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Klassiek - Verschenen op 20 maart 2020 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 7 februari 2020 | Glossa

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
Violinist Fabio Biondi has a singular capacity for finding something new and exciting in the music of Antonio Vivaldi whenever he considers it, a prodigious feat which he demonstrates with "Concerti per La Pietà", a new collection of works calling for a variety of demanding solo challenges, superbly met by Biondi and his colleagues from Europa Galante. In his Venetian years the well-spring of Vivaldian inventiveness was fed by the composer working with one of the leading orchestras of early eighteenthcentury Europe: the one at the Ospedale della Pietà, the charitable institution which took in, cared for – and educated – girls who had been orphaned or abandoned. Within the ospedale were nurtured instrumental virtuosos – known today only by their “sporting nicknames”: Bettina della viola, Margherita del arpa doppia, Lucieta della tromba, etc. Calling variously for solo violin, two violins, lute, cello, organ, or viola d’amore (Biondi plays an unreconstructed 1758 Vinaccia instrument), the concertos recorded here are drawn from across the thirty years in which Vivaldi worked at the ospedale. The freshness and personalness of Fabio Biondi’s musicmaking with Europa Galante has itself now been in evidence for a remarkable three decades and this new Album, conceived as a special 30thanniversary recording, won’t disappoint listeners ready to have their preconceptions challenged yet be stimulated by consummate musicianship. © Glossa
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 7 februari 2020 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
Using period instruments, Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov breathe new life into these ‘sonatas for keyboard with violin accompaniment’, a tradition Mozart renewed from within, blazing the trail for Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann. The first volume was widely praised: ‘The greater similarity of tone between Faust’s sparkling violin and Melnikov’s glittering fortepiano (within an airier acoustic) results in a sound more akin to the jingling of small bells. It’s delicious’ (Gramophone). ‘In a world full of star violinists, all with technical facility and individual style, it’s rare to find one that everyone agrees is just – brilliant. Isabelle Faust is that violinist’ (The Strad). © harmonia mundi
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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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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 17 januari 2020 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 5 étoiles de Classica
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 7 februari 2020 | Phi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
Bach’s St. John Passion, with its famous opening chorus traversed by shadows and light, is a powerful musical and spiritual reflection. Dramatic, grandiose, complex, resolutely theatrical: there has been no lack of superlatives to describe this supreme masterpiece of western music. Philippe Herreweghe and Collegium Vocale Gent present an accomplished reading that reflects their knowledge of the composer, based on extensive research and deepened by countless concerts. Soloists Krešimir Stražanac and Maximilian Schmitt demonstrate the breadth of their talents in the roles of Jesus and the Evangelist. © Phi
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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 7 februari 2020 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
After the resounding success of Volume 1 (Gramophone Editor’s Choice, Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, Diapason d’Or, Choc de Classica, FFFF Télérama), the project to record the complete Sibelius symphonies continues with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Santtu-Matias Rouvali, whose career as a conductor is entering top gear: he has just been appointed Principal Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. At the turn of the twentieth century, as Finland struggled to free itself from Russian rule, Sibelius and his wife faced several domestic dramas, including the loss of one of their daughters, Kirsti, to typhoid fever. The Second Symphony, written in the brilliant key of D major, seems to be marked by the events of the composer’s private life, but many of his contemporaries nevertheless saw it as a political manifesto! In 1898, Sibelius composed the incidental music for Adolf Paul’s play King Christian II, the story of the downfall of a king of Scandinavia (Denmark, Sweden and Norway) in the sixteenth century. The suite derived from it was successfully performed in several European cities. © Alpha Classics
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 31 januari 2020 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama
Handel spent many years in Italy during his youth and it was here that he composed his anti-heroic comedy, Agrippina, at the age of twenty-four, before eventually settling down in London. Its immoral, corrupt and decadent plots are presented as an inherent part of daily life for the ruling class of ancient Rome, along with their insatiable desire for political and sexual power. Handel was fascinated by Italian music and composed this particular opera in less than three weeks upon the request of a Venetian theatre, where it was then performed some twenty-seven nights in a row. Such was the enormity of the opera’s success that it firmly established the young composer’s reputation in Europe as a result. The score is bursting with emotion and has so many twists and turns that even the Venetians, who were used to these kinds of storylines, were blown away. The colourful libretto includes betrayals, assassinations, feigned love and lies of every kind – all of which are elements that the American film industry delights in incorporating into the films of today under the direction of someone like Martin Scorsese or the Coen brothers. This studio recording was made in the Dolomites in May 2019, in conjunction with a European tour and features a dazzling cast led by the fierce Joyce DiDonato (Agrippina). This is DiDonato is at her very best, combining her vocals with marvellously conducted flourishes. She perfectly encapsulates the difficult, multi-faceted role by reflecting each one of Agrippina’s personality traits, from formidable intelligence and masterful manipulation to being a loving mother and wife. Joining her onstage is an exceptional cast that includes Franco Fagioli (Nerone), Jakub Józef Orliński (Ottone), Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Giunone) and Elsa Benoit (Poppea), along with the II Pomo d’Oro ensemble, feverishly conducted by Maxim Emelyanychev. This can only be described as a Handel grand cru. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 15 november 2019 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
One never comes across any ordinariness when following Alexandre Tharaud’s career. This new album is as impressive in the originality of its conception as much as its meticulous musical delivery. The French pianist appears to be nostalgic towards two different golden ages: that of 17th-century music, and that of the French piano during the 1950s, specifically Marcelle Meyer’s inspiring playing which Tharaud remains motivated by. The “Versailles” which has attracted Alexandre Tharaud, and serves as the title for this recital is less Louis XIV’s opulent world of wonder and more of an intimate world of secret music. Without any difficulty, the pianist manages to make these pieces specifically written for the harpsichord his own, even going as far as inviting young harpsichordist Justin Taylor to join him for a rendition of Rameau’s Les Sauvages... for four hands on the piano! If the pianist Marcelle Meyer had recorded Rameau and Couperin in an era more liberal than today, Alexandre Tharaud has the audacity to go against musicological rules for the listener’s benefit. Of course, we are accustomed to Bach, Scarlatti, Couperin and Rameau on the modern piano, but Pancrace Royer, Robert de Visée, Jean-Henry D’Anglebert and Jacques Duphly are suddenly thrust into the limelight of this musical collection which incidentally highlights their relevance. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 17 januari 2020 | CSO Resound

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 10 januari 2020 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
It has been a long time, and probably stretching all the way back to the now-distant, legendary concerts led by Carlos Kleiber in 1989 and 1992, since we have enjoyed a New Year's Concert of such quality. With the Latvian Andris Nelsons (known and liked by the Philharmoniker) conducting, this first concert of 2020 had a fluent elegance, a rhythmical verve which was both light and implacable, and a kind of song that allowed the Viennese strings to show off their incredibly silky texture and profound depth. Andris Nelsons is clearly very much at ease with this repertoire, and brings a very refined approach to this novel programme. Hits sit alongside lesser-known pieces, including Beethoven's Contredanses kicking off the German’s anniversary year with a bang. Nelson gleefully swaps his baton for a trumpet, his favourite instrument, and gets stuck into the Postillon Galop by the "Danish Johann Strauss", Hans Christian Lumbye. This original programme brings us Knall und Fall, a rapid polka from Eduard Strauss, Cupido, a delightful French (slow) polka by Josef Strauss and Joseph Hellmesberger's Gavotte and some other tasty Viennese treats making it into the New Year's Concert for the first time. The ebullient audience was also very keen to hear some more conventional favourites: and no-one was disappointed by the stunning rendition of the famous Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka, played at a diabolical pace, with phenomenal virtuosity from these Viennese musicians, who remain the unchallenged masters of this repertoire. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Wereldlijke vocale muziek - Verschenen op 15 november 2019 | Erato - Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Christina Pluhar has long been interested in the vocal music of the 17th century, in particular that of composer Luigi Rossi born around 1597 in the beautiful province of Puglia. He was the titular composer to the Medicis in Florence before taking a job with Cardinal Barberini in Rome. In France, Cardinal Mazarin commissioned him to produce the first Italian opera written specifically for the French court. In a manner of speaking, Rossi is at the root of the productions that another Italian, Lully, would later write for Louis XIV.In 2005, Christina Pluhar had recorded the Lyra d'Orfeo, taken from Rossi's desk drawer, with her ensemble L'Arpeggiata, with the voice of Veronique Gens in all its splendour. But a legal problem arose which prevented its production as a record for nearly 15 years. With the lawsuit ongoing, Christina Pluhar completed her project with Arpa Davidica, a new original compilation of works by Luigi Rossi, which she and her assistants discovered in various libraries.Pluhar has selected a series of virtuoso, theatrical pieces geared closely to the lyrics, as Rossi would set to music the most beautiful poems of his day. Taking on the best voices of the moment, Cécile Scheen, Giuseppina Bridelli, Philippe Jaroussky, Jakub Józef Orliński and Valer Sabadus, Christina Pluhar has pulled out all the stops to bring enchanting and incredibly musically-rich material back to life. The few indications relating to the instrumental accompaniment left on the manuscripts leave the performers almost total freedom. They can imagine all sorts of instrumental combinations to link complicated melismas with the virtuosity of the vocal lines that the composer intended. The interpretation also works as a complete recreation. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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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 17 januari 2020 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 6 maart 2020 | BR-Klassik

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 5 étoiles de Classica
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 15 november 2019 | ECM New Series

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
Composed three centuries ago, Johann Sebastian Bach’s set of six works for solo violin stands as one of the holy grails of the instrument’s literature – perhaps the holiest. Now the great Austrian musician Thomas Zehetmair makes his own mark in the rich history of this music, revisiting the repertoire on period instruments. Zehetmair is an extraordinary violinist and a consistently inquisitive and self-questioning artist. He has not only played the big concertos but has given close attention to chamber music and new repertory, and has also found an extra calling as a conductor, channeling this varied experience into his return to the formidable cornerstone of Bach’s solo masterpieces. As a young man Zehetmair worked with Nikolaus Harnoncourt in his period ensemble, working with him to prepare for his first recording of the sonatas and partitas on a modern instrument. For this new recording, he draws out exquisite colours from two violins from Bach’s lifetime, both of them by masters in the German tradition, but there is nothing antiquarian in his approach – old instruments, for him, are tools with which to express a modern sensibility: alert, edgy, multivalent. His performance engages, too, with the superb acoustic of the priory church of St Gerold, in Austria where so many legendary ECM recordings have been made. Peter Gülke, in his accompanying essay, refers to the “floating spirituality” of this music, and to how Bach here offers one side of a conversation with the performer, whom he leaves free to determine matters of dynamic shading, phrasing and bowing. Zehetmair brings vividness and intelligence to the conversation on a recording that, deeply steeped in the music and true, is at the same time powerfully original. © ECM New Series
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 20 maart 2020 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 14 februari 2020 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - 5 étoiles de Classica
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 3 januari 2020 | BR-Klassik

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 7 februari 2020 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
The “discoveries” mentioned in the title of this record are mostly pieces of occasional light music, including a few marches, written by Luigi Cherubini when he was director of the French academy of music in Paris. But the lion’s share of the album conducted by Riccardo Chailly, head of the Filamornica della Scala in Milan, is the Italian composer’s sole symphony commissioned in London as a replacement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony which could not meet the required deadline. The German composer greatly admired Cherubini. But, unfortunately, Cherubini is not Beethoven and his skillful Symphony in D major, once championed by Arturo Toscanini, cannot bear comparison with Beethoven’s. Maestro Chailly’s performance generates beautiful energy and excitement but the conductor’s effort cannot turn the symphony into a masterpiece. The album is released to celebrate Beethoven’s birthday. It is worth listening to if you want to discover a composer that Beethoven praised and admired. © François Hudry/Qobuz