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Opera - Verschenen op 29 november 2019 | harmonia mundi

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Created in 1804 in Vienna before an audience of French officers, none of whom understood any German, Beethoven’s only opera, Leonore, was not successful. Based on a true story which took place during the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution -- the story of an intrepid young woman who dresses up as a man in an attempt to rescue her husband, a victim of arbitrary arrest and imprisoned in a dark cell -- Beethoven took his inspiration from several sources. The story, very in keeping with the troubled times, was indeed put to music in 1798 by the French composer Pierre Gaveaux from a libretto by Nicolas Bouilly, then again a little while later in Italian, in 1804 in a smaller-scale work by Ferdinando Paër. The Italian-German composer Simon Mayr then created a “sentimental farce” in Padua not long after Beethoven’s Leonore. Having dreamed of a tragically utopian level of universal human fraternity his whole life, as well as the image of a couple whose relationship is ideally based on marriage and loyalty, Beethoven had found a story which perfectly corresponded to his own political opinions, formed as a result of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution (before the emergence of Napoleon’s power). We now know that he reworked this lyrical work twice, turning it into the format we know it as today with its new name Fidelio. For René Jacobs, the original 1804 version is preferable to the successive amendments and deletions which were made. And we can’t blame him for this, his new recording highlighting all the beauty and modernity of this unfortunately destined first version of Leonore. In 1804, Beethoven has all his resources at his disposal: it’s the year of the Eroica symphony and the Appassionata sonata. By means of his directorial verve, his acute sense of theatrics and a distinguishably well-chosen cast, René Jacobs does this original version of Leonore justice in all its wonder, with all the delights which Beethoven, worried about being portrayed at the opera, ruthlessly scored from his work. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 11 oktober 2019 | Berlin Classics

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Together with the Berlin-based Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester (DSO) Mari Kodama and her husband Kent Nagano have now completed the recording of all of Beethoven's piano concertos by jumping, as it were, back in time twice: the last element of this recording series that has spanned more than 13 years was Beethoven's concerto "number nought" (WoO 4) – personally edited by Mari Kodama from the autograph score. The original manuscript of this piano concerto is kept at the State Library in Berlin. This is not a completed score, because there is no orchestration. That said, Beethoven annotated the short score, especially in the first two movements, with indications as to which instrument was to play which part. The orchestra score which is available today was written in the early twentieth century based on those annotations. The only problem is: "Today, armed with the knowledge we now have acquired about the young Beethoven, we would perform this concerto quite differently in places," explain Mari Kodama and Kent Nagano in unison. They therefore present a very personal adaptation that emerged during rehearsal with the orchestra and at the recording sessions, and which reflects Kodama's and Nagano's individual image of Beethoven. They aim to make audible the exuberant freshness and urgent sense of awakening in the young, almost childlike Beethoven's writing shortly before his artistic powers were to burst forth, the joie de vivre and vital energy in a style that owes something to the playfulness of both Haydn and Mozart. That is Mari Kodama's intention, and she plays it in precisely such a versatile manner. Combined with the classical canon of the piano concertos nos. 1–5, the resulting comprehensive edition is complemented by the Triple Concerto for piano, violin and cello op. 56, the Rondo WoO 6 and the Eroica Variations op. 35, offering insight into the artist's longstanding involvement with her musical companion Ludwig van Beethoven. And the recordings of his works seem to lead the listener through the composer's life. "If you play all of them, it is like accompanying Beethoven on a journey through his life," explains Mari Kodama, and Kent Nagano adds: "You acknowledge the musical genius and at the same time you recognise the development of European music, because Beethoven was undoubtedly its pioneer." He led the way in changing the structure, form and harmony of music, just as there was an equally radical shift in the world around him; after the French Revolution society and business and the incipient industrial revolution began to alter the way people lived. "He is and remains an optimist, someone who can do no other than believe in what he wishes to communicate to us through his music," explains Kodama. She says this helps her. The fact that she herself is an optimist can partly be attributed to Beethoven. Kodama, Nagano and the DSO – one might imagine them almost as a trio where all the musicians have blind faith in each other and are therefore able to produce a degree of musical intensity that brings the young Beethoven back to life. © Berlin Classics
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 8 juni 2018 | audite Musikproduktion

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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 15 maart 2019 | London Philharmonic Orchestra

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 22 maart 2019 | Paraty

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Beethoven’s Sonatas for cello and piano span his entire creative life. The two Opus 5 works were composed in 1796 and dedicated to King Frederick William II of Prussia. Beethoven, a virtuoso pianist, incorporated many of the techniques of Jean-Louis Duport, one of Frederick II’s court cellists and one of the most revered musicians of his era. The Third Sonata Opus 69 dates from the composer’s “Middle Period”, and is contemporary with the 4th and 5th Symphonies and the Razumovsky String Quartets. Dedicated to Baron Ignaz von Gleichenstein, its premiere was probably given by the cellist Joseph Linke, accompanied by Carl Czerny at the piano. The score displays brilliant thematic inventiveness in a tender, lyrical vein which reveals the proximity of the Pathétique Sonata. The two Opus 102 Sonatas were composed at the beginning of Beethoven’s visionary “Late Period”, during 1815 and 1816. They were dedicated to the Countess Marie von Erdődy. These are mature works which open the doorway to Romanticism, both in their formal freedom and in their rhythmic and melodic audacity. © Paraty
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 5 oktober 2018 | audite Musikproduktion

Hi-Res Booklet
The complete edition of Beethoven's works for piano trio is rounded out with this release of the fifth volume, also the high point of the series: the Triple Concerto, recorded here with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, is not a chamber music work, but a concerto for piano trio and orchestra that posed special challenges to the composer due to the presence of three soloists. The work's originality lies in the art of balancing the detail of chamber music with orchestral "al fresco. The concerto can be discovered alongside the skillfully-written Kakadu Variations, op. 121a, with their folk-like character, a work probably composed in 1809. The Piano Trio WoO 38 was composed in 1790/91 and is thus dating from Beethoven's Bonn period - an early stage of his chamber music compositions. During his lifetime the work remained unpublished. The Swiss Piano Trio concludes its journey through the cosmos of Beethoven's piano trio works with his "final word" in the genre, the Allegretto, WoO 39 dating from 1812. As brief as it is striking, its lyrical, hovering atmosphere already anticipates Beethoven's late works. © Audite
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 april 2012 | London Philharmonic Orchestra

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 3 mei 2019 | Bella Musica Edition

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 mei 2016 | Musikproduktion Dabringhaus und Grimm

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 mei 2007 | Musikproduktion Dabringhaus und Grimm

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 11 maart 2019 | Veraphon

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 18 oktober 2018 | iM Ebubekir Akçeşme

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 24 mei 1994 | Le Chant de Linos

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 3 mei 2019 | Bella Musica Edition

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 26 april 2019 | Bella Musica Edition

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 3 mei 2019 | Bella Musica Edition

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 januari 2002 | Musikproduktion Dabringhaus und Grimm

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 februari 2009 | London Philharmonic Orchestra

Booklet
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 3 mei 2019 | Bella Musica Edition

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 26 april 2019 | Bella Musica Edition

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Opera in het magazine