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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
Willem de Bordes
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)
DSD 64 (2014, 2016) and DSD 256 (2020)
Bruel & Kjaer 4006, Schoeps
Van den Hul
Jared Sacks – Pyramix Workstation / Merging Technologies
BBC Music Magazine
(…) 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. (…)
(…) 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
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.
Dat Amsterdam Sinfonietta een meer dan uitstekend ensemble is met dito repertoire, staat als een paal boven water. (…)
(…) 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. (…)
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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