Albums

1429 albums sorted by Date: from newest to oldest
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Solo Piano - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

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Keyboard Concertos - Released September 7, 2018 | Warner Classics

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Solo Piano - Released August 31, 2018 | La Dolce Volta

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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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Solo Piano - Released June 1, 2018 | Nimbus Alliance

Booklet
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Solo Piano - Released May 25, 2018 | Le Palais des Dégustateurs

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Solo Piano - Released May 4, 2018 | Challenge Classics

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama
This is the third album for Challenge Classics from the excellent Israeli pianist Einav Yarden, who, having made the most of the world of Haydn, and before that Beethoven and Stravinsky, is now taking on the most complex figure in early German romanticism, Robert Schumann, by way of a repertoire that is in part fairly original (Drei Fantasiestücke Op. 111 to start) but also well-trodden (Fantasie Op. 17, Waldszenen) by his fellow musicians. The tough competition should not distract you, however, from this musician, who is still little known in these parts, a student of Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Conservatory, much beloved of Elisso Virsaladze, and who first trained in Israel. His performances of Schumann set themselves apart with their striving for structural clarity and ample phrasing, which sometimes presages Brahms, rather than a drive for lyricism or for sweetly febrile poetry. © Théodore Grantet/Qobuz The three works on this album span a period of fifteen years – years in which the young Schumann suffered forcible separation from his beloved Clara, followed by their marriage and a brief period of relative calm, to the increasing bouts of mental instability which were to close him off from the world around him until his death. The piano Fantasiestücke op. 111 was composed in 1851 during a time of deteriorating mental health and increasing disillusionment with his post as Music Director of the Düsseldorf Music Society. In contrast to the youthfully extrovert Fantasiestücke op. 12 of 1837, these three untitled pieces are “of a serious and passionate character”, as Clara described them, their bold harmonies intensifying their expressivity. The Fantasie in C major op. 17 is one of Schumann’s most powerful large-scale piano works, composed during the bitter period of his enforced separation from Clara. Schumann completed his cycle of nine forest piano miniatures, Waldszenen, in 1849, while struggling with increasing bouts of mental instability and depression. Each piece is headed by a descriptive title. These masterly tone paintings display Schumann’s genius in creating miniature images consummate in expression, characterisation and mood. © Challenge Classics
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Solo Piano - Released April 20, 2018 | Orfeo

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
The church bells that he heard aged four, walking in the streets of Zurich with his parents, were the point of departure for the young Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontesi who still remembers this moment as a shock that violently brought home the power of music. The sonic beauty and harmonic richness in the tolling of the bells set something off in his unconscious, sparking a lifelong quest for the timbres and sonorities that he is so deft at bringing to life on his piano. At the age of five, he tried to reproduce the sound of the bells on a little toy piano; at twelve, he played Grieg's Concerto in A Minor and started to perform in public. But two years later he became aware of the limits of his technical abilities and also of the strange tensions wracking his body. His encounter with the pianist Cécile Ousset was decisive. He re-learned his entire technique and turned to face his career with renewed confidence. Just like in a fairy tale, one day he received a letter from Alfred Brendel who had heard him by chance on the radio, and asked to work with him. After spending a whole hour on the first lines of Beethoven's Fourth Concerto, the young man would work on his whole repertoire with the great master, whom he would regularly visit in London. Later Murray Perahia would teach him the structures of a work, so he could build his own interpretations. Today, Francesco Piemontesi has become a master in his own right, playing all over the world with the greatest orchestras; he was also the musical director of the Ascona Music Weeks, where he heard all the greatest pianists of his youth. The Ticinese worked for a long time with Brendel to bring his Liszt to maturity, which allowed him to offer up this fine recording of the Première Année de pèlerinage, dedicated to his native Switzerland, which he knows so well. This new recording doesn't conjure up an image of Piemontesi as the superficial virtuoso, but rather of Liszt as a great creator of innovative harmonies, who would have so much influence on the generations that followed him. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released April 20, 2018 | Daphne Records

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Solo Piano - Released April 13, 2018 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Special Soundchecks
Among the many young talents which are currently developing on the musical scene, a select few are particularly spellbinding. One of these is Florian Noack whose generosity and solar brilliance shine through from the very first listening. His vivaciousness and curiosity are thrilling and infectious. His "twenty-five" fingers gallop marvellously across the keyboard. And most important of all, his sincerity and humility command respect.  A traveller to the heart of national folk musics, he shares in their unique flavours, by turns exquisite and powerful; he sometimes offers his own unique arrangements... Pianist Florian Noack invites us here on a stunning musical adventure: his first recording for La Dolce Volta, after several albums for Ars Produktion and Artalinna. Florian Noack's album is structured around dance: Brahms, Grieg, Schubert, Rachmaninov, Szymanowski, Komitas, Janáček, Nín, Martucci, Grainger, for a virtuous, poetical and intimate sequence. Florian Noack deploys all the range of his talent to bring us the quintessence of these pieces, which in other hands would seem banal. This is an utterly charming album, which will not leave anyone indifferent: that's for sure! © La Dolce Volta
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Solo Piano - Released April 6, 2018 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Following his beautiful complete collection of Brahms’ works for Chandos – a highly recommended collection, even more satisfying than Plowright’s for BIS or Geoffroy Couteau’s for La Dolce Volta −, pianist Barry Douglas continues his phonographic adventures with Schubert. This third Schubert volume features the first of his last three sonatas in C minor titled D. 958, which was once one of Sviatoslav Richter’s hobby horses, who fully embraced its experimental nature and hallucinated blow. Douglas’ gestures are perfectly balanced, very natural, and he offers a vision exempt from madness, but not lacking in lyricism, reminiscent at times of Wilhelm Kempff or Ingrid Schaebler. A second large-scale corpus, the Six moments musicaux, D. 780 are defended by Barry Douglas with a rather restrained tempo (No. 4) to perfectly highlight all its polyphonic details and overall structure. At times, the performance feels oddly closer to Brahms… A must listen! © Théodore Grantet/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released March 29, 2018 | Les Indispensables de Diapason

Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Chamber Music - Released March 23, 2018 | CPO

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
French music has often been enriched by musicians from abroad who have breathed new life into national styles, like the Florentine Jean-Baptiste Lully (Giovanni-Battista Lulli, in fact) who invented musical tragedy, the grand motet or the French overture; or indeed César Franck, the Liégeois to whom France owes the renewal of the symphony and of chamber music, and who fostered a whole school of young French musicians. César Franck's String Quartet in D Major, one of his last works, is the first great string quartet of the modern French school, and it opened the way for Debussy and Ravel. First performed in 1890 to a very enthusiastic reception at the Société Nationale de Musique, today it is somewhat overlooked by quartet musicians, although no-one can really say why, because it is a strong piece which fits very well as part of the repertoire. Specialising in the Russian repertoire (Shostakovitch, Weinberg) and having performed the débuts of several contemporary works (Greif, Mantovani and Rihm) the Danel Quartet has worked with the Amadeus and Borodin Quartets. Thanks to a very colourful expressive range, and deeply subtle nuances, the musicians of the quartet are able to find here both the elegiac and the tragic within Franck's two works. On the famous Quintet in F Minor, which is more often recorded, Finnish pianist Paavali Jumppanen melds perfectly into the ensemble, as part of a very rewarding dialogue. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released March 23, 2018 | Rubicon Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Solo Piano - Released March 16, 2018 | Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Chamber Music - Released March 9, 2018 | HORTUS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Keyboard Concertos - Released March 2, 2018 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Keyboard Concertos - Released February 23, 2018 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles de Classica
For his first album with Sony Classical, Adam Laloum returns to one of his favourite composers. He distinguished himself with his first recording in 2011, for Mirare, which contained four of the composer's major works: Variations on an original theme Op. 21 No. 1, the wonderful and too-little-played Klavierstücke from Op. 76, the two Rhapsodies Op. 79 and the 3 Intermezzi Op. 117. And so it is hardly a surprise that today he is offering up his vision of Brahms's Concertos. Sony Classical has marshalled its formidable resources: one of the best orchestras in Germany, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin; and one of the young wolves of orchestral conducting from Asia (but already well-known in Europe - witness his many collaborations with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande for Pentatone) join them twice, once in August, then in October 2016, in the Radio Berlin Großer Sendesaal, for sessions which must have been a childhood dream come true for the young Frenchman. An amazing experience! © 2018 Théodore Grantet/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released February 16, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Unfortunately no, dear reader, there is no such thing as a cycle of “24 Preludes” by Rachmaninoff; however there are indeed 24 Preludes: a collection of ten Op. 23 from 1903, 13 other Op. 32 from 1910 and one isolated Prelude from the Morceaux de fantaisie Op. 3 (Fantasy Pieces) from 1893. In total: 24 Preludes, in which as a simple count shows Rachmaninoff − much like Chopin and of course Bach − illustrated all major and minor tones. Deliberately random, or the involuntary drive to create a reasonably coherent cycle? Contrary to his two illustrious predecessors, Rachmaninoff didn’t order his Preludes according to a specific tonal plan: the musician’s fantasy develops bit by bit. Nikolai Lugansky – described by the famous magazine Gramophone as “the most innovative and transcendent interpreter of all” (so much for the others…), truly an extraordinarily deep and polyvalent pianist – decided to present the Preludes in the order prescribed by partitions, rather than reorganising them according to some hypothetical tonal logic, without knowing if Rachmaninoff would even have recommended or even considered it, particularly as the constant alternation of moods, independently of any tonal consideration, gives the piece a sense of perfect coherence. Finally it’s worth mentioning that Lugansky offers a very “original” interpretation of this divine music, which may feel like a re-discovery to some listeners. © SM/Qobuz