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Nostalgia & Humility / Burggraaf, Ferschtman, Wiegers

Release Date: 03/11/2014 
Label:  Challenge   Catalog #: 72629  
Composer:  Peter Ilyich TchaikovskyHendrik AndriessenToru Takemitsu
Performer:  Cora BurggraafLiza Ferschtman
Conductor:  Bas Wiegers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Youth String Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

TCHAIKOVSKY Serenade for Strings. H. ANDRIESSEN Miroir de peine. TAKEMITSU Nostalghia Bas Wiegers, cond; Netherlands Youth String O; Cora Burggraaf (mez); Liza Ferschtman (vn) CHALLENGE 72629 (59:19)

Youth orchestras flourish as perhaps never before, and the Netherlands Youth String Orchestra is an excellent example of the high standards of technical execution reached and, indeed, Read more now to be expected. The players range in age from 12 to 21 and include advanced students, those preparing to study at conservatory, and private pupils. All take their place in the orchestra as preparation for a professional career and to experience music-making at a high level. Three programs a year are prepared and performed, both in Holland and abroad, and connections with eminent soloists ensure that the players come into contact with a range of influential musicians.

This disc, called Nostalgia and Humility, presents three works in a spaciously warm acoustic. This ensures that Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings is heard in the best light, with plenty of detail to be heard, and not swamped. The opening movement is quite relaxed and the Waltz takes a less incisive approach, whilst the finale is quite serious-minded and weighty. Bas Wiegers cultivates rich tone, from top to bottom, though those who recall Neville Marriner’s alluring take with his Academy will miss the affectionate but high-octane drama cultivated in that recording.

It’s a real shame that there are no printed texts to allow one the better to appreciate Hendrik Andriessen’s Miroir de peine , a setting of texts by the French poet Henri Ghéon. The five sections take the Passion story viewed from the perspective of Mary, sensitively sung by mezzo Cora Burggraaf. The music has the richness of an organ at points, hints of Poulenc at others, remains fully and solemnly expressive, and receives an excellent reading from these forces, directed with sensitivity by Wiegers. Takemitsu’s Nostalghia was inspired by Tarkovsky’s film of the same name, though in English-language presentations of the film the spelling is the normal “Nostalgia.” Rightly, Takemitsu’s music here is described in the notes as visionary and evanescent, and its tendency towards dissolution in this case is fitting, given Tarkovsky’s avoidance of the defined. Liza Ferschtman brings her accustomed purity of tone to the solo violin line, and once again the performance is precise and convincing. It reflects well on the orchestra that it can tackle stylistically disparate works with such accomplishment.

FANFARE: Jonathan Woolf
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Works on This Recording

Serenade for Strings in C major, Op. 48 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Bas Wiegers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Youth String Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Russia 
Miroir de peine by Hendrik Andriessen
Performer:  Cora Burggraaf (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Bas Wiegers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Youth String Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923; Netherlands (Holland 
Nostalgia "In Memory of Andrei Tarkovsky" by Toru Takemitsu
Performer:  Liza Ferschtman (Violin)
Conductor:  Bas Wiegers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Youth String Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1987; Japan 

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