Saint-Georges - Symphonies concertantes, Symphony in G major | Naxos 8574306

Saint-Georges - Symphonies concertantes, Symphony in G major

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Label: Naxos

Cat No: 8574306

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 24th September 2021

Contents

Artists

Yury Revich (violin)
Libor Jezek (violin)
Pavla Honsova (viola)
Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice

Conductor

Michael Halasz

Works

Saint-Georges, Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de

Symphonies concertantes (2), op.9
Symphonies concertantes (2), op.10
Symphony no.1 in G major, op.11 no.1

Artists

Yury Revich (violin)
Libor Jezek (violin)
Pavla Honsova (viola)
Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice

Conductor

Michael Halasz

About

Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745–1799) was a brilliant swordsman, athlete, violin virtuoso and gifted composer, with a claim to being the most talented figure in an age of remarkable individuals. He was an early and important exponent of the hybrid symphonie concertante – a genre that draws on both the symphony and concerto traditions. This novel format was the ideal platform for expressive inventiveness, providing new textural possibilities through the addition of a second solo violin or viola. The Symphony in G major, which has all of the effervescence typical of Haydn, is an excellent example of the cosmopolitan French symphonic style.

Saint-Georges is best remembered today as the first known classical composer of African ancestry. His remarkably fine orchestral works have however received scant attention in recordings, and his violin concertos are represented by two Naxos releases, Vol.1 (8555040) of which providing ‘a strong recommendation for the Chevalier’s finely crafted music’ for ClassicsToday.com, and Vol.2 (8557322) ‘captivating performances of inexplicably neglected repertoire that would come highly recommended at three times the price’ (The Strad).

Michael Halász’s first engagement as a conductor was at the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz, Munich, where, between 1972 and 1975, he directed all operetta productions. In 1975 he moved to Frankfurt to work as principal Kapellmeister with Christoph von Dohnányi, and here he conducted the most important works of the operatic repertoire. Many engagements as a guest conductor followed and in 1977 Dohnányi took him to the Staatsoper Hamburg as principal Kapellmeister. From 1978 to 1991 he was GMD (general music director) of the Hagen Opera House and in 1991 he took up the post of resident conductor at the Wiener Staatsoper for 20 years.

The line-up of soloists for this recording is an attraction in its own right. Young Russian violinist Yury Revich is one of the most expressive and versatile musicians of his generation winner of an ECHO Klassik 2016 ‘Newcomer of the Year’ award, ‘Young Artist of the Year’ 2015 at the International Classical Music Awards, and ‘Young Musician of the Year’ by the Beethoven Centre Vienna.

Violinist Libor Ježek is deputy concertmaster with the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice and is leader of the acclaimed Corvus Quartet, and viola virtuoso Pavla Honsová has recorded concertante symphonies by Mozart with the orchestra of which she is a leading member, also being much in demand as a chamber musician.

The Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice and conductor Michael Halász are behind numerous highly successful Naxos recordings of often neglected 18th-century music. These include the recent release of John Abraham Fisher’s six symphonies (8574254), much admired by Pizzicato: ‘The fact that the music is so nice and entertaining is also due to the fact that the Pardubice orchestra and conductor Halász are so decidedly committed to this music, which has never been recorded before.’

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