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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 24 november 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Record of the Year - Gramophone Award - Gramophone Record of the Month - Victoire de la musique - 4 étoiles de Classica
We will gladly forgive the occasional "weakness" in sound technology in this recording of Troyens by Berlioz (recorded live in concert in April 2017). In light of the first-rate quality of the music and vocals that appear on the disc (a majority of which are French voices, with Stéphane Degout at their head) this immense work is from the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra and the three choirs which have been brought together – because the work demands immense swelling choirs – which are the choir of the Opéra national du Rhin, the Opéra National de Bade, and the Strasbourg Philharmonic's own choir. This recording rests, of course, on the complete original edition, which gives the listener a chance to hear Les Troyens as the work was performed in 1863, at the Théâtre-Lyrique, in which some intense chopping saw Acts I and II condensed into one part and Acts III to V into another, producing two distinct operas (La Prise de Troie and Les Troyens à Carthage). We also get a taste, naturally, of Berlioz's immensely rich orchestral innovations: with every new work, he would invent some exciting new prototype from scratch, never content to rest on his laurels. The listener should note the presence of six saxhorns, recently invented by Adolphe Sax (of whom Berlioz was an indefatigable champion, even if he didn't often use his instruments in his scores, no doubt because of the poor quality of the early instrumentalists who learned - however well or badly - Sax's instruments); bass clarinet, and an army of percussion pieces including several instruments which must have been rare in those days: crotales, goblet drums, tom-toms, thunder sheets... clearly, this is a milestone in the Berlioz discography. © SM/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 19 mei 2017 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik
What was the context in which so great a masterpiece such as Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo could be born back in 1607, invested with such beauty, endowed with such profundity of expression and so perfect a structure, at a time when the operatic form was still in its infancy? These are precisely the questions that lie at the origin of this recording project, giving Pichon and his musicians the opportunity to discover the astonishing musico-dramatic productions that preceded L’Orfeo, notably those performed at the Medici court in Florence, in which one may discern the seeds of numerous elements to be found in L’Orfeo. At the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries, it was ovbviously the city of the Medici that was the main focus of one of the most fascinating moments in the history of music: the birth of opera. Concentrating on the years from 1589 to 1611, i.e. the premiere of the intermedi for theatre piece called La pellegrina at one end and the performance in Florence of Marco da Gagliano’s Dafne at the other, Pichon has devised four imaginary “interludes” – inspired by the form of the intermedio so popular at this period – in which he assembled some of the finest examples of the first stirrings of opera, the music pieces of which are signed Lorenzo Allegri, Antonio Brunelli, Giovanni Battista Buonamente, Giulio Caccini, Emilio de’ Cavalieri, Girolamo Fantini, Marco da Gagliano, Cristofano Malvezzi, Luca Marenzio, Alessandro Orologio, Jacopo Peri and Alessandro Striggio. In imitation of the ancient theatre, intermedi were entertainments inserted between the acts of plays, with sumptuous visual effects, which provided a pretext for allegories to the glory of the reigning dynasty. The place of music and the fantastic element in theatrical performances acquired an ever grander and more spectacular character, thanks notably to the genius of set designers and the progress made in the domain of stage machinery. Seeing the artistic and political potential of the genre, the powerful princely families of the northern half of Italy (Gonzagas, Este and Medici, as well as the papal court), encouraged its development. Intermedi ended up occupying so important a place that they became a show within the show, with the aim of dazzling the audience. It was in 1589 that the Florentine tradition of intermedi attained its zenith, with the six sumptuous entertainments devised by Count Bardi to accompany the comedy La pellegrina, performed on the occasion of the wedding of Grand Duke Ferdinando I and Princess Christina of Lorraine, grand-daughter of Catarina de’ Medici. In their variety and novelty, with a balanced combination of polyphony and the nascent monody, not forgetting instrumental and dance music, the intermedi of 1589 opened the way for an integrally sung form of theatre. And indeed it was once again Florence that witnessed the first examples of the Gesamtkunstwerk, the perfect model of the alliance between poetry and music. At the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries, a veritable laboratory was set up in Florence, prompting poets and composers to bring together several forms of musical expression in a single place? Building on the models established by earlier generations, composers continued their experiments with sound-space and the spatialisation of music, what with the proliferation of echo effects in the early monodies, or madrigals featuring dialogues between as many as seven independent choirs. But how can one tell this story nowadays, revive this rich adventure? The solution chosen for this recording was to create from scratch a large-scale imaginary work, resembling an initiatory journey, that would weld these multiple works into a single whole.
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Symfonieën - 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 de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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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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Piano solo - Verschenen op 30 september 2016 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année - Exceptional sound
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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 22 juni 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - Qobuzism - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Why yes, it is still possible to discover Bernstein scores, or in this case the chamber version of A Quiet Place, adapted by Garth Edwin Sunderland, conducted and recorded for the first time by Kent Nagano, at the Montreal Symphony House. The final stage score by the American composer, first performed at the Houston Grand Opera in 1983, it was revisited by the librettist Stephen Wadsworth, and the composer who added several fragments from the one-act piece Trouble in Tahiti, from 1951; this addition would see two new performances (the Scala in Milan, and Washington). Another draft – this one definitive – was performed at the Vienna Opera House, conducted by the composer, in 1986. Fascinating in more ways than one, rather like a modern-day Intermezzo by Strauss, the work depicts American society by way of an existential crisis faced, first by one couple, (Trouble in Tahiti) and then by one family. Bernstein borrowed from Mahler for the structure, with a final movement whose "grave nobility" recalled the final movements of the Third and NinthSymphonies by his much-admired forebear. As is often the case with this composer, Bernstein's mix of styles (jazz, chorale, Broadway, Mahler, Berg, Britten, Copland…) provides an explosive cocktail, which has about it more of a musical conversation than grand opera – and, paradoxically, that's what makes this work so unique... And so charming. This is well worth a re-discovery, this time under the baton of Bernstein's faithful former pupil, Kent Nagano, at the head of top-flight solo singers, who point the way to that "quiet place", where "love will teach us harmony and grace". © Franck Mallet/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 16 september 2016 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Pianiste Maestro - Choc de Classica - Qobuzism
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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 9 oktober 2012 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Disque de la semaine France Musique - Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Opera - Verschenen op 22 september 2014 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 4F de Télérama - Diamant d'Opéra Magazine - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 januari 2013 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année - Hi-Res Audio
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Opera - Verschenen op 29 januari 2013 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 9 juni 2017 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik
One should not think that at the time when Handel was around, an opera was a finished product, etched in stone, the score of which was some kind of Holy Grail that would not suffer any tampering with, be it so benign. From that point of view, Handel’s Ottone is a case in point. Some extensive adjustments probably arose from Handel’s collaboration with the famous prima donna Francesca Cuzzoni, who had arrived in London in December 1722, but a fortnight before the first performance, and immediately threw a tantrum. Several of her arias she rejected and had had Handel substitute with entirely different new music. According to Mainwaring’s Memoirs of the Life of the Late George Frederic Handel (1760), having one day some words with Cuzzoni on her refusing to sing the aria Falsa imagine, the composer had shouted, in French: “I know very well that you are a veritable she-devil: but I will show you that I am Beelzebub the Chief of the Devils ” and with this he took her up by the waist, and, if she uttered another word, swore that he would fling her out of the window. This being said, many of the modifications he made during the rehearsal period had nothing to do with Cuzzoni. All in all, eleven arias and one duet were finished but then discarded and replaced before the first performance, and several other arias were considerably revised . It is impossible to determine which changes were instigated by Handel himself on artistic grounds and which were compromises in order to satisfy his singers’ whims and overblown egos. In addition to rejections, redrafts of scenes and wholesale substitutions by Handel during the opera’s composition and preparation, further amendments were also made during its first run . Moreover, he replaced and also added several extra arias for the twelfth performance, which took place on 26 March 1723 after a break of several weeks because of Lent. So: what does “the real” Ottone look like? This recording presents a reconstruction of the complete first performance version, but it also incorporates Handel’s expansions to two scenes reworked especially for Cuzzoni. As an appendix, there are three bonus tracks of new arias composed for the title-role in Handel’s 1726 revival, making it an Ottone as complete as possible. All this extra music will allow the listener to enjoy even more the great voices of the recording, to begin with the countertenor Max Cencic, but also the soprano Lauren Snouffer – who sings the part initially held by the infamous Cuzzoni –, accompanied by the ensemble Il pomo d’oro playing on period instruments and conducted by George Petrou. © SM/Qobuz
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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 12 januari 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles de Classica - Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik
Until now, Porpora’s Germanico in Germania has, with the exception of one or two virtuoso arias, remained firmly hidden on library shelves. However, during his lifetime Porpora was as famous for teaching singing (one of his pupils was Farinelli) as for his compositions, so it’s no wonder that his score is a veritable feast of vocal delights ripe for resurrection. As a composer, Porpora’s reputation spread throughout Italy, especially to Venice, where he was “maestro delle figlie at the Ospedale degli Incurabili” (one of the city’s famous music schools for orphans) from 1726 to 1733, and Rome, where the Teatro Capranica saw the premiere of Germanico in Germania in February 1732. In Rome, by Papal edict, operas were “all-male”, and this cast was seriously “all-star”. Clearly Porpora enjoyed stretching the singers to their utmost potential, employing every vocal trick at his command. Germanico was played by the experienced alto castrato Domenico Annibali. The en travesti female roles were taken, as was often the case, by young singers at the start of their careers. For this recording boasting another “all-star” cast led by countertenor Max Emanuel Cencic, female roles are of course held by female singers. The excellent Capella Cracoviensis, playing on period instruments, is led by Jan Tomasz Adamus. © SM/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 januari 2014 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles de Classica
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 13 oktober 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica
For true fans of Christian Ferras (1933-1982), this box set of recordings (mono and stereo) made between 1957 and 1962 is an absolute treasure chest. In the company of his good friend Pierre Barbizet, Georges Prêtre, Malcolm Sargent, Menuhin for Bach's Double and several other big names of her era, this follower of George Enesco offers up a superb selection of great concertos and great sonatas, from before the famous recordings with Karajan that covered of the lion's share of the Ferras concert repertoire. Ferras had a searing career – these recordings were made by a man aged 24 to 29 years old! His glory years ran until the end of the 1960s, before meeting with an inexorable descent into the hell of alcoholism and depression (which would drive away the big labels, the orchestras and the public) – a descent which he would end with a ten-storey fall from his Parisian apartment on 14 September 1982. The world had lost one of the greatest violinists of his time, but his legend would never die. Naturally, all these recordings have been subject to a most careful remastering, based on the original matrices. © SM/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 januari 2012 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Concerten voor klavier - Verschenen op 10 november 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 23 mei 2015 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 16 juni 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 2 november 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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