Categories :

Albums

1695 albums sorted by Date: from newest to oldest
CD£8.63

Classical - Released May 23, 2020 | iMD-Pablo F Bello

HI-RES£13.49
CD£9.49

Chamber Music - Released April 24, 2020 | RUBICON

Hi-Res Booklet
Dutch cellist Lidy Blijdorp has long been in love with the music of Ravel, the magical sound world, the colours and imagery he conjures. Ravel wrote very little for the cello, so Blijdorp made her own arrangements for cello and piano of Lever du jour from Daphnis et Chloé and two movements from Rapsodie espagnole. Award winning pianist Julien Brocal is her partner in these skilful arrangements. The delightful Sonata for Cello and Volin and Kodaly’s great solo Cello Sonata round off a programme that spans music from France, French music with Spanish dance as its inspiration, and then ending the journey in Hungary with the folk infused masterwork that is Kodaly’s Op. 8. © Rubicon Classics
HI-RES£16.49
CD£10.99

Duets - Released March 13, 2020 | EnPhases

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 étoiles de Classica
HI-RES£13.99
CD£11.99

Classical - Released March 6, 2020 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
Following directly upon Shostakovich's triumphal and triumphant Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 60 ("Leningrad"), the Symphony No. 8 in C minor, Op. 65, was a much more troublesome work. Even Prokofiev criticized it, while the Soviet government attempted to make the best of it by promoting it as a "Stalingrad symphony" in memoriam of the dead in that city. Certainly it is a gloomy work that poses immense challenges to the performers, and probably, for this reason, it is one of the less-often performed of the Shostakovich canon of 15. Conductor Tugan Sokhiev, leading the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, surmounts these challenges, even if he doesn't have the smooth strings and sharp-edged brass of, say, Bernard Haitink's Concertgebouw Orchestra. He may remind one of the work's originator, Evgeny Mravinsky, who also recorded the symphony and coaxed a half-hour ovation out of the audience. The Adagio of the 28-minute opening movement (slower than average here) is so long and takes up so much of the movement that it may be taken as an expression of how normal procedures no longer applied. Sokhiev brings out the long line and never flags even as the mood continually darkens. The emotionally complex finale is another strong point. The music never quite makes it to triumphant but manages a kind of lyricism, and contains one of Shostakovich's most beautiful melodies. This reading captures the tentative quality of the music, and even if there are greater displays of pure instrumental virtuosity among other recordings of the symphony, there are few that seem to embody so much reflection on what the music is about. © TiVo
CD£40.49

Symphonic Music - Released March 6, 2020 | Decca

A kaleidoscopic collection of orchestral Prokofiev in the 1950s, as recorded by Decca engineers in London, Paris and Copenhagen, featuring both rarities and classics.Once upon a time Peter and the Wolf was the best known of them, with six recordings to its credit in the days before LP. On this Kingsway Hall recording from 1949, the BBC announcer Frank Phillips told the story, with the experienced Prokofiev conductor Nikolai Malko making a rare appearance on Decca. Nowadays the Fifth Symphony is far more frequently heard in concert; this taut and thrilling 1952 account is the work of the Danish conductor Erik Tuxen, a legendary interpreter of Sibelius and his fellow countryman Nielsen. Three years later in June 1955, Sir Adrian Boult made his first stereo recording, of the Love for Three Oranges Suite with the Paris Conservatoire Orchestra. This was originally issued in mono with the Lieutenant Kijé Suite played by the Philharmonia Orchestra because the latter recording was mono only – whereas the present reissue now presents Oranges in its stereo version. Boult’s dry wit points up the sardonic qualities of both suites. Despite its title, Russian Overture from 1936 does not straightforwardly conform to principles of Soviet nationalism in music with its abrupt cuts from comic capers to sweeping Russian melody. Written like so much of Prokofiev’s music with tongue in cheek, it makes an apt companion on disc for his final symphony, the Seventh. These were recorded in November 1957 (and originally issued on the RCA ‘Living Stereo’ label) by the Paris Conservatoire Orchestra conducted by Jean Martinon, who had done much to promote the conductor’s music outside his Russian homeland. The Seventh is a deceptively simple work, imbued with a melancholy and nostalgia somewhat obscured by the ‘fake’ ending contrived to the symphony for it to win official approval (and which is played here). (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)
HI-RES£14.99
CD£8.99

Concertos - Released February 28, 2020 | Claves Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
The wealth of music composed for the viola in the 20th century almost lets one forget the dearth of it in the 19th, which brought forth only two solo works of note: Hector Berlioz’s Harold in Italy, a concerto commissioned by Paganini that sidelines the viola so much he refused to play it; and Richard Strauss’s Don Quixote, in which the solo viola is relegated to the part of the Don’s sidekick Sancho Panza. Sidelined and sidekicked – the viola’s fate seemed a fulfilment of the oft-quoted line from Quantz’s sometime flute treatise that “the viola is largely regarded among musicians as being of little significance”. It was only really in the 20th century that composers realised that the viola’s status of an in-between instrument could actually be to its advantage. It’s bigger than a violin, but tuned like a cello, and is both warmer in tone than the former, and much more agile than the latter. The viola then had the good fortune to become the preferred instrument of several important composers. Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) briefly toyed with going professional on it; Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) went the whole hog and made a living from it in the Amar Quartet and as a soloist; and Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) too was a violist, though he kept his public performing activities to the piano and the podium. The viola was also lucky in having several fine virtuosi in the 20th century, most notably Lionel Tertis (1876- 1975) and William Primrose (1904-1982). Primrose had commissioned Bartók’s (unfinished) Viola Concerto in 1945, and it was for him that Britten wrote his Lachrymae for viola and piano in 1950. This is a series of “reflections”, i.e. variations, on a song by the Elizabethan composer John Dowland entitled “If my complaints could passion move”. The song’s melody is heard in the bass line after a few bars in the first variation, but only becomes properly recognisable at the end of the tenth and last. Meanwhile, another Dowland song has also infiltrated the texture – variation No. 6 refers back to Dowland’s more famous song “Flow my tears”, which had originated in his “Lachrymae pavan” – hence Britten’s title. He composed it during a break in work on his opera Billy Budd, and gave the first performance with Primrose at the Aldeburgh Festival in 1950. Britten then scored the work for viola solo and string orchestra in the spring of 1976, just months before he died. © Chris Walton/Claves Records
HI-RES£13.49
CD£9.49

Violin Concertos - Released February 28, 2020 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or / Arte - 5 étoiles de Classica
Almost forty years separate Verklärte Nacht from the Violin Concerto – the former still influenced by the idiom of Brahms and Wagner, the latter deriving from the richness of that later period when Schoenberg managed to combine a multiplicity of approaches within his twelve-note system. Between post-Romantic twilight and ‘classical’ rigour, Isabelle Faust and her most faithful partners offer us an extraordinarily lively interpretation of some of the most remarkable pages in twentieth-century musical literature. © harmonia mundi
HI-RES£13.49
CD£9.49

Mélodies (French) - Released February 21, 2020 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 étoiles de Classica
After the very recent publication by tenor Nicolas Phan and pianist Myra Huang, this is another album dedicated to sisters Lili and Nadia Boulanger that sheds more light on their talent. If Lili Boulanger’s work has been starting to emerge from obscurity in recent years, that of her sister Nadia’s has remained largely unknown, partly her own fault as she stopped writing after the premature passing of her sister, whose talent for writing she thought was superior. Nadia Boulanger instead forged a name for herself through education and the discovery of new works. This new recording produced in 2018 by the Cyrille Dubois and Tristan Raës duo in the enchanting Palazzetto Bru Zane in Venice presents an altogether different programme and is opposite to the previous publication: with an emphasis on Nadia. There are nine of her melodies on offer here, as well as the Heures claires cycle that she wrote for four hands with pianist-composer Raoul Pugno to whom she was very close. The Quatre chants by Lili Boulanger reflect the infinite sadness which permeates the entire catalogue, small though it may be but intensely expressive nonetheless. Two new figures of French music in the wake of Gabriel Fauré that are rising in prominence. © François Hudry/Qobuz
HI-RES£11.99
CD£7.99

Mélodies (England) - Released February 7, 2020 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
From John Dowland’s 17th century lute music to more recent, refined and intellectual rethinking of the genre in the 20th century, Great Britain has had a long tradition of writing “songs”. For her new album, with pianist Joseph Middleton, English soprano singer Carolyn Sampson has chosen a series of pieces composed within the last 120 years. She has willingly decided to exclude from the repertoire well-known musicians, such as Britten and Tippett, whose compositions have often been recorded. This pleasant album begins and ends with Walton. The first track, a piece of occasional music, is full of Walton’s slightly mistimed nonchalance. It portrays different aspects of life in London. The record’s last tracks, however, were selected from Façade, an Erik Satie (and Les Six)-influenced composition which scandalized the city when it was first performed in 1923 and boosted the composer’s career. Also featured in the record is a myriad of musical skits from Ralph Vaughan Williams, Frank Bridge, Roger Quilter and Huw Watkins, whose Five Larkin Songs were commissioned by Carolyn Sampson. © François Hudry/Qobuz
HI-RES£11.99
CD£7.99

Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released February 7, 2020 | Solo Musica

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
This selection of spiritual but mostly secular late Romantic vocal music offers a program that wouldn't have been heard in the music's time, with two related choral pieces by Max Reger flanking Mahler's Rückert-Lieder and the Psalm 23 (the only religious work of the bunch) of Alexander Zemlinsky. The intent on the part of the Kammerorchester Basel and Camerata Vocale Freiburg under Winfried Toll is to strike and maintain the inward mood suggested by the title (an Einsiedler is a hermit, a recluse), taken from one of the two Reger works and thence from poet Gerd Müller-Hornbach. Does it work? Arguably yes: for moody, late-night listening, the album may fill the bill, but it succeeds even more in its constituent parts. The secular Requiem by Reger and the title choral piece were published together and are linked in outlook. The performance of the Rückert-Lieder by tenor Christoph Prégardien is gentle (even in the midst of the jangled nerves of some of the pieces in this set) and in many places revelatory; his reading of the famous Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen is hypnotically beautiful. Prégardien has sacrificed some of the power to advancing age, but none of the sensitivity. As for the mixed choral-orchestral forces, this pair of rather mysteriously connected Reger choral works are not often performed and deserve wider exposure. An intriguing and original release. © TiVo
HI-RES£14.99
CD£8.99

Keyboard Concertos - Released January 31, 2020 | Odradek Records

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 de Diapason
HI-RES£13.49
CD£9.49

Solo Piano - Released January 17, 2020 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama
HI-RES£14.99
CD£9.99

Solo Piano - Released January 17, 2020 | Melism

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
HI-RES£11.99
CD£7.99

Symphonies - Released January 17, 2020 | CSO Resound

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
HI-RES£11.99
CD£7.99

Violin Concertos - Released January 3, 2020 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
HI-RES£7.29
CD£5.79

Symphonic Music - Released December 13, 2019 | Naxos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 étoiles de Classica
Pancho Vladigerov is considered by many to be the most influential composer that Bulgaria has yet produced, gaining fame between the World Wars and earning the admiration of Shostakovich. The three works recorded here are a testament to Vladigerov’s mission to bring Bulgarian music to international attention, successfully combining elements of folk music with European classical tradition. The Vardar-Rhapsody has been called ‘the Bulgarian equivalent of Chopin’s Polonaise in A-flat’, and the lively and exotic Seven Symphonic Bulgarian Dances is among the most notable of a series of works that fuse joyous regional melodies with sophisticated Western orchestration. © Naxos
HI-RES£13.99
CD£11.99

Classical - Released November 1, 2019 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason découverte
HI-RES£11.99
CD£7.99

Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released November 1, 2019 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 étoiles de Classica
Bliss composed The Enchantress in 1951, the year of his sixtieth birthday, for Kathleen Ferrier. The text is a free adaptation of the Second Idyll of Theocritus, made by Henry Reed, and well suited to Bliss’s love of classical Greek authors. Meditations on a Theme by John Blow, from 1955, was written for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), the first in a number of commissions from the John Feeney Trust. Inspired by John Blow’s Coronation Anthems, the work is a set of variations on a Sinfonia from that collection, each variation reflecting the text of a verse from Psalm XXIII. Described as a sacred cantata, Mary of Magdala was Bliss’s second Feeney Trust Commission, composed during 1962 and 1963. For a libretto, Bliss turned to Christopher Hassall, his collaborator on three previous works, including The Beatitudes. Bliss conducted the premiere at the Three Choirs Festival in 1963, and wrote in his programme note: ‘One of the loveliest stories in the New Testament is that in the 20th chapter of St John’s Gospel, telling of how Mary Magdalene, lingering at the sepulchre, was the first to see the risen Christ. She, supposing him to be the gardener.’ The BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus give of their best under their former chief conductor Sir Andrew Davis, and the contributions from the soloists, Dame Sarah Connolly and James Platt, are outstanding. © Chandos
HI-RES£11.99
CD£7.99

Symphonic Music - Released November 1, 2019 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
In this their third volume of orchestral works of Antheil, John Storgårds and the BBC Philharmonic present a collection of scores spanning the whole of Antheil’s compositional life. Written in the early 1920s, the First Symphony is full of Antheil’s enthusiasm for the mechanical, and takes strong leads from the prevailing sound of the jazz era as well as a nostalgic look back to its predecessor, ragtime. Antheil regarded this work as ‘a young symphony with the feeling of summertime in eastern America in it’. For it he drew heavily on his experiences of his home town of Trenton, and the nearby Delaware River. His ballet score Capital of the World dates from the mid-1950s, and was based on a short story by Hemmingway. The Golden Bird was originally conceived as a solo piano piece, and in his translation of the piece from piano to orchestra Antheil demonstrates an ability equal to Ravel’s to think simultaneously in two musical media. The concert overture McKonkey’s Ferry is based on a painting of George Washington and his continental army crossing the Delaware River at Christmas 1776 at McKonkey’s Ferry, near Trenton – an event that proved a turning point in the Revolutionary war. © Chandos
CD£7.99

Symphonies - Released November 1, 2019 | Chandos

Booklet Distinctions Diapason découverte
In his homeland, Avet Terterian is regarded, alongside Aram Khachaturian, as the other giant of twentieth-century Armenian music, and as the founder of his nation’s progressive school of composers. Born in July 1929, Terterian began his musical education at the Baku Music College. Returning to his native country, he studied at the Komitas State Conservatory in Yerevan, latterly becoming a composition pupil of Edvard Mirzoian. His early works follow in the tradition of Khachaturian. From his opera The Ring of Fire (1967) onwards, he developed an advanced musical language embracing atonality, chance elements, and electronics. Another significant influence was the music of Giya Kancheli, and important, too, was the way in which he absorbed aspects of Armenian folk and ancient liturgical music into his personal voice. The backbone of Terterian’s achievement is enshrined in his eight symphonies. In summing them up he wrote: ‘We are all living on the threshold of a terrible apocalyptic judgement. It has always seemed to me that my symphonies are a cry of the soul for salvation and for the forgiveness of sins.’ © Chandos