A Gorgeous Debut from the Sibelius Piano Trio

…once you hear [The Sibelius Piano Trio’s debut album] from Yarlung Records, best appreciated via stereo and multi-channel DSD downloads from NativeDSD.com… you’ll understand why their debut recording of trios by Sibelius and contemporary composers deserves a place in your collection. [Pianist Juho Pohjonen] is distinguished by deep sensitivity and lucid insights. Like him, violinist Petteri Iivonen (b. 1987) and cellist Samuli Peltonen (b. 1981) have won top prizes in national and international competitions, and used them to launch international careers. IIvonen is actually famed Finish composer Kaija Saariaho’s violinist of choice for her Violin Concerto, which is saying quite a lot. Together, these three friends formed the Sibelius Piano Trio just two years ago. For a new ensemble that has only performed once in the U.S., and does not yet have a viable website, they’ve certainly racked up several impressive commissions. The discs contain three intriguing works written for Continue Reading →

Sibelius Piano Trio Yarlung (2 CDs)

by composer and music critic Mark Lehman Though renowned for his symphonic works, Sibelius wrote a lot of chamber music too, much of it in his early career, that remains little known.  This includes several piano trios from the 1880s that the young composer (an accomplished violinist) wrote to play with his brother and sister.  They sound nothing like his mature masterpieces but are nevertheless charming, expertly made, and brimming over with dandy tunes, inventive but always idiomatic and transparent instrumental textures, and a youthful, high-spirited delight in music-making. Korppoo Trio is the most ambitious and expansive of the three Sibelius trios on Yarlung’s program, coming in at 26 minutes, its fluent, melodic opening allegro interrupted on occasion by stabbing, rather Beethovenian assertions and even a clean-lined fugato at one point, though the overall form is classic in outline and clear as a bell.  The second movement unfolds elaborate episodes that Continue Reading →

Obsidian CLARA SCHUMANN: KLAVIERWERKE

This new CD, Obsidian, pays homage to the piano music of Clara Schumann. Clara Schumann’s music has been neglected in recordings.  The album also pays homage to the two men in Clara Schumann’s life, Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms, interwoven with her as they were into a close friendship and kind of love triangle. The album takes its name from Obsidian Liturgy, written by composer Max Grafe on the occasion of the 120th and 160th birthday of Clara and Robert Schumann in 2016 and in honor of Clara Schumann and Mika Sasaki, our piano soloist on this recording. Grafe’s 10-minute work includes several sections: “Invocation”, “Canticle”, “Incantation”, “Trance”, “Peal”, “Benedictus” and “Ite, missa est.” The intense musical language and the pianist genius of Clara Schumann are particularly evident in the Scherzo in C minor, op. 14, the Three Preludes and Fugues Op. 16, and the variations on a theme by Continue Reading →

Genesis DSD Quartet, new DSD downloads

Genesis Advanced Technologies sponsored Yarlung’s new quartet of High Res DSD downloads, including Sir Neville Marriner, Frederic Rosselet, Petteri Iivonen, Smoke & Mirrors percussion ensemble, Gerard Schwarz, The Colburn Orchestra and Nigel Armstrong: Click here to connect directly with NativeDSD.com to download the music We sampled Elliot Midwood’s 45 RPM 180-Gram pressing of Ciaramella Dances, our March release. Thank you Adam, Rotem and Elliot, our executive producer. http://www.yarlungrecords.com/news/ciaramella-dances/ To celebrate the 100th birthday of Billie Holiday last week, we debuted the first 180 Gram vinyl pressing from Sophisticated Lady jazz quartet, with the ensembles improvisation on “Strange Fruit.” Thank you Ann and Bill Harmsen, executive producers! http://www.yarlungrecords.com/news/sophisticated-lady-jazz/ Our most heartfelt thanks to Gary Koh and Genesis Advanced Technologies for sponsoring the Genesis Quartet.  A thousand thanks also to Elliot Midwood and Nita Millstein for hosting our presentation at Acoustic Image.  Nita, you baked the most spectacular coffee cake for us! Continue Reading →

Yarlung introduces the Genesis Quartet

Dear NativeDSD aficionados, Working with friends in the music business is part of why music is so enjoyable. This is certainly the case collaborating with the team at NativeDSD, and it is the case preparing music with Gary Koh, president of Genesis Advanced Technologies, who generously sponsored this new quartet of albums. Lucky audiophiles have heard and have then yearned someday to own the legendary G1 Genesis Loudspeakers. Fortunately, the company also designs more “family friendly” speakers and amplifiers, several of which Gary and I will use today for our first presentation of the DSD Genesis Quartet at Acoustic Image in Los Angeles. This quartet includes some of my favorite music in the Yarlung catalog, the transcendent percussion concerto by Toru Takemitsu, the stylish debut recording by American violinist Nigel Armstrong, Swiss cellist Frederic Rosselet playing Bach and Ligeti, and Petteri Iivonen, from Finland, treating us to his interpretations of Brahms and Ysaye. Continue Reading →

Executive Producers – Yarlung Records

Sponsorship, philanthropy and guidance from underwriters have always been critical to the success of music and the performing arts.  The choragoi, wealthy citizens of Athens, helped produce and pay for classical performances in the 5th and 4th centuries BC.   Before them, the pharaohs sponsored the arts in ancient Egypt.  Lorenzo de Medici and his Renaissance family were not the first patrons of the arts in western culture, and as long as the arts flourish, it will be visionary people who finance them and make them possible. Countess Yoko Nagae Ceschina, “Fairy Godmother to the New York Philharmonic,” died last month.  I appreciated this loving tribute in the New York Times. It is our executive producers who sponsor and make music possible at Yarlung Records.  They are our fairy godmothers and fairy godfathers, our modern Medicis, who work with us and support our musicians every year. Please join our executive producers Continue Reading →