Albums

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Classical - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Record of the Month - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released August 10, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Record of the Month
If Leonard Bernstein was one of the greatest conductors from the second half of the 20th Century, his interpretation job never outshone his composer one. But the durable and worldwide success of West Side Story has often irritated him, as it left in the shadowed the rest of his abundant and varied catalog. Antonio Pappano has had the good idea to gather the three symphonies from Bernstein in a single album recorded in several concerts in Rome with his Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, which reaches under his baton an international dimension. Bernstein had a special relation with this institution that he has frequently conducted. Jeremiah, Bernstein’s first symphony, dates from 1944. Bernstein was 26 and wrote it the same year as his first ballet for Broadway, Fancy Free.He blends genres in a way that is now typical of him, disturbing many timorous music lovers who don’t understand that this dichotomy is the result of his genius. This first symphony sung in Hebrew denounces the horror of the Holocaust in Europe. 1949 is the year of The Age of Anxiety, his strange second symphony inspired by a long and difficult poem by W. H. Auden. Rarely played because of his difficult solo piano section that few interprets possess in their repertoire, this symphony is a succession of “themes and variations”. If the beginning flirts with the European Art music, notably from Prokofiev, it ends in a syncopated sentimentalism in the style of the great Hollywood movies. The excellent pianist Beatrice Rana (who has recorded for Warner Classics a very exciting Second Concerto by Prokofiev with the same conductor, as well as, more recently, the most talked-about Goldberg Variations by J. S. Bach) is here a brilliant and convinced performer of the work. Written in 1963 and dedicated to President Kennedy, Kaddish, his third symphony, is probably the most personal work of this trilogy. Heterogeneous as is all Bernstein music, it goes together with a text written by him that caused a scandal because of his iconoclastic arrogance, as Bernstein is giving advice to God to better rule mankind… Unsatisfied with his text, the composer did several revisions of his work to give it the form that is mostly used today. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Opera - Released May 4, 2018 | Signum Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Month
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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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Violin Concertos - Released April 13, 2018 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Record of the Month - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Today, Finland is one of the richest musical countries on Earth. Thanks to the exceptional quality of its musical teaching it produces numerous composers, conductors and artists who perform all over the world. The very rich catalogue of the dynamic Finnish publisher Ondine contains several recordings of the German violinist Christian Tetzlaff (Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin) by Bach, Mozart's sonatas, Trios by Brahms, concertos by Mendelssohn, Schumann and Shostakovich); and the Finnish conductor Hannu Lintu (Sibelius, Mahler, Enescu, Berio, Messiaen, Lindberg, Melartin), but it is their first record together. Bartók's two Violin Concertos were written thirty years apart, for two virtuosos. While the Second Concerto in the form of variations on a theme that develop ingeniously across three movements, has been well-known for a long time, the first remained unheard for years. Written as a declaration of love for the Hungarian-Swiss violinist Stefi Geyer, for whom Bartók had fallen, it was a secret kept by the dedicatee: it was only long after the composer's death that the violinist let Bartók's patron and close friend, the conductor Paul Sacher, know about the work. He would see that it was performed, with Hansheinz Schneeberger, but only in 1958. Bartók's two concertos, essential parts of the repertoire for violin and orchestra would enjoy a well-deserved resurgence in interest among a younger generation of violinists – the recording of the same works by Renaud Capuçon for Warner came out a few weeks ago. This new version, magnificently recorded, carefully explores all the orchestral richness, in perfect dialogue with Christian Tetzlaff's outstanding violin. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released April 6, 2018 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Month - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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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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Full Operas - Released November 24, 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Record of the Month - 4 étoiles de Classica
We will gladly forgive the occasional "weakness" in sound technology in this recording of Troyens by Berlioz (recorded live in concert in April 2017). In light of the first-rate quality of the music and vocals that appear on the disc (a majority of which are French voices, with Stéphane Degout at their head) this immense work is from the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra and the three choirs which have been brought together – because the work demands immense swelling choirs – which are the choir of the Opéra national du Rhin, the Opéra National de Bade, and the Strasbourg Philharmonic's own choir. This recording rests, of course, on the complete original edition, which gives the listener a chance to hear Les Troyens as the work was performed in 1863, at the Théâtre-Lyrique, in which some intense chopping saw Acts I and II condensed into one part and Acts III to V into another, producing two distinct operas (La Prise de Troie and Les Troyens à Carthage). We also get a taste, naturally, of Berlioz's immensely rich orchestral innovations: with every new work, he would invent some exciting new prototype from scratch, never content to rest on his laurels. The listener should note the presence of six saxhorns, recently invented by Adolphe Sax (of whom Berlioz was an indefatigable champion, even if he didn't often use his instruments in his scores, no doubt because of the poor quality of the early instrumentalists who learned - however well or badly - Sax's instruments); bass clarinet, and an army of percussion pieces including several instruments which must have been rare in those days: crotales, goblet drums, tom-toms, thunder sheets... clearly, this is a milestone in the Berlioz discography. © SM/Qobuz
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Symphonies - Released October 27, 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Month - Diapason d'or / Arte - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
An album, a symphony: you would think that we had returned to the days of the Long Play, and the era of Mravinsky, Doráti, Markevitch, Karajan as well as many other performers and interpreters who have marked the discographic history of the last symphony from Piotr Ilitch Tchaikovsky. The album cover also seems to confirm it: it brings to mind the old RCA covers from the 50s and 60s. Sony Classical, being very supportive of the artistic endeavours of the Greco-Russian master, didn't hesitate to bring out a roughly 45-minute album - they had done better with the Rites of Spring (2015), which was feted in the press. Here, Teodor Currentzis continues his exploration of Tchaikovsky's world, with the Pathétique, putting the accent on the dynamic contrasts, sometimes naturally, sometimes by technical means (adagio lamentoso), and bringing to bear some methods that are normally specific to pop music. He exploits the sombre tone of the work, even above its rhythmic energy, and looks to create atmospheres that one could often call morbid. For record-lovers, this release is a great opportunity to revisit his discography, and for all other ardent Qobuz users it is an opportunity to rediscover this true emblem of the orchestral repertoire. © TG/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released September 8, 2017 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Month - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année
With his 60th birthday approaching, the Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman thought it was time “to find the courage for works such as these and the last Beethoven sonatas. I’ve played these pieces for 30 years, but always feared them tremendously because of my unbelievable respect for the composers. Perhaps I worried that if I left them any longer, it would be too late.” Zimerman has used a normal piano, but fitted with a keyboard made by himself, designed to create qualities Schubert would have known in his instruments. Compared to a modern grand piano, the hammer strikes a different point of the string, enhancing its ability to sustain a singing sound – though it does also set up different overtones and the piano might sound strangely tuned. Also, the action is lighter. On a modern grand piano the many repeated notes in Schubert could turn into Prokofiev. According to Zimmerman, these two last Sonatas contribute significantly to our view of Schubert’s greatness, as “he switches into a different gear, daring radically to use new ideas in harmony and polyphony. Compared to his earlier sonatas, they could almost be by another composer.” The album was recorded in January 2016.
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Classical - Released September 1, 2017 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Month - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
Christophe Rousset and the Talens Lyriques bring us to the stage of the Royal Academy of Music where Pygmalion, an act of ballet by Jean-Philippe Rameau inspired by an episode of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, was created in 1748. Love, showing empathy for Pygmalion’s despair of loving a statue, invigorates the sculpted woman who immediately falls in love with her creator. Very suggestive, the music of this tender and mischievous ballet deploys the grace of 18th century dances. Like Ovid’s Love, Christophe Rousset instils life in this score, one of Rameau’s greatest successes in his day, and offers us, thanks to his sense of drama and his impeccable leadership, a new and essential reading of this ballet. © Aparté
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Chamber Music - Released June 16, 2017 | Signum Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Record of the Month - 4 étoiles de Classica
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Symphonies - Released June 16, 2017 | Deutsche Grammophon Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Record of the Month - 4 étoiles de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
With Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe here presents Mendelssohn’s complete Symphonies (Nos. 1 to 5), composed between 1824 and 1842. Considered by some to be “the best chamber orchestra in the world” (BBC2 Television), the Chamber Orchestra of Europe was born three decades ago from the desire of several young musicians of the former European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) to pursue the adventure as an orchestra. After a few – unavoidable – changes within its ranks, this ensemble – currently – based in London retains the spirit that prevailed over its creation, shaped by complicity, generosity and liberty. Without a dedicated music director or conductor, the orchestra is now reunited with Yannick Nézet-Séguin, with whom there is, according to the latter, “a completely unique bond”. Their most recent releases, such as in Mozart’s operas, highlighted this shared complicity. And, after a complete collection on Schumann, it is only fair that the conductor and his musicians explore the effusive lyric, the “classical” side of German romanticism, by working on Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s five symphonies. But the aim however with these five symphonies is to explore widely differing universes: the very romantic Symphony No. 3, “the Scottish”, in which Wagner heard a “prime landscaper”; Symphony No. 4, “the Italian”, is almost a great symphonic poem, as illustrated (by?) numerous composers after 1834; Symphony No. 2, “Lobgesang”, ends on an immense cantata full of praise, which approach was inspired by Beethoven’s Ninth; Symphony No. 5 is strongly linked to Protestant religion, as its fugue finale cites one of the Lutheran chorales used, notably, by Johann Sebastian Bach: “Eine feste Burg ist unser Gott” (Our God is a secure fortress) (cf. Cantata BWV 80). © Qobuz, based on a Philarmonie de Paris leaflet for concerts in Paris, February 2016.
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Classical - Released February 1, 2017 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Record of the Month
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Solo Piano - Released April 7, 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Record of the Month - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Masses, Passions, Requiems - Released March 10, 2017 | SDG

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Award - Gramophone Record of the Month - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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£9.19

Symphonic Music - Released November 4, 2016 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Month - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
£35.97
£23.97

Classical - Released November 4, 2016 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Record of the Month
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Classical - Released November 4, 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Award - Gramophone Record of the Month - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik