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Klassiek - Verschenen op 7 juli 2014 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Even though Antonín Dvorák remains among the most popular of Romantic composers, compilations of his complete symphonies are somewhat scarce, especially when compared to those of other great symphonists of the 19th century. That's one reason why Jirí Belohlávek's 2014 set with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra should get classical fans' attention, but a more valid reason to acquire this collection is the exceptionally high quality of the performances, which Decca recorded in a series of subscription concerts between 2010 and 2014. A deciding factor should be the strong feeling this conductor and orchestra have for Dvorák's music, not only because of a shared Bohemian tradition and the composer's legacy (Dvorák conducted the Czech Philharmonic's first concert in 1896), but also because few other orchestras communicate the rhythms and colors of the music as vibrantly and with as much excitement. As rare as sets of the complete symphonic cycle are, those that include Dvorák's concertos are rarer still. The recordings Belohlávek and the CPO made of the Cello Concerto in B minor with Alisa Weilerstein, the Violin Concerto in A minor with Frank Peter Zimmerman, and the Piano Concerto in G minor with Garrick Ohlsson are essential listening, and their inclusion with the symphonies gives the package much greater value. Decca's high-definition sound delivers clean details and close-up presence, so even though these recordings are live, they sound as fine as a studio recording. Highly recommended. © TiVo
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Concerten voor cello - Verschenen op 18 mei 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
After two albums which met with unanimous critical acclaim all over the world, the Resonanz Ensemble, based in Hamburg, is offering a recording dedicated to Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: the Cello Concertos wq. 170 and Wq. 172, respectively from 1750 and 1753, and the Symphonie Wq. 173 of 1741. The listener will immediately note the radical difference in language between the two concertos, written after the death of Bach Senior, and the Symphony, written while he was still alive: the concertos keep their eyes firmly fixed on the nascent classical era, including the "Sturm und Drang" which still lay ahead (in this regard, the Concerto in A Minor which opens the album, full of force and melodic power, is an excellent example), whereas the Symphony takes the final throes of baroque as its point of departure. Cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras and the Resonanz Ensemble offer a crystal-clear reading, conducted by their new musical director in residence, violinist Riccardo Minasi: and coolly resist the vogue – which can be quite intrusive, or even dictatorial or exclusive – for period instruments, which seems to hold that any music before Mozart (and even sometimes Mozart too) may not be played on modern instruments. Queyras, Resonanz and Minasi are all able to make use of stylistic elements gleaned from the fashion for baroque. This is a very fine album, superbly played, which really brings out all the originality of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. © SM/Qobuz
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Concerten voor klavier - Verschenen op 15 mei 2015 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 23 februari 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Diamant d'Opéra - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
With his ensemble Pygmalion, Raphaël Pichon has written the listing for this album in the form of a "pastiche" of a Mass for the Dead, a Requiem both sacred and profane. While it is a long way from having all the defining traits, it does possess all the outlines: Introit, Kyrie, Gradual, Sequence, Offertory, In Paradisum... The idea came about after a recent discovery, in the Bibliothèque Nationale of an anonymous requiem mass from the 18th century, in which the writer constructed a "parody" based on musical extracts from Castor and Pollux and the Fêtes de Paphos by Jean-Philippe Rameau. Note that the term "parody" doesn't necessarily imply satire or mockery: it refers to the practice of taking up older music and setting new words to it. This fusion of sacred music (the mass) and profane music (lyrical tragedy), a common practice during the Enlightenment, was a procedure that Pichon wanted to take up. In French society at the time, when Catholicism was the norm, where the political system was monarchical rule by divine right, the representation of ancient pagan Hell on theatrical stages seemed to betray a fascination in the beliefs of the ancients. And so this programme melds together pagan fable with a Christian imaginary, where Hell takes on different faces. It is the place of unjust and eternal torment, a place of privation where a couple is separated, one half kept in Hades. But, in the lyrical tragedy, Hell is also a place of perdition: obscure forces unleashed in Sabbath rites, a Satanic vision which unearths the darkest depths of the human soul... Stéphane Degout is the author of this tragedy, bringing together such varied characters as Phaedra, Pluto, and the Parcae. The composers whose music is put to use are Rameau and Gluck, with a single borrowing from Rebel: it would have been a shame not to mention his singular Chaos (taken from Éléments), which starts with a dissonant chord containing the seven notes of the scale of D minor. © SM/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 19 mei 2017 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik
What was the context in which so great a masterpiece such as Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo could be born back in 1607, invested with such beauty, endowed with such profundity of expression and so perfect a structure, at a time when the operatic form was still in its infancy? These are precisely the questions that lie at the origin of this recording project, giving Pichon and his musicians the opportunity to discover the astonishing musico-dramatic productions that preceded L’Orfeo, notably those performed at the Medici court in Florence, in which one may discern the seeds of numerous elements to be found in L’Orfeo. At the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries, it was ovbviously the city of the Medici that was the main focus of one of the most fascinating moments in the history of music: the birth of opera. Concentrating on the years from 1589 to 1611, i.e. the premiere of the intermedi for theatre piece called La pellegrina at one end and the performance in Florence of Marco da Gagliano’s Dafne at the other, Pichon has devised four imaginary “interludes” – inspired by the form of the intermedio so popular at this period – in which he assembled some of the finest examples of the first stirrings of opera, the music pieces of which are signed Lorenzo Allegri, Antonio Brunelli, Giovanni Battista Buonamente, Giulio Caccini, Emilio de’ Cavalieri, Girolamo Fantini, Marco da Gagliano, Cristofano Malvezzi, Luca Marenzio, Alessandro Orologio, Jacopo Peri and Alessandro Striggio. In imitation of the ancient theatre, intermedi were entertainments inserted between the acts of plays, with sumptuous visual effects, which provided a pretext for allegories to the glory of the reigning dynasty. The place of music and the fantastic element in theatrical performances acquired an ever grander and more spectacular character, thanks notably to the genius of set designers and the progress made in the domain of stage machinery. Seeing the artistic and political potential of the genre, the powerful princely families of the northern half of Italy (Gonzagas, Este and Medici, as well as the papal court), encouraged its development. Intermedi ended up occupying so important a place that they became a show within the show, with the aim of dazzling the audience. It was in 1589 that the Florentine tradition of intermedi attained its zenith, with the six sumptuous entertainments devised by Count Bardi to accompany the comedy La pellegrina, performed on the occasion of the wedding of Grand Duke Ferdinando I and Princess Christina of Lorraine, grand-daughter of Catarina de’ Medici. In their variety and novelty, with a balanced combination of polyphony and the nascent monody, not forgetting instrumental and dance music, the intermedi of 1589 opened the way for an integrally sung form of theatre. And indeed it was once again Florence that witnessed the first examples of the Gesamtkunstwerk, the perfect model of the alliance between poetry and music. At the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries, a veritable laboratory was set up in Florence, prompting poets and composers to bring together several forms of musical expression in a single place? Building on the models established by earlier generations, composers continued their experiments with sound-space and the spatialisation of music, what with the proliferation of echo effects in the early monodies, or madrigals featuring dialogues between as many as seven independent choirs. But how can one tell this story nowadays, revive this rich adventure? The solution chosen for this recording was to create from scratch a large-scale imaginary work, resembling an initiatory journey, that would weld these multiple works into a single whole.
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Concerten voor klavier - Verschenen op 26 augustus 2016 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or de l'année - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Diapason d'or / Arte - Le Choix de France Musique - 4 étoiles Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 5 februari 2016 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Symfonieën - Verschenen op 16 juni 2017 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Record of the Month - 4 étoiles Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
After establishing a secure reputation as an interpreter of the large-scale symphonies of Anton Bruckner and Gustav Mahler, Yannick Nézet-Séguin turns his attention from late Romanticism to its earlier phase, as represented by the five symphonies of Felix Mendelssohn. Over three successive concerts in February 2016, Nézet-Séguin and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe performed the cycle to critical acclaim in the Grande salle Pierre Boulez of the Philharmonie de Paris. The vibrant sonorities of the orchestra and the hall's resonance are major attractions for this 2017 Deutsche Grammophon release, because Nézet-Séguin is focused on crisp articulation and clean instrumental colors, while the acoustics give the music a luminous sheen without blurring it. This is nowhere more evident than in the purely orchestral works, particularly the underplayed Symphony No. 1 in C minor, the ever-popular Symphony No. 3 in A minor, "Scottish," and the Symphony No. 4 in A major, "Italian," which offer infectious melodies, lively rhythms, and the warm tone colors that Deutsche Grammophon's expert engineering captures so well. The sound quality is less appealing in the choral movements of the Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, "Hymn of Praise," due to the RIAS Kammerchor's hazy blend and Mendelssohn's heavier scoring, which make this quasi-oratorio suffer in comparison with the transparent "Scottish" and "Italian." The Symphony No. 5 in D minor, "Reformation" is perhaps the least compelling, owing to its earnest treatment of Lutheran hymns and the lack of effervescence that made the other orchestral symphonies so delightful, and to which Nézet-Séguin seems more attuned. © TiVo
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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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Klassiek - Verschenen op 12 oktober 2018 | ECM New Series

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 13 september 2019 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Gifted with a vast talent and supported by a powerful global marketing operation, the young Polish-Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki has now been catapulted into the ranks of the global piano stars. He was 15 when Deutsche Grammophon had him sign an exclusive contract; at 24, standing in for a poorly Murray Perahia, he played Beethoven's five Concertos at the head of the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields for a European tour in eight different cities. There are in fact three stand-in pianists for Perahia, given he is prone to recurrent health problems. Nelson Freire, Rudolf Buchbinder and Jan Lisiecki who performed the five concertos, conducting from his keyboard, on the 2, 4 and 6 December 2018 in the Berlin Konzerthaus. This complete recording was a part of the commemorations of Beethoven's 250th birthday, which is seeing recordings rain down in a monsoon that shows no signs of stopping until Spring 2020. It will not, however, form a part of the monumental box set that Deutsche Grammophon is getting ready to release, and which will cover all the yellow label's previous recordings, in particular those which were made for the 1970 bicentenary. This new album, which adds to the hundreds of other versions, has the merit of youth, and gives a sort of overview of contemporary musical interpretations, of Beethoven in particular, at the start of the 21st Century. It presents a clean bill of health for classical music, and showcases the extraordinary quality of contemporary musicians: so there is much to celebrate. Lisiecki's Beethoven is not only joyful but also radiant, intelligent, agile, and extremely lucid. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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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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Piano solo - Verschenen op 22 juni 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 26 mei 2017 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik
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Trio´s - Verschenen op 23 september 2016 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 17 maart 2017 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Piano solo - Verschenen op 3 november 2014 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 18 januari 2015 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 13 april 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Recording Ravel's music on period instruments is the kind of thing that might raise a smile... until you realise just how much the production of instruments has changed in less than a hundred years: it's the return of catgut strings, skin drum heads, the French basson (and not the German system bassoon which is used across all the world's orchestras today), shaper tips, trumpets and trombones of French manufacture. At the head of his orchestra Les Siècles, François-Xavier Roth gives a new, orthodox, historically-informed version of Ma Mère l’oye (complete ballet), the Tombeau de Couperin and Shéhérazade, the long-neglected "ouverture de féérie" [Fairy Overture] which is pure Ravel. This return to the roots is clearly easier and more straightforwardly authentic for this period of music history, because, unlike earlier works, we possess recordings which date back to the 1920s, and even earlier, which can tell us about the style, the colours, the phrasing and the tempo. But it isn't enough just to have all this historical information to hand to make something interesting. What makes this record thrilling is that all the musicians in the Siècles are excellent, and François-Xavier Roth is a talented artist himself, who knows this music inside out. At which point, his complete recording of Stravinsky's Firebird has already struck us with its quality. This rediscovery of Ravel resounds with clarity and finesse; it is a feast of well-defined timbres which cuts against the "beautiful sound" which prevails in orchestras around the world today. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 25 augustus 2017 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Here’s a repertoire that everybody knows about yet is completely neglected: the Bach cantatas. Granted a few have gained some importance, mostly thanks to the vocal qualities of singers who have seized it for a few decades – Fischer-Dieskau and Elly Ameling to name a few – while some complete works adorn aficionados’ collections. There is however enough content in these cantatas to “make up” about a dozen Passions or Oratorios on par with some of those we already know. Bach himself didn’t refrain from drawing from them to recycle arias, ensembles, choirs and sinfonias. Among some of the most famous, honoured in the 1950s by Fischer-Dieskau, are two cantatas for baritone: Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen (1726) and Ich habe genug (1727), both written with oboe and string accompaniment. It’s precisely with this roster in mind that the Freiburger Barockorchester serves Matthias Goerne, a disciple of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and… Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, him again! The German baritone, a regular on the world’s most prestigious scenes, doesn’t refrain from lending his immense voice to this almost-chamber music by giving it a character far removed from the lyrical style required by Berg, Wagner or Strauss. In addition, still with the oboe in mind, the recording includes the Concerto in A Major for Oboe d'amore BWV1055R, a modern reconstruction from a keyboard concerto in A major, which there is every reason to believe was itself recycled by Bach from an older concerto for oboe d'amore. The remarkable Katharina Arfken plays the oboe for the cantatas and the oboe d’amore for the concerto. © SM/Qobuz