The Beijing-born guitarist Xuefei Yang has recorded her first album of baroque music, an all-Bach programme anchored by three concertos newly arranged for guitar and string quartet. Bach Concertos is an exciting, innovative album in which she has transcribed for the guitar some of Bach’s familiar violin concertos and other works, hoping to establish these new arrangements as noteworthy repertoire for the guitar and to expand the concerto repertoire for that instrument. Xuefei complements the concertante repertoire with solo guitar arrangements of the Violin Sonata No. 1 BWV 1001, the Prelude in C Major from the Well-Tempered Clavier BWV 846 and the Air on a G string from the Orchestral Suite in D major BWV 1068.
From the notes: …" For more than half a century Rosé was at the center of musical life in Vienna - and even then, it took Hitler's Anschluss of 1938 to displace him. Rosé's destiny was intimately bound up with the two most controversial figures in Viennese music at the turn of the century, Gustav Mahler and Arnold Schoenber; and he represented the final glory of the 19th-century Viennese string style which Fritz Kreisler, a crucial 12 years younger, so soon overthrew…"
"In 1881 he was made leader of the Vienna Court Opera and two years later founded his quartet which was considered - not least by Brahms - superior to Hellmesberger's. Rosé, who wed Mahler's sister Justine in 1902 (his cellist brother Eduard was already married to the composer's youngest sister Emma), played Goldmark and other contemporary composers as well as the Classics. From 1888 to 1896 he led the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra and when his own organization appeared in concert as the Vienna Philharmonic, he was the leader…."
Franz Liszt, writing about Grieg's String Quartet No 1, declared: 'It is long time since I have encountered a new composition, especially a string quartet, which has intrigued me as greatly as this distinctive and admirable work by Grieg'. Grieg himself said that his quartet '… aims at breadth; to soar, and above all at a vigorous sound for the instruments for which it is written.' In 1891, Edvard Grieg started his second quartet, but sadly lacked inspiration and time to finish the last two movements. Levon Chilingirian of the Chilingirian Quartet has studied the original manuscripts of the first two movements (which have many clarifying instructions added by Julius Röntgen in preparation for their printing by C F Peters in 1908) and prepared the third and fourth movements especially for this recording. This is therefore a first recording of the completed String Quartet No 2.
Since its formation in 1982 the Salomon String Quartet has established its position as one of the world's leading ensembles specialising in the historical performance of the classical string quartet repertoire. The quartet has toured extensively in Europe, the USA, the Far East, Israel and Australia as well as making regular appearances at British music societies and festivals. It has made many records for Hyperion and given numerous radio and television broadcasts. In addition to the music of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, which forms the basis of its repertoire, the Salomon Quartet has always been committed to the exploration and performance of the wealth of quartet music written by their contemporaries.