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Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 26 maart 2021 | Passacaille

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Vivaldi’s Concerti ripieni are probably the most unusual works written by the Venetian composer. Some of these pieces, however, are particularly exceptional for various reasons, especially considering the artistic environment in early 18th century Venice. This recording presents Vivaldi’s most brilliant and at the same time bizarre works from this genre. These compositional experiments are sometimes quite extreme and far ahead of their time, such as the enigmatic Concerto conca, the solemn Sinfonia Al Santo Sepolcro, the avant-garde and at the same time archaic Concerto alla Rustica. This recording is the first collaboration of the Academia Montis Regalis with Enrico Onofri as principal conductor. © Passacaille
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Missen, passies, requiems - Verschenen op 26 maart 2021 | Claves Records

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The Mass in B minor holds a very special place in J.S. Bach’s output: a work of grandeur, an opus ultimum, it was not composed as such but is the result of an assembly of pieces written at different times and for different circumstances. Bach worked on it during the years 1748-1749, until his eyesight, which had gradually deteriorated, was completely lost. The idea of bringing together pieces drawn essentially from the vast corpus of cantatas was not unusual; a similar approach was taken by several of his contemporaries, such as Handel, and Bach himself had done so for the short masses he composed in the late 1730s. These were called parodies. Moving from the German text of the cantatas to the Latin text of the masses meant adapting the vocal lines, with additions and deletions, polyphonic and harmonic enrichments, and changes in instrumentation. Throughout his life, Bach never ceased to revisit his works with a view to improving them. Imagining the production of a monumental Mass, which can be seen as a musical testament to him, Bach began by exploring the repertoire of his own music, while studying various Masses by other composers that were available to him (and among the scores he studied was Pergolesi’s Stabat mater, which he himself had adapted). He decided above all to use a mass (Missa in Lutheran language) composed in 1733 after the death on February 1 of Augustus the Strong, ruler of Lutheran Saxony, on which Leipzig and Catholic Poland depended. It consisted, as was the case with the Lutheran masses, of the Kyrie and the Gloria, the music of which was largely original (only four of the nine pieces in the Gloria come from earlier compositions). But Bach wanted to compose a Mass with the different parts of the Catholic Ordinary, with the Credo, Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei. Faced with the magnitude of the two movements of the Missa, each as impressive as the other, Bach was compelled to write a large Credo. © Claves Records
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Religieuze vocale muziek - Verschenen op 19 maart 2021 | harmonia mundi

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Here is the work of a genius who died at the age of twenty-six: Pergolesi's Stabat Mater is one of the miracles of eighteenth-century sacred music. Nourished by their experience of ‘setting in resonance’ early and contemporary repertories, Riccardo Minasi and the Hamburg musicians shed an astonishingly modern light on these moving pieces, in which the voices of Giulia Semenzato and Lucile Richardot intertwine in the most sublime of communions. The Stabat is echoed by Joan Rossell’s poignant Salve Regina, long attributed to Pergolesi himself. © harmonia mundi
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Religieuze vocale muziek - Verschenen op 19 maart 2021 | harmonia mundi

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Formed in 2008, Sebastien Daucé's Ensemble Correspondances is now firmly established as a byword for quality and creativity in the performance of early music, with their acclaimed revivals of both the known and the long-neglected sacred and secular music of seventeenth century France, and with a rich discography to match. This latest recorded offering now sees them step out beyond France's borders for a foray into the Germanic repertoire, the headline pieces being a major work each from Dietrich Buxtehude and Heinrich Schütz. Buxtehude's Membra Jesu Nostri (“The limbs of our Jesus”) opens the programme. An ambitious seven-part cycle of Passion cantatas over which an unnamed observer slowly raises their gaze from the feet of the scourged “Man of Sorrows” to his face, this was composed in 1680 for Buxtehude's friend Gustav Düben. Düben was music director to the Swedish court, and the work was probably commissioned for a court occasion, most likely premiered in the galleries of the German Church in Stockholm, which the court church at the time. Buxtahude's own official role was as organist at Lübeck's Marienkirche – a title which, in contrast to the kantor role which would have obliged him to be churning out new liturgical music every week, allowed him to compose when and how he wished, thus cutting no corners on quality. That's very apparent in this cycle, which book-ends poetic texts set as strophic arias with biblical words set for full instrumental and vocal forces, all couched within an imaginative tonal progression which opens with the feet in the darkest tonalities using flats, before gradually moving through to the brighter, sharp tonalities as the eyes move up towards the face (although it's eventually a C minor close, for architecture's sake). Daucé's personal contribution to the mix has then been to prepare a new edition from the original performing parts which has further enrichened the colouristic and textural palette: adding a viola part for three of the cantatas; changing the allocation of stringed bass instruments so that the viol and violone aren't systematically playing with the continuo or violins; having two voices to a part for the chorus numbers, thus clearly distinguishing between soli and ripieni. Add Ensemble Correspondances's expressive, crisply articulated and suavely blended vocal performances, and the lucid delicacy of the instrumental support, and the results are very fine. Schütz's major offering meanwhile is his late-career masterpiece, Die sieben Worte (“The Seven Words”), which inventively combines motet-like settings with expressive recitative. However the programme's joys aren't limited to its headline events. For instance there's also Schütz's Erbarm dich mein, o Herre Gott, a vocal concerto with densely contrapuntal instrumental textures which here grabs from the off with the beautiful puritan sobriety of the ensemble string tone, and the gently impassioned soprano entry. Then, for a real rarity, complementing mourning music from Buxtehude is the state music-redolent Lamentum by Swedish organist Ludert Dijkman (c1645-1717), written at the passing of two Swedish princes. It'll be fascinating to see where Daucé turns next. © Charlotte Gardner/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 26 februari 2021 | Flora

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or
Buxtehude’s Opus 1 and Opus 2 Sonatas for violin, viola da gamba and harpsichord belie the composer’s common image as austere and sober. They instead delight the listener with what Johann Mattheson, writing in 1739, called their « unfamilar progressions, hidden ornamentation, and ingenious colourations ». It comes as no surprise to learn that the Sonatas were a great success when they were first published in Germany in the 1690s, in the midst of the fashion for the "stylus fantasticus" (described by Athanasius Kircher in 1650 as “…especially suited to instruments. It is the most free and unrestrained method of composing, it is bound to nothing, neither to any words nor to a melodic subject. It was instituted to display genius, and to teach the hidden design of harmony and the ingenious composition of harmonic phrases and fugues"). These Sonatas are undoubtedly challenging, which is no doubt why there have been so few complete recordings. For their fourth album, the founding trio of Les Timbres – Yoko Kawakubo, Myriam Rignol, and Julien Wolfs – take up the challenge with brio, joyously returning to their roots in Baroque chamber music to uncover all the intricacies of these very special works. © Flora
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Religieuze vocale muziek - Verschenen op 12 februari 2021 | Arcana

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
The Musicalische Exequien of Heinrich Schütz, composed for the ceremonial obsequies of Heinrich II Posthumus, count of Reuß-Gera, is probably the best-known example of German funeral music of the seventeenth century. However, it is not an isolated piece; there were in fact a great number of virtually unknown vocal compositions from the same period, which were commissioned to commemorate the death of specific personalities and performed at their funeral services. The third album from Voces Suaves on the Arcana label offers a fresh perspective on Schütz’s famous masterpiece, complementing it with works by other major German composers of the seventeenth century such as Rosenmüller and Schein. The music is performed by singers and a continuo group without any additional instruments, so that the focus remains throughout on a flexible vocal presentation of these striking and moving works. © Arcana
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Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 8 januari 2021 | CPO

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It is difficult to understand why the twelve sonatas by Johann Philipp Krieger recorded here are almost completely forgotten today. Those who listen more closely to them will discover a rich cosmos of melodic, harmonic, and stylistic ideas that could hardly be rendered more vividly in musical tones. These Baroque sonatas seemingly randomly join together the most sparkling strands of pearls – short and very short little movements, spontaneous ideas, witty episodes, and oscillating emotional states in what are rapid and above all fascinating sequences. They are to be understood as little scenes of a musical drama “en miniature”. Krieger’s sonatas structured in small units recall characters on the stage in their careful design and perfect compositional-technical elaboration. They engage in cooperative action, oppose each other, and react to each other, enter into musical dialogue or competition, fall in love with each other and rise up in mutual embrace, and laugh or cry together – just as in real life. © CPO
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Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 9 december 2020 | Alborada

Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or
« These transcriptions take full advantage of the characteristics of the theorbo, the fourteen-string baroque guitar with its deep and full sound which becomes absolutely fascinating and rich with Zapico. While his playing is highly sensitive, he also dares to make the music edgier, sharper and more expressive. So, Zapico delivers 50 minutes of music of gripping intensity and inner power. The always songful pieces, for all their inviting friendliness, are also complex, and are presented in a light that one neither can nor wants to escape. The sound of the recording is equally splendid.» (Pizzicato, January 2021 / Remy Franck)
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Duo´s - Verschenen op 6 november 2020 | L'Encelade

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 4F de Télérama
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) composed the six sonatas for keyboard and violin while he was in the service of Prince Leopold of Koethen (1717-1723), a period during which he focussed on composing secular instrumental music. These works were not written as sonatas for a melodic instrument and a basso continuo part performed on the keyboard, as was usually the case at that time - on the contrary, Bach composed these six sonatas as works for three voices, so they are true trio sonatas. One voice is allocated to the violin and two to the two hands on the keyboard, thus giving greater contrapuntal depth to the way that they are composed. This fresh take on these sonatas for keyboard and violin comes with an invitation to embark upon an organ-driven journey. The six sonatas have been broken down into three duos, each of which has been recorded using a different organ and violin combination, whilst at the same time remaining stylistically consistent with the types of instrument with which was Bach was familiar and which he himself played. The three organs are all in the East German style and the violin-makers who inspired the instruments used for the recordings were contemporaries of Bach. The programme also offers a seventh sonata for keyboard and violin (BWV 1028) which is far better known in its version for the viola de gamba. It also includes two less well-known violin and basso continuo sonatas by Bach, inspired by the Italian style, which allows the listener to get a better grasp of the difference between the two compositional models. Freddy Eichelberger has also chosen to introduce the works for keyboard and violin with solo organ pieces which act rather like preludes, thus highlighting the sonority of each of the instruments. In this boxset, which celebrates a thirty-year musical bond between Odile Edouard and Freddy Eichelberger, it is used a different organ and violin pairing, so three sites were selected, mainly because they had the right kinds of organ for the project and were easily accessible. These were the church of Saint-Louis de Saint Étienne (Haute-Loire), the Temple de Boudry (Switzerland) and the Temple du Foyer de l’Âme (Paris). © L'Encelade
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 9 oktober 2020 | deutsche harmonia mundi

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Concertmuziek - Verschenen op 4 september 2020 | Alpha

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Giovanni Antonini and his ensemble Il Giardino Armonico celebrate the composer who made them famous: Antonio Vivaldi. Their recordings of the Four Seasons and Cecilia Bartoli’s famous first Vivaldi recital left an indelible mark on the discography of the Red-haired Priest! Their musical fireworks display continues with a programme of concertos that is bound to provoke strong reactions, since it is the result of a meeting with a musician who is equally adept at shifting boundaries, the violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja. Together they have devised a programme which interweaves ultra-virtuosic concertos by Vivaldi ("Il Grosso Mogul" RV 208, "La Tempesta di Mare" RV 253, and RV 157, 191, 550 among others) with, between each concerto, short pieces written by much more recent composers, Luca Francesconi, Simone Movio, Giacinto Scelsi, Aureliano Cattaneo and Giovanni Sollima, and mostly commissioned by Patricia Kopatchinskaja especially for this programme. © Alpha Classics
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Sacred Oratorios - Verschenen op 4 september 2020 | CPO

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 17 juli 2020 | Christophorus

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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 5 juni 2020 | Parnassus Arts Productions

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Sacred Oratorios - Verschenen op 29 mei 2020 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - 5 étoiles de Classica
Alessandro Scarlatti’s oratorio is an exciting drama of life, love and death, set in the fourth-century Roman Empire. Preferring to devote her life to God, Teodosia rejects the love of Arsenio, the son of the Roman governor, and welcomes death. St Theodosia of Tyre died at the age of eighteen, in the year 308. One cannot help but be struck by the dramatic strength and the vocal beauty of this work, performed here by a very talented casting, gathering Emmanuelle de Negri, Emiliano Gonzalez Toro, Anthea Pichanick, Renato Dolcini and the fiery orchestra Les Accents led by Thibault Noally. © Aparté
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 10 april 2020 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 étoiles de Classica
Having already attracted attention for his exceptional gifts, Bach entered the service of the Weimar court at the age of twenty-three. This was the start of the period known as his ‘early maturity’, in which his formal and expressive experiments reflect a significant interest in French music and ‘la belle danse’. The close intertwining of French and German styles is the dominant feature of this third volume in Benjamin Alard’s recording of the complete organ and harpsichord works. ‘A remarkable complete set of Bach’s keyboard music is gradually being built up.’ – ResMusica. © harmonia mundi
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 27 maart 2020 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or
Giovanni Antonini, virtuoso flautist and orchestral conductor, is the founder of the Italian ensemble Il Giardino Armonico, which burst on the baroque musical scene in 1985; together they have amassed an impressive discography. Partnered by Alpha Classics, they have launched a complete recording of the 107 symphonies by Joseph Haydn, in anticipation of the 300th anniversary of his birth in 2032. Il Giardino Armonico is celebrating a composer with whose music he made his name: Antonio Vivaldi. With Antonini as soloist in a programme of his own devising recorded between 2011 and 2017, a generous bouquet of concertos "per flauto" : RV 433 (‘La Tempesta di Mare’), plus the Concertos RV 441, 442, 443, 444, and 445, and an amazing version of Cum dederit, a solo from Nisi Dominus RV 608, for the chalumeau, the predecessor to the modern-day clarinet. © Alpha Classics
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 27 maart 2020 | Claves Records

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 étoiles de Classica
This recording was made in April 2019 at the Ernest-Ansermet Studio in Geneva, after five concerts in Switzerland during the preceding days. The desire to be as faithful as possible to the rhythm of the drama of the Passion and to the evidence of the musical sequences, which is easier to feel during a live performance than in front of the relative abstraction of the microphones, as well as a non-negligible time constraint (three and a half days in the studio for a work of 160 minutes), pushed the members of Gli Angeli Genève to record long takes, sometimes including up to 10 or 12 minutes of music, thus getting as close as possible to the feeling of a concert. In concert, with small vocal groups, Gli Angeli Genève systematically places the singers in front of the instruments regardless of repertoire, so as to give speech in music the most prominent place possible. When recording, since the audience’s crucial role cannot be replaced by the microphones, the musicians place ourselves in a large circle, all facing each other. They can see each other playing, singing, vibrating, breathing and reacting. The idea of reaction is central to this work where, when the action of the story is suspended, it is immediately replaced by emotion and poetic as well as musical beauty that Matthew’s story inspired in Bach and Picander. Airs as well as chorales. And within this circle they can react together, engage in dialogue, and see themselves feel the drama and powerful affects that mark the work relentlessly. And then they can share the pleasure and sometimes the awe - so beautiful is the music – of being able to live all this together. Forming a circle to make this music and observing the extraordinary musicians of Gli Angeli Genève at work led Stephan MacLeod (the conductor) to realise the extent to which The Saint Matthew Passion has structured the career and relationship to music of many of his colleagues. © Claves Records
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 27 maart 2020 | MUSO

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 20 maart 2020 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama