Albums

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Symphonies - Released September 7, 2018 | BR-Klassik

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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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
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Symphonic Music - Released September 29, 2017 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Quintets - Released May 26, 2017 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année
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Violin Concertos - Released October 28, 2016 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Year - Gramophone Award - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année
"Not another complete recording of Mozart's violin concertos!", some might complain, and in absolute terms they wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. Except that this complete edition is signed by star violinist Isabelle Faust, accompanied by Il Giardino Armonico (who plays on instruments from Mozart’s time, including natural horns, nine-key bassoons, six-key flutes, two-key oboes), and – last but not least – the cadenzas are signed by Andreas Staier, since Mozart has left us no cadenzas for his violin concertos (unlike several piano concertos, as well as his Sinfonia concertante for violin and viola). Far from playing the star, Isabelle Faust prefers to blend in with the whole orchestra, a kind of primus inter pares attitude quite refreshing in this repertoire which, in fact, does not require so much emphasis of the part of soloist – the sound engineering and balance itself favours an overall sound rather than an opposition between solo violin and orchestra. This is a new and very original interpretation, whatever the abundant discography of these works may already be. In addition to the five concertos, Faust plays the three single movements for violin and orchestra – two Rondos and one Adagio – which are actually "spare" movements for one or the other of the concertos written on request for soloists of that time. One wonders what Mozart would have written had he had Isabelle Faust by his side! © SM/Qobuz
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Symphonies - Released February 19, 2016 | harmonia mundi

Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Quartets - Released February 4, 2016 | Myrios Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released January 8, 2016 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
Kristian Bezuidenhout's cycle of Mozart's complete keyboard music concludes with this double album, which contains some real rarities that are ideally suited to Bezuidenhout's tough, wiry style. As such, it may not be the item to pick if you want to sample the series, but it's often fascinating. Bezuidenhout's basic modus operandi is to give considerable weight even to works conventionally thought of as light, using his powerful fortepiano (a copy of an 1805 Walter instrument by builder Paul McNulty) and its unequal-temperament tuning to bring out dissonances and sinewy lines rarely heard elsewhere. Here he has some really radical experiments to work with, and even if you find Bezuidenhout's readings idiosyncratic at times, you'll likely appreciate the likes of the Modulating Prelude F-C, K. deest (it is indubitably by Mozart), or the Menuetto in D major, K. 355, with its daring harmonies barely matched elsewhere in Mozart's output. Several of the sonata-form movements were abandoned by Mozart for one reason or another and have been completed by Mozart scholar Robert Levin; the joints are hard to hear. Some pieces, such as the Modulating Prelude and the Four Preludes, K. 284a, are examples of Mozart's improvisational abilities, which were rarely captured in notation. In the larger and more usual works, Bezuidenhout applies a heavy touch to the Piano Sonatas K. 279 and 280, and to three large variations sets, which are generally given a touch of French elegance. But in the Nine Variations on a Minuet by Duport, K. 573, Bezuidenhout achieves utterly distinctive results in a work that has almost no harmonic content and is completely about register and space. Bezuidenhout's Mozart is, to be sure, a matter of taste, but this is a fine conclusion to his series.
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Classical - Released November 6, 2015 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica - Qobuzissime
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Classical - Released January 18, 2015 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
The cycle of Mozart's complete keyboard music by Kristian Bezuidenhout has gained plenty of notice for its sheer originality and energy, including some from U.S. Grammy nominators at the end of 2015 for this volume. It's one of the best of the Bezuidenhout cycle, using the fortepianist's copy of an 1805 Anton Walter instrument (by the great American-Czech builder Paul McNulty) to magnificent effect in the almost symphonic Piano Sonata in D major, K. 284. In that work, taking all the repeats in the finale and introducing substantial tempo rubato in the repeats, Bezuidenhout gives the work an epic quality. But he does this with all of Mozart's variation sets, including the small one recorded here at the beginning. The Piano Sonata in A minor, K. 310, with its slashing accents and tense atmosphere, takes on a Beethovenian quality. Bezuidenhout in general emphasizes the experimental, proto-Romantic side of Mozart's musical personality and greatly minimizes the graceful Classical (and French) side. Whether you accept this may be a matter of taste, but it works exceptionally well in the two sonatas here, masterpieces of Mozart's middle period in Bezuidenhout's hands. Highly recommended.
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Classical - Released November 4, 2014 | Toccata Classics

Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Cello Concertos - Released May 26, 2014 | harmonia mundi

Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Solo Piano - Released April 29, 2014 | Haenssler Classic

Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Secular Vocal Music - Released April 8, 2014 | Phi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Solo Piano - Released April 30, 2013 | Profil

Distinctions Choc de Classica
Compared to the far more popular cycles by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven, the piano sonatas of Franz Joseph Haydn have for too long occupied an inferior position among listeners, though they are highly esteemed by pianists who know their importance and greatness. Musically, Haydn's sonatas are formally innovative and rich in invention and expression, and they require great skill and taste to be performed effectively. This is perhaps why only the most confident and capable of pianists, such as Marc-André Hamelin, Jenö Jandó, John McCabe, and Rudolf Buchbinder, attempt to record complete sets. Add to this select company the name of Ekaterina Derzhavina, a Russian pianist who has established a fine reputation for her interpretations of Bach, and who now demonstrates her thorough mastery of Haydn. Playing with clean lines and a refined touch, Derzhavina creates the effect of Classical period practice on a modern piano, and by avoiding the pedals, her sound is crisp and intimate, without the quirkiness of a fortepiano's tone quality. These recordings were made between 1993 and 2008, and Profil's audio quality is first-rate, with close microphone placement and a pleasantly resonant acoustic that makes the music especially appealing.
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Classical - Released April 2, 2013 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Pianiste Maestro - Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Opera - Released November 26, 2012 | Zig-Zag Territoires

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Full Operas - Released October 9, 2012 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Disque de la semaine France Musique - Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Chamber Music - Released September 25, 2012 | La Dolce Volta

Distinctions Diapason d'or du siècle - Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica
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Quartets - Released September 25, 2012 | La Dolce Volta

Distinctions Choc de Classica