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Chamber Music - Released September 27, 2019 | Warner Classics

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To celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birthday with the entire world in 2020, the Carnegie Hall chose the French ensemble the Ébène Quartet to perform Beethoven’s Quatuors in their entirety. Honoured by this prestigious invitation, the four musicians decided to prolong this exceptional moment by playing this globally recognised music around the world, on all five continents in seven concerts between April 2019 and January 2020. The intellectual and emotional strength of Beethoven’s opus remains a force to be reckoned with, a humanist vector carried by the spirit of the Enlightenment. Over the course of this fantastic journey, the Ébène Quartet will record the quatuors in concerts given in Vienna, Philadelphia, Tokyo, São Paulo, Melbourne, Nairobi and Paris, their home ground. A film crew will follow the musicians on their world tour and will thereafter produce a documentary. The first milestone of this Beethoven around the World journey makes up this album, and was recorded in June 2019 in the Mozartsaal of the Vienna Konzerthaus. It contains the first two Razumovsky Quatuors, performed in the very city where they were composed in 1806. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Cello Solos - Released September 6, 2019 | harmonia mundi

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The cello has always been favoured by French musicians, ever since its invention in the 1660s in Italy, where it gradually supplanted the viola da gamba. Two Parisians, the Duport brothers, wrote the first sonatas for the new instrument and published an Essai sur le doigté (Essay on Fingering) which laid the foundations of cello technique. It is still a touchstone work today. And so, the "French cello school" conquered the world, with, in the 20th Century, figures like Maurice Maréchal, Pierre Fournier, André Navarra, Paul Tortelier and Maurice Gendron: and today it is doing if possible even better, as many new talents hatch. An heir to this long line and herself a radiant and warm character, Emmanuelle Bertrand is passionate about all music: she worked on Tout un monde lointain with the composer (Dutilleux), and is inspiring and creating new works. For this recording, she has chosen a baroque cello, with gut strings, and a 415 Hz tuning. Here it is the instrument that sets the agenda, not the performer. She has discovered a new freedom in this approach to the pages that she has played, like all cellists, since her childhood. Matured over long years, her performance of Six Solo Cello Suites crystallises perfectly around this fine Venetian instrument of the early 18th Century. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released September 6, 2019 | Genuin

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The young Romanian violinist Ioana Cristina Goicea and her piano partner Andrei Banciu draw on the full range of their talents: on their debut album, they bring late Romantic music by Richard Strauss, Erich Wolfgang Korngold and the world premiere recording by Stan Golestan to life in full color. The two winners of the competition are perfectly attuned to each other. A technically flawless rendition serves as the basis of their interpretation and is exalted by the extraordinary artistic personality of the two Romanian musicians. The romantic exuberance creates goosebumps! © Genuin
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Chamber Music - Released August 9, 2019 | PentaTone

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This album brings together two of the most exceptional chamber musicians of the contemporary scene, whose elegance and natural flair do wonders for the works of Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn Bartholdy. Scottish pianist Alasdair Beatson plays a beautiful 1837 Érard from the Collection Edwin Beunk, a similar instrument to the one that Mendelssohn owned in his Berlin residence, where the major works of this luminous programme were first performed. Johannes Moser, on the other hand, has borrowed a sumptuous Andrea Guarneri cello of 1694 from a private patron, and its fine autumnal tones can be heard here. Not only do the partners offer up what must surely be the finest version of the two cello solos by Felix Mendelssohn on period instruments, but also they allow us to reconsider to talent of the composer's sister, Fanny Hensel, thanks to two fairly short works of hers, one Fantasy in G Minor and one Capriccio in A Flat Major. A magnificent album, which makes one hope that the duo will soon start a regular collaboration with Pentatone. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/QobuzGerman-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser and Scottish pianist Alasdair Beatson present a moving portrait of the Mendelssohn family with this recording of pieces by the siblings Felix and Fanny. Once composed for the popular "Sunday Sessions" at the Berlin Mendelssohn family house, these works fit into the typically nineteenth-century tradition of domestic music-making, albeit at the highest thinkable level. Beatson plays an 1837 Érard fortepiano, identical to the instrument that belonged to the Mendelssohn household when these pieces were composed. Besides Felix Mendelssohn’s two sonatas for cello and piano, his Variations concertantes, Op.17, Lied ohne Worte, Op.109 and Albumblatt in B Minor are featured. Fanny Hensel-Mendelssohn’s Fantasia in G Minor and Capriccio in A-flat Major show what could have become of this talented female composer if societal conventions had not restricted her musical activities to the private salon. © Pentatone
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Chamber Music - Released June 21, 2019 | CPO

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As the author of five string quartets (composed between 1872 and 1911), multiple symphonies and an extensive catalogue of chamber music, Friedrich Gernsheim (1839-1916) was a solitary genius who was all-too-often ignored. Born in Worms into a cultured and well-to-do Jewish family, he quickly made a name for himself thanks to his exceptional talent and maturity. At the age of sixteen, with his qualifications under his belt, he went to try his luck in Paris. It was there that he met Liszt, Lalo, Saint-Saëns, Rossini and Berlioz. Though the pull back to his country of birth was strong and he eventually settled in Cologne, where he became director of the Conservatory.He was admired by Mahler and Strauss, a childhood friend of Bruch and exchanged extensive correspondence with Brahms. The two quartets recorded on this first volume by the brilliant Diogenes Quartet immediately attract attention for their effusive and tormented elements. While the influence of Brahms and Dvořák is palpable, the pieces are perfectly unique and have not deserved to be forgotten. The rise of Nazism in the 1920s was obviously not conducive to the diffusion of his music. Instead, it is the Diogenes Quartet (founded in 1998) who get to enjoy that honour. They have prepared a complete set of these five quartets, this album being the first exciting volume. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released June 7, 2019 | Orfeo

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Chamber Music - Released May 3, 2019 | PM Classics Ltd.

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Chamber Music - Released May 3, 2019 | CPO

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Quartets - Released April 26, 2019 | Alpha

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Formed in 1994 at the Royal College of Music in London, the Belcea Quartet already has an impressive discography, including the complete Beethoven string quartets. For this new recording, the ensemble has chosen three quartets by two iconic composers of the 20th century: Leos Janáček and György Ligeti. Fifteen years after their first recording for Zig-Zag, and after some changes in personnel, they have decided to record again the two string quartets by Janáček. The First Quartet was inspired by Leon Tolstoy’s famous novella, The Kreutzer Sonata: the four-movement work follows the narrative, including its culminating murder. The Second Quartet is subtitled Intimate Letters, in homage to Kamila Stösslova, with whom the composer had an important relationship expressed through letters, one that influenced both his life and his music. Finally, the First Quartet by Ligeti, subtitled Métamorphoses nocturnes because of its particular form. The composer described the work as a sort of theme and variations, but not with a specific theme that is then subsequently varied: rather, it is a single musical thought appearing under constantly new guises – for this reason the word ‘metamophoses’ is more appropriate than ‘variations’. © Alpha Classics
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Chamber Music - Released April 19, 2019 | PentaTone

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The Calder Quartet invites you on a journey from early to late Beethoven, passing through an exciting contemporary piece by Swedish composer Anders Hillborg along the way. Beethoven’s Op. 131 string quartet, that concludes this album, is already a great adventure in its own right, with its seven movements full of fugal writing, harmonic explorations, variations and passages filled with operatic drama. Hearing this late masterpiece together with the much more classical, but equally lively, Op. 18 no. 3 quartet opens our ears to the exceptional richness of Beethoven’s musical universe. Hillborg’s Kongsgaard Variations reveals unexpected sonic relationships to Beethoven’s variation technique, underlining the modernity of the older composer. This all leads to a program that is lively, layered and ravishingly beautiful. Hailed as one of the most exciting classical music groups of the United States, the Calder Quartet now presents the first fruit of its exclusive collaboration with Pentatone. © Pentatone
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Solo Piano - Released April 12, 2019 | ECM New Series

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For a truly great interpretation it’s not enough just to play a historical instrument, the playing also has to be up to scratch. This recording released by the world-renowned label ECM showcases a pianist of the highest calibre playing the wonderful Viennese Brodmann piano. András Schiff captures the convergence of thought and sound remarkably well and seldom before have we been given so much insight into Schubert’s innermost thoughts. The softness and the unmistakable legato that the pianist produces on this Viennese instrument give the Sonatas D. 958 and D. 959 an indescribable feeling of nostalgia. But Schubert’s inward revolt was growing and András Schiff leads us steadily to the edge of the abyss. The crystalline sounds of the Scherzo in the Sonata D. 959 are as enchanting as the sound of ancient harpists who were so often depicted by German Romantics. This exploration into sound is also marvellous in the Impromptus D. 899 and the 3 Klavierstücke D. 946 or “Three Piano Pieces”, which have a very expressive counterpoint that differ from the unfathomable depth of the sonatas. This album is a revelation into a whole new world of sound that is unveiled as András Schiff’s fingers touch the keys. Inspiring. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Duets - Released April 12, 2019 | La Musica

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Chamber Music - Released April 5, 2019 | audite Musikproduktion

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Chamber Music - Released April 5, 2019 | Alpha

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This recording is Anima’s very first to be completely devoted to instrumental ensemble music. A group of musicians headed by violinist Jakob Lehmann breathes new life into two 19th-century masterpieces. Schubert's Octet in F is a crown jewel from the repertoire, taking its cue from Beethoven’s celebrated Septet yet at the same time paving the way toward the "Grosse Sinfonie". Roughly 20 years after its iconic recording of the complete Schubert symphonies, Anima brings its signature approach to the composer’s chamber music to explore it with the insights and “language skills” developed back then and from thereon. In contrast to Schubert, Franz Berwald has been largely forgotten – undeservedly, as this gifted Swede left behind an oeuvre that is both surprisingly modern and delightfully original. Performed on period instruments, using authoritative sources and contemporary playing techniques, these brilliant pages of large ensemble music are now ready to be rediscovered and enjoyed once again. © Alpha Classics
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Chamber Music - Released April 5, 2019 | BIS

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Chamber Music - Released March 29, 2019 | Warner Classics

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Solo Piano - Released March 15, 2019 | Sony Classical

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Recordings of Schubert's swan song in the piano sonata genre, the Piano Sonata in B flat major, D. 960, are abundant, and Georgian pianist Khatia Buniatishvili deserves credit for trying something well out of the mainstream. This said, your reaction to the album may correspond to your general orientation toward iconoclasm. Buniatishvili's approach has the virtue of being coherent: she plays Schubert in a Lisztian way, and to underscore this she wraps up the program with Liszt's transcription of the famed song Ständchen, from the Schwanengesang cycle, D. 957. The four Impromptus of Op. 90 strike a nice balance between pianistic freedom and the intimate dimensions of these pieces; sample the final A flat major piece to hear the strongest argument for what Buniatishvili is doing here. She has a good deal of Lisztian charisma and a way of making you listen to what she's doing. The B flat major sonata you may find less satisfying. The opening movement is quite deliberate, with lots of tempo rubato, large dynamic contrasts, and pregnant slowdowns, with an enormous and not fully explicable full stop before the recapitulation begins. Other pianists (Sviatoslav Richter comes to mind) have approached the work this way, but perhaps nobody has taken the slow movement as slowly as Buniatishvili does: she takes more than 14 minutes with it, where most pianists take nine or ten. The last two movements are more conventional, and they can't quite cash the checks that the enormous first two movements are writing. This is a case where your mileage (kilometers?) may definitely vary, but where the artist definitely hasn't made safe choices. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released March 15, 2019 | La Dolce Volta

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Chamber Music - Released March 15, 2019 | Fuga Libera

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This fruitful “encounter” between Leonard Bernstein and Maurice Ravel juxtaposes Bernstein’s intensity and rhythmic vitality with the melancholy refinement of Ravel’s colours, while also highlighting the composers’ commonalities, such as a shared tonal language and masterful incorporation of jazz idioms. Our purpose, however, is not only to appreciate an artistic cross-exchange but also to build upon it. This is what Trio Zadig and Benjamin Attahir seek in Asfar, a new work that springs from the creative nexus of these 20th-century giants and continues the conversation. © Outhere Music
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Chamber Music - Released March 1, 2019 | BIS

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Chamber Music in the magazine