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.
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, Concierto en Tango by Miguel del Aguila, and Songbook by Daron Hagen.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.