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Classical - 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

Concertos - Released September 4, 2015 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles Classica

Classical - Released February 22, 2019 | Ramée

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or
Although we know of at least five concertos J.S. Bach wrote for solo organ we have no surviving Bach organ concertos with orchestral accompaniment. Contrast this with the 200+ cantatas: of these, 18 feature organ obbligato, which Bach uses as a solo instrument in arias, choral sections and sinfonias. The most obviously conspicuous date to 1726. In May to November of that year, Bach composed six cantatas which assign a prominent solo role to the organ. Most of these are reworkings of movements of lost violin and oboe concertos written in Bach’s time at Weimar and Köthen. Why Bach wrote such a number of obbligato organ cantatas in such a short period remains unknown. One possible explanation may lie in Dresden, where Bach had given a concert on the new Silbermann organ in the Sophienkirche in 1725. Some scholars think that, in addition to other organ works, he also performed organ concertos, or at least a few earlier versions of the sinfonias, with obbligato organ and strings in order to show off the organ. From the cantatas mentioned above, along with the related violin and harpsichord concertos, it is perfectly possible to reconstruct a number of three-movement organ concertos of this type. By using this method, we hope to bring some of the music which Bach may have performed in Dresden in 1725 back to life. © Ramée/Outhere

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 - Exceptional Sound Recording - 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.

Chamber Music - Released March 11, 2011 | harmonia mundi

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc du Monde de la Musique - 4F de Télérama

Violin Solos - Released April 19, 2019 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
Baroque violinist Rachel Podger is right that Bach's output is riddled with transcriptions, and that the same is true of the performance history of his works. Hence, she is on solid historical ground here, with at least the first five of Bach's six Suites for Solo Cello, BWV 1007-1012. The Suite No. 6 for solo cello, BWV 1012, is a different story: the work was written for a five-string cello, giving it a range that puts it out of reach of any violin, Baroque or otherwise. This one was accomplished with studio trickery, which has its place, but is intrusive here. Another complaint is the cavernous recital hall sound in what is manifestly chamber music. For the most part, though, Podger is enjoyable to listen to here. She makes the cello suites, for the most part, into violin music; putting some zip into the faster dances so they avoid the more deliberate mood of the cello. Her vivacious style comes through in movements like the Bourrée from the Suite for solo cello No. 4 in E flat major, BWV 1010. The slower dances are by no means unpleasant, but here the transformation is a bit less successful. Part of the appeal of the cello suites is that they are among those works, like Beethoven's Ninth, that lie at the limits of performers' capabilities. Here those limits are not a question of the voice, or the speed of the fingers, but of the capability of a cello to realize the implied polyphony in Bach's music. On a Baroque violin there is not the same kind of struggle. Nevertheless, Podger fans will find plenty to like here. © TiVo

Chamber Music - Released September 21, 2018 | Arcana

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique
Following its highly acclaimed album featuring the three most richly scored Ouvertures (Gramophone Editor͛s Choice – shortlisted for the 2017 Gramophone Awards and included among the Top 10 recent Bach recordings), Zefiro comes full circle with the famous collection of Concerts avec plusieurs instruments, that kaleidoscope of colours that seems almost tailor-made to highlight the salient qualities of the ensemble founded by the three historical wind specialists Alfredo Bernardini, Paolo and Alberto Grazzi. Thanks to experience gained in countless performances and recordings with the leading conductors and ensembles, but also to thorough research into the most appropriate instruments and pitch (398 Hz, i.e. the ‘authentic' French pitch), this brand new recording exudes liveliness, flair and knowledge, and features some of the greatest names on the Baroque music scene, among them Cecilia Bernardini, Gabriele Cassone, Francesco Corti, Lorenz Duftschmid, Marcello Gatti, Gaetano Nasillo and Dorothee Oberlinger. Also included is the more intimate B minor Suite with flute (BWV 1067), thus filling the gap left by the earlier recording. © Arcana

Cello Solos - Released April 14, 2011 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
The Bach Cello Suites are an iconic monument of the literature with which any serious cellist must grapple. Performances can vary from the metronomically precise just-play-the-notes approach to the other extreme in which a player's idiosyncratic interpretations are so pronounced that they become the center of attention rather than Bach's sublime music. This 2010 version is French cellist Ophélie Gaillard's second recording of the suites, the first made a decade earlier when she was in her mid-twenties. For the most part Gaillard's take on the music (like that of most sensible cellists) lies somewhere in between, but with some movements closer to the eccentric end of the spectrum. Gaillard's technical fluency is unimpeachable. Her intonation, even in the most outrageous multiple-stop chords, is impeccable. She plays with a ripe, absolutely luscious tone that may not suit the taste of the most fervent period performance devotees but that would likely elicit wonder from just about everyone else. Her use of vibrato is circumspect and period-appropriate. She is scrupulous about observing repeats and her use of ornamentation is elegant and understated. The fluidity and unself-conscious physicality of Gaillard's playing keeps the listener aware that except for the preludes, this is sunny, dance-based music. Her handling of the faster movements is especially delightful; the Gigue from the Second Suite and the Bourées from the Fourth (among many others) are just plain fun. It's in some of the preludes where the idiosyncrasies of her interpretation may lose some listeners. The Prelude to the First Suite, consisting entirely of sixteenth note figures, is an interpretive challenge and it's one of the movements to which performers have applied the widest range of rhythmic freedom. Gaillard puts heavy emphasis on the downbeats and frequently sustains them for twice their written length, and she brings a similar approach to the Prelude of the Fourth Suite. Depending on the listener's perspective, her playing of these movements may come across as either expansively elastic or weirdly distended. A factor that's almost inevitably an issue in recordings of such intimate music for solo string instruments, and sometimes string chamber music, is the clear audibility of strings slapping the soundboard and the player's breathing. In almost any live performing situation, these would not be heard because those sounds don't tend to carry, and an audience member sitting even in the first row would be unlikely to notice them, so a recording is an unfortunately unnatural way to experience this music. The extraneous sounds are only minimally distracting here; Gaillard's breathing, while not annoying or always audible, can sound labored, as if she were working very hard, and that seems to contradict the apparent ease and flexibility of her playing. Otherwise, the acoustic is very fine, with a detailed, spacious, and nicely resonant ambience. © TiVo

Classical - Released October 30, 2015 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica

Classical - Released September 29, 2011 | Zig-Zag Territoires

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année - Hi-Res Audio

Duets - Released January 26, 2018 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama
The Hantaï brothers – Marc on traverso and Pierre on the harpsichord – give us here everything Bach “really” composed for flute and harpsichord, as some possible falsely attributed works are not featured here. Compared to the violin – which counts six sonatas and partitas for solo violin and six sonatas for violin and obbligato harpsichord – the transverse flute may look like the forgotten sibling in the Kantor’s works. But at the time the transverse flute was still a very recent instrument, that had just come (back) from France (where it was called the “German flute”) and Bach only started using it in his cantatas around 1721-1722, and therefore only had a very limited dedicated repertoire. These four sonatas are anything but a collection. Two are missing to reach the sacred number of six. Furthermore, they were composed over a period of twenty years. And while one may be tempted to confer them the balance and symmetry desired by the arranger – two sonatas with obbligato harpsichord (BWV1034 and 1035), two with basso continuo (1030 and 1032), two in minor, two in major, two in three movements, two in four, two in E, and two fifths ascending or descending from this central E, etc. –, all of it might be merely fortuitous; they are rather a “blended” family. However these works for flute have in common the fact of being clouded by great uncertainty – whether it is about their chronology, the date of composition, the intended recipient, their form, their main instrumentation, their creation… So all is left for the listener is to experience them, performed here on a flute made by Joannes Hyacinth Rottenburgh (first half of the 18th century) from Brussels, and a harpsichord after Mietke (Berlin) made in 1702. © SM/Qobuz

Classical - Released May 15, 2020 | NoMadMusic

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
As soon as they met at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique de Paris, Stéphanie-Marie Degand and Violaine Cochard developed a musical complicity: J.S. Bach's Six Sonatas for Obbligato Harpsichord and Violin quickly became their preferred repertoire. These works (with the exception of the 6th) are of Corellian inspiration - on the model of the "sonata da chiesa": alternation of four movements slow-fast-slow-fast. Bach mixes the rigour of North German counterpoint with Italian cantabile alternating with fast movements, almost all of which are fugal. A recording that celebrates thirty years of friendship and shared passion for music. © Nomadmusic

Concertos - Released July 3, 2015 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica - Exceptional Sound Recording - Hi-Res Audio
There are numerous recordings of Bach's concertos avec plusieurs instruments, or with several instruments, as he called them. Posterity has labeled them double and triple concertos, but Bach's characterization lends support to Rachel Podger's interpretation here, which is based on the supposition that Bach's orchestra in such works consisted of one instrument per part. There are still many objections to this idea, beginning with the fact that the concertos of Vivaldi that served as Bach's model were demonstrably played by larger forces (Rousseau called the ensemble at the Ospedale della Pietà a "great orchestra"). However, if you want to try out Podger's playing, or the one-instrument-per-part approach, or historically oriented performance in general, this release (or its companion album of violin concertos) makes a good starting point. Podger, who has emerged as one of the leading Baroque violin players in Britain, is altogether appealing here, interacting almost playfully with her partner soloists and her hand-picked and -developed Brecon Baroque ensemble, and delivering sober slow movements that correctly prize contrapuntal detail. The one-instrument-per-part idea is especially defensible in these concertos even if you don't buy it general; Bach even called the Concerto for two violins in D minor, BWV 1043, a "concerto a sei," concerto for six. The Baroque-era instruments have wonderful timbres that define the constantly shifting textures of this music (its primary appeal) beautifully, and the Challenge Classics engineering team gets a big sound out of London's St. John the Evangelist church without booming resonance or stodgy cathedral hollowness. Very well done on all counts. © TiVo

Classical - Released October 6, 2014 | La Dolce Volta

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica

Chamber Music - Released September 25, 2012 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles Classica - Qobuzissime - Hi-Res Audio

Cantatas (sacred) - Released July 31, 2007 | harmonia mundi

Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Choc du Monde de la Musique - 4F de Télérama

Classical - Released January 29, 2016 | Glossa

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice

Solo Piano - Released October 11, 2007 | Mirare

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica

Sacred Oratorios - Released July 31, 2007 | harmonia mundi

Distinctions Diapason d'or

Classical - Released August 24, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
Reissued for the first time in its entirety and magnificently restored by Christophe Hénault at his Art et Son studio in Annecy from the original soundtracks, this first complete Bach work signed by Marie-Claire Alain is of stunning beauty. Recorded between 1959 and 1967 on various historical instruments in Denmark, Sweden and Germany, this recording, described by the performer herself as "the most instinctive" of the three she recorded, benefits from remarkable sound recordings that perfectly showcase the instruments chosen by the great French organist. Fighting from her youth against the mathematical rigidity with which Bach's music was too often treated, she strove instead to release its vital energy, leaving aside an overly strong dialectic and countering the overly emotional. This great artist was well aware that organ music, and Bach's in particular, had to be modelled on each instrument used, adapting its playing, sound and technique to each occasion. "For each concert I give," she said, "I am obliged to rework each work according to the instrument I have at my disposal.»Disappeared on February 27, 2013 at the age of eighty-six, Marie-Claire Alain had put an end to her career in 2010 after having given more than 2,500 concerts and recorded 250 discs that still retain their great historical value. François Hudry/Qobuz