Albums

1249 albums sorted by Date: from newest to oldest
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Chamber Music - Released October 19, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique
Staying true to himself, harpsichordist Jean Rondeau stirs up another musical storm. In his interpretation of around fifteen Sonatas by Scarlatti, he unleashes a kind of rawness, a poetic rawness, as if he had invented the sonatas on the spot. But no, no, they are indeed Scarlatti’s sonatas! On the other hand, Domenico's letter to Queen Marie-Barbara de Bragança, found in the accompanying booklet, is factually apocryphal. She was his pupil as early as 1720 and continued to be until her royal marriage to the Spanish court; it seems that it was for her that he wrote his approximately five hundred and fifty-five sonatas, that is to say that he had found a student worthy of his genius. The farce on the ninth track is also apocryphal, which Rondeau uses as an interlude between the two “parts” of his programme. It is a funny little improvisation of jumbled notes and clusters - enough to clean the ears between the two Scarlattis. The instrument used here is quite amazing; it is a harpsichord “based on German models”, built in 2006 by Jonte Knif & Arno Pelto. It offers an extremely rich sound with a rather unusual tone, showing that it takes more than just pressing the keys of a harpsichord to get the desired sound. With his very personal technique, Rondeau makes his harpsichord wonderfully unique, giving the baroque music an incredibly modern feel. © SM/Qobuz
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Keyboard Concertos - Released October 12, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique
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Opera Extracts - Released October 5, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Qobuzissime
For her first recital with orchestra album, young Franco-Danish soprano Elsa Dreisig had the idea of presenting five pairs of songs in which each part of the pair is ambiguously related to the other, like a mirror’s reflection. This process leads to striking juxtapositions of different musical styles, dramatic moments, historical periods and contrasting voices; classicism and romanticism complement each other, terror answers joy, and the result is a view of the feminine soul all its facets. The first pairing involves two mirrors: the one in which Marguerite from Gounod's Faust admires herself and Thaïs's mirror in Massenet's opera (Thaïs). There follows Puccini's vision of Manon Lescaut, and then Manon (sans Lescaut) as imagined by Massenet. Following this we have Juliette, this is a rather daring pairing of the largely-forgotten early romantic German composer Daniel Steibelt with Gounod's Juliette. Elsa Dreisig then moves onto the two famous Figaros, one from Rossini's Barber (Rosina) and the other from Mozart's Marriage, with the gentle tones of the Countess. Finally, and more daring still, we end with the Salome of the Hérodiade by Massenet, a tender young woman who is not after anyone's head; and then Strauss's Salome, with her sanguinary madness. Probably in order to avoid the temptation of comparisons with other recordings, our singer has opted for the 1907 French version – note that this work by Oscar Wilde was itself originally written in French. This is the most extraordinary selection that one could hope for in a first recording from any artist, all accompanied by the Montpelier Orchestra, conducted by Michael Schønwandt. © SM/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released September 28, 2018 | ARTALINNA

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica
Considered as one of the most inspired pianists of his generation, Severin von Eckardstein explores three major cycles of French music from the 1900s, associating Claude Debussy’s two revolutionary books Images (1904-1907) and Gabriel Dupont’s La Maison dans les dunes (1907-1909) as part of this debut album under the Artalinna label: this suite of 10 pieces with memorable atmospheres filled with luminous colours and heady melodies will stand out for many as a musical revelation! © Artalinna
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Opera Extracts - Released September 28, 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Qobuzissime
The first solo album from the excellent youngster Julien Behr, who has already played at the Paris Opéra, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, the Bordeaux and Lyon Opera Houses and cities such as Salzburg, Vienna, London, Cologne and many other great venues as well as making recordings of various lyrical works including L’Enfant et les sortilèges with Bavarian Radio. As debut albums go, he has made a daring choice in selecting some of the more unknown areas of French opera rather than the more popular pieces from Don José, Romeo, Faust and other big names. Instead, he has taken some gems from the Romantic repertoire (if we extend it up to the First World War for the sake of argument) which are little-heard of. From Gounod, he has selected Cinq-Mars ; from Bizet, La Jolie fille de Perth (one of Bizet's most exquisite passages); from Thomas, Mignon; and then, better-known but still uncommon, Léhar The Merry Widow; Godard, Jocelyn; and Delibes Lakmé. His diction is utterly impeccable; his transparent and airy voice evokes Heddle Nach or Jussi Björling, which serves the repertoire perfectly. The album closes with a few hits from the Romantic repertoire such as Vous qui passez sans me voir by Charles Trenet – well, the lyrics are from the Fou chantant, while the music is by Johnny Hess and Paul Misraki, and the song was originally written for Jean Sablon – evidence of Behr's love of lighter genres, for sure. . © SM/Qobuz
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Violin Concertos - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Special Soundchecks - Hi-Res Audio
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Concertos - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica - Special Soundchecks - Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonies - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Special Soundchecks - Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Classical - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Special Soundchecks - Hi-Res Audio
Given that the aim of this recording, announced in the booklet notes, is to "[demonstrate] how composers in Germany, Italy, Austria, and England responded to the challenges of writing for the violin senza basso, it's a bit odd to begin the proceedings with a work that's not for violin at all. However, the transcription for solo violin of Bach's underplayed Partita for flute in A minor, BWV 1013, by violinist Rachel Podger herself, is quite idiomatic to the violin, and Podger's performance is lively and attractive. From Bach, Podger looks outward to other solo violin works rather than back to the tradition immediately preceding Bach's unaccompanied sonatas and partitas. The works don't have anything directly to do with one another, but they are united in part by being Podger's favorites, and there are some fascinating offbeat pieces that do indeed seem to have counterparts in Bach's magisterial compendia. Consider the very nice pair of solo sonatas by Giuseppe Tartini. In the Giga movement of the first one, the violin takes its solo and is answered by itself in the role not only of harmonic accompaniment but of orchestral figure. The pieces by Nicola Matteis, who inaugurated the entire migration of Italian musicians to Britain, have a fantastic spirit, while the sonata by Pisendel, which may have preceded or followed Bach's pieces, is at least similar to them in language, although less deep. A selection from Biber's Rosary Sonatas works well as a finale. One minor flaw is that notes describe a sonata by Antonio Montanari that is not actually included; a more serious problem is overresonant church sound inconsistent with the chamber purposes of the music.
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Violin Concertos - Released September 7, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Chamber Music - Released August 31, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
With these recordings which mark the launch of the Stradivari collection, discover the unique instruments lovingly preserved at the Philharmonie de Paris's Museum of Music: the finest examples of the art of instrument-making which, like the iconic harpsichord crafted in 1652 by Ioannes Couchet, are given a new life thanks to the skill and commitment of its keen conservators. When this 'national treasure' is entrusted into the hands of an expert like Christophe Rousset, the magic is evident. As the sumptuous sonority of Louis Couperin's music is revealed, poetry meets fantasy.
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Classical - Released August 24, 2018 | Les Indispensables de Diapason

Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Classical - Released August 24, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released August 17, 2018 | Ricercar

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
Brought up in the French-Flamish tradition but fed with the milk of Renaissance Italian madrigalism since he was about eighteen years old, Jacques Arcadelt (1507-1568) left behind him many gems whose importance has been realized only recently. Let’s acclaim this magnificent album gathering the Chœur de Chambre de Namur, the ensemble Doulce Mémoire and the Cappella Mediterranea, to give us not the complete marigals, songs and motets by Arcadelt, of course, but a large selection of his most stupefying pieces. These are thus madrigals from his First and Fourth Books released during his Italian years around 1540, songs from the various Livres de Chansons (Books of Songs) released between 1550 and 1565 when he was living in Paris, and motets from various eras in his career—mostly Italian, a bit French too since he moved from court to court depending on the jobs, the political assassinations, the change in alliances and, generally, the implausible chaos between the various power players at the time. As a nod, we also hear an Ave Maria “according to Arcadelt”, in truth an imitation by Louis Dietsch, a composer from the 19th Century, and the comical Ave Maria d’Arcadelt … by Liszt, inspired by the Dietsch imitation, for solo organ, an exercise in returning to your ancient roots like people loved to imagine them during the Romantic era. We could even wonder if Saint-Saëns didn’t use the head of the main theme to recycle it into his ”Organ” Symphony, incidentally. © SM/Qobuz
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Trios - Released July 20, 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique
With this new series entitled ‘Salon de musique’, Alpha presents recordings made by artists who have enlivened the Festival of Salon de Provence for some years now: the pianist Eric le Sage, who has made many recordings for Alpha, the clarinettist Paul Meyer etc… with cellist Claudio Bohórquez, they have now put two Beethoven trios on disc. By 1798, the year Ludwig van Beethoven composed his Trio for piano, clarinet and cello op.11, he was already well-known in Vienna as a remarkable improviser and an ambitious young composer. the piece was clearly aimed at the enlightened aristocracy, as well as competent musical amateurs. This did not prevent the critics, though universally positive, from judging the score to be over-complex in places. Dedicated to the Empress Marie-Theresa of Austria, the Septet was published in 1802 by Hofmeister, and on being well-received it was then rearranged for various combinations. Beethoven himself made a version for clarinet, cello and piano, op.38 in E Flat major – the one recorded here. © Alpha Classics
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Symphonic Music - Released June 25, 2018 | Les Indispensables de Diapason

Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Solo Piano - Released June 22, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
It's on a big Fazioli piano, recorded in a public concert in 2017, that Vadym Kholodenko – gold medallist at the prestigious Van Cliburn Competiton – offers us a journey through the fascinating, sometimes unsettling, always vivid, world of Scriabin. The programme follows the compositions in chronological order: we start with some harmonically almost "well-behaved" works, which still bear the marks of Chopin and Rachmaninov, moving gradually towards total liberation from any audible tonality in the form of Vers la flamme from 1914 – one of Scriabin's last pieces – a hair-raising firework display on the piano in the form of an inexorable, almost orgasmic, crescendo. Between these two poles, Kholodenko offers several series of Preludes and Études, two Sonatas – the 4th from 1903 and the 5th from 1907, representing the transition in the composer's style – and isolated piece with evocative titles such as the Poème tragique and the Poème satanique. It's a fine journey, at the end of which the listener will feel both full and emptied-out! © SM/Qobuz
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Mélodies (French) - Released June 22, 2018 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - 5 étoiles de Classica
Remembering Gounod as just a masterful composer of great French operas, it’s easy to forget that he also wrote, among many various pieces of work, close to one hundred and fifty melodies throughout is long and rich career. Surprisingly, almost one third of these pages were written in English (during his years in London, between 1870 and 1874), about fifteen of them are in Italian, as well as a few in Spanish and German. Most of them of course are in French, among which Tassis Christoyannis and Jeff Cohen selected twenty-four gems, a comprehensive array ranging from his very first published melody – his Où voulez-vous aller from 1839, the year of his Prix de Rome! – to his À une jeune Grecque of the utmost maturity, in 1884. The composer explored all of the styles he held dear, with all the eclecticism he’s famous for: French romanticism, German Lied, orientalism, old-fashioned archaic writing… Gounod was particularly sensitive to the words’ meaning as much as their sound, the back and forth of verses and the variety of periods, and excelled in finding a melodic movement to perfectly fit the inflexions of pronunciation, the expressive flow of speech and setting the perfect phrasing for an eloquent result. With him, unlike his illustrious elder Berlioz, music served the words, carried them and elevated them if possible. Let’s discover this beautiful pearl rosary, made of works we would love to hear in recital more often. © SM/Qobuz