Albums

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Violin Concertos - Released October 26, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique
To say that the concerto was one of Haydn's favourite forms would be a bit much, daft even. The man wrote a good hundred symphonies, dozens of quartets, trios, piano sonatas, fifteen or so masses and as many operas, and oratorios... Currently we know of three violin concertos (others being lost or apocryphal), two cello concertos (others... see above), one horn concerto, one for trumpet (there are no others) and at most about ten concertos for piano. Musically, they are fascinating works, but the level of technical skill they demand runs from moderate to a bit tricky. But the First Cello Concerto is not without its moments of difficulty, such as the rapid high notes in the final movement, and it offers some real fireworks. It should also be noted that most of the concertos were written for Esterházy, specifically for the first soloists in the house orchestra of Konzertmeister Luigi Tomasini and first cellist Joseph Weigl. The orchestral accompaniments offered the soloists some fine backdrops: in particular in the second movement of the Concerto for violin in C Major , with the orchestra's string section accompanying the solo violin with a sort of lute-playing that becomes a kind of serenade à la Don Giovanni. Amandine Beyer takes up the violin for this recording, while Marco Ceccato deals with the cello solo – both members of the Gli Incogniti ensemble ("The Unknowns"), a fluid grouping that plays without a conductor. Their leaderless style means that the musicians all listen to one another: it's a lovely way of making music (and sadly rare in the world of orchestras). © SM/Qobuz
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Violin Solos - Released October 5, 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Record of the Month
A student of the last student of Ysaÿe, American violinist Hilary Hahn has played Bach's solo violin music since she was nine, and inaugurated her recording career seven years later with a recording of half the cycle of six, in 1997. That recording rightly won acclaim with its flawless technique and Apollonian lines straight out of the best of the French violin school. Uniquely, she has returned to complete the set 21 years later, and the results are marvelous. It's sometimes hard to pin down the ways in which Hahn's style has changed, but it has to do with a kind of inner relaxation, with a willingness to let the meter vary a bit and pick it up again in the longer line. The flawless tone is still there, but it's not so much an end in itself. It's not an accident that some of the graphics picture Hahn smiling, nor that her quite relevant notes to the album detail the long creative process that went into making it. Sample anywhere, but you could try the very beginning, the first movement of the Sonata for solo violin No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001, where Hahn takes just a bit of time, draws you in, and lets the rest of the movement flow from there. Decca's engineers do excellent work in a Bard College auditorium that one might not have picked as a venue for this. A superb release from one of the preeminent violinists of our time.
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Violin Concertos - Released September 28, 2018 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Fabio Biondi had his work cut out for him with the complete recordings of Vivaldi's violin concertos, as the Venetian left behind more than 250 works for one, two, three or four violins. Volume VI here offers a group of six concertos written in Prague and Bohemia in the course of his stay there between 1730 and 1731. Today, musicology has become much more of a science, and it is possible to put a date on these manuscripts by means of a precise analysis of the paper used by the composer if the music doesn't speak for itself. The Antonio Vivaldi of these pieces retains the style for which he is known and loved across Europe. Fabio Biondi notes that as there are only a few hints of Bohemian music in these concertos, which are more resemblant of Vivaldi's younger work. We might conclude that while abroad, the composer was writing pieces which, while new, were destined for use by his beloved students in the Pietà. Venetian chroniclers from the time often wrote of Vivaldi's virtuoso violin playing, admiring the inventiveness that he brought to the cadenzas of his concertos (the section at the end of a movement which is left open for creative improvisation) and the fantasy that he worked into his improvisations. While we have no proof that Vivaldi was the soloist for his own works during his Bohemian trip, Fabio Biondi, a true connoisseur of Vivaldi's style, clearly aims to apply this spirit to his recordings, and nowhere more so than here. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Duets - Released September 28, 2018 | Indésens

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Violin Concertos - Released August 24, 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Chouchane Siranossian is a rising star of the baroque and classical violin, Jakob Lehmann a virtuoso violinist and orchestral director who frequently conducts Anima Eterna. Together, they embody what the Bruges orchestra and its founder, Jos van Immerseel, have decided to call the ‘Next Generation Anima Eterna’... Today they are presenting Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in its original version. “We wanted to take a look into Mendelssohn’s workshop. He struggled with his self-diagnosed ‘revision disease’ and always strove to work hard on himself and his creations” says Jakob Lehmann. Chouchane Siranossian keeps on : “It was a fascinating experience for me to discover historical research and its implementation on period instruments in collaboration with Anima Eterna Brugge. In my interpretation, I used exclusively the fingerings, bowings and other performance markings of Ferdinand David and Joseph Joachim, both of whom rehearsed the work with the composer.” This recording is rounded off with the Octet, also in its original version, which is longer and has many alterations in instrumentation, harmony and articulation... © Alpha Classics
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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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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 October 13, 2017 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Violin Concertos - Released September 23, 2016 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Award - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Le Choix de France Musique
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Classical - Released April 15, 2016 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet
A minimalist palette for maximum effect. This recital of music especially written or arranged for duo violinists Angela and Jennifer Chun highlights the personal and professional connections between Philip Glass (represented here as a miniaturist) and Nico Muhly, a longtime colleague and admirer of Glass's work. (Editor's note)
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Violin Concertos - Released October 15, 2015 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles de Classica
1720: in his famous pamphlet entitled ‘Fashionable Theatre’, the composer Marcello ironized the excesses of the new Venetian opera. This landmark pamphlet was published anonymously as Benedetto Marcello, under the fictional editorship of ‘Aldaviva Licante’ - undoubtedly an anagram of A. Vivaldi – ridiculing the operatic world of the time. It took on singers puffed up with pride, uneducated librettists, composers seeking dramatic effects, in short, everything that the musical world then thought about as original, unusual, new, experimental, shocking, weird, baroque, and, in a word, Italian! Vivaldi was one of Marcello’s favourite targets, continually lampooning the Red Priest and his virtuoso violin escapades. It is precisely these escapades that the violinist Amandine Beyer and the Gli Incogniti ensemble have chosen for their rich repertoire: detuned violin concertos (in the manner of Scordatura), violin ‘in tromba’, that is to say violin in a tone that betrays a scraped sound, not to mention more singular works in which Vivaldi leaves the soloist a freedom that gives real heart to the joy of improvisation. This is what really marks out Amandine Beyer, who performs in accordance with the habits of the composer, giving a clear, historical picture of her treatment of the ornaments. So, for the almost implausible Circus Maximus track, it is as if you were actually there, attending the Carnival of the year 1720! © SM/Qobuz

Chamber Music - Released June 15, 2015 | INA Mémoire vive

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Chamber Music - Released September 8, 2014 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica
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Chamber Music - Released May 26, 2014 | Evidence

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Chamber Music - Released April 22, 2014 | Zig-Zag Territoires

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année - Hi-Res Audio
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Chamber Music - Released March 10, 2014 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Duets - Released February 1, 2014 | OnClassical

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Duets - Released February 1, 2014 | OnClassical

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released October 14, 2013 | Zig-Zag Territoires

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio