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Duets - Released August 10, 2018 | Alpha

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Two young Belgian soloists—including Lorenzo Gatto, despite the Italian consonance of the name—have been gathering for several years around Beethoven, and here is their interpretation of three Beethoven sonatas: the First written even before the end of the 18th Century—1798—, followed by the very last that is the Tenth Op. 96 from 1812—created by the infamous Pierre Rode on violin, and the archduke Rudolph of Austria who, incidentally, must have been an amazing pianist—, to finish with one of the most famous ones, the Fifth called “The Spring Sonata” (a name not chosen by the composer). Despite dating “only” from 1801, this sonata is incredibly different from the First regarding its architectural maturity, its intense lyricism and its audacities of all kinds. Gatto, who won the Queen Elisabeth Competition, plays on nothing less than the Stradivarius “Joachim”, while Libeer, a chamber music enthusiast, has a field day on a big concert piano with parallel strings and of an almost orchestral sound. Their first volume, released in 2016, was more than noticed by the critics and the audience—and was a great success on Qobuz. © SM/Qobuz

Classical - Released October 12, 2018 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released May 27, 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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One could easily lose oneself in the meanderings of the many recordings by Wilhelm Kempff, which stretch out across the 55 years from 1920 to 1975, even though he never liked playing for the microphone. But nonetheless he has always been happy to record, and would constantly polish up his technique so as to render the most faithful possible service to his art, across both his own evolution and the technological innovations that he has seen through his many years of recording, from acoustics to stereophony. The great German pianist left behind him three complete recordings of Beethoven's sonatas. The first was in the 1930s, but it wasn't quite complete; the second in the 1950s; and a final collection, brought together in this recording, from the early 1960s, with stereo sound. Recorded quite quickly, considering the volume of material involved, between January 1964 and January 1965, in the studios of Hanover's Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft, it represents Wilhelm Kempff's final statement on Beethoven's work, having drawn closer to it over the course of several years. While the piano isn't without the odd harsh moment, this complete recording is of very even quality, and it brings out Kempff's free playing style which had brought Beethoven into the light, avoiding the heavy-handedness which German pianists had often inflicted on the composer. This search for clarity and simplicity came close to the improvisatory style that was Beethoven's hallmark, as he quickly "noted" whatever his imagination brought forth. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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

Classical - Released January 1, 2010 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
This 2011 box set brings together Alfred Brendel's first recording for Philips of the complete cycle of Beethoven's piano sonatas and his recording of all five piano concertos. Brendel was one of the handful of all-time Beethoven masters, known for his intelligent, yet entirely musical and effective interpretations. These recordings, all (including the concertos) dating from the 1970s, represent his playing at the height of his skills. Brendel did make a second set of the sonatas for Philips in the early '90s, recorded digitally, so some audiophiles may prefer the sound of those over these earlier, analog recordings, but the artistry is still in these. For the concertos, Brendel is joined by Bernard Haitink and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Solo Piano - Released November 22, 2005 | Nonesuch

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Classical - Released February 23, 2018 | naïve classique

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The Triple Concerto is recorded here in concert, which is sure to guarantee a bit of spontaneity for a work of great symphonic dimensions – 35 minutes long – which owes as much to chamber music as to concert symphonies. There is still the question of whether it's better to call in an established trio for the triple soloist part: Anne Gastinel, Gil Shaham and Nicholas Angelich didn't know each other musically beforehand, and they opted, here again, for spontaneity and stepping out of the routine: which pays off brilliantly, as the orchestra is directed by Paavo Järvi, who can tailor the performances so well. His judicious eye is indispensable to this rather dense work, which tends to move in circles in terms of tonalities. The album closes with the Gassenhauer trio for clarinet (with Andreas Ottensamer), cello and piano (with the same soloists as for the Concerto), recorded in studio. The title Gassenhauer was chosen after the fact, in view of the different themes in the third movement, which came from an opera which was a smash hit in Vienna - and the Viennese slang of the day, a "hit" is called a "Gassenhauer".

Classical - Released January 1, 2014 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Trios - Released July 20, 2018 | Alpha

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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

Classical - Released June 8, 2018 | audite Musikproduktion

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An honorary citizen of the town of Cremorna, the birthplace of Antonio Stradivari and many other makers of stringed instruments, in 2017 the Quartetto di Cremona finished its complete recordings of Beethoven's quartets, which they started in 2013, and which are presented here in a single album. This is an opportunity to rediscover the extent to which these recordings reign supreme over a discography which is hardly short of stand-out recordings, starting with the one by their former colleagues of the Quartetto Italiano which remains one of the greatest in the history of the music. Either using the four Stradivariuses loaned them by a Japanese foundation, or the prestigious instruments provided by a German cultural foundation (by Guadagnini, Testor, Torazzi and Amati), the Quartetto di Cremorna brings us Beethoven's whole range of expression, from the Haydnian humour and rhythmical vigour of the Opus 18 to the metaphysical depths of the final quartets, by way of the serene luminosity of the Razoumovski quartets. In their performances, which foreground dynamic contrasts, sometimes to excess, sonic finesse is constantly blended with expressive depth and a savvy mix of heart and brain. The presentation here is not chronological, but follows the release of albums which each presented different quartets in three of Beethoven's "styles" according to the method of Wilhelm von Lenz, which prevailed in the 19th century after 1852. The serious fan could easily arrange these quartets for listening in an order of their own preference. © François Hudry/Qobuz

Classical - Released January 1, 2012 | Deutsche Grammophon Classics

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
When talking about Carlos Kleiber's conducting style and recording catalogue, it is easy to over-use superlatives. Perhaps the secrets of his art are best expressed in the cover picture, with the mad elegance of his gestures, which seem to summon up the music through sheer energy, subtlety and a radiant smile: he seems absolutely possessed by inspiration. But listening to this album should do the trick too. Living as a recluse, cancelling three quarters of his concerts, hardly ever recording, it was like a miracle when Carlos Kleiber agreed to set down these two symphonies for Deutsche Grammphon. In 1975, he recorded the 5th Symphony in the generous surroundings of the Vienna Musikverein, with a Philharmonic that hung off his every word and followed his slightest gesture. Under his philosopher's baton, the "5th" became pure, distilled energy, an explosive Pandora's box that gave off sparks and followed the demands of the score precisely. The fateful four notes around which the entire symphony was built were at once the foundation and the capstone of this landmark work, magnificently structured here by Kleiber. Has there ever been such a tempestuous and light-footed Seventh Symphony? One thinks immediately of Nietzsche: "I would believe only in a God that knows how to dance". Recorded the following year, in the same place, this Seventh soars, pirouettes and exults in a pantheist, saving joy, with a lightness that seems to lift the musicians off the floor. "Now am I light, now do I fly; now do I see myself under myself. Now there danceth a God in me.". Thus directed Carlos Kleiber. © François Hudry/Qobuz

Classical - Released March 24, 2014 | Warner Classics International

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Symphonies - Released January 11, 2019 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Keyboard Concertos - Released March 2, 2018 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
This is the final volume in a Beethoven concerto cycle by German pianist Lars Vogt that has been generally acclaimed for its freshness and detail. Vogt both plays and conducts the Royal Northern Sinfonia, of which he is music director, and the result has been interpretations in which pianist and orchestra achieve an unusual kind of sync. The results are spectacular in the Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58, where Vogt eases into each movement, as it were, letting details accrete and add power. Sample the final movement, where the orchestra begins at a very low dynamic level, and Vogt weaves piano and orchestra together convincingly as the music proceeds. The first two movements open in circumspect ways but, as they develop, reveal Beethoven the virtuoso as Viennese audiences must have experienced him; note especially the curious clipped treatment of the second movement's orchestral theme, so different from the stomping giant favored by most conductors. The final diminished fifth comes out in sharp, chilling relief here. Vogt's approach is a bit less successful in the early Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 19, where the syncopations ring and rock, but the basic Mozartian shapes of the themes are indistinct. Nevertheless, Vogt's Beethoven recordings are major statements, and this album is no exception.

Classical - Released January 1, 1996 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
If beauty is truth and truth beauty, then the Quartetto Italiano's late-'60s, early-'70s cycle of the complete Beethoven string quartets is possibly the most truthful cycle ever recorded because it is certainly the most beautiful cycle ever recorded. No quartet has ever played with such consummate beauty of tone, such ideal intonation, and such superb ensemble as the Quartetto Italiano. In the most strenuous passages, in the most awkward, in the most excruciating passages, the Italiano is always and everywhere transcendentally beautiful. The "early" quartets bring out all the high-Classical poise and elegance of the works, expressing the strong emotions of the young Beethoven in performances of graceful beauty. The "middle" quartets are powerfully muscular and as powerfully intellectual, balancing the heart and mind of the mature Beethoven in performances of exquisite beauty. The "late" quartets are deeply emotional and profoundly spiritual, transcending the duality of heart and mind in the sublime beauty of the interpretations. And Philips' stereo sound is nearly as beautiful as the Italiano's tone and certainly as truthful as any recording could possibly be in capturing the greatness of these interpretations. One of the two or three greatest sets of the Beethoven quartets ever recorded.

Classical - Released August 25, 2017 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

A few weeks ago Deutsche Grammophon, the most prestigious German record label in the world, announced with great fanfare the return of Russian pianist Evgeny Kissin within its ranks alongside the pianists Murray Perahia, Krystian Zimerman, Daniil Trifonov, Rafał Blechacz and Seong-Jin Cho. It’s therefore with some trepidation that piano enthusiasts wait for this Beethoven album that proves tempestuous and of astounding mastery, particularly in Appassionata in which the left hand opens up uncanny new areas of expression. This Appassionata could very well fuel some regrets about Deutsche Grammophon’s reluctance to invest in Kissin’s comeback on the yellow label through a proper studio album with coherent sound recordings, rather than gathering a disparate patchwork of live recordings. © TG/Qobuz

Symphonic Music - Released June 30, 2000 | Warner Classics International

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Classical - Released September 13, 2010 | Warner Classics

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Symphonies - Released January 2, 1980 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Symphonies - Released February 5, 2016 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année
Nothing new under the sun ? Oh but yes! This recording of the Fourth and Fifth Symphonies of Beethoven by the venerable Nikolaus Harnoncourt lives and breathes brand new. The difference is most notable seeing as he calls on an instrumentarium (along the lines of what Beethoven had in his time) particularly wind-based, whose sound is frankly different from what we know today. Listeners beware: you'll never listen to these two Beethoven symphonies with the same ear once you've had a taste of the original fountain that is sourced here in the 85th year of Harnoncourts wonderful musical mind © SM / Qobuz