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Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 7 mei 2021 | Signum Records

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Julian Bliss and James Baillieu present a recording Johannes Brahms’ Clarinet Sonatas, Op. 120 and an arrangement of his 4 Ernste Gesänge, Op. 121 arranged by Bliss. These late works were inspired by the great clarinetist Richard Muhlfeld, principal clarinet of the Meiningen Court Orchestra, without whom we would not have had this clarinet repertoire. Julian Bliss is one of the world’s finest clarinetists, excelling as a concerto soloist, chamber musician, jazz artist, masterclass leader and tireless musical explorer. He has inspired a generation of young players as creator of his Conn-Selmer range of affordable clarinets, and introduced a substantial new audience to his instrument. Julian started playing the clarinet aged four, going on to study at the University of Indiana and in Germany under Sabine Meyer, turning professional aged twelve. Described by "The Daily Telegraph" as "in a class of his own", James Baillieu is one of the leading song and chamber music pianists of his generation. He has given solo and chamber recitals throughout the world and collaborates with a wide range of world-class singers and instrumentalists. As a soloist, he has appeared with the Ulster Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, and the Wiener Kammersymphonie. copy; Signum Classics
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Liederen (Duitsland) - Verschenen op 9 april 2021 | BIS

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For the first four years of their marriage, Robert and Clara Schumann kept a joint diary, a project which Robert described as "a record of our wishes and our hopes, and the means whereby we may convey to one another any requests we may have to make, for which words may not suffice...". In the imaginative recital "Album für die Frau", Carolyn Sampson and Joseph Middleton combine songs by both composers into something similar – the depiction of a relationship seen through the eyes of both parties. Using the eight songs from Robert’s song cycle Frauenliebe und –leben to poems by Adalbert von Chamisso as the framework, they add songs as well as some piano solos in order to create a fuller and more complex picture. The result seems to suggest that the experiences of our "Frau" are richer than Chamisso and Robert Schumann imagined: while love, marriage and motherhood dominated much of Clara Schumann’s life, Robert’s death in 1856 signaled the start of a four-decade widowhood during which she resumed her stellar career as a pianist. As a team, Carolyn Sampson and Joseph Middleton have released a number of acclaimed discs, including "Fleurs", featuring flower-themed songs by composers from Purcell to Richard Strauss and Britten, "A Verlaine Songbook", exploring settings of the poetry of Paul Verlaine, and "A Soprano’s Schubertiade", a Schubert anthology. © BIS Records
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Liederen (Duitsland) - Verschenen op 5 maart 2021 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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If the global pandemic allows it, the young baritone Andrès Schuen is expected in Papageno (The Magic Flute) at the Vienna Opera in spring 2021. He will be Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in the summer of the same year, and then Guglielmo (Cosi fan tutte) at the Salzburg festival.Hailing from the Italian Tyrol, close by Austria, Andrès Schuen has a solid CV. He studied song under Wolfgang Holzmair and Brigitte Fassbaender, and lieder under Daniel Heide. It is the latter that he has chosen again as a partner for this new album dedicated to the Schöne Müllerin (The Beautiful Miller) by Franz Schubert after the great success of their album Wanderer released in 2018.His fine, youthful and manly timbre works wonders throughout this cycle. It is a voyage through the joy and hope of youth, a joy soon tarnished by the cruel disillusionments of life. In the manner of an actor, and above all, a storyteller, Schuen gradually goes from laughter to tears and resignation. His style is unaffected, with a probity and simplicity that pleases. Accustomed to the Schubertiades of his neighbouring Schwarzenberg which he often visits, Andrès Schuen is supported by the attentive but somewhat matte piano playing of Daniel Heide, specialist in lieder and accompanist to the greatest voices of the day. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 19 februari 2021 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or
For his new recital published on the Decca label, Benjamin Grosvenor has chosen Franz Liszt, whose music has followed him since his childhood thanks to his grandfather's initiation. Dedicated to the pianistic monument that is the Sonata in B minor, the English pianist's programme aims to bear witness to the various aspects underlying the Hungarian composer's creation with emblematic compositions (Petrarch's Three Sonnets), original ones (Lullaby), as well as the extraordinary power of re-creation that Liszt distilled in his paraphrases; here we find the Reminiscences of Norma after Bellini and his arrangement of Schubert's Ave Maria.Every concert and every recording of Grosvenor's music is long awaited and desired, so rich is his personality and his extraordinary pianistic mastery. His recent album devoted to the Frédéric Chopin Concertos confirmed the pre-eminence of this pianist within a well-to-do brotherhood.His vision of the famous Liszt Sonata is immediately among the most inspired. Like a bird of prey, Grosvenor knows how to wait for the right moment to pounce on the chords with diabolical precision and contained rage, in a dramatic Mephistophelian tension. At the same time, the fluidity of his piano opens the door to the twentieth century and particularly to Ravel's world so dependent on the Liszt lesson. It is known that Brahms had fallen asleep when Liszt played his Sonata to him after a probably drunken dinner. Nothing probable here with this powerful evocation of life and death. Magisterial! © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Piano solo - Verschenen op 5 februari 2021 | La Grange à Sons

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Recorded 2020 Salle Molière, Palais de Bondy, Lyon (France)
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Piano solo - Verschenen op 29 januari 2021 | Passacaille

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Johannes Brahms composed only a small number of original works for piano four hands, but arranged almost all of his chamber music and orchestral works for this instrumentation. He played most of them immediately after their completion with Clara Schumann and greatly appreciated her opinion. In his Hungarian Dances Brahms brilliantly transformed original Hungarian melodies and rhythms into multi-coloured orchestral works. The Blüthner grand piano from 1867 shows how Brahms made perfect use of the entire keyboard in his writing for four hands. The various registers appear completely transparent and clear. It is not generally known that Brahms was a great admirer and friend of Johann Strauss. And he loved waltzes! Thus Brahms also created an instrumental version of his Liebeslieder-Walzer for piano four hands. Robert Schumann’s last theme, which he wrote for his so-called "Ghost Variations" immediately before being admitted to a mental hospital, is used by Brahms in his homage to Schumann, which was written immediately after his death in 1856: the Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann, Op. 23 for piano four hands, which ends with an impressive funeral march. For the piano duo Wyneke Jordans & Leo van Doeselaar it was an obvious choice to conclude their series with recordings of four-handed piano works by great German composers on period instruments with Brahms. © Passacaille
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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 22 januari 2021 | Mangora Classical

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Trio´s - Verschenen op 15 januari 2021 | Arion

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Piano solo - Verschenen op 20 november 2020 | Avie Records

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Both on the concert platform and in the recording studio, pianist Daniel-Ben Pienaar is a completist. Following complete cycles of piano sonatas by Beethoven and Mozart, he presents here 12 great piano sonatas by Franz Schubert – the composer’s 11 finished sonatas and the seminal fragment D. 840. Pienaar relishes in these revelatory works, their extraordinarily detailed possibilities of characterisation, their call for immense energy and abandon, and navigating the vast dreamscapes that unfold in the course of this six-hour musical journey. © AVIE Records
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Sacred Oratorios - Verschenen op 13 november 2020 | LSO Live

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Few recordings exist of Beethoven’s unique oratorio which drew influence from Händel’s work Haydn’s The Creation and the Seasons. A revelation came in 1966 Philadelphia when Eugene Ormandy made a beautiful recording of the oratorio. Ormandy’s lead was then followed by several more recordings. But, the composition remains a rarity within repertoires, even the monumental Beethoven edition published by Deutsche Grammophone for the 200th anniversary of the composers birth omitted this deserving oratorio.Christ on the Mount of Olives’ writing and theatricality varies in an experimental fashion that would give birth to Leonore the following year and then Fidelio ten years later. Beethoven seems to oscillate between several genres with a writing style that mixes academia, operatic vocal virtuosity and innovation (stemming from his own language). The bad reception of his 1803 work seems to shadow this oratorio like a malediction.This new recording by Sir Simon Rattle, captured during a concert performed at the Barbican Centre in London in February 2020, turns a salutary spotlight onto an all too often neglected work. Elsa Dreisig plays the seraph with great virtuosity and Pavol Breslik as a determined Christ.It was the first time that a composer had had Christ sang by a tenor and not by a bass singer, as was tradition. David Soar accurately plays the role of Peter, who is somewhat treated as secondary on the score. The choirs are omnipresent in their representation of the crowds (the “turba”) and their cries and murmurs. The one hundred and twenty-five singers in the London Symphony Choir are the true heroes of this vigorous interpretation which is brought to life with energy and dramatism by a particularly inspired and elated Sir Simon. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 23 oktober 2020 | Alpha

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Gidon Kremer and Mario Brunello pay tribute to Beethoven by presenting two of his most famous quartets in a version for string orchestra played by Kremerata Baltica. The ensemble’s founder Gidon Kremer directs Op.131 from the violin, while Mario Brunello conducts Op.135 and adds two contemporary pieces, one by Léo Ferré, "the revolutionary, anarchic, inspired singer-songwriter and great lover of Beethoven": Muss es sein? Es muss sein! ; Kremerata Baltica performs this hymn to “free music” in a version arranged by Valter Sivilotti for cello, strings and percussion with Ferré’s original voice. Note sconte means “hidden notes” in Venetian dialect. Franco Rossi, the legendary cellist of the Quartetto italiano, always invited his students, including Mario Brunello, to look for and give importance to the "note sconte" in the scores of string quartets. He asked Giovanni Sollima to write a piece in memory of Franco Rossi, of his great passion for Beethoven and his note sconte’. © Alpha Classics
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Trio´s - Verschenen op 16 oktober 2020 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama
Philippe Cassard, Anne Gastinel and David Grimal present these two Beethovenian masterpieces. The chosen approach is one of colour and generosity. On this astonishing disc we meet a Beethoven come down from his pedestal, who is human and even jovial. Where so many others offer rigidity of discourse and fussy sonorities, the three musicians illuminate these metaphysical pages with the finesse, freshness and grace of the aquarellist. © La Dolce Volta
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Concerten voor viool - Verschenen op 16 oktober 2020 | Warner Classics

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Symfonieën - Verschenen op 25 september 2020 | Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 25 september 2020 | Opera Rara

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Concerten voor cello - Verschenen op 25 september 2020 | Les Indispensables de Diapason

Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or
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Piano solo - Verschenen op 4 september 2020 | harmonia mundi

This box set assembles the complete Beethoven symphonies, patiently transcribed for piano over a quarter of a century and recorded for harmonia mundi by a glittering array of soloists in the late 1980s. Liszt’s assiduity in this task reminds us of his spiritual, well-nigh religious admiration for the older composer, a genius ‘consecrated in art’ whose ‘conscientious translator’ he wished to be, thanks to the latest pianistic advances. Traduttore or traditore? Judge for yourself: Liszt does not make simple reductions or arrangements, but totally rewrites the works, as if they had been originally conceived for the piano! © harmonia mundi
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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 28 augustus 2020 | Bru Zane

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or / Arte
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Symfonieën - Verschenen op 21 augustus 2020 | Myrios Classics

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The year 1841 finally marked Robert Schumann’s breakthrough as a composer for orchestra. That year, he created no less than two works: his First Symphony, also known as the “Spring Symphony”, and a piece which he initially planned as a “Symphonic Fantasy” in one move- ment, and which would later become his Symphony in D Minor.The Spring Symphony was composed in the coldest winter. Full of longing, it is a work that knows only one direction: growing, blossom- ing, the path to light and new life. The Symphony in D minor seems much more somber and intimate, “a work from the innermost depths of his soul”, as Clara Schumann noted in her diary. However, the audience could not warm up to this bold, impetuous work, and Schumann set it aside. Ten years later, after a major revision, he published it as his 4th Symphony.This album pairs the Spring Symphony with the original version of the Symphony in D minor, the version which friends such as Johannes Brahms preferred over the later edition. Schumann never heard it again in his lifetime, and it was not until 1889 that it was performed in public once more, by the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne under the baton of Franz Wüllner.François-Xavier Roth, the Gürzenich Orchestra’s current chief conductor, also prefers the original version. With its leaner orchestration, it is certainly the more radical one, and thus requires a higher degree of commitment from the orchestra musicians in forming crescendi, melodic phrases, and extended arcs of formal development. © Myrios Classics
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Kwartetten - Verschenen op 14 augustus 2020 | Lawo Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
Here is a truly sublime record: the string quartets of two composers known for completely different genres (opera for Verdi and symphony and symphonic poetry for Sibelius) are united. They are certainly two composers of opposing horizons, of incomparable aesthetic and universe. However, the formidable Vertigo String Quartet - one of the best quartets in the world - unites them with an irrepressible realism and bright tenderness of great sensitivity and subtleness. Verdi composed, with “amusement”, his brief Quartet in 1873 and regarded the piece of chamber music with distance, in no way considering it a major work of his. The Vertigo String Quartet naturally tailors it to German traditions, not too far off the works of Mendelssohn for example, through highlighting the inventive instrumentation, notably in the intriguing finale. A knockout Scherzo (Allegro assai mosso) in which some methods, strangely, evoke the universe of the Finnish composer with its harmonic bass pedals. The transition into Sibelius’ Voces intimae is natural but the expression remains, of course, radically different. For the Sibelius section, Vertavo’s incredibly beautiful strings have their own extraordinary clarity, and the balance between the four instruments, very difficult in this often neglected score, are simply exceptional (Vivace, Adagio di motto). Composed in 1909, the Quartet “Voces intimae” remains intimately linked to the Fourth Symphony. The Adagio di molto material encounters a second flourish in the slow section (Il tempo largo) in the Fourth. Vertavo play the Quartet “Voces intimae” precisely like a miniature symphony, detailing with almost surgical precision (but never cold!) the harmonic superpositions, bursting textures and an absolute absence of classical polyphony: the purely timbral aspect of the Sibelian universe is displayed with a spellbinding nature - the passages in “moto perpetuo” in the final Allegro are unforgettable! Here, the Vertavo String Quartet, through its stylistic accuracy have recorded without a doubt one of the strongest interpretations since the, historic, Fitzwilliam String Quartet’s for Decca in 1978. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz