Albums

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Secular Vocal Music - Released November 10, 2017 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet
Around the Franco-Italian mezzo soprano Lea Desandre – who made her big début with William Christie in the Jardins des voix, then won the "Lyrical Revelation" prize in the Victoires de la musique in 2017 – the sopranos Nathalie Pérez and Chantal Santon-Jeffery have concocted a programme that takes in many different lyrical incarnations of Berenice of Egypt and her misadventures with the King, Antigono Gonatas, through the prism of Metastasio's Antigone, which has been set to music by well over thirty composers, some focusing more on Antigone, others on Berenice. We will hear little-known airs like those of Haydn, Mozart, Johann Christian Bach and Hasse: the principle virtue of this album is that it allows us to discover these rarities, which often call for virtuoso vocal talents, and so are perfect for the voices of the three singers presented here. A rarity among rarities, we will also find a stunning air from Marianna von Martinez who held a musical salon in Vienna which received visits from... Haydn and Mozart. © SM/Qobuz
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Secular Vocal Music - Released June 23, 2017 | Supraphon a.s.

Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique
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Secular Vocal Music - Released June 9, 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Diapason d'or / Arte
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Secular Vocal Music - Released May 31, 2017 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
The Carnival of Venice in 1729 was quite unlike any other. Over a period of two months, opera houses went into a frenzy of competition to show off the most famous singers of the day, including the legendary castrato Farinelli who made his astonishing Venetian debut. Several of the most fashionable composers rose to the occasion, writing ravishing music for spectacular productions which often pitted the singers against each other in breathtaking displays of virtuosity. The results were sensational; one tour de force followed another in an atmosphere of fevered excitement and the adoring public lapped it up. The carnival opened with a star-studded cast in Leonardo Leo’s tragedy Cantone in Utica from which the dazzling aria Soffre talor del vento and the more gentle Ombra adorata are taken. Farinelli triumphed in Nicolo Porpora’s opera Semiramide, the perfect vehicle for his extraordinary technique. By contrast Adelaide by Giuseppe Maria Orlandini, another premiere, contains show-stopping displays for Farinelli’s arch rival Faustina Bordoni. And Germiano Giacomelli’s elegant opera Gianguir contains the achingly beautiful aria Mi par sentir la bella. Most of these rediscovered works are recorded here for the first time. (c) Pentatone
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Secular Vocal Music - Released May 5, 2017 | Nimbus Records

Distinctions Diapason d'or
George Benjamin’s 2006 chamber opera Into the Little Hill was commissioned by the Paris National Opera, the Ensemble Modern and a few other high-level companies. The libretto, by British playwright Martin Crimp, is an updated version of the tale of the Pied Piper, i.e. the Ratcatcher of Hamelin, with added contemporary political and social overtones: the power of music and its exploitation in today’s world. The story is told by just two singers, a soprano (embodying The Crowd, The Stranger, a Narrator, The Minister's Child) and a contralto (The Crowd, a Narrator, The Minister, The Minister's Wife), who share all the characters and narration, thus acknowledging the inherently artificial nature of sung drama even though, occasionally, particularly in heated moments, it does approach the naturalistic. The score is typical of Benjamin: spare, somewhat austere, meticulously calibrated between instruments and voices, all the more since the orchestration, limited to a 15-person ensemble, employs some highly unusual timbres, ranging from bass flute, mandolin and cimbalom to banjo, contrabass clarinet and basset-horns. The recording is conducted by the composer in person. The same remark applies to the other major work on the album, the song cycle Dream of the Song, featuring countertenor Bejun Mehta and the Concertgebouw orchestra. This is assuredly one of the most intense and emotional song cycle composed these last few years. © SM/Qobuz
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Secular Vocal Music - Released April 7, 2017 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Diapason d'or / Arte - Choc de Classica
2017 marks the 450th anniversary of Claudio Monteverdi, one of the fathers of modern music, who gave a major impulse to expressivity and individuality of expression. Rinaldo Alessandrini’s benchmark recordings of the madrigals, the Vespers, L'Orfeo etc., contributed to unani-mously establish the Roman conductor and his ensemble Concerto Italiano as the leading ambassadors of Monteverdi today. "Notte. Storie di Amanti e di Guerrieri" offers a selection of highlights from Monteverdi’s most famous madrigals and instrumental movements: Lamento della ninfa, Combat-timento di Tancredi e Clorinda, Ho’r che’l ciel e la terra, sinfonias from Monteverdi’s three operas etc. A heart-stretching pro-gram in which Rinaldo Alessandrini’s sci-ence of light, emotions and colors is at its highest.
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Oratorios (secular) - Released March 24, 2017 | Signum Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Award - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles Classica
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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Secular Vocal Music - Released March 17, 2017 | Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Secular Vocal Music - Released March 3, 2017 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles Classica
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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!
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Secular Vocal Music - Released January 27, 2017 | Arcana

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc du Monde de la Musique - 10 de Répertoire
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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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Secular Vocal Music - Released December 8, 2016 | Son an ero

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Secular Vocal Music - Released November 25, 2016 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama
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Secular Vocal Music - Released November 10, 2016 | Arcana

Hi-Res Booklet