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Mahler-Scartazzini – Complete Symphonies vol.1 (24/96 FLAC)

Mahler-Scartazzini - Complete Symphonies vol.1 (24/96 FLAC)
Mahler-Scartazzini – Complete Symphonies vol.1 (24/96 FLAC)


Composer: Gustav Mahler, Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini
Performer: Lina Johnson
Orchestra: Jenaer Philharmonie
Conductor: Simon Gaudenz
Number of Discs: 2
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Odradek
Catalogue: ODRCD440
Release: 2023
Size: 2.28 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: cover

CD 01
01. Scartazzini: Incantesimo, for Soprano and Orchestra

Mahler: Symphony No. 4
02. I. Bedächtig. Nicht eilen
03. II. In gemächlicher Bewegung. Ohne Hast
04. III. Ruhevoll. Poco adagio
05. IV. Sehr behaglich

CD 02
01. Scartazzini: Einklang

Mahler: Symphony No. 5
02. I. Trauermarsch. In gemessenem Schritt. Streng. Wie ein Kondukt.
03. II. Stürmisch bewegt, mit größter Vehemenz
04. III. Scherzo. Kräftig, nicht zu schnell
05. IV. Adagietto. Sehr langsam
06. V. Rondo-Finale. Allegro

Simon Gaudenz conducts the Jena Philharmonic Orchestra in the first of a series of recordings of the complete Mahler Symphonies, interspersed with world-premiere recordings of pieces by Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini that reflect each symphony and pay homage to Mahler’s soundworld. This first release features Mahler’s Fourth and Fifth Symphonies, the Fourth preceded by Scartazzini’sIncantesimo (2020) for soprano and orchestra, and the Fifth byEinklang (2021).

Mahler’s symphonies represent an extraordinary body of work, and it is fascinating to hear them contrasted and commented upon by a new piece specially created to shed light on or pay tribute to that symphony. Since 2018, Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini has been Composer-in-Residence with the Jena Philharmonic, in which role he has been writing these new companion pieces to each of Mahler’s symphonies, which are being performed in Jena as a cycle in chronological order. This collaboration over a period of seven years is remarkable in many respects. At the end of the cycle there will be 10 new works, each of which can be performed individually or in groups before the Mahler symphonies, but also as full-length concert works. Scartazzini has been passionately committed to the task from the beginning, especially as Mahler’s music is particularly close to his heart: “I have a deep love for the work of Gustav Mahler; his symphonies have been my musical companions for many years, and every time I hear them again I am moved by the sheer abundance of inspiration and emotionality,” he wrote at the start of the cycle.

Now, halfway through the premieres, Scartazzini speaks of how the renewed engagement with Mahler’s work has influenced his own language and compositional style, for never before, he says, has he composed so close to tonality. “The constant preoccupation with Mahler’s symphonies must lead me down new paths, because there is always so much to discover in this cosmos”.

The silence and openness with which Mahler’s Fourth ends were the starting points for Scartazzini. He precedes Mahler’s work with an orchestral song, thus establishing symmetry with its final movement. WithIncantesimo(meaning ‘magic’), the light soprano voice of “heavenly life” can also be heard before the symphony, and Scartazzini adapts to this childlike tone with a song based on the Eichendorff poemAbendstndchen. Scartazzini’s point of connection to Mahler’s Fifth,Einklang, is intended to form a counterpoint to Mahler’s wild drama: a moment of inward contemplation before the storm breaks. As he puts it: “It took me a bit of courage to write this music. In a way, I’m subverting expectations”.

Scartazzini (b. 1971, Basel) studied composition with Rudolf Kelterborn (Basel) and Wolfgang Rihm (Karlsruhe) before pursuing further studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Conductor Simon Gaudenz is at once distinguished, lively and versatile, and has conducted the Jena Philharmonic Orchestra since 2018 – an ensemble that ranks in the upper league of concert orchestras in Germany and which has its finger on the pulse, with its innovative concert formats that showcase diversity, a love of experimentation and an appetite for unusual collaborations. Together they proudly present this extraordinary new contribution to our understanding of Mahler’s symphonies.

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