Albums

815 albums sorted by Date: from newest to oldest
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Keyboard Concertos - Released January 3, 2019 | BIS

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Duets - Released November 9, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
At a time when Mozart was writing his first sonatas for violin and clavier, in 1778, it was the done thing to write piano sonatas with violin accompaniment in which the violin part is fairly unobtrusive. The purpose of this was not to put off the target audience for the scores: educated amateurs. But Mozart paid no heed to this convention and took off into a new world with real duets, in which the two instruments found themselves on an even footing. At the same time, he avoided the corrective exaggeration which would appear in some scores which resembled violin concertos with a little piano support. Here we have a perfect balance between the two players: Isabelle Faust on the violin and Alexander Melnikov at the clavier. The latter of the two plays on a copy of a Viennese fortepiano made in 1795 by Anton Walter. The sound balance is utterly perfect, which is a relief, as all too often these sonatas either favour the keyboard part when played on the piano or the violinist tries to force it. We have here two sonatas written in Paris shortly after the death of Mozart's mother (who accompanied him on the journey), and then another from 1787 written in the wake of Leopold Mozart's death. Despite this the composer seems to be putting on a brave face, flashing a smile tinged with a tender nostalgia on the Sonata in E Minor K. 304. © SM/Qobuz
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Violin Concertos - Released October 26, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique
To say that the concerto was one of Haydn's favourite forms would be a bit much, daft even. The man wrote a good hundred symphonies, dozens of quartets, trios, piano sonatas, fifteen or so masses and as many operas, and oratorios... Currently we know of three violin concertos (others being lost or apocryphal), two cello concertos (others... see above), one horn concerto, one for trumpet (there are no others) and at most about ten concertos for piano. Musically, they are fascinating works, but the level of technical skill they demand runs from moderate to a bit tricky. But the First Cello Concerto is not without its moments of difficulty, such as the rapid high notes in the final movement, and it offers some real fireworks. It should also be noted that most of the concertos were written for Esterházy, specifically for the first soloists in the house orchestra of Konzertmeister Luigi Tomasini and first cellist Joseph Weigl. The orchestral accompaniments offered the soloists some fine backdrops: in particular in the second movement of the Concerto for violin in C Major , with the orchestra's string section accompanying the solo violin with a sort of lute-playing that becomes a kind of serenade à la Don Giovanni. Amandine Beyer takes up the violin for this recording, while Marco Ceccato deals with the cello solo – both members of the Gli Incogniti ensemble ("The Unknowns"), a fluid grouping that plays without a conductor. Their leaderless style means that the musicians all listen to one another: it's a lovely way of making music (and sadly rare in the world of orchestras). © SM/Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released September 21, 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Symphonic Music - Released September 14, 2018 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 5 étoiles de Classica
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Solo Piano - Released September 7, 2018 | Chandos

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Symphonies - Released September 7, 2018 | BR-Klassik

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Full Operas - Released August 31, 2018 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik
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Solo Piano - Released July 6, 2018 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 étoiles de Classica
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Full Operas - Released June 22, 2018 | Warner Classics

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
If you can have only one recording of Mozart's Don Giovanni, should this be the one? Yes. Taped at the Salzburg Festival on August 3, 1954, it features a tremendous cast from top to bottom, plus the best possible orchestral playing, and, beyond all argument, the greatest Mozart conductor in a performance of tremendous effectiveness and overwhelming spiritual impact. Why? Start with the cast. Cesare Siepi is a sexy and dangerous Don Giovanni. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf is a strong and self-willed Donna Elvira. Elisabeth Grümmer is a heartrendingly affecting Donna Anna. Otto Edelmann is a robust and hilarious Leporello. Anton Dermota is so good he almost makes Don Ottavio appealing. Erna Berger is a saucy and seductive Zerlino. The young Walter Berry is so good he almost makes Masetto register as a character. Deszö Ernster is scary enough as the Commendatore when he's alive in Act I; when he returns from the dead at the end of Act II, he's flat-out terrifying. But, superlative as the singing is, it's the conductor who makes the performance and Wilhelm Furtwängler brings more to the work and gets more out of the work than any other recorded conductor. He brings to the work his uniquely luminous sound world, his intensely dramatic interpretations, his pronounced preoccupation with the metaphysical, and his irresistible inclination toward the transcendental. He gets out of the work its almost-but-not-quite post-Enlightenment mind, its almost-but-not-quite pre-Romantic heart, its nearly but-not-entirely Austrian-Catholic soul and its nearly but-not-completely rebellious spirit. The amazing thing is that, whether beforehand you agree that they're there, he gets these things out of the work. The more amazing thing is that afterwards you agree without reservations that they've always been there. This is the only recording of Don Giovanni to have if you're having only one. EMI's sound is distant but honest.
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Symphonies - Released June 8, 2018 | Decca

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Cello Concertos - Released May 18, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
After two albums which met with unanimous critical acclaim all over the world, the Resonanz Ensemble, based in Hamburg, is offering a recording dedicated to Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: the Cello Concertos wq. 170 and Wq. 172, respectively from 1750 and 1753, and the Symphonie Wq. 173 of 1741. The listener will immediately note the radical difference in language between the two concertos, written after the death of Bach Senior, and the Symphony, written while he was still alive: the concertos keep their eyes firmly fixed on the nascent classical era, including the "Sturm und Drang" which still lay ahead (in this regard, the Concerto in A Minor which opens the album, full of force and melodic power, is an excellent example), whereas the Symphony takes the final throes of baroque as its point of departure. Cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras and the Resonanz Ensemble offer a crystal-clear reading, conducted by their new musical director in residence, violinist Riccardo Minasi: and coolly resist the vogue – which can be quite intrusive, or even dictatorial or exclusive – for period instruments, which seems to hold that any music before Mozart (and even sometimes Mozart too) may not be played on modern instruments. Queyras, Resonanz and Minasi are all able to make use of stylistic elements gleaned from the fashion for baroque. This is a very fine album, superbly played, which really brings out all the originality of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. © SM/Qobuz
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Violin Concertos - Released May 4, 2018 | Accent

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Josef Mysliveček (1737-1781) also known as "Il Divino Boemo" (The Divine Bohemian) was one of the most celebrated opera composers in Italy in the 1770s. His instrumental works - symphonies, concertos, octets, quartets, and trios - were as popular as his vocal music. Certain features of his melodic style reflect his Bohemian origins, and Mysliveček's influence on contemporaries was significant. A close friend of the young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and a musical influence on him, Mozart described his character as "full of fire, spirit and life". All nine of the Mysliveček violin concertos that survive in complete form were probably written in a short period during the late 1760s and early 1770s when the composer maintained close contacts with the city of Padua and the composer and violinist Giuseppe Tartini. As a representative of Italian traditions that extended back to the early eighteenth century, Mysliveček’s violin concertos are all cast in three movements of the pattern ‘fast-slow-fast’. “From this music one can hear that the author was also a superb opera composer: the quickly alternating themes are well defined in character, whether sounding serious or boisterous, pleading or alluring, questioning or majestic, friendly or imperious. Figuratively, we find ourselves on the opera stage.” (Leila Schayegh) © Accent/Note-1
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Classical - Released May 4, 2018 | Herisson

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Symphonies - Released May 4, 2018 | CPO

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Symphonic Music - Released May 4, 2018 | Signum Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Month - 5 étoiles de Classica
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Opera - Released April 6, 2018 | ICA Classics

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Symphonic Music - Released March 9, 2018 | SWR Classic

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Opera - Released February 16, 2018 | Orfeo

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Solo Piano - Released February 2, 2018 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica
Like Stein’s fortepianos, the copy of a Walter and sons (a Viennese fortepiano once owned by Mozart) played here by Maxim Emelyanychev is equipped with a knee lever, the ancestor of the damper pedal. No doubt Mozart was inspired by the timbres, the dynamic and harmonic possibilities of this new instrument: the Fantasia in C minor that starts off this album highlights this orchestral − almost operatic − range, and in its profusion of themes, it express the most prominent contrasts, reaching great expressive density. The same accents can be found in Piano Sonata No. 14 in C minor, K. 457, while the Piano Sonata No. 16 in C major, K. 545 offers a dramatic respite. This “small sonata for beginners” was composed in 1788, preceding the “Jupiter” Symphony, also in C major: a beautiful gem, coming just before his monumental work. Its innocent melody revives childhood memories of the first piano lessons. Finally, the Piano Sonata No. 18 in D major, K. 576 was created as the first part in a cycle: “Six easy piano sonatas for Princess Friederike”. Composed in 1789, and in fact considered to be of great difficulty, it was Mozart’s last sonata. Anton Walter, the piano maker, started making a name for himself in Vienna in 1778. Like most inventors, he never stopped experimenting: while other workshops produced pianos at scale, Walter kept looking for “his ideal”; each instrument differed from the previous one in numerous details and ever-bolder additions. In total, he built around seven hundred instruments; here, Emelyanychev plays on a copy made by Paul McNulty, a great specialist of fortepianos and ancient pianos, with experience in manufacturing close to two hundred copies of instruments from Stein, Walter, Hofman, Graf and Pleyel. © SM/Qobuz