We have had a busy few months here at Musica Omnia. Since the year 2000 we have recorded and released close to 60 separate projects. For a small label this is a pretty major undertaking. In 2015 we will return to the scene of our launch at the Boston Early Music Festival back in June 2001. I recall just how much work it was to get that handful of releases ready for that festival all those years ago. And yet, people could really hear a difference between what we had produced and what was usual.
We are still in the early days of our new distribution relationship with Naxos of America, and in November three brand new releases have been submitted for both physical and digital release. Beethoven has had a good month: we have completed two separate Beethoven Sonata CDs (MO 0510 & MO 0607) , each by one of the most distinguished fortepianists of our time: Penelope Crawford and Trudelies Leonhardt. MO 0510 is devoted to four of the most important of Beethoven’s late middle period woks: opp. 78, 81a (“Les Adieux),90 and 101. As she has for many of her previous recordings, Penelope Crawford has used one of the finest of all original fortepianos, an instrument by Conrad Graf, the great Viennese builder, made in 1835. (Beethoven’s last fortepiano, a few years earlier than this one, is nevertheless very similar to it).
The third CD (MO 0507) is a beautiful program of eighteen of Franz Schubert’s best-loved songs, what unites these is the theme: as Goethe put it: das ewig Weibliche, or, the eternally feminine. This is the debut recording of the exciting young soprano, Martha Guth, partnered by Penelope Crawford.
When Musica Omnia began fifteen years ago we had in mind a plan to present the music of the early 19th century using instruments of that period, played by people who really had knowledge and experience in interpreting this often-familiar but largely misunderstood repertoire. We observed in the recordings by John Eliot Gardiner, Roger Norrington and Frans Brueggen (among others) that the music of Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn and Schumann revealed new secrets when the sound worlds of these composers were investigated. So, we began what has become one of our most successful series of recordings. To unify the concept of presenting this music in this way we created a general name, The Romantics, and gave each release a volume number. We also created a special “look”. As most of this music is from Germany we selected the artist most symbolic of Romanticism, Caspar David Friedrich, as the source for our cover art. This month we released volumes 20, 21 & 22 in the series.
Here’s a list of all of them:
MO 0102: Schubert: Schwanengesang/Schumann: Dichterliebe Max van Egmond & Kenneth Slowik
MO 0105: Felix & Fanny Mendelssohn: Piano Trios: The Atlantis Trio (Schroeder/Sutherland/Crawford)
MO 0106: Beethoven: Complete String Trios: Adaskin String Trio
MO 0107: Schubert: Die schoene Muellerin: Max van Egmond/Penelope Crawford
MO 0108: Schubert: Winterreise: max van Egmond/Penelope Crawford
MO 0109: Gabriel Faure: Complete Nocturnes: Sally Pinkas
MO 0205: Mendelssohn: Piano Trio no. 1, Piano Sextet/Atlantis Ensemble
MO 0212: Schubert: Trout Quintet; Schumann: Piano Quintet Atlantis Ensemble/Max van Egmond
MO 0207: Robert & Clara Schumann: Piano Trios/Atlantis Trio
MO 0210: Beethoven: Piano Trios/Atlantis Trio
MO 0211: Schumann: Piano Quartet; Thalberg: Piano Trio/Atlantis Ensemble
MO 0303: Mendelssohn & Zelter: Lieder/ Andrea Folan/Tom Beghinn
MO 0304: Mendelssohn: Piano Quartets etc./Atlantis Ensemble
MO 0308: Beethoven: Piano Sonatas opp. 109 – 111/Penelope Crawford
MO 0310: Schubert: Piano Trios/Atlantis Ensemble
MO 0407: Schubert: String Quintet/Quartettsatz: Skalholt String Quartet
MO 0408: Schubert: String Quartet in G major: Skalholt String Quartet
MO 0504: Schubert: Quartets/Skalholt Quartet
MO 0505: Schubert Quartets/Skalholt Quartet
MO 0507: Schubert: Women in Music/Martha Guth/Penelope Crawford
MO 0510: Beethoven Sonatas opp. 78, 81a, 90 & 101
MO 0607: Beethoven Sonatas opp. 49, 110 & 14, no. 2/Trudelies Leonhardt