primephonic is proud to update you on the latest additions to the platform! Here are the latest 50 great new releases close to the actual release date of the recordings. And from now on we'll keep updating our catalogue regularly with the latest releases of all the great classical music record labels featured on primehonic. Clear metadata is added to all the new tracks, which will make it easier for you to find your desired artist, movement, symphony or composer within your own classical music collection. primephonic is working hard towards breaking down all the barriers that stand in between you and the full enjoyment of your music.
Although Christmas carols are now often seen predominantly as musical diversions rather than serious works, it is important to remember that many of them were written by prominent composers of the classical tradition. This album features several of these, including O Holy Night by Adolph Adam, a French composer best known for his operas and ballets, Silent Night by the Austrian organist and sacred music composer Franz Xaver Gruber, and Max Reger’s The Virgin’s Slumber Song.These older works contrast nicely with several works by American contemporary composers who have contributed to this lighthearted genre. Jennifer Higdon is a Grammy Award and Pulitzer Prize winning composer for her percussion and violin concertos, respectively, and her piece Love Came Down, is a beautiful addition to the Christmas carol repertoire, as is Nico Muhly’s Whispered and Revealed and Michael Gilbertson’s arrangement of Merry Christmas Wishing Well by Gene and Lorraine Gilroy. The album starts and finishes with two truly “traditional” Christmas carols, Angels We Have Heard on High and We Wish You a Merry Christmas, which do not have a definite composer and rather evolved from the French and English folk music traditions. Through a deliberate fusion of old and new works “Songs of Christmas” shows that the genre of Christmas carols does not just consist of tired old songs such as Jingle Bells but rather represents a style that that has been constantly evolving for hundreds of years through the efforts of serious and talented composers, both recognized and overlooked.
Bernstein’s Kaddish Symphony (1963), which refers to the traditional Jewish prayer for the dead, and its subsequent revisions largely deal with the composer’s experience coming to grips with the experience with some of the most tragic and senseless acts of violence of the 20th century, mainly the Holocaust and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and reconciling it with his Jewish faith and heritage. The work flouts the traditional symphonic format, instead featuring a prominent narrator, two choirs and a soprano soloist in addition to the orchestra. Although Kaddish serves as the emotional epicenter of the album, Bernstein’s Missa Brevis (1989) also provides a powerful contemporary addition to the sacred music repertoire. The work is based on the music Bernstein wrote to the Jean Anouilh play The Lark (1952), which tells the story of Joan of Arc. The inclusion on the album of the original music to The Lark contrasts with the modernized version of Missa Brevis, with the two used as bookends for the album. These three works, tied together by the theme of religious persecution, present the beloved Leonard Bernstein at his most serious and expressive, an interpretation which is reinforced by his protégé Marin Alsop’s masterful leadership of the multiple ensembles involved. The unified product presents a fascinating biopic of Bernstein, a man whose works and appeal crossed religious, cultural and musical boundaries.
Easier to find your downloaded tracks!
Metadata in classical audio remains a difficult story. Due to the large number of contributors on each album - often including conductors, soloist, ensembles, arrangers and composers - metadata can be confusing at some points. Even some of our previously uploaded albums didn’t contain a completely filled metadata section because of the difficulties we faced to enter all the data. However, a newly developed system enables us to add metadata – or ID3 tags – to every single FLAC & DSD track. From now on, every track on every new uploaded album contains metadata and is named correctly. Our audio & content department checks every album before it’s pushed live. Now it’s easy to find your desired artist, movement, symphony or composer, all because of the correct metadata.
Entering Wagner’s own opera house for the first time is a sacred experience for those who like, love or worship his music. We have all read about it, have watched YouTube videos and have seen stage photos from the 50s and 60s.
The Sounds of New York: The Downtown/Uptown Divide
26 July 2017
As they relate to the arts, the terms Downtown and Uptown emerged in the early 1960s to describe an increased polarization between two streams of music: the academic and the underground, or put another way, the traditional and the avant-garde.