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Classical - Released March 1, 2019 | Sony Classical

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Symphonic Music - Released March 15, 2019 | London Philharmonic Orchestra

Hi-Res Booklet
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Chamber Music - Released August 25, 2009 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released June 8, 2018 | audite Musikproduktion

Hi-Res Booklet
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
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Concertos - Released January 1, 2012 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Record of the Month - Diapason d'or / Arte - Qobuzissime - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released May 15, 2012 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Hi-Res Audio
Even though hearing Ludwig van Beethoven's Diabelli Variations, Op. 120, performed by Andreas Staier on a fortepiano, may be the main selling point of this 2012 release on Harmonia Mundi, it seems to take second place when the CD's curiosities are considered. Viennese publisher Anton Diabelli challenged a number of Austrian composers to devise variations on his original waltz, and though Beethoven's set of 33 variations has come down to us as the most memorable result of this contest, one almost never hears any of the variations composed by the likes of Carl Czerny, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Frédéric Kalkbrenner, Joseph Kerkowsky, Conradin Kreutzer, Franz Liszt, Ignaz Moscheles, Johann Peter Pixis, Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart, or Franz Schubert. Diabelli collected 50 variations from as many living composers, which he published as Part II of Vaterländischer Künstlerverein. But Beethoven's magisterial set was published as Part I, so Staier's reversal of the parts on this recording is strategic, to entice the listener to try the less familiar variations first, and even offering his own witty variation as an Introduction, before heading straightway into Beethoven's richly developed work. The recital is totally convincing, and Staier's plan works, because hearing the variations in their published order would have been anti-climactic, since Beethoven's monumental music dwarfs even the cleverest of his contemporaries' efforts. Staier's playing is energetic, fun, and exciting, and the sonorities he pulls out of the modern copy of a Conrad Graf fortepiano are surprisingly robust and in-tune. Harmonia Mundi's sound seems to come in and out of focus, due to the acoustics of the room, but overall it is a pleasantly resonant recording that gives the instrument its due.
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Classical - Released January 13, 2014 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
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Chamber Music - Released August 27, 2009 | harmonia mundi

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released November 3, 2017 | Challenge Classics

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Classical - Released January 1, 2007 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
Proving it doesn't take a chamber-sized orchestra to achieve extreme textural clarity, Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra have in this 2007 BIS recording once again created model contemporary instrument performances of Beethoven's symphonies. In this coupling of the First and Sixth, Vänskä and his forces use Jonathan del Mar's Neue Urtext Edition for Bärenreiter, a decision that alters hundreds of details of articulation and phrasing. But more significant is the strength, agility, and lucidity Vänskä and the Minnesotans bring to the table. The First is graceful and airy, though with plenty of power, while the Sixth, despite the work's larger dimensions and heavier textures, remains clear and direct. As interpreters, Vänskä and the Minnesotans likewise tend toward the light side. While this may send some older listeners back to their bigger and brawnier Walter and Klemperer recordings, younger listeners may prove more accepting of a leaner and harder but less superhuman Beethoven. BIS' super audio sound is deep and detailed, with a wonderful feeling of air around the instruments.
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Classical - Released January 2, 2015 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released September 11, 2015 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet
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Classical - Released September 11, 2015 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet
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Classical - Released September 11, 2015 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet
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Classical - Released April 7, 2017 | Erato - Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica
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Classical - Released June 1, 2018 | Challenge Classics

Hi-Res Booklet
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Classical - Released January 4, 2011 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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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Classical - Released September 11, 2015 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet
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Classical - Released August 1, 2008 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
Crisp colors, clean textures, and bracing tempos have been the hallmarks of Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra's series of recordings of Beethoven's nine symphonies. This approach works better in some works than others. The Third, for example, though tight and firm, was too light to deal with the weighty issues of the music. But this coupling of the Second and Seventh is much more successful. Both works are among the slighter in Beethoven's canon, and the Second's racing tempos and the Seventh's buoyant rhythms respond much better to Vänskä's treatment. As previously in his cycle, Vänskä finds new things in these familiar scores -- details of articulation in the Second's opening Adagio, for example, and rhythmic inflections in the Seventh's Allegretto -- that make the music sound new, and his direct, unaffected interpretations make it sound fresh. And as always, the Minneapolis-based orchestra plays deftly for its Finnish leader: the ensemble is seamless, the balances flawless, and the enthusiasm infectious. Recorded in BIS' best super audio digital sound, this may be the disc to start with if you're thinking of trying the Vänskä/Minnesota cycle.
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Classical - Released March 1, 2006 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
From its crisp, silvery, bullet-like opening chords, Osmo Vänskä's interpretation of Beethoven's Eroica shimmers as a true gem that glistens against the competition. Vänskä's broadly artistic conception fuses together a sense of history, spontaneity, and originality. The first movement glides along beautifully and deftly, perhaps too much so -- after all, there isn't much of what one might refer to as "Beethovenian vigor" infused in the blood of this rendition. What is present, though, is a clear sense of phrasing, accurate technical execution, and an elegant style (within some of the more delicate passages) that is not often heard in this work. A clarinetist himself, Vänskä coaxes some brilliant, nuanced playing from his woodwind section. Vänskä also has great instincts: as things intensify, especially during the ominous development, he is able to draw a tempered ferocity from the Minnesota Orchestra, creating a well-crafted arch throughout the movement. Beethoven's funeral march is breathless from the start, and here Vänskä effectively creates an atmosphere of the utmost tension. Wonderful attention to detail, articulation, and dynamic contrasts gives the second movement a real sense of emotional turbulence. The voices and independent lines of the fugue have rarely been more lucid, particularly the frequently glossed over suspended note at the fugue's massive climax. The orchestra's rendition of the technically difficult third and fourth movements is also compelling, taut, and energetic. The crispness that breezes through the first movement feels more at home here, and the fourth movement benefits from the precision and clarity. The optimistic, playful, and somewhat pastoral Eighth Symphony under Vänskä exhibits all of those qualities; he also achieves a real continuity of color within the woodwinds and through the brasses. The perky second movement sounds more bittersweet than is usual, but the rich chords the Minnesotans elicit give warm reassurance. The weighty pomposity of the third movement helps give an even more explosive affect to the unpredictably explosive and jarring final movement. Vänskä's thoughtful attention to detail during the hemiola figures slightly before the effervescent conclusion makes for an exciting performance. This is Vänskä's second installment of Beethoven Symphonies from BIS. Their SACD sound quality is warm, rich and clear. Under Vänskä, the Minnesotans are without doubt a changed orchestra -- for the better. These recordings were made in 2005 and 2006: future audiences will surely look back on these years as either Minnesota's peak or a significant turning point to even greater success.