Sony Classical today released chamber orchestra Metamorphosen Berlin's new recording, "Very British."
The album features works by four British composers: Britten, Elgar, Warlock, and Jenkins. The Elgar pieces are world premiere recordings — as Metamorphosen Berlin chief conductor and co-founder Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt transcribed nine works and played the solo cello part. Many of these were originally written for violin and piano, but were transribed for cello and strings.
Schmidt emphasized how the album embodies the dual identities of a holistic digital concert and book of 23 short stories, all while maintaining the "inspiration of the unexpected" which comes with live performance.
"Our idea was to record repertoire which could be performed in a live concert," Schmidt told The Violin Channel.
"A concert has a natural shape: an overture in the beginning, a piece with soloist, something like a symphony, a flashy piece for the end of the concert and an encore..."
"On the other hand we wanted to create a set of 23 still lives, moments musicaux, a cycle of musical paintings, making it like a book of short stories."
The theme of joy — "sparkling, exciting, and vivid music" — ties together the nearly two dozen pieces on the album, Schmidt said.
Metamorphosen Berlin was founded in 2010 by Schmidt and violinist Indira Koch. Its musicians are international competition winners, renowned chamber musicians, and members of leading orchestras in Berlin. The ensemble has released two previous albums: "Inspiration" in 2015 and "Tchaikovsky: Serenade" in 2017.
Purchase "Very British" on the Sony Classical website, where listeners can find links to Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, iTunes, and JPC platforms.