„I get very nervous when I am making records (...) when the stage is set for the final recording and I realise that this will remain for good, my hands get tense.“ No, this isn’t Claire Huangci, who recently recorded Sergei Rachmaninov’s complete piano preludes for Berlin Classics, but rather the Russian composer himself who admitted to nerves. One of the greatest pianists of his time, Rachmaninov made landmark recordings of both his own works and music by other composers, but always had a certain mistrust of sound recordings.Nearly a hundred years later, committing any works to disc still presents its own exciting challenges. This is especially true in the case of the preludes, which are not only technically difficult, but since many of the individual works are relatively unknown, the whole cycle has been rarely recorded in its entirety. Claire Huangci confirms this: “There are a couple of favourites which everybody knows, and everybody plays. These few preludes, which Rachmaninov recorded himself, overshadow the rest of the cycle. I find this a great pity – for me, there isn’t a single prelude that is a little sub-par. Every piece is simply so unique and a small masterpiece in its own right.”more
Claire Huangci: In the Studio with Rachmaninov
On 4 October, Peter Rundel on the podium of the Remix Ensemble will launch a new work by Jörg Widmann together with baritone Matthias Goerne in Porto. Schumannliebe will also be performed in the Kölner Philharmonie on 8 October and in the Elbphilharmonie on 10 October alongside Brice Pauset's Kinderszenen with Robert Schumann.
With two concerts at the Ruhrtriennale, Titus Engel made his first appearances as the new Principal Conductor of the Basel Sinfonietta with compositions by Sofia Gubaidulina, Michael Wertmüller and Simon Steen-Andersen. The programme, which the orchestra performed together with the NDR Big Band and the Chorwerk Ruhr, can be heard in Saint-Louis near Basel on 1 October.
World premiere of the year: Vito Žuraj's first full-length opera Blühen came to the stage in Frankfurt in early 2023 under the musical direction of Michael Wendeberg and has now been named premiere of the year by Opernwelt magazine. In our interview, Vito Žuraj talks about his collaboration with librettist Händl Klaus, director Brigitte Fassbaender and the Ensemble Modern.