4 Songs, 1 Hour 24 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Conductor Teodor Currentzis’ first Mahler on disc is a dramatic tour de force. From the opening salvo, the playing of the vastly imaginative and deeply emotional Sixth is rhythmically precise and penetrating, with Currentzis and MusicAeterna extracting every nugget of drama from the biting first movement. The Scherzo leaps seamlessly between its sardonic marches and gentler, childlike dances, while the Andante (the third movement here, in keeping with Mahler’s original wishes) is rich and intense. But it’s in the dark, epic final movement that Currentzis and his musicians truly impress, the urgency of their playing bringing emotional extremes of glory and anguish to this complex, often savage music.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Conductor Teodor Currentzis’ first Mahler on disc is a dramatic tour de force. From the opening salvo, the playing of the vastly imaginative and deeply emotional Sixth is rhythmically precise and penetrating, with Currentzis and MusicAeterna extracting every nugget of drama from the biting first movement. The Scherzo leaps seamlessly between its sardonic marches and gentler, childlike dances, while the Andante (the third movement here, in keeping with Mahler’s original wishes) is rich and intense. But it’s in the dark, epic final movement that Currentzis and his musicians truly impress, the urgency of their playing bringing emotional extremes of glory and anguish to this complex, often savage music.

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About MusicAeterna & Teodor Currentzis

The MusicAeterna orchestra (with its associated choir) has been the primary vehicle for the expression of the orchestral ideas of unorthodox Greek-born Russian conductor Teodor Currentzis. Currentzis founded MusicAeterna in 2004, while he was serving as principal conductor of the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre. The players were handpicked from around Russia, and persuaded to move to Siberia, where they underwent Currentzis' grueling rehearsal and recording schedules: according to James Rhodes of The London Guardian, "They live, eat and breathe there, and the majority of their waking moments are spent creating music."

During this period, the orchestra appeared on several Currentzis recordings on the Alpha label, including one of his first departures from operatic repertory, his 2010 recording of the Shostakovich Symphony No. 14, Op. 135. The following year, Currentzis moved to the Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre, and MusicAeterna was reconstituted in that city, deep in Siberia, as Currentzis began to forge distinctive, highly dramatic interpretations of music from the Baroque to the early 20th century. MusicAeterna was signed to the Sony Classical label, releasing their first album there with Currentzis, a collection of arias by Rameau, in 2013. Recordings of Mozart operas on Sony Classical spread the orchestra's fame internationally (and in several cases garnered operatic direction awards for Currentzis).

In 2017 Currentzis and MusicAeterna released a recording of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 ("Pathétique"), on Sony Classical. By that time, the orchestra was in demand on the concert circuit apart from operatic productions. Currentzis and MusicAeterna have performed in Berlin, Paris, Lisbon, Athens, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Vienna, Amsterdam, London, and Baden-Baden, as well as in their home city of Perm. Their repertory ranges from Baroque choral music to Russian music and contemporary music, and they have toured with a concert version of Purcell's opera Dido and Aeneas. In 2016, MusicAeterna became the first Russian orchestra to open the venerable Salzburg Festival. ~ James Manheim

ORIGIN
San Francisco, CA
FORMED
1999

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