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Klassiek - Verschenen op 8 mei 2020 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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With the big yellow sticker above his piano, Grigory Sokolov’s last recital resembles Deutsche Grammophon’s album covers from the 1960s during the golden age of the LP and stereophony. It must be said that the Russian pianist today is similar to the iconic pianists that once made up the famous German label’s catalogue: Wilhelm Kempff, Sviatoslav Richter, Emil Gilels and Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, or among those still playing today, Maurizio Pollini and Martha Argerich. Unpredictable, mystifying and often brilliant, Sokolov offers us here the echoes of three recitals given in 2019 in quite similar (and a little reverberant) acoustics, in Zaragoza, Wuppertal, and Rabbi in the province of Trento (Italian Tyrol). Three evenings, three countries and three great evenings where inspiration was in the air. An enemy of any commentary surrounding his programmes, shying away from the media and any opinions on his playing, the Russian pianist reserves his rare concerts for solo recitals in Europe, fearing travel and the stress of jet lag, which has not prevented him from memorizing an incredible amount of airline schedules off by heart. We should listen to this as one listens to a sage, from Beethoven’s Sonata No. 3 played with sovereign detachment and a clear and flowing conduct imbued with chaste poetry. Sokolov then excels in the precious miniatures, the Eminent Bagatelles Op. 119, in which Beethoven displays an admirable conciseness, concentrating both his energy and the strength of the language from the composer’s later period. Sokolov previously recorded Brahms in France in 1994 for the now-closed label Opus 111. Here he is at the top of his game with the compositions Klavierstücke Op. 118 and Op. 119, written by an older Brahms. Sokolov brings out the poignant and never-too-sad melancholy, sometimes breaking the impulses while knowing how to abandon himself and give these sublime pieces an improvised feel. The seven encores (Schubert, Rameau, Brahms, Schubert and Debussy) that close this splendid album are finely chiselled jewels generously offered to the three lucky, transfixed and attentive audiences. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 11 september 2020 | Alpha

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A few years after the success of her album crossing Baroque music with folk, "Love I Obey", the Franco-American singer Rosemary Standley visits Schubert, this time with the complicity of the Ensemble Contraste: “We all have a few notes of Schubert buried deep inside us,” say the artists, who have got together around his music and brought it to an original sound texture, the result of their varied influences- classical, pop, jazz, folk. They have picked some of the best-known lieder and universally loved instrumental pieces, incorporating in them rhythms from other countries and instruments unusual in this repertory: the jazz trumpet of Airelle Besson, the guitar of Kevin Seddiki, the percussion of Jean-Luc Di Fraja join forces with the viola of Arnaud Thorette, the piano, cello and double bass of Ensemble Contraste - not forgetting the exceptional participation of the soprano Sandrine Piau, who joins Rosemary Standley for several duets. The arrangements are by Johan Farjot. © Alpha Classics
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Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 24 april 2020 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 4F de Télérama
At the height of mental and physical pain, Schubert wrote Octet in F major in 1824, recalling the Septet, Op. 20 composed by Beethoven at about the same age. Their age gap meant that Beethoven opened the Classical age and Schubert the Romantic age. Schubert was composing his first works while Beethoven already had many masterpieces behind him. Played for the first time during a concert in homage to Beethoven who had just passed away, this marvellous Octet didn’t find its way to an editor at the time. It was found to be too long (62 minutes here, respecting all the repeats!) and was forgotten until its first complete edition in 1861 when it was admired by Brahms. During the String Quintet written four years later, the Octet alternates (as so often happens with Schubert) between moments of Viennese grace and deep melancholy. The Modigliani Quartet give a magnificent performance with experienced musicians including clarinettist Sabine Meyer, who showcases her incredibly expressive playing in the sublime Adagio, a true lullaby opening up to the next world that poor Schubert was awaiting in his early thirties. Bruno Schneider on horn, Dag Jensen on bassoon and Knut Erik Sundquist on double bass complete this ensemble of superb musicians giving Schubert a tender and fraternal humanity. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 4 september 2020 | Sony Classical

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Although Covid-19 has forced many musicians to cancel their concerts and recordings in 2020, it has also sparked creativity and allowed people to enjoy calmer moments – something that’s rare when you have a busy career. Jonas Kaufmann did not waste his time during lockdown, recording several Lieder albums with his accomplice, the pianist Helmut Deutsch.“Selige Stunde” (“Blessed Hours!”) is the first fruit of his quarantine which brings together a selection of Lieder from Mozart to Mahler, including Schubert, Mendelssohn, Grieg, Strauss, Brahms, Wolf, Schumann and extremely rare gems such as Ännchen von Tharau by Friedrich Silcher or the unusual In mir klingt ein Lied composed by Alois Melichar on the Etude, Op. 10 No. 3 by Chopin.Time and intensive use have gradually tarnished Jonas Kaufmann's voice and his timbre has darkened without compromising any of its expression or exceptional range. With quarantine making it impossible to use a recording studio, the two friends recorded this album in a private home with as few people as possible. It’s a “blessing in disguise” for Jonas Kaufmann and Helmut Deustch, who were able to find the tone of a private concert in the intimacy of a living room for this recording. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 8 mei 2020 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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The current trend is to give a generic title to classic albums. Here, “Der Wanderer” is obviously the title of Schubert’s Fantasy, but it is above all the very symbol of German Romanticism in its tireless and almost metaphysical quest for inner peace through poetry and nature. One may well wonder whether the Berg and Liszt sonatas really fit such a description. The young Korean pianist Seong-Jin Cho’s program goes further than this simple title by his desire to unite the Wanderer Fantasy with Liszt, who composed an arrangement for piano and orchestra, and with Berg, whose expressive language resides in the wake of Schubert. For his fourth Deutsche Grammophon recording, Seong-Jin Cho confirms his stature and the maturity for his age is astonishing, allowing him to express the quintessence of works which have never been immediately accessible. He knows how to combine grandeur and construction through a flawless technique that never replaces expression. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 27 maart 2020 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 2 oktober 2020 | Warner Classics

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 13 maart 2020 | Warner Classics

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Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 15 mei 2020 | Avie Records

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Four years passed between the recording of Schubert's Quintet in A major and its release on record to coincide with the 80th birthday of pianist Christoph Eschenbach. During those four years, the musicians sought to complete the program of this album to make the timing perfect. In addition to the very lively Truite, we find a few waltzes arranged for string quartet by Olivier Dejours and a bouquet of Ländler played on the piano by Jean-Frédéric Neuburger, friend and regular partner of the Thymos Quartet. The essence of the program is therefore this Truite played in such a friendly way, with a fresh simplicity. It is the ideal vision of one of the few perfectly happy and tender works by Schubert, who seems to have forgotten his deep melancholy in the summer of 1819, at least for a while. The Thymos Quartet was formed in 2003 when four musicians from the Paris and Lyon Conservatories met, all members of the Orchestre de Paris directed at the time by Christoph Eschenbach, who became their mentor. They had already recorded Dvořák’s Quintet n° 2 with piano together in 2011. The Thymos performed in France and Europe before conquering the United States, China, Korea and Japan. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 2 oktober 2020 | Cleveland Orchestra

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This new album is the second release from the conductor Franz Welser-Möst and his Cleveland Orchestra on Welser-Möst’s own label. It also marks their final performances before their entire tour around Europe and the UAE was cancelled due to coronavirus. This recording took place on March 12, 2020 in front of a few donors and staff members under Ohio’s strict state rules. This feeling permeates Franz Welser-Möst’s rendition of Andante con moto from Schubert’s 9th Symphony and it sounds as though the conductor is conscious of the fact that this would the last time he would be conducting his orchestra for a while. This gives the calm, quiet work a very personal twist. The album also includes a work by Ernst Krenek commissioned for the Swiss patron Paul Sacher in 1972. Static and Extatic consists of ten short movements for chamber orchestra, percussion and piano. They are like musical haikus, each one lasting between one and three minutes. They are written in a serial style and present a retrospective of Ernst Krenek’s compositional technique that he developed throughout his long career. The resulting atmosphere is unexpected, enchanting and truly poetic. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 20 maart 2020 | PM Classics Ltd.

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With this new release, Shai Wosner continues his journey to the centre of the world of Schubert – a composer for whom the Israeli pianist, who has lived in New York since the age of 20, has various forms of affinity, and especially with his four later Sonatas. The first hour brings together the great Sonata in a minor, D. 845, which Pollini recorded for Deutsche Grammophon in his youth, as well as the astonishing Sonata D. 894 in G Major, a journey of another order altogether, closer to the final piece which is preceded by the dramatic Sonata in C minor, D. 958. A follower of Emanuel Ax, Shai Wosner seduces with his supreme elegance. The magnetic poetry of his playing style finds especially promising ground in Schubert’s work – but also in the later pages of Brahms. His Schubert is pure, absolutely without ornament. The great delicacy in the variations of nuances, the attention to phrasing and the accuracy of tempo, the search for lyricism at the heart of an intimate discourse: all these facets again set Wosner apart as a musician, even if the relative absence of contrasts is sometimes striking (Sonata D. 894). At the heart of this double album, recorded over in six days in July 2018 at the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York City, are the particularly moving moments at the Finale of the D. 845, at a very moderate tempo, or a very finely balanced D. 958 which was never going to sound like a romantic post-Erlkönig joyride here (as Svyatoslav Richter wanted it to be). On the contrary, only the song, in its contrasts, shines here: a seductively light touch. There is no surprise when we hear the opening strains of the Andante sostenuto of the D. 960 : music of the spheres, here absolutely aerial, but never ethereal! © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Vocale muziek (wereldlijk en religieus) - Verschenen op 22 mei 2020 | Galileo Music Communication

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 25 september 2020 | Alpha

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Fascinated by the viola, which he chose at the age of eleven after learning the violin for six years, Amihai Grosz loves the sound of his instrument, which is so close to the human voice. He also likes the ambivalence of its timbre, midway between the violin and the cello, which in a sense reflects his own musical education in Israel, with its combination of Mediterranean influences and Russian and Germanic traditions. Initially a quartet musician and founding member of the famous Jerusalem Quartet, Amihai Grosz now pursues a solo career while holding the post of principal viola of the Berliner Philharmoniker. For this first solo album, he joins forces with the pianist Sunwook Kim, the first Asian to win the Leeds International Piano Competition – in 2006, aged just eighteen. Together they present a programme coupling Schubert, with the famous "Arpeggione" Sonata – named after the quickly obsolescent instrument for which it was written, a cross between the guitar and the cello; Shostakovich, with the Viola Sonata Op. 147, completed in 1975, only a few weeks before the Russian composer’s death; and Yizkor (In memoriam) by the Hungarian-Israeli composer Ödön Pártos (1907-77). Amihai Grosz plays a magnificent Gasparo da Salò viola of 1570. This recording is the first of several projects for Alpha Classics. © Alpha Classics
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 18 september 2020 | PentaTone

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Multiple prize-winning conductor René Jacobs and the B’Rock Orchestra continue their Schubert cycle with a recording of the composer’s Second and Third Symphony. Jacobs approaches these pieces as a symphonic pair revealing contrasting aspects of Schubert’s personality and compositional approach; the former being serious, ambitious, aiming to “outdo” Beethoven, while the latter is deliberately un-heroic: light, lyrical, and full of Italianizing elements. Interestingly, Jacobs discerns a comparable tandem approach in Schubert’s Fourth and Fifth Symphonies, which will form the next episode of this recording project. The players of the B’Rock Orchestra present these works on period instruments, transparent, but full of fire. © Pentatone
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 28 februari 2020 | Klarthe

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 28 augustus 2020 | Sony Classical

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 6 maart 2020 | audite Musikproduktion

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Andrea Lucchesini is discreet and his career is sometimes overshadowed by the other Italian pianists, whose works are more favored by the press. Lucchesini studied under the masterful Maria Tipo. He was one of her most brilliant students, along with Nelson Goerner. In Italy, he performed many concerts and recorded numerous albums. He first achieved recognition with his performance of Luciano Berio’s music, the concerto Echoing Curves in particular that he played under the conduction of the composer himself. Lucchesini also recorded Beethoven’s sonata collection for the label Stradivarius. In recent years, Lucchesini found in Schubert a travel companion that he sometimes refers to as his “true love.” Andrea Lucchesini is fascinated by Schubert and Beethoven, two composers who, at the beginning of romanticism, remained so different. His album, a second volume of recordings, is dedicated to Schubert’s late work. The pieces mark Schubert’s return to sonatas, after a long period of composing lieder. At that time, Schubert and Beethoven lived in the same city. For Lucchesini, Schubert remains a mystery. He left almost no writing. He never settled and no one understood his shyness, constant agitation and latent homosexuality. “Rediscovering his late work has shown me the difference between the artist who entertained his friends and the composer working in solitude, without any hope of being published or performed.” After an album dedicated to the Sonata in A Major, D. 959, Lucchesini returns with Schubert’s ultimate sonata. The composer wrote the piece at the dusk of his life, a life destroyed by sickness and disappointment. Nevertheless, in the midst of tears and sorrows, Schubert still managed to bring smiles into the music. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 6 maart 2020 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 6 maart 2020 | Sony Classical

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Having been one of the most dazzling oboists of the 20th century, Heinz Holliger has decided to pursue a career as a conductor alongside his active role as a composer. He now continues his complete series of Schubert Symphonies here, paying great attention to detail and showcasing their composition and structure. There is no sadness in his version of Symphony No. 4 in C minor, despite having been given the title of “Tragic” by the young composer. It’s unknown why he did so, but it was probably because of its similarity to the main key in the Fifth Symphony and Beethoven’s “Corolian” Overture, which he greatly admired. Rather, the incredible openness and luminosity of the music reflects a care-free and light-hearted youth. Two years later at just twenty years of age, Schubert composed Symphony No. 6, which is the least played and the most ambitious of the symphonies from his youth. It has the same dynamism but a greater command of form and structure, with an Italian-style finale similar to the music of Rossini that was very popular in Vienna at the time. Heinz Holliger also had the excellent idea of preceding this symphony with one of the two Overtures in the Italian style that date from the same period and are composed in the same pleasant style. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 21 februari 2020 | Challenge Classics

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