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Solo Piano - Released October 26, 2001 | harmonia mundi

Booklet Distinctions Choc du Monde de la Musique - Recommandé par Répertoire - 4F de Télérama
Until very recently pianists no longer dared play the French harpsichord repertoire : the pertinence of the "authentic" performances on period instruments by new artists had established their claims — and we had decided once and for all that this music was unsuited to today's pianos... Hence Alexandre Tharaud's approach is both brave and original : he is equally indebted to the legendary recordings of Marcelle Meyer and to current interpretations on the harpsichord. Hard work, humililty, the urge to carve out all the poetic contours of this marvellous music : the young pianist has taken the time to assimilate the tremendous contribution of the "Baroque movement", yet without repudiating his origins nor his own style of playing.
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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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Solo Piano - Released October 21, 2013 | Warner Classics International

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica
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 January 1, 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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Solo Piano - Released October 13, 2014 | harmonia mundi

Distinctions Diapason d'or
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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 October 8, 2013 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released January 1, 1998 | Arion

Distinctions Diapason d'or
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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 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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Keyboard Concertos - Released May 29, 2008 | harmonia mundi

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released October 23, 2020 | Warner Classics

Booklet
It's unclear who called Alexandre Tharaud "Le poète du piano"; searches for the phrase outside of references to this release yield nothing, and it would not be out of the question that this unconventional pianist bestowed the title upon himself. In some cases, "bad boy of the piano" might be a more appropriate title. Tharaud is nothing if not full of surprises, including popular songs (try The Beach Boys adaptations) and such adventures as a wildly decorated "Turkish Rondo" of Mozart. This is, after all, a pianist who doesn't keep a piano in his home, preferring to practice at friends' homes where he has to concentrate on the material. Typically, in what is supposed to be an anthology, Tharaud includes a good deal of newly recorded material, including works from a cycle called Corpus volubilis that he composed himself. The selections cover recordings from 2009 to 2020, and they're divided into three sections (three CDs in the physical version): "Solo," "Concerto," and "Raretés & Surprises." Most of the works in the first two parts are well known, with Tharaud often applying novel treatments. The third section is pure Tharaud, containing not only the Corpus volubilis pieces but also delightful pieces by Jean Wiéner and Paul Le Flem, both little known outside of French regions. One is struck by the breadth of Tharaud's repertory; he is capable of fresh, Gould-like Scarlatti and Rameau, Romantic standards, and contemporary pieces, all insightful and compelling. Ultimately, Tharaud is the kind of musician listeners either love or hate, but this is a fair representation of his talents. © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 29, 2017 | Erato - Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet
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 20, 2009 | harmonia mundi

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Chamber Music - Released March 11, 2011 | harmonia mundi

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Solo Piano - Released March 11, 2011 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released April 16, 2013 | harmonia mundi

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Alexandre Tharaud in the magazine