Albums

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Oratorios (secular) - Released March 24, 2017 | Signum Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Award - Gramophone Editor's Choice
The Gabrieli Consort continue their series of award-winning collaborations with the National Forum of Music, Wrocław, Poland with a new recording of Haydn’s great oratorio The Seasons. Using a new performing edition by Paul McCreesh this recording is the first to feature the large orchestral forces that Haydn originally called for, including a string section of 60, 8 horns and a choir of 70. The disc features solo performances from British singers Carolyn Sampson, Jeremy Ovenden and Andrew Foster-Williams.
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Masses, Passions, Requiems - Released March 10, 2017 | SDG

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Award - Gramophone Record of the Month - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Classical - Released March 10, 2017 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Award
The fourth volume of the Haydn2032 project thrusts into the limelight one of the most important stock characters in the theatre of sounds and words, the Kapellmeister, and explores some glamorous and (in)glorious moments in the career of Maestro Haydn. It features three symphonies by the ‘Shakespeare of Music’ – one of which is even associated with an actual play. This bears the title ‘Sinfonia in C. per la commedia intitolata Il distratto’ (the name of the play soon became the symphony’s nickname) and consists of an overture, four entr’actes, and a finale to be played at the end of the performance. Also on this disc is a large-scale buffo scene by his colleague Cimarosa. Il maestro di cappella is a witty and ironic parody, in which a member of the ‘old school’ of musicians tries to improve the ensemble playing of his orchestra. To his chagrin, the players do react, but in extremely undisciplined fashion: they are distracted, make false entries and disagree musically... (Text from Alpha Classics)
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Art Songs, Mélodies & Lieder - Released March 10, 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Award - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Symphonic Music - Released March 3, 2017 | LSO Live

Hi-Res Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Award - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik

Classical - Released February 24, 2017 | Avie Records

Distinctions Gramophone Award - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Solo Piano - Released February 24, 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Award - Gramophone Editor's Choice
This was the second release by Italian pianist Beatrice Rana, who was in her early twenties when she recorded it in Berlin in 2016. A prodigy who was taking home top prizes as a high school student, Rana certainly gave herself the chance to fail spectacularly when she decided to record the Goldberg Variations, BWV 988, of Bach, a gigantic work susceptible to multiple interpretations that poses challenges in terms of technical skill, cohesiveness, and overall spiritual grasp. Instead, Rana notches a substantial success and bears out the predictions of those who have been touting her as a major star. She thinks out her own interpretation of the work and carries it through, not relying on established schools. Rana overlays her own division upon the work's tripartite structure (with sets of three variations each capped by a canon), juxtaposing rhythmically free slower movements (which she makes quite expressive without having to take the big ones too slowly) with crisp, tough, contrapuntal movements that approach Glenn Gould territory. Sample the eighth variation for an idea of the Chopinesque treatment Rana gives the slower variations, bringing out the considerable chromaticism in the part-writing and generally expanding the scope of the work as a whole. The set follows a clear overall trajectory (this is often the bugaboo for pianists who take it on too early), and the reprise of the "Aria" at the end seems to take on a meditative, retrospective quality shaped by everything the theme has been through. Again, it hardly sounds like the work of a youthful pianist, and the entire performance is absorbing. Rana receives excellent support from Warner Brothers' engineering staff, working at Berlin's Teldex studios.
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Secular Vocal Music - Released February 17, 2017 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Award
Recorded at the Cité de la Musique during the complete cycle of Monteverdi madrigals mounted in partnership with the Philharmonie de Paris and the Théâtre de Caen, the last volume in our trilogy probably contains the best-loved gems of a composer who had become maestro di cappella at St Mark’s in Venice, and finally entered the priesthood. Alongside the great operas that have survived from this period, the final madrigals methodically explore the multiple possibilities offered by the rapidly developing practice of basso continuo and by an unprecedented exploitation of solo voices. And, in that respect, the celebrated Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda forms a spectacular finale to our Monteverdian adventure!

Classical - Released February 3, 2017 | NEOS Music

Distinctions Gramophone Award
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Secular Vocal Music - Released January 6, 2017 | Orfeo

Hi-Res Distinctions Gramophone Award - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles Classica
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Masses, Passions, Requiems - Released December 2, 2016 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Award - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Exceptional Sound Productions - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Classical - Released November 4, 2016 | Erato - Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Award - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - Exceptional Sound Productions - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato has gained a strong following with novel, even fearless programs, flawlessly executed. The stimulus for In War & Peace was extramusical: DiDonato temporarily shelved a different project in the wake of the terrorist attack at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris. The concept is ambitious: the booklet includes quotes about finding peace from figures as varied as Patrick Stewart, Riccardo Muti, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and an inmate at New York's Sing Sing prison. Does it directly connect with DiDonato's program of Baroque arias? Listeners will have to decide for themselves, but the good news is that the program stands on its own. War and peace are among the most common themes in Baroque opera, but DiDonato has woven them together intelligently here. For one thing, the two interpenetrate, with elevated tragic arias in the War half of the program, and complex dramatic conceptions in the Peace half. Sample Handel's remarkable "Augelletti, che cantante," from Rinaldo, with its sopranino recorder part and discursive development. Added bonuses are some world-premiere arias from the still largely unexplored corpus of opera seria from the middle 18th century, represented by compositions of Leonardo Leo and Niccolò Jommelli. Equally good are the big hits, including a magnificent, deliberate "When I am laid in earth," from Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, which shows the breadth of DiDonato's conceptualizations of war and peace. The accompaniment from the historical-instrument group Il Pomo d'Oro under Maxim Emelyanychev is ideal. Recommended, whatever your views on the feasibility of world peace.
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Violin Concertos - Released November 4, 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Award - Gramophone Record of the Month - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Violin Concertos - Released October 28, 2016 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Award
"Not another complete recording of Mozart's violin concertos!", some might complain, and in absolute terms they wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. Except that this complete edition is signed by star violinist Isabelle Faust, accompanied by Il Giardino Armonico (who plays on instruments from Mozart’s time, including natural horns, nine-key bassoons, six-key flutes, two-key oboes), and – last but not least – the cadenzas are signed by Andreas Staier, since Mozart has left us no cadenzas for his violin concertos (unlike several piano concertos, as well as his Sinfonia concertante for violin and viola). Far from playing the star, Isabelle Faust prefers to blend in with the whole orchestra, a kind of primus inter pares attitude quite refreshing in this repertoire which, in fact, does not require so much emphasis of the part of soloist – the sound engineering and balance itself favours an overall sound rather than an opposition between solo violin and orchestra. This is a new and very original interpretation, whatever the abundant discography of these works may already be. In addition to the five concertos, Faust plays the three single movements for violin and orchestra – two Rondos and one Adagio – which are actually "spare" movements for one or the other of the concertos written on request for soloists of that time. One wonders what Mozart would have written had he had Isabelle Faust by his side! © SM/Qobuz
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Concertos - Released October 21, 2016 | Erato - Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Award - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik