Albums

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Symphonic Music - Released January 4, 2019 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Chamber Music - Released November 23, 2018 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
In 16 CD Alpha traces the adventure of Café Zimmermann on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the instrumental ensemble. Among the iconic albums featured in this discographic portrait are Celine Frisch's Goldberg Variations, unanimously acclaimed at the time of their release in 2001.
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Cantatas (secular) - Released November 23, 2018 | Erato

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Record of the Month - Choc de Classica
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Chamber Music - Released October 1, 2018 | Aeolus

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
No need to dwell on the The Art of Fugue’s one thousand and one secrets, whether real or presumed: let’s just play it, pure and simple. For too long, many considered it had been created more so for the eyes and mind than for the ears, and what a mistake that was! Bob van Asperen proves it once again with his incredibly deep 1741 Christian Zell harpsichord. Van Asperen only plays fourteen of the definite, finalised manuscript’s “contrapuntus”, adding a canon found annotated on the same manuscript, which was itself finalised. The other contrapuntus and canons in The Art of Fugue are drafts at various degrees of revision, and it is known that a monumental triple fugue remained unfinished. As a complement, the harpsichordist had the surprising yet outstanding idea to combine Berhard Klapprott and a second harpsichord to play two mirror fugues from other manuscripts, which require a large number of playing fingers. The sound disparities between both harpsichords help the listener follow Bach’s titanic contrapuntal inventions. It’s clear this music wasn’t intended for the eyes alone… © SM/Qobuz
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Duets - Released November 9, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
At a time when Mozart was writing his first sonatas for violin and clavier, in 1778, it was the done thing to write piano sonatas with violin accompaniment in which the violin part is fairly unobtrusive. The purpose of this was not to put off the target audience for the scores: educated amateurs. But Mozart paid no heed to this convention and took off into a new world with real duets, in which the two instruments found themselves on an even footing. At the same time, he avoided the corrective exaggeration which would appear in some scores which resembled violin concertos with a little piano support. Here we have a perfect balance between the two players: Isabelle Faust on the violin and Alexander Melnikov at the clavier. The latter of the two plays on a copy of a Viennese fortepiano made in 1795 by Anton Walter. The sound balance is utterly perfect, which is a relief, as all too often these sonatas either favour the keyboard part when played on the piano or the violinist tries to force it. We have here two sonatas written in Paris shortly after the death of Mozart's mother (who accompanied him on the journey), and then another from 1787 written in the wake of Leopold Mozart's death. Despite this the composer seems to be putting on a brave face, flashing a smile tinged with a tender nostalgia on the Sonata in E Minor K. 304. © SM/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released November 2, 2018 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released October 26, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
For his first album as a soloist, the Polish countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński chose to explore some of the rarest repertoires, to the point that several of the pieces presented here are world premieres. As a result, we are introduced to composers who are almost unknown today: Gaetano Schiassi (1698-1754), Domènec Terradellas (1711-1751) and Nicola Fago (1677-1745), alongside other composers who are famous today such as Hasse, Zelenka or Durante. Helped by the bass-baritone Yannis François, Orliński covers a large amount of time, from the end of the 17th century to the last third of the 18th century, though solely in the spiritual domain, with Masses, Dixit Dominus or sacred oratorios. That said, the vocal and instrumental writing borrows from baroque, with its vocalisations, its embellishments and its brightness. On top of this, the ensemble il pomo d'oro performs the work with great confidence. © SM/Qobuz
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released October 26, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Two composers who in one way or another sang about the horrors of war, and two who lost their lives in it: Ian Bostridge's takes a successful gamble here, with masterful accompaniment on the piano by Antonio Pappano. The first two are from Kurt Weill with Four Walt Whitman Songs in which the poet laments over the soldiers who died in the War of Succession, and Gustav Mahler, three of whose Lieder(s) taken from Knaben Wunderhorn cruelly and repugnantly evoke the lives of poor young people, peasants and people who are barely through with their school years, sent to be torn apart on every possible and imaginable front. More directly concerned, if one may say so, are George Butterworth - who fell at the Somme in 1916, aged thirty-one, and whose A Shropshire Lad is without a doubt the greatest masterpiece here. Rudi Stephan fell at the Galician front in 1915 aged twenty-eight. His cycle Ich will dir singen ein Hohelied is a climax of unsettling eroticism... Would the fate of German music have been different if this genius had been able to act as a counterbalance, for example, to the emerging dodecaphonic music? Bostridge gives it his all here in this sad centenary of the end of the “war to end all wars”, which we know was tragically not the case. © SM/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released October 26, 2018 | hat[now]ART

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released October 26, 2018 | HORTUS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Chamber Music - Released October 19, 2018 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Chamber Music - Released October 19, 2018 | HORTUS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Chamber Music - Released October 19, 2018 | Ad Vitam records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Solo Piano - Released October 12, 2018 | Andante Spianato

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Symphonic Music - Released October 12, 2018 | Naxos

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Symphonic Music - Released October 12, 2018 | Naxos

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Solo Piano - Released October 5, 2018 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Pianist Igor Levit moved from Russia to Germany when he was eight, but there's still a lot of Russian in his outlook: an attraction to the pure virtuoso tradition, and a tendency toward big statements and the big questions. Nowhere has this been more true than on Life, an album that succeeds both thematically and as a thrilling embodiment of late-Romantic pianism at its best. The title, and the contents, refer to the album's memorial function: Levit chose the program to honor a close artist friend who died in an accident. The music is monumental enough to live up to its death-haunted theme, rising out of silence in the Fantasia after J.S. Bach of Busoni and continuing with a remarkably sustained mood of soberness and dignity, punctuated by frenetic outbursts. Busoni is one major presence on the program; the other is Liszt, and the two come together in the Busoni transcription of the Fantasy and Fugue on the Chorale Ad nos, ad salutarem undam of Liszt, originally for organ and an impressive virtuoso task on the piano. So the program works well also as a revival of pure late-Romantic pianism: you can easily imagine that Liszt would have loved this, and loved to play it. A third theme interweaving the works on the program is that of reinterpretation, as in the Brahms transcription of the Chaconne from the Bach Partita for solo violin in D minor, BWV 1004; the fact that Levit has played these works in different orderings in recital testifies to the program's remarkable cohesiveness. There is music by Frederic Rzewski in a memorial vein, and Bill Evans' serene Peace Piece is a lovely conclusion. Bravo!
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Lieder (German) - Released October 5, 2018 | Challenge Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Solo Piano - Released October 5, 2018 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Cello Concertos - Released October 5, 2018 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason