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08 July 2014
"["].. Markus Stenz and his superb Netherlands Radio Philharmonic relish the dense orchestral writing, wilst never obliterating the vocals.""THEARTSDESK.COM, 25-4-2015
Simplicius Simplicissimus: Hartmanns bijzondere anti-oorlog opera
Deze opname van Karl Amadeus Hartmann's unieke anti-oorlog opera Simplicius Simplicissimus kenmerkt een belangrijke stap in de voortdurende herwaardering van zijn oeuvre. De opname is live opgenomen bij de Nederlandse première van de opera in 2012. Markus Stenz dirigeert het Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, het Groot Omroepkoor en een spectaculaire cast van zangers met de gevierde sopraan Juliane Banse in de hoofdrol. Zowel de cast als de dirigent zijn specialisten van 20ste-eeuwse Duitse opera.
Hartmann behoort tot een van de toonaangevende Duitse componisten van de 20e eeuw. Een aanzienlijke hoeveelheid van zijn muziek had zijn oorsprong in een van de donkerste periodes van de geschiedenis—tussen 1933 en 1945. Deze periode betekende een keerpunt in Hartmanns creatieve ontwikkeling, waardoor hij een neoklassieke stijl van componeren aannam. Zonder uitzicht op enige uitvoering van zijn werk, creëerde hij een stijl die naast invloeden van Bach, Bruckner en Beethoven ook invloeden kende van componisten waarvan muziek niet langer uitgevoerd mocht worden, onder wie Mahler, Berg, Prokofiev en Bartók. Hij gebruikte deze stijl ook in zijn anti-oorlog opera Simplicius Simplicissimus, gebaseerd op het boek Der Abenteurliche Simplicissimus van Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen. Deze opera werd oorspronkelijk geschreven voor zangers en een kamerorkest in de jaren '30 en werd voor het eerst uitgevoerd in 1948, maar Hartmann heeft het voor een groot orkest gearrangeerd in 1956. Deze laatste versie wordt door Stenz gebruikt voor deze opname.
Markus Stenz - Conductor
Markus Stenz is Principal Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor designate of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
His previous positions have included General Music Director of the City of Cologne and Gürzenich-Kapellmeister (posts he relinquished in the summer of 2014), Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (1998 – 2004), Principal Conductor of London Sinfonietta (1994 – 1998) and Artistic Director of the Montepulciano Festival (1989 – 1995).
In 2000 he took the Melbourne Symphony on their triumphant first European tour in 2000 including concerts in Munich, Cologne, Zurich and Salzburg and in 2008 visited China with the Gürzenich Orchestra and the same year conducted their first ever BBC Prom at the Royal Albert Hall. He returned to China in 2010 with Cologne Opera for two cycles of Wagner’s “Ring” in Shanghai and Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” in Beijing. He returned to China with the Gürzenich Orchestra in 2014.
He made his opera debut in 1988 at La Fenice in Venice in the first performance of Hans Werner Henze’s revised version of “Elegy for Young Lovers”. He has since conducted many world premieres including Henze’s “Das Verratene Meer” at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, “Venus und Adonis” at the Bavarian State Opera and “L’Upupa” at the Salzburg Festival and Detlev Glanert’s “Caligula” at the Frankfurt Opera and “Solaris” at the Bregenz Festival.
Markus Stenz has appeared at many of the world’s major opera houses and international festivals including La Scala Milan, La Monnaie in Brussels, English National Opera, San Francisco Opera, Stuttgart Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera and Edinburgh International Festival.
His notable performances in Cologne have included Wagner’s “Ring”, Lohengrin “Tannhäuser” and “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg”, as well as Janacek’s “Jenufa” and “Katya Kabanova”, Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and Eötvös’ Love and other Demons”.
Other of the world’s leading orchestras which Markus Stenz conducts include the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, the Symphony Orchestra of the Bayerische Rundfunk, Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, Berlin Philharmonic, London Philhamronic, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Vienna Symphony and the Symphony Orchestras of the Hessische Rundfunk, WDR and NDR.
In the United States these have included the Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, St Louis and Seattle Symphony Orchestras, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Minnesota Orchestra.
Future engagements, apart from his regular concerts with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, include concerts with Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Helsinki Philharmonic, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Seoul Philharmonic, Sao Paolo Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at the 2014 BBC Proms. He will continue a regular relationship with the Hallé.
His extensive discography, which was recently enlarged by the addition of the Dutch première of K. A. Hartmann's "Simplicius Simplicissimus" (Challenge Classics), includes many award-winning productions. His recording of the complete symphonies of Gustav Mahler with the Gürzenich Orchestra (Oehms Classics), for instance, was given an enthusiasic international reception, and was selected among the "Quarterly Critic's Choice" issued by the German Record Critics' Award Association with the recording of Mahler's 5th. And the production of Richard Strauss's tone poems "Till Eulenspiegel" and "Don Quixote" with Lawrence Power (viola) and Alban Gerhardt (violoncello) on Hyperion Records was chosen by the BBC Music Magazine in 2013 as its "Disc of the Month".
Markus Stenz studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne under Volker Wangenheim and at Tanglewood with Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa.
Markus Stenz has been awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Northern College of Music.
The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra was founded by Albert van Raalte in 1945. In the ensuing years, several distinguished conductors have stood at the orchestra’s helm: Paul van Kempen, Bernard Haitink, Willem van Otterloo, Jean Fournet, Hans Vonk, Sergiu Comissiona, Edo de Waart and Jaap van Zweden.
Markus Stenz was appointed Principal Conductor and Artistic Director in September 2012. As off the 2011-2012 season the American conductor James Gaffigan is principal guest conductor.
The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra worked with the world’s foremost guest conductors, including Leopold Stokowsky, Kirill Kondrashin, Antál Dorati, Riccardo Muti, Kurt Masur, Mariss Jansons, Michael Tilson Thomas, Gennady Rozhdestvensky and Valery Gergiev.
The renowned conductor Bernard Haitink has accepted a position as patron offered to him by the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. Bernard Haitink started his impressive career in 1954 with the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, conducting his first concert before an audience on 19 July of that year. Later (in 1957) he was appointed chief conductor of the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2014 that particular concert will have taken place 60 years ago. Bernard Haitink and the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra will observe this special 60th anniversary in a way yet to be announced.
As one of the flagship orchestras for the Dutch Broadcasting Authority, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic occupies a prominent place in two series at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Saturday Matinee and the Sunday Morning Concerts as well as the Friday Vredenburg series in Utrecht. All concerts are broadcast live on the Dutch national station, Radio 4 and through the international European Broadcasting Union connection.
A leading light on the Dutch musical firmament, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra guarantees adventurous symphonic programming, high quality performance and a plethora of concertante opera performances. World premieres and Dutch premieres of works by among others Koechlin, Martin, Franssens, Koolmees, Padding, Francesconi, Janácek, De Raaff, Oetsvolskaja, Vriend and Rijnvos were praised by critics and audience.
The orchestra’s discography is impressive and includes the complete Mahler Symphonies and orchestral works by Rachmaninoff under the direction of Edo de Waart. Ongoing recording projects include a Bruckner-cycle under the direction of Jaap van Zweden (Exton label) and the complete Shostakovich symphonies led by the British conductor Mark Wigglesworth (Bis label). Wagner’s Lohengrin, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Parsifal, performed by the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the Netherlands Radio Choir and vocal soloists under the direction of Jaap van Zweden, were recorded for QuattroLive and Challenge Records and met with great critical acclaim. QuattroLive is the cd label of Radio 4, the Netherlands Broadcasting Music Center, Radio Netherlands Worldwide and the broadcasters NTR, AVRO and TROS.
The orchestra has garnered many prizes for releases of compositions by contemporary composers, including Jonathan Harvey, Klas Torstensson and Jan van Vlijmen.
The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra appeared at festivals in Edinburgh, Brussels and Strasbourg, as well as at Singapore's Sun Festival. Recently the orchestra undertook tours to Great Britain, Germany and Austria and performed in the BBC Proms.
["].. Markus Stenz and his superb Netherlands Radio Philharmonic relish the dense orchestral writing, wilst never obliterating the vocals."
The inspired direction of Markus Stenz adds to the success of this recording, which the Dutch orchestra truly transcends with undeniable engagement. In a superlative sound recording, this double SACD is quite simply a must-have.
This music where relay at a sustained pace, besides those already evoked, the references to Mahler, Berg (through a choral by Bach), Schönberg (the spoken chorus) " O lauf ") and Eisler ( the military marches), is not nevertheless reducible to its eclecticism and testifies of an undeniable personality. We shall enjoy an energy, a sense of the scenic rhythm and an orchestral brilliance which seizes Markus Stenz and the orchestra of Dutch radio to deliver here a compelling performance.
L'avant-Scène Opéra, 05-1-2015
We shall enjoy a concentrated energy, a sense of the scenic rhythm and an orchestral brilliance which seizes Markus Stenz and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra to deliver here an enthusiastic performance.
L'Avant-Scène Opéra, 01-12-2014
EDITOR'S CHOICE (December 2014)
A powerful piece, given an astonishing sense of drama and force by Markus Stenz, the rich orchestral playing every bit as vivid as singing.
Leading strong cast, Juliane Banse as the shepherd brilliantly meets the soprano part's technical challenges while evoking the naivety of the idealistic character. Ashley Holland, as the mercenary, Landsknecht, uses his baritone to impressive effect, and the tenor Will Hartmann captures the visionary spirit of the hermit Einsiedel. Conducting the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Forces, Markus Stenz proves himself an ideal exponent of this music, drawing a performance of convinction and intensity.
BBC Music Magazine, 01-12-2014
['']...A powerful piece, given an astonishing sense of drama and forch by Markus Stenz, the rich orchestral playing every bit as vivid as the singing...['']
On this Dutch premiere we hear the wonderful soprano Juliane Banse as Simplicius. Besides, we hear the charming and energetic Landsknecht, sung by Ashley Holland and the empathic Will Hartmann who performs heremiet. Extremely beautiful is the interlude at the second part that refers to a choral of J.S. Bach.
"Extremely beautiful is the interlude at the second part that refers to a choral of J.S. Bach. Wonderful expressed by strings followed by the spoken Tränen des Vaterlands"
Markus Stenz conducts with aplomb and quite a bit of love, and is rewarded with a highly characterful performance from the Netherland Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Planet Hugill, 08-9-2014
Stenz and his cast capture that raw intensity very truthfully.
The Guardian, 05-9-2014
Markus Stenz's fine performance - with an outstanding Juliane Banse as Simplicius - was recorded in 2012 (...)
The Guardian online, 05-9-2014
Markus Stenz's fine performance – with an oustanding Juliane Banse as the naive shepherd boy, Simplicius (...) was recorded in 2012 at one of Netherlands Radio's invaluable Saturday matinees, at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw.
Stenz and his cast capture that raw intensity very truthfully.
The Guardian, 04-9-2014
"Stenz and his cast capture that raw intensity very truthfully"
The clarity of the musical articulation, the naturally disposition of this complex acoustic world, the passionated play bring the described process of transformation to life.
Die Deutsche Bühne, 01-9-2014
Fresh and timeless, with the right mix of enthusiasm and sensitivity, the right balance between musical amusement and intimacy, this Dutch "Simplicius" is an enrichment of every Hartmann discography.
Fono Forum, 01-7-2014