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Classical - Released March 13, 2020 | EnPhases

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 étoiles de Classica
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Classical - Released March 6, 2020 | Ricercar

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
Johann Paul von Westhoff (1656-1705) was one of the most brilliant members of the significant school of violinists that flourished in seventeenth-century Dresden. This impressive virtuoso, who was even applauded by Louis XIV at Versailles, wrote the very first compositions for unaccompanied violin, which of course foreshadow the later masterpieces of Johann Sebastian Bach. The programme recorded here includes some suites from his collection published in Dresden in 1696, as well as the suite that was printed in the Mercure galant of Paris in 1683, following his visit to Versailles. © Ricercar
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Classical - Released March 6, 2020 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
After several recordings with Anima Eterna and Jos Van Immerseel, the French violinist Chouchane Siranossian tackles a programme of extremely virtuosic concertos that few Baroque violinists dare to face. Thanks to her technical gifts and to partners ideally suited to this repertory – the Venice Baroque Orchestra and its conductor Andrea Marcon, a specialist in the Italian Baroque style – she takes up the challenge with brio. This album is released to coincide with the 250th anniversary of Tartini’s death in 2020. Of special interest is a completely unknown and unpublished Concerto in G major, the manuscript of which was recently found by the musicologist Margherita Canale. © Alpha Classics
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Symphonic Music - Released March 6, 2020 | Decca

Erich Kleiber’s major Tchaikovsky recordings, newly remastered and coupled with Ruggero Ricci’s debut recording for Decca. Only a truncated version of the Capriccio Italien from 1933 predates these accounts of the Fourth and Sixth symphonies in the Kleiber discography. They were made in Paris – Decca apparently esteemed the playing of the Conservatoire Orchestra in Russian repertoire – and are precious testaments to the particular attack and vigour he inspired from orchestras in this music. Despite being recorded under 78rpm conditions, in four- or five-minute sections, the Fourth Symphony is marked by a palpable symphonic rigour as well as the edgy brass which lends such intensity to Decca’s Paris recordings of Russian music. This Fourth dates from 1949; four years later Kleiber returned to Paris for the ‘Pathétique’, recorded on tape, with an especially compelling sense of line drawn through the symphony’s tragic finale. After his early death in January 1956, at the age of 65, his friend Jacques Barzun recalled watching Kleiber rehearse and perform in Paris, presumably for these recordings: ‘He did not seem to conduct, that is, to earn his fee on the podium. All his histrionic ability went into rehearsal: there he gestured, danced, chattered, pantomimed his way into the subconscious of his players until the right musical utterance came out of their fingers and lungs.’ In January 1950, when Ruggiero Ricci first recorded the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, he was 31 years old and had been performing in public for over 20 years. The sessions marked his debut for Decca, at least in concertos, and he was most sympathetically partnered by Sir Malcolm Sargent – the preferred conductor of Jascha Heifetz on his appearances in London. Two further Decca recordings followed, in 1961 and 1974, both impressive in their ways and technologically advanced but hardly superseding the folksy bravura and legerdemain of his initial efforts. (© Decca / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)
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Classical - Released February 28, 2020 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or / Arte - 5 étoiles de Classica
Almost forty years separate Verklärte Nacht from the Violin Concerto – the former still influenced by the idiom of Brahms and Wagner, the latter deriving from the richness of that later period when Schoenberg managed to combine a multiplicity of approaches within his twelve-note system. Between post-Romantic twilight and ‘classical’ rigour, Isabelle Faust and her most faithful partners offer us an extraordinarily lively interpretation of some of the most remarkable pages in twentieth-century musical literature. © harmonia mundi
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Classical - Released February 21, 2020 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - 5 étoiles de Classica
This is the first time a French violinist has joined the line of prestigious solo virtuosi recording for the Vivaldi Edition. Violinist Julien Chauvin and his Concert de la Loge – founded in 2015, and modelled on one of the most celebrated orchestras of the late 18th century – here reveal all the discreet charms of an inventive concertante style rich in detail, featuring Vivaldi’s favoured instrument. This particular set of concerti highlight the consistently close links between Vivaldi’s instrumental and operatic works. ‘Transcending the difference of genre, the Venetian composer’s unitary conception of language and style allowed him to pass with the deft skill of a juggler from one domain to the other, making them happily converge on common ground,’ writes Cesare Fertonani. In these six concertos we can hear superbly phrased cantabile, with all the players seeming to breathe as one: and above all a sense of dramatic and narrative tension in Vivaldi’s finest vein. Musical quotations, borrowings, reworkings and affinities here bring his instrumental music and operas closer together – two genres of equal virtuosity, on which he lavished his genius in equal measure, and in every expressive register. © naive classique
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Concertos - Released February 14, 2020 | Arcana

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 étoiles de Classica
After calling it ‘a wonderful album in all respects’, the magazine Diapason concluded its review of "Suite Case. Violin Duos from Vivaldi to Sollima" with the question, ‘When can we look forward to the second volume?’ In this new project, the violin of Stefano Barneschi gives way to the cello of Giovanni Sollima, the multi-talented musician from Palermo featured here not only as a composer. On this new journey, again beginning with Antonio Vivaldi, Giovanni Sollima and Chiara Zanisi travel between early and modern music, between classical and folk (the Old Scots Tunes of Francesco Barsanti), with two previously unrecorded gems by the Roman composer Giovanni Battista Costanzi. The entire recording is punctuated by tracks taken from Suite Case, a cycle composed especially by Sollima for this project. © Arcana
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Classical - Released February 7, 2020 | Glossa

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Violinist Fabio Biondi has a singular capacity for finding something new and exciting in the music of Antonio Vivaldi whenever he considers it, a prodigious feat which he demonstrates with "Concerti per La Pietà", a new collection of works calling for a variety of demanding solo challenges, superbly met by Biondi and his colleagues from Europa Galante. In his Venetian years the well-spring of Vivaldian inventiveness was fed by the composer working with one of the leading orchestras of early eighteenthcentury Europe: the one at the Ospedale della Pietà, the charitable institution which took in, cared for – and educated – girls who had been orphaned or abandoned. Within the ospedale were nurtured instrumental virtuosos – known today only by their “sporting nicknames”: Bettina della viola, Margherita del arpa doppia, Lucieta della tromba, etc. Calling variously for solo violin, two violins, lute, cello, organ, or viola d’amore (Biondi plays an unreconstructed 1758 Vinaccia instrument), the concertos recorded here are drawn from across the thirty years in which Vivaldi worked at the ospedale. The freshness and personalness of Fabio Biondi’s musicmaking with Europa Galante has itself now been in evidence for a remarkable three decades and this new Album, conceived as a special 30thanniversary recording, won’t disappoint listeners ready to have their preconceptions challenged yet be stimulated by consummate musicianship. © Glossa
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Classical - Released February 7, 2020 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Using period instruments, Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov breathe new life into these ‘sonatas for keyboard with violin accompaniment’, a tradition Mozart renewed from within, blazing the trail for Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann. The first volume was widely praised: ‘The greater similarity of tone between Faust’s sparkling violin and Melnikov’s glittering fortepiano (within an airier acoustic) results in a sound more akin to the jingling of small bells. It’s delicious’ (Gramophone). ‘In a world full of star violinists, all with technical facility and individual style, it’s rare to find one that everyone agrees is just – brilliant. Isabelle Faust is that violinist’ (The Strad). © harmonia mundi
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Chamber Music - Released February 7, 2020 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res
The Belle Époque, the era lasting from the end of the Franco-Prussian War to the beginning of World War I (1871-1914), was a diverse period; the name is indicative at best of general tendencies such as peace and prosperity, along with darker trends. Violinist Daniel Hope's Belle Époque album contains music from various countries in a wide range of styles, and it's not quite a concept album. However, it does hang together in interesting ways. Hope's program mixes orchestral pieces and chamber music; this could easily have happened in a late 19th century concert, which might have thrown in some solo piano music as well. His selections from both the salon and the learned studio, pieces like Fritz Kreisler's Liebesleid, bump up against Webern's Four Pieces, Op. 7, with most of the music somewhere in between. What's fascinating is that the light and heavy works seem to have things to say to each other. It helps that Hope unearths some less familiar items and recruits enthusiastic collaborators. The Concerto for violin, piano, and string quartet of Chausson (here played with a string orchestra) is an unusual and moody work, and there are such novelties as Schoenberg's totally tonal Notturno for violin, harp, and string orchestra. Several pieces make use of Jane Berthe's harp, an instrument that doesn't always get its due in 19th century programming. The chamber music disc is full of attractive and rarely played items, such as Alexander Zemlinsky's Serenade and George Enescu's Impromptu concertant, and if the Webern seems to come out of nowhere, an audience of the early 20th century might not have heard it that way. Both enjoyable and innovative, like so much of Hope's work. © TiVo
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Classical - Released February 7, 2020 | CPO

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Thirteen years ago, Federico Gugliemo and his L’Arte dell’Arco (The Art of the Bow) already payed tribute to the Florence-born violinist and composer Francesco Maria Veracini. In the 17th century, Veracini was considered as the prime violinist of his time, overpassing Corelli, Tartini or Vivaldi. Veracini achieved outstanding success in London as a violinist for the Queen’s Theatre. He lived in Dresden where, challenged by rival musicians, he jumped out of a window. Arrived lame in Prague where he stayed for a short period, he then moved back to London. But on its way to Britain, Veracini‘s ship sank in the middle of the Channel. The composer was saved and fled to Florence, where he lived a safer life writing sacred music and working as kapellmeister. Conducted by Federico Gugliemo and recorded in 2018 in the dry acoustic of Este’s Cabinet de lecture (library), the album includes series of openings, (suites), sonatas, and a Violin Concerto in D major performed by Gugliemo. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released January 24, 2020 | Fuga Libera

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
Eugène Ysaÿe, a violin virtuoso admired by all his contemporaries, was an inheritor of what has justly been considered as the Belgian school of violin, whose ascendancy can be traced back to the beginning of the 19th century. His work as a composer, however, is much less well known today and it is this facet of his extraordinarily active life that we will explore here. He composed many different types of works; here we present his works for solo violin and orchestra, including two movements of violin concertos which are now available on record for the first time, and his chamber music. A great champion of the music of his time, Ysaÿe gave the first performances of a great number of works, many of which were dedicated to him as well as having been commissioned by him; the most well-known of these pieces are also included here. This fascinating boxed set from the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel is a fine example of the work of this important musical institution: it features the Chapel’s masters* and the young soloists* who trained there alongside two Belgian orchestras of international renown. © Fuga Libera* Violin : Yossif Ivanov - Nikita Boriso-Glebsky - Tedi Papavrami - Maria Milstein - Lorenzo Gatto - Renaud Capuçon - Júlia Pusker - Augustin Dumay - Elina Buksha - Hyeon Jin Jane Cho - Kerson Leong Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège - Jean-Jacques Kantorow, François-Xavier Roth, Christian Arming, conductors Brussels Philharmonic - Stéphane Denève, conductor Quatuor Hermès Viola : Hélène Desaint - Miguel da Silva Cello : Gary Hoffman - Astrig Siranossian - Henri Demarquette - Danilo Squitieri Piano : Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden - Julien Libeer - Jonathan Fournel
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Violin Concertos - Released January 10, 2020 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
 
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Classical - Released January 3, 2020 | Glossa

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique
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Classical - Released January 3, 2020 | CPO

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released January 3, 2020 | CPO

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released December 13, 2019 | Passacaille

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Classical - Released December 6, 2019 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason découverte
It seems as though a young European prodigy comes along each year and is proclaimed to be the next big thing, but Johan Dalene has the chops to make it last, or so it seems from the evidence here. Just 19 when this recording was released, at the end of 2019, Dalene is both daring and thoughtful in the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35. He could have played it safe, as many young players do with their debut releases. Instead, he takes the concerto's outer movements at a skittery quick tempo, pushing himself to the edge but not beyond. Then for the more melodic passages in the opening movement, he takes time and lets the music breathe. It's an impressive performance of a very familiar work, but the Violin Concerto, Op. 14, of Samuel Barber, is possibly even better. Some Barber works seem Romantic in style, but on closer examination, turn out to be quite modern in form, and this concerto is a complex example. It has the big tunes, but its use of the violin is atypical and constantly shifting; Barber said that the work was more a sonata than a concerto. Dalene's lively, alert performance is complemented by fine work from the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Blendulf in what is throughout a really impressive debut concerto recording. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released December 6, 2019 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released November 15, 2019 | Alpha

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Qobuzissime
The final part of this intelligent and well-rounded triptych certainly deserves a Qobuzissime! It has been several years since we have been following this grandiose but relaxed duo, made up of violinist Lorenzo Gatto and pianist Julien Libeer. The Belgian pair have brought their complete collection of Beethoven’s sonatas for violin and piano to a close. There is a lot of spontaneity in this integral work, yet this freshness is not synonymous with offhandedness. On the contrary, the fruit of a well thought-out project, it unfolds as a thrilling story in three parts. The first volume opened like a stage curtain on this landmark of Beethoven with the iconic Kreutzer sonata, a strong score which trumps the expectations of the genre. The vehement drama of the first movement, slow and in a minor key, contrasts with the gentle nature of the second movement and confirms that the sonata is well and truly a format for two instruments on an equal footing and not just a support act to the piano, a Steinway in this instance.The second one delineated the milestones of an expanding genre. From the first to the last sonata, via the most popular nicknamed Spring, we bear witness to a general amplification of style. From Opus 12 to Opus 96, the form expands, the technical difficulty of playing increases and the light-hearted fun gives way to a more energetic rhetoric. For this second album, the duo chose the lustrous power of Chris Maene’s parallel-stringed piano. The instrument affords the necessary resonance to the interpretation of this sometimes outright zesty, sometimes tenderly subtle score.The third volume frames the Steinway’s radiance (Sonatas 6 and 7) with the more ample Maene piano (Sonatas 3 and 8) and is dedicated to the works conceived when the composer’s hearing began to falter. Paradoxically, this nightmare for Beethoven has brought about a gift for his listeners. Varied combinations of timbres, styles and character are constantly renewed in this cycle which Gatto and Libeer faithfully interpret throughout its entirety. Our award of recognition is also a retrospective on the first two milestones of this adventure which has valiantly held its promise. An important integral work to explore and encourage others to do so as well! © Elsa Siffert/Qobuz