Albums

1207 albums sorted by Date: from newest to oldest
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Full Operas - Released November 24, 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Record of the Month - 4 étoiles Classica
We will gladly forgive the occasional "weakness" in sound technology in this recording of Troyens by Berlioz (recorded live in concert in April 2017). In light of the first-rate quality of the music and vocals that appear on the disc (a majority of which are French voices, with Stéphane Degout at their head) this immense work is from the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra and the three choirs which have been brought together – because the work demands immense swelling choirs – which are the choir of the Opéra national du Rhin, the Opéra National de Bade, and the Strasbourg Philharmonic's own choir. This recording rests, of course, on the complete original edition, which gives the listener a chance to hear Les Troyens as the work was performed in 1863, at the Théâtre-Lyrique, in which some intense chopping saw Acts I and II condensed into one part and Acts III to V into another, producing two distinct operas (La Prise de Troie and Les Troyens à Carthage). We also get a taste, naturally, of Berlioz's immensely rich orchestral innovations: with every new work, he would invent some exciting new prototype from scratch, never content to rest on his laurels. The listener should note the presence of six saxhorns, recently invented by Adolphe Sax (of whom Berlioz was an indefatigable champion, even if he didn't often use his instruments in his scores, no doubt because of the poor quality of the early instrumentalists who learned - however well or badly - Sax's instruments); bass clarinet, and an army of percussion pieces including several instruments which must have been rare in those days: crotales, goblet drums, tom-toms, thunder sheets... clearly, this is a milestone in the Berlioz discography. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released October 27, 2017 | Le Palais des Dégustateurs

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
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Duets - Released October 13, 2017 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles Classica
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Classical - Released October 6, 2017 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
First you think : “here we go... yet agaaaaain another recording of Chopin’s two concertos”, then you read ‘world premiere’ in the description. Surprising, isn’t it? And yet, this is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth! This world premiere is describing the brand new orchestrations realised by Mikhail Pletnev. These re-orchestrations give prominence to the much more chamber-like aspect of the accompaniment, which admittedly is a little pale and formulaic in the version that we’ve known for almost two centuries. Pletnev has moderated the music score, thinning out some parts while not changing a single note: the piano part remains the same, and in the orchestra nothing changes apart from the instrumental assignation. In addition to those two concertos that are much more colorful, the pianist Daniil Trifonov offers us a handful of tributes to Chopin by his peers and successors: Schumann, whose admiration for the Polish composer wasn’t reciprocated, Grieg, Barber and Tchaikovsky, and most of all Mompou’s splendid series of Variations on a Theme of Chopin. New from old, but always for the best we won’t hasten to add. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released October 6, 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
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Opera Extracts - Released October 6, 2017 | BR-Klassik

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica
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Classical - Released September 29, 2017 | Erato - Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica - Qobuzissime - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
For their first recording, the Arod Quartet has selected Mendelssohn, one of the pillars of the quartet's art, in particular his masterpiece, the Fourth Quartet in E Minor of June 1837 - more Mozartian than Beethovian in its structure and development, to be sure, even if it bears Mendelssohn's hallmark from the first note to the last. To find the influence of the deaf genius, we have to look in the Second Quartet Op. 13 of 1827, a work written shortly after Beethoven's death, the full extent of whose innovations Mendelssohn was only just discovering. The Arod Quartet continues its album with Four Pieces for Quartet, assembled posthumously and numbered Op. 81 by Mendelssohn's successor at the Gewandhaus, Julius Rietz, and based on four disparate pieces from various eras. Finally, the album closes with the Arod's re-interpretaton of a Lied, sung here by Marianne Crebassa, whose theme takes in several passages from Beethoven note for note, a real homage from the young composer to his illustrious elder. It’s worth noting that the Arod Quartet, only founded in 2013, has shot to global prominence, having performed at the Paris Philharmonic, the Louvre Auditorium, the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, the Metz Arsenal, and further afield the Salzburg Mozarteum, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Zurich Tonhalle, London's Wigmore Hall, as well as in Tokyo, Finland, Switzerland... the list goes on! © SM/Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released September 29, 2017 | Evidence

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica
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Symphonies - Released September 29, 2017 | MUNCHNER PHILHARMONIKER GBR

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Gustav Mahler and the Munich Philharmonic share a very special connection. As a composer he sustainably linked the 19th century Austro-German tradition and the modernism of the early 20th century. The world premiere of his Symphony No. 4 took place under his baton on 25 November 1901 in Munich’s Großen Kaim-Saal with the then called Kaim-Orchester, present day Munich Philharmonic. His works have been a substantial part of the Munich Philharmonic’s core repertoire ever since and the orchestra has excelled on many occasions. After the MPHIL release of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 in September 2016 now follows the release of the Symphony No. 4 with which the orchestra’s history is so closely intertwined. The live concert recording released on this album took place at the Philharmonie im Gasteig in Munich, the orchestra’s home, with Salzburg soprano Genia Kuehmeier. Valery Gergiev has paid the Austro-German repertoire particular attention throughout his career, which ignited a lasting fascination for Gustav Mahler. Over recent decades he has continued to explore the Austro-German repertoire, garnering adulation, especially for his interpretations of Wagner, Strauss, Mahler and Bruckner – music that is at the very heart of the Munich Philharmonic’s repertoire. © Warner Classics
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Chamber Music - Released September 22, 2017 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
The first album of the quartet founded by Nicolas Van Kuijk, a programme of Mozart, was awarded a ‘Choc de Classica’ and ‘Diapason Découverte’. Now they return to their roots with key works from the French repertory: the single quartets of Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy and the Chanson perpétuelle of Ernest Chausson, in which they are accompanied by the mezzosoprano Kate Lindsey, who recently joined Alpha, and the pianist Alphonse Cemin, also well-known on the label. © Alpha Classics
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Opera - Released September 22, 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
The pianists are perhaps the most exotic of all the creatures in the Carnival of the Animals. A very rare and treasurable pairing has been made by Warner Classics for this new recording of Saint-Saëns’ enchantingly witty suite: Martha Argerich, often described as the world’s finest example of the pianist species, and Antonio Pappano, a particularly fine specimen of the conductor-pianist. Beside such natural wonders as the graceful swan, the mighty lion, the waltzing elephant, the iridescent denizens of the aquarium and the rattling fossils, the pianists are the prize exhibits of the Carnival, bringing their colour and virtuosity to all but one of its fourteen movements. Their big solo moment comes towards the end of proceedings as they relentlessly practise their scales, which are punctuated with peremptory chords from the strings. Argerich and Pappano met in Italy for the recording – not in Venice, the city of Carnival, but in Rome, where, since 2005, Pappano has been Music Director of the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. Nine of its players partner the two star pianists in Saint-Saëns’ suite. In 2012, when Argerich performed Schumann’s Piano Concerto with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Pappano told Euronews that he was “just knocked over by the amount of energy that she has, but actually what she does is always extremely natural, as if the music can’t go any other way.” Argerich’s daughter, Annie Dutoit also makes a contribution to the Carnival: she recites verses written for the piece by the French actor, singer, humorist Francis Blanche (1921-1974). The Carnival shares the album release with another of Saint-Saëns’ most celebrated works, the magnificent Symphony No. 3. The prominent organ part is played by Daniele Rossi. Both the Carnival and the Symphony No. 3 were composed in the same year, 1886, but their aesthetics could hardly be more different. In Spring 2016 the Symphony No. 3 featured on a European tour that Pappano made with the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. In Germany, the Hamburger Abendblatt reported that the audience responded to the performance of the symphony with “euphoria …stamping on the ground and calling for two encores,” while the Frankfurter Rundschau wrote that “under Pappano’s inspiring direction the Italian musicians captured the reverential, ethereal atmosphere [of the first movement’s Poco adagio] with the same precision as the circus-like uproar of its combined instrumental masses [in the Allegro finale].” This was the last symphony that Saint-Saëns composed, though he lived for a further 35 years. When asked why, he responded: "With it I have given all I could give. What I did I could not achieve again." © Warner
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Solo Piano - Released September 22, 2017 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica
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Secular Vocal Music - Released September 22, 2017 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles Classica
The theatres of London were vital centres for Restoration music after the return of the Stuart monarchy, following the fall of Cromwell's puritan dictatorship. Reinvigorated by the arrival of women actors and sumptuous decoration, they attracted a broad audience, which had been starved of entertainment after the years of religious rigour and the virtual ban on public performances. The most sought-after composer of the period was Locke, whose experience in this field went back into the Cromwell years. While Puritans did close theatres, some pieces had been able to overcome the ban, like the masque Cupid and Death set to music by Gibbons, which was played for the Portuguese ambassador in 1657 - then again in 1659, with additional music by Locke. When the theatres re-opened in 1660, there was a demand for music for every play, but more as an ornament than as an integral part of the plot. Each one required a series of airs and instrumental pieces to be played at the start and between each act. Locke wrote more than twenty airs of this type, although they can't be pinpointed to any specific plays. Most of his stage music, like Curtain Tune and Lilk, survive in various manuscripts from the period, and comprises stage music for plays performed in the final decade of the 17th Century. These are the inter-act pieces, airs or "curtain-raisers" which Bertrand Cuiller's Caravansérail ensemble plays here - Cuiller, remember, learned the harpsichord with Pierre Hantaï and Christophe Rousset. His last solo album, Rameau's complete works for harpsichord, was declared Classica's Shock of the Year 2015. The airs here are sung by Scottish soprano Rachel Redmond, a great performer of baroque music.
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Classical - Released September 22, 2017 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
After his exciting journey into the musical tradition of Eastern Europe (Journey East) and the Baroque sound-scapes of J.S. Bach (Bach), Nemanja Radulović now turns his attention to the Russian master of the Romantic era, Tchaikovsky, excelling as violinist and (in an arrangement of the famed Rococo-Variations for viola and string ensemble) a violist. For Nemanja Radulović a personal approach when creating an album is essential. Bringing together Tchaikovsky’s two most important works for solo strings and orchestra is bringing together the two of the most relevant poles of his life –  Belgrade and Paris: The Rococo Variations are linked to the first part of his life, when he was a student in Belgrade before the Balkan war. At this time Nemanja not only used to playing the violin, but also the viola and sometimes the cello. Playing an arranged viola version of the Rococo variations which originally were composed for cello takes him back to his musical childhood in Belgrade. Yvan Cassar, who worked with Nemanja on Journey East has now produced compelling arrangements for strings and piano of the Rococo Variations. They provide a lightness and an energy that are perfectly suited for Tchaikovsky’s music. The Rococo Variations were recorded in Belgrade with ensemble Double Sens (French for: “double direction” & “double meaning”). The group reflects perfectly Nemanja’s dual past between Paris and Belgrade as it includes his former student-friends from Serbia, and his friends from the Conservatoire de Paris (including 2 members of the Fontanarosa family). The Tchaikovsky concerto is linked to Nemanja’s arrival in Paris. He began to work on the concerto with his Conservatoire de Paris’ teacher Patrice Fontanarosa. Since then, this piece has been the concerto Nemanja has played most often during his career, opening the doors to the great concert halls of the world like in Paris, London or Tokyo. The concerto was recorded in Istanbul with the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra and Sascha Goetzel, with which Nemanja feels he finds the freedom to develop and express what is fundamentally important to him in the respective work.
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Solo Piano - Released September 22, 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica