Your basket is empty

Categories :

Albums

From
CD£11.99

Classical - Released December 6, 2019 | TACET Musikproduktion

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
At first sight, the programme of this album could seem extravagant. Indeed, it assembles into one single volume all of Brahms’ intermezzi, the works that the composer held so dear. In doing so, Evgeni Koroliov isolates them from pieces which Brahms classifies under the same opus number and whose sequence is almost too well-known by music lovers. Frustrated by this fact and inviting us to gloss over it, Koroliov instead explores a more secretive side of Brahms: one of melancholy emotions and solitary twilight walks. And the result is overall successful: there is decidedly no monotony in this suite of slow pieces which Brahms wallowed in throughout his entire life. The almost nonchalant version which the Russian pianist portrays here seems almost to be like a series of improvisations for a few select friends. The seriousness of the expression helps us understand why Schönberg referred to Brahms as “progressive”, just as the “dissonance” of opus 117 to 119 heralds the music of the future, with its harmonic audacity so displeasing to the ears of a certain Clara Schumann, to whom some of the pieces are dedicated. © François Hudry/Qobuz
From
HI-RES£11.99
CD£7.99

Chamber Music - Released December 6, 2019 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
From
HI-RES£17.99
CD£12.74

Classical - Released November 29, 2019 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica
From
HI-RES£16.49
CD£10.99

Classical - Released October 25, 2019 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
From
CD£7.99

Classical - Released October 18, 2019 | Intense Media GmbH

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
From
HI-RES£24.29
CD£17.39

Classical - Released September 6, 2019 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Brahms’s Requiem, completed in 1868, draws on the legacy of his forerunners, Heinrich Schütz and Johann Sebastian Bach. In setting texts from the German Bible, it deliberately departs from the models of the Catholic liturgy and imposes a sorrowing yet consolatory meditation on death and the Last Judgment, in the manner of a poignant and grandiose cradle song for the dead. © harmonia mundi
From
HI-RES£13.49
CD£9.49

Classical - Released June 14, 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Following a previous recording devoted to Mozart, François Chaplin has chosen Brahms' latest opus for solo piano: Rhapsodies Op. 79 and the intermezzi from Klavierstücke Op. 117 and Op. 118. The Rhapsodies, moving and powerful scores, express Brahms' sober melancholy. Far from his symphonic works, the interludes of Opus 117 and Opus 118, true miniatures, reveal the inner imagination of the composer. Brahms talks directly to the heart of the listener with his mature and sober poetry. Within these Klavierstücke, the interlude is a humble but generous genre where the musician gathers freely the fruits of his most intimate inspiration. These « lullabies of pain », as he called them, are composed during summer in the Austrian countryside, dear to this sturdy northern German. The emotion that emerges from it is all the more intense as it measures his artistic evolution. On this journey, François Chaplin brings out a soft poetry from a contained lyricism. © Aparté
From
HI-RES£11.99
CD£7.99

Chamber Music - Released June 7, 2019 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
From
HI-RES£7.29
CD£5.79

Classical - Released May 10, 2019 | Naxos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Brahms’ string concertos are indissolubly linked with the musicians for whom the works were written. He wrote his Violin Concerto for Joseph Joachim, and in it he combined what a contemporary critic termed ‘the great and serious’ with songful lyricism, melodic beauty, and a fiery Hungarian finale. To mend a breach with the violinist, Brahms later composed a concerto with the unusual combination of violin and cello, the latter played at the premiere by Joachim’s colleague Robert Hausmann. Neither instrument predominates in a work of reconciliation that embodies both drama and reflection. © Naxos
From
HI-RES£14.99
CD£12.99

Classical - Released May 3, 2019 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Here’s a remarkable recording showcasing a little known aspect of Brahms’ genius: his sacred choral music. As a choirmaster in Detmold, Hamburg and Vienna, he left behind an enormous amount of choral works, both sacred and secular. Composed based on extracts from Hölderlin’s famous epistolary novel Hyperion, the Song of Destiny (Schicksalslied) opens this splendid album with an atmosphere reminiscent of A German Requiem. The first two verses picked by Brahms invoke the carefree and peaceful world of Ancient Gods, while the third ends with a dramatic illustration of human destiny. This contrast is a recurring theme throughout Brahms’ literary choices, and makes up the backbone of this recording.Conducted with great suppleness and inwardness by Gijs Leenaars, the works featured in this great album evoke Ancient Greece, a leitmotiv of German romanticism, as well as a form of angst towards life, with unanswered existential questions regarding suffering and pain inflicted by an all-powerful God. This programme alternates between works for a cappella choirs (the excellent Berlin Radio Choir showing an exceptional range of nuances) and others intended for orchestras (Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin). © François Hudry/Qobuz
From
HI-RES£13.49
CD£9.49

Classical - Released March 15, 2019 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
From
HI-RES£11.99
CD£7.99

Duets - Released September 14, 2018 | Glossa

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
The violin sonatas of Johannes Brahms were the product of much self-critical reflection, and the three surviving works are from a composer mature in years. Composed around the same time as the Violin Concerto (No. 1), the Piano Trio in C Minor and the Cello Sonata No. 2 (Nos. 2 and 3), they also echo some of his songs, such as those written to poems by Klaus Groth. Into this Romantic atmosphere come new performances of the three works on Glossa, played by violinist Leila Schayegh (particularly awarded for her recordings of Bach, Caldara and Benda), teaming up here with pianist Jan Schultsz. Schayegh plays a copy of a period violin, whilst Schultsz uses an original 1879 Streicher instrument. The two players aim to recapture the performing tradition as the composer would have known it, and within which he would have intended his pieces to have been played. Schayegh and Schultsz worked with Clive Brown and Neal Peres Da Costa in their efforts to aim for “the spirit rather than the dead letter of the score” and they pay admirable notice of important interpretative questions for music of this time – and they provide an intuitive musical and emotional response to the lyricism of the first two sonatas and the darker-hued tones of the third, investing these late-nineteenth-century works. © Glossa
From
HI-RES£14.99
CD£8.99

Solo Piano - Released March 23, 2018 | Odradek Records

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 de Diapason
From
HI-RES£14.99
CD£10.49

Chamber Music - Released February 9, 2018 | Evil Penguin Classic

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
The cellist Pieter Wispelwey and the pianist Paulo Giacometti have decided to record six albums comprising the complete works for duet of Brahms and Schubert. In other words, the pieces written for an instrument and piano. The instrument in question could be the cello, or the violin, the viola, etc. Because can a virtuoso cellist really resist the temptation to dip their toes into other repertoires than their own? After all, we know full well that the composers themselves wouldn't hesitate to transcribe, or authorise a transcription, of their own work for other instruments. And so here is the fourth volume of this collection, which hinges on Brahms's Sonate Op. 78, which was first written for violin in G major, here transcribed into D major by Paul Klengel in 1897; as well as the First Sonata, originally for clarinet Op. 120, by the very same Brahms. Of the latter work, we know that the composer himself transcribed it for the viola, and this transcription formed the basis for Pieter Wispelwey's own re-reading - very close to the viola part, within which he has simply transposed certain uncomfortably high passages down an octave. By way of overture we have Schubert's Rondo in B minor (1826), written for violin and piano, here brought down an octave (or two) for cello, although the change doesn't make any difference at all to the harmonic perception. © SM/Qobuz
From
HI-RES£13.49
CD£9.49

Keyboard Concertos - Released January 26, 2018 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Boris Berezovsky is one of these indomitable pianists who won’t restrict themselves to a set script, but rather let their instinct guide them. So plastic perfection is not the motto here. As shown by this new recording with one of the best Russian ensembles, the Svetlanov Symphony Orchestra. The concert’s programme, recorded live on April 8th, 2017, is very rich, combining Brahms’ Piano Concert No. 1 – with dimensions much more symphonic than simple concertantes – with a rarely performed partition: Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments. Berezovsky rightly assumes that live recordings are much more exciting than in the studio. Concerts taping, despite their inherent flaws – false notes, blunders, coughing, etc. − mirror life itself and manage to capture the energy flows between the stage and the audience. The pianist doesn’t confine himself to playing his instrument: in fact, he’s also conducting from the piano! “I wanted to approach works for piano and orchestra as if they were chamber music on a large scale; these two works share this chamber quality” he explains. A rather monumental experience for a most intriguing musical result. © SM/Qobuz
From
HI-RES£11.99
CD£7.99

Chamber Music - Released December 1, 2017 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Yes, yes, we know: Schumann's Piano Quartet and Brahms's Piano Quintet have been two of the the most-recorded pieces of chamber music for decades, and the discography boasts some runaway successes. So the four (or five, depending) soloists assembled here for the occasion are going to need to have something special up their sleeves! And they have: spirit, rugged romanticism, deep conviction - in a word, everything you need to add a beautiful stone to the Brahms-Schumann edifice. Pianist Yevgeny Sudbin has been acclaimed by the Daily Telegraph as "potentially one of the greatest pianists of the 21st century" - note the amusing caveat "potentially" - but one has to admit that he is making the most of this potential; violinist Hrachya Avanesyan took first prize at the prestigious International Yehudi Menuhin Competition in 2006, and then, two years later, at the International Carl Nielsen competition in Denmark. Violist Diemut Poppen studied with Kim Kashkashian, Yuri Bashmet, Frans Brüggen and Heinz Holliger, before launching into a particularly brilliant chamber music career... As the reader will have gathered, these musicians have got what it takes. © SM/Qobuz
From
HI-RES£11.99
CD£7.99

Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released November 10, 2017 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
The main attraction of this album is to present, in addition to a few already established recorded works such as Brahms’ Nänie, Gesang der Parzen (Song of the Fates) and Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny), the Liebeslieder Walzer in its orchestral version as imagined by the composer himself. Surprisingly while the versions for piano duet and vocal quartet have often been recorded, that is not the case for the nine waltzes selected by Brahms in 1870 for his orchestral rewriting; indeed they were only edited in the 1930s, most likely forgotten in favour of more marketable versions. Another relative rarity is the Begräbnisgesang (Burial Song) op. 13 for choir and wind, an instrumentation that made the work usable for outdoor celebrations. The excellent Eric Ericson Chamber Choir, funded in 1945 by the notorious choral conductor, accompanied by the Gävle Symphony Orchestra from Sweden perform these sumptuous pieces in a stunningly beautiful recording. © SM/Qobuz
From
HI-RES£13.49
CD£9.49

Classical - Released October 27, 2017 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
From
HI-RES£16.49
CD£11.99

Classical - Released August 25, 2017 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
The title Brahms might seem an odd one for this collection of Brahms piano pieces, containing one piano sonata and an assortment of 12 short pieces, mostly from the end of the composer's life. Yet the program does cover a good deal of Brahms' keyboard thinking: piano compositions, except for variation sets, are sparse during his middle years. The Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor, Op. 5, dates from 1853, when Brahms was 20: it is youthful music par excellence, with five movements and a shifting set of moods that pose interpretive challenges for the pianist. Freire has been playing the sonata since his teenage years, and he manages to make the music sound deliberate and inevitable despite its rather feverish intensity. With the exception of the final Waltz in A flat major, Op. 39, No. 15, Freire plays the rest of the music chronologically. The listener has the sense of being drawn into a vortex of complexity as each work seems to explore new structural possibilities. You could sample almost anywhere, but try the uniquely flexible tonal implications of the first of the four Klavierstücke, Op. 119, a work that shows clearly why the "conservative" Brahms was so beloved by the 12-tone composers to come. The only possible way you might not like Freire's deeply thought-out, precise performances of these is if you like your Brahms on the warmer side, but the dispassionate, investigative way Freire has it is probably the fastest way into these works that really take a lifetime to appreciate. A major Brahms release, with sympathetic engineering from Decca at the Friedrich-Ebert-Halle in Hamburg. © TiVo
From
HI-RES£11.99
CD£7.99

Classical - Released May 5, 2017 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice