Tchaikovsky, Verdi (2004)

Tchaikovsky, Verdi

Amsterdam Sinfonietta

Candida Thompson

Kennst du das Land, wo die Zitronen blhn? "Kennst du das Lied? Ganz Italien ist darin geschildert" [Do you know the song? All of Italy is portrayed in it]. In this way, Heinrich Heine, in his Reisebilder (1828) connects with the famous quotation from Goethes Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre (1796), in which Goethe had expressed the romantic sehnsucht [longing] for Italy. In 1786, Goethe had refreshed his gloomy Northern European soul in that sundrenched country. A horde of romantic authors, including Mme de Stal (Corinne ou lItalie), Lord Byron (Childe Harolds Pilgrimage), Joseph van Eichendorff (Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts) and of course Heine himself, later followed in Goethes footsteps. For that matter, a crowd of earlier examples could easily be added to the list, going back as far as Shakespeare with Romeo and Juliet. For Italy was an irresistible magnet to the imagination, with its remains of ancient civilizations, beautiful art, and glorious nature - not to forget its sensual people.....

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Amsterdam Sinfonietta

Amsterdam Sinfonietta is an ensemble of 22 gifted musicians who perform under the direction of Candida Thompson, artistic director|lead violin since 2003. The ensemble’s defining feature is the strong involvement and artistic drive of each individual member. The group has gained a reputation for distinguished, performances and innovative programming, often featuring surprising combinations of works. It collaborates with renowned artists and performs in major venues around throughout the world.

Founded in 1988 Amsterdam Sinfonietta is a highly respected ensemble with strong roots in the Dutch cultural scene. Every season it presents a series of concerts in the major concert halls of the The Netherlands. The orchestra boasts a young and loyal audience. Amsterdam Sinfonietta performs ingenious programmes featuring well-known repertoire combined with commissions, new arrangements or rarely performed works. Recent commissions include world premières of compositions by Sofia Gubaidulina, HK Gruber, Michel van der Aa and P?teris Vasks. Over the past seasons Amsterdam Sinfonietta has initiated and recorded new arrangements of various chamber music works. These include works by Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler, Schulhoff, Haas, Shostakovich and Berg.

Amsterdam Sinfonietta enjoys intensive collaborations with pre-eminent musicians. Guest artists such as Janine Jansen, David Fray, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Barbara Hannigan, Maxim Vengerov, Thomas Hampson, Sergey Khachatryan, Christianne Stotijn, Håkan Hardenberger, Martin Fröst, Julian Rachlin, Sol Gabetta, James Gilchrist, Natalia Gutman and Isabelle van Keulen have made return appearances with the orchestra.

Recently the ensemble toured China performing concerts with cellist Pieter Wispelwey. The group also performed spectacular performances with solo cellist Sol Gabetta at the Barbican in London, the Philharmonie in Luxemburg, Bozar in Brussels, the Musikhalle in Hamburg and the Konserthuset in Stockholm. The latest tour through Germany and Belgium with the French pianist David Fray was a resouding success culminating in ecstatic reviews. Following concerts in Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf and the Frankfurter Rundschau wrote: ’For the chamber orchestra Amsterdam Sinfonietta, performing under the direction of Candida Thompson, the keyword is alertness. The 22 string players […] communicate with each other in a state of heightened awareness. Each player listens attentively to the others, to the counter lines and tonal colours. […] The result sounded fresh and modern – simply brilliant.’ The group has been a guest at many international festivals including the Adelaide Festival, Gergiev Festival, Schleswig Holstein Festival and La Roque d’Antheron and also appears regularly at the Holland Festival and in the Robeco Summer Series and Carte Blanche Series in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.

Every year the ensemble shows its versatility with a New Year’s programme that transcends the bounds of a conventional concert. This New Year’s programme has become a tradition attracting new and diverse audiences in many national venues. Joining forces with artists such as Bobby McFerrin, Roby Lakatos, and Chick Corea has resulted in intriguing on-stage chemistry and compelling concerts. The orchestra also participates in multidisciplinary projects. Together with the Dutch-Italian choreographers Emio Greco & PC, the ensemble presented a theatrical production featuring a contemporary collage of Bach’s St Matthew Passion. Amsterdam Sinfonietta has also worked with the actor Jeroen Willems and stage director Pierre Audi in a programme centred on Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite. Upcoming projects include a Dessner-Greenwood double portrait featuring recent compositions by Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead fame and Bryce and Aaron Dessner from the successful rock band The National. Other future projects include collaborations with the violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, baritone Thomas Hampson and clarinettist Martin Fröst and tours of Germany, Russia and China.

Candida Thompson

Candida Thompson artistic director and leader 

Candida Thompson studied with DavidTakeno at the Guildhall School of Music andDrama, where she received her soloist's graduationdiploma with honour. She developedher qualities further at the Banff Centre for theArts in Canada and played with several internationalorchestras such as Moskov ChamberOrchestra, The English String Orchestra,Wiener Symphoniker, the Netherland RadioChamber Orchestra and AmsterdamSinfonietta. Candida Thompson has been aregular guest artist at La Musica chambermusic festival in Florida. She also participatedat chamber music festivals like the KuhmoChamber Music Festival (Finland) and theGubbio Festival (Italy). In the past yearsCandida performed with artists such as BrunoGuiranna, Joseph Silverstein, Isabelle Faust,Janine Jansen. Together with cellist XeniaJankovic and pianist Paolo Giacometti sheformed the Hamlet trio. Candida Thompsonwas appointed Amsterdam Sinfonietta's artisticdirector and lead violin in the summer of2003. Under her leadership AmsterdamSinfonietta has made successful tours ofAustralia, the United States, China, Spain,Italy and Germany and has recorded a numberof highly acclaimed CD recordings.
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Tchaikovsky, Verdi (2004)

Tchaikovsky, Verdi

Amsterdam Sinfonietta

    Hifi Video Magazine

Ongehoord, wat heeft ons landje een kwaliteit op muziekgebied. () Deze registratie doet me denken aan een prachtige zomeravond, en dat is de kunst, net als het spel van dit fantastische ensemble. Een klankjuweel erbij.

Ondanks de vergrote bezetting gaat er niets verloren van de precieze directheid die kamermuziek vaak zo boeiend maakt. Dat komt puur door het fantastische spel van het orkest. De grotere klank maakt de muziek extra romantisch en draagt bij tot een groot effect. Het ruimtelijk effect wordt natuurlijk compleet door de 5.0 opname.


een uitstekend strijkorkest ... De nieuwe speelwijze van Sinfonietta, zonder dirigent maar met een leidinggevende concertmeester, Candida Thompson, werpt duidelijk vruchten af. Alsof je bij het opzetten van deze schijf in een warm bad stapt. Voor de geluksvogels die in het bezit zijn van een super-audiospeler met bijbehorende surround-opstelling is het zelfs een zwembad

Immaculate ensemble, warm exuberance: a delightful coupling .. The unanimity of the playing is phenomenal, yet that precision is never cold. ...the resonance of their playing takes in a strikingly wide dynamic range and a meticulous observance of markings. The opulent recording allows plenty of detail to be heard within an ambient acoustic, especially on the excellent SACD mastering. .... I look forward to more outstanding recordings from these talented players.

    International Record Review

Very impressive first disc for Channel Classics ... enormous amount of light and shade and real exhilaration.... Sinfonietta plays with unanimity and brilliance

    Audiofile Audition

The Sinfonietta string players are superbly accurate and play with real emotion () () terrific performances in matching surround sound. () () The 5.0 surround sound spreads out the string section and adds considerable interest to the music vs. the stereo version.


The last movement of Verdis only string quartet still sparkless in this big-band arrangement. Each time the disc has been playing in the background Ive been brought up short by the last movement of the Verdi. The composer is fairly easy to spot but in this full-string-orchestra arrangement I find myself suddenly trying to recall which Verdi opera it comes from. Well, this string quartet takes on a very attractive quality here. Especially with such superb playing from this Amsterdam-based ensemble. Editors Choice: Gramophone

Tchaikovsky, Verdi (2004)

Tchaikovsky, Verdi

Amsterdam Sinfonietta

Cables: van en Hul
Digital Converters: Meitner DSD AD/DA
Mastering Engineer: Jared Sacks
Mastering Equipment: B+W 803 diamond
Microphones: Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mixing Board: Rens Heijnis custom made
Producer: Jared Sacks
Recording Engineer: Jared Sacks
Recording location: Leiden Holland
Recording Software: Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64
Speakers: Audio Lab Holland

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