Harmonie Ensemble/New York, Maestro Richman Release 'Toscanini 150th Anniversary Tribute'
The October 27, 2017 release of the "Toscanini 150th Anniversary Tribute" CD, which Steven Richman recorded using one of Toscanini's own batons, is the Harmonie Ensemble / New York's 14th recording. The recording, with liner notes by acclaimed writer/music historian Harvey Sachs, includes Toscanini's arrangements of the Bizet Carmen Suite and Waldteufel's Skaters Waltz (which until now, had only been recorded by Toscanini), as well as Verdi's Overture to Aida, Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite, and Rossini's William Tell Overture.Conceived, researched, and produced by Maestro Richman, the recording project has a lifelong connection for the conductor. "I received my very first classical record on my 11th birthday," states Maestro Richman. "I was lucky enough to start at the top of the heap: it was Toscanini conducting the NBC Symphony. I was immediately taken with the incredible dynamism of the music and the extraordinary performances on the Toscanini LP, even at my young age. (Interestingly, I actually later studied with the principal horn of the NBC Symphony.) "This CD with Harmonie Ensemble / New York includes a variety of unusual and better-known pieces, two of which are in Toscanini arrangements, in their only recording save the Maestro's. Verdi's Aida Overture was written but never used in performances of the opera; Toscanini premiered it in 1940 with the NBC Symphony. Toscanini's Carmen Suite differs somewhat in music chosen from the opera and some orchestration details. The Nutcracker Suite figured on the Maestro's first orchestral concert in Turin in 1896; the William Tell Overture was featured on his debut season in Rio de Janeiro at age nineteen. Although not originally conceived of as a Toscanini Tribute recording, the idea gradually took shape to specifically present the collection as such. The CD was a pleasure to make and features the talents of some wonderful New York area musicians; I hope listeners will enjoy it." Steven Richman and Harmonie Ensemble / New York
Renowned for his versatility and the expressivity and power of his interpretations, conductor Steven Richman is Music Director of the Grammy-nominated Harmonie Ensemble/New York (which he founded in 1979), and of the Dvorak Festival Orchestra of New York. Equally adept on both the classical and jazz stages, Richman has led Harmonie Ensemble/New York (HE/NY) in numerous New York and U.S. premieres and recording premieres of works by Brahms, Cherubini, Copland, Dvorak, Gershwin, Grofe, Handel, Krommer, Saint-Saens, Shostakovich, Toscanini, and more. With Harmonie Ensemble /NY, Richman has recorded 13 internationally acclaimed CDs, including the GRAMMY Award-nominated Stravinsky: Histoire du Soldat (The Soldier's Tale) and Four Premieres on Koch International Classics. Richman's discography with Harmonie Ensemble/New York also includes The Two Nutcrackers, Classical and Jazz, comprising the Tchaikovsky Nutcracker Suite, and the Duke Ellington jazz band version of the Nutcracker Suite, released in 2013 on the Harmonia Mundi label, along with the 2016 highly acclaimed Gershwin orchestral CD including Concerto in F and American in Paris, and the 2014 Music From Peter Gunn by Henry Mancini (the original music), which was the Number One record on iTunes and Amazon. Symphonic Jazz: Grofe, Gershwin and Whiteman (Bridge Records) features recording premieres of original versions of Grofe masterpieces written for the Paul Whiteman Orchestra in the 1920's and '30s.Copland: Rarities and Masterpieces (also for Bridge Records) received the Classical Internet Award: Best Orchestral Music CD of the Year (2004) by a panel of international critics. It was also featured in the Ken Burns WNET-TV Series The National Parks and on video worldwide. Celebrating its 38th anniversary season this 2017-18, the Grammy Award-nominated Harmonie Ensemble/New York was founded in 1979 by its conductor and music director, Steven Richman. HE/NY and Mr. Richman have won numerous awards, including the Lincoln Center Community Arts Project Award, Classical Recording Foundation Award in Carnegie Hall, and the WQXR Action for the Arts Award. Harmonie Ensemble/New York has performed orchestra, chamber orchestra, symphonic jazz, big band, chamber- and wind ensemble works in virtually all of New York's concert halls, throughout the United States, and on radio and television internationally. The orchestra is acclaimed for unique programming and "first-rate" (The New York Times) performances, the world premiere of Dvorak's Octet-Serenade, and the first performances in over 50 years of Gershwin's original symphonic orchestrations at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The latter drew the largest audience in the history of Lincoln Center (10,000 people) in Damrosch Park. HE/NY also presented the first fireworks concert at Lincoln Center, marking Handel's 300th Birthday. harmonieensembleny.com The "Toscanini 150th Anniversary Tribute" CD is recorded for the Bridge label. Bridge Records was founded in 1981 by David Starobin, who cited "the need to create a wide-ranging forum for repertoire and performance- a home for the exceptionally interesting and challenging personality- performer and composer alike." Available October 27th at Bridge Records and at Amazon.com, iTunes, eMusic, Qobuz, ClassicsOnline.com, and others.