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Classical - Released July 31, 2007 | harmonia mundi

Booklet Distinctions Choc du Monde de la Musique - Recommandé par Classica - 4F de Télérama
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Classical - Released October 21, 2013 | Warner Classics International

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Despite all the somewhat hip graphics, this release from the new partnership of the venerable French label Erato and the revived Warner Classics imprint is at root a very old-fashioned type of album: a program of encores. Even some of the music might have been heard 50 or 75 years ago in a concert by one of the leading touring virtuosos of the day: the Sibelius Valse triste, Op. 44/1, and the Leopold Godowsky arrangement of Saint-Saëns Le Cygne, for example, are such chestnuts that they're actually a bit less often heard nowadays. But French pianist Alexandre Tharaud updates the old paradigm in several ways. First and most significantly, he adds some new material to the encores mix and integrates it effectively into the overall framework. Such works as Ignacio Cervantes' rattling Adiós a Cuba and Federico Mompou's El Lago not only are fresh in this setting but broaden out the mood and expressive range of the whole as the program proceeds. He also adds several Baroque keyboard pieces to the picture with entrancing effect. Finally, Tharaud has a moody and slightly capricious approach to the Romantic mainstream pieces on the bill that works well in this context. With superb sound from the entirely acoustically appropriate Salle Colonne in Paris, this is a strong release that serves the needs of the listener looking for a light album of incidental piano music. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 15, 1996 | Arion

Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros
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Classical - Released October 1, 2012 | Warner Classics

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or / Arte - Choc de Classica - Exceptional Sound Recording
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Classical - Released November 15, 2019 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
One never comes across any ordinariness when following Alexandre Tharaud’s career. This new album is as impressive in the originality of its conception as much as its meticulous musical delivery. The French pianist appears to be nostalgic towards two different golden ages: that of 17th-century music, and that of the French piano during the 1950s, specifically Marcelle Meyer’s inspiring playing which Tharaud remains motivated by. The “Versailles” which has attracted Alexandre Tharaud, and serves as the title for this recital is less Louis XIV’s opulent world of wonder and more of an intimate world of secret music. Without any difficulty, the pianist manages to make these pieces specifically written for the harpsichord his own, even going as far as inviting young harpsichordist Justin Taylor to join him for a rendition of Rameau’s Les Sauvages... for four hands on the piano! If the pianist Marcelle Meyer had recorded Rameau and Couperin in an era more liberal than today, Alexandre Tharaud has the audacity to go against musicological rules for the listener’s benefit. Of course, we are accustomed to Bach, Scarlatti, Couperin and Rameau on the modern piano, but Pancrace Royer, Robert de Visée, Jean-Henry D’Anglebert and Jacques Duphly are suddenly thrust into the limelight of this musical collection which incidentally highlights their relevance. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released September 15, 1999 | Arion

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 10 de Classica-Répertoire
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Classical - Released October 9, 2015 | Erato - Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Classical - Released September 5, 2011 | Warner Classics

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Solo Piano - Released October 13, 2014 | harmonia mundi

Distinctions Diapason d'or
Alexandre Tharaud's Moderne is a six-CD box set, consisting of works by Claude Debussy, Erik Satie, Maurice Ravel, Francis Poulenc, and other 20th century composers, which he recorded for Harmonia Mundi between 1996 and 2008. Tharaud is known for his extremely deep repertoire, and it can be daunting to locate these recordings among his myriad releases, so this compilation is a boon for collectors, as well as a testament to his commitment to modern music. Tharaud is joined in these performances by violinist Isabelle Faust, cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras, clarinetist Ronald van Spaendonck, and flutist Philippe Bernold, among other artists, and in a performance of Thierry Pécou's piano concerto, L'Oiseau innumérable, he is backed by the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, conducted by Andrea Quinn. But Tharaud's recordings of Satie's solo keyboard pieces and Maurice Ravel's complete oeuvre for piano show him at his most lucid and compelling, and are highlights of this set. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 21, 2016 | Erato - Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Classical - Released January 17, 2020 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released October 8, 2013 | Alpha

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Classical - Released July 15, 1997 | Arion

Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Classical - Released October 21, 2016 | Erato - Warner Classics

Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
There is no shortage of recordings of Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18, one of the most popular pieces in the classical repertory ever since its slow-movement clarinet solo underlaid the quintessence of cinematic romance, Brief Encounter. But this one, by pianist Alexandre Tharaud (he may not be as well known as the decision to omit his first name in the graphics would presume, but he's getting there), is worth strong consideration. It's not blood-and-thunder Rachmaninov, so those seeking that in the C minor concerto might look elsewhere. But there's absolute clarity throughout, and with that an attractively variable dialogue with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under Alexander Vedernikov, one of the unsung Russian conductors who are having the times of their lives in Britain these days. Perhaps the highlight of the album is the early set of Cinq Morceaux de fantaisie, Op. 3, in which Tharaud's way with a restrained but involving narrative thread comes to the fore. Sample the character piece "Polichinelle" in F sharp minor. The version of the Vocalise, Op. 34, here is unremarkable, and the two Pieces for six hands at the end are not the virtuoso showpieces that might be imagined, but rather salon novelties. So the program peters out somewhat. But those in search of an elegant C minor concerto or near-definitive Cinq Morceaux de fantaisie should hear this release. © TiVo
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Classical - Released May 29, 2008 | harmonia mundi

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released September 29, 2017 | Erato - Warner Classics

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For this double album, pianist Alexandre Tharaud invited a spectacular array of guest performers to join him in paying tribute to the great French singer-songwriter known simply as Barbara. One of the icons of the poetic chanson française, Barbara shares a place of honour with two other ‘B’s’, Jacques Brel and Georges Brassens. Among her most celebrated songs are ‘Ma plus belle histoire d'amour’, ‘Göttingen’, ‘Dis, quand reviendras-tu?’, ‘Mes hommes’ and ‘Nantes’. It is 20 years since Barbara died, aged 67, on November 24th 1997. Alexandre Tharaud’s idea for this album dates back to the day of her funeral. He, like many other fans, went to the cemetery in Bagneux on the outskirts of Paris. After the crowds and TV cameras had departed, a group of devotees remained at her grave and joined in an impromptu rendition of her songs. “I realised then that Barbara would live on through our voices,” says Tharaud. “I was young, but the recording studio was already central to my life. That morning, at Bagneux Cemetery, I vowed to make an album dedicated entirely to the music of Barbara. I needed time, and singers … The guests on this album are not those anonymous mourners, but dear friends I have invited to lend their own unique voices to this tribute” . For Hommage à Barbara, Tharaud has assembled a rich and imaginative line-up of performers from a variety of generations and diverse artistic and cultural backgrounds. While there is inevitably a Gallic bias among them, many of their names are well known around the globe. Among them are: actress-singers Juliette Binoche, Vanessa Paradis and Jane Birkin; rock star Radio Elvis; singer-songwriters Bénabar, Juliette, Dominique A, Tim Dup, Jean-Louis Aubert and Albin de la Simone; singers Camélia Jordana, Rokia Traoré, Hindi Zahra and Luz Casal; actor-director Guillaume Gallienne; Erato violinist Renaud Capuçon, clarinettist Michel Portal and the Modigliani string quartet. Alexandre Tharaud himself plays on nearly all the tracks – not just piano, but also electronic organ and keyboards, celesta and bells. Barbara was born in Paris in 1930 as Monique Serf, but she adopted her stage name from her grandmother, Varvara Brodsky, who had been born in Odessa. Her family was Jewish, and she was forced into hiding during World War II. Her suffering as a child was compounded by her sexually abusive father who eventually deserted the family when she was in her teens. She had some conservatory training as both a singer and pianist, but soon began to make her living as a performer, and spent a formative period working in Brussels in the early 1950s. She returned to Paris, where she became friends with the Belgian-born Jacques Brel and built a reputation in the clubs of the Latin Quarter, notably L’Écluse on the banks of the Seine. Her career began to take off in the early 1960s when she attracted attention with songs that she had written herself. Barbara became an important and much-loved figure, sometimes known as ‘La Dame en noir’, a reference to her penchant for elegant black dresses. If her signature number was ‘Ma plus belle histoire d'amour’, her song ‘Göttingen’, named after the city in Saxony, became an anthem of reconciliation for France and Germany; indeed, on the 40th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty in 2003, the then German Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, quoted the song in his speech at Versailles. She was a favourite of François Mitterrand, France’s President from 1981-1995, developed a creative collaboration with the actor Gérard Depardieu, and in 1986 performed with ballet star Mikhail Baryshnikov in a glittering gala at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. In the course of the 1980s she became active in the fight against AIDS and lent her name to a number of human rights causes. For all her fame and success, she had a difficult private life and suffered from debilitating ill health in her latter years, though she continued to write and record songs, releasing her last album in 1996. © Warner
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Classical - Released January 10, 2020 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet
Friends and frequent recital partners Jean-Guihen Queyras and Alexandre Tharaud are reunited here for an album conceived as a collection of short stories, presenting both celebrated and little-known masterpieces of the repertory. If the art of transcription is the hallmark of great performers, it must be said that our two partners are past masters at it! Throughout this lyrical yet virtuosic programme, music lovers will meet one surprise after another. © harmonia mundi
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Concertos - Released March 11, 2011 | harmonia mundi

Booklet
Pianist Alexandre Tharaud has put together a program of Bach's "Italian Concertos," (i.e., Bach's Italian Concerto) plus a few of his transcriptions for keyboard of violin and oboe concertos by Italian composers. It's the kind of inspired program that is finally, if slowly, making its way into the world of recorded classical music, and could compete with personalized play lists, if only the artists and producers would put together more than one hour of music. Here, Tharaud could have filled out the program with two more of Bach's transcribed concertos or some of his Italianate movements from the keyboard suites. Tharaud performs what is here imaginatively, with much more color than pianists who prefer their Baroque works more straightforward. He uses everything -- variation in touch, dynamics, pedal, phrasing -- to distinguish the solo and tutti parts of the concertos. He gives the fast movements a Mediterranean sunny demeanor, exuberant, almost begging for attention; while the slow movements are beautiful in tone and shaping, mesmerizing with their philosophical, inner-monologue quality. Tharaud is best in the Italian Concerto and the Concerto in G major, BWV 973, a Vivaldi transcription. He brings out the concerto qualities very successfully in these two pieces, and seems truly to enjoy playing the music as well as the music itself. The disc's sound is also warmly sunny, adding to Tharaud's hearty way with the music. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released March 11, 2011 | harmonia mundi

Booklet
Couperin's Pièces de Clavecin are remarkably diverse and durable enough to retain their charms, and even reveal new ones in incarnations other than their original format. French pianist Alexandre Tharaud capitalizes on their versatility by transferring an assortment of them to the piano. (He had previously done the same for a recital of Rameau's Nouvelles de Suites de Pièces de Clavecin.) After one adjusts to the initial shock of hearing this repertoire played on a modern instrument, the pieces Tharaud selected sound wonderful on the piano. Many of the short works benefit from the expanded dynamic range available on a modern piano, such as the wonderfully boisterous Les Baricades Mistérieuses, Les Tricoteuses, and Bruit de Guerre (which is accompanied by Pablo Pico playing the tambour), and Tharaud exploits those expressive possibilities. Tharaud is judicious in his use of the pedal, so the pieces retain their intended clarity. He includes one work not by Couperin, La Pothouïn by Jacques Duphly, born a generation after Couperin, an elegant and expressive character piece. The collection makes a delightful introduction to Couperin's keyboard works, and for those who are already fans, offers fresh insights into familiar pieces. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 20, 2009 | harmonia mundi

Booklet
With Harmonia Mundi's Avant-dernières pensées, Alexandre Tharaud weighs in on the music of Erik Satie. Tharaud selects what he likes and is best suited for him, dividing it into two discs: one of piano solo works and a second of duos. The duos consists of Tharaud in consort not only with another pianist -- Eric le Sage -- but also with violinist Isabelle Faust and the single-named Juliette, for Satie's cabaret songs. Tharaud's readings are very well considered, arrived at through painstaking study. His experience with 18th century French harpsichord music has suited him well to execute some of Satie's more obscure instructions. By placing it within a measurable historic and topical context, Tharaud has created a useful and informative guide to Satie's wide range of achievements. © TiVo

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Alexandre Tharaud in the magazine