Albums

813 albums sorted by Date: from newest to oldest
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Classical - Released October 27, 2017 | HORTUS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Concertos for wind instruments - Released October 24, 2017 | Indésens

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released September 22, 2017 | Aeon

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released September 8, 2017 | Aeon

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Through a repertoire of Consort Songs for five violas and countertenor, the Céladon Ensemble tries to underline the obvious artistic connections between the music of english Renaissance and contemporary music. This parentage, this harmonic, rhythmic and poetic logic, opens a whole field of exploration into sound identity and tradition. How have such seemingly different composers, belonging to remote eras, dealt with timbre fusion in a similar way, with the same desire to deeply affect, to create a full-bodied sound, both powerful and soothing ? The two eras are not placed in opposition for this concert, as Michael Nyman’s music arises naturally from that of his predecessors ; on the contrary, it is a clever mix of genres that points out to surprising similarities between these works : we could easily believe that Tye’s Sit Fast was composed very recently. From one century to the next, we face a testimony brought to song by the timbre of a countertenor, the intensity of a violas consort that carries a certain magic, the paradoxical expression of a voice which is solitary but also becomes a seventh instrument, one of the violas. © Aeon
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Trios - Released September 1, 2017 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
There is a world of difference between Hindemith’s First Trio, composed in 1924 “on a train” as the composer stated in his own catalogue, and his 1933 Second Trio. While the first features some of these relentless, almost Prokofievian, rhythmic and thematic elements, the second rolls out its extremely sophisticated contrapuntal language along a soft lyrical canvas (with a touch of humour here and there) specific to later Hindemith. There is also a world of difference between Hindemith’s Trios and Schoenberg’s, written in 1946, soon after the composer almost died from a heart attack. Granted, the thematic structure is based on a dodecaphonic series, but after a brief adjustment period, it becomes impossible not to notice countless tiny tonal, harmonic waves skilfully hidden below the overall texture. The composer was quoted saying this particular work was “a description of his illness”, most probably with a fair share of dark humour. Thomas Mann claimed that Schoenberg told him he had secretly represented his medical treatment, the nurse and everything else in his music. Hanns Eisler, for his part, thought he had discovered which chords represented the injections… Ouch! Typically Schoenberg. Trio Zimmermann is made up of three great international soloists: violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann, violist Antoine Tamestit and cellist Christian Poltéra. And all three play on Stradivariuses, no less! © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released September 1, 2017 | Winter & Winter

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen's four quartets are presented here by the famous Arditti String Quartet, in reverse order of composition: the  Fourth (2012), the Third, (2008), the Second (1981) - you may have noticed the huge gap, which will make more sense once you know that between 1990 and 2000 he put down his pen and stopped composing altogether - and then the First (1973), which was written as "Ten Preludes". From his earliest days as a composer, Abrahamsen has shunned the avant-garde doctrines of the "Darmstadt School", preferring to learn from his teacher Ligeti, in a language he took to calling the "New Simplicity". When listening to these four works, one is indeed struck by Abrahamsen's ability to create recognisable lines, at once modern and very old, sometimes bearing the traces (real or imagined) of folk airs, with a clear love for the most keening moments; and putting harmonics to mind-blowing use. The listener will realised that they are in the presence of a highly original piece of music, modern for sure: but it doesn't require a forced intellectual effort – rather, it demands that the listener abandon themselves to the rich and captivating discourse of the four musicians of the Arditti Quartet. © SM/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released August 25, 2017 | Wergo

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released August 18, 2017 | Seattle Symphony Media

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Written in 1936 for his young wife Claire Delbos, Poèmes pour Mi (“Mi” being the nickname the composer gave her) is a kind of wedding gift, nine melodies for soprano and orchestra all directly or indirectly inspired by the Dauphiné landscapes Messiaen had fallen in love with. Even though he wasn’t yet 30, the composer had already found his style, which in its harmonic and rhythmic structure would scarcely change. In some of his poems you can even detect the accents he would go on to use 40 years later in Saint François d’Assise. It goes to show that good music remains good music and recycling − conscious or not − isn’t exclusive to composers of previous centuries! Here Jane Archibald, almost without a hint of accent, sings these small gems with great emotion. Trois petites liturgies de la présence divine, written in 1944 when he was liberated from a prisoner-of-war camp, was initially designed for a women’s choir, piano, ondes Martenot and string orchestra. The Seattle Orchestra and Ludovic Morlot decided to entrust the chorus part to a children’s choir, giving it a “purer” and more angelic sound – a charming idea. Upon creating his work in 1945 Messiaen could boast about a particularly prestigious panel of auditors: Arthur Honegger, Georges Auric, Francis Poulenc, Henri Sauguet, Alexis Roland-Manuel, André Jolivet, Claude Delvincourt, Lazare Lévy, Jean-Yves Daniel-Lesur, Jean Wiener, Georges Braque, Paul Éluard, Pierre Henry and even Pierre Boulez (not yet famous but probably already predisposed to being spiteful). His success was as dazzling as immediate and lasting. It has everything that makes up Messiaen, including a rather virtuous piano part (played by Yvonne Loriod upon the work’s creation), little birds, Jesus Christ as well as his ever so specific chords, both brilliant and iridescent. © SM/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released July 3, 2017 | San Francisco Symphony

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Symphonic Music - Released June 30, 2017 | San Francisco Symphony

Hi-Res Booklet
For the thirty-year-old Alban Berg, the Three Pieces for Orchestra mark the definite end – as definite as it ever got, anyway – of his apprenticeship to Arnold Schoenberg and his full emergence as an artistic personality in his own right. Though this work does owe a kind of debt to Schönberg’s Five Pieces for Orchestra, it does not sound at all like Schoenberg. One voice whose presence can be sensed is Mahler’s, who had died in May 1911, barely four years after completion of these Three Pieces. The prevalence of waltz and march gestures contributes to this, but there are also more specific homages such as a passage in the Praeludium that is very close to Mahler’s Ninth Symphony. No question, Berg is Mahler’s most direct heir, and the Three Pieces are Mahler’s Eleventh much more than Brahms’ First is Beethoven’s Tenth, whatever commentators may have said. Berg had first gone to Schoenberg in late 1904 and until 1910 he studied with him in a nourishing, trying, often exceedingly dependent relationship. In June 1913, Berg visited Schönberg in Berlin, and his stay there was troubled. From the beginning, Schönberg had been concerned about a shortwindedness in his obviously brilliant pupil’s work and had been anxious to get him started on something that involved symphonic development on a large scale. Within a couple of weeks of his argument with Schönberg, Berg began something big – the dramatic, fantastical Three Pieces for Orchestra, which he dedicated to Schönberg despite – or because of? – their differing views. Michael Tilson Thomas, aka. MTT, first conducted the San Francisco Symphony in 1974 and has been Music Director since 1995. His wide-ranging recording policy has put the SFS onto the world scene of the most admired orchestras. © SM/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released May 5, 2017 | Oehms Classics

Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Violin Concertos - Released April 21, 2017 | Orchid Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Precisely the year John Adams was born, 1947, none else than Heifetz premiered Korngold’s Violin Concerto which star-violinist Ilya Gringolts plays on this Album, together with Adams’ own Concerto written 1993. Stylistically, these two works are polar opposites, but with a common emphasis on melody – and a common rejection of the ascendancy of atonality and serial techniques. John Adams is a composer who does not like to be pinned down. Being branded a minimalist has not suited him any better than did the confines of his training in the twelve-tone system while he was a student at Harvard. The term itself is a bit of a misnomer, and one might prefer the term “Pattern and Process” music, which highlights the tendency of these composers to set patterns in motion within dense, rhythmically complex textures, and then gradually morph these patterns over time. In the case of his Violin Concerto, the metamorphoses are so subtle that it is well-nigh impossible to trace any repetitive principle whatever, even though it is present. As for Korngold’s Violin Concerto, it might also be called “hypermelodic”. The composer himself noted that the concerto, “with its many melodic and lyric episodes, was contemplated rather for a Caruso of the violin than for a Paganini.” Written at a time in music history where atonality held nearly undisputed sway in musically sophisticated circles (Korngold’s music is emphatically tonal, if harmonically complex), the work was the first in what Korngold hoped would be his triumphant return to concert music, after a long and celebrated career as Hollywood’s preeminent film composer. The piece contains material in each of its three movements from several of Korngold’s film scores; but it would have been a pity indeed to waste such exquisite melodies to a mere movie, and self-recycling of good materials has been around for centuries, even Bach himself being a great self-recycler, an irrefutable role-modem. (c) SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released April 21, 2017 | NMC Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Keyboard Concertos - Released April 21, 2017 | Toccata Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica
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Masses, Passions, Requiems - Released March 17, 2017 | ECM New Series

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik