The soloists of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) have chosen Analekta to record their first chamber music album, OSM Chamber Soloists: Beethoven/Strauss, which will be available on January 19.

Exploring the classic repertoire with the OSM’s soloists represents a unique opportunity for Analekta to continue developing its catalogue of recordings with Canada’s greatest musicians. “This is the first album in a series of recordings that will leave a mark on Canada’s musical heritage. The OSM chamber soloists’ synergy and their passion for creating the highest quality music are simply exceptional,” said François Mario Labbé, President and Founder of Analekta.

Under the artistic direction of Andrew Wan, concertmaster of the OSM, this album shows the outstanding musicianship of OSM players in a small ensemble context: Andrew Wan on the violin, Neal Gripp on the viola, Brian Manker on the cello, Ali Yazdanfar on the double bass, Todd Cope on the clarinet, Stéphane Lévesque on the bassoon and John Zirbel on the horn. “We’re proud to work with Analekta on a unique project that showcases our musicians’ unrivalled talent,” said Madeleine Careau, CEO of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal.

For Andrew Wan, this initiative represents the dream of many OSM musicians: “I, along with my fantastic colleagues, feel incredibly honoured to have been tasked with helping put this project together. The pairing of the Strauss arrangement and the glorious Beethoven Septet seemed like perfect choices for our debut album – allowing each one of the musicians to showcase their own blends of virtuosity and sensitivity.

Ludwig van Beethoven’s Septet in E-flat Major, Op. 20, and Franz Hasenöhrl’s Till Eulenspiegel einmal anders!, an arrangement of Richard Strauss’s famous tone poem, are marvellous demonstrations of how the timbres of three important groups of orchestral instruments – strings, woodwinds and brass – can blend together. Combined, these two works form a lighthearted program imbued with a touch of humour.

The OSM chamber soloists will present a concert titled Vienna and Paris, 1800 at Salle Bourgie in Montreal on January 26, where Beethoven’s Septet in E-flat Major, Op. 20 will be on the program.

Andrew Wan

Concertmaster of the OSM since 2008, Andrew Wan is also Assistant Professor of Violin at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University, Artistic Partner with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, member of the New Orford String Quartet, and Artistic Director of the Soloists of the OSM for three upcoming album releases on the Analekta label.

For tickets to the January 26 Salle Bourgie Concert, please call: 514-285-2000 or online: Enjoy!