Albums

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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released March 1, 2019 | Alpha

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Franz Liszt was 67 when he composed his Via Crucis, yet it did not receive its first performance until 1929, 43 years after the composer’s death. This work of his mature years is in 15 sections, retracing the Stations of the Cross that mark the stages of Christ’s Passion, from being condemned to death to being laid in the tomb. Combining Gregorian chant, the Lutheran liturgy and the Latin, German and Aramaic languages, the Via Crucis shows real formal originality. A devout believer, Liszt gives us here his most important sacred work. He composed several versions: for mixed choir, soloists and organ (with the organ part optionally transcribed for piano), for piano solo, organ solo, and two pianos. After a first programme devoted to Janáček, the Collegium Vocale founded by Philippe Herreweghe is once again conducted by Reinbert de Leeuw in this Alpha recording. © Outhere
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Classical - Released September 28, 2018 | Alpha

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‘Playing the demanding and constantly shifting string quartet repertory is enough to fill up four lives . . . Buoyed up by this heritage, we wanted to explore less well-known territories. In the early years of the twentieth century, Bartók and Kodály roamed the villages of Hungary and Romania, collecting, transcribing and recording hundreds of folk tunes and songs. ‘Building on a number of encounters with leading figures of jazz and world music, we asked five instrumentalist-composers to write us pieces inspired by musical worlds to which they feel close. In addition to these new compositions, we wanted to record Escalay by the Egyptian oud player Hamza el Din who died in 2006, a nod to the Kronos Quartet whose approach is an inspiration to us.’ (Voce Quartet). A recording made under the artistic direction of Vincent Segal. © Alpha Classics/Outhere
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released September 21, 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
The tenor Julian Prégardien joins Alpha Classics for several recording projects that will showcase every facet of his talent, notably lieder and oratorio. His first album on the label is devoted to one of the greatest masterpieces in the history of music, Winterreise in a version with orchestra composed by Hans Zender in 1993. He scored the work for orchestral forces very different from the ensembles used in the nineteenth century (including, for example, a soprano saxophone, an accordion, a harmonica, a wind machine, a guitar and a very large percussion section). Hans Zender describes his work as a ‘creative transformation’: ‘My own reading of Winterreise does not seek a new expressive interpretation, but systematically takes advantage of the freedoms that performers normally allow themselves in an intuitive way: slowing down or accelerating the tempo, transposition into different keys, emphasising and nuancing colours.’ © Outhere Music
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Chamber Music - Released April 13, 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Although Shostakovich's Third Quartet and his Piano Quintet have long been a part of the Belcea Quartet’s and Piotr Anderszewski’s repertoires, they had never recorded any of the composer's material. There is an interesting analogy between this point in the careers of the quartet and the pianist on the one hand and the composer's own life on the other: it was at the age of 32 that, although he was already onto his fifth symphony, Shostakovich wrote his first string quartet. For a long time his demanding attitude towards himself held him back from attempting what he saw as "one of the most difficult of all the musical genres". The impetus came – against the composer's will – from the dastardly Stalin, who had sparked the greatest crisis in Shostakovich's career: in 1936 the dictator had attended a performance of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, which later got an ominous review in Pravda, which growled about "chaos replacing music" and denounced "hysterical, degenerate music". The young composer ran the risk of arrest and execution: and so it should come as no surprise that after that experience he turned to the more private genre of the string quartet. Every listener can make their own between-the-lines reading of political protests or humanist messages in the work: at any rate it is very hard to see "just" pure music here, for all its fluency. That applies just as much to the Third Quartet of 1946, in which passages recalling Haydn rub shoulders with rather more violent material. The Quintet for Piano and Strings dates back to 1940, and it received the Stalin Prize – which was symptomatic of the unpredictable relations between Shostakovich and the regime, which saw him at once as traitor to the people and a model artist. The composer claimed that he added the piano part to his quintet so as to be able to play it himself, and to take advantage of whatever travel opportunities might come his way as a result...© SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released February 23, 2018 | Alpha

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Vittorio Ghielmi, one of today’s most admired viola da gamba soloists, comes from a family of musicians (his brother founded Il Giardino Armonico with Giovanni Antonini). In parallel with his erudite and virtuoso readings of Marais or Graun, Vittorio Ghielmi is an artist who enjoys crossing borders. With his ensemble, Il Suonar Parlante, he seeks new musical languages and collaborates with leading figures of jazz (Uri Caine) and the masters of traditional music (Khaled Arman, Dhruba Ghosh). With "Gypsy Baroque", he and his gypsy friends present a dazzling album bubbling over with life. He has gone to Transylvania in search of the gypsy music of the eighteenth century that was played on the frontiers of the Ottoman and Austrian Empires – music that influenced composers like Mozart and Haydn for their famous ‘Janissary’ pieces. For this recording, he places these gypsy tunes (only the melody is written) in perspective with orchestrations of the period. The Baroque specialists of his ensemble are joined by longstanding guest artists (the soprano Graciela Gibelli and the recorder player Dorothee Oberlinger) and traditional musicians like the Slovak violinist Stanislav Palúch and Marcel Comendant, a virtuoso exponent of the cimbalom and of improvisation. Going beyond the ‘documentary’ aspect, already fascinating, here is a genuine musical recreation! © Alpha Classics
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Classical - Released January 27, 2017 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
Myth, Sallust tells us, is the relation of ‘things that never happened, but always are’. Ever since the fourteenth century, music has drunk deep from the source of myths. When composers were not dealing with sacred history, with the great morality tales of Christ, they turned to myth as to a great art and a matchless repertory of exemplary stories. Metamorfosi Trecento is a musical exploration of myths and of the polyphony of the late Middle Ages. The ancient myths, foremost among them Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and their medieval transpositions are extremely present in the repertory of the Ars Nova: Narcissus lost on a fatal voyage, the stories of Daphne’s dream, Philomela, the myth of Orpheus, Callisto. The lutenist Michele Pasotti and the singers and instrumentalists (fiddle, recorder, clavicymbalum, Gothic harp etc.) of the ensemble he founded in 2005, La Fonte Musica, bring these wondrous tales back to life with a beauty and artistry we wished to share with you.
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Classical - Released October 21, 2016 | Alpha

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Classical - Released September 24, 2013 | Alpha

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Classical - Released November 13, 2015 | Alpha

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Classical - Released September 4, 2015 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica - Exceptional sound
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Folk - Released February 10, 2015 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Classical - Released September 23, 2014 | Alpha

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Solo Piano - Released March 11, 2014 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released December 16, 2013 | Alpha

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Masses, Passions, Requiems - Released October 21, 2013 | Alpha

Booklet
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Classical - Released October 21, 2013 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Hi-Res Audio
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Concertos - Released April 9, 2013 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released October 9, 2012 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released September 11, 2012 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released September 10, 2012 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio

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