Born in Dresden, Stephan Loges was a member of the Dresden Kreuzchor before studying at the Hochschule der Kunste Berlin and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London; he was the winner of the 1999 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition. He regularly gives recitals throughout the world, with pianists including Roger Vignoles, Simon Lepper, Iain Burnside and Eugene Asti.
Stephan has sung Bach's cantatas with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Passions with the Gabrieli Consort and Paul McCreesh. He made his BBC Proms debut in 2002 in St Matthew Passion under Trevor Pinnock and has sung with the Munich Bach Choir and Orchestra, Christmas Oratorio with the Tonhalle Orchestra under Paul McCreesh and St Matthew Passion with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding.
His concert appearances have also included Britten's War Requiem with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Kaija Saariaho's The Tempest Songbook with the Scharoun Ensemble and regular appearances with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra including Schubert lieder arrangements. In opera he has sung in performances of Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos conducted by Sir Simon Rattle and Salome with the late Richard Hickox, both with the LSO, and in the Royal Opera, Covent Garden production of James MacMillan's Parthenogenesis.
Artistic Director: Amelia Freedman CBE FRAM
The Nash Ensemble has built up a remarkable reputation as one of Britain's finest chamber groups and, through the dedication of its founder and artistic director Amelia Freedman and the virtuosity of its players, has gained a similar reputation all over the world. The repertoire is vast and the imaginative, innovative and unusual programmes are as finely architectured as the beautiful Nash terraces in London from which the group takes its name. Not that the Nash Ensemble is classically restricted; it performs with equal sensitivity and musicality works from Mozart to the avant-garde, having given first performances of over 255 new works to date. These include 150 commissions especially written for the Group, providing a legacy for generations to come. An impressive collection of recordings illustrates the same varied and colourful combination of classical masterpieces, little-known neglected gems and important contemporary works.
The Nash makes many foreign tours: concerts have been given throughout Europe and the USA, and in South America, Australia and Japan. The group is a regular visitor to many British music festivals and can be heard on radio, television, at their renowned annual series at Wigmore Hall as well as at the Southbank Centre and the BBC Proms, and at music clubs throughout the country. The ensemble has won the Edinburgh Festival Critics' music award 'for general artistic excellence', and two Royal Philharmonic Society awards in the small ensemble category 'for the breadth of its taste and its immaculate performance of a wide range of music'.
Lionel Friend conducts concerts and opera all over the world, exploring the less common together with the most familiar. In the opera house he has become known for his Wagner interpretations, but his repertoire also features Mozart, Schubert, Berlioz, Chausson, Berg, Dallapiccola, Britten, Tippett and Tavener; and his concert repertoire includes the symphonies of Beethoven and Sibelius in addition to works of the avant-garde: he has conducted well over 100 world premiere performances. His recordings, many made with the Nash Ensemble, include works by Debussy, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Poulenc and Turnage.
Trained in London, he made his debut with Welsh National Opera and has held appointments in Germany and London. In addition to the UK he has in recent seasons conducted in Germany, Norway, Australia and the USA; and since 2003 has held the position of Conductor-in-Residence at the Birmingham Conservatoire.
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This collection of premiere recordings from David Matthews features the Nash Ensemble, conducted by Lionel Friend.
The ravishing Terrible Beauty, for mezzo-soprano and seven players, was composed in 2007 and sets both Homer and Shakespeare in a dramatic depiction of Cleopatra; its soloist is mezzo-soprano Susan Bickley; Winter Passions - which sets Pushkin's poems of love and absence - and Marina, a setting of TS Eliot's brooding monologue - both feature baritone Stephan Loges. The disc is completed with the Clarinet Quartet and two String Trios.
The Nash Ensemble
Ian Brown, piano
Marianne Thorsen, violin
Malin Broman, violin
Lawrence Power, viola
Paul Watkins, cello
Lucy Wakeford, harp
Philippa Davies, flute
Richard Hosford, clarinet/ basset horn
Artistic Director: Amelia Freedman CBE FRAM
GRAMOPHONE AWARD FINALIST 2011 - CONTEMPORARY CATEGORY
EDITOR'S CHOICE - Gramophone
"Matthews' ability to write music which is not merely upbeat' but expressively wide-ranging and emotionally exuberant is heard here at its best... Performance values are of the highest throughout this disc." - Gramophone
'It is hard to imagine this music played, sung or recorded better' BBC Music Magazine
"Powerfully eloquent" - The Sunday Times
This recording has been generously supported by the Friends of the Nash Ensemble.
All works on this disc were recorded on 17-19 April 2009 at Coombehurst Studio, University of Kingston, Kingston-upon-Thames, with the exception of String Trio No.2 which was recorded at the Menuhin Hall, Cobham, Surrey on 15 November 2009.
Recording Engineer and Producer: DAVID LEFEBER
Digital Editing and Mastering: DAVID LEFEBER
Executive Producer: COLIN MATTHEWS
Cover image by Jenifer Wakelyn
CD & booklet design by FRANCOIS HALL
(P) 2010 NMC Recordings Ltd
© 2010 NMC Recordings Ltd