Albums

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Keyboard Concertos - Released February 23, 2018 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles de Classica
For his first album with Sony Classical, Adam Laloum returns to one of his favourite composers. He distinguished himself with his first recording in 2011, for Mirare, which contained four of the composer's major works: Variations on an original theme Op. 21 No. 1, the wonderful and too-little-played Klavierstücke from Op. 76, the two Rhapsodies Op. 79 and the 3 Intermezzi Op. 117. And so it is hardly a surprise that today he is offering up his vision of Brahms's Concertos. Sony Classical has marshalled its formidable resources: one of the best orchestras in Germany, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin; and one of the young wolves of orchestral conducting from Asia (but already well-known in Europe - witness his many collaborations with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande for Pentatone) join them twice, once in August, then in October 2016, in the Radio Berlin Großer Sendesaal, for sessions which must have been a childhood dream come true for the young Frenchman. An amazing experience! © 2018 Théodore Grantet/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released November 1, 2017 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica
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Chamber Music - Released January 26, 2018 | Aeon

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica
Lucid music. Vivacity, wit, intensity, foldings and unfoldings of the pointillist material, embracing the thing itself and its contradiction – sensuality, drollery, dances, abysses like sudden draughts of air. Movement and standstill . . . Music that slaps, pinches, bites, muffles, growls. Here Pesson reinvigorates what might (already) be his own classicism (Carmagnole); draws a pencil moustache on Mozart, who is more than willing to wear it (Transformations du Menuet K. 355); hounds his language so far into the corner that it seems different, and probably becomes so, in the intransigent light of Opałka (Blanc mérité); a language that ramifies and scintillates in Proust (Ne pas oublier coq rouge dans jour craquelé); grows geometric in Pérec (Neige bagatelle); and denudes itself in ‘enfantines’ (Musica ficta). The Ensemble Cairn, a faithful partner of the label, under its director Guillaume Bourgogne, leads us into territories that could hardly be droller. © Aeon/Outhere
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Jazz - Released January 19, 2018 | Sunnyside

Hi-Res Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica - Indispensable JAZZ NEWS
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released January 12, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released January 12, 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica
Alpha continues its collaboration with the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and its Academy, which will celebrate its twentieth anniversary in 2018. We invite you to discover artists of great talent who take us on a trip to Auvergne, Sicily, Armenia and Azerbaijan thanks to Luciano Berio’s Folk Songs, to Andalusia with Falla’s Psyché on a poem of Georges-Jean Aubry, and to the world of Jules Renard with Ravel’s Histoires naturelles. The last-named are recorded in a version for chamber ensemble: ‘Since Ravel gave Manuel Rosenthal to make an arrangement for large orchestra which we found rather overblown, we set out to find a “chasseur d’images” (to quote the title of one of Renard’s Histoires naturelles poems) who could transcribe the work without losing its intimate, delicate aspect. . . . We hope you will be as charmed as we are by Arthur Lavandier’s work, which beautifully conveys the immensely refined timbres and nuances of Ravel’, says the oboist Clément Noël, a member of the Swiss Ensemble Labyrinth. Anna Stéphany is a true revelation, performing this programme with the technique, the sensuality and the emotional impact that earned her a huge triumph in Mozart at last summer’s Glyndebourne Festival. © Alpha Classics
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Symphonic Music - Released January 12, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica
These are the recordings of Mozart created by Ferenc Fricsay at the head of the Berlin RIAS orchestra, now known at the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, of which he was the musical director from 1948 to 1954, and then from 1959 to his premature death in 1963. More precisely, these recordings date from 1951 and 1952, still in mono (high-fidelity music lovers take note); the majority having been recorded in the studio, the last few in concert. They cover almost all the symphonies of Mozart's youth, from No. 1 to No. 9, and No. 23 and No. 27; as well as a number of serenades and cassations, and some rather less-usual concertos - the Concerto for bassoon, and the Sinfonia Concertante for Four Winds – and an air from the Noces with Suzanne Danco as well as a duet from Don Giovanni with Danco and Rita Streich. The impeccable sound recording by Radio Berlin, even in mono, attests to the immense musical talent and vitality of the conductor, a student of Bartók (whom he would always faithfully champion) and Kodály, who disappeared at the unreasonably-young age of 48. © SM/Qobuz
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Full Operas - Released November 3, 2017 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles de Classica - Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik
Until now, Porpora’s Germanico in Germania has, with the exception of one or two virtuoso arias, remained firmly hidden on library shelves. However, during his lifetime Porpora was as famous for teaching singing (one of his pupils was Farinelli) as for his compositions, so it’s no wonder that his score is a veritable feast of vocal delights ripe for resurrection. As a composer, Porpora’s reputation spread throughout Italy, especially to Venice, where he was “maestro delle figlie at the Ospedale degli Incurabili” (one of the city’s famous music schools for orphans) from 1726 to 1733, and Rome, where the Teatro Capranica saw the premiere of Germanico in Germania in February 1732. In Rome, by Papal edict, operas were “all-male”, and this cast was seriously “all-star”. Clearly Porpora enjoyed stretching the singers to their utmost potential, employing every vocal trick at his command. Germanico was played by the experienced alto castrato Domenico Annibali. The en travesti female roles were taken, as was often the case, by young singers at the start of their careers. For this recording boasting another “all-star” cast led by countertenor Max Emanuel Cencic, female roles are of course held by female singers. The excellent Capella Cracoviensis, playing on period instruments, is led by Jan Tomasz Adamus. © SM/Qobuz
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Violin Solos - Released January 12, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles de Classica
There comes a moment in the career of any respected violinist (and even some who aren't), when they dream of playing, and perhaps recording, Paganini's 24 Caprices. And that is precisely what German star violinist Augustin Hadelich (b. 1984) has done. Hadelich has been a regular fixture in the orchestras of Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, London, Munich and Salzburg, for whom he has given some of the greatest concertos that exist, but he has also performed a repertoire of much rarer, contemporary works, which he has decided to champion. Hadelich tackles these 24 Caprices, which Paganini wrote over about 15 years, from 1802 to 1817, without intending to make them into a cycle in their own right - much less a programme to be played in a single concert; indeed, it seems that he never performed them in concert himself - like many small Italian operas (but French ones as well, in the tradition of grand opéra), each one is concentrated down into a few minutes. They run from grandiose tragedy in the style of Meyerbeer, to lighter shades of Rossini, with a real lyrical and vocal vision which is as far removed as can be from pure and demonstrative virtuosity. At 33 years old, Hadelich shows consistent maturity, but also humility, and a sense of experience which one would expect to see in a much older musician. © SM/Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released January 5, 2018 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica
The Philadelphia-based baroque orchestra Tempesta di Mare here reveals an unparalleled musical legacy, presenting long forgotten works by the German baroque composer Johann Gottlieb Janitsch, confined for centuries to unexamined archives. The works formed part of an enormous music collection which belonged to Sara Levy, the great-aunt of Felix Mendelssohn. She was a distinguished harpsichordist, collector, and influential figure in the musical life of late-eighteenth- and early-nineteenthcentury Berlin. Removed from the Berlin Sing-Akademie towards the end of World War II, her musical library was for many decades considered lost or destroyed. It was unearthed in Kiev only in 1999 and returned to Germany in 2001, where it is now again accessible to the public. While there can be no doubt that the instrumental oeuvre of Janitsch matched the diversity of that of some of his more prominent Berlin colleagues, the emphasis of his compositional output lay on chamber music, especially Quadros, four of which are featured here. The typical, prevailing dialogic structure of the Ouverture grosso highlights the influence which thematic play had on the rest of his work. © Chandos
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Symphonic Music - Released December 1, 2017 | Evidence

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica
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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 de 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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Keyboard Concertos - Released November 10, 2017 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica
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Keyboard Concertos - Released November 10, 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Classical - Released October 27, 2017 | Brilliant Classics

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica
An impressive group of Italian soloists have gathered around Florentine pianist Matteo Fossi, to offer us this complete recording of Poulenc's chamber music: a genre which he dipped into in an eclectic and intermittent manner. We can find some "classical" formations, like two pianos or a piano four hands, piano and cello, flute and piano (surely his most famous piece of chamber music), violin and piano, clarinet and piano, and then some even more unusual - and intensely French - configurations, such as trio for horn, trumpet and trombone; the sextet for piano; and the wind quintet, alongside others of the same ilk. We can only regret that the composer spent so little time on this format, even if the majority of these pieces are real master-works (which is always preferable to producing tons and tons of so-so stuff...), in which simplicity, wit, spontaneity and clarity alternate - above all in the later works - with that same depth which is often found in his great religious pieces. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released October 27, 2017 | Le Palais des Dégustateurs

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica
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Symphonic Music - Released October 27, 2017 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Don't be fooled by the album cover: the music recorded here is NOT Maderna, but Frescobaldi, Gabrieli and a few other composers from the same era, only orchestrated by Maderna. Among these late Renaissance and baroque works, as re-written, can be found, as a kind of pillar whose meaning in the album rather defies comprehension, the Sequenza XII by Berio which was initially conceived for a guitar solo and transcribed by the composer for guitar and chamber orchestra under the name of Chemins V. The whole work is about orchestrations, re-editions, translations from other eras. When it comes to Maderna and other old composers, the interest is neither musicological nor historical, as the orchestrations were done in the 20th Century, with 20th-Century orchestral techniques. Maderna's work, dating from the 1950s to the 1970s, bears witness to the widespread interest in masters from the past, with new editions, exhumations, rediscoveries; and Monteverdi was played without overmuch concern for period instruments - even if Hindemith, for example, tried to perform L’Orfeo with what old instruments he was able to gather... Seen from this point of view, the Maderna orchestrations are almost recompositions, although without ever betraying or travestying the manuscript, as Stravinsky did with Pergolese: it sticks, for example, to a "baroque" orchestra from our times, without instruments which did not exist at the time. A truly interesting recording. © SM/Qobuz
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Duets - Released October 13, 2017 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Opera Extracts - Released October 6, 2017 | BR-Klassik

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica
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Sacred Oratorios - Released October 6, 2017 | CPO

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica