music for violin & piano (2007) [Official Digital Download DSF DSD128/5.64MHz]

Isabelle van Keulen, Ronald Brautigam – Grieg, Elgar, Sibelius – Music for violin & piano (2007)
DSF Stereo DSD128/5.64 MHz | Time – 01:00:50 minutes | 4,8 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Booklet, Front Cover |  © Challenge Records

The acclaimed Dutch violinist Isabelle van Keulen is joined here by award-winning pianist Ronald Brautigam in a fascinating program of chamber music from Grieg, Elgar and Sibelius. The year 2007 marks an anniversary for each of these great composers.

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Sharon Bezaly, Ronald Brautigam – Masterworks for Flute and Piano (2006) [Official Digital Download 24bit/88,2kHz]

Sharon Bezaly, Ronald Brautigam – Masterworks for Flute and Piano (2006)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 01:03:03 minutes | 940 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: eClassical | Booklet, Front Cover | © BIS Records
Recorded: August 2005 at Nybrokajen 11 (the former Academy of Music), Stockholm, Sweden

Recently released recordings of Mozart’s concertos, of three contemporary works for flute and orchestra and of a programme for solo flute have earned Sharon Bezaly epithets such as ‘God’s gift to the flute’, ‘an amazingly talented performer’ and ‘a First Lady among equals’. Here she has turned to some of the central works for flute and piano, and with Ronald Brautigam, familiar from many BIS releases, gives her interpretations of three master-pieces of the 1940s flanking Schubert’s great Trockne Blumen variations, composed some 120 years earlier. Though written in the span of two years, Prokofiev’s Sonata, Dutilleux’s Sonatine and Jolivet’s Chant de Linos each show the flute in a different light.

Prokofiev was preoccupied with clarity of style and found the instrument a perfect vehicle: ‘The sonata should be played with a bright, transparent, classical tone’, he wrote. (David Oistrakh later convinced the composer to create a violin version, which quickly became very popular.)

A distinctly different approach was taken by Jolivet, who wrote his Chant inspired by the ancient Greek concept of ‘linos’, a ritual lament punctuated by cries and dancing. It is thus based on musical material associated with Greek modes and explores the extremes of expression.

Dutilleux, finally, composed his Sonatine as a set piece for the flute competitions of the Paris Conservatoire. But these academic-sounding origins are belied by the by turns atmospheric and spirited writing, so typical of the multi-faceted Dutilleux.

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Concertos for Two & Three Pianos – Alexei Lubimov, Ronald Brautigam, Manfred Huss (2007) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Concertos for Two & Three Pianos – Alexei Lubimov, Ronald Brautigam, Manfred Huss (2007)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:09:02 minutes | 596 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: eClassical | Digital Booklet | © BIS Records
Recorded: September 2006 at the Florianikirche, Straden, Austria

There is only a limited number of works for two or more solo instruments with orchestra. One reason may be that the concerto genre in the 19th century became the stomping ground of the great virtuosi of the day, and the works themselves vehicles for the great and unique talent of one, special performer – not two, or three. Mozart, however, was evidently attracted by the sinfonia concertante genre and created some of the finest examples of it, such as the Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola and the Concerto for Flute and Harp, as well as his two concertos for more than one piano. The ‘Lodron Concerto’ for three pianos was composed in 1776 for Countess Lodron and her daughters. It is Mozart’s third piano concerto and the young man’s irrepressible sense of fun is obvious: in his liner notes conductor and pianist Manfred Huss calls the concerto ‘a true musical joke, in which the musical line is divided between the three players quite arbitrarily; one piano continues what another has started and the third will conclude. The listener hardly notices the humour, however, as the music sounds quite “normal”, and only the pianists know (and the score shows) what Mozart is up to.’ When the composer three years later returns to the task of writing for more than one piano, the result is quite different. The Concerto in E flat major KV 365, composed for Mozart himself and his sister Nannerl, is according to Huss ‘in many respects Mozart’s first ‘big’ piano concerto. It is the first in which we find the very characteristic intertwining of the woodwind and the piano part, accomplished very effectively and virtuosically.’ Mozart seems to have been fond of the work, so fond that for a later performance he added clarinets, trumpets and timpani to the orchestra. Both versions of the score are found on the present recording, played by Alexei Lubimov and Ronald Brautigam, two of today’s finest performers on the fortepiano. The two versions frame the triple concerto, in which Lubimov and Brautigam are joined by Manfred Huss, artistic director of the eminent Haydn Sinfonietta Wien, who here make their first appearance on BIS.

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Joseph Haydn – Piano Concertos – Ronald Brautigam, Concerto Copenhagen, Lars Ulrik Mortensen (2004) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Joseph Haydn – Piano Concertos – Ronald Brautigam, Concerto Copenhagen, Lars Ulrik Mortensen (2004)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:15:54 minutes |  688 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  – Source: eClassical | Digital Booklet  | © BIS Records

Here is a jewel of a record. Fresh from his triumphant reading of Haydn’s entire output for the fortepiano Ronald Brautigam now brings us four concertos for piano and orchestra by the great composer. The piano concerto of this period naturally means Mozart. No one would dispute his pre-eminence in the genre. But when we actually listen to Haydn, as opposed to nodding at his technical ability, breadth of application and so on, we are always surprised; his music is not just brilliantly skilful but deeply impassioned and full of delightful surprises. Lars Ulrik Mortensen is also a musician to bring out these elements. Widely recognized as a harpsichord player of unusual insight and personality he directs the period ensemble Concerto Copenhagen from the continuo bench. Surely no one can fail to respond to this heart-warming disc?

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Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy – Lieder ohne Worte, Books 5-8 – Ronald Brautigam (2016) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy – Lieder ohne Worte, Books 5-8 – Ronald Brautigam (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 01:13:33 minutes | 1,1 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: eClassical | Digital Booklet | ©  BIS Records
Recorded: August 2014 at Österåker Church, Sweden

Ronald Brautigam, piano During the early 19th century a number of composers began to write in new genres inspired by literature: Chopin’s Ballades, Schumann’s Novelletten and, later, Liszt’s symphonic poems are all examples of this Romantic urge to create works that transcend the divide between the arts. In 1828 Felix Mendelssohn invented a genre of his own, when he presented his sister Fanny with a ‘song without words’ for her birthday. He went on to compose a large number of such Lieder ohne Worte and published no less than six sets of six pieces each. These became immensely popular with amateur and professional pianists, as well as with their respective audiences. Mendelssohn’s death in 1847 did not affect the huge demand for the pieces, and the publisher Simrock soon issued another two sets, compiled from pieces that the composer had set aside for later publication. Mendelssohn himself supplied a few of the songs with more or less descriptive subtitles, but his aim was not to tell an existing story in music instead of words, but rather to communicate something that could only be conveyed through music. To Mendelssohn, music was more exact than language – in his own words: ‘the music I love expresses ideas that are not too vague to be captured in words, but on the contrary too precise.’ When Ronald Brautigam’s recording of Books 1-4 was released in 2012, the reviewer in International Record Review wrote: ‘One could scarcely hope for performances more vivid or poetic than these.’ This second volume includes the last four published sets of Lieder ohne Worte, as well as a number of other piano miniatures. Brautigam performs them on the same instrument as on the previous disc, a copy by Paul McNulty after a piano from 1830 by Ignaz Pleyel, preserved at Musée de la musique in Paris.

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Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy – Lieder ohne Worte, Books 1-4 – Ronald Brautigam (2012) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy – Lieder ohne Worte, Books 1-4 – Ronald Brautigam (2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 01:09:19 minutes | 1,04 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: eClassical | Digital Booklet | ©  BIS Records
Recorded: August 2011 at Österåker Church, Sweden

If claims could be made for a certain composer to have invented a genre single-handedly, Felix Mendelssohn would be a strong candidate with his ‘Songs without Words’. The term itself can be traced back to 1828, and a letter in which Fanny Mendelssohn mention having received a ‘song without words’ as a birthday present from her brother.

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