Albums

£14.99
£9.99

Classical - Released November 2, 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet
£14.99
£9.99

Duets - Released August 10, 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Two young Belgian soloists—including Lorenzo Gatto, despite the Italian consonance of the name—have been gathering for several years around Beethoven, and here is their interpretation of three Beethoven sonatas: the First written even before the end of the 18th Century—1798—, followed by the very last that is the Tenth Op. 96 from 1812—created by the infamous Pierre Rode on violin, and the archduke Rudolph of Austria who, incidentally, must have been an amazing pianist—, to finish with one of the most famous ones, the Fifth called “The Spring Sonata” (a name not chosen by the composer). Despite dating “only” from 1801, this sonata is incredibly different from the First regarding its architectural maturity, its intense lyricism and its audacities of all kinds. Gatto, who won the Queen Elisabeth Competition, plays on nothing less than the Stradivarius “Joachim”, while Libeer, a chamber music enthusiast, has a field day on a big concert piano with parallel strings and of an almost orchestral sound. Their first volume, released in 2016, was more than noticed by the critics and the audience—and was a great success on Qobuz. © SM/Qobuz
£13.49
£8.99

Trios - Released July 20, 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - 5 étoiles de Classica
With this new series entitled ‘Salon de musique’, Alpha presents recordings made by artists who have enlivened the Festival of Salon de Provence for some years now: the pianist Eric le Sage, who has made many recordings for Alpha, the clarinettist Paul Meyer etc… with cellist Claudio Bohórquez, they have now put two Beethoven trios on disc. By 1798, the year Ludwig van Beethoven composed his Trio for piano, clarinet and cello op.11, he was already well-known in Vienna as a remarkable improviser and an ambitious young composer. the piece was clearly aimed at the enlightened aristocracy, as well as competent musical amateurs. This did not prevent the critics, though universally positive, from judging the score to be over-complex in places. Dedicated to the Empress Marie-Theresa of Austria, the Septet was published in 1802 by Hofmeister, and on being well-received it was then rearranged for various combinations. Beethoven himself made a version for clarinet, cello and piano, op.38 in E Flat major – the one recorded here. © Alpha Classics
£14.99
£9.99

Solo Piano - Released January 12, 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 étoiles de Classica
The pianist Martin Helmchen has now joined Alpha for several recordings. Acknowledged as one of the leading pianists of his generation, an eminent interpreter of the German repertoire, Helmchen will explore various periods and composers (including Messiaen!), but Beethoven will have a preponderant place in his forthcoming recording projects. Before the complete Concertos, planned for 2020, he tackles the Diabelli Variations, ‘a climax in the life of a pianist’. He sees these variations as ‘a voyage to the very heart of the infinity of human feelings and moods, by turns profound, philosophical, satirical’. He regards the cycle as a visionary work that heralds future developments in music, containing the first stirrings of twentieth-century minimalism, atonality and abstraction. This recording is the end result of a long personal association and numerous concerts. © Alpha Classics
£23.99

Classical - Released October 13, 2017 | Alpha

Booklet
This set brings together the five separate discs containing Franz Liszt’s transcriptions of Beethoven’s nine symphonies performed by the pianist Yury Martynov. Reducing these complex works for piano solo was an enormous challenge for Liszt, who nevertheless succeeded in recreating their prodigious character and their incredible power. ‘An event on a period piano, thanks to which we rediscover the colours... of the orchestra’ (Pianiste): the piano combines the whole orchestra, sometimes even with vocal soloists and chorus, bringing their voices together in a single instrument. The energy and the textures of the symphonies are laid bare and magnified in the interpretation of Yury Martynov on a Blüthner piano dating from 1867 and an Érard piano of 1837, both from the collection of Edwin Beunk: the Russian pianist reveals ‘details usually obscured in orchestral performances, which come to light thanks to his meticulous phrasing and colouring of every bar’ (The Guardian). © Alpha Classics
£14.99
£9.99

Solo Piano - Released August 25, 2017 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique
Supporting new talents is in Alpha’s DNA. Here is the very first recording of the Italian pianist Filippo Gorini, who was recently awarded First Prize in the Telekom-Beethoven Competition in Bonn. He has also won the same competition’s Audience Prize twice over. At just twenty years of age, he has already played in such prestigious venues as the Berlin Konzerthaus, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, the Herkulessaal in Munich, the Liederhalle in Stuttgart, Die Glocke in Bremen, the Royal Academy of Music in London, and the Moscow Conservatory. Strongly supported by Alfred Brendel, with whom he studies, he has chosen to tackle a monument of the piano repertory, the Diabelli Variations, a work whose interpretation he has matured through frequent performance, notably at the Beethoven Competition where it was the key item in his winning programme. And, appropriately, it is at the Beethovenhaus in Bonn that he made this first disc, the start of a highly promising recording career. © Alpha
£14.99
£9.99

Solo Piano - Released July 7, 2017 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Olga Pashchenko is in the process of creating a unique place for herself in the world of the keyboard: she moves with astounding ease and skill from the harpsichord to the fortepiano, the organ and the modern piano. After a recording of Beethoven’s variations in 2015 (awarded ffff by Télérama), the young pianist has now gone to the legendary Beethoven-Haus in Bonn, a venue she knows well since she regularly gives concerts within its walls, to record three monuments of the pianistic literature – the Appassionata, Les Adieux and Waldstein sonatas – on the original Conrad Graf piano of 1824 conserved there. She utilises all the sonic possibilities and the full palette of colours of this instrument made around fifteen years after the composition of these sonatas, three of the finest in the corpus of thirty-two that Hans von Bülow called ‘the New Testament of every pianist’. © Outhere Music
£14.99
£9.99

Symphonic Music - Released March 24, 2017 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet
£17.99
£11.99

Classical - Released October 21, 2016 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet
£37.49
£24.99

Classical - Released February 11, 2014 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet
Alpha is reissuing the complete Beethoven quartets by the Belcea Quartet: ‘Beethoven’s music has been at the center of our life as a quartet from our very first rehearsal together back in 1994. However, it is more recently that we immersed ourselves totally in Beethoven in preparation for, and during the course of the immense project of performing and recording all of his string quartets in the season 2011/12. It is during this past year that Beethoven’s music became an all-consuming passion for each of us. These sixteen quartets written some two hundred years ago form one the most complete and powerful musical statements ever made. The completeness lies in their unprecedented intensity and in the astonishing development that can be traced between the early and the late works - a thirty-year long revolution which altered forever the way we experience music.’ In September 2016 the Belcea Quartet will embark on a tour that will take it to the United States and most countries in Europe.
£14.99
£9.99

Duets - Released June 3, 2016 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica - Exceptional sound
The adventure began in 2012, when Gilles Ledure, director of Flagey (Brussels), suggested to Lorenzo Gatto and Julien Libeer they should perform the complete Beethoven violin sonatas there. For these two artists, Beethoven was ‘perhaps the first composer in our history to have embodied the values of the Enlightenment in both his music and his life’. Haunted by these monuments of architecture and expression, they decided to embark on a recording. Here are three sonatas recorded in the legendary Salle de Musique of La Chaux-de-Fonds, including the famous ‘Kreutzer’ Sonata. Since his version of the Beethoven Violin Concerto (ZZT 354), Lorenzo Gatto has taken his place among the violinists who matter on the international scene.
£17.99
£11.99

Classical - Released May 20, 2016 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet
£14.99
£9.99

Solo Piano - Released May 20, 2016 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica
He is nicknamed ‘the poet of the piano’, an epithet confirmed by each of his appearances in concert or on record, most recently with his multi-award-winning Debussy and Chopin albums. Nelson Goerner already has an imposing discography, but this is the first time he has tackled Beethoven on a recording: he has chosen the ‘Hammerklavier’, a work of unparalleled dimensions, complexity and profundity . . . But is this artist, whom a Buenos Aires newspaper praised after a recital at the famous Teatro Colon for his ‘ability to combine intellectual lucidity, undeniable depth, and a technical ease that enables him to express his ideas’, not the perfect interpreter for that monumental composition? ‘Here is a sonata that will make pianists work hard’, said Beethoven to his publisher after labouring on it for almost three years, at a time when his deafness was constantly worsening. Forty-five minutes of immense difficulty for the performer (and also the listener?): between a first movement as fiery as Beethoven ever wrote and a finale that seems to foreshadow jazz improvisations, comes a splendid and deeply moving slow movement that Goerner renders with deep emotion. He then invites us to move from the monumental to the miniature, with the Six Bagatelles op.126, subtle gems of late Beethovenian style, constructed with formidable skill.
£14.99
£9.99

Solo Piano - Released January 22, 2016 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica
Perhaps no musician in the 19th century was a greater promoter of the symphonies of Ludwig van Beethoven than Franz Liszt, who not only conducted them regularly in Weimar, but made piano transcriptions of all nine, which were published together in 1865. The keyboard version of the Symphony No. 9 in D minor, "Choral," was one of the most challenging for Liszt, who agonized over making a viable arrangement of the complex choral finale, the famous setting of Schiller's Ode to Joy. Yet Liszt's bravura transcription was a success, and the Ninth was made available to musicians and listeners who, in the age before recordings, were unable to hear this work any other way. For this recording, Yury Martynov has recorded Liszt's reduction on a Blüthner piano, ca. 1867, which gives a good idea of the sonorities he would have known, though for his own performances he favored a Bösendorfer, which could withstand his powerful playing. This recording shows that the Blüthner piano is a good choice, and Martynov holds nothing back in his virtuoso performance, which offers many thrilling passages. The sound of this Alpha CD is well balanced and gives a fairly close-up impression of Martynov's playing, though there is enough space between the piano and the microphone to let the resonant church acoustics have an effect.
£14.99
£9.99

Classical - Released May 16, 2015 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama
Russian fortepianist Olga Pashchenko has had teachers on both the Russian (Alexei Lubimov) and the Western (Richard Egarr) sides, and she might be the one to put these ingredients together into a mix that makes a historical-instrument star. Here she plays a Christopher Clarke copy of a Viennese Fritz fortepiano of 1818, not exactly contemporaneous with the music involved, but close to it and just a little bit clearer sonically. The music is early-to-middle Beethoven, with the central slots occupied by two large variation sets that exemplify the fearlessly experimental streak of the young Beethoven. The more familiar of the two is the set called here by the name Prometheus Variations, Op. 35, but better known as the Eroica Variations because the theme is the same as that used in the finale of the Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 ("Eroica"). Pashchenko exploits her instrument's chunky, big lower register well here as the theme builds innovatively out of its bass line at the beginning. Even more striking are the 32 Variations on an Original Theme in C minor, WoO 80, issued in 1808, where Beethoven seems to begin the groundbreaking experiments with Baroque style that would characterize his later years. The variations are very brief, almost like those in a Baroque chaconne, and here again Pashchenko fills out the texture with tough, knotty details. It's an exciting performance of an important work that is primarily ignored because it was never published. Pashchenko also offers performances of the Fantasia in G minor, Op. 77, and the two "easy" sonatas of Op. 49, which in Pashchenko's hands are not so easy. Exciting, serious Beethoven in which listeners will forget they are listening to a historical instrument.
£14.99
£9.99

Classical - Released April 7, 2015 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet
£14.99
£9.99

Classical - Released September 9, 2014 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles de Classica
Better known for his recordings of the music of Robert Schumann and Gabriel Fauré, pianist Eric le Sage ventures into less accustomed repertoire with this Alpha disc of the last three piano sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven. These pieces, like others among Beethoven's late masterworks, have an ineffable aura of sanctity about them, and performers approach them with a sense of awe, as well as a solid backlist of recordings that lead up to them. Le Sage doesn't have a discography of Beethoven sonatas, or even much Beethoven in his catalog at all, so his offering of the Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109, the Sonata No. 31 in A flat major, Op. 110, and the Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111, may come as a surprise, or even an affront to some sensibilities. Yet he plays with the transparent touch and calm demeanor of many a master, and even though he isn't likely to be credited with a major achievement until he records the rest of the sonatas, these performances are equal in technique, physical prowess, and emotional power to many other fine renditions. The sense of transcendence that unifies these three sonatas is evident in le Sage's controlled interpretations, and he lends the music a clarity that feels a little rarefied and otherworldly, especially in the closing variations of Op. 111. On the strength of these exceptional performances, one hopes le Sage has a complete Beethoven cycle in store and that Alpha will release it soon.
£14.99

Classical - Released May 20, 2014 | Alpha

Booklet
£14.99
£9.99

Classical - Released September 11, 2013 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica - Hi-Res Audio

The Collections

Label

Alpha in the magazine