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Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 5 oktober 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 februari 2019 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
After having released his complete recording of Mozart’s Sonatas and collaborated with the singer Mark Padmore (Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann), Kristian Bezuidenhout continues to expand his discography with Joseph Haydn this time. Under the record label Harmonia Mundi, the South-African pianist emphasizes the whimsical and fanciful elements of a selection of Haydn’s works that were influenced by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, a composer from whom he learnt a lot and described with a certain fondness. Here, the Sonata in C major (Hob. XVI:48) is halfway between the Variations on a Theme and a totally unbridled fantasy, whereas the Sonata in C minor (Hob.XVI:20) unlocks the full dramatic potential of keyboard music. The later works on this album are contrasted with earlier ones such as the charming and spirited Sonata in G major (XVI:6) which is followed by two sequences of variations. This repertoire showcases Haydn’s inexhaustible creative energy as well as his ability to reinvent himself with each of his works. The performer relishes the performance here, playing on a Paul McNulty fortepiano modelled on an Anton Walter Viennese piano from 1805. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 7 juni 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
While Mozart was largely overlooked in the French capital, Antonio Salieri took on the reigns of the Académie Royale de Musique (Paris Opera), a fruitful collaboration that was completely broken up by the French Revolution. After the success of his work Les Danaïdes, composed for Paris in 1784, Salieri worked tirelessly with Beaumarchais, spurred on by the success and scandal of his Figaro, on a new project which would become Tarare. Beaumarchais moved himself shamelessly toward stardom, skillfully self-promoting and attending rehearsals so as to assure that the orchestra played pianissimo to emphasize the primacy of his verse during performances. Beaumarchais found that the music was too overwhelming to “embellish the lyrics”.Created one year after Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (which was relatively well-received in Vienna before triumphing in Prague), Tarare was an immense success in Paris maintaining the status of the composer’s repertoire despite the political turmoil of the time before disappearing from view around 1826, thereon ceasing to be played. Beaumarchais’ words were immediately adapted into Italian by Lorenzo Da Ponte to be performed and met with equal success in Vienna. Tarare is half lyrical tragedy, half comic opera with a hint of orientalism.After resuscitating Les Danaïdes and Les Horaces, Christophe Rousset finished off his series of recordings dedicated to Salieri’s French operas for the Parisian public. Tarare is very much of its time, that of the Lumières, and used the power of art to challenge despotism in all its forms. Thanks to Christophe Rousset’s excellent delivery and lively direction, this recording enables one to judge the merits of the composition and the chasm that separates an honest and talented musician from a solitary and impassioned one like Mozart. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Piano solo - Verschenen op 5 oktober 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 étoiles de Classica
A century after his death on 25 March 1918, many harmonia mundi artists are eager to pay tribute to Claude Debussy, the magician of melody and timbre, the great 'colourist' and father of modern music. After Rachmaninoff's Preludes, Nikolai Lugansky wanted to present a finely nuanced portrait of this composer so fond of travelling! Whether it ranges over time (Hommage à Haydn) or the most vividly imagined open spaces, this freely composed programme is concerned above all with light and colour, in works we can never tire of. © harmonia mundi
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Trio´s - Verschenen op 3 mei 2019 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
Rachmaninoff's output of chamber music is small but all the more precious for that. Two absolute gems bear witness to the fact: these ‘elegiac trios’, which were produced by a young composer still indisputably under the influence of Tchaikovsky. But Rachmaninoff’s personality is already fully present, reaching heights of emotion and expressiveness. The pieces by Suk and Grieg add a further touch of character to the picture, which is painted with an exceptionally rich palette: the artistry of the phenomenal Trio Wanderer! © harmonia mundi
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 10 mei 2019 | Berlin Classics

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
We are standing in a picture gallery of music. All around us we can hear snippets of the great works for string quartets, along with unfamiliar things to delight the ear; it is truly a music-lover’s paradise. "Chiaroscuro" forms the conclusion of a rather special trilogy of albums by the Schumann Quartet and at the same time marks a journey’s end. After the quartet searched their own roots with their first album "Landscapes" and engaged with their namesake Robert Schumann on the follow-up album "Intermezzo", they are now completing their journey with the new album "Chiaroscuro". As of today there is a second foretaste of the upcoming album: Shostakovich's "Elegy" from string quartet 15. The piece can be heard from today on all common platforms. © Berlin Classics
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 14 juni 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet
Following a previous recording devoted to Mozart, François Chaplin has chosen Brahms' latest opus for solo piano: Rhapsodies Op. 79 and the intermezzi from Klavierstücke Op. 117 and Op. 118. The Rhapsodies, moving and powerful scores, express Brahms' sober melancholy. Far from his symphonic works, the interludes of Opus 117 and Opus 118, true miniatures, reveal the inner imagination of the composer. Brahms talks directly to the heart of the listener with his mature and sober poetry. Within these Klavierstücke, the interlude is a humble but generous genre where the musician gathers freely the fruits of his most intimate inspiration. These « lullabies of pain », as he called them, are composed during summer in the Austrian countryside, dear to this sturdy northern German. The emotion that emerges from it is all the more intense as it measures his artistic evolution. On this journey, François Chaplin brings out a soft poetry from a contained lyricism. © Aparté
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 19 oktober 2018 | Mariinsky

Hi-Res Booklet
Stravinsky's historical status in Russia today is rather ambiguous. The young Russian composer left his native country shortly before the Revolution of October 1917 to care for his wife in Switzerland and didn’t return until 1962. He was welcomed triumphantly, but almost like a composer who was foreign to his own country. In the meantime, Stravinsky had become French, then American, turning his back on Soviet politics by becoming one of the main figures in Western musical composition. Following the collapse of the communist system and the emergence of today's Russia, Stravinsky's music gradually became part of the repertoire of Russian orchestras, as did the work of national treasures such as Tchaikovsky or Shostakovich. Here Valery Gergiev offers us the colourful original version of Petrushka (1911), with its large orchestra and a meter that had not yet been standardized by the subsequent revisions made by the composer. The poetry of the circus prevails here, and the accomplished virtuosos of the excellent Mariinsky Orchestra wonderfully restore the popular flavour of Stravinsky's music. The musical language is completely different in Playing cards, the ballet that the Russian composer wrote in the United States for dancer and choreographer George Balanchine in 1936. This came at the height of Stravinsky’s neoclassical period, that dates back to his 1920 ballet Pulcinella. Though in a way, was Petrushka not a "neoclassical" ballet too? Although the language is different, the parodic meaning, which we so often find in Stravinsky’s world, is present in both works; the citations being from popular origins in Petrushka (Wood leg for example, a song made famous by Dranem in 1908) as well as learned origins in Playing Cards, which merrily mixes The Barber of Seville by Rossini with Symphony No.5 by Beethoven and La Valse by Ravel in a pleasant potpourri. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 maart 2019 | Berlin Classics

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Kwartetten - Verschenen op 11 januari 2019 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 29 maart 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
Frescobaldi brilliantly combines improvisation and architecture. These qualities resonate with the discography of harpsichordist Christophe Rousset, whose choice of repertoire and interpretation are adventurous and serious at the same time. Frescobaldi’s counterpoint goes along with the finest art of singing, inherited from the Italian madrigal, and the flexibility of his language highlights the virtuosity of his compositions. Christophe Rousset recorded toccate and partite on a beautiful and original harpsichord of the late 16th century. Its sound faithfully testifies for the significant place of this First Book of harpsichord pieces in the nascent modernity of Frescobaldi. If the modal harmonies are still old-fashioned, the free beat and subtle melodies make it an indisputable baroque master, admired from Italy to France and Germany: Bach is said to have had a copy of his Fiori musicali! This new disc by Christophe Rousset reveals the first treasures composed specifically for the harpsichord. Its repertoire was served from the beginning by musicians whose expressive boldness recalls in a musical way Caravaggio’s chiaroscuro. © Aparté
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 7 december 2018 | Aparté

Booklet
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Religieuze vocale muziek - Verschenen op 11 januari 2019 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or
The regime of Queen Elizabeth I dealt harshly with supporters of the old Catholic religion. Torn between obedience and conscience, some of England’s most talented musicians – Philips, Dering and Dowland – chose a life of exile abroad. Others chose to remain in spiritual isolation in England, comparing themselves to the exiled Israelites in Babylon. Amongst them were Robert White, whose five-part Lamentations are one of the glories of English music of any age, and William Byrd, whose anguished Catholic music is referenced in Shakespeare’s enigmatic poem The Phoenix and the Turtle, vividly set by Huw Watkins especially for stile antico. © harmonia mundi
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 7 juni 2019 | audite Musikproduktion

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Andrea Lucchesini’s career continues discreetly in the shadow of more mediatized Italian pianists. The star pupil, like Nelson Goerner, of the great Maria Tipo, Lucchesini has invested a lot of his time into concerts and recording. After becoming known for his interpretations of Luciano Berio’s music, in particular his concerto Echoing Curves directed by the composer himself, he has recorded the integrity of Beethoven’s sonatas for the label Stradivarius.Over the last few years, Lucchesini has concentrated on Schubert, “my great love”, he calls him. These two very different composers on the cusp of romanticism fascinate Andrea Lucchesini who presents here his first volume dedicated to the late works of Schubert. These works were written at a time when the composer of Lieder returned to composing sonatas amidst greats like Beethoven who also coincidentally lived in the same town.For Lucchesini, Schubert remains an enigma. The man left behind almost no written documents, he never stayed put in one precise residence and no one could understand his shyness, agitation, nor his latent homosexuality. “Rediscovering his final works”, says Andrea Lucchenini, “showed me the difference between the artist who entertained his friends and the composer who worked in solitude without any prospect of being published nor played.” Such solitude that longs to break free can be heard clearly in this album, particularly in the interpretation of Andantino of Sonata D. 959 through which troubling phantoms move. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 12 april 2019 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - 5 étoiles de Classica
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 24 mei 2019 | Rubicon Classics

Hi-Res Booklet
Schoenberg’s early String Sextet Verklärte Nacht (op.4) dates from 1899. He made the arrangement for string orchestra in 1943. It is a work heavily indebted to Wagner, and especially Tristan und Isolde although the unique voice of Schoenberg is already apparent. Gurrelieder and Pelleas und Melisande would bring the curtain down on his late romantic period and the daring atonal music that has caused him to remain a musical bogey man for many would follow. Verklärte Nacht is a wonderful, intensely moving work and the ideal introduction to this great composer. Honegger, famous today for his depiction in music of an express steam locomotive Pacific 231 and the game of rugby in the eponymous work for orchestra composed five symphonies. The second is scored for strings and trumpet. Composed for Paul Sacher and his Basel Chamber Orchestra it was written during the darkest years of World War II. The Nazi’s had banned Honegger’s music and he was branded as ‘leftist’, composing music for films for resistance cinema. It is a powerful work with a lament -like central slow movement and an energetic choral theme in the finale providing a sense of triumphant resolution. © Rubicon
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 8 maart 2019 | audite Musikproduktion

Hi-Res Booklet
As a reflection of the rise of a young 23-year-old musician with a bright future, Richard Strauss’ Violin Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 18 dates back to 1887-1888. As a protégé of Hans von Bülow who saw in him the great musician of the future, the young man made his debut as a conductor, an activity he would combine with composing throughout his life. Strauss studied the piano and the violin; here, he uses them both to purely expressive ends, dismissing any vain attempt at virtuosity. The writing is lyrical above all else, as evidenced by the harmonic and melodic turns that clearly prefigure his later lyrical works’ expression and convoluted melisma. Shostakovich’s Sonata for Violin and Piano in G major, Op. 134 is the complete antithesis of Strauss’. Composed in 1968 as a 60th-birthday present for great violinist David Oistrakh, it is the work of a sick composer, partially paralysed and suffering from lung cancer due to smoking. Accused of “formalism” and taxed as “enemy of the people” by Soviet leaders, Shostakovich wrote a painful, austere piece, the implacable and tragic confession of his own sadness. Born in the GDR in 1969, violinist Franziska Pietsch studied in Germany, then at the Juilliard School in New York before perfecting her craft with Ruggiero Ricci and Zakhar Bron. Her partner, Spanish pianist Josu de Solaun, has won several international prizes (Valencia, New York, Prague, Bucharest) and performs all around the world. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 2 november 2018 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 22 maart 2019 | Berlin Classics

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 18 januari 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet
Inspired by the black aura of Romanticism, Novus Quartet’s new disc brings together two major works from the Romantic repertoire. The finest Korean musicians put their virtuosity in the service of Schubert’s moving Death and the Maiden and Berg’s Lyrical Suite. In their own way, these works proceed to the encryption of the feeling of love. It is not a question of hiding it but of expressing it more powerfully than with words. And the intermingling of reminiscences weaves an irresistible poetic discourse – Schubert quoting one of his Lieder and Berg as homage to Zemlinsky’s Symphonie Lyrique. A record that once again allows this captivating quartet to hear the full extent of his talents in romantic music, from the dawn of the period until his last fires. They literally thrive in this repertoire! © Aparté