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Concerten voor klavier - Verschenen op 4 oktober 2019 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
Following two stunning projects with his spouse, the cellist Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, Martin Helmchen started a solo collaboration with the label Alpha Classics, publishing a remarkable version of the Variations Diabelli, one of the best in recent years, and certainly better than the one by Gorini on the same label. As part of the year of Beethoven, he has teamed up with conductor Andrew Manze for a complete recording of the Concertos by the Master of Bonn. This first volume sets the tone.From the first movement of the Second Concerto, we are gripped by the speed of the ensemble, the resurgence of a revitalised musical spirit, a supreme musicality: in sum, a celebration of the feverish creativity of the Master of Bonn. After this allegro which is truly "con brio", a major contrast is achieved with the Adagio where Martin Helmchen's singing is reserved, with a lyrical tenderness that recalls Mozart's later Concertos. But there is also something profoundly modern here, in that accumulated sense of waiting, of "suspense" and suspension, which are the hallmarks of the young Beethoven.In the Emperor, recorded at the Berliner Philharmoniker, Helmchen's piano continues to bring opposites together – this mix of impetuosity and tender lyricism – without ever feeling forced. The lively, sensitive orchestra, conducted by Manze, provides a sweeping breadth that Martin Helmchen must have long dreamt of. Amidst the whole swelling ocean of Beethoven, this new release is not to be missed. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Opera - Verschenen op 29 november 2019 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 4F de Télérama
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 4 oktober 2019 | Challenge Classics

Hi-Res Booklet
Beethoven’s most famous piano trio is dedicated to the Archduke Rudolph, himself an accomplished musician. The importance of Rudolph as a patron can be seen in the number of other prominent works that Beethoven dedicated to him. Beethoven started work on the trio in the second half of 1810, but much of the work was done in March of the next year. Some descriptions give an inkling of how novel a composition this was perceived to be, and a young Ignaz Moscheles reported: “In the case of how many compositions is the word ‘new’ misapplied! But never in Beethoven's, and least of all in this, which again is full of originality.” A year after the Archduke, Beethoven wrote another piano trio in B-flat major. The autograph dates it 26 June 1812, but besides the similarity in key it is different in every way. It consists of a single movement, was not published during the composer’s lifetime, and was written to encourage the nine-year-old Maximiliane Brentano in her piano playing. The Trio in E-flat WoO 38 might have been once intended to be part of Op. 1 and although there are no extant sketches to support this, the style of the composition makes a dating of around 1790-1 plausible. The trio contains some surprising twists and turns, particularly in its lengthy codas. The last piece for piano trio that Beethoven published during his lifetime has one of the longest compositional histories of all of his works. It consists of a long introduction, followed by ten variations on ‘Ich bin der Schneider Kakadu’ from Wilhelm Müller’s popular opera Die Schwestern von Prag. The first version of this piece was probably composed between 1801 and 1803, but it was substantially revised in 1816, and most likely further revised before publication in 1824. This final trio therefore includes elements from Beethoven’s early, middle, and late styles. © Challenge Records
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Symfonieën - Verschenen op 24 januari 2020 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 30 augustus 2019 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 20 september 2019 | Warner Classics

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 15 november 2019 | Sony Classical

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 28 augustus 2019 | Fontec

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 9 oktober 2019 | Compilation Fresh Music

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 19 september 2019 | Monkey Sounds

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 2 september 2019 | Compilation Best Music

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 15 november 2019 | Sony Classical

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 11 oktober 2019 | Universal Music Italia srL.

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 24 januari 2020 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 6 september 2019 | Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC)

Klassiek - Verschenen op 30 augustus 2019 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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