Chamber Music - Released June 22, 2018 | Glossa

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François Francœur perfected his talents as a violinist and composer in the France of the 18th century, down the years of a very full and long life (1698-1787). He was admitted to the Académie Royale de Musique as a violinist at the age of just 15. After several years of playing concerts in the great towns of Europe, he rejoined the The King's 24 Violins in 1730, before becoming a member of the Concert Spirituel, a rare and much-coveted honour. He was also Master of Music at the Opéra de Paris and then musical director of the same institution with his good friend François Rebel. Francœur found himself increasingly in favour at the court of Louis XV who would name him His Majesty's Master of Music in 1760 and ennobled him into the bargain. This was the era of the great rivalry between French and Italian music: Francœur didn't take one side, but accepted the influence of both into his instrumental music. The ten first violin sonatas on this record make up the whole of his First Book published in 1720: ten sonatas, an unusual number at a time when they were normally published by the dozen or half dozen. The writing fuses courtly elegance and rather earthier, joyful Italian energy, and Francœur gives the work a unique voice of its own. In this fresh, melodious music, both refined and robust, we hear tender songs, feverish dances, pastorales, but also a stunning virtuosity. Violinist Mitzi Meyerson chose not to perform these sonatas in the order of their publication, on the grounds that they weren't written to be performed back to back. Meyerson instead arranges them by key as harmoniously possible, and also sorts them by major musical influence: French, Italian and German too. She plays each line with a gentle inflection of the rhythms and emphases that reflects the known historical style of each national body of music. © SM/Qobuz

Violin Concertos - Released May 4, 2018 | Accent

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Josef Mysliveček (1737-1781) also known as "Il Divino Boemo" (The Divine Bohemian) was one of the most celebrated opera composers in Italy in the 1770s. His instrumental works - symphonies, concertos, octets, quartets, and trios - were as popular as his vocal music. Certain features of his melodic style reflect his Bohemian origins, and Mysliveček's influence on contemporaries was significant. A close friend of the young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and a musical influence on him, Mozart described his character as "full of fire, spirit and life". All nine of the Mysliveček violin concertos that survive in complete form were probably written in a short period during the late 1760s and early 1770s when the composer maintained close contacts with the city of Padua and the composer and violinist Giuseppe Tartini. As a representative of Italian traditions that extended back to the early eighteenth century, Mysliveček’s violin concertos are all cast in three movements of the pattern ‘fast-slow-fast’. “From this music one can hear that the author was also a superb opera composer: the quickly alternating themes are well defined in character, whether sounding serious or boisterous, pleading or alluring, questioning or majestic, friendly or imperious. Figuratively, we find ourselves on the opera stage.” (Leila Schayegh) © Accent/Note-1

Violin Concertos - Released April 13, 2018 | Ondine

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Today, Finland is one of the richest musical countries on Earth. Thanks to the exceptional quality of its musical teaching it produces numerous composers, conductors and artists who perform all over the world. The very rich catalogue of the dynamic Finnish publisher Ondine contains several recordings of the German violinist Christian Tetzlaff (Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin) by Bach, Mozart's sonatas, Trios by Brahms, concertos by Mendelssohn, Schumann and Shostakovich); and the Finnish conductor Hannu Lintu (Sibelius, Mahler, Enescu, Berio, Messiaen, Lindberg, Melartin), but it is their first record together. Bartók's two Violin Concertos were written thirty years apart, for two virtuosos. While the Second Concerto in the form of variations on a theme that develop ingeniously across three movements, has been well-known for a long time, the first remained unheard for years. Written as a declaration of love for the Hungarian-Swiss violinist Stefi Geyer, for whom Bartók had fallen, it was a secret kept by the dedicatee: it was only long after the composer's death that the violinist let Bartók's patron and close friend, the conductor Paul Sacher, know about the work. He would see that it was performed, with Hansheinz Schneeberger, but only in 1958. Bartók's two concertos, essential parts of the repertoire for violin and orchestra would enjoy a well-deserved resurgence in interest among a younger generation of violinists – the recording of the same works by Renaud Capuçon for Warner came out a few weeks ago. This new version, magnificently recorded, carefully explores all the orchestral richness, in perfect dialogue with Christian Tetzlaff's outstanding violin. © François Hudry/Qobuz

Duets - Released January 12, 2018 | harmonia mundi

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The six Sonatas for Violin and Obbligato Harpsichord BWV 1014-1019 (“obbligato” – compulsory – means the keyboard is fully scored, as opposed to basso continuo for which only the bass is scored, the rest being left to the discretion of the performer, who improvises) are some of these works that Bach kept revisiting and reworking. The oldest remaining source – from around 1725, through one of his nephews – already highlights the will to make these compositions evolve by refining them with successive adjustments. The work underwent another overhaul in Agricola’s manuscript, around 1741, while a copy made around 1750 by Altnickol reveals a third cycle status. An observation made by the musician’s second youngest son, Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach – “He wrote these trios just before his end” – seems to have been interpreted as proof that Bach was still working on these sonatas in the last years of his life. This new recording by Isabelle Faust, a great specialist of baroque interpretation, and Christian Bezuidenhout on the harpsichord, discretely reveals the extraordinary richness of these works’ three-voice writing, that resembles the format of a trio sonata. © SM/Qobuz

Duets - Released October 13, 2017 | Mirare

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Duets - Released September 22, 2017 | Calliope

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Chamber Music - Released July 7, 2017 | Delphian

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Chamber Music - Released May 26, 2017 | harmonia mundi

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Chamber Music - Released September 9, 2016 | Challenge Classics

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Chamber Music - Released September 27, 2015 | Channel Classics Records

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The Rosary Sonatas of Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber (1644-1704), a cycle formed of fifteen sonatas for violin with basso continuo and a passacaglia for solo violin, are part of a creative movement that took place during the seventeenth century which forged daring, experimentation, exploration, and a deepening of difficult instrumental technique. This current was made possible by the proliferation of advanced instruments being exported from Italy, and it found fertile ground in central Europe with Schmelzer, amongst others, and a next generation that included Westhoff and, of course, Biber. The Rosary Sonatas require a soloist with a serious capacity for abstraction: indeed, most of them are written according to the principle of the scordat[t]ura, meaning that one or more strings of the violin are tuned differently from the usual sol-la-re-mi. The tuning, then, does not accord with what is usually intended in violin scores, since the detuned strings become transposed. In other words, certain notes sound like what is written, whilst others resonate differently, depending on the particular chord imposed by the composer. The instrumentalist should, therefore, do the same thing that you do when keys on your computer keyboard provide different letters than those signalled, that is, act as if nothing has happened! And, in the piece, in order to change the tone of the instrument, and to permit the creation of some different chords, open strings are used. What Biber offers us here is an infinitely confusing piece of music, manipulating unheard-of sounds and incongruous harmonies – both melodic and harmonic – in an amazing musical journey that puts him quite apart from the rest of the Baroque world. In the late 1670s the work was not fully understood, so much so that the score was almost forgotten, before experiencing a brilliant resurrection in the early twentieth century. This version was recorded by the English violinist Rachel Podger, a true star of the baroque instrument. Here, after her excursions in Mozart, Bach, Vivaldi, and some other important composers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, which were all heralded by awards and other successes, she reveals the buried treasures of this true masterpiece. Accompanied by some fantastic instrumental friends (including Marcin Świątkiewicz on the keyboards, distinguished by his brilliant Müthel opus which was published by BIS a few months back, the violist Jonathan Manson, who regularly collaborates with the violonist and Trevor Pinnock), Rachel Podger expertly exploits this narrative poetry collection, distilling phrases of great elegance, and deploying a haunting sound. A truly mystical experience! © Qobuz

Duets - Released July 3, 2015 | BIS

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Violin Solos - Released March 3, 2015 | Canary Classics

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Violin Concertos - Released February 3, 2015 | Haenssler Classic

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik