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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 18 januari 2019 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica
Alpha begins a complete cycle of the symphonies by Sibelius alongside some of his symphonic poems with Gothenburg Symphony and its new chief conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali. In the great tradition of Finnish conductors, Santtu-Matias Rouvali is known for his extremely physical and organic interpretations: ‘Music unmistakeably flows from him’, commented The Sunday Times. This was evident when, at a very young age, he stepped in to conduct a concert with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra which began the journey to his first tenure as Chief Conductor with the Tampere Philharmonic; a meteoric rise to a career working at the highest musical level internationally; and a third post as Principal Guest Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. When Bachtrack asked him how he shapes the orchestral sound, he replied: ‘I sing it, I move my hands the way I want it (…) the conductor should be able to show tempo somewhere in the body (…) I was also a drum kit player, so my feet and hands can do different things at the same time. When you read the score, you sing it in your head (…) I think it’s the sense of inside groove that you get from playing percussion which is very important in Sibelius’s music.’ In the Gothenburg Symphony he finds a prestigious cohort of musicians with an impressive discography, and joins a line of their illustrious musical directors, notably Neeme Järvi, the orchestra’s principal conductor from 1982 to 2004, but also Gustavo Dudamel, who is honorary conductor. © Outhere Music
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Sacred Oratorios - Verschenen op 12 april 2019 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Record of the Month - Choc de Classica
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Symfonieën - Verschenen op 3 mei 2019 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Record of the Month - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Piano solo - Verschenen op 30 november 2018 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica
Through his “brilliance and maturity” (as described by The Guardian) the Russian-Lithuanian pianist Lukas Geniušas has established himself on the international scene as one of the most interesting artists of his generation. He has appeared in London's Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Milan's Salle Verdi, Moscow's Conservatory and Roque d'Anthéron, and with orchestras such as the Philharmonique de Radio France, the National de Lyon, the NHK of Tokyo, the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, the Russian National Orchestra, the list goes on... He has chosen here a Prokofiev programme combining early works from his younger years (the Ten Pieces Op. 12 which is a junior work and yet so intimately prokofievian already!) with the work from his first stage of maturity (Second Sonata from 1912) and the work from his full maturity (the Fifth Sonata). Even better, this Fifth Sonata was written "for the first time" in 1923 after his time in Paris, then revised three decades later under the constraint, undoubtedly, of the infamous Jdanov decree which had accused the composer of all anti-Soviet evils, but also due to a very personal concern (he wanted to purify the piano gesture). In a way this work seems almost "Parisian" as it has so many similarities with Poulenc's style. © SM/Qobuz
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Concerten voor klavier - Verschenen op 19 april 2019 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Le Choix de France Musique
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Kwartetten - Verschenen op 26 april 2019 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Formed in 1994 at the Royal College of Music in London, the Belcea Quartet already has an impressive discography, including the complete Beethoven string quartets. For this new recording, the ensemble has chosen three quartets by two iconic composers of the 20th century: Leos Janáček and György Ligeti. Fifteen years after their first recording for Zig-Zag, and after some changes in personnel, they have decided to record again the two string quartets by Janáček. The First Quartet was inspired by Leon Tolstoy’s famous novella, The Kreutzer Sonata: the four-movement work follows the narrative, including its culminating murder. The Second Quartet is subtitled Intimate Letters, in homage to Kamila Stösslova, with whom the composer had an important relationship expressed through letters, one that influenced both his life and his music. Finally, the First Quartet by Ligeti, subtitled Métamorphoses nocturnes because of its particular form. The composer described the work as a sort of theme and variations, but not with a specific theme that is then subsequently varied: rather, it is a single musical thought appearing under constantly new guises – for this reason the word ‘metamophoses’ is more appropriate than ‘variations’. © Alpha Classics
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Liederen (Duitsland) - Verschenen op 31 mei 2019 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Qobuzism
Born in a small Norwegian village in 1987 (and is thus inevitably compared to her long-time compatriot Kirsten Flagstad), soprano Lise Davidsen was almost built to embody Wagnerian and Straussian heroines. For her first record under the label Decca, with whom she has signed an exclusive contract, she has chosen to present several facets of femininity in the vocal stylings of Elisabeth (Tannhäuser), Ariane (Ariane à Naxos) and… Pauline. Pauline being Richard Strauss’ beloved wife to whom he dedicated many Lieder from his opus 27 - the 1894 cycle offered to his wife as a wedding gift - until the last Vier letzte Lieder in 1948.Under the supple baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Philharmonic Orchestra embraces the brassy voice of the Norwegian soprano with finesse and elegance. As you will see, this record, with its carefully devised programme, oscillates between youth and old age, in the presence of ghosts and death. You may wonder how one can express mortality at just 30 years old with such a powerful timbre, radiant health and a whole life ahead of you. The answer lies in Lise Davidsen’s voice, which upsurges as if it were a promise of immortality, the music of the last Strauss piece returning one last time to its past, to a Europe in ruins.Discovered in 1984, after the death of the singer and dedicatee Maria Jeritza, Malven (“The Mallows") is Richard Strauss’ true “last song”. Lighter in tone than the Vier letzte Lieder to which it might have belonged, it is presented here in an orchestration by Wolfgang Rihm. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Concerten voor klavier - Verschenen op 12 oktober 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica
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Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 19 oktober 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - 5 étoiles de Classica
Staying true to himself, harpsichordist Jean Rondeau stirs up another musical storm. In his interpretation of around fifteen Sonatas by Scarlatti, he unleashes a kind of rawness, a poetic rawness, as if he had invented the sonatas on the spot. But no, no, they are indeed Scarlatti’s sonatas! On the other hand, Domenico's letter to Queen Marie-Barbara de Bragança, found in the accompanying booklet, is factually apocryphal. She was his pupil as early as 1720 and continued to be until her royal marriage to the Spanish court; it seems that it was for her that he wrote his approximately five hundred and fifty-five sonatas, that is to say that he had found a student worthy of his genius. The farce on the ninth track is also apocryphal, which Rondeau uses as an interlude between the two “parts” of his programme. It is a funny little improvisation of jumbled notes and clusters - enough to clean the ears between the two Scarlattis. The instrument used here is quite amazing; it is a harpsichord “based on German models”, built in 2006 by Jonte Knif & Arno Pelto. It offers an extremely rich sound with a rather unusual tone, showing that it takes more than just pressing the keys of a harpsichord to get the desired sound. With his very personal technique, Rondeau makes his harpsichord wonderfully unique, giving the baroque music an incredibly modern feel. © SM/Qobuz
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Missen, passies, requiems - Verschenen op 19 oktober 2018 | Glossa

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - 5 étoiles de Classica
The modern-day appreciation of Francesco Bartolomeo Conti takes a decisive turn in the direction of his church music with this early eighteenth-century composer’s Missa Sancti Pauli given an ideal recording on Glossa by György Vashegyi, the Purcell Choir and Orfeo Orchestra. Conti was a Florentine who worked for much of his career in the Imperial Court in Vienna, generating much attention there – the ever-observant Johann Sebastian Bach and Zelenka were both known to have been attracted by his music. Curiously, it was liturgical works like this 1715 Missa Sancti Pauli which kept Conti’s name known until near to the end of the nineteenth century rather than the operas, oratorios and cantatas with which he delighted the Viennese Court and which have hitherto been receiving the attention of artists and record labels today. If Conti’s church music is less fledgling Classical than his dramatic fare, there is much in the way of melodic tunefulness and concertato style – for both voices and instruments – to combine with fugalimitative writing reminiscent of the “stile antico”. The work is a “Credo Mass” (both Mozart and Beethoven were to write examples of this genre, with its rondolike restatement of the word in the Credo section. The tone, control, presence and unity of the Purcell Choir have been amply demonstrated already on Glossa in music of the French Baroque – Rameau and Mondonville in particular – and the singers are given full opportunity to shine in Conti’s mass – as are the orchestra, comprised mainly of strings, and the vocal soloists, who include Adriána Kalafszky, Péter Bárány, Zoltán Megyesi and Thomas Dolié. Bárány and Megyesi are also soloists in two additional works: the motet, Fastos caeli audite and the aria Pie Jesu, ad te refugio. © Glossa
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Symfonieën - Verschenen op 9 november 2018 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Exceptional sound - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Symfonieën - Verschenen op 5 april 2019 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Vocale muziek (wereldlijk en religieus) - Verschenen op 3 mei 2019 | Signum Records

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Le Choix de France Musique
Fans of the British crown’s splendour will certainly marvel at this double album that reproduces the coronation anthems of the four monarchs of the 20th century: Edward VII in 1902, George V in 1911, George VI in 1937, and current Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Very few of today’s ceremonies can reach such levels of grandeur.At the crossroads of tradition and innovation, these coronation ceremonies are characterised by the evocation of past heritage works, and the addition of numerous pieces commissioned specifically for the occasion to the best composers in the kingdom. For such events, Westminster Abbey is closed for several months to allow an army of craftsmen to build monumental galleries capable of hosting up to eight thousand guests. Then come the rehearsals with 400-singer choirs, half of them children, an immense orchestra, and the indispensable great organ.This recording is a selection of the best moments of these ceremonies, presented as a single liturgical structure. This ample reconstitution led by Paul McCreesh follows for the most part the 1937 ceremony, dropping however the era’s typical style when interpreting Handel. The musical approach has changed so much that it is presented here in the “baroque” style characteristic of our early 21st century. Some difficult choices were made, particularly regarding the Te Deum, the centrepiece and climax of the ceremony. A Cornelian choice between the ones from Stanford (1902), Parry (1911), Vaughan Williams (1937) and William Walton (1953). The latter was finally chosen, for its radiance and theatrical impetus. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Kwartetten - Verschenen op 30 november 2018 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica - Exceptional sound
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 10 mei 2019 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
2019 will see the 500th commemoration of the death of one of the greatest geniuses humanity has produced: Leonardo da Vinci, scientist, inventor, painter – and musician. Doulce Mémoire, having devoted themselves to Renaissance music for the past 30 years, have decided to pay homage to Leonardo. Their founder-director, Denis Raisin Dadre, an eminent specialist in the music of the period and a great lover of pictorial art, has devised an original programme: ‘Rather than just make music from the time of Leonardo, I’ve taken my cue from the paintings themselves. I’ve worked on what could be the hidden music of these pictures, what musical pieces might be suggested by them….’ He chose around fifteen paintings, many of which are now in the Louvre: The Baptism of Christ, The Virgin of the Rocks, Portrait of Isabella d’Este, Portrait of an Unknown Woman (La belle ferronnière), Saint Anne, St. John the Baptist… and of course La Gioconda. He then matched them with works by Jacob Obrecht (1457-1505), Josquin Desprez (1450-1521), laude for the Annunciation. There are also some frotolle, and songs to texts by Petrarch accompanied by the lira da braccio, an instrument Leonardo played himself. This recording comes with a handsome booklet, including reproductions of the pictures by Leonardo, some in detail, giving an intimate insight into them; there is also a text by Denis Raisin Dadre explaining his selection. © Alpha Classics
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 februari 2019 | Warner Classics

Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama
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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 22 februari 2019 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique
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Concerten voor viool - Verschenen op 26 oktober 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique
To say that the concerto was one of Haydn's favourite forms would be a bit much, daft even. The man wrote a good hundred symphonies, dozens of quartets, trios, piano sonatas, fifteen or so masses and as many operas, and oratorios... Currently we know of three violin concertos (others being lost or apocryphal), two cello concertos (others... see above), one horn concerto, one for trumpet (there are no others) and at most about ten concertos for piano. Musically, they are fascinating works, but the level of technical skill they demand runs from moderate to a bit tricky. But the First Cello Concerto is not without its moments of difficulty, such as the rapid high notes in the final movement, and it offers some real fireworks. It should also be noted that most of the concertos were written for Esterházy, specifically for the first soloists in the house orchestra of Konzertmeister Luigi Tomasini and first cellist Joseph Weigl. The orchestral accompaniments offered the soloists some fine backdrops: in particular in the second movement of the Concerto for violin in C Major , with the orchestra's string section accompanying the solo violin with a sort of lute-playing that becomes a kind of serenade à la Don Giovanni. Amandine Beyer takes up the violin for this recording, while Marco Ceccato deals with the cello solo – both members of the Gli Incogniti ensemble ("The Unknowns"), a fluid grouping that plays without a conductor. Their leaderless style means that the musicians all listen to one another: it's a lovely way of making music (and sadly rare in the world of orchestras). © SM/Qobuz
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 5 oktober 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Qobuzism
For her first recital with orchestra album, young Franco-Danish soprano Elsa Dreisig had the idea of presenting five pairs of songs in which each part of the pair is ambiguously related to the other, like a mirror’s reflection. This process leads to striking juxtapositions of different musical styles, dramatic moments, historical periods and contrasting voices; classicism and romanticism complement each other, terror answers joy, and the result is a view of the feminine soul all its facets. The first pairing involves two mirrors: the one in which Marguerite from Gounod's Faust admires herself and Thaïs's mirror in Massenet's opera (Thaïs). There follows Puccini's vision of Manon Lescaut, and then Manon (sans Lescaut) as imagined by Massenet. Following this we have Juliette, this is a rather daring pairing of the largely-forgotten early romantic German composer Daniel Steibelt with Gounod's Juliette. Elsa Dreisig then moves onto the two famous Figaros, one from Rossini's Barber (Rosina) and the other from Mozart's Marriage, with the gentle tones of the Countess. Finally, and more daring still, we end with the Salome of the Hérodiade by Massenet, a tender young woman who is not after anyone's head; and then Strauss's Salome, with her sanguinary madness. Probably in order to avoid the temptation of comparisons with other recordings, our singer has opted for the 1907 French version – note that this work by Oscar Wilde was itself originally written in French. This is the most extraordinary selection that one could hope for in a first recording from any artist, all accompanied by the Montpelier Orchestra, conducted by Michael Schønwandt. © SM/Qobuz
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Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 15 maart 2019 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica
Two years after releasing her CD dedicated to Book I of J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Céline Frisch now presents the second volume of this musical landmark. Bach compiled Book II in 1744, twenty-two years after Book I. It took until 1801 for both volumes to be printed: from then until the present day they have inspired countless composers. After a series of recordings with the Ensemble Zimmermann she helped to found, Céline Frisch returns to the harpsichord recital, for a programme of this, her very favourite music. Through these preludes and fugues, she reminds us that far from being technical exercises, the Well- Tempered Clavier is a work of pure pleasure and constant renewed discovery. As Robert Schumann declared: ‘You should frequently play the fugues of the great masters, particularly those of J.S. Bach. Make the Well-Tempered Clavier your daily bread.’ © Alpha Classics