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Albums

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Concertos - Released January 1, 2001 | Alpha

Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Choc du Monde de la Musique - Recommandé par Classica
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Chamber Music - Released January 1, 2002 | Alpha

Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - Recommandé par Répertoire
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Classical - Released December 1, 2008 | Alpha

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - 9 de Classica-Répertoire
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Concertos - Released September 4, 2015 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles de Classica
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Concertos - Released January 6, 2011 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklets Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or
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Concertos - Released October 13, 2011 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or
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Concertos - Released January 1, 2003 | Alpha

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique
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Classical - Released September 7, 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Classical - Released November 7, 2011 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Classical - Released September 10, 2013 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
Those following the output of the remarkable French label Alpha should note that this does not contain the art-historical essay included with many of the label's releases, even though it looks for all the world like it should: the cover shows a detail from a painting of Maria Josepha of Austria (it is apparently the younger Maria Josepha, Louis XVI's mother, who is shown) that is included in full on the inside. There is, however, access to an informative essay on Vivaldi and his relationship to the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice, the girls' orphanage where the concertos heard on the album were composed. (Historians disagree as to whether the institution served the poor or the illegitimate daughters of the wealthy who had to be closeted away, however.) The program presents one half of Vivaldi's L'estro armonico, Op. 3, a set of concerti grossi for from one to four violins, at times a cello, and orchestra that were probably Vivaldi's best-known pieces until the Four Seasons exploded in popularity in the 1970s. It's difficult to stand out from the crowd here, but the almost leaderless Café Zimmermann (it has a concertmaster, Pablo Valetti) offers a distinctive approach. This historical-instrument group, as international as its name, gets logistical kudos for bringing together a large group of Guadagnini instruments from the middle of the 18th century. The result is an unusually nice string sound, both lush and bright, in both the tutti (four violins, two violas, two cellos) and the solo parts. The soloists are nicely distinguished from each other in both the playing and the engineering, and the numerous antiphonal effects and intricate textures in the multiple-instruments concerts are very clearly sorted out. One misses a certain crack brilliance that marks the great Vivaldi performances, but at the same time it's good to have a historical-instrument group that plays the music straightforwardly, without the heavily dramatic, quasi-operatic effects of the contemporary Italian school. Sample and enjoy.
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Classical - Released January 1, 2002 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Classical - Released October 28, 2016 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released January 1, 2006 | Alpha

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Concertos - Released January 1, 2004 | Alpha

Distinctions 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique
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Concertos - Released January 8, 2009 | Alpha

Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Chamber Music - Released November 23, 2018 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
In 16 CD Alpha traces the adventure of Café Zimmermann on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the instrumental ensemble. Among the iconic albums featured in this discographic portrait are Celine Frisch's Goldberg Variations, unanimously acclaimed at the time of their release in 2001.
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Classical - Released January 1, 2006 | Alpha

Booklet

Concertos - Released November 23, 2018 | Alpha

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Classical - Released October 1, 2007 | Alpha

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Classical - Released October 8, 2009 | Alpha