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Solo Piano - Released March 27, 2020 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Solo Piano - Released March 13, 2020 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
What exactly is this “new path” (neuer Weg) that the infamous fortepianist Andreas Staier is inviting us on with this new album published as part of harmonia mundi’s vast Beethoven 2020-2027 project? All the works offered here were composed at the dawn of the 19th century by a young tempestuous composer who was conscious of his worth but also of his weakness as he began to feel the first effects of the deafness that would go on to take over his life. This recital is mind blowing from the first few beats of the thundering Sonata No. 16 in G major. With his crystalline, weightless fortepiano built by Mathias Müller around 1810, Staier seems to show us how much this frail instrument labours to show the full spectrum of the composer’s genius, boundary-breaking as it was at the time. The three sonatas and two series of variations that make up this programme were all published in 1802, at a time when Beethoven wanted to “start something new” at the turn of the century after the slew of revolutionary torment that had shaken Europe to its core. It was a new way of thinking for a composer who spoke with a more authoritative tone than his predecessors, in the “first person”. Andreas Staier is without a doubt one of the best possible performers to portray this new era of musical and artistic thinking that arose during a troubled time (the rise of Napoleon) when the clarity of language rivalised the closing off of individuality. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released March 6, 2020 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or / Arte - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica
After recording Rachmaninov's 24 Preludes and a recital dedicated to Claude Debussy for his new publisher harmonia mundi, pianist Nikolai Lugansky extends his repertoire even further with a monographic album dedicated solely to César Franck. The list of piano works by this organ-playing composer was not very extensive, so Lugansky chose to perform the Prelude, Fugue and Variation Op. 18, and theChorale No. 2 , on the piano, both in the same key. Written specifically for the piano, the two triptychs Prélude, Choral et Fugue and Prélude, Aria et Final are inspired by both Bach and Liszt and had an obvious influence on later French music, particularly with Albéric Magnard (Symphony No. 3) and all the way up to Francis Poulenc (Concerto for organ ). Nikolai Lugansky constructs these pieces like a builder, with unfailing solidity. He brings out the architecture and the projections with power and fullness, while looking for what he calls "a French sound, a beauty of sonority and refined sound without lourdeur". © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Trios - Released November 29, 2019 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica
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Solo Piano - Released November 1, 2019 | Deutsche Grammophon

Distinctions Choc de Classica
In tribute to the life and art of the Viennese pianist Jörg Demus, who died in April 2019, Eloquence releases his earliest recordings of Schubert’s Impromptus and Moments Musicaux. By the time of these sessions, which took place over a week in April 1958, Demus was not yet 30 but already an experienced recording artist, having made LPs of the duet music for Westminster with his Viennese colleague Paul Badura-Skoda, as well as a Remington Records disc of the Moments musicaux and much else besides, focusing on the Austro-German repertoire of the Classical and early-Romantic eras which would make his reputation. The Deutsche Grammophon engineers captured Demus more lucidly and favourably than their rivals, and in both mono and stereo incarnations these records would stand the test of time, though they have never been reissued as a complete set on CD. Newly remastered from the original tapes, they reveal the depth of Demus’s understanding in Schubert’s music, an unfussy technique and a modesty which never seeks to impose pathos and profundity from without but which dances with a rare lightness of spirit. Born and raised in Vienna, Demus understood this music as a precursor to the popular waltzes and polkas of the Strauss family. ‘Only a complete realization and comprehension of the accompanimental rhythms – precise and yet with a slight touch of a personal accent – will in many cases create the right atmosphere.’ When he died in April 2019, one of the many affectionate Austrian obituaries referred to Demus as ‘the ballet-master of ten fingers’: a description that summed him up perfectly, as these recordings demonstrate. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)
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Quartets - Released October 11, 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica - Qobuzissime
Six quartets: six works that are key to understanding what Joseph Haydn brought to western music. This effort by the Quatuor Hanson is particularly successful because they are past masters in constructing and expressing the soul of this subtle art. And what's more, they bring it off with a fascinating level of instrumental skill. Listening to this piece, we have to bow down once again before the genius of a composer who, along with Boccherini, invented a new genre and immediately studded it with masterpieces of staggering quality. Judiciously picked out from among Haydn's vast corpus, these six quartets are touching both in their expressiveness and in the perfection of their writing. Not a single note out of place, a perfect balance of four voices and inspired right from the first moment up to the incomplete closing Opus 77, which was a contemporary of Beethoven's first Quartets, Op. 18 – works that betray the lessons their writer learned from his master. More than two hundred years after his death, Haydn has only just found recognition as one of the greats, although he had been accorded that status during his life. But his works for keyboards, the symphonies, the oratorios, and to a lesser extent, the operas, speak in his favour. More than a forerunner, Haydn is a founder, a genius whose influence was felt by those who came after him, foremost amongst whom Beethoven and Schubert. This splendid album puts him (back) in his rightful place. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released September 27, 2019 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or / Arte - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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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Chamber Music - Released September 6, 2019 | CPO

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Trios - Released June 21, 2019 | Le Palais des Dégustateurs

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Solo Piano - Released May 24, 2019 | Le Palais des Dégustateurs

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Quartets - Released April 26, 2019 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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 March 22, 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica
Vlado Perlemuter and Jean Hubeau’s pupil, Michel Dalberto has established himself during a forty year career as a master. And as an ardent defender of French music he launched on Aparté a series dedicated to Debussy, Fauré, Franck and Ravel. “With these recordings of works of four major French composers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, I wish to prove myself worthy of the teachers who used to provide a specific idea of French music made of severity and sensuality, a mixture of rigour and freedom.” After a first opus devoted to Debussy and a second to Fauré (both rewarded with international awards), Michel Dalberto chose the Salle Philharmonique in Liège to record the third part of this collection – that is to say in César Franck’s home town. © Aparté
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Chamber Music - Released March 15, 2019 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica
Two years after releasing her CD dedicated to Book I of J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Céline Frisch now presents the second volume of this musical landmark. Bach compiled Book II in 1744, twenty-two years after Book I. It took until 1801 for both volumes to be printed: from then until the present day they have inspired countless composers. After a series of recordings with the Ensemble Zimmermann she helped to found, Céline Frisch returns to the harpsichord recital, for a programme of this, her very favourite music. Through these preludes and fugues, she reminds us that far from being technical exercises, the Well- Tempered Clavier is a work of pure pleasure and constant renewed discovery. As Robert Schumann declared: ‘You should frequently play the fugues of the great masters, particularly those of J.S. Bach. Make the Well-Tempered Clavier your daily bread.’ © Alpha Classics
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Chamber Music - Released March 15, 2019 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Solo Piano - Released March 1, 2019 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica
Russian-British pianist Yevgeny Sudbin has recorded Beethoven's piano concertos in the past, but this pairing of Beethoven's last two piano sonatas and his late set of bagatelles, released in 2019, was his first solo Beethoven release. It's a bold choice, for many pianists spend decades before taking on these physically and spiritually difficult works. As it happens, Sudbin offers late Beethoven interpretations that are very much in line with the rest of his playing. You won't find the mystical side of late Beethoven here to much of a degree, but the virtuoso Beethoven is certainly present, and the album makes you hope that a recording of the Piano Sonata No. 29 in B flat major, Op. 106 ("Hammerklavier") is on the horizon. That work, with its relentless plunge into intricate forward motion, interrupted only by the bleakest of bleak slow movements, would fit Sudbin wonderfully. In the last two sonatas, he seems to be waiting for the virtuoso passages: the first movement of the Piano Sonata No. 31 in A flat major, Op. 110, lacks its usual lyricism, but the finale, perfectly defined and sweeping in its momentum, will make you forget all about that. Likewise, the big variation set in the Piano Sonata No. 32, Op. 111, with which Beethoven closed out his sonata output, is very strong as the theme goes through mind-bending transformations into syncopations and into the buzzing infinite. In the Bagatelles, Op. 126, Sudbin seems to try to create virtuoso music where there is none really there: his Presto fourth bagatelle is played prestissimo and misses the shocking, ragtime-like syncopations in the score. The BIS sound engineering, from a couple of different English churches, is uncharacteristically chilly, but this is a recommended release for those who enjoy the Russian school of Beethoven playing. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released March 1, 2019 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Solo Piano - Released February 1, 2019 | SOMM Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica
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Quartets - Released January 11, 2019 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Solo Piano - Released November 30, 2018 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica
Through his “brilliance and maturity” (as described by The Guardian) the Russian-Lithuanian pianist Lukas Geniušas has established himself on the international scene as one of the most interesting artists of his generation. He has appeared in London's Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Milan's Salle Verdi, Moscow's Conservatory and Roque d'Anthéron, and with orchestras such as the Philharmonique de Radio France, the National de Lyon, the NHK of Tokyo, the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, the Russian National Orchestra, the list goes on... He has chosen here a Prokofiev programme combining early works from his younger years (the Ten Pieces Op. 12 which is a junior work and yet so intimately prokofievian already!) with the work from his first stage of maturity (Second Sonata from 1912) and the work from his full maturity (the Fifth Sonata). Even better, this Fifth Sonata was written "for the first time" in 1923 after his time in Paris, then revised three decades later under the constraint, undoubtedly, of the infamous Jdanov decree which had accused the composer of all anti-Soviet evils, but also due to a very personal concern (he wanted to purify the piano gesture). In a way this work seems almost "Parisian" as it has so many similarities with Poulenc's style. © SM/Qobuz
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Quartets - Released November 30, 2018 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica - Exceptional Sound Recording

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Chamber Music in the magazine