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Solo Piano - Released November 20, 2020 | Avie Records

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Both on the concert platform and in the recording studio, pianist Daniel-Ben Pienaar is a completist. Following complete cycles of piano sonatas by Beethoven and Mozart, he presents here 12 great piano sonatas by Franz Schubert – the composer’s 11 finished sonatas and the seminal fragment D. 840. Pienaar relishes in these revelatory works, their extraordinarily detailed possibilities of characterisation, their call for immense energy and abandon, and navigating the vast dreamscapes that unfold in the course of this six-hour musical journey. © AVIE Records
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Keyboard Concertos - Released November 20, 2020 | Piano 21

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Keyboard Concertos - Released November 13, 2020 | Piano 21

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Keyboard Concertos - Released October 23, 2020 | Piano 21

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Classical - Released October 16, 2020 | Piano 21

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Composed simultaneously in February 1785, Concertos K. 466 and K. 467 are virtually twin works, but dissimilar twins. His recent masonic experience may well have rubed off on Mozart’s creativity, for we can detect, dare I say it, “live”, a sudden deepening of his comprehension of the human tragedy in the first movement of Concerto K. 466 in D Minor, along with K. 491 in C Minor the only concertos in minor key. The breathless syncopes at the very beginning seem to anticipate Schubertian “Angst” in the face of the inexorable approach of death. Introspection bore Mozart towards the heights of expressive maturity. He was able to attain a degree of calmness in the Romanze, albeit interrupted by an agitated interlude. The final movement brings this masterpiece to a conquering, joyful conclusion. In contrast, in its first movement, the optimism of Concerto K. 467 expresses the need for bravery to maintain the grandeur of humanity notwithstanding the various inroads made by failing courage to gain the ascendancy without ever achieving it. The highly celebrated, divine Andante is in and of itself a purifying panacea. Truly, an angel passes. The derisive tone of the Finale is surprising but it brings us back to earth, perhaps to remind us that there is much work to be done before we can ascend to the Olympus of Spirituality and that, in the meantime, we should partake of earthly pleasures! © Cyprien Katsaris/Piano 21
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Classical - Released October 9, 2020 | Sony Classical

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Lang Lang would have called it Piano Book. But Cartier’s new muse decided to add a touch of mystery. Once again surfing on the wave of neo-classical-ambient piano initiated by the likes of Nils Frahm and Alexis Ffrench, one of the most famous personalities in the classical world has decided to bring her audience a collection of inescapable pieces. The works have a subtle feel and a gently melancholic character, captured in an acoustic recording (in the Grande Salle Pierre Boulez at the Philharmonie de Paris) where the recording’s fluffy character has deliberately been enhanced. Labyrinth is a playlist of some of the classical repertoire’s greatest hits. We find the likes of Satie’s Gymnopédie No. 1, J.S. Bach's Badinerie, Rachmaninov’s Prelude No. 4 Vocalise, Couperin’s Les barricades mystérieuses and Liszt’s Consolation No. 3.Throughout the 18 pieces, which include at least two lesser-known pieces (Villa-Lobos’ Valsa da dor and Pärt’s Pari intervallo), Khatia Buniatishvili doesn’t force contrasts. Instead, she plunges the listener into another dimension. Style is no longer the Georgian pianist’s concern. Emotion becomes abstract. There is only one spirit; that of her travelling soul.Nothing - and no one - will be able to compete with the profoundly philosophical character of this new concept album. “The labyrinth”, says the artist “is our fate and creation; our impasse and deliverance; the polyphony of life, senses, reawakened dreams and the neglected present; unexpected and expected turnings of the said or unsaid... The labyrinth of our mind.” © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Keyboard Concertos - Released September 25, 2020 | Piano 21

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Keyboard Concertos - Released September 18, 2020 | Piano 21

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Keyboard Concertos - Released September 11, 2020 | Piano 21

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Solo Piano - Released September 4, 2020 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama
In 2019, at the age of 22, Alexandre Kantorow became the first French pianist to win the prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition. Before then he had released three acclaimed albums, awarded distinctions such as "Diapason d'or de l'Année" and Gramophone's "Editor's Choice" and earning Kantorow descriptions ranging from 'Liszt reincarnated' to 'a firebreathing virtuoso with a poetic charm and innate stylistic mastery'. The present recital, his first release since the Tchaikovsky Competition, offers plenty of scope for virtuosity, poetry and charm, always filtered through an acute stylistic consciousness. The programme is constructed around three rhapsodies, a genre whose improvisatory character corresponds perfectly with the spirit of Romanticism but here interpreted by three highly distinct artistic temperaments: Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms and Béla Bartók. © BIS Records
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Solo Piano - Released September 4, 2020 | harmonia mundi

This box set assembles the complete Beethoven symphonies, patiently transcribed for piano over a quarter of a century and recorded for harmonia mundi by a glittering array of soloists in the late 1980s. Liszt’s assiduity in this task reminds us of his spiritual, well-nigh religious admiration for the older composer, a genius ‘consecrated in art’ whose ‘conscientious translator’ he wished to be, thanks to the latest pianistic advances. Traduttore or traditore? Judge for yourself: Liszt does not make simple reductions or arrangements, but totally rewrites the works, as if they had been originally conceived for the piano! © harmonia mundi
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Classical - Released July 31, 2020 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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After having recorded Beethoven’s entire sonata catalogue in mono between 1950 and 1953, Wilhelm Backhaus, at DECCA’s request, delivered a second version of this album, between 1958 and 1969, this time in stereo and re-released on Qobuz in Hi-Res. But Backhaus would not live to see the recording of Sonata n°29 "Hammerklavier", a great shame as he was an outstanding interpreter of this piece - Beethoven (and Brahms) was his favourite composer.According to those who saw his live performances, it was in public that Backhaus’s artistic spontaneity shined. The richness and power of his performances are clear in the rare live recordings available. Indeed, his studio recordings presented a much more restricted and controlled musician, less taken by Beethoven’s musical momentum, which he performed so spectacularly. Backhaus’s discography remains to this day a great testament and an ode to Beethoven’s music.
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Keyboard Concertos - Released July 24, 2020 | Piano 21

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Solo Piano - Released July 24, 2020 | Mode Records

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Keyboard Concertos - Released July 17, 2020 | Piano 21

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Keyboard Concertos - Released July 10, 2020 | Piano 21

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Keyboard Concertos - Released June 19, 2020 | Piano 21

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Keyboard Concertos - Released June 12, 2020 | Piano 21

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

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Classical - Released May 22, 2020 | Idil Biret Archive

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« A supreme mastery of tempi, sonorities, polyphony and of course technique permits Biret to embrace all the moods of the great Beethoven and gives her playing a symphonic depth rarely heard until now.» Le Nouvel Observateur (France) / Henry-Louis de la Grange« Idil Biret grasps the size of Beethoven's style. The polyphony is laid out in a relaxed way with little indulgence in point making. She keeps her big line, and yet is thankfully sparing in her use of fortissimos... The piano tone is sumptuous. Biret's gentle and almost sensuous sonorities are really captivating. This is a remarkable achivement. One is reminded that her mentor has been Wilhelm Kempff. » Gramophone (UK) / J. Methuen-Campbell“Her superbly authentic performance of the 5th Symphony, heard at her Herkülessaal recital in Munich, received a thunderous reception.” Münchner Merkur