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Mozart : Piano Concertos, K.413, 414, 415

Kristian Bezuidenhout

Concerten voor klavier - Verschenen op 26 augustus 2016 | harmonia mundi

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Bizet : Les Pêcheurs de perles

Alexandre Bloch

Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 2 mei 2018 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Record of the Month - Diapason d'or / Arte - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica
The story of the Pêcheurs de perles [Pearl Fishers] by Bizet is nothing short of torturous: after its first outing in 1863, the score – whose manuscript is now in private hands and no longer available, alas – fell into obscurity, and was only returned to its rightful place in the sun after the composer's death, once Carmen had made his name. Alas – a thousand times, alas – many different theatre directors took themselves for great geniuses and made little amendments to the work, cutting here, adding there, changing bits up to and including the end. Until the 1960s, this calamitously cack-handed version was the one that was performed – this libretto looks a little flat, why not add a few mistakes? – until musicologists stumbled across the original documents, in particular the cut-down version by Bizet himself, as well as the "conductor's score" of the time, which contained many notes about orchestration. This version, put together in 2014 by Hugh MacDonald, is sung by the flower of great French lyrical music – Julie Fuchs, Florian Sempey, Cyrille Dubois and Luc Bertin-Hugault – and returns as closely as possible to the original version of the work, so that the listener will encounter a number of big surprises, and good surprises too: additional numbers, several melodic and dramatic developments: almost a whole new score. © SM/Qobuz
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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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Nicola Porpora : Opera Arias

Max Emanuel Cencic

Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 2 maart 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Diapason d'or / Arte - Qobuzism - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Nowadays it might seem rather strange to describe a composer as a “singing master”, but, during the eighteenth century, this was not the case at all. In Italy, almost every composer worthy of the name wrote opere serie (Porpora wrote at least forty- ve): serious opera was the dominant musical genre, glorifying the human voice above everything else. It was the maker or breaker of musical reputations, with its nest singers the rst superstars of music. Therefore composers, though generally eclipsed by the fame of their leading men and women, needed to understand the human voice and all its remarkable capabilities, both technical and histrionic, in order to be able to exploit the possibilities of the operatic form at a time when those “machines made for singing”, the castrati, had brought the vocal art to a pitch of perfection never known before, nor equalled since. Though this recording is bringing Porpora’s name to public attention again on the 250th anniversary of his death, his fame as a singing teacher has probably obscured, until recently, his remarkable qualities as a composer, quite simply because two of the most famous castrati were among his many pupils, namely Gaetano Majorano, known as Caffarelli, whom Porpora once called “the nest singer in Europe”, also famed for his amorous antics and arrogance on- and off-stage, and the even more celebrated Carlo Broschi, who, under his stage name of Farinelli, amazed audiences and set hearts a- utter for fteen years throughout Europe, before being called to Spain to heal a crazed King by the power of his voice. Max Cencic remarks: “Porpora was a severe teacher, I think, maybe almost sadistic in his demands — you need 120% control of breath, brain and voice”. Legend indeed has it that he taught Caffarelli one page of exercises, and those alone, for six years. The formal alternation of aria and recitative in opera seria conceals a great range of emotional expression, that varietas that Erasmus famously described as “so powerful in every sphere that there is absolutely nothing, however brilliant, which is not dimmed if not commended by variety”. In such forms as the orid aria di bravura or the lyrical aria di sostenuto, the composer’s fantasy only provided a framework for the singer to embroider: the performer’s skill in ornamentation and other emotional devices was of paramount importance. Porpora’s many years of both teaching and composing experience made him, in Max Cencic’s opinion, “one of the top ten composers of Italian Baroque opera. I chose the arias for this recording almost by instinct, by what ‘felt right’. There is no way one can encompass a composer of such quality in one album, and each piece is a treasure in its own right. Though technical display is everywhere — leaps, rapid scales, trills, long phrases — Porpora’s special and utterly captivating melodic gift always shines through.” The arias are all taken from works composed at the height of Porpora’s fame, from Ezio (Venice 1728; “Se tu la reggi al volo” is a semiquaver spectacular) to Filandro (Dresden 1747, with a ravishing siciliano in “Ove l’erbetta tenera, e molle”), including three of the operas he composed for London during the 1730s, in direct competition with Handel (Arianna in Nasso 1733, Enea nel Lazio 1734 — real reworks here in “Chi vuol salva” — and I genia in Aulide 1735). The Teatro San Carlo in Naples, perhaps the most famous of all opera houses at that time, saw the premiere of Il trionfo di Camilla in 1740, and the two arias recorded here show Porpora at his best: the music of “Va per le vene il sangue” evocatively matches its darkly suggestive text, while “Torcere il corso all’onde” combines rapid- re coloratura with elegance of line. In the three arias from Carlo il Calvo (Teatro delle Dame, Rome 1738) the singer is similarly called to match Porpora’s varietas with his own: from the scurrying oriture of “So che tiranno io sono” to the high-lying phrases of “Se rea ti vuole il cielo”, and the beguilingly hypnotic sostenuto of “Quando s’oscura il cielo”. Porpora’s orchestral writing is also remarkably varied, all the more so in that he generally uses only strings, nowhere better than in the elaborate lines of “Torbido intorno al core” from Meride e Selinunte (Venice 1726), where voice and violins entwine in an elaborate and emotionally suggestive web of divisions. However, sometimes he pulls out all the sonority stops, as in the martial “Destrier, che all’armi usato” where, at the rst performance in the Teatro Regio, Turin in 1731 trumpets and horns vied with the unmatchable power of the voice of Farinelli. As Max Cencic has said: “How can we emulate the great castrati? That is hard to pin down, but these voices were the very soul of Porpora’s music.” -Nicholas Clapton © 2018 – Decca Group Limited
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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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Verismo

Anna Netrebko

Klassiek - Verschenen op 2 september 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or / Arte - 4 étoiles Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Soprano Anna Netrebko is a major box-office draw on both sides of the Atlantic, but her catalog has been short on the aria-selections albums that remain the way most buyers listen to recorded opera. This collection of verismo ("realism") Italian arias goes a long way toward filling the hole. It's actually a bit out in front of her repertoire, which has focused on Verdi, and before that Mozart, but as her voice has darkened she has announced plans to add some of the roles represented here to her repertoire. From what's heard on the album, the prospects seem very good for a career phase that will elevate Netrebko's star even higher than it already is. You can sample the aria "In questa reggia" from Turandot to assure yourself of Netrebko's confidence in hitting the high notes, and hear one of several fine duet passages with the singer's tenor husband, Yusif Eyvazov. But also take time to explore the big hits, like "Un bel dì vedremo," from Madama Butterfly, where Netrebko seems to approach the music as if for the first time, and also some of the arias by some of the one-hit wonders of the verismo genre. With capable accompaniment from the Coro e orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia under Antonio Pappano, this is a major Netrebko release and a definitive verismo collection. © TiVo
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Franz Schubert : Wanderers Nachtlied (Lieder, vol. 8)

Matthias Goerne

Liederen (Duitsland) - Verschenen op 10 februari 2014 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or / Arte - Choc de Classica - Uitzonderlijke Geluidsopnamen - Hi-Res Audio
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Dvorák : Stabat Mater, Op.58, B.71

Jiří Bělohlávek

Religieuze vocale muziek - Verschenen op 5 mei 2017 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Diapason d'or / Arte - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Antonín Dvorák's Stabat Mater, Op. 58, truly merits the adjective "tragic"; it was written after the deaths of two of the composer's children in succession, and his grief rolled out in great, Verdian waves. There are several strong recordings on the market, including an earlier one by conductor Jiří Bělohlávek himself, but for the combination of deep feeling, technical mastery from musicians and singers who have spent their lives getting to know the score, and soloists who not only sound beautiful but are seamlessly integrated into the flow, this Decca release may be the king of them all. To what extent was the strength of the performance motivated by Bělohlávek's likely fatal illness (he died days after the album entered the top levels of classical charts in the spring of 2017)? It's hard to say, although he also delivered top-notch performances of Dvorák's Requiem in his last days. The members of the Prague Philharmonic Choir sing their hearts out in the gigantic, shattering opening chorus, which has rarely if ever had such a mixture of the impassioned and the perfectly controlled. Sample the chorus "Virgo virginium praeclara" to hear the magically suspended quality Bělohlávek brings out of the singers in lightly accompanied passages. The soloists, soprano Eri Nakamura, mezzo Elisabeth Kulman, tenor Michael Spyres, and bass Jongmin Park -- an international group in this otherwise almost all-Czech production -- are uniformly strong, but what stands out most is how inevitable their entrances sound. If this turns out to be Bělohlávek's swan song, it is an accomplishment for the ages. Highest possible recommendation. © TiVo
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Brahms: String Sextets (Live from Aix Easter Festival 2016)

Renaud Capuçon

Klassiek - Verschenen op 3 maart 2017 | Erato - Warner Classics

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Maria

Cecilia Bartoli

Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 1 januari 2007 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Onderscheidingen Choc du Monde de la Musique - Diapason d'or / Arte - RTL d'Or - Diamant d'Opéra
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Antonin Dvorak : Mélodies - Lieder

Bernarda Fink

Liederen - Verschenen op 11 maart 2011 | harmonia mundi

Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or de l'année - Choc du Monde de la Musique - 10 de Classica-Répertoire - Diapason d'or / Arte
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Antonio Vivaldi

Cecilia Bartoli

Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 23 november 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or / Arte - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - 5 étoiles de Classica
This new Vivaldi album marks a double anniversary, the thirty-year anniversary of the close collaboration between Cecilia Bartoli and the famous English label Decca, and the twenty-year anniversary of the very successful first Vivaldian opus. This time leaving behind Giovanni Antonini and his Il Giardino Armonico ensemble, Cecilia Bartoli has selected French musicians well versed in Vivaldi’s music, as if to demonstrate the universal nature of the Red Priest’s compositions. In fact, Jean-Christophe Spinosi and his Ensemble Matheus have distinguished themselves with Vivaldi’s instrumental music since their early days. They started off their collaboration with five concerts, dedicated of course to the Venetian composer, in Munich, Prague, Baden-Baden and Versailles. For their first recording together they selected ten opera titles, nine of which weren’t featured on the 1999 album. The plethora of Vivaldi operas provides an endless supply to recitalists who can easily put together, as is the case here, an extremely lively programme featuring the most beautiful gems of an extraordinarily expansive composer whose melodic liveliness has been a constantly fascinating topic. This release is also beautiful in itslef (accessible on your Qobuz account), as it features a photo book containing beautiful portraits of Cecila Bartoli taken by Roman photographer Viviane Purdom, who has devoted her life to masterfully shooting great classical musicians. Happy anniversary indeed! © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Schumann : Cello Concerto & Chamber works

Sol Gabetta

Concerten voor cello - Verschenen op 30 november 2018 | Sony Classical - Sony Music

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 4F de Télérama - Diapason d'or / Arte - Le Choix de France Musique
Cellist Sol Gabetta and her almost-favourite pianist, Bertrand Chamayou, focus here on Schumann's all too rare repertoire for cello and piano. And once again, none of these pieces are intended a priori for cello, even though the original scores do propose the instrument as a possible alternative to the clarinet in Fantasy Pieces or the horn in Adagio and Allegro. It was only with Five Pieces in Folk Style that Schumann immediately thought of the cello! Here, Chamayou plays on a Viennese fortepiano by Streicher, dated from 1847 - three or four years after the composition of these three works. The Concerto for cello is accompanied by the Basel Chamber Orchestra, who also play on instruments from the romantic era, giving a more hushed yet incisive sound for the attacks. There’s more of an emphasis on the woodwind section as well, in contrast to the over-inflated string ensemble that so many modern orchestras offer up. © SM/Qobuz
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Schumann : Cello Concerto & Chamber Works (Live)

Gautier Capuçon

Concerten voor cello - Verschenen op 11 januari 2018 | Warner Classics

Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or / Arte - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica
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Beethoven around the world : Op. 59 Nos 1 & 2 (Vienna)

Quatuor Ébène

Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 27 september 2019 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or / Arte - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
To celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birthday with the entire world in 2020, the Carnegie Hall chose the French ensemble the Ébène Quartet to perform Beethoven’s Quatuors in their entirety. Honoured by this prestigious invitation, the four musicians decided to prolong this exceptional moment by playing this globally recognised music around the world, on all five continents in seven concerts between April 2019 and January 2020. The intellectual and emotional strength of Beethoven’s opus remains a force to be reckoned with, a humanist vector carried by the spirit of the Enlightenment. Over the course of this fantastic journey, the Ébène Quartet will record the quatuors in concerts given in Vienna, Philadelphia, Tokyo, São Paulo, Melbourne, Nairobi and Paris, their home ground. A film crew will follow the musicians on their world tour and will thereafter produce a documentary. The first milestone of this Beethoven around the World journey makes up this album, and was recorded in June 2019 in the Mozartsaal of the Vienna Konzerthaus. It contains the first two Razumovsky Quatuors, performed in the very city where they were composed in 1806. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Le Bœuf sur le toit

Alexandre Tharaud

Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 oktober 2012 | Warner Classics

Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or / Arte - Choc de Classica - Uitzonderlijke Geluidsopnamen
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Mahler: "Titan" Symphony (Version 2, 1893-94) - Live

Les Siècles

Klassiek - Verschenen op 10 mei 2019 | harmonia mundi

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Beethoven : Variations

Sélim Mazari

Klassiek - Verschenen op 17 januari 2020 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or / Arte - Le Choix de France Musique - 5 étoiles de Classica
A soloist and revelation at the French classical music award ceremony “Victoires de la musique classique 2018”, Sélim Mazari was one of the last pupils to study under Brigitte Engerer, before attending the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris with Claire Désert and then moving to London to start a second Master’s degree at the Royal College. For his first solo recording, the young French pianist has opted for an album which is entirely devoted to Beethoven, recording several cycles of variations, with or without opus numbers, including the difficult “Eroica” Variations, on a theme from the ballet The Creatures of Prometheus, which he takes up again in the form of a contra-dance and, of course, as the main theme of the Finale from the composer’s forthcoming Third Symphony. Beethoven’s works without opus numbers (WoO) are more numerous than those numbered by himself or his publishers. During his youth as a virtuoso-composer, he did not approach his works with the historical perspective he would gain later in life, perhaps aware of his growing reputation and genius. The Twelve Variations on a Theme by Paul Wranitzky from 1796 already heralded the maturity and complexity that Beethoven gave to the many variations that would punctuate his entire oeuvre. Though not exactly loved by the composer, the 32 Variations in C minor are nevertheless profoundly original and allowed the young Beethoven to impress his audiences in the salons.
The Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 34 from 1802 offered a “new” way for Beethoven to free himself from his predecessors. The “Eroica” Variations occupy a dominant position in the Beethovian catalogue thanks to their pleasant, dramatic, humorous and mysterious atmospheres. © François Hudry / Qobuz
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Dutilleux: Tout un monde lointain, L'Arbre des Songes

Truls Mørk/Renaud Capuçon/Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France/Myung-Whun Chung

Klassiek - Verschenen op 3 mei 2002 | Warner Classics

Onderscheidingen Choc du Monde de la Musique - Diapason d'or / Arte - Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros
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Brahms : Complete Piano Trios

Trio Wanderer, Christophe Gaugué

Trio´s - Verschenen op 31 juli 2007 | harmonia mundi

Onderscheidingen Choc du Monde de la Musique - Diapason d'or / Arte - Le Choix de France Musique