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Mendelssohn: Symphonies 1-5

Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Symphonies - 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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Ravel: Ma Mère l'Oye, Tombeau de Couperin, Shéhérazade

Les Siècles

Musique symphonique - 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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Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.1 - The Tempest, Op.18

Pablo Heras-Casado

Musique symphonique - Verschenen op 4 november 2016 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Gramophone Record of the Month - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik