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Salonen: Cello Concerto & Ravel: Sonata for Violin and Cello

Nicolas Altstaedt

Classique - Verschijnt op 18 februari 2022 | Alpha Classics

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Sebastián Durón: Coronis

Le Poème Harmonique

Classique - Verschijnt op 11 februari 2022 | Alpha Classics

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Schubert: Winterreise

Benjamin Appl

Classique - Verschijnt op 11 februari 2022 | Alpha Classics

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Bleu

I Giardini

Classique - Verschijnt op 4 februari 2022 | Alpha Classics

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Pergolesi: Stabat Mater

Jodie Devos

Classique - Verschijnt op 4 februari 2022 | Alpha Classics

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Haydn 2032, Vol. 11: Au goût parisien

Giovanni Antonini

Classique - Verschijnt op 28 januari 2022 | Alpha Classics

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Bach & Abel: Solo

Lucile Boulanger

Classique - Verschijnt op 21 januari 2022 | Alpha Classics

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Familiar music heard through an unfamiliar prism. It was par for the course in the Baroque era, when transcription and pasticcio (patching together multifarious pieces by different composers to create a new work) were part of every musician and composer’s everyday musical toolkit. These days, though, not so much, meaning that when an artist does get as creative with 18th century repertoire as gambist Lucile Boulanger has been on this first solo recording of hers for Alpha, it’s all the more of a pleasure. Those who know their viola da gamba repertoire will be unsurprised at the presence of pre-classical-era composer Carl Friedrich Abel on this solo programme, given his renown both in his day and now as one of the gamba greats. To pair him with J. S. Bach, though, is entirely unexpected, because while the king of Baroque did write three accompanied gamba sonatas, he never explored the instrument’s solo capabilities. Yet the two men were in fact linked both musically and personally. First, because Bach was Abel’s godfather, and probably also one of his musical instructors. Second, because of Abel’s friendship with Bach’s son Johann Christian, the tangible legacy of which was the Bach-Abel subscription concert series they founded together in 1760s London after Johann Christian followed Abel across the channel. Boulanger’s aim therefore has been to make the link in a solo viola da gamba programme that existed between the two men in real life, juxtaposing original works for it from Abel’s famous Drexel manuscript, with her own new transcriptions of Bach works, presented as “pasticcio suites” reminiscent of the suites, sonatas and partitas Bach wrote for solo cello and violin. Cleverly, to give herself a head start as to how Bach himself may have gone about this transcription process, she’s selected pieces he worked his own transcriptions from – works such as the famous Prelude in C major BWV 846/846a, and the A minor Grave for keyboard or violin BWV 964/1003. Equally cleverly, she’s also looked closer to home by way of three dances from Bach’s final (6th) Solo Cello Suite in D major – because not only is D major a highly typical key for viola da gamba, but this particular suite was originally not for the standard four-stringed cello but instead a five-stringed one, bringing it closer to the viola da gamba with its five to seven strings. The whole works wonderfully well. On the linguistic front, while Abel may have been a generation onwards of Bach, and with a trailblazing outlook that saw his symphonies influence Mozart, he adopted a more retro language for the viola da gamba. So, when Bach was an enthusiastic follower and imitator of the latest styles right up to his 1750 death, their respective works are effortlessly mutually complimentary here. Ultimately though, the joy of this album is Boulanger’s playing: the elegant legato flow and melancholically improvisatory feel to Abel’s Adagio in D minor, WK 209; the delicacy with which she articulates Bach’s aforementioned C major Prelude, and the array of shapes, light and shade she’s brought to its “arpeggio” figures; her rivetingly developed musical argument in Abel’s Vivace in D major, WK 190, fingers dancing with feather-like grace over its fast-figurations and embellishments, and double-stopped passages executed to perfection. This is one that’ll have you spotting fresh things to appreciate on each repeated listen. © Charlotte Gardner/Qobuz
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Hypnos

La tempête

Classique - Verschenen op 14 januari 2022 | Alpha Classics

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Hypnos, God of Sleep. Simon-Pierre Bestion’s recordings are often inspired by his desire to recreate a ritual. His aim here was to recreate a Requiem service, "the ceremony that accompanies the passage of a human being into the hereafter, while supporting the feelings of all who witness it. Making use of all the freedom that this act of re-creation afforded me, I constructed this programme without boundaries between repertories or different musical aesthetics – from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance to the twentieth century – selecting the works for their captivating musical material, their hypnotic and meditative dimension". Intonations from Byzantine chant sit alongside guttural voices in Giacinto Scelsi and the English vocal style of John Tavener; Franco-Flemish Renaissance polyphony encounters the influences of eastern or western spiritual traditions present in the contemporary works. © Alpha Classics
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Anima

Baptiste Trotignon

Classique - Verschenen op 14 januari 2022 | Alpha Classics

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An eminent ambassador of the "French Touch" in jazz and winner of many awards (Django-Reinhardt, Victoires du Jazz, Django d’Or, SACEM jazz awards), Baptiste Trotignon has been composing for symphony orchestras and classical musicians for several years. The music on this album is not "symphonic jazz", says Trotignon, "but you can hear the sounds of the Afro-American musical language, whether in the harmonies or in the very motoric rhythms that are always in motion (dances, toccatas, grooves)". There are three pieces on the programme: Anima, the most ambitious work he has written to date, not only in terms of length but also in terms of orchestration, density "and a much stronger desire to make the orchestra sing"; Hiatus et turbulences, his very first piece with orchestra; and finally L’air de rien, a lighter piece which ends with a tango, and on which he himself plays the piano and adds improvised sections. © Alpha Classics
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Handel: Enchantresses

Sandrine Piau

Classique - Verschenen op 7 januari 2022 | Alpha Classics

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Handel is one of Sandrine Piau’s cult composers, and everyone has vivid memories of her magnificent Alcina live: "Where once I portrayed light-hearted, pirouetting heroines, this new album offers a portrait of powerful, often wounded women". "Queens, sorceresses, sirens... we were attracted by the musical and emotional intensity of the hopes, disappointments and sufferings of these women, not forgetting the malice or cruelty that they also know how to deploy", continues Jérôme Correas, the soprano’s longstanding musical partner and conductor of Les Paladins. With Almirena, Cleopatra and Alcina, Handel explores all the facets of these defeated heroines, whose boldly delineated characters live once more in Sandrine Piau’s passionate interpretation. © Alpha Classics
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Farjot: Lovescapes

Sandrine Piau

Classique - Verschenen op 7 januari 2022 | Alpha Classics

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Johan Farjot’s music prolongs the inner resonances of David Tepfer’s beautiful poems, dealing with the frissons and sorrows of love. On the road to the eighty-eight temples of the Japanese island of Shikoku, the piano of Johan Farjot or David Kadouch, with the complicity of Geneviève Laurenceau on violin, Arnaud Thorette on viola and Mathilde Calderini on flute, opens out a kaleidoscope of emotions served by the magnificent voices of Sandrine Piau, Stanislas de Barbeyrac, Delphine Haidan, Ambroisine Bré, Jeanne Gérard, with a guest appearance by Rosemary Standley. Johan Farjot explains: "This is a polyglot project that corresponds to my aesthetic standpoint, influenced by American music (the Minimalists and Aaron Copland, whose soundscapes are there in the background). But my music still bears the imprint of the French school and I am at ease with that tonal heritage, now that the war between “atonalism” and “tonalism” is behind us". © Alpha Classics
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Die Winterreise, D. 911: I. Gute Nacht

Benjamin Appl

Classique - Verschenen op 17 december 2021 | Alpha Classics

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Messe de requiem: Sanctus

La tempête

Classique - Verschenen op 3 december 2021 | Alpha Classics

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Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique (Le Décodeur du Classique)

Clément Lebrun

Classique - Verschenen op 26 november 2021 | Alpha Classics

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Brahms: Symphonie n°4 (Le Décodeur du Classique)

Clément Lebrun

Classique - Verschenen op 26 november 2021 | Alpha Classics

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Bach Before Bach

Chouchane Siranossian

Classique - Verschenen op 5 november 2021 | Alpha Classics

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Leonardo García Alarcón, a performer who today is enjoying dazzling success, left his native Argentina to settle in Geneva, where he worked with the great figures of early music who teach from the Geneva Conservatory: Christiane Jaccottet for the harpsichord, and Michel Corboz and Gabriel Garrido for choral and instrumental direction. After a sensational version of Monteverdi's L'Orfeo, here he is as harpsichordist for this album devoted to the young Bach and his precursors.In dialogue with Chouchane Siranossian's gushing violin and Balázs Máté's virtuoso cello, Alarcón revives the works of Carlo Farina, Johann Gottfried Walther, Georg Muffat, Johann Paul von Westhoff and Andreas Anton Schmelzer, composers who seized upon the new instrument, the violin, this "new lyre of Apollo" according to Alarcón, using all its expressive and technical resources. The violin quickly became the king of instruments, capable of expressing all human emotions as well as the sounds of nature. This is eloquently demonstrated by Chouchane Siranossian, who uses different bowing depending on the style of playing she is looking for.The French violinist, of Armenian origin, studied modern violin with Tibor Varga and Zakhar Bron, and baroque violin with Reinhard Goebel. Her recordings, exclusively for the Alpha Classics label, have won numerous awards. Her fiery temperament and extraordinary virtuosity are further enriched by a musicological approach which focuses on the often little-known composers whom she likes to rescue from oblivion in the name of historical research. This delightful album proves the connection between Bach and his predecessors in terms of the use of the solo violin long before the Sonatas and Partitas, accompanied by the continuo. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Æther

Sarah Aristidou

Classique - Verschenen op 5 november 2021 | Alpha Classics

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The French-Cypriot soprano Sarah Aristidou joins Alpha and here presents her very first album. Twice named "Best Newcomer" by Opernwelt for two contemporary creations, she is a favourite interpreter of Jörg Widmann who has already written two works for her, and has sung under the direction of Daniel Barenboim, Sir Simon Rattle and François-Xavier Roth. Barenboim opened the doors of Berlin to her and the Orchester des Wandels, a group of musicians from several German orchestras, including the Staatskapelle Berlin, who have set themselves the objective of practising their art in a way that protects the planet: limiting the carbon footprint in all their activities, including this album. The packaging of the physical version is plastic-free and printed with organic ink. Alpha also supports the reforestation programme in Madagascar initiated by the orchestra. In addition to the encounter between the young singer and the unique orchestra, this project is also the result of Sarah’s passion for Iceland (the land of Aether par excellence?). Along with the director and photographer Weronika Izdebska, she has created a film exalting the natural world which will be shown in Berlin in November 2021 as part of an installation presenting the entire programme. © Alpha Classics
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Joubert: Ariettes oubliées

Marie-Noëlle Maerten

Classique - Verschenen op 5 november 2021 | Alpha Classics

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"You have understood nothing of my simplicity", wrote Paul Verlaine in Child Wife. And that is precisely what Julien Joubert’s music seems to whisper to us with each note.The composer and pianist works regularly with the Maîtrise de Radio France, which has premiered many of his works. Here he has set two cycles by the great nineteenth-century poet to music for this recording (Ariettes oubliées and Aquarelles, for mixed choir). An ambitious programme, yet accessible to everyone, in all simplicity. © Alpha Classics
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Specchio Veneziano

Le Consort

Classique - Verschenen op 29 oktober 2021 | Alpha Classics

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"Specchio Veneziano" or the Venetian mirror – this programme compares and contrasts two composers from the city of the Doges: on the one hand the celebrated Vivaldi, on the other a virtual unknown, Giovanni Battista Reali, who was born there in 1681, three years after Vivaldi, and died in 1751, ten years after his illustrious colleague. A violinist himself, he composed trio sonatas, including a very spectacular Folia, which Théotime Langlois de Swarte, Sophie de Bardonnèche, Hanna Salzenstein and Justin Taylor juxtapose with Vivaldi’s Folia, alongside other highly virtuosic pieces, many of them complete rediscoveries, since half of this programme has never been recorded before. © Alpha Classics
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Brahms: Piano Sonata No. 3 Op. 5 & Handel Variations

Jonathan Fournel

Classique - Verschenen op 22 oktober 2021 | Alpha Classics

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The pianist Jonathan Fournel, recent prizewinner of the prestigious 2021 Queen Elisabeth Competition (where he won not only the Queen Elisabeth Grand Prix, but also the Queen Mathilde Prize, the Musiq3 Audience Prize and the Canvas-Klara Award) has joined the Alpha label for several recordings, starting with a Brahms programme recorded in the superb acoustic of the music room at La Chaux-de-Fonds just before the Competition: "Over the years, for me Brahms has become a figure I admire so tremendously, a composer I can never tire of. It was fairly obvious to me that I had to make my first recording with these two works that I love so much". The 28-year-old French pianist has been gathering many plaudits for his concerts and shows all the signs of developing a great career and a highly individual artistic path. © Alpha Classics