At the close of the 2016-17 season, the BPO joined with Projex to present the world of Wagner’s epic Ring cycle operas. Now, we present this orchestral music from Der Ring des Nibelung on disc for your listening pleasure. Includes: Entrance of the Gods into Valhalla (Das Rheingold); The Ride of the Valkyries and Wotan’s Farewell and Magic Fire Music (Die Walkure); Forest Murmurs (Siegfried); Siegfried’s Rhine Journey, Siegfried’s Death and Funeral Music; and Brunnhilde’s Immolation Scene (Gotterdammerung).
From the 1960s through today, the BPO has celebrated the composers and musicians of Poland. As the BPO prepares to tour Poland in its first international tour in 30 years, they released this disc of music by Polish composers, performed by Polish soloists. Featuring Karlowicz’s Prologue to “The White Dove;” Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 performed by Konrad Skolarski; and Penderecki’s Concerto for Horn and Orchestra, “Winterreise,” performed by BPO Principal Horn Jacek Muzyk.
Zoltán Kodály, like his compatriot Béla Bartók, wrote major orchestral scores that were deeply enriched by his research into Hungarian folk music. Featured on this recording are the Dances of Galánta, full of swagger and vitality; the lush, sparkling and vivid Concerto for Orchestra, commissioned for the Chicago Symphony’s 50th anniversary; and Variations on a Hungarian Folk Song, ‘The Peacock’, a virtuoso showcase of sizzling effects. These scores reveal the brilliance of his orchestral colours and the indelible allure of Gypsy themes.
Alain Lefèvre unveils the results of three years of hard work by Jacques Marchand, George Nicholson and himself aimed at restoring, in its original form, André Mathieu’s famous Concerto No. 3. Presented as a world premiere in February 2017 in Buffalo, where it was performed by Alain Lefèvre and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of the renowned JoAnn Falletta, the reconstituted Concerto No. 3 was enthusiastically received by the audience. Released on Analekta, the album hit #1 on the Canadian Classical charts in its first week of release.
Eminent pianist Norman Krieger is the star of this recording, featuring Beethoven’s ever-popular “Emperor” concerto, paired with the delightful Concerto No. 3. JoAnn Falletta conducted Krieger and the BPO in both performances.
Emerging from the fertile background of Bohemian nationalism, Vítězslav Novák’s music achieved cult status in his homeland for its richness of melody and full-blown romantic orchestral color. The lush timbres and monumental solemnity of In the Tatra Mountains were inspired by the composer’s journeys. Eternal Longing is based on a poem by Hans Christian Andersen, while the dramatic Lady Godiva Overture, complete with tolling bells at the finale, is considered one of his most powerful works.
The disc that was two seasons in the making is finally available! When Strauss originally composed the music to the German version of “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme,” he added an opera-within-the-play, “Ariadne auf Naxos,” making for a downright Wagnerian runtime. D. Wilson Ochoa has created a new symphonic orchestral suite from Strauss’ opulent Ariadne auf Naxos, enabling the orchestra to revel in music of extreme beauty and sensuous luxury, studded with gorgeous instrumental solos and the composer’s incomparable blend of poignancy, humor and melodic richness.
Recorded at the 2015 Classical Christmas concert,this disc features works by Vivaldi, Bach, and more. BPO Concertmaster Dennis Kim shines in Vivaldi’s “Winter” from The Four Seasons, and BPO saxophonist Sal Andolina is in the spotlight in “I’ll be Home For Christmas.”
JoAnn Falletta joins forces with Robby Takac of the Goo Goo Dolls on this disc of music designed for our youngest listeners. Featuring Carnival of the Animals, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite, it’s sure to spark young listeners’ imaginations!
All three of the works on this disc reveal a young composer on the threshold of greatness, serving as his passport to the vast new world of orchestral music prevailing at the beginning of the 20th century.
This two-disc set was recorded on the BPO’s 2014 Florida Friends tour, and features music by Mozart, Dvorak and Rachmaninoff. Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A Major is one of the composer’s last works. Dvorak’s Symphonie No. 6 is hailed as a hallmark achievement in his career, and Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3 in D Minor is notable for having been premiered by the composer himself. Featuring Ricardo Morales, clarinet and Phillipe Bianconi, piano.
In February 2016, the BPO once again visited Florida. This Florida Friends tour featured violinist Chloe Hanslip performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 was a gorgeous showcase for the powerful sound of the orchestra. Before the BPO took the show on the road, they performed it for their Buffalo audience, and that performance was captured for this recording.
Works commissioned by today’s top composers expressly for the musicians of the BPO. Includes the Triple Trombone Concerto by Eric Ewazen, performed by Jonathan Lombardo, Tim Smith, and Jeffrey Dee; Concierto en Tango by Miguel del Aguila, performed by cellist Roman Mekinulov; and Songbook by Daron Hagen, performed by then-concertmaster Michael Ludwig.
Edward Kennedy ‘Duke’ Ellington wrote some of the twentieth century’s greatest Big Band music, but he also wrote in a variety of forms. Includes “The River Suite,” “Three Black Kings,” “Harlem,” and his signature “Take the A Train” in addition to the title work.
The first recording of this monumental work in a generation. The piece tells the tale of Russian folk hero Il’ya Muromets over 71 sweeping minutes and formed the centerpiece of the BPO’s 2013 performance at Spring For Music at Carnegie Hall.
A brilliant composer of the early twentieth century, Franz Schreker deserves more fame for his rich orchestration and singular harmonic sensibility. Schreker’s Prelude to a Drama grew directly out of his mysterious, otherworldy opera “The Play and the Princess.” Schreker’s brilliance is complemented by Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade.
For seven shining seasons, the late, great Marvin Hamlisch served as the BPO’s principal pops conductor. Re-live those years with this disc, recorded during several Holiday Pops concerts.
The centerpiece of this collection of French impressionist favorites is Roussel’s rousing Bacchus and Ariane. Complemented by Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun and Ravel’s Gymnopedie No. 3, Roussel’s enthralling piece is a masterwork of sound painting executed in the French impressionist style.
Encouraged by Brahms and Dvořák while embracing the influences of Debussy, Mahler and Richard Strauss, Josef Suk ranked among the most important composers of the Romantic Czech school. Suk’s Fantasy carries the listener into the realms of reverie with its solo violin and rich orchestration. The tale of a prince who desires the hand of princess Mahulena from a rival mountain kingdom, lies behind Suk’s Fairy Tale. The Fantastic Scherzo is one of his most evocative works, with a haunting Czech tune on middle strings and cellos.
Each work on this disc was inspired by a work of art. Featuring Reger’s Four Tone-Poems after Arnold Bocklin; Schreker’s The Birthday of the Infanta; Rachmaninoff’s The Isle of the Dead and Berlioz’s Overture to Benvenuto Cellini.
Created with support from the Kosciuszko Foundation and the Polish Cultural Institute of Western New York, this 2012 disc features works by Karol Szymanowski, Henri Wieniawski, Witold Lutoslawski and Mieczyslaw Karlowicz. Former BPO Concertmaster Michael Ludwig performs Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto No. 2.
Aaron Copland was inspired by the sweeping prairies to the west of Buffalo, as was famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. In celebration of Wright’s architectural masterpieces found in Buffalo, the BPO presents a collection of Copland’s works specifically rooted in the spacious landscape of the American Prairie: Prairie Journal, Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo, Letter From Home and The Red Pony Suite.
The four symphonic impressions Vetrate di chiesa (Church Windows) began life as Tre preludi sopra melodie gregoriane for piano. Making full use of indigenous melodic and rhythmic shapes, Impressioni brasiliane (Brazilian Impressions) are a musical snapshot of the composer’s 1927 visit to Brazil. Rossiniana, Respighi’s orchestration of piano ‘trifles’ by Rossini, is one of his most brilliantly scored works.
Rhapsodie features the music of French composers who are known for capturing the imagination of their audience. The works in this collection take the listener on journeys into musical exoticism, and intimate, passionate love stories Includes Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloe and Rhapsodie Espagnol, Debussy’s Petite Suite, D’Indy’s Diptyque mediterrannee, and Massenet’s “Sous les Tilleuls.”
A student of Massenet and Fauré, winner of the Prix de Rome in 1900, Florent Schmitt blended influences and inspiration from wherever the spirit took him. His incidental music for Antony and Cleopatra originally formed ballet scenes between the acts, evoking and enhancing Shakespeare’s saga of rivalry between the Roman Empire and Egypt. Schmitt’s The Haunted Palace follows the nuances of Mallarmé’s translation from Edgar Allan Poe in lush orchestration and a sound-scape of enigmatic imagery.
Schubert’s music has been arranged by many other composers, though few have succeeded in amplifying the drama and pathos of the Death and the Maiden Quartet as has Andy Stein. The reconstruction of the Scherzo of Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’ Symphony is based on fragments from the composer’s notebooks. The last movement uses segments from Schubert’s incidental music for Rosamunde, which scholars believe may have been intended for the symphony’s finale.
To give renewed life to two of his less well-known scores, the fantasy opera Die Frau ohne Schatten and the biblical ballet Josephs-Legende, Richard Strauss created symphonic memoirs which preserved both their storylines and musical highlights. This disc also includes one of his best-known works, Der Rosenkavalier.
The most well-known works by Finland’s most famous composer, including Finlandia, The Swan of Tuonela, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Valse Triste and The Bard. Evocative and lush, Sibelius’ compositions are engaging and memorable, piquing the interest of the most avid listener of classical music.
Frederick Shepherd Converse is today best known for a small but hearty collection of orchestral tone poems, three of which are featured on this recording. He drew inspiration not only from works of literature by Walt Whitman and Keats, but from the factories of Detroit.
During his brief life (cut short by pneumonia when he was just 35), Charles Griffes was able to compose music of distinctive beauty. Soprano Barbara Quintilliani and Buffalo’s own flutist Carol Wincenc are featured on this recording.
Marcel Tyberg was a victim of the World War II Holocaust, but his scores were preserved and have been revived through the support of JoAnn Falletta and the BPO. The Second Symphony is filled with romantic enchantment and pastoral narrative, reflecting Tyberg’s reverence for nineteenth-century styles. The Second Piano Sonata also develops earlier traditions, revealing the influence of Beethoven.
Marcel Tyberg was killed in Auschwitz before any of his classical works achieved fame. JoAnn Falletta, Naxos and the BPO engaged in a multi-year project to transcribe, record and publish these works, which led to Tyberg being named the National Composer of Croatia.