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Mendelssohn: Symphonies 1-5

Yannick Nézet-Séguin

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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Bernstein : Symphony No. 2 "The Age of Anxiety"

Krystian Zimerman

Symfonieën - Verschenen op 24 augustus 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 4F de Télérama - Diapason d'or / Arte - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik - 5 étoiles de Classica
The Second Symphony by Leonard Bernstein, The Age of Anxiety, based on a poem of the same name by W. H. Auden, is a work of the composer-conductor's relative youth, dating from 1948-1949, when he was just turning thirty. The symphony is presented as a series of variations, but not variations around an initial theme. No: each variation takes on elements of the previous variation, varies in turn, and so on. It brings to mind an unbroken metamorphosis. As one might imagine, Bernstein mixes classical symphonic elements with jazz, in particular in the solo piano passage – tackled here by Krystian Zimerman, who had the good fortune to perform with Bernstein several times. In its own way, it is a kind of homage to the centenary of the composer's birth: as Zimerman mentions in the liner notes, Bernstein asked him if he wanted to play this symphony with him for his hundredth birthday. And he almost keeps the promise, although the orchestra is the Berlin Philharmonic, under Sir Simon Rattle. © SM/Qobuz
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Tchaikovsky : Symphony No.6

Teodor Currentzis

Symfonieën - Verschenen op 27 oktober 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Gramophone Record of the Month - Diapason d'or / Arte - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
An album, a symphony: you would think that we had returned to the days of the Long Play, and the era of Mravinsky, Doráti, Markevitch, Karajan as well as many other performers and interpreters who have marked the discographic history of the last symphony from Piotr Ilitch Tchaikovsky. The album cover also seems to confirm it: it brings to mind the old RCA covers from the 50s and 60s. Sony Classical, being very supportive of the artistic endeavours of the Greco-Russian master, didn't hesitate to bring out a roughly 45-minute album - they had done better with the Rites of Spring (2015), which was feted in the press. Here, Teodor Currentzis continues his exploration of Tchaikovsky's world, with the Pathétique, putting the accent on the dynamic contrasts, sometimes naturally, sometimes by technical means (adagio lamentoso), and bringing to bear some methods that are normally specific to pop music. He exploits the sombre tone of the work, even above its rhythmic energy, and looks to create atmospheres that one could often call morbid. For record-lovers, this release is a great opportunity to revisit his discography, and for all other ardent Qobuz users it is an opportunity to rediscover this true emblem of the orchestral repertoire. © TG/Qobuz
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Per Nørgård : Symphonies Nos. 2 & 6

John Storgårds

Symfonieën - Verschenen op 10 juni 2016 | Dacapo

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Stravinsky: Pulcinella, Apollon Musagète, Concerto in D

Masaaki Suzuki

Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 3 juni 2016 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Uitzonderlijke Geluidsopnamen - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Schumann : Symphonies

Christian Thielemann

Symfonieën - Verschenen op 5 april 2019 | Sony Classical - Sony Music

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Schubert : Symphony No. 7 "Unfinished" & Lieder

Stefan Gottfried

Symfonieën - Verschenen op 2 november 2018 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Uitzonderlijke Geluidsopnamen - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Ligeti : Six Bagatelles, Kammerkonzert... (Live)

François-Xavier Roth

Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 23 september 2016 | Actes Sud Musicales

Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Muzio Clementi : Symphonies

Ivor Bolton

Symfonieën - Verschenen op 20 januari 2017 | Sony Classical

Onderscheidingen Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Beethoven : Symphonies Nos. 2 & 8 (Live)

John Eliot Gardiner

Symfonieën - Verschenen op 29 september 2014 | SDG

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Weber : Complete Overtures

Howard Griffiths

Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 4 maart 2016 | CPO

Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Schmidt: Symphony 2 - Strauss: Dreaming by the Fireside

Semyon Bychkov

Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 21 april 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Franz Schmidt is not yet the object of a full-fledged revival, but the increased attention paid to his symphonies may well inspire one. The ambitious Symphony No. 2 in E flat major has received two major releases in 2017, one by Stefan Blunier and the Beethoven Orchester Bonn on MDG, and the other by Semyon Bychkov and the Vienna Philharmonic on Sony Classical. While this is the longest and most challenging of Schmidt's four symphonies, its rich harmonies, pastoral melodies, and vibrant orchestration are especially appealing to fans of post-Romantic music. The work evokes Schmidt's teacher, Anton Bruckner, whose influence is felt in the expansiveness of the form and the epic grandeur of the music, though the most obvious source for inspiration appears to be Richard Strauss, whose dynamic tone poems Schmidt clearly admired. The energetic counterpoint, heroic themes, and elaborate scoring are reminiscent of Strauss' Don Juan, Ein Heldenleben, and Also sprach Zarathustra, and this connection naturally suggests pairing the symphony with short Strauss pieces, such as the Festival Prelude on Blunier's recording. Bychkov has coupled the symphony with Strauss' Dreaming by the Fireside, a symphonic interlude from the opera Intermezzo, and this selection is appropriate because its gentle lyricism is a fine match for the symphony's warmth and radiance. The playing by the Vienna Philharmonic is first-rate in every regard, and Bychkov's generous interpretation raises hopes for a complete Schmidt cycle. Highly recommended. © TiVo
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Ravel: Ma Mère l'Oye, Tombeau de Couperin, Shéhérazade

Les Siècles

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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Arvo Pärt : The Symphonies

Tõnu Kaljuste

Symfonieën - Verschenen op 20 april 2018 | ECM New Series

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Pärt's four symphonies stretch across a period of 45 years, from 1964 and 1966 respectively for the first two, 1971 for the third, and 2008 for the fourth. His first steps into the works of the symphony were still marked by dodecaphonism, although Pärt would not resist the gradual appearance of tonal poles in his work and "accidental" encounters between consonant notes and the harmonies that resulted; but the discourse remains very much linked to modernist principles, while exploring older forms of prelude and fugue, or indeed polyphony. With the Second, Pärt's avant-gardist period came to an end. From the 1970s, Pärt would completely revise his language, and come to concentrate on religious and medieval music, in such a way that his Third Symphony throws out dodecaphonism and all its theories, developing in their place a tonal, melodic, modal idiom (the old ecclesiastical styles, in fact). And within this personal revolution, Pärt would take a step into "tintinnabulum", which formed the basis of the Fourth Symphony, written for strings, harp and percussion: a wide world of meditation, stunning, unreal, intangible, and fundamentally tonal, in which the movements from one phenomenon to another move immensely slowly, allowing the listener to savour every moment. © SM/Qobuz
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Bruckner: Symphony No. 3 / Wagner: Tannhäuser Overture

Andris Nelsons

Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 5 mei 2017 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Andris Nelsons' first recording with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig also initiates a Bruckner cycle for Deutsche Grammophon, and this live recording of the frequently revised Symphony No. 3 in D minor is an auspicious start indeed. Using the 1888/1889 version, edited by Leopold Nowak, Nelsons has chosen one of the least controversial variants of the symphony, shorn of its Wagner quotations and trimmed to an hour in duration. For decades, this has been one of the most frequently recorded revisions, and it may signify Nelsons' preferences for this project, perhaps to stick with recognizable Bruckner and to avoid the less familiar originals that have been recorded by several contemporary conductors, including Simone Young, Marcus Bosch, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Interestingly, while lacking the Wagner passages, this performance of the Symphony No. 3 has been programmed with the Overture to Tannhäuser, perhaps in the interest of maintaining the historical connection between the composers, even though Bruckner had only quoted passages from Tristan und Isolde and Die Walküre. Nelsons displays great confidence and a feeling for the symphony's wholeness and coherence, while the playing of the Leipzig orchestra is committed and energetic, bringing out the vitality and excitement of the music and making a convincing case for this problematic but indispensable work. Deutsche Grammophon's recording is quite clear and vivid, and even though some audience noises are noticeable, virtually everything can be heard and the brass is utterly magnificent in the climaxes. © TiVo
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Mahler : Symphony No. 3 (Live)

François-Xavier Roth

Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 8 februari 2019 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
The premiere of Mahler’s Third Symphony took place in June 1902 in Krefeld (not far from Düsseldorf), but it was indeed the Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne which gave that first performance... greeted with acclaim – this was not always the composer’s experience with his masterpieces. Originally conceived as a hymn to Nature, in which the inert chaos of the opening movement is gradually left behind, the work calls for enormous forces (large orchestra, women’s choir, boys’ choir, and contralto soloist) and at each hearing leaves an unforgettable impression on the audience. Such was the case in October 2018, when François-Xavier Roth led the esteemed successors of the work’s first interpreters in this latest Mahler adventure. © harmonia mundi
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Aspects of America

Carlos Kalmar

Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 7 september 2018 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Haydn : Symphony 85 (& works by Rigel, Sarti, J.C. Bach)

Le Concert de la Loge

Symfonieën - Verschenen op 23 september 2016 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Mahler : Symphony No. 4

Valery Gergiev

Symfonieën - Verschenen op 29 september 2017 | MUNCHNER PHILHARMONIKER GBR

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 4 étoiles Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Gustav Mahler and the Munich Philharmonic share a very special connection. As a composer he sustainably linked the 19th century Austro-German tradition and the modernism of the early 20th century. The world premiere of his Symphony No. 4 took place under his baton on 25 November 1901 in Munich’s Großen Kaim-Saal with the then called Kaim-Orchester, present day Munich Philharmonic. His works have been a substantial part of the Munich Philharmonic’s core repertoire ever since and the orchestra has excelled on many occasions. After the MPHIL release of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 in September 2016 now follows the release of the Symphony No. 4 with which the orchestra’s history is so closely intertwined. The live concert recording released on this album took place at the Philharmonie im Gasteig in Munich, the orchestra’s home, with Salzburg soprano Genia Kuehmeier. Valery Gergiev has paid the Austro-German repertoire particular attention throughout his career, which ignited a lasting fascination for Gustav Mahler. Over recent decades he has continued to explore the Austro-German repertoire, garnering adulation, especially for his interpretations of Wagner, Strauss, Mahler and Bruckner – music that is at the very heart of the Munich Philharmonic’s repertoire. © Warner Classics
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Maderna & Berio : Now, And Then, Transcriptions

Dennis Russell Davies

Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 17 november 2017 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 4 étoiles Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Don't be fooled by the album cover: the music recorded here is NOT Maderna, but Frescobaldi, Gabrieli and a few other composers from the same era, only orchestrated by Maderna. Among these late Renaissance and baroque works, as re-written, can be found, as a kind of pillar whose meaning in the album rather defies comprehension, the Sequenza XII by Berio which was initially conceived for a guitar solo and transcribed by the composer for guitar and chamber orchestra under the name of Chemins V. The whole work is about orchestrations, re-editions, translations from other eras. When it comes to Maderna and other old composers, the interest is neither musicological nor historical, as the orchestrations were done in the 20th Century, with 20th-Century orchestral techniques. Maderna's work, dating from the 1950s to the 1970s, bears witness to the widespread interest in masters from the past, with new editions, exhumations, rediscoveries; and Monteverdi was played without overmuch concern for period instruments - even if Hindemith, for example, tried to perform L’Orfeo with what old instruments he was able to gather... Seen from this point of view, the Maderna orchestrations are almost recompositions, although without ever betraying or travestying the manuscript, as Stravinsky did with Pergolese: it sticks, for example, to a "baroque" orchestra from our times, without instruments which did not exist at the time. A truly interesting recording. © SM/Qobuz