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Opera - Verschijnt op 20 november 2020 | PentaTone

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Klassiek - Verschijnt op 20 november 2020 | PentaTone

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Kamermuziek - Verschijnt op 13 november 2020 | PentaTone

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Kamermuziek - Verschijnt op 6 november 2020 | PentaTone

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Klassiek - Verschijnt op 6 november 2020 | PentaTone

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Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 23 oktober 2020 | PentaTone

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The Emerson String Quartet makes its Pentatone debut with a recording of Schumann’s three string quartets. Penned in the summer of 1842 during an exceptional peak of creativity, these quartets formed the beginning of a six-month surge during which most of Schumann’s best chamber music saw the light. Inspired by the example of Beethoven, Schumann’s quartets display a mastery of traditional forms, combined with typically Schumannian fantasy and lyricism, particularly in the inner movements. As such, they underline a new level of maturity in Schumann’s artistic development, surpassing the fantastical aesthetic of previous years. The players of the Emerson String Quartet bring out the extraordinary freshness and originality of these works, and add another master composer’s oeuvre to their impressive discography, after having recorded the complete string quartets of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Bartók, Webern and Shostakovich. The artistic strength of Schumann, whose life was dominated by alternating periods of depression and manic creativity, inspires and consoles the quartet members during the uncertain times of a pandemic, and his music may equally inspire listeners. Since its founding in 1976, the Emerson String Quartet is ranked among the world’s most acclaimed chamber music ensembles. © Pentatone
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 16 oktober 2020 | PentaTone

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The RIAS-Kammerchor Berlin and its chief conductor Justin Doyle present Handel’s Messiah, together with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and an all-British quartet of outstanding soloists, consisting of Julia Doyle (soprano), Tim Mead (countertenor), Thomas Hobbs (tenor) and Roderick Williams (bass). Messiah (1742) is not only Handel’s most famous work, but equally one of the cornerstones of British choral culture. Over the years, a tradition of mass performances full of pomp and circumstance took root, with the "Hallelujah" as a showstopper. This new period-instruments recording, however, aims to bring the piece back to the size and intimacy of the earliest performances. © Pentatone
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Opera - Verschenen op 16 oktober 2020 | PentaTone

Booklet
Pentatone continues its "American Opera Series" with Houston Grand Opera’s world premiere recording of Tarik O’Regan’s The Phoenix (2019), an opera on the life of Lorenzo da Ponte, Mozart’s favorite librettist. Da Ponte (1749-1838) was an adventurer, who not only travelled the world, but in a way also through time, living across what seem to be impossible moments of history that never should have aligned in somebody’s life. Together with librettist John Caird, O’Regan has designed The Phoenix as an opera within an opera, exploring Da Ponte’s life in the US, and as such providing a fascinating perspective on America as a nation of immigrants. The young and elder Da Ponte are created by Luca Pisaroni and Thomas Hampson, respectively. Music director Patrick Summers conducts the Houston Grand Opera. © Pentatone
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Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 9 oktober 2020 | PentaTone

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 2 oktober 2020 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet
Maestro Marek Janowski and the WDR Symphony Orchestra present a new recording of Beethoven’s complete symphonies, the ultimate symphonic oeuvre in all thinkable respects. Bold as they still sound to modern ears, one easily imagines how Beethoven’s contemporaries were completely swept away by the scope, sheer force and adventurous nature of his symphonies. With this integral recording, Janowski and the orchestra finish a project that started with an acclaimed rendition of the 5th and 6th symphonies, released in 2019. The boxset design is inspired by the idea of organic form, an ideal that Beethoven’s contemporaries frequently associated with his symphonies, and which presupposes a resemblance between the structure of his symphonies and the growth of plants and trees. This idea has been visually translated by using close-up photographs from Karl Blossfeldt’s Art Forms in the Plant World (1928). These early twentieth-century images emphasize the timeless modernity of Beethoven’s symphonies, celebrating an extraordinary oeuvre that prospers until this very day. © Pentatone
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 25 september 2020 | PentaTone

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Herbert Blomstedt, the honorary head of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra to which he was musical director for six years, is still active at the ripe old age of 93. Recorded in 2019, this new interpretation of Brahms’ Symphonie no.1 was conceived by Blomstedt, a devout Christian, spontaneously in wake of current times. “Rarely - he writes on the title page of the first chapter to this new integral - have we had more need for such light than today, when the entire world risks losing its soul”. In fact, the great American conductor of Swedish origin has moulded this interpretation into a humanist perspective that brings Brahms closer to Schubert. The work is gentle and calm with a lyricism akin to a lied. The Gewandhaus Orchestra plays like an immense chamber ensemble, giving this work an atypical tone in which its more rebellious moments seem to be smoothed out.   From this perspective, Brahms sounds somewhat Beethovian, particularly in how the Andante sostenuto is treated as it takes on the form of great love song calling for the unity of all men with an expressionism that is not far off the Adagio of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. This recording is a great moment of live music captured exquisitely by the excellent technical team at Pentatone. The tragic opening, one of the high points of Brahms’ symphonic oeuvre curiously takes on an allure of nobility and classicism as if to quell the tensions that Herbert Blomstedt dreads so much in this world. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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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 18 september 2020 | PentaTone

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Star mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton presents a recital of songs by American composer Jake Heggie, with the composer at the piano. "Unexpected Shadows" is a celebration in words and music of powerful, exceptional women. The program contains four song cycles, a standalone art song, and an opera aria. The Work at Hand, set to poetry of the late Laura Morefield, contemplates the brave fight against cancer that she, and millions like her, went through. Matt Haimovitz’ cello playing adds an extra layer to this profoundly moving song cycle. Iconic Legacies, with texts by Gene Scheer, offers four portraits of remarkable First Ladies. Scheer also wrote texts for Statuesque, inspired by five iconic sculptures of women and the deeply human stories within them. Of Gods & Cats, based on poetry by Gavin Dillard, offers playful parodies on religious allegories. Music, set to a text by Sister Helen Prejean, addresses the transformative, healing, and humanizing power of music, while the “Ice Cube Aria” from Heggie’s opera If I Were You, with a libretto by Gene Scheer, shows the female demon Brittomara reflecting on the delicious predictability of human nature. © Pentatone
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 18 september 2020 | PentaTone

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 11 september 2020 | PentaTone

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 4 september 2020 | PentaTone

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 4 september 2020 | PentaTone

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 28 augustus 2020 | PentaTone

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Opera - Verschenen op 21 augustus 2020 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet
Pentatone continues its "American Opera Series" with the premiere recording of Missy Mazzoli’s opera Proving Up (2018), produced by Opera Omaha, the International Contemporary Ensemble, and conductor Christopher Rountree. Crowned as “Brooklyn’s post-millennial Mozart” by "Time Out New York", Mazzoli is one of today’s most exciting young composers. Her music is state of the art, frequently employing electronics, but simultaneously full of nostalgia and melancholy. Mazzoli has received considerable acclaim for her operatic compositions, including Breaking the Waves (2016) and Song from the Uproar (2012). For Proving Up, she works together with librettist Royce Vavrek. Proving Up is based on a short story by Karen Russell, and offers a surreal and disquieting commentary on the American dream through the story of a Nebraskan family homesteading in the late 19th century. Commissioned by the Washington National Opera, the Miller Theatre at Columbia University, and Opera Omaha, the piece has been receiving rave reviews, and will be presented in several of the biggest US opera houses in the coming years. "The Washington Post" called it “harrowing…powerful…a true opera of our time”. © Pentatone
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 14 augustus 2020 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet
The Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin's Handel-shaped debut series for Pentatone is very much keeping up the high standards with this third installment, featuring the Opus 3 collection of concerti grossi.Published by John Walsh in 1734, but more likely to have been written during the 1710s when Handel was newly arrived in London and hopping between its opera house and the homes of wealthy patrons, this collection looks on paper like quite the hodgepodge: a two-movement concerto here, five movements there, four somewhere else.... And the reason is that they were in fact assembled from operatic overtures - and indeed the concept of an orchestral concerto was still very much in its early days back then. For instance, No. 4 was first performed as a second overture in the opera Amadigi, on the orchestra's benefit night on 20 June 1716. In fact only the final movement of No. 6 would appear to date from the 1730s, so for all these separate entities to have ended up in orchestral concerto form in the 1730s is likely to have been thanks to business savviness on the part of Walsh, tapping into Britain's huge appetite for Corelli's Concerti grossi (which Handel was influenced by), and also its burgeoning amateur music scene. Unlike Corelli's famous Op. 6 Concerti grossi though, Handel's opera-born Opus 3 collection really shines the spotlight on the woodwind, and you hear that right from the off with No. 1 in B-flat. Most gorgeously so in the central Largo, which opens with duetting recorders supported by bassoon, and which as a whole is delivered with immensely elegant sobriety and a lovely flow. Also to be enjoyed in this concerto is the smooth class and affective shaping with which concertmaster Georg Kallweit dispatches his solos in the joyful opening Allegro; the smoothness of the continuo cello's jumping figures No. 2's Largo; the delicacy of the harpsichord's filigree flourish at the end of No. 2's concluding Vivace; the fabulous neatness and bounce at every turn from the bassoons. Indeed, as with the previous two volumes, nimble neatness, class and polish are the buzzwords across these performances. Plus, in engineering terms, the same satisfying warmth, balance and blend, and pleasing awareness of the Nikodemuskirche acoustic. In short, another success notched up. © Charlotte Gardner/Qobuz

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