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Valentina Lisitsa plays Philip Glass

Valentina Lisitsa

Classique - Erschienen am 30. März 2015 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Auszeichnungen 4 étoiles Classica
Valentina Lisitsa's double-CD of the music of Philip Glass is a generous collection of excerpts drawn from his film music, including The Hours, The Truman Show, and Mishima, as well as from concert works, such as Glassworks, How Now, The Metamorphosis, and Mad Rush, among other selections. While Glass achieved fame through his early ensemble pieces, where he developed a bright-edged sound through the use of electronic keyboards, his minimalism is easily adaptable to the piano, though the characteristic ostinato patterns that gave his earlier scores a fierce energy are somewhat softened in the piano's blander sonorities and more introspective tone. Lisitsa has found a niche in playing minimalist music, as she demonstrated on her successful 2014 album, Chasing Pianos, where she explored the film music of Michael Nyman. This collection is a natural follow-up, and Lisitsa's aptitude for Glass' style is shown in her steady, rocking rhythms and even dynamics, as well as in her poignantly lyrical expressions. One might not have predicted this route for a pianist who started her career by playing Chopin and Rachmaninov on YouTube, but Lisitsa's success has had a lot to do with taking big chances, and here they have paid off handsomely. © TiVo
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HI-RES34,49 Fr.
CD24,49 Fr.

Leonard Bernstein : Mass

Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Messes, Passions, Requiems - Erschienen am 16. März 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Auszeichnungen 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
Die 1971 uraufgeführte Mass von Bernstein lässt sich nur schwer einordnen. Es ist keine echte Messe, sondern eine Art Demontage der traditionellen Messe. Der vollständige Titel lautet übrigens MASS: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers („Messe: ein Theaterstück für Sänger, Instrumentalisten und Tänzer“). Die Handlung könnte man als eine Art Gottesdienst beschreiben, bei dem einiges schief läuft, bevor dann am Ende doch universeller Frieden eintritt. Am Anfang scheinen sich alle einig zu sein, dann aber beginnen die „Straßenmusiker“ die Notwendigkeit, ja sogar die Existenz Gottes in Frage zu stellen. Die sich daraus ergebende Kakophonie steigt zu einem katastrophalen Höhepunkt an und wird schließlich wieder besänftigt, indem der Zelebrant der Messe alle Geister um die Gottheit versammelt. Die Messe endet mit einem abschließenden „Gehet hin in Frieden“. Bernstein hat in seiner Partitur alle möglichen Elemente der Musik des 20. Jahrhunderts versammelt: Jazz, Blues, Rock, Broadway, Expressionismus, Zwölftontechnik, ein an Britten erinnernder Modernismus, Straßenmusik, Blaskapellenmusik, klassischer Gesang mit Jazz und Gospelrezitationen: ein wahrer Turm von Babel an Stilrichtungen, die nicht ganz einfach zusammengebaut werden können. Man kann sich jedoch auf Yannick Nézet-Séguin verlassen, dem es gelingt, die vielen verschiedenen Elemente miteinander zu verbinden. Die vorliegende live-Aufnahme ist bei einem Konzert mit einer verblüffenden räumlichen Anordnung entstanden. Der Geschichte des Werkes mangelt es nicht an Komik: der FBI – der keine Gelegenheit auslässt, um sich zu blamieren – qualifizierte Mass als pazifistische Kampagne gegen das Establishment und hat Nixon angewiesen, nicht an der Uraufführung teilzunehmen. Dabei wurde das Werk von Jackie Kennedy eigens zur Einweihung des Kennedy Center for the Arts in Washington bestellt, während sich die Vereinigten Staaten mitten im tiefsten Sumpf des Vietnamkrieges steckten… © Marc Trautmann/Qobuz
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CD20,49 Fr.

Rachmaninoff: Symphony 1 + Symphonic Dances

Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Classique - Erschienen am 29. Januar 2021 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet
Nach dem schmählichen Fiasko seiner Sinfonie Nr. 1 bei ihrer Uraufführung am 15. März 1897 versank der junge Rachmaninow in tiefe Depression. Während einer medizinischen Hypnose-Behandlung komponierte er zum Ausgleich dieses Misserfolgs das 2. Klavierkonzert. Die Erste Sinfonie ist sehr ambitioniert. Der junge Komponist wollte so viel zum Ausdruck bringen, dass das Werk nach dem Geständnis ihres Autors, der sie später schlecht machte, zu schwülstig, überladen und formal unverständlich wurde. Die unselige Partitur durfte zu Lebzeiten des Komponisten nie wieder gespielt werden und das Manuskript ging verloren. Sie wurde später vermutlich mit Hilfe der Orchesterstimmen rekonstruiert und 1945 in Moskau wiederaufgeführt. Hier hören wir die Sinfonie in einer Live-Aufnahme, die 2018 bei einem Konzert des Philadelphia Orchestra unter der lebendigen, kraftvollen und phantasievollen Leitung von Yannick Nézet-Seguin entstand. Nézet-Seguin glaubt an dieses Werk und dirigiert es als ein Meisterwerk und nicht zum Zweck einer wie auch immer gearteten Ehrenrettung. Unter einer derart inspirierten Leitung nimmt dieses jugendliche Opus 13 stolz seinen Platz neben Rachmaninows letztem und erfolgreichsten Werk ein, den berühmten Sinfonischen Tänzen, einer Metapher für die drei Lebensalter des Menschen. Rachmaninows Besessenheit von Glockenklängen und von der christlichen Hymne Dies Irae ist bekannt. Beide Motive kommen in fast allen seinen Werken vor. Er hat sie bereits in der Sinfonie Nr. 1 verwendet, und sie finden sich auch in den Sinfonischen Tänzen wieder. Diese werden hier von dem Orchester, für das sie der Komponist 1940 – drei Jahre vor seinem Tod im kalifornischen Exil – geschrieben hatte, meisterhaft aufgeführt. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Mahler: Symphony No. 8

Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Classique - Erschienen am 17. Januar 2020 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet
Die Sinfonie Nr. 8 von Mahler aufzuführen ist aufwändig und kostspielig. Daher ist sie nur selten im Konzert zu hören. Aufgrund der vom Komponisten vorgesehenen 8 Solisten und der riesigen Besetzung von Chor und Orchester wird sie oft auch Sinfonie der Tausend genannt, was den Eindruck eines musikalischen Monstrums erweckt. Diese Sinfonie erinnert in ihren übergroßen Dimensionen sowie manchmal auch durch ihre Aussage und ihre brillante Instrumentierung an Berlioz. Yannick Nézet-Seguin weiß neben dem kraftvollen Klang das Raffinement, die Zartheit der Instrumentierung sowie die Gemessenheit und Transparenz in Wert zu setzen, die in dieser monumentalen Partitur auch enthalten sind.Der kanadische Dirigent ist mit dieser Partitur sehr vertraut. Er hat sie bereits mehrfach dirigiert: an vier aufeinander folgenden Abenden in Philadelphia im März 2016 sowie zwei Jahre später in Europa, in Rotterdam und in Brüssel. Die vorliegende Aufnahme wurde während der Konzerte in Philadelphia realisiert. Diese wurden anlässlich des hundertjährigen Jubiläums der amerikanischen Erstaufführung dieses Werkes gegeben, die im Jahr 1916 unter der Leitung des damals sehr jungen Leopold Stokowski in derselben Stadt mit demselben Orchester stattfand. Mit den besten Solisten, einem ausgezeichneten Chor und dem berühmten "Philadelphia-Klang" des Orchesters, dessen Generalmusikdirektor er heute ist, steht Nézet-Seguin an der Spitze von 400 Sängern und Instrumentalisten. Alle zusammen bieten sie uns eine ausdrucksstarke Version dieses Werkes, ohne jeden Schwulst, das die Merkmale einer Sinfonie, einer großen Kantate sowie eines Oratoriums in sich vereint. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Monteverdi: The Other Vespers

I Fagiolini

Classique - Erschienen am 28. April 2017 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Auszeichnungen 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Record of the Month
Claudio Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine of 1610 is regarded as his greatest achievement in sacred choral music and a monument of the early Baroque era. Yet several of his smaller psalm settings could have been fashioned into a comparable large-scale work, perhaps for use on non-Marian feast days, following the practices of maestri di cappella and choirs in Venice at the time. Monteverdi: The Other Vespers, a 2017 album on Decca, is a combination of psalms from Monteverdi's Selva morale e spirituale of 1647 with works by his near contemporaries, thus forming a hybrid Vespers. Using seven motets by Monteverdi, which are interspersed with Gregorian chants and compositions by Lodovico Viadana, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (his Ave Verum Corpus was later embellished by Giovanni Battista Bovicelli), Ignazio Donati, Dario Castello, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Giovanni Gabrieli, and Francesco Usper, the assembled artists demonstrate the practicalities of providing appropriate music for Vespers, as well as the flexibility with which music was generally employed for ecclesiastical needs. Robert Hollingworth and I Fagiolini, the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, and The 24 of the University of York have created a striking tribute for the occasion of Monteverdi's 450th anniversary, and while this album shouldn't be regarded as a re-creation of any particular historical event or known performance, it certainly sets a compelling scene that Monteverdi and his peers would have recognized. Decca's recording in St. George's Church in Chesterton, Cambridge is wonderfully alive and resonant, and somewhat reminiscent of the glorious acoustics of Venice's San Marco. © TiVo
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CD20,49 Fr.

Beethoven - Pathétique, Moonlight, Appassionata

Yundi Li

Classique - Erschienen am 26. März 2013 | Mercury KX

Hi-Res Booklet Auszeichnungen Hi-Res Audio
Following his recordings on Deutsche Grammophon of music by Frédéric Chopin and Franz Liszt, Chinese pianist Yundi Li takes on the three most popular piano sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven, the "Pathétique," "Moonlight," and "Appassionata." Known for having brilliant technique and dynamic showmanship, Yundi plays against type in these beloved works, which call for more introspection and expressiveness than might be expected from him. Even though the outer movements of "Pathétique" and "Appassionata" and the last movement of "Moonlight" give Yundi ample opportunity to demonstrate his agility, power, and high energy, they are relatively restrained, compared to the kind of virtuosic fare that made him an international star. Furthermore, the Classical impulse that informed these sonatas calls for a balance of moods, not just bravura playing. The slow movements let Yundi show he is more than just a flashy technician, and he gives carefully considered performances that work, albeit as fairly Romantic readings. Because Beethoven's piano sonatas have been interpreted and recorded by pianists too numerous to count, it's easy to dismiss performances that fall short of the great recordings of the past, especially any that seem addressed to a mainstream audience. Yundi's CD will not impress connoisseurs who have already settled on their favorite recordings, though casual listeners may like what Yundi does with the music and learn more about Beethoven as a result. © TiVo
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Chopin : Études - Schumann : Etudes symphoniques

Valentina Lisitsa

Classique - Erschienen am 1. Januar 2014 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet
Wie ihre bisherigen Videos und CDs hinlänglich belegen, ist die Dame mehr für’s Klotzen als für’s Kleckern. Dabei bleibt es: Diesmal genügte es Valentina Lisitsa nicht, sich für ihr neues Album „Études“ die beiden großen Zwölfersammlungen opp. 10 und 25 von Chopin vorzunehmen, sie setzte sich gleich noch die Kleinigkeit der Symphonischen Etüden von Schumann mit aufs Programm. Das ergab trotz durchweg schneller Tempi, knapp gehaltener Pausen zwischen den Stücken und einiger weggelassener Wiederholungen im Schumann rekordverdächtige 85 Minuten Musik auf einer CD. Decca hat sie ohne auffällige klangliche Einbußen untergebracht. Was das Spiel des mittlerweile 40-jährigen, in den USA lebenden „Youtube-Stars“ aus Kiew angeht, so dürfte es allen Erwartungen der großen Lisitsa-Fangemeinde gerecht werden: Sie denkt nicht daran, etüdenbrav „auf Nummer Sicher“ zu gehen. Sondern sie stürzt sich mit überrennender Verve, Spontaneität und lockerer manueller Souveränität in die Musik, lässt ihren Fingern und Gefühlen freien Lauf. Die 24 Etüden von Chopin und Schumanns Variationen können sich in prächtig wogender Großzügigkeit entwickeln, grundmusikalisch und mit manchmal fast verwegener Attacke, aber ohne darüber die lyrischen Stellen zu vernachlässigen. Sicher, es klingt nicht immer alles so unangreifbar solide und geklärt, wie man es etwa von den „klassischen“ Vorgängeraufzeichnungen eines Pollini oder Perahia her kennt. Aber Lisitsa versteht es, durch ihre extravertierte Unbekümmertheit manche Stellen wie in neuem Licht erscheinen zu lassen. Langweilig wird es einem bei ihr jedenfalls nie, und auch Kenner dieser Kernwerke der romantischen Klavierliteratur können aus ihren Darstellungen hier und da noch Hörgewinn ziehen. © Harden, Ingo / www.fonoforum.de
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Introit: The Music of Gerald Finzi

Aurora Orchestra

Classique - Erschienen am 15. Januar 2016 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet
Instrumental arrangements of songs, not just those of Gerald Finzi, are a comparative rarity in classical music, and one would expect to find some kind of justification of the procedure in the notes to this Decca release. As it happens there is none, and you have to look to the packaging graphics to learn that the intent is to "aid wider appreciation of one of England's best-loved composers." That statement might be a bit contradictory, but apparently the idea is to draw in listeners who don't much care for art song. Your reaction to this may depend on how you feel about the enterprise in general, and hardcore Finzi fans may steer clear. But the album succeeds on its own terms. The Aurora Orchestra under Nicholas Collon offers some genuine orchestral works, including A Severn Rhapsody (1923), the piece that served notice that there was a new pastoralist in town. But sample instead one of the songs, perhaps Come away, come away, Death (track ten), one of several familiar Shakespeare items on the program. From this you'll learn several things. First, the saxophone of soloist Amy Dickson sings in all but words. Second, Finzi's melodies have a rather uncanny quality when shorn of the words: they seem to be straining toward something beyond themselves. And third, the pastoral tone of Finzi's music takes on a certain mystical quality when done this way. Although the music on the album is the work of several different arrangers, its tone and sound are remarkably consistent, and Dickson is used evocatively throughout. Unless you're repelled by the whole idea, give this album a chance: it's often gorgeous, and Decca's engineering work at Fairfield Halls, Croydon, is both appropriate as to sound design and technically flawless. © TiVo
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HI-RES25,49 Fr.
CD17,99 Fr.

Carmen

Ksenija Sidorova

Classique - Erschienen am 3. Juni 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet
This release by accordionist Ksenija Sidorova is a bit difficult to classify, and therein lies its considerable appeal. It contains tunes from Bizet's Carmen, some of the most familiar tunes in the entire classical repertory. The accordion, an instrument on the fringes of the tradition, cannot help but evoke the strolling musicians of a century ago who might have made a living by playing operatic hits just like these. Yet the album is not a contemporary crossover release, nor one bringing nostalgia for the east European cafes of a century ago. Get past the novelty and you'll find a striking variety of treatments of Bizet's music. Sidorova is accompanied by no fewer than three ensembles: a chamber wind-and-string group called Nuevo Mundo, a trio of piano, guitar, and percussion, and the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, candidly touted in the booklet as having "set its sights on becoming an orchestra of the finest calibre" (it may be that they're already there). You might think the musical results would be all over the map, but the mix of slinky accordion, jazz-like percussion, and careful chamber arrangements of Bizet's tunes holds together. Credit may go to musical director and pianist Michael Abramovich, but it accrues as well to Sidorova, who has both the chops and the attitude to pull off a project that's fun and sexy, sure, but also bracing and novel. © James Manheim /TiVo
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Gesualdo, Victoria : Music for Holy Saturday

Tenebrae

Classique - Erschienen am 18. März 2013 | Archiv Produktion

Hi-Res Booklet Auszeichnungen 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
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CD20,49 Fr.

Portraits - The Clarinet Album (Édition Studio Masters)

Andreas Ottensamer

Classique - Erschienen am 15. Juli 2013 | Mercury KX

Hi-Res Booklet Auszeichnungen Hi-Res Audio
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Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky : Symphony No.6 "Pathétique"

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

Classique - Erschienen am 20. September 2013 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Auszeichnungen Hi-Res Audio
Yannick Nézet-Séguin's first symphonic recording with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra on Deutsche Grammophon is of Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 in B minor, "Pathétique," which the conductor has known intimately throughout his career. Due to his familiarity with the music, this is a solid reading that holds its own against the large number of recordings of this symphony, so listeners who need a first-rate version can be assured of the interpretation and the performance. Yet because this is one of the most frequently recorded classical pieces of all time, one may wonder what Nézet-Séguin brings to it that makes his rendition necessary. Perhaps his sense of pacing and calculated use of rubato for dramatic effect make it feel more organic than most, and his sudden shifts of tempo and emphasis on heightened dynamics make this one of the most interesting versions to follow. But in the end, there's not enough to distinguish it from the competition, so listeners should not expect a major revelation. It's still the same warhorse. To fill out the CD, Nézet-Séguin accompanies violinist Lisa Batiashvili in a selection of Tchaikovsky's Romances, Op. 6 and Op. 73, of which the most famous is None but the lonely heart (track 8). These pieces serve as a welcome palate cleanser after the rich but not overly ripe performance of the "Pathétique," and it's interesting to hear Nézet-Séguin's piano playing, which is quite restrained and poetic in feeling. Batiashvili carries the melodic lines with passionate expression and a warm singing tone, so the most compelling music making can be found in these filler tracks. © TiVo
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Amuse-Bouche - French Choral Delicacies

I Fagiolini

Classique - Erschienen am 1. April 2016 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Auszeichnungen 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
This collection of French choral pieces may be designated an amûse-bouche, or chef's-choice hors d'oeuvre, but it makes a superb if light meal in itself, prepared by the English ensemble I Fagiolini ("The Little Beans"). You might be suspicious on grounds of previous early music specialists who have functioned well in only the most severe sort of 20th century music, but dig in! The centerpiece here is a world recorded premiere from the always delicious Jean Françaix (1912-1997), Ode à la Gastronomie. This sets (and often comically distorts and parodies) passages from an early (1825) classic of food writing, Brillat-Savarin's La physiologie du goût. Including a fart joke later on, the work begins with the words "Adam, and you dear Eve, who led us to perdition for an apple, what would you have done for a turkey?" Françaix's platter pokes fun not only at French attitudes toward food but even a bit toward his own neoclassic style itself. The rest of the music is sensuous rather than funny, with choral songs by Poulenc, Milhaud, and Jean-Yves Daniel-Lesur (Le Cantique des Cantiques, or Song of Songs, sorely underrated), interspersed with Satie Gnossiènnes. For the dessert course there's an original work: a choral arrangement by Roderick Williams of the slow movement from Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major. This is given fragments of text by Rimbaud and Baudelaire; take conductor Robert Hollingworth's advice and don't worry too much about the words (which aren't included along with the rest of the texts in the CD booklet), and you'll drift away into ecstasy by the end. The rather remote church acoustic doesn't suit a program that consists of chamber music par excellence, but in terms of choosing original repertoire and putting it together into a program that sustains a flavor in a satisfying way, this is nonpareil. © TiVo
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HI-RES30,99 Fr.
CD21,99 Fr.

Mozart : Arias

Dorothea Röschmann

Classique - Erschienen am 6. November 2015 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Auszeichnungen 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Portraits

Dorothea Röschmann

Classique - Erschienen am 24. November 2014 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet
The portraits referred to here are musical ones: German soprano Dorothea Röschmann offers Lieder devoted to some of the common women of German Romantic song: Mignon, Gretchen, and Mary Stuart. There are also some Strauss songs that don't fit the concept, and the program is similar enough to any number of other Lieder recitals. The news, though, lies in Röschmann's daring interpretations, especially of the group of songs by Schubert. They are likely to be a matter of taste, but nobody is going to be able to accuse Röschmann of merely following in others' footsteps. She is an operatic specialist with a middle-aged, slightly dark voice, and it's hard to imagine her as Goethe's waif Mignon, although in Schumann's brief Gedichte von Königin Maria Stuart, Op. 135, she's more natural. But her boldest strokes have to do not with characterization, but with rhythm: Schubert's strophic structures are pushed and pulled into shapes where they seem closer to the Hugo Wolf Mignon settings at the end rather than to the early 19th century. You could argue that Schubert's settings presupposed a dramatic development that needed to be brought out more, or that Röschmann's singing merely distorts a song like Gretchen am Spinnrade, which depends on motor rhythms it doesn't get here. You pay your money and you take your chances, but the sensitive accompaniment by pianist Malcolm Martineau is hard to fault either way. © TiVo
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HI-RES21,99 Fr.
CD15,49 Fr.

The Wigmore Hall Recital

Antônio Meneses

Classique - Erschienen am 9. September 2013 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Auszeichnungen Hi-Res Audio
This album was recorded live at London's Wigmore Hall in January 2012, and it would be interesting to know whether its release was planned ahead of time or motivated by ongoing affection for the performances. Brazilian cellist Antonio Meneses and Portuguese pianist Maria João Pires have often played as a duo, and the easy conversational quality they have achieved is fully evident here. But the beauty goes beyond the usual chamber music competences. Meneses is rightly renowned for his rich tone, which remains undamaged even in the upper reaches of the Schubert Arpeggione Sonata in A minor, a work written for a defunct six-stringed instrument somewhere between cello and guitar; it lies a bit high for the cello, but Meneses is untroubled by that. The real star of the show, though, may be Pires, who contributes some deeply mysterious Brahms Intermezzi and calibrates her role with astonishing precision in the duo works, emerging into full duet partnership in the final Brahms Cello Sonata in E minor, Op. 38. Beautiful and more, with a dark, melancholy strain unifying the whole, this is chamber music reminiscent of the golden age. Deutsche Grammophon's engineering team also deserves notice for the startling live presence, undiminished by intrusions of noise. © TiVo
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Shostakovich : Symphony No.4 in C Minor, Op.43

Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Symphonies - Erschienen am 8. Juni 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res
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Mahler: Symphony No.10 In F Sharp (Unfinished) - Ed. Deryck Cooke

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

Classique - Erschienen am 8. Juni 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res