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Lento Religioso


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SKU: 36620 Category:


Berg - Sonata, Opus 1, Arr. Wijnand van Klaveren
Korngold - Lento Religioso from Symphonic Serenade, Opus 39
Bruckner - Adagio from String Quintet WAB 112
Bridge - Lament for String Orchestra H117 Adagio, con molto espessione - Poco piu adagio
Lekeu - Adagio pour quatuor d'orchestre
Wagner - Prelude from Tristan und Isolde, Arr. Adrian Williams - Langsam und schmachtend
Strauss - Prelude from Capriccio, Opus 85 - Andante con moto


The Serenades by Dvořák and Tchaikovsky, Schönberg’s Verklärte Nacht and the Bridge Variations by Britten: all these masterpieces from the corpus of music for string orchestra belong to the very nucleus of our repertoire. But in recent decades we have further enriched our genre by initiating commissions, presenting numerous premieres and having music specially arranged for us. And occasionally we have also discovered gems that are never played.

On this album ‘Lento Religioso’ we bring together several romantic works, each with a very specific expressive power of its own. Some are genuine pieces for string ensemble, others are adaptations created for us. Some arrangements are simple: you play the four parts of a string quartet with all the strings of a string orchestra and have a nice bass part written, and a ‘new work’ is born. But it can also be a complicated process. In ‘translating’ a work written for piano or symphony orchestra, the arranger must make complex artistic and technical decisions. In any adaptation lies a danger, but also a potential; will the listener be disappointed in comparing it to his previous knowledge of the piece, or pleasantly surprised by new aspects presented by the arrangement? This tender, melancholy and languishing album is intended for the inquisitive listener.

– Candida Thompson, Amsterdam Sinfonietta
artistic director, lead violinist

Additional information




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Willem de Bordes

Recording engineer

Jared Sacks

Recording location

Stadsgehoorzaal, Leiden (2014) Bethlehemkerk Studio 150, Amsterdam (2016, 2020)

Analog to digital converter

DSD 64fs AD1 / Grimm Audio (2014, 2016) DSD 256fs Horus / Merging Technologies (2020)

Recording format

DSD 64 (2014, 2016) and DSD 256 (2020)


Bruel & Kjaer 4006, Schoeps


Van den Hul


Jared Sacks – Pyramix Workstation / Merging Technologies

Mastering engineer

Jared Sacks


Grimm LS1

Press reviews

BBC Music Magazine 5 out of 5

(…) It’s something of a gamble to build an entire release around a programme showcasing a sequence of intense rather slow late-Romantic works. Yet the danger of emotional overkill is triumphantly surmounted here not only by Candida Thompson and the Amsterdam Sinfonietta’s imaginative playing, but also by the superb sound quality and the judiciously chosen order in which the seven pieces are presented. (…)

Present Arts

(…) There are moments of great depth and sadness (…) caught magically by the strings of the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, directed from the violin by Candida Thompson, and it is the atmosphere of loss and regret that pervades not just the music but this year of pestilence and political thuggery, for which the album serves as some sort of elegy. (…) The selection of works is finely curated.

HRAudio / NativeDSD 5 out of 5

I do not think that the Amsterdam Sinfonietta had anything else in mind than producing an album of “several romantic works, each with a very specific expressive power of its own”. A selection of genuine and adaptations for string ensemble. But in the face of actual global Covid-19 health developments, it may come across quite differently, reinforcing feelings of distress and desolation. However, as many, or possibly all of us know, music can do wonders. In this specific case, the magic of ‘its expressive power’ reaches way beyond suffering. It not only brings soothing consolation to people having lost family in hard-hit areas but surprisingly it also has an uplifting effect on the mind.

Luister 7.1428571428571 out of 5

Dat Amsterdam Sinfonietta een meer dan uitstekend ensemble is met dito repertoire, staat als een paal boven water. (…)

Audio Review 6.25 out of 5

(…) This is clearly a deeply felt example of what in the 1960s might have been a concept album called ‘Music to Relax To’. And then there is the sound! (…) Clarity and definition are exemplary. (…) this is as good as digital sound gets. (…)

De Gelderlander 6.25 out of 5

Amsterdam Sinfonietta laat op nieuwste cd Lento Religioso in ruim vijf kwartier horen dat een rustig tempo niet saai maar juist heel intens kan zijn. (…) De musici weten met hun expressieve, uiterst sonore toon- en klankvorming de aandacht moeiteloos naar zich toe te trekken.


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