Albums

1665 albums sorted by Date: from newest to oldest
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Cello Concertos - Released October 25, 2018 | Myrios Classics

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Cello Concertos - Released October 12, 2018 | Myrios Classics

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Two “Soviet” concertos for cello and orchestra, both written in 1966, that is the idea behind this recording of cellist Maximilian Hornung. Of course, the most famous of the two is and remains Shostakovich's Second Concerto, written for and premiered by Rostropovich. Less famous, except perhaps in Georgia, is the Georgian composer Sulkhan Tsintsadze (1925-1991), himself a renowned virtuoso cellist, who composed an impressive number of chamber music, concertos, symphonies, operas, oratorios, completely ignored by the rest of the world, what a pity. Tsintsadze, as might be thought from a "regional" Soviet composer, often borrows from the folklore of his country, but this is in no way a limitation or a specialization, no more than the way Khatchaturian would sometimes borrow from Armenia. Here is his Concerto No. 2 in five episodes, in which Tsintsadze is certainly quite indebted to Shostakovich, but also to Prokofiev undoubtedly, even to Khatchaturian here and there. The instrumental language is both brilliant and idiomatic. The contrast between his concerto and that of Shostakovich – keeping in mind that they both date from the same year – is striking. The cellist Maximilian Hornung has already performed as a soloist with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, the Tonhalle Zurich, the London Philharmonic, the Orchestre National de France, the London Philharmonia; in short, many of the most prestigious orchestras in the world. © SM/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released September 28, 2018 | ARTALINNA

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica
Considered as one of the most inspired pianists of his generation, Severin von Eckardstein explores three major cycles of French music from the 1900s, associating Claude Debussy’s two revolutionary books Images (1904-1907) and Gabriel Dupont’s La Maison dans les dunes (1907-1909) as part of this debut album under the Artalinna label: this suite of 10 pieces with memorable atmospheres filled with luminous colours and heady melodies will stand out for many as a musical revelation! © Artalinna
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Symphonic Music - Released September 18, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

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"One of the biggest dilemmas of our generation is where are we from, who are we, what is our identity? Globalization has made the whole world closer, bringing our cultures more and more together. I myself am a product of this mix, being born in Mexico to Russian parents with a Jewish background, having studied at a French school in Norway and grown up in Holland. Consequently I have often thought about these questions: which culture is closest to me? What am I? I could feel at home and relate to all these cultures and yet I am not really part of any of them. The music on this album explores the opposite perspective; each piece is very strong influenced by the composer’s culture. One can immediately smell the Hungarian landscape in Bartok’s Viola Concerto, Italian roots in the Carnevale di Venezia, the Jewish soul in Bloch’s Nigun and Russian Orthodox chants in Kugel’s Preghiera. However there is a deeper meaning to the title of this album, as the programme also touches the spiritual and carnal nature of the human being. During the process of compiling this programme I suddenly realized the strong religious connection between the second movement of the Bartok concerto and the two prayers that follow. This is followed by the contrasting ‘danse macabre’ in the third movement, which for me is very much associated with the carnal ritual of a carnival, when one is allowed to release one’s most primitive instincts. I believe each of these pieces explores the deepest roots of humankind, that core that will be there, no matter where we go or what we do." (Dana Zemtsov) © Channel Classics
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Cello Concertos - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
It is particularly fortunate to see Franco-German cellist Nicolas Altstaedt on a record label that will finally allow him to nurture his whimsical personality and insatiable curiosity on a long term basis, he who just a few years ago produced one of the most dazzling recordings of the Haydn Concertos for the Genuin label. For this first album on the Channel Classics label he takes us on a journey through the former Soviet bloc with three major figures of the twentieth century: Dmitri Shostakovich, Mieczyslaw Weinberg and Witold Lutoslawski. Do not expect an avalanche of virtuoso gimmicks from this team: it's all about the lyrical and surprisingly playful section of Shostakovich's Concerto No.1, as well as the infinitely secretive and mysterious Weinberg piece, as they were intended. An amazing album, and one which you should grab with both hands. Though this is not visible on the cover, in addition to Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No.1 and Mieczyslaw Weinberg's piece, the album also features Witold Lutoslawski's Little Suite. The three pieces were written roughly at the same time: 1959 for Shostakovich, 1951 for Lutoslawski, 1948 for Weinberg - who had to wait for Stalin's death to reveal his work, since both he and Shostakovitch were under the dictator's surveillance and their works could have earned them a stay in Siberia, or maybe even a wooden coffin. The two Concertos share some similarities: Rostropovich arranged both, and the two composers' mutual influences are clearly identifiable on many occasions - Weinberg saw Shostakovich as a mentor, but in fact they often influenced each other. This did not prevent the composers of writing immediately recognizable music! By way of a "breathing pause", the LutosÅ‚awski's Petite Suite consists of four delicious miniatures taken from popular tunes of the Rzeszów region in southern Poland. The work was initially considered "light music," but when Lutoslawski appropriates the genre we are immediately seized by this masterpiece. Jean Françaix or Alexandre Tansman might have written something similar. © SM/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
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Violin Concertos - Released September 7, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Solo Piano - Released August 31, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
The remarkable Turkish pianist Fazıl Say (born 1970) here offers us a suitably remarkable album, recorded in 2016 in the Great Hall of the Salzburg Mozarteum and given over to the Premier Livre of Debussy's Préludes – 1910 – which he sets up in against the six Gnossiennes by Satie (1890 for the first three, 1897 for the latter three) and to the pieces which made him famous, the Gymnopédies of 1888. It's quite stunning to hear these works and to reflect on the fact that Satie's works actually come before Debussy's Préludes – by almost two decades, in fact. It is hardly surprising the Satie has been thought a real avant-gardist both in his day and by minimalists today. Considering how different these two were, it was natural that they should have been friends, especially given Debussy's tendency towards jealousy of his contemporaries... But it is impossible to be jealous of a kind, bubbly soul like Satie. Say brings immense tenderness to these two opposite poles – poles so far removed that they almost join back up. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released August 24, 2018 | Les Indispensables de Diapason

Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Symphonies - Released July 26, 2018 | LSO Live

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This new LSO recording only available in digital format marks the start of a new recorded cycle by the London Symphony Orchestra with their current principal guest conductor, Gianandrea Noseda. Recorded at a public concert on 22 September 2016, this Fifth by Shostakovich fulfils the promise of the score. Under a venomous barrage from Pravda on the orders of the dread you-know-who, which brought down his 1936 opera Lady Macbeth, the luckless composer withdrew the work from the programme of the orchestra which was set to perform it, and the symphony was only brought back out in 1962. By way of response to accusations of bourgeois opacity, anti-Soviet deviation and all manner of other bullsh– er, communist epithets, Shostakovich threw himself into his Fifth, which he finished in July 1937. The creation of the work took place in the wake under the baton of Evgeni Mravinski and met with great success, not only in the USSR, but right across the music world, which lapped up the work. Yes, the language is clearer, and less esoteric than the Fourth, but anyone looking for optimism and good cheer is barking up the wrong tree. The Scherzo is a sinister flight forward by a tortured clown, and the Largo is what it is – anguished. As for the final movement, it alternates between Rossinian farce and Mahlerian snarling, ending with two minutes of the kind of joy that one feels after having been run over by a division of Soviet tanks. Conductor Gianandrea Noseda and the members of the London Symphony Orchestra knew how to project this dual atmosphere and really capture the enigmatic feel of the final two minutes. This symphony is the response of the composer to the Stalinist murderers, all the while declaring in Pravda that the piece was "a Soviet artist's practical response to well-deserved criticism". Comments that some musicologists recuse, considering that they would have been commissionned from the high places of politics. Whatever it is, what a mockery by the composer through his symphony! © SM/Qobuz   
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Symphonies - Released July 6, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon Classics

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Cello Concertos - Released July 6, 2018 | CPO

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Born in 1911 and 1903 respectively, these German composers – who were, unfortunately for them, born Jewish – Franz Reizenstein and Berthold Goldschmidt were exiled from Germany in 1934 and 1935, but their stories were very different. From 1932 Goldschmidt had made a serious name for himself following the performance of one of his operas in Mannheim. But he was already 29 and had some serious musical and social baggage behind him, not only in the form of a job assisting Erich Kleiber at the Berlin production of Wozzeck. So when he came to Britain, he was already well-regarded. But the unfortunate Reizenstein was only 21 when he came to London, where he wanted to continue the studies he had started with Hindemith in Berlin... Happily for him, he found a space under the benevolent wing of Vaughan Williams, and eventually took English nationality and even became a teacher in the Royal College of Music. As for Goldschmidt, who was already famous and whose opera The Magnificent Cuckold was to have been first performed in 1933 – an ill-fated year – he found himself classed as a "degenerate artist", which prompted his departure shortly after. Neither of the two composers would give into the atonal, serialist Schönbergian torrent, let alone the post-war avant-garde: and so their music was soon thought of as old hat... Goldschmidt even quit composing in 1958, and didn't return to it until the end of his life, once the serialist dictatorship had fallen amid much derision. The two cello concertos supplied here by the great Raphael Wallfisch were written and performed in the 1950s, and then largely forgotten for decades, in spite of the support of the equally-great Feuermann. Here, we find a language which is at once classical and modern, in the tradition of Hindemith and Vaughan Williams, and surely Shostakovitch too – these are works that richly deserve a rediscovery. Unlike the Reizenstein concerto, the Goldschmidt one is not a world premiere. © SM/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released June 29, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
Released as one of nine new albums dedicated to Debussy by harmonia mundi to mark the centenary of the French composer's birth, this volume offers the Second Book of the Preludes played by Alexander Melnikov on an Erard piano. The world of Debussyan piano relied so heavily on timbre that pianists and editors alike often prefer one or another make so as to get a grip on the specificities of the music. Alexander Melnikov is one of those rare Russian artists to take an interest in ancient instruments. This student of Sviatoslav Richter was quickly captivated by this kind of work, working with Andreas Staier and Alexey Lubimov and playing with specialised ensembles like the Concerto Köln or the Berlin Akademie für Alte Musik. His performance of the Preludes by Debussy at London's Wigmore Hall was particularly well received by critics who described the Russian pianist as a "sorcerer" who is highlighting "ravishing", "violent", "terrifying" music. An iridescent orchestral masterpiece, La Mer is difficult to boil down to a four-handed piano piece, and Debussy disowned his transcription, leaving it to André Caplet to prepare another one for two four-handed pianos. Alexandre Melnikov and Olga Pashchenko have taken up the challenge to prove that the auteur's transcription is not at all "unplayable". © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released June 22, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
It's on a big Fazioli piano, recorded in a public concert in 2017, that Vadym Kholodenko – gold medallist at the prestigious Van Cliburn Competiton – offers us a journey through the fascinating, sometimes unsettling, always vivid, world of Scriabin. The programme follows the compositions in chronological order: we start with some harmonically almost "well-behaved" works, which still bear the marks of Chopin and Rachmaninov, moving gradually towards total liberation from any audible tonality in the form of Vers la flamme from 1914 – one of Scriabin's last pieces – a hair-raising firework display on the piano in the form of an inexorable, almost orgasmic, crescendo. Between these two poles, Kholodenko offers several series of Preludes and Études, two Sonatas – the 4th from 1903 and the 5th from 1907, representing the transition in the composer's style – and isolated piece with evocative titles such as the Poème tragique and the Poème satanique. It's a fine journey, at the end of which the listener will feel both full and emptied-out! © SM/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released June 22, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - 5 étoiles de Classica
Moving from Palestrina to Boulez with stupefying ease, Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado is interested in all music, beyond boundaries of epochs and styles. For this album, recorded as part of the publications planned by French label harmonia mundi to mark Debussy's centenary, Heras-Casado is conducting the famous London Philharmonic Orchestra, which, much like him, can happily play all sorts of music. It's a classic programme: the Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, which shows off the splendour of Samuel Coles's flute, and La Mer, shimmering and diaphanous, but whose rising tide gracefully carries all before in the train of the the London orchestra's flamboyant brass. Rarer are the symphonic extracts from the The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, a somewhat ill-starred work, a kind of ballet-oratorio for solo vocalists, mixed choir and symphonic orchestra that Debussy had written for the dancer Ida Rubinstein, based on a fashionably outdated text by Gabriele D'Annunzio. The original work, in five acts, lasted five hours and was threatened with a ban by the Archbishop of Paris, who was shocked by the heathen representation of the young Sebastian, who resembled a beautiful Adonis. This transfiguration, in fact already made by many painters of the Italian Renaissance, was surely too much for the era, and the work had no success, in spite of the beauty of Debussy's music. Only the "symphonic fragments", recorchestrated by André Caplet, survived the shipwreck. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released June 15, 2018 | CPO

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Poor Henri Marteau... Born in 1874 to a French father and a German mother, in a time when, after the war of 1870 and the loss of Alsace-Lorraine, the hatred between the two countries was still intense. He made an early start as a violinist early, and at the age of ten he stood in for his teacher at short notice, at a big concert in Reims, where he gave a perfect rendition of a Vieuxtemps concerto. Shortly after, he made his début in London and Vienna, conducted by Hans Richter, and crossed paths with Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Busoni, Dvořák, Nielsen, Grieg, Reger and many other great musicians of his day, with whom he would give many concerts. He received recognition in 1908 when he followed Joachim into the Berlin Conservatory. But 1914 came roaring in, and Marteau – an officer in the French reserves! – found himself sent to live in deepest Germany, forbidden from performing, and, worse still, taken by the French for a German spy. After the Great War, he took Swedish citizenship, continuing to perform in Germany in the Conservatories of Leipzig and Dresden, but his glory days as an instrumentalist were behind him and he passed away in 1934. His work itself suffered from the horrors of war, as the majority of his works only existed in manuscript form, and many were lost. But his quartets survived because they were often performed during his lifetime and therefore were widely published and circulated. The Second Quartet given here, probably written in 1905, highlights the musical link that joined Marteau to Reger: robust chromatism, constant counter-punctual charge, intensely rich polyphonies, even if the slightly excessive spirit in the French style proves that this could only be a work by Marteau. As for the Eight melodies for mezzo-soprano and string quartet, sung here by Karine Deshayes, accompanied by the Isasi Quartet, they date back to his internal exile in Germany, or his exile in Sweden, in the period 1915-17. For a long time they were thought to have been lost, but after a century they were finally published, in 2016! As a little raspberry blown by the composer, he chose to write his lyrics in... French. They also have a rather French melodic and harmonic charge, with a few accents that would have been very much at home in a piece by Debussy. Either way, these works are a pleasure to discover, especially given the quality of the performances on this record. © SM/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released June 8, 2018 | Universal Music Australia Pty. Ltd.

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Classical - Released May 18, 2018 | Warner Classics

Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Quartets - Released May 18, 2018 | Gramola Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released May 11, 2018 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason