Albums

2080 albums sorted by Date: from newest to oldest
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Trios - Released December 21, 2017 | Myrios Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
An unusual and yet particularly clever juxtaposition can be found on this album, which consists in mirroring Schumann’s 1853 Märchenerzählungen (Tales, implicitly for children) for viola, clarinet and piano – as well as, still in the realm of fairy tales, Fantasiestücke (Fantasy Pieces) for clarinet and piano and then Märchenbilder (Fairy Tale Pictures) for viola and piano – and Jörg Widmann’s Es war einmal... Fünf Stücke im Märchenton (Once Upon a Time – Five Pieces in a Fairy Tale Tone). While being a contemporary, even a modernist artist, Widmann was indeed largely inspired by Schumann’s Märchenerzählungen, his work sprinkling with reminiscences, allusions and barely disguised quotes, superimposed to today’s language – so much that, at some point, one could be led to believe both tracks were playing at the same time, Schumann’s and Widmann’s! Ever since the first great creators, the art of “recycling”, reusing and rewriting is one of the main driving forces behind artistic creation; in fact Widmann is only following this proven model. Tabea Zimmermann on viola, Dénes Várjon on piano and on clarinet, no other than the composer himself: Widmann of course, not Schumann who, as everyone knows, doesn’t play the clarinet. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released December 1, 2017 | Aeolus

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Exceptional Sound Productions
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Duets - Released December 1, 2017 | Les Indispensables de Diapason

Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Full Operas - Released November 24, 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Record of the Month - 4 étoiles Classica
We will gladly forgive the occasional "weakness" in sound technology in this recording of Troyens by Berlioz (recorded live in concert in April 2017). In light of the first-rate quality of the music and vocals that appear on the disc (a majority of which are French voices, with Stéphane Degout at their head) this immense work is from the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra and the three choirs which have been brought together – because the work demands immense swelling choirs – which are the choir of the Opéra national du Rhin, the Opéra National de Bade, and the Strasbourg Philharmonic's own choir. This recording rests, of course, on the complete original edition, which gives the listener a chance to hear Les Troyens as the work was performed in 1863, at the Théâtre-Lyrique, in which some intense chopping saw Acts I and II condensed into one part and Acts III to V into another, producing two distinct operas (La Prise de Troie and Les Troyens à Carthage). We also get a taste, naturally, of Berlioz's immensely rich orchestral innovations: with every new work, he would invent some exciting new prototype from scratch, never content to rest on his laurels. The listener should note the presence of six saxhorns, recently invented by Adolphe Sax (of whom Berlioz was an indefatigable champion, even if he didn't often use his instruments in his scores, no doubt because of the poor quality of the early instrumentalists who learned - however well or badly - Sax's instruments); bass clarinet, and an army of percussion pieces including several instruments which must have been rare in those days: crotales, goblet drums, tom-toms, thunder sheets... clearly, this is a milestone in the Berlioz discography. © SM/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released November 24, 2017 | audite Musikproduktion

Hi-Res Booklet
Volume 12 of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL editionpresents a sensational archive discovery: a live recording of the Manfred Overture from the 1953 festival, until recently presumed lost, and now released for the very first time. In 1953, Furtwängler also conducted two of his all-time favourites, Beethoven's Eroica and Schumann's Fourth Symphonies. Until now, these exciting interpretations were only available in technically flawed recordings made by enthusiasts. For this edition, the newly rediscovered original tapes from the archives of the SRF Swiss Radio and Television were made available. Wilhelm Furtwängler, invited to Lucerne for the first time in 1944, was one of the defining artists of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL's first decades. From 1947, he performed in Lucerne each summer (with the exception of 1952, when he had to cancel due to illness) until his final concert in August 1954, a few months before his death (recording also available in the "Historic Performances" series: audite 95.641). In total, Furtwängler conducted eighteen of the festival's concerts, sixteen of which with the Swiss Festival Orchestra who also played on 26 August 1953. Furtwängler's motto was to be "faithful to the spirit" rather than "faithful to each note". This Lucerne recording demonstrates his methodical approach, especially by means of a precisely calculated tempo architecture: Furtwängler's seemingly arbitrary tempo modifications hold structural significance, dynamising the musical form. Illustrated with numerous photos from the festival's archive, the 32-page booklet in three languages discusses this approach, whilst also referring to other famous recordings, such as Furtwängler's studio recording of Schumann's Fourth Symphony with the Berlin Philharmonic, made only a few months earlier. © Audite
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Classical - Released November 20, 2017 | La discothèque idéale de Diapason

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Solo Piano - Released November 17, 2017 | APR

Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
This edition of the complete recordings of the Beethoven Sonatas, made during the war, is a godsend for all the lovers of the great German pianist, and there are a lot of them, of all generations. One could get a bit lost in the jungle of his many recordings that came out from 1920 to 1975: that is, over 55 years – which is a lot, to say that he doesn't like playing for microphones. But Kempff has always been happy to record nonetheless, and is constantly polishing up his technique so as to render the most faithful possible service to his art, given the technological innovations that he has seen across his many years of recording, from acoustics to stereophony, by way of electric recording, 78rpm and the 33rpm microgroove.   He has recorded a lot of music since the start of his long career: Bach, Brahms, Schubert, but in particular, at 80%, he remains one of the greatest performers of his dear friend Beethoven. The recordings from this period are not always easy to date, because they could appear under many different matrix numbers, although they are in fact all the same version. Some famous sonatas, of course, have indeed been recorded many times: Pathétique as well as Clair de lune, Waldstein and Appassionata. The sonatas which figure in this album, recorded in Berlin in 1942 and 1943, make up what should have been a recording of the complete works, but which was interrupted by the war. Despite a fairly ephemeral French edition in the 1980s with the Dante label, these recordings were forgotten in favour of two later complete recordings, the first of which was produced in the 1950s and the second in the 1960s in stereophony.   Even if the surface sound is omnipresent in these re-recordings, it is quickly forgotten thanks to the painstaking restoration that has brought back Kempff's marvellously delicate touch. It is thrilling to follow in the footsteps of this towering musician, and compare him to himself across the years. In fact, his art has not aged as time has gone by, even if one notes the substantial difference in the discourse, the sound (depending on the piano used), the tempo and the formal construction. A document of the greatest musical interest. François Hudry © Qobuz 2017
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Symphonies - Released November 10, 2017 | San Francisco Symphony

Hi-Res Booklet
Michael Tilson Thomas and “his” San Francisco Symphony are sticking to their policy consisting in leaving a recorded trace of the collaboration between the conductor and his ensemble, which started a mere twenty two years ago! This time, it’s Schumann’s Four Symphonies, recorded live of course between November 2015 and May 2016. It’s worth mentioning that in 2001 the San Francisco Symphony − which was the first American ensemble to play on radio broadcasts − launched SFS Media, the first audio and video label belonging to the orchestra itself, whose objective is to commercialise its own audio recordings as well as its own educational, documentary and concert DVDs. A great cultural initiative entirely financed by private sponsors (who, as opposed to so many sponsors in France, don’t demand dozens of free tickets, quite the opposite, they buy the most expensive ones… different place, different ways…) and concert sales. © SM/Qobuz
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Symphonies - Released November 10, 2017 | San Francisco Symphony

Hi-Res Booklet
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Chamber Music - Released November 3, 2017 | CPO

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Solo Piano - Released October 27, 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
The third album from Lucas Debargue with Sony Classical, this is a very original programme - the previous album offered a mixture of Bach, Beethoven and Medtner - which combines two Schubert sonatas (D.874, 1823, and D.664, 1819, respectively) and the ambitious Piano Sonata No. 2 (1910-11) from Szymanowksi, with post-Regerian momentum. Lucas Debargue, who sent shockwaves at the last Tchaikovsky competition, opens his new work with Sonata in A Minor, and gives it some truly tragic, wintry tones,  in the style of certain Russian pianists (Richter, Sofronitzky, etc.): a black and white keyboard, lit up by a recording effort that in no way dulls the harmonics. The cheeriest Sonata in A Major - which was a favourite of Wilhelm Kempff - has a similarly staid character, rather reserved. To be honest, this album seems to owe more than a little to Sviatoslav Richter. If Schubert was one of Richter's "obsessions", the Piano Sonata No. 2 from Szymanowksi was also at the heart of the Russian pianist's repertoire, who performed it several times in concert (e.g. at Parnassus, the concert for the centenary of Szymanowksi's birth on 26 November 1982 in Warsaw). A convulsive, tortured work, it is made up of two amply developed movements, which are very dark, dense and complex, including a theme and variations, crowned by a tremendous fugue. © TG/Qobuz
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Duets - Released October 27, 2017 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Symphonies - Released October 27, 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Month - Diapason d'or / Arte - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
An album, a symphony: you would think that we had returned to the days of the Long Play, and the era of Mravinsky, Doráti, Markevitch, Karajan as well as many other performers and interpreters who have marked the discographic history of the last symphony from Piotr Ilitch Tchaikovsky. The album cover also seems to confirm it: it brings to mind the old RCA covers from the 50s and 60s. Sony Classical, being very supportive of the artistic endeavours of the Greco-Russian master, didn't hesitate to bring out a roughly 45-minute album - they had done better with the Rites of Spring (2015), which was feted in the press. Here, Teodor Currentzis continues his exploration of Tchaikovsky's world, with the Pathétique, putting the accent on the dynamic contrasts, sometimes naturally, sometimes by technical means (adagio lamentoso), and bringing to bear some methods that are normally specific to pop music. He exploits the sombre tone of the work, even above its rhythmic energy, and looks to create atmospheres that one could often call morbid. For record-lovers, this release is a great opportunity to revisit his discography, and for all other ardent Qobuz users it is an opportunity to rediscover this true emblem of the orchestral repertoire. © TG/Qobuz
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Opera Extracts - Released October 27, 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Chamber Music - Released October 26, 2017 | Les Indispensables de Diapason

Distinctions Diapason d'or