Albums

719 albums sorted by Date: from newest to oldest
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Solo Piano - Released October 26, 2018 | hat[now]ART

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Duets - Released October 20, 2018 | Solstice

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released September 21, 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
The tenor Julian Prégardien joins Alpha Classics for several recording projects that will showcase every facet of his talent, notably lieder and oratorio. His first album on the label is devoted to one of the greatest masterpieces in the history of music, Winterreise in a version with orchestra composed by Hans Zender in 1993. He scored the work for orchestral forces very different from the ensembles used in the nineteenth century (including, for example, a soprano saxophone, an accordion, a harmonica, a wind machine, a guitar and a very large percussion section). Hans Zender describes his work as a ‘creative transformation’: ‘My own reading of Winterreise does not seek a new expressive interpretation, but systematically takes advantage of the freedoms that performers normally allow themselves in an intuitive way: slowing down or accelerating the tempo, transposition into different keys, emphasising and nuancing colours.’ © Outhere Music
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Classical - Released September 14, 2018 | La Dolce Volta

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros
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Classical - Released September 14, 2018 | La Dolce Volta

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros
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Classical - Released September 14, 2018 | La Dolce Volta

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros
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Musical Theatre - Released September 7, 2018 | LSO Live

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released September 7, 2018 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Concertos for wind instruments - Released July 6, 2018 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Quintets - Released July 6, 2018 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
What a difference between the the First Wind Quintet by Finnish composer Kalevi Aho, written in 2006 for the soloists of the Turku orchestra in Finland, and the Second of 2014, written for the soloists of the Berlin Philharmonic! Apart from the fact that the Second calls at various points for a piccolo in place of the flute, and a cor anglais in place of the oboe, this latter work seems broad, lyrical, and melodic, and in fact more classical than the First, which is a much more agitated, hammering work, full of violent contrasts and stabs of humour. Remember that Aho (born in 1949) studied with the famous Finnish master Einojuhani Rautavaara and then in Berlin with Boris Blacher. He is mainly known for works of great daring: seventeen symphonies to date, five operas, a number of quintets, quartets and several others – his catalogue is very impressive. As for his language, it rests on neoclassical touches, a solid counter-punctual base, a touch of irony here and there, such that he could be placed in the same vein as Schnittke, Mahler – and, of course Rautavaara. The Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet does the honours. © SM/Qobuz
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Full Operas - Released June 29, 2018 | Nonesuch

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik
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Classical - Released June 15, 2018 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
Of the three composers on this album, the Estonian Jaan Rääts is surely less well-known to Western European audiences than Arvo Pärt or Henryk Górecki – even though the latter is mainly famous for a single work, the monumental Third Symphony which is far from representing the majority of his output. That said, this, Lerchenmusik – a pun, as "Lerche" is not only the German for skylark, but also the name of the dedicatee – has plenty in common with the famous symphony: a consistently slow tempo, in fact very, very slow; long, breathtaking, sombre chords; and a very substantial theme. The work for clarinet, cello and piano was written in 1985 in a similar vein: perhaps Górecki had grasped what his audiences liked about his language, at least in terms of symphonies: that is, the incantatory, quasi-religious quality. So why disappoint his public? Pärt, for his part, contributes the Mozart-Adagio in memory of Oleg Kagan, in a first version for violin, cello and piano: the revision was made specifically for the musicians on this recording. The composer took a slow movement from the Mozart and put it through several harmonic and thematic metamorphoses. Finally, the Kaleidoskoopilised etüüdid by Jaan Rääts are presented here as a discographic world-first. Their "kaleidoscopic" aspect is created by juxtaposing short thematic, rhythmic, or instrumental cells, like so many minimalist fragments, all jumbled together: just like the effect of looking through a kaleidoscope. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released May 4, 2018 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Prise de son d'exception
Absolute Jest, written in 2011 and revised a little later, is one of John Adams's most irresistible works. The composer borrows liberally from Beethoven, from the quartets but also the Ninth Symphony, to distil a furious, sumptuously-orchestrated score – alongside a solo string quartet, which could render the work a sort of concerto, Adams has added a harp and a piano, both tuned according to the meantone temperament, a way of blending tones and sounds together – which is rich in allusions ("tattoos", in Adams's phrase) to Ludwig van. The final movement, however, makes no bones about its debt to Stravinsky's Symphony in Three Movements. Highly original, Absolute Jest was written for Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Orchestra (a Qobuzissime of summer 2015), but the evidence is that every new performance uncovers new facets of the work. The same applies to Naïve and Sentimental Music, written for the Los Angeles Philharmonic (and there exists a superb recording of it, by Salonen with Nonesuch); note though that the score is neither naïve nor sentimental, but ferocious and original; the title is surely a borrowing from Schiller (Über naive und sentimentalische Dichtung), which classified Shakespeare and Homer as "naïve" poets. Among some slightly unusual sounds, the listener will note an electric guitar and a piano linked to a sampler… © SM/Qobuz
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Violin Concertos - Released April 27, 2018 | Nonesuch

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
In 1994 John Adams composed his Violin Concerto, a work of breath-taking virtuosity written in an exhilarating and strongly rhythmic tone, sign that it was partly conceived for the New York City Ballet; even if the first movement is somewhat reminiscent − with its dreamlike atmosphere as well as fluid and elusive harmonies – of Berg’s Violin Concerto. It’s worth noting that the orchestra, in addition to its traditional elements, features a strong percussion section as well as two synthesisers that further add to the piece’s dreamlike and uncharted hue. That same year, violinist Leila Josefowicz (born in 1977) made her debut at Carnegie Hall in a concerto by Tchaikovsky conducted by Marriner: a big leap into what was to become an established international career. And it’s precisely for Josefowicz, small world indeed, that Adams wrote his dramatic symphony Scheherazade.2 for violin and orchestra: the bond between the soloist and the master is undeniably strong, and her interpretation couldn’t be more faithful to Adam’s original idea. © SM/Qobuz
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Symphonies - Released April 20, 2018 | ECM New Series

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Pärt's four symphonies stretch across a period of 45 years, from 1964 and 1966 respectively for the first two, 1971 for the third, and 2008 for the fourth. His first steps into the works of the symphony were still marked by dodecaphonism, although Pärt would not resist the gradual appearance of tonal poles in his work and "accidental" encounters between consonant notes and the harmonies that resulted; but the discourse remains very much linked to modernist principles, while exploring older forms of prelude and fugue, or indeed polyphony. With the Second, Pärt's avant-gardist period came to an end. From the 1970s, Pärt would completely revise his language, and come to concentrate on religious and medieval music, in such a way that his Third Symphony throws out dodecaphonism and all its theories, developing in their place a tonal, melodic, modal idiom (the old ecclesiastical styles, in fact). And within this personal revolution, Pärt would take a step into "tintinnabulum", which formed the basis of the Fourth Symphony, written for strings, harp and percussion: a wide world of meditation, stunning, unreal, intangible, and fundamentally tonal, in which the movements from one phenomenon to another move immensely slowly, allowing the listener to savour every moment. © SM/Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released April 15, 2018 | Arion

Booklet
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Chamber Music - Released April 13, 2018 | NoMadMusic

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
It goes without saying (but let's say it anyway) that an album of the complete recordings of Hindemith's sonatas for solo viola doesn’t have massive mainstream appeal. And yet there is so much joy in this rigorous and yet free-spirited music, made in the image of a composer whose Addams Family appearance hid a puckish spirit, not to mention a love of model railways and good eating. The four sonatas on offer here are given in reverse chronological order of composition: 1937, 1923, 1922 and 1919. It was in this last year, 1919, when the publisher Schott decided to sign the young composer of 24 on the spot: a remarkable idea, even though his editors could never keep pace with Hindemith's galloping successes. In this first sonata, we find all the components of the master's art: formal and counter-punctual rigour, irresistible rhythms, always a dash of irony and self-mockery, and an utterly splendid sense of theme. Bach was his model, of course, at least in the structure and pattern of the discourse, although this music remained completely modern, and indeed often far ahead of its own time. A note on the final sonata of 1937: Hindemith recorded it himself, taking a few liberties with the printed score. Viola player Ruth Killius has taken it upon herself to "restore" the original, taking some liberties of her own, following Hindemith, who loved to experiment in the spur of the moment… Killius, a disciple of Ulrich Koch and Kim Kashkashian, is a regular at – in no particular order – the Salzburg Festival, Frans Brüggen's Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, the Diapasons d’Or and the Gramophone Awards, and a regular performer of Beethoven, Elliott Carter, Isang Yun, Bruckner and Bartók; and with husband Thomas Zehetmair she founded the Zehetmair Quartet, which travels the world and plays all sorts of repertoires. © SM/Qobuz
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Concertos - Released April 6, 2018 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Symphonic Music - Released April 6, 2018 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice