Albums

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Mélodies (French) - Released June 22, 2018 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique
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
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Full Operas - Released May 2, 2018 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Record of the Month - Diapason d'or / Arte - Le Choix de France Musique
The story of the Pêcheurs de perles [Pearl Fishers] by Bizet is nothing short of torturous: after its first outing in 1863, the score – whose manuscript is now in private hands and no longer available, alas – fell into obscurity, and was only returned to its rightful place in the sun after the composer's death, once Carmen had made his name. Alas – a thousand times, alas – many different theatre directors took themselves for great geniuses and made little amendments to the work, cutting here, adding there, changing bits up to and including the end. Until the 1960s, this calamitously cack-handed version was the one that was performed – this libretto looks a little flat, why not add a few mistakes? – until musicologists stumbled across the original documents, in particular the cut-down version by Bizet himself, as well as the "conductor's score" of the time, which contained many notes about orchestration. This version, put together in 2014 by Hugh MacDonald, is sung by the flower of great French lyrical music – Julie Fuchs, Florian Sempey, Cyrille Dubois and Luc Bertin-Hugault – and returns as closely as possible to the original version of the work, so that the listener will encounter a number of big surprises, and good surprises too: additional numbers, several melodic and dramatic developments: almost a whole new score. © SM/Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released April 6, 2018 | Chandos

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique
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Quartets - Released March 2, 2018 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Solo Piano - Released February 9, 2018 | JB Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique
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Solo Piano - Released February 9, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Record of the Month - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica
Oh no, no, no: this is absolutely not a re-release of one of the many recordings which Murray Perahia made of Beethoven over the decades. This here is something completely new, made in 2016 and 2017, of two radically contrasting sonatas: the Fourteenth of 1801, which Rellstab nicknamed "Clair de lune" in 1832, while Beethoven merely dubbed it Quasi una fantasia, and the Twenty Ninth of 1819, Große Sonate für das Hammerklavier, written after several barren years. Perhaps, consciously or not, Perahia has coupled two works, one "before" and the other "after" - after all, he himself has known his fair share of fallow years, following a hand injury which removed him from the stage from 1990 to 2005. Whether or not it's true, it's certainly tempting to imagine. Either way, like Beethoven, Perahia made a storming return, as shown in this recent performance, in which vigour alternates with moments of intense introspection, always impeccably phrased and articulated, and deeply musical. Clearly all those years in which he concentrated almost exclusively on the works of Bach as a training regime while he waited for recovery seem to have in fact been immensely fruitful. © SM/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released February 2, 2018 | BR-Klassik

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Record of the Month - Le Choix de France Musique - 5 étoiles de Classica
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Chamber Music - Released January 19, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique
The Forqueray family, father and son: thereupon hangs a dark tale. The father, Antoine (1672-1745), famous composer and gamba player, a musicien ordinaire de la chambre du roy from 1689, developed such a furious jealousy of his son Jean-Baptiste (1699-1782) that he had him thrown in jail at the age of 20. Only the intervention of his friends won the young virtuoso his freedom, and finally he succeeded his father as a musicien ordinaire de la chambre du roy in 1742, when his father was no longer in a position to object. In 1747, Jean-Baptiste won the privilege of publishing 29 of his father's pieces for viol da gamba and three of his own pieces; he also published a transcription of these same pieces for harpsichord. It is these works that Michèle Dévérité is offering us on the harpsichord, joined by Kaori Uemuraon the viol da gamba and Ryo Terakado on the viola for the ensemble pieces. A magnificent undertaking, which, two and a half centuries after the break between the two Forquerays, brings them back together in the most striking manner. To complement the second volume, we are also treated to several works dedicated to the Forquerays, by Charles François Clément, Louis-Antoine Dornel, Claude François… uh, sorry: Claude-François Rameau, the son (another father-and-son pair), and two modern composers. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released January 5, 2018 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Chamber Music - Released January 5, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique
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Solo Piano - Released November 24, 2017 | Piano Classics

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique
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Secular Vocal Music - Released November 10, 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
This project originated, Sabine Devieilhe says, from her desire to tackle Lakmé. In fact, Delibes was able to compose for her heroine some of the most memorable pages for coloratura soprano, starting with the hugely famous "air des clochettes" [Bell Song]. And as Western ears at the time were eager for musical and poetic voyages, and sensations from far-off lands, we find these same Oriental fantasies with Maurice Delage, who himself went on a grand tour of India, where he found modal colours, but also in Madame Chrysanthème by Messager or Rossignol by Stravinsky, to say nothing of the Egypt of Thaïs as portrayed by Anatole France and Massenet. Sabine Devieilhe, who won the "Lyrical revelation" prize at Victoires de la musique classique in 2013 before winning "Lyrical artist of the year" at the same ceremony – certainly not an unfair judgement of this particular artist – started her recording career with recordings of Rameau, Bach and Mozart, before launching into the lyrical repertoire from more recent years… And with great success! © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released October 13, 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica
For true fans of Christian Ferras (1933-1982), this box set of recordings (mono and stereo) made between 1957 and 1962 is an absolute treasure chest. In the company of his good friend Pierre Barbizet, Georges Prêtre, Malcolm Sargent, Menuhin for Bach's Double and several other big names of her era, this follower of George Enesco offers up a superb selection of great concertos and great sonatas, from before the famous recordings with Karajan that covered of the lion's share of the Ferras concert repertoire. Ferras had a searing career – these recordings were made by a man aged 24 to 29 years old! His glory years ran until the end of the 1960s, before meeting with an inexorable descent into the hell of alcoholism and depression (which would drive away the big labels, the orchestras and the public) – a descent which he would end with a ten-storey fall from his Parisian apartment on 14 September 1982. The world had lost one of the greatest violinists of his time, but his legend would never die. Naturally, all these recordings have been subject to a most careful remastering, based on the original matrices. © SM/Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released October 13, 2017 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Bach (Johann Sebastian, that is) or not Bach? This is the question that the violinist Amandine Beyer and the ensemble Gli Incogniti asked themselves by seizing a handful of works long thought to be from the Kantor and that we now know to be from other composers—known, identified or not. Thus, the Sonata BWV 1024 may have “ended up” in Bach’s repertoire because a musicologist knew how to use the right scientific arguments (paper, copyists, geographical and historical contexts) to achieve his goal. The style of the composition, which admittedly is a bit reminiscent of Bach, cannot however quite fall in line with the musician’s writing style. Therefore, in order to avoid the sonata disappearing back into anonymity, it has now been attributed to Pisendel, rightly or wrongly. The Trio BWV 1036 is from Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach—we were always quite sure of that, even if some less scrupulous releases have omitted the first name… The Trio BWV 1037 seems to be from Goldberg (the one from the Variations). The Suite in A major BWV 1025 is of somewhat ambiguous paternity, but it’s actually an arrangement Bach created for violin and harpsichord using the Suite SC 47 for lute that his friend and colleague Silvius Leopold Weiss composed. These are a few works that, after long being in the paradise of being attributed to Bach, are now in the hell of the “fake”, even if it’s not the fault of the composers that wrote them! What a pity… © SM/Qobuz
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Masses, Passions, Requiems - Released October 13, 2017 | SDG

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Le Choix de France Musique - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
So much can be said about this new recording featuring among others − but as the pièce de résistance − Bach’s Magnificat, performed by John Eliot Gardiner, that we simply don’t know where to start! In 1983 – already 35 years ago! – Gardiner gave his first vision of Magnificat BWV 234 in D major; here the version in question is the BWV 234a in E flat major, the original and initial version, the – extended – one Bach wrote as soon as 1723 while the BWV 234 version (more often played nowadays) only arose from adjustments made ten years later. Of course one can debate on the advantages of one over the other but for this recording, Gardiner put emphasis on the brilliance, vibrancy and stunning virtuosity imposed by the E-flat major tone and vigorous tempi, in other words: undeniably modern! Magnificat is preceded by the Mass in F major, one of Bach’s four Lutheran masses, proper gems that are too rarely performed. It’s worth noting that most movements are recycled from previous cantatas, but with thorough rewrites of course! You’ll also find one of Gardiner’s favourite cantatas, Süßer Trost, mein Jesus kömmt (Sweet comfort, my Jesus comes), BWV 151, composed for the Christmas period. With his English Baroque Soloists, his Monteverdi Choir and a broad group of soloists (the alto parts are given to a male voice, it’s worth mentioning in case… it’s not your cup of tea), Gardiner is once again standing on top of a great success.
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Violin Solos - Released September 8, 2017 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica - Special Soundchecks - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Of course, since years Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin have been recorded over and over again, including by world’s best and most prestigious solists. But when violinist Christian Tetzlaff releases a brand new recording, we can only say: “Friends, countrymen, lend Qobuz your ears”. Concerts with Christian Tetzlaff often become an existential experience for interpreter and audience alike; old familiar works suddenly appear in an entirely new light, also – of course – within the frame of a new studio recording such as this one. Essential to Tetzlaff’s approach are the courage to take risks, technical brilliance, openness and alertness to life. Such an interpretation becomes a real challenge for the aficionado and guarantees a brilliant musical adventure.
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Chamber Music - Released September 1, 2017 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - Special Soundchecks
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Solo Piano - Released September 1, 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Sibelius’s piano music remains a secret – chronically neglected or approached from an entirely unsympathetic aesthetic standpoint. Sometimes, criticism is justified. “I will be the first to admit that Sibelius’s piano music is uneven in quality”, says Leif Ove Andsnes, pointing to the composer’s own cynicism towards his piano works as a possible reason for the neglect of the genuine gems. But Andsnes also professes in no uncertain terms that he is “on a mission” to bring Sibelius’s piano works out of the shadows. “I really believe in this music and I want people to hear it”, he says. After scouring every published note of the composer’s piano music, Andsnes has selected works for this recording that speak to him not just as a pianist but as a musician who for a long time has felt particularly close to Sibelius. Here are piano works in which Sibelius’s orchestral thinking advances the language of the instrument even if it can test the technical orthodoxies of the player. As may be imagined, Andsnes masters them with elegance and ease.
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Solo Piano - Released August 25, 2017 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique
Supporting new talents is in Alpha’s DNA. Here is the very first recording of the Italian pianist Filippo Gorini, who was recently awarded First Prize in the Telekom-Beethoven Competition in Bonn. He has also won the same competition’s Audience Prize twice over. At just twenty years of age, he has already played in such prestigious venues as the Berlin Konzerthaus, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, the Herkulessaal in Munich, the Liederhalle in Stuttgart, Die Glocke in Bremen, the Royal Academy of Music in London, and the Moscow Conservatory. Strongly supported by Alfred Brendel, with whom he studies, he has chosen to tackle a monument of the piano repertory, the Diabelli Variations, a work whose interpretation he has matured through frequent performance, notably at the Beethoven Competition where it was the key item in his winning programme. And, appropriately, it is at the Beethovenhaus in Bonn that he made this first disc, the start of a highly promising recording career. © Alpha
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Classical - Released June 23, 2017 | deutsche harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - 5 étoiles de Classica