Albums

£10.99

Chamber Music - Released January 11, 2019 | Signature - Radio France

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Outstanding musicians in an exceptional programme, stamped with rhythmic energy from start to finish, featuring Florent Schmitt's Opus 68, Albert Roussel's Opus 28 et the Sonata for violin and piano of André Prévost (1934-2001).
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Duets - Released September 28, 2018 | Indésens

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Exceptional sound - Hi-Res Audio
Given that the aim of this recording, announced in the booklet notes, is to "[demonstrate] how composers in Germany, Italy, Austria, and England responded to the challenges of writing for the violin senza basso, it's a bit odd to begin the proceedings with a work that's not for violin at all. However, the transcription for solo violin of Bach's underplayed Partita for flute in A minor, BWV 1013, by violinist Rachel Podger herself, is quite idiomatic to the violin, and Podger's performance is lively and attractive. From Bach, Podger looks outward to other solo violin works rather than back to the tradition immediately preceding Bach's unaccompanied sonatas and partitas. The works don't have anything directly to do with one another, but they are united in part by being Podger's favorites, and there are some fascinating offbeat pieces that do indeed seem to have counterparts in Bach's magisterial compendia. Consider the very nice pair of solo sonatas by Giuseppe Tartini. In the Giga movement of the first one, the violin takes its solo and is answered by itself in the role not only of harmonic accompaniment but of orchestral figure. The pieces by Nicola Matteis, who inaugurated the entire migration of Italian musicians to Britain, have a fantastic spirit, while the sonata by Pisendel, which may have preceded or followed Bach's pieces, is at least similar to them in language, although less deep. A selection from Biber's Rosary Sonatas works well as a finale. One minor flaw is that notes describe a sonata by Antonio Montanari that is not actually included; a more serious problem is overresonant church sound inconsistent with the chamber purposes of the music.
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Violin Concertos - Released June 8, 2018 | Claves Records

Hi-Res Booklet
Swiss violinist Caroline Goulding offers us a singular pairing here: the brilliant, lyrical and very fin-de-siècle-Vienna Concerto by Korngold, written in 1945 and based on themes borrowed from some pieces of film music, followed by an ever-so-delicate Fifth Concerto by Mozart, one of those miracles of the composer's youth, from when he was just 19, but already in full command of staggering powers. Consider that the whole orchestral introduction, which could easily serve as a rich opening theme, is in fact merely the accompaniment to the real theme, which is richer still, and played by the solo violin. Caroline Goulding has been building an international career since she started with the Cleveland Orchestra in 2006. Sometimes she will sit out for a few weeks of contemplative silence, and it is just one such period of silence which produced this album. Since her début, she has performed as a soloist with the orchestras of Toronto, Detroit, Dallas, Houston, Denver, Milwaukee and Washington in North America, as well as with numerous European orchestras, in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Berlin, and Berne. Her style owes much to her teacher, Christian Tetzlaff. © SM/Qobuz
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Violin Concertos - Released June 1, 2018 | DOREMI

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Chamber Music - Released May 25, 2018 | EnPhases

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Out of around 350 works which are attributed to Tartini today, a group of sonatas, along with their isolated themes, sketches and hastily-jotted-down ideas stands out by virtue of the very long period of editing which they underwent (from the 1750s up to the composer's death twenty years later); their deliberate collation into a single manuscript by the author (never published in spite of its gobsmacking richness); but also by virtue of their unique instrumentation, with a solo violin, but no bass at all, either written or suggested. They seem to indicate a kind of intimate conversation with their author, who never intended to share them with anyone. He dubbed them "little sonatas", a name which probably owes as much to false modesty as it does to affection to these pages, whose experimental nature is made clearer at every turn. A number of other pieces, as well, remain annotated in the form of sketches, phrases thrown down on the page in a moment of inspiration, and a few of these phrases are taken up by violinist Matthieu Camilleri, to distil a very original ensemble of improvised pieces. He notes, though, that these improvisations have been "fixed" to an extent, on paper; and these are recording sessions, not a concert, so the artists can choose the best from several takes. The guided improvisation inspired by Tartini and in the style of the great musician, who was said to have conversed with the Devil. Camilleri gives us a number of reference points, in the form of a few sonatas originally 100% written by Tartini in this famous manuscript, which also involve a few moments of this improvised-noted element. It's a fascinating juxtaposition of two imaginations, two and a half centuries apart! © SM/Qobuz
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Violin Concertos - Released April 27, 2018 | Berlin Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Undesired babies, in this case little girls, were dropped off in the famous convent, conservatory and orphanage of the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice, where Vivaldi was a violin teacher and main composer for a long time. Many of these girls, once adults, became musicians and quite a few of them reached the highest level of recognition. For one of these pupils, by the name of Anna-Maria dal Violin (the “dal Violin” wasn’t her last name, but rather a nickname highlighting her ability as a musician), Vivaldi wrote twenty-five concertos, a shining proof of her tremendous mastery; to the extent that, it seems, people came from afar to listen to her perform. Listen only in fact, not see her, as young ladies had to play behind a screen so that it was impossible to have the slightest glimpse at their appearance. But Rousseau did manage to catch one in 1743: "If you are so desirous," said an ambassador to him, "to see those little girls, it will be an easy matter to satisfy your wishes. I entering the saloon, which contained these beauties I so much sighed to see, I felt a trembling of love, which I had never before experienced. Mr le Blond presented to me, one after the other, these celebrated female singers, of whom the names and voices were all with which I was acquainted. Come, Sophia − she was horrid. Come, Cattina − she had but one eye. Come, Bettina − the smallpox had entirely disfigured her. Violinist Midori Seiler, accompanied by the Concerto Köln, selected a nice handful of concertos written for the aforementioned Anna-Maria. Granted we’ll never know how she played, but one can get an idea of a few of her tendencies, as the young lady kept a musical journal in which she wrote a few variants for the second movement of the Concerto RV270a that can be heard here. In parallel, this selection also features a concerto by Galuppi and another by Albinoni, that are both in a similar vein, although they weren’t written for Anna-Maria. In tune with the custom/etiquette of the Ospedale, the Concerto Köln didn’t hesitate to add in the partition a few moments of woodwinds doubling on the chords: flutes, oboes and even chalumeau, the ancestor of the clarinet that Vivaldi himself used a few times in his concertos. © SM/Qobuz
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Duets - Released April 13, 2018 | Fuga Libera

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
"French" works (although Ysaÿe was Belgian…) from 1877 with Fauré's First Sonata through to 1908's Extase by Ysaÿe: that's what is on offer here from French violinist Saténik Khourdoïan, a regular at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Radio-France Philharmonic the Orchestre de Marseille, Roque-d’Anthéron, the Grange du Meslay, the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, France-Musique and France-Culture – and we should also mention that she is the first solo violin of the Monnaie de Bruxelles. Her selection shines a light on a whole range of French art which stands resolutely off to one side of the idiosyncratic route sketched out by Debussy: Saint-Saëns, Fauré and Ysaÿe will always remain in the ambit of rigorously-written French romanticism. The Caprice en forme de valse by Saint-Saëns, in its wild transcription by Ysaÿe, gives us a sense of the real value of Saténik Khourdoïan's undertaking. This is an excellent calling card for a violinist who has still got plenty to say. © SM/Qobuz
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Duets - Released March 23, 2018 | Arcana

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
As not indicated by its title, this album offers duos for two violins, a very wide repertoire that is however rarely recorded. “Suite Case” is simply the name of the first piece, penned by Giovanni Solima and precisely dedicated to our two soloists, Chiara Zanisi and Stefano Barneschi, followed by an impressive range of works written between the middle of the Baroque era and the present times with Bartók and Berio. It is worth noting that these pieces for two violins, a formation rather ill-suited for public concerts, had two distinct vocations: a pedagogic use, as is the case for Bartók’s 44 Duos (with a very pronounced insistence on Magyar folklore) and Haydn with his Three easy and progressive duos for two violins, whose name says it all; and a family use, like Telemann’s Canons mélodieux ou sonates en duo à flûtes traverses, ou violons, ou basses de viole (melodious canons or six duo-sonatas for traversos, or violins, or viola da gambas)—the composer, an excellent businessman, aimed at any and every possible buyer who wished to have small domestic concerts with any combination of two instruments. Only Vivaldi’s duo—at least for the repertoire of that era—seems to have been meant for a pair of virtuoso, a bit intrinsically: the language is neither for students nor for enlightened amateurs, given its difficulty. Curiously, the partition notes that the bass is optional… Even if it is not written, any harpsichordist could have improvised it in continuo. Solima’s piece acts as a guide for the album, opening and closing it. © SM/Qobuz
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Duets - Released January 26, 2018 | MUSO

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Duets - Released November 10, 2017 | Evidence

Hi-Res Booklet
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Duets - Released October 13, 2017 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Classical - Released October 13, 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica
For true fans of Christian Ferras (1933-1982), this box set of recordings (mono and stereo) made between 1957 and 1962 is an absolute treasure chest. In the company of his good friend Pierre Barbizet, Georges Prêtre, Malcolm Sargent, Menuhin for Bach's Double and several other big names of her era, this follower of George Enesco offers up a superb selection of great concertos and great sonatas, from before the famous recordings with Karajan that covered of the lion's share of the Ferras concert repertoire. Ferras had a searing career – these recordings were made by a man aged 24 to 29 years old! His glory years ran until the end of the 1960s, before meeting with an inexorable descent into the hell of alcoholism and depression (which would drive away the big labels, the orchestras and the public) – a descent which he would end with a ten-storey fall from his Parisian apartment on 14 September 1982. The world had lost one of the greatest violinists of his time, but his legend would never die. Naturally, all these recordings have been subject to a most careful remastering, based on the original matrices. © SM/Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released September 22, 2017 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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£9.49

Classical - Released September 1, 2017 | MUSO

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Chamber Music - Released May 26, 2017 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik
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Duets - Released August 12, 2016 | Decca

Distinctions 5 étoiles de Classica
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Duets - Released November 11, 2016 | Avie Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Duets - Released October 4, 2016 | NoMadMusic

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica
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Violin Concertos - Released September 30, 2016 | Signum Records

Hi-Res Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
It may be that it takes non-Americans to see the continuity in American musical traditions. This release by English violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen and the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Andrew Litton has a unique program that will remind listeners of the antecedents to the musically accessible language of John Adams and his contemporaries. The 1949 Concerto for Violin of Roy Harris, and indeed much of this composer's music, is not often performed, and the violin concerto specifically was virtually lost after its composition (it received its premiere only in 1984). The booklet here presents a nice overview of Harris, who worked his way through the University of California by driving a dairy truck. The concerto makes an ideal pair with Adams' popular Violin Concerto. It is in a single movement with four sections, sounding in part like Copland in its evocations of fiddle tunes and of the American West, but often taking on a more economical language that shows Harris was listening to modernist composers even if he did not follow their lead. Sample his first section for an idea of how he pairs his fiddle tunes not with expansive tonal backgrounds as Copland did, but with a more restricted modal palette, and for a good representation of Waley-Cohen's lithe playing. The Adams concerto, finished in 1993, has been one of the composer's most popular works, and its exuberant melodicism ties it in a specific way to the Harris work. Might he have known Harris' concerto, obscure though it may be? Given the nature of his training, it's entirely possible, and the composer of My Father Knew Charles Ives has always been keenly aware of his place in American musical history. This fine British release makes that place all the more sure.