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Trios - Released June 21, 2019 | Le Palais des Dégustateurs

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Solo Piano - Released May 24, 2019 | Le Palais des Dégustateurs

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Quartets - Released April 26, 2019 | Alpha

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Formed in 1994 at the Royal College of Music in London, the Belcea Quartet already has an impressive discography, including the complete Beethoven string quartets. For this new recording, the ensemble has chosen three quartets by two iconic composers of the 20th century: Leos Janáček and György Ligeti. Fifteen years after their first recording for Zig-Zag, and after some changes in personnel, they have decided to record again the two string quartets by Janáček. The First Quartet was inspired by Leon Tolstoy’s famous novella, The Kreutzer Sonata: the four-movement work follows the narrative, including its culminating murder. The Second Quartet is subtitled Intimate Letters, in homage to Kamila Stösslova, with whom the composer had an important relationship expressed through letters, one that influenced both his life and his music. Finally, the First Quartet by Ligeti, subtitled Métamorphoses nocturnes because of its particular form. The composer described the work as a sort of theme and variations, but not with a specific theme that is then subsequently varied: rather, it is a single musical thought appearing under constantly new guises – for this reason the word ‘metamophoses’ is more appropriate than ‘variations’. © Alpha Classics
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Symphonic Music - Released April 26, 2019 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Lieder (German) - Released April 19, 2019 | Alpha

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Julian Prégardien decided to record the Dichterliebe cycle after he came across the new Bärenreiter edition; he went on to explore the work in concerts with his constant accompanist, Eric Le Sage, inserting other works by Robert and also by Clara Schumann, whose bicentenary is celebrated in 2019. When Clara played the Dichterliebe in the 1860s, she used to slip extracts from Kreisleriana between the songs. Prégardien asked Eric Le Sage to record the same extracts on a Blüthner piano of 1856, the year of Robert’s death, and also to include Romances composed by both Robert and Clara at a time when their future marriage was still uncertain. The sublime ballade Löwenbraut also forms part of the programme – a reminder of the young Robert’s anguish on Clara’s departure. At Julien’s suggestion, Sandrine Piau was invited to sing three duets: a simple Canon composed by Clara, and two duets by Robert, Wenn ich ein Vöglein wär, and the sublime In der Nacht. Four further songs complete the recording: Sängers Trost, a short piece in belcanto style; Kurzes Erwachen, composed by Robert at the age of just eighteen; Aus den hebräischen Gesängen, a very melancholy song; an extract from the cycle Myrthen (Robert’s wedding present to Clara); and Mein Wagen rollet langsam, a song that was included in the composer’s first version of Dichterliebe. The Dichterliebe songs micht have been expected to show Schumann triumphantly rejoicing in that year of 1840 when he was finally able to marry Clara; and yet they are characterised by bitter irony, nostalgic Sehnsucht, and a sense of dread… © Alpha Classics
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Sacred Oratorios - Released April 12, 2019 | harmonia mundi

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Symphonic Music - Released April 12, 2019 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

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Symphonies - Released April 5, 2019 | CPO

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Chamber Music - Released March 22, 2019 | Aparté

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Vlado Perlemuter and Jean Hubeau’s pupil, Michel Dalberto has established himself during a forty year career as a master. And as an ardent defender of French music he launched on Aparté a series dedicated to Debussy, Fauré, Franck and Ravel. “With these recordings of works of four major French composers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, I wish to prove myself worthy of the teachers who used to provide a specific idea of French music made of severity and sensuality, a mixture of rigour and freedom.” After a first opus devoted to Debussy and a second to Fauré (both rewarded with international awards), Michel Dalberto chose the Salle Philharmonique in Liège to record the third part of this collection – that is to say in César Franck’s home town. © Aparté
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Chamber Music - Released March 15, 2019 | Alpha

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Two years after releasing her CD dedicated to Book I of J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Céline Frisch now presents the second volume of this musical landmark. Bach compiled Book II in 1744, twenty-two years after Book I. It took until 1801 for both volumes to be printed: from then until the present day they have inspired countless composers. After a series of recordings with the Ensemble Zimmermann she helped to found, Céline Frisch returns to the harpsichord recital, for a programme of this, her very favourite music. Through these preludes and fugues, she reminds us that far from being technical exercises, the Well- Tempered Clavier is a work of pure pleasure and constant renewed discovery. As Robert Schumann declared: ‘You should frequently play the fugues of the great masters, particularly those of J.S. Bach. Make the Well-Tempered Clavier your daily bread.’ © Alpha Classics
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Chamber Music - Released March 15, 2019 | La Dolce Volta

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Chamber Music - Released March 1, 2019 | BIS

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Opera Extracts - Released February 15, 2019 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Recorded in July 2018 at “Studio” - a new high-tech venue in the outskirts of Paris - this album (which was built entirely on Julie Fuchs' own idea) is dedicated to orphaned women in 19th century opera, between 1815 and 1850, who were struggling to escape the miserable conditions which they found themselves in. Following her huge success in 2018 in Rossini's Count Ory at the Opéra-Comique de Paris, Julie Fuchs was keen to further explore this repertoire. Conducted by Enrique Mazzola (a real “opera maestro”) the Orchestre National d'Île-de-France is dazzling in these operatic excerpts by Donizetti and Rossini, as well as - and most importantly – those by Pacini, Raimondi, Fioravanti, Berlioz, Barbieri and Meyerbeer. This album presents another opportunity for listeners to be won over by Fuchs’ sumptuous voice. The young French lyrical soprano first made a name for herself at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, before joining the opera ensemble at the Zurich Opera House in 2013. Further successes followed in Salzburg, Vienna and Paris as well as at the Teatro Real in Madrid. This incredibly versatile repertoire jumps from Mozart to Barbara, Cole Porter, George Crumb and Björk. Julie Fuchs knows no musical boundaries, performing with equal ease in opera as she does in concert next to the young pianist Alphonse Cemin. On Mademoiselle she sings in Italian, French and Spanish, journeying through romantic Bel Canto with a wonderfully original touch and revealing all aspects of her agile, sensual voice. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released February 8, 2019 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
Unlike usual opera sequences, the ones excerpted from Zimmerman’s Die Soldaten (‘The Soldiers’) which he named Vokal-Sinfonie (Vocal Symphony) were created before the opera as proof that the music was playable. Indeed, its final score posed quite the challenge for the singers, the orchestra, the theatres and for the audience: with sixteen singing roles, around ten spoken roles, an orchestra of about one hundred musicians, crazy percussion instruments, film projectors, tape recordings and extra-musical sound effects – it’s enough to make any opera house fear for their budget! Not to mention the fact that the audience was also subject to the strict dodecaphonic system and some of the opera scenes actually overlapped. Zimmermann initially wanted the piece to be performed on twelve different stages that surrounded the audience who would be sitting on swivelling chairs and would rotate themselves accordingly. However, the idea was rejected by the theatre where the first performance was to take place and the composer finally abandoned the idea and remodelled his work to render it – almost – performable. Here, you can listen to Vokal-Sinfonie from 1963 which has some noticeable similarities with Berg’s Wozzeck, particularly in the raw and deeply moving lyricism of the vocal material. The Sinfonie is followed by the 1968 Photoptosis for full orchestra, one of the composer’s last two works before he died two years later after having suffered from severe depression. The score is both dark and light at the same time and is a work of sheer orchestral genius. The album opens with the 1950 Violin Concerto, which despite its supposedly classic form (Sonata-Fantasia-Rondo) explores the world of modernism in an intense and beautifully dark lyricism. © SM/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released February 1, 2019 | SOMM Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica
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Chamber Music - Released February 1, 2019 | 7 Mountain Records

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Secular Vocal Music - Released January 25, 2019 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
Mezzo-soprano Eva Zaïcik, who has signed up with Alpha for several recordings, is one of the most prominent vocal artists of her generation. She was chosen as ‘Révélation lyrique’ at the Victoires de la Musique Classique 2018, and elected the same year a Laureate of the prestigious Queen Elizabeth of Belgium Competition. She has participated in the “Jardin des Voix” of les Arts Florissants under William Christie, also regularly collaborates with Le Poème Harmonique and Vincent Dumestre – but her constant accompanist is the harpsichordist Justin Taylor. Together with two other musician graduates, the violinists Théotime Langlois de Swarte, Sophie de Bardonnèche and the gamba player Louise Pierrard, they have founded Le Consort, to explore both sacred and secular works by composers such as Charpentier, Campra and Clérambault. For this recording they are joined by the flautist Anna Besson and gamba player Lucile Boulanger, both well-known to the Alpha label, and Thibault Roussel (theorbo). This recording is devoted to the Cantatas of Lefebvre, Montéclair, Clérambault and Courbois, more than half of which have never previously been recorded. The cantata inspired non-operatic composers to play out the fashionable narratives of the day on a reduced scale, and in the intimate surroundings of the salons. It is a subtle genre and a vivid depiction of the characters. © Outhere Music
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Cello Concertos - Released January 18, 2019 | Warner Classics

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French cellist Gautier Capuçon does not lack for charisma (or talent), and he has emerged as a major star. The Erato label seems to have tried to capitalize on that with the design of this album, featuring photos by the American Jamie Beck that cast Capuçon as a kind of Byronic figure. It may be a bit over the top, but classical music needs stars. The contents of the album, however, may not quite live up to the heroic concept. They consist of live performances recorded between 2009 and 2015, not of new material. Schumann wrote more music for cello than other composers did, and assembling them in a single program may have made sense. But the sound universes of the Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129, and the various chamber pieces are entirely different. The major attraction here is the concerto, a work that has been revaluated upward in recent years as performers have clarified its knotty lines. Historically oriented performance works well with Schumann, and there is a historical reading by Argentine cellist Sol Gabetta with the Kammerorchester Basel. But Capuçon offers a fine modern-instrument option, and an important contributor to its success is octogenarian conductor Bernard Haitink, leading the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Sample the precise interplay between Capuçon and Haitink in the first movement, which makes the music seem to unfold inevitably. The concerto never drags, and Capuçon sounds gorgeous. The chamber works were recorded at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland with pianist Martha Argerich, and, in the case of the Fantasiestücke, Op. 88, Capuçon's brother Renaud on violin. Despite the august collaborators, these readings feature differing approaches from the principals and don't quite jell, either interpretively or sonically. Nevertheless, this is an album Capuçon's fans will want, and the reading of the concerto is an important addition to its growing discography.
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Symphonic Music - Released January 18, 2019 | harmonia mundi

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A new aesthetic calls for new forms: such is the challenge the composer set for himself in the two works presented here. In Les Nuits d’été, Berlioz pioneered, well before Mahler and Ravel, a song cycle for voice and orchestra. In Harold in Italy, scored for large orchestra and solo viola, he experimented with the symphonic genre. These period-instrument performances by Les Siècles, led by François-Xavier Roth, with violist Tabea Zimmermann, also feature Stéphane Degout in the vocal cycle, heard here in the composer’s own version for baritone. File under: out of the ordinary. © harmonia mundi
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Symphonic Music - Released January 18, 2019 | Alpha

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Alpha begins a complete cycle of the symphonies by Sibelius alongside some of his symphonic poems with Gothenburg Symphony and its new chief conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali. In the great tradition of Finnish conductors, Santtu-Matias Rouvali is known for his extremely physical and organic interpretations: ‘Music unmistakeably flows from him’, commented The Sunday Times. This was evident when, at a very young age, he stepped in to conduct a concert with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra which began the journey to his first tenure as Chief Conductor with the Tampere Philharmonic; a meteoric rise to a career working at the highest musical level internationally; and a third post as Principal Guest Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. When Bachtrack asked him how he shapes the orchestral sound, he replied: ‘I sing it, I move my hands the way I want it (…) the conductor should be able to show tempo somewhere in the body (…) I was also a drum kit player, so my feet and hands can do different things at the same time. When you read the score, you sing it in your head (…) I think it’s the sense of inside groove that you get from playing percussion which is very important in Sibelius’s music.’ In the Gothenburg Symphony he finds a prestigious cohort of musicians with an impressive discography, and joins a line of their illustrious musical directors, notably Neeme Järvi, the orchestra’s principal conductor from 1982 to 2004, but also Gustavo Dudamel, who is honorary conductor. © Outhere Music