Albums

£31.96

Solo Piano - Released November 17, 2017 | APR

Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
This edition of the complete recordings of the Beethoven Sonatas, made during the war, is a godsend for all the lovers of the great German pianist, and there are a lot of them, of all generations. One could get a bit lost in the jungle of his many recordings that came out from 1920 to 1975: that is, over 55 years – which is a lot, to say that he doesn't like playing for microphones. But Kempff has always been happy to record nonetheless, and is constantly polishing up his technique so as to render the most faithful possible service to his art, given the technological innovations that he has seen across his many years of recording, from acoustics to stereophony, by way of electric recording, 78rpm and the 33rpm microgroove.   He has recorded a lot of music since the start of his long career: Bach, Brahms, Schubert, but in particular, at 80%, he remains one of the greatest performers of his dear friend Beethoven. The recordings from this period are not always easy to date, because they could appear under many different matrix numbers, although they are in fact all the same version. Some famous sonatas, of course, have indeed been recorded many times: Pathétique as well as Clair de lune, Waldstein and Appassionata. The sonatas which figure in this album, recorded in Berlin in 1942 and 1943, make up what should have been a recording of the complete works, but which was interrupted by the war. Despite a fairly ephemeral French edition in the 1980s with the Dante label, these recordings were forgotten in favour of two later complete recordings, the first of which was produced in the 1950s and the second in the 1960s in stereophony.   Even if the surface sound is omnipresent in these re-recordings, it is quickly forgotten thanks to the painstaking restoration that has brought back Kempff's marvellously delicate touch. It is thrilling to follow in the footsteps of this towering musician, and compare him to himself across the years. In fact, his art has not aged as time has gone by, even if one notes the substantial difference in the discourse, the sound (depending on the piano used), the tempo and the formal construction. A document of the greatest musical interest. François Hudry © Qobuz 2017
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Secular Vocal Music - Released November 10, 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica
This project originated, Sabine Devieilhe says, from her desire to tackle Lakmé. In fact, Delibes was able to compose for her heroine some of the most memorable pages for coloratura soprano, starting with the hugely famous "air des clochettes" [Bell Song]. And as Western ears at the time were eager for musical and poetic voyages, and sensations from far-off lands, we find these same Oriental fantasies with Maurice Delage, who himself went on a grand tour of India, where he found modal colours, but also in Madame Chrysanthème by Messager or Rossignol by Stravinsky, to say nothing of the Egypt of Thaïs as portrayed by Anatole France and Massenet. Sabine Devieilhe, who won the "Lyrical revelation" prize at Victoires de la musique classique in 2013 before winning "Lyrical artist of the year" at the same ceremony – certainly not an unfair judgement of this particular artist – started her recording career with recordings of Rameau, Bach and Mozart, before launching into the lyrical repertoire from more recent years… And with great success! © SM/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released November 3, 2017 | Signum Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Classical - Released November 3, 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
“Nacht und Träume” takes its name from one of Schubert’s best-loved lieder, which is joined on the album by a further 10 of the composer’s songs. All performed in orchestral versions by such masters as Berlioz, Liszt, Brahms, Strauss, Webern, Britten and Schubert himself, they are complemented by three choral numbers and an orchestral interlude. The singers are rising stars – German mezzo-soprano Wiebke Lehmkuhl and French tenor Stanislas de Barbeyrac – and Laurence Equilbey conducts two ensembles she founded: the Insula orchestra and the choir Accentus. © Warner Classics
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Mélodies (French) - Released October 20, 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Concertos - Released October 20, 2017 | Onyx Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
£5.76

Chamber Music - Released October 20, 2017 | Supraphon a.s.

Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
Although Dvořák's Piano Quintet No.2 Op. 81 is a major piece of the composer's oeuvre, it has nonetheless never quite received the same fame as those written by Brahms or Schumann. And yet, this little gem - a big gem, in fact - from the composer's most mature period - 1887 - is brimming with energy, enthusiasm, lyricism, and quite unforgettable themes. It is also similar to the Quintet Op. 97 from 1893, written in the USA, in a tone which has come to be thought of as "American", even if the themes seems a little more Bohemia-and-Moravia than Sioux, Pawnee, Wampanoag or Micmac. The almost symphonic dimensions of these two works, of a good half-hour each, will be obvious to any listener; they were certainly obvious to the excellent Pavel Haas Quartet, to which has been added the viola player Pavel Nikl, and for the Piano Quintet, pianist Boris Giltburg. The aim is to prevent certain somewhat-neglected masterpieces from falling into oblivion. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released October 13, 2017 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Opera - Released October 13, 2017 | Signum Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Classical - Released October 6, 2017 | SDG

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
So much can be said about this new recording featuring among others − but as the pièce de résistance − Bach’s Magnificat, performed by John Eliot Gardiner, that we simply don’t know where to start! In 1983 – already 35 years ago! – Gardiner gave his first vision of Magnificat BWV 234 in D major; here the version in question is the BWV 234a in E flat major, the original and initial version, the – extended – one Bach wrote as soon as 1723 while the BWV 234 version (more often played nowadays) only arose from adjustments made ten years later. Of course one can debate on the advantages of one over the other but for this recording, Gardiner put emphasis on the brilliance, vibrancy and stunning virtuosity imposed by the E-flat major tone and vigorous tempi, in other words: undeniably modern! Magnificat is preceded by the Mass in F major, one of Bach’s four Lutheran masses, proper gems that are too rarely performed. It’s worth noting that most movements are recycled from previous cantatas, but with thorough rewrites of course! You’ll also find one of Gardiner’s favourite cantatas, Süßer Trost, mein Jesus kömmt (Sweet comfort, my Jesus comes), BWV 151, composed for the Christmas period. With his English Baroque Soloists, his Monteverdi Choir and a broad group of soloists (the alto parts are given to a male voice, it’s worth mentioning in case… it’s not your cup of tea), Gardiner is once again standing on top of a great success.
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Full Operas - Released October 6, 2017 | LSO Live

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Classical - Released September 22, 2017 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
Rachel Podger, “the queen of the baroque violin” (Sunday Times), has established herself as a leading interpreter of the Baroque and Classical music periods. A creative programmer, she is the founder and Artistic Director of Brecon Baroque Festival and her ensemble Brecon Baroque. This new album brings together the compositions by four violinist-composers, three Italians and one German, all born during the last quarter of the 17th Century and who all died (except Vivaldi, who died younger) around the 1760s. These works explore the imagination of the then revolutionary form that was the Sonata for violin and continuo. Weaving together stylised ancient dances and the more Germanic preludic tradition, these Sonatas transport us to a world of musical amazement. Rachel Podger says: “The four composers’ connections read like a popular comedy! Violin virtuosos Verachini and Pisendel had an argument which resulted in Veracini flying into a rage and throwing himself from first floor a balcony, damaging his foot and limping forever after. Verachini amazed Tartini with his astonishingly smooth bowing technique, whereupon Tartini locked himself away to practice. Pisendel studied with Tartini and Vivaldi...” Let us add that one of Vivaldi’s Sonatas here recorded is dedicated to Pisendel. Podger gives great unity to those works, composed all around Europe at a time when powerful musical influences were continuously changing styles and fashions.
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Classical - Released September 15, 2017 | BIS

Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Classical - Released September 8, 2017 | Naxos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles Classica
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Classical - Released September 8, 2017 | Arcana

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice
During the reign of Duke Galeazzo Maria Sforza (1444-76), Milan experienced an extraordinary musical era. In the 1470s, the Duke set out to form a ‘famous and worthy choir’, recruiting a ‘goodly number of singers from beyond the Alps and from various countries’. He soon assembled a musical ensemble that boasted some of the most celebrated musicians in the Franco-Flemish polyphony of the day, from Italy and beyond. The Duke brought into being a new kind of polyphonic mass, a cycle of motets called missales to replace the traditional ordinarium, with texts attributing special importance to the worship of Our Lady of Grace and Mercy, much beloved by the Sforza family. A masterpiece of the genre is the so-called Missa Galeazescha for five voices, composed by Loyset Compère and performed here by an ensemble inspired by the impressive size of Galeazzo Maria Sforza’s cappella. This recording brings together four vocal-instrumental groups. © Arcana