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Vocale muziek (wereldlijk en religieus) - Verschenen op 24 juli 2020 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
Conductor Antonio Pappano gladly trades in his conductor’s baton for his piano keys in this recording during which he accompanies some of the greatest voices in music today. He plays in perfect complicity with English tenor Ian Bostridge in this exciting program devoted to a selection of Beethoven’s Lieder. The centrepiece of this album is, of course, An die ferne Geliebte (“To the distant beloved”), which is considered to be the first ever Lieder cycle in the history of music. The six poems depict an unknown woman that the composer had idealised from their very first encounter, quickly followed by their separation. His longing for her caused him so much torment that even the joyous awakening of spring could not take away his melancholy in this heart-rending lover’s lament. The other twenty or so Lieder on this album, including the famous Adelaide, which was also set to music by Schubert, are a testament to Beethoven’s mastery of the lied and popular songs, which he liked to harmonise. Ian Bostridge and Antonio Pappano interpret these rare gems with sensitivity and sophistication. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 15 mei 2020 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
After "Inventions", Apotheosis is the third and last volume in a complete set of the Beethoven quartets that breaks new ground: it aims to regroup the works according to their position within the three broad creative divisions of the composer’s life – the formative years, the ‘heroic’ period and the ‘late’ period. This programme assembles the ‘late’ quartets in a new sense, in other words those works in which the stylistic innovations of each of these creative periods reach their full flowering. © harmonia mundi
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 3 april 2020 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 6 maart 2020 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
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Piano solo - Verschenen op 7 februari 2020 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 31 januari 2020 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
Many of us may have set goals for the new year, but harmonia mundi set theirs particularly high. The independent record label intends on killing two birds with one stone by launching an extensive Beethoven edition that spans from 2020 (one hundred and fifty years since his birth) to 2027 (the bicentenary of his death), in a series of new recordings by new musicians under the label. For years to come, this non-exhaustive edition will be a reflection of the interpretative trends from the 21st century. This first volume of the Complete Piano Concertos on period instruments (there will be another on modern instruments) brings together the two extremes of Beethoven’s repertoire, namely Concertos No. 2 and No. 5, the former of which was composed first. Kristian Bezuidenhout’s exceptional musicality renders the dispute over instrument manufacturing seemingly artificial and fruitless, as he is at ease playing both early and modern pianos. After an inspired performance of Mozart’s complete Sonatas, we follow him as he journeys through the Beethoven Concertos, working closely with the Freiburg Barockorchester ensemble, for whom Bezuidenhout and Gottfried von der Goltz have been in charge of artistic direction since 2017-2018. This may not be a ground-breaking endeavour but what sets it apart is the meticulous attention to detail from Kristian Bezuidenhout and conductor Pablo Heras-Casado with regards to articulations and dynamics. The same can also be said for their choice of cadenzas, which the pianist often reinterprets using the same instrument for the complete work, resulting in a modern rendition played on a Viennese Conrad Graf piano dating from 1824. Confronted with musical practices from the end of the 18th century, the music of young Beethoven comes alive as never before. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Concertmuziek - Verschenen op 31 januari 2020 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 5 étoiles de Classica
After a first recording of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations acclaimed by the critics ("Diapason d’Or", BBC, Guardian, Le Monde) Filippo Gorini, a student of Alfred Brendel and winner of the first Prize and Audience Prize of the Bonn Beethoven Competition in 2015, pursues a fast-growing career. Here he returns to Beethoven and tackles the perilous Sonata No. 29, ‘Hammerklavier’, which the composer himself said would pose a challenge for future generations, along with the Sonata No. 32, which according to Thomas Mann represents the supreme accomplishment of and ‘farewell’ to sonata form. © Alpha Classics
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Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 22 november 2019 | Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 15 november 2019 | Alpha

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Qobuzism
The final part of this intelligent and well-rounded triptych certainly deserves a Qobuzissime! It has been several years since we have been following this grandiose but relaxed duo, made up of violinist Lorenzo Gatto and pianist Julien Libeer. The Belgian pair have brought their complete collection of Beethoven’s sonatas for violin and piano to a close. There is a lot of spontaneity in this integral work, yet this freshness is not synonymous with offhandedness. On the contrary, the fruit of a well thought-out project, it unfolds as a thrilling story in three parts.The first volume opened like a stage curtain on this landmark of Beethoven with the iconic Kreutzer sonata, a strong score which trumps the expectations of the genre. The vehement drama of the first movement, slow and in a minor key, contrasts with the gentle nature of the second movement and confirms that the sonata is well and truly a format for two instruments on an equal footing and not just a support act to the piano, a Steinway in this instance.The second one delineated the milestones of an expanding genre. From the first to the last sonata, via the most popular nicknamed Spring, we bear witness to a general amplification of style. From Opus 12 to Opus 96, the form expands, the technical difficulty of playing increases and the light-hearted fun gives way to a more energetic rhetoric. For this second album, the duo chose the lustrous power of Chris Maene’s parallel-stringed piano. The instrument affords the necessary resonance to the interpretation of this sometimes outright zesty, sometimes tenderly subtle score.The third volume frames the Steinway’s radiance (Sonatas 6 and 7) with the more ample Maene piano (Sonatas 3 and 8) and is dedicated to the works conceived when the composer’s hearing began to falter. Paradoxically, this nightmare for Beethoven has brought about a gift for his listeners. Varied combinations of timbres, styles and character are constantly renewed in this cycle which Gatto and Libeer faithfully interpret throughout its entirety. Our award of recognition is also a retrospective on the first two milestones of this adventure which has valiantly held its promise. An important integral work to explore and encourage others to do so as well! © Elsa Siffert/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 november 2019 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
As one of the finest pianists of his era and an improviser of genius, Ludwig van Beethoven’s preferred vehicle for musical exploration was the piano. His earliest composition, from 1782, was a set of piano variations and he continued to compose for solo piano until the last years of his life. His interest in the concerto form diminished as his deafness forced him to retire from performing. Nonetheless, with his five piano concertos composed between 1788 and 1809, Beethoven not only achieved a brilliant conclusion to the Classical piano concerto, but also established a new model for the Romantic era: a sort of symphony with obbligato piano which remained a reference point well into the beginning of the twentieth. Ronald Brautigam has already recorded these seminal works with the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, in acclaimed performances released between 2008 and 2010. Since then he has also released all of Beethoven’s solo piano music on the fortepiano to universal praise. When Brautigam now returns to the concertos, it is in the company of conductor Michael Alexander Willens and Die Kölner Akademie playing on period instruments. The same team has previously partnered him in an 11-disc survey of Mozart’s piano concertos and it is plain to hear that all involved clearly relish the opportunity to congratulate Beethoven on the eve of his 250th anniversary. © BIS Records
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 november 2019 | Orchid Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
In my scores for each of the sonatas on this recording there are question marks. I write almost nothing in my music; I never have. Not when I was young, to the consternation of my teachers, and not now, to the amusement and occasional irritation of my colleagues. My scores contain few fingerings, hardly any phrasing indications, virtually no written instructions. Somehow, the clarity and even inspiration I get from looking at the unblemished score outweighs the potential benefit of anything I might choose to add to it. And anyway, I tell myself, if it really matters to me, I won’t forget it. This near absence of markings makes the presence of all those question marks all the more striking. It’s not just that these works are filled with questions; it’s that the questioning aspect is so central to their meaning. Playing these sonatas, I felt I could get by just fine without writing the words giocoso, or teneramente, or appassionato, even though they often apply, Lord knows; the question marks, on the other hand, felt indispensable. This recording is about culminations: each of the three works is the last of a set of three; the album comes at the end of nine years of recording these sonatas; Op.111 is Beethoven’s farewell to the genre. And so it is a beautiful irony that these pieces feature so many more questions than they do answers – that they offer so much more uncertainty than certainty. It is especially fascinating given that this is Beethoven, of all people: a composer of unmatched inner conviction and intensity. And yet, ultimately, this music is as much about his vulnerability as it is about his strength. Having said all of that, the work that opens this recording – the D major Sonata Op.10 No.3, one of the masterpieces of Beethoven’s early period – begins with a declarative statement; the questions will come later. This opening salvo, rising throughout and crackling with energy in the way that only Beethoven’s music can, acts as a launching pad for a movement that is altogether an irresistible force: unusually marked “Presto,” its momentum and almost reckless optimism are its dominant features. But even in this movement, brilliant and confident as it is, questioning will play a major role: there are passages where bar after bar, the upbeats are accented, rather than the downbeats. This goes on for such an uncomfortably long time, it eventually messes with our perception of the meter and, by extension, our perception of the passage of time. The slow movement which follows doesn’t merely alter our perception of time: by its end, time itself stops. Its marking of “Largo e mesto” is just as atypical of Beethoven as was the firstmovement’s “Presto” – Beethoven wrote plenty of tragic music, but it was rare for him to make the sadness explicit inthe tempo indication, which should give a sense of just how extreme and overt this movement’s grief is. This sonata was written shortly before the Quartet Op.18 No.1, whose slow movement allegedly is meant to evoke the tomb scene from Romeo and Juliet. The two slow movements occupy a similar emotional space: where so much of Beethoven’s music is deeply emotional without being demonstrative, these slow movements are theatrical. The pain is real, but it is also being performed, with sighing appoggiaturas and violent outbursts not just conveying the music’s character, but telegraphing it. This movement is – as is always the case with Beethoven – powerful and immaculately wrought, but its affects do not feel as devastatingly personal as is the case with so many of his other slow movements. Still, by the time the movement comes to an end, with its long lines having largely broken down, and silence having become more prominent than sound, the effect is overpowering. In the last movement of Op.10 No.3, the silences become even more frequent and more significant, and it is here that the music becomes a festival of questions. As thrilling and vibrant as the sonata has already been, it is this movement that is most totally original. Being a rondo, its main theme appears again and again, which only serves to underscore that it isn’t really a “theme” at all: it is a three note query, pointed upward, like all questions, ending in irresolution and followed by a silence that is much longer than it is. In this movement, Beethoven manages to be simultaneously good-natured and extremely mysterious, and the latter quality becomes more and more prominent as these questions accumulate. It is one of Beethoven’s most imaginative solutions to the problem of what sort of a movementshould end a sonata, and its final moments – with the left hand playing different versions of the three note figure again and again, as the right glides weightlessly up and down the keyboard – are as moving as they are witty. If Op.10 No.3’s questions took a while to appear, in the Sonata Op.31 No.3, they arrive instantly – in the first measure of the first movement. It is difficult to convey, from the vantage point of 2019, and after Schubert and Brahms and Stravinsky and Xenakis and all the rest, just what a bold move it was for Beethoven to do this in 1802: to begin a work not with an assertive announcement of its tonality, but with a falling – sighing – fifth, harmonically away from home. This opening conveys such a sense of vulnerability, it was co-opted by none other than Robert Schumann – the philosopher-king of musical vulnerability – for the opening of his A major String Quartet. Beethoven was often the most single-minded – some might say bloody-minded – of composers, sticking with one idea, one character, one mood, for minutes on end. But in this movement, the fragility of the opening is in constant dialogue with music that is spirited and playful. This slightly uncharacteristic meeting of unlike musics launches a sonata that finds Beethoven experimenting again and again: a scherzo that would not sound out of place in a Mozart opera, a courtly, nostalgic menuetto that stands in for a true slow movement, a finale that evokes a hunt. Op.31 No.3 comes near the start of Beethoven’s middle period, and the questions are not only in the music itself: after having mastered one version of the form in his early period, Beethoven is now questioning what a sonata can be. From that point on, Beethoven would provide a different, usually stunning answer to the question each time he wrote a piano sonata; Op.111, his final essay in the form and thus his final answer to that question, is as astonishing – as unfathomable – today as it was in 1822. The shy, halting query that opens Op.31 No.3 was already a significant departure from classical norms; the enraged one that launches Op.111 far from any harmonic home and sets it on its harrowing course is one of the most unsettling moments in all of music. Op.111 has just two movements – the idea of something following the second would be unthinkable – and the two are a clash of opposites. The first is dominated by rigour, concision, rage, harmonic tension, propulsion, and hopelessness; the second, by spaciousness, consolation, consonance, a freewheeling improvisatory quality, and, above all, wonder. This set of variations covers a massive amount of emotional and psychological territory – it ranges from absolute serenity to an overwhelming, questing intensity – but throughout, it regards the universe with the widest of eyes. Op.111 is the end – the end of Beethoven’s journey with the piano sonata, his last word on the genre he upended and in which he was most prolific – and therefore one of the strangest and most remarkable things about it is its inability to end. Its theme has an open-ended, inconclusive quality, which always makes the next variation, and the next, and the next – each more restless than the one before – seem inevitable. When this progression from the calm to the wild reaches an improbably jazz-inflected extreme, and yet still cannot resolve, Beethoven searches for closure in other ways, mining the nether regions of the piano, and the stratospheric end, in alternation. When this brings him no closer to a point of rest, he travels further still, to a distant E flat major oasis that chafes and bristles and struggles against the limitations of the piano, against its refusal to make a sound that sings and carries and lives forever… The desire to live forever, and the impossibility of living forever, is really the subtext of this movement, and of Beethoven’s enormous difficultyin ending it. And it is the only explanation for why this movement – the longest and in some ways most monumental of Beethoven’s sonata movements – ends not with certainty, not with an affirmation, but with an evaporation into thin air. Not a question, precisely, but one final expression of vulnerability and doubt. My feeling has always been (and always will be, I suspect) that this ending is a death – a heartbeat that simply stops. No one will ever know if this was Beethoven’s intention. But it is, beyond all argument, a commentary on the unknowability of the universe. It is somehow both humbling and reassuringto know that Beethoven was as uncertain of his place in it as the rest of us are. His ability to communicate that uncertainty is perhaps the greatest of all the gifts he left us. © 2019 Jonathan Biss
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 4 oktober 2019 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
Following two stunning projects with his spouse, the cellist Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, Martin Helmchen started a solo collaboration with the label Alpha Classics, publishing a remarkable version of the Variations Diabelli, one of the best in recent years, and certainly better than the one by Gorini on the same label. As part of the year of Beethoven, he has teamed up with conductor Andrew Manze for a complete recording of the Concertos by the Master of Bonn. This first volume sets the tone.From the first movement of the Second Concerto, we are gripped by the speed of the ensemble, the resurgence of a revitalised musical spirit, a supreme musicality: in sum, a celebration of the feverish creativity of the Master of Bonn. After this allegro which is truly "con brio", a major contrast is achieved with the Adagio where Martin Helmchen's singing is reserved, with a lyrical tenderness that recalls Mozart's later Concertos. But there is also something profoundly modern here, in that accumulated sense of waiting, of "suspense" and suspension, which are the hallmarks of the young Beethoven.In the Emperor, recorded at the Berliner Philharmoniker, Helmchen's piano continues to bring opposites together – this mix of impetuosity and tender lyricism – without ever feeling forced. The lively, sensitive orchestra, conducted by Manze, provides a sweeping breadth that Martin Helmchen must have long dreamt of. Amidst the whole swelling ocean of Beethoven, this new release is not to be missed. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 27 september 2019 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
Michel Dalberto has had a unique career journey. An expert of French repertoire, exemplified with his tetralogy published on Aparté (Debussy, Fauré, Franck and Ravel), he also recorded the somewhat neglected first sonatas by Beethoven in a compilation published by Erato in the 1980s. However, he thereafter dedicated himself mainly to Schubert, saving the Appassionata, Moonlight and Opus 111 for later. This album signals the end of the wait for these iconic pieces in the year of an important anniversary for Beethoven, presenting them to the listener in chronological order. From the Pathétique to Sonata n°32, op. 111, Michel Dalberto seems determined to portray Beethoven as a classical and not a pre-romantic composer, as the musical history books are often known to do. There is a real emphasis on the thematic and motivic logic of the music here. Thus the deliberately slow tempo of the Allegretto of the Sonata n°14, op. 27 manages to deconstruct the score without totally stripping it of its substance. It’s followed by the Presto Agitato, a delirious sprint with devilish articulation which is divinely transparent despite the apprehension in the highs and lows. The formidable changes in register in Beethoven’s opus are interwoven seamlessly thanks to the narrative genius of the performer (Schubert’s influence is not too far away). Indeed, Opus 111’s first movement is remarkable. The Steinway is expectedly robust, cutting even, as the pianist creates moments of orchestral sonority and weightless playing. A result which leaves the listener awestruck. © Elsa Siffert/Qobuz
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Piano solo - Verschenen op 13 september 2019 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - 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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Piano solo - Verschenen op 15 maart 2019 | JB Recordings

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
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Symfonieën - Verschenen op 21 september 2018 | Wiener Symphoniker

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
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Duo´s - Verschenen op 10 augustus 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
Two young Belgian soloists—including Lorenzo Gatto, despite the Italian consonance of the name—have been gathering for several years around Beethoven, and here is their interpretation of three Beethoven sonatas: the First written even before the end of the 18th Century—1798—, followed by the very last that is the Tenth Op. 96 from 1812—created by the infamous Pierre Rode on violin, and the archduke Rudolph of Austria who, incidentally, must have been an amazing pianist—, to finish with one of the most famous ones, the Fifth called “The Spring Sonata” (a name not chosen by the composer). Despite dating “only” from 1801, this sonata is incredibly different from the First regarding its architectural maturity, its intense lyricism and its audacities of all kinds. Gatto, who won the Queen Elisabeth Competition, plays on nothing less than the Stradivarius “Joachim”, while Libeer, a chamber music enthusiast, has a field day on a big concert piano with parallel strings and of an almost orchestral sound. Their first volume, released in 2016, was more than noticed by the critics and the audience—and was a great success on Qobuz. © SM/Qobuz
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Trio´s - Verschenen op 4 mei 2018 | Orchid Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Concerten voor klavier - Verschenen op 2 maart 2018 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice