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Brahms: Violin Concerto, String Sextet No 2 / Faust, Harding, Mahler Chamber Orchestra

Brahms / Mahler Chamber Orch / Harding
Release Date: 03/08/2011 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 902075  
Composer:  Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Isabelle FaustChristoph RichterPauline SachseJulia Maria Kretz,   ... 
Conductor:  Daniel Harding
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The booklet of Isabelle Faust’s new recording includes an essay written by her regarding the performing editions used and the significance of Joseph Joachim in the string works of Johannes Brahms, as seen from a performer’s point of view. Since Brahms composed from the perspective of a pianist, his exchange of ideas with Joachim, which in the case of the Violin Concerto lasted almost a year, was of decisive importance for the final form of the piece, one of the most difficult in the repertoire. Isabelle uses the rarely played cadenza by Ferruccio Busoni, which dates from 1913. Brahms knew Busoni as a child prodigy and recommended the young pianist in a number of artistic circles: ‘What Schumann did for me, I will do for Busoni.’
Read more /> In the case of his Sextet, however, the most perceptible influence is that of the doomed love affair between the composer and the soprano Agathe von Siebold. That Brahms was unable to overcome their separation with a light heart is clear from the monument to his lost romance in the lyrical second theme of the first movement: A-G-A-D/H-E proclaims the sequence of notes making up the motif. Isabelle generously credits Christopher Hogwood, Robert Pascall, Stefan Weymar and Douglas Woodfull-Harris for their active support in all questions relating to the manuscript and the first edition of Op.36 and for generously making available a prepublication copy of the new Bärenreiter edition.

Gramophone Magazine gave Isabelle Faust its Young Artist of the Year Award for her first recording of sonatas by Béla Bartók, in 1997 [now reissued on hm gold with volume 2]. 2010 marked a new stage in her recording career: Diapason voted her CD of Bach Partitas and Sonatas a Diapason d’Or of the Year, while her complete set of the Beethoven Sonatas with Alexander Melnikov, received the Gramophone Award for Best Chamber Recording. Composed of around 40 musicians from 20 different nations, and independent of external sponsorship, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1997 by the players and Claudio Abbado. In 1998, at the age of 22, Daniel Harding became Principal Guest Conductor; in 2003 he was named Music Director and he has served as Principal Conductor since 2008, conducting around a quarter of the orchestra’s projects each season.

"Her performance is wonderfully proportioned, ... never grandiose nor unnecessarily rhetorical, with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra supplying perfectly scaled support. Those who like their Brahms bold and beefy may not care for this performance; those who prefer it expressively searching and introspective should love it, with the bonus of the delicate and deft account of the Sextet." – guardian.co.uk
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Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 77 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Isabelle Faust (Violin)
Conductor:  Daniel Harding
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; Austria 
2. Sextet for Strings no 2 in G major, Op. 36 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Christoph Richter (Cello), Pauline Sachse (Viola), Julia Maria Kretz (Violin),
Isabelle Faust (Violin), Xenia Jankovic (Cello), Stefan Fehlandt (Viola)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1864-1865; Austria 

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