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Classical - Released February 28, 2020 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet’s acclaimed series of piano concertos by Mozart reaches its fifth instalment. Concertos Nos. 5, 6, 8, and 9 are complemented by the overtures to Il sogno di Scipione, Lucio Silla, La finta giardiniera, Il re pastore, and Zaide. That all of these works were composed by Mozart between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five serves as a vivid reminder of his unique talents as a child prodigy: these are not childhood efforts but mature works. The Fifth Concerto was actually Mozart’s first, as Nos 1 – 4 are arrangements of works by other composers. As in the previous volumes, Bavouzet is partnered by Manchester Camerata and Gábor Takács-Nagy, all recorded in The Stoller Hall in Manchester. © Chandos
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Classical - Released February 7, 2020 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Using period instruments, Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov breathe new life into these ‘sonatas for keyboard with violin accompaniment’, a tradition Mozart renewed from within, blazing the trail for Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann. The first volume was widely praised: ‘The greater similarity of tone between Faust’s sparkling violin and Melnikov’s glittering fortepiano (within an airier acoustic) results in a sound more akin to the jingling of small bells. It’s delicious’ (Gramophone). ‘In a world full of star violinists, all with technical facility and individual style, it’s rare to find one that everyone agrees is just – brilliant. Isabelle Faust is that violinist’ (The Strad). © harmonia mundi
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Classical - Released November 22, 2019 | NoMadMusic

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
After "Waiting for Clara", which focused on the music of Brahms and Schumann, this second album on NoMadMusic from the clarinetist Julien Hervé looks back another few years, to the apex of Classical style, with Mozart’s Quintet and Concerto. After discovering the instrument later in his life, Mozart fell entirely in love with it and dedicated these sublime pieces to it. This hedonistic, luminous programme, recorded live, offers us the opportunity to discover - or rediscover - two of the greatest masterpieces in the clarinet repertoire. © NoMadmusic
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Classical - Released November 15, 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
If we take a closer look at the first symphonic attempts by the young Mozart, we can see that they are motivated by a lot more than mere curiosity, musicologist Henning Bey, the author of the texts that accompany this new recording, points out. He shows how the young boy, without the presence of his bedridden father, managed to set down on paper his first symphony after a few efforts for the clavier and violin. The manuscript still bears the traces of the young composer's experimentations and difficulties with ink and an ill-cut quill. The lesson of this first orchestral outing is that "form develops from content". Mozart came to composition when his father taught him to write minuets. And it was also with dance that he would finish his oeuvre, writing the 5 Contredanses, K. 609, just a few days before his death, for the imperial balls in the Redoute. They are presented here by way of closing the circle, interspersed between each of the five youthful symphonies which make up the substance of this album. The excellent performance from Gottfried von der Goltz and the musicians of the Freiburger Barockorchester whom he directs with his violin, have a mature take on this childish music, written before Mozart the traveller starts taking in everything he sees and hears to elaborate his own unique language. What's troubling about it is the assuredness of the writing from a child of nine years old, who seems already to know exactly where he will go and what he will become. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released October 11, 2019 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
After a first album devoted to Mozart quartets (awarded a ‘Choc de Classica’ and a ‘Diapason Découverte’), a second to French music (Debussy, Ravel and Chausson) and a third to two quartets by Schubert, Nos. 10 and 14 (the mythical "Death and the Maiden"), the group founded by Nicolas Van Kuijk returns to its first love by recording more Mozart. This recording is the second part of an eventual triptych that will contain the six string quartets dedicated to Haydn: No. 14 in G major, K.387, the first of them, was composed in 1782, when Mozart had just arrived on the Viennese musical scene; No. 15 in D minor K421, the second, is the only one in the minor mode and was completed in 1783 while his wife Constanze was in labour – she related that the rising intervals of the second movement recalled her cries from the room next door as he composed. © Alpha Classics/Outhere
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Chamber Music - Released July 19, 2019 | DOREMI

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released May 3, 2019 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama
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Duets - Released April 26, 2019 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Violin Concertos - Released November 16, 2018 | LSO Live

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Quintets - Released November 16, 2018 | Accentus Music

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Collections of Mozart string quintets don't always include the early String Quintet in B flat major, K. 174, and the String Quintet in C minor, K. 406, the latter being a transcription of another work. Germany's Klenke Quartet, with second violist Harald Schoneweg, includes both, and this isn't all to the good. The quartet cultivates a rather hard-edged sound, with generally fast tempos and little vibrato, perhaps influenced by historically informed performances of Mozart. The lighter moments tend to be overwhelmed, and there are a lot of these in the two earlier works. The Klenke's performance of the first movement of the String Quintet in C major, K. 515, is hard to square with its Allegro marking. Persist, however, until the third disc, with the towering D major and E flat major quintets, K. 593 and K. 614, Mozart's final essays in the genre, and probably the least known of his big masterpieces. Sample the first movement of the String Quintet in D, K. 593, as contrapuntally intricate as anything Mozart ever wrote. The Klenke are fabulous here, with carefully chiseled playing that reveals the smallest of details in the counterpoint. All through these works, the players are alert to and bring out motivic details in a web so complex it feels at times as though you're listening to Brahms. France's Accentus label contributes fine studio sound to the mix in a triple-disc set that is far from perfect, but also absolutely compelling in many places. © TiVo
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Duets - Released November 9, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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 October 19, 2018 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Symphonies - Released September 7, 2018 | BR-Klassik

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
This 2018 BR Klassik release by Herbert Blomstedt and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra appears to be yet another mainstream rendition of Mozart's Symphony No. 40 in G minor and the Symphony No. 41 in C major, "Jupiter," but in this time of historically informed performances on period instruments, it's almost a novelty. In these live performances, Blomstedt doesn't make any overt attempts at following 18th century practices, nor does he scale down the ensemble to the size of a Classical orchestra, and the only aspects of historical interpretation that are obvious are the fairly brisk tempos and the taking of repeats, which are comparatively small concessions to authenticity. Beyond that, little separates Blomstedt's readings from many recordings from the mid-20th century, which predated the movement for early music scholarship, and listeners who grew up hearing Mozart played by modern symphony orchestras will take to this album readily. However, Blomstedt avoids the over-blending and bland homogeneity of many older performances and instead strives for distinctive tone colors, particularly in the woodwinds, and transparency of the counterpoint, which is essential in Mozart. Because so much attention is paid to conveying the music with absolute clarity, listeners from the traditionalist and revisionist camps can find much to appreciate in Blomstedt's meticulous and intensely focused performances. © TiVo
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Symphonies - Released June 8, 2018 | Decca

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Symphonic Music - Released January 12, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles 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 October 13, 2017 | Signum Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
The 15-year-old Mozart's Il Sogno di Scipione, K. 126, has not been much performed. It's too late to be truly the work of a prodigy, but not really a mature work, and it's not an opera but a serenata drammatica, a little one-act allegory in which the titular African king has to choose between Fortune and Constancy, prepared for the same Archbishop Colloredo who would later make Mozart's life hell. However, it followed the genuine opera Mitridate, re di Ponto, K. 87, and its big arias arguably mark an advance over that more successful work. Sample the arias by Scipione and Fortuna (Fortune): they are laid out on grand harmonic plans, and they offer technical challenges surmounted elegantly by tenor Stuart Jackson and soprano Soraya Mafi, respectively. If Mozart the vocal writer came into his own slightly before this, Mozart the aria composer took decisive steps forward here. Much credit is due to the ensemble Classical Opera and its conductor Ian Page, who get the precise combination of modest size and ambitious sweep needed to put this piece of early Mozart across. Although probably of most interest to serious Mozart fans, this is an enjoyable recording for anyone. © TiVo
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Opera Extracts - Released October 6, 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released September 8, 2017 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
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Classical - Released April 21, 2017 | Erato - Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica
Many of the earlier recordings of the French choir Accentus and its director, Laurence Equilbey, focused on late Romantic or 20th century repertory, including, one time, texted symphonic music by Mahler. Equilbey has turned her attention to the Classical period, however, first to Haydn, and then, with Accentus' fine 2014 recording of the Requiem in D minor, K. 626, to Mozart. That album was on Naxos, but now Accentus and Equilbey's period-instrument Insula Orchestra move to Parlophone/Warner Classics, with a bit of a bump up in sound quality: the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Saint-Omer is kind to Accentus' uniquely lush sound. You wouldn't necessarily think that sound would fit Mozart, but Equilbey proves herself a skilled Mozartian, forging clean contrasts between the rich choir and the vibrato-free Insula strings. The result here is a superb reading of the Mozart warhorse Mass in C major, K. 317 ("Coronation"), with its closely associated Vesperae solennes de confessore, K. 339. The mass features musical material so simple that you can't see how it could possibly be as beautiful as it is, but that's the nature of Mozart's mastery of musical time. What pushes this recording into the top rank of available "Coronation" recordings is the presence of fine soloists, most of all the divine Sandrine Piau on the soprano line. Sample the end of the "Gloria," where she adds an angelic, dancing "Amen" of the kind few other recordings have boasted. Throughout, Equilbey manages the relationships among orchestra, choir, and soloists well, and although the choir is coolly consistent, she gets the exuberance of the repeated "Credo in unum Deum" at the end of the "Credo," an unusual and telling feature of the mass. Strongly recommended Mozart. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released February 17, 2017 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Mozart's first quartet for flute and strings, the Flute Quartet in D major, K. 285, today as on the day it premiered, is a pleasant, tuneful work in a French style, premiered in the city of Mannheim during Mozart's travels. Mozart did not get along with the flutist who commissioned it, but there's little evidence of that in the fluent final product. It has been recorded less often than the two flute concertos, but there are still plenty of versions at all price ranges to choose from. What you get here from flutist Lisa Friend and the Brodsky Quartet are contemporary graphics and some of the less-often-recorded pieces. The latter group will be the biggest draw for lovers of Mozart. The Flute Quartet in A major, K. 298, is unique within his body of work. Written for friends, and originally given a fanciful set of tempo indications, the quartet riffs off of some opera tunes that were current in the mid-1780s (giving the lie to the piece's original 1770s dating). It's something of a varied opera potpourri, something Mozart did nowhere else. The Flute Quartet in C major, K. 285b, survives in one fragment that is indubitably by Mozart, leaving open, as with the Requiem, K. 626, how much of the rest he composed, and the Flute Quartet in G major, K. 285a, was a two-movement fragment unearthed by the broke Constanze Mozart after her husband's death. The final work on the album is an old arrangement of the slow movement of one of the flute concertos. None of it is essential stuff; nor do Friend and company contribute much that is distinctive to it. And Chandos imparts an oddly chilly feel to the usually reliable Potton Hall venue. Yet the album succeeds on two levels, which is more than you can say for most: it is an unfailingly sprightly hour of music, and it puts in the listener's hands an unusual corner of Mozart's output. © TiVo