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Masses, Passions, Requiems - Released June 3, 2016 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles de Classica
In July 2015, just eight months before his death, Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducted spiritual opus of Beethoven, the enigmatic and titanic Missa Solemnis, for a final time. It was a work that he addressed very late in his career, with 1988 being the first time. At the head of his Concentus Musicus and the Arnold Schönberg Choir, he produces an uncluttered reading, stripped of all excess weight that has restricted so many conductors in the past, including the most famous. It’s almost like attending a huge Mass! Both the Piano and silence are key, allowing the monument to emerge in all its grandeur from the calm. Suddenly the lines become clear and intelligible, the "lengths" acquire their entire purpose... what we see from the old lion Harnoncourt here is most extraordinary, with his ability to allow the listener to peer into the soul of Beethoven. If there is only one record to keep... © SM / Qobuz
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Classical - Released May 5, 2015 | LPO

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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.
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Classical - Released January 1, 2017 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 4, 2011 | BIS

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Anyone concerned that the enduring Russian school of pianism might not survive the country's current chaotic state has to be heartened by the emergence of the young St. Petersburg pianist Yevgeny Sudbin, who combines the usual power and passion with a sensitive attention to very small areas of detail. Everything comes together in this recording, made for the Swedish label BIS with the Minnesota Orchestra under Osmo Vänskä, an ensemble that, as other American orchestras struggle with their identities, has vaulted into the top rank. Vänskä wisely cedes the lead role to Sudbin, whose conception of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58, is genuinely fresh --but he and the Minnesotans match Sudbin step for step through a great range of dynamic changes. The third partner in this uniformly successful enterprise is the BIS engineering team, which steps into Minneapolis' Orchestra Hall with a collection of microphones that gets not only Sudbin's very quiet notes in the two slow movements, but also Vänskä's booming lower strings. The biggest news here is the first movement of the Piano Concerto No. 4, which has a perhaps unparalleled breadth and diversity. The use of a different and more muscular but less subtle Steinway for the Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 73 ("Emperor"), is another nice touch on Sudbin's part. But the entire recording represents a triumph for the musicians and maybe even for the American Midwest, produced in a region where the traditional Western arts are in a precarious position, this is as fine a recording of these hallowed concertos as any on the market. Booklet notes are in English, French, and German.
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Solo Piano - Released May 20, 2016 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica
He is nicknamed ‘the poet of the piano’, an epithet confirmed by each of his appearances in concert or on record, most recently with his multi-award-winning Debussy and Chopin albums. Nelson Goerner already has an imposing discography, but this is the first time he has tackled Beethoven on a recording: he has chosen the ‘Hammerklavier’, a work of unparalleled dimensions, complexity and profundity . . . But is this artist, whom a Buenos Aires newspaper praised after a recital at the famous Teatro Colon for his ‘ability to combine intellectual lucidity, undeniable depth, and a technical ease that enables him to express his ideas’, not the perfect interpreter for that monumental composition? ‘Here is a sonata that will make pianists work hard’, said Beethoven to his publisher after labouring on it for almost three years, at a time when his deafness was constantly worsening. Forty-five minutes of immense difficulty for the performer (and also the listener?): between a first movement as fiery as Beethoven ever wrote and a finale that seems to foreshadow jazz improvisations, comes a splendid and deeply moving slow movement that Goerner renders with deep emotion. He then invites us to move from the monumental to the miniature, with the Six Bagatelles op.126, subtle gems of late Beethovenian style, constructed with formidable skill.
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Classical - Released January 7, 2014 | Chandos

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Classical - Released September 27, 2013 | Deutsche Grammophon ECM

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Classical - Released February 3, 2015 | PentaTone

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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released December 3, 2013 | SDG

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Classical - Released May 2, 2011 | Warner Classics

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Keyboard Concertos - Released February 14, 2014 | Sony Classical

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Solo Piano - Released November 17, 2017 | APR

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice
This edition of the complete recordings of the Beethoven Sonatas, made during the war, is a godsend for all the lovers of the great German pianist, and there are a lot of them, of all generations. One could get a bit lost in the jungle of his many recordings that came out from 1920 to 1975: that is, over 55 years – which is a lot, to say that he doesn't like playing for microphones. But Kempff has always been happy to record nonetheless, and is constantly polishing up his technique so as to render the most faithful possible service to his art, given the technological innovations that he has seen across his many years of recording, from acoustics to stereophony, by way of electric recording, 78rpm and the 33rpm microgroove.   He has recorded a lot of music since the start of his long career: Bach, Brahms, Schubert, but in particular, at 80%, he remains one of the greatest performers of his dear friend Beethoven. The recordings from this period are not always easy to date, because they could appear under many different matrix numbers, although they are in fact all the same version. Some famous sonatas, of course, have indeed been recorded many times: Pathétique as well as Clair de lune, Waldstein and Appassionata. The sonatas which figure in this album, recorded in Berlin in 1942 and 1943, make up what should have been a recording of the complete works, but which was interrupted by the war. Despite a fairly ephemeral French edition in the 1980s with the Dante label, these recordings were forgotten in favour of two later complete recordings, the first of which was produced in the 1950s and the second in the 1960s in stereophony.   Even if the surface sound is omnipresent in these re-recordings, it is quickly forgotten thanks to the painstaking restoration that has brought back Kempff's marvellously delicate touch. It is thrilling to follow in the footsteps of this towering musician, and compare him to himself across the years. In fact, his art has not aged as time has gone by, even if one notes the substantial difference in the discourse, the sound (depending on the piano used), the tempo and the formal construction. A document of the greatest musical interest. François Hudry © Qobuz 2017
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Solo Piano - Released February 17, 2017 | Accentus Music

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Symphonic Music - Released March 21, 2011 | naïve classique

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Solo Piano - Released January 22, 2016 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica
Perhaps no musician in the 19th century was a greater promoter of the symphonies of Ludwig van Beethoven than Franz Liszt, who not only conducted them regularly in Weimar, but made piano transcriptions of all nine, which were published together in 1865. The keyboard version of the Symphony No. 9 in D minor, "Choral," was one of the most challenging for Liszt, who agonized over making a viable arrangement of the complex choral finale, the famous setting of Schiller's Ode to Joy. Yet Liszt's bravura transcription was a success, and the Ninth was made available to musicians and listeners who, in the age before recordings, were unable to hear this work any other way. For this recording, Yury Martynov has recorded Liszt's reduction on a Blüthner piano, ca. 1867, which gives a good idea of the sonorities he would have known, though for his own performances he favored a Bösendorfer, which could withstand his powerful playing. This recording shows that the Blüthner piano is a good choice, and Martynov holds nothing back in his virtuoso performance, which offers many thrilling passages. The sound of this Alpha CD is well balanced and gives a fairly close-up impression of Martynov's playing, though there is enough space between the piano and the microphone to let the resonant church acoustics have an effect.
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Classical - Released February 9, 2018 | Wiener Symphoniker

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Classical - Released October 14, 2016 | CapriccioNR

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Quartets - Released March 12, 2013 | Avie Records

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Both pieces on this release by the Valentin Berlinsky Quartet, part of an ongoing series of Shostakovich/Beethoven pairings, have been played often enough, but they've rarely been played together. Shostakovich and Beethoven in general make a good pair, with each of them tracing individual structures of feeling against a backdrop of dramatic historical events. Even better, the String Quartet No. 3 in F major, Op. 73, of Shostakovich, a profound work written just after World War II, is among the most Beethovenian of the composer's works, with its intricate first-movement structure, biting scherzos, lyrical slow movement, and use of counterpoint to suggest transcendence (however troubled in this case) in the finale. Best of all, the Valentin Berlinsky Quartet here delivers the critical final step in intelligent programming: not only putting works together that have something to say to each other, but having them mutually influence the respective performances. Listen to the Beethoven String Quartet in E minor, Op. 59/2, the second of the set of three "Rasumovsky" quartets. All three of those works, but especially this one, are generally presented as chamber music counterparts to the heroic symphonies of Beethoven's middle period, as intense, broadly tragic works. Here, Op. 59/2, becomes a kind of Shostakovich quartet: quick, minatory, nervous. The sum total is a pair of performances that add up to more than the sum of their individual values, and to a strong quartet recital.
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Chamber Music - Released April 11, 2011 | Wigmore Hall Live

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