Albums

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Concertos - To be released April 12, 2019 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet
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Classical - Released March 15, 2019 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet
Two years after releasing her CD dedicated to Book I of J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Céline Frisch now presents the second volume of this musical landmark. Bach compiled Book II in 1744, twenty-two years after Book I. It took until 1801 for both volumes to be printed: from then until the present day they have inspired countless composers. After a series of recordings with the Ensemble Zimmermann she helped to found, Céline Frisch returns to the harpsichord recital, for a programme of this, her very favourite music. Through these preludes and fugues, she reminds us that far from being technical exercises, the Well- Tempered Clavier is a work of pure pleasure and constant renewed discovery. As Robert Schumann declared: ‘You should frequently play the fugues of the great masters, particularly those of J.S. Bach. Make the Well-Tempered Clavier your daily bread.’ © Alpha Classics
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Classical - Released February 15, 2019 | Alpha

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Composed in 1944 and first performed at the Salle Gaveau in Paris on 26 March 1945 by Yvonne Loriod, this is the second great pianistic cycle by Olivier Messiaen: a major work indeed, not only in the composer’s oeuvre but in the entire repertoire for solo piano. As we know, its origin is in the faith and spirituality of Olivier Messiaen, who described it as: ‘The Contemplation of the Child-God in the cradle, and the gazes fixed upon Him: from the inexpressible Gaze of God the Father to the multiple Gaze of the Church of love, also taking in the unheard Gaze of the Spirit of joy, the tender Gaze of the Virgin, of the Angels, of the Magi, and of those creatures that are immaterial or symbolic (Time, Extreme Height, Silence, the Star, the Cross).’ He continues: ‘It is a complex of sounds destined for perpetual variations, pre-existing in the abstract as a series, but very concrete and easy to recognize by their colours: a steely grey-blue traversed by bright red and orange, a mauve-tinted violet spotted with leather-brown and encircled in deep purple.’ The vision of this work transmitted by Martin Helmchen – a great piano virtuoso who is himself marked by a strong sense of spirituality – is another substantial contribution to the Messiaenic monument. © Alpha Classics
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Classical - Released November 23, 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Classical - Released October 19, 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet
Alexander Lonquich has his own special place in the world of the piano: this German pianist, who made his home in Italy, has enjoyed an untypical career. A disciple of Paul Badura-Skoda, he is highly respected by many conductors and instrumental artists, such as Philippe Herreweghe, Nicolas Altstaedt and Christian Tetzlaff, with all of whom he collaborates on a regular basis. Navigating his way between the modern and the early piano, he takes the time needed to allow programmes to properly mature, working on them and thinking them over for several years. Such was also the case for this recording, carefully made on a modern Steinway piano, and we have genuinely fallen in love with it. As Alexander Lonquich’s accompanying notes to this album testify, the artist has intensively reflected on and lived with the music of Schubert before recording it. The year of Schubert’s death, which took place on 19th November 1828, was marked - particularly from its springtime - by an extraordinary burst of artistic creativity, produced at a frenetic working pace. It was during this period that he composed the three last piano sonatas and the threeKlavierstücke that make up this programme. © Alpha Classics
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Sacred Oratorios - Released August 31, 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
There is no shortage of parallels to be drawn between Caldara and Vivaldi: both Venetians, both boasting an impressive body of work running to several hundred pieces of all genres, both died in Vienna (in the same street and in the same penury!), although Caldara had written more operas and oratorios than the Red Priest. And here is one of these very 32 known oratorios, Maddalena ai piedi di Christo written in Venice around 1698; it is "oratorio volgare", that is, recited in Italian, rather than Latin. Originally written as an accompaniment to spiritual exercises, the oratorio came to replace profane operas when the theatres were closed, especially from November to Lent. It took on the guise of opera, and used many of its techniques: naves and altars were (re)decorated and mechanisms and costumes were employed. In reality, it was nothing but an opera with a religious theme... The words and the plot of Maddalena ai piedi di Christo are perfectly suited to these months of penitence. It is a drama of the moral breakdown that tortures the sinner who has to choose between worldly and heavenly love, between living a life of luxury and truly promising herself to Christ. The Le Banquet Céleste ensemble, led by Damien Guillon (who also sings the alto part of Divine Love), takes to this rare piece with fervour. © SM/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released October 6, 2017 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama
‘Sophisticated colourist and cerebral virtuoso though he is, Nelson Goerner nevertheless brings out the moments of weakness, the hesitations, the lightning passions in the labyrinth of Chopin’, wrote Diapason on the release of the Preludes in 2015 (Diapason d’Or, Choc de Classica). ‘Serenity’, ‘balance’, ‘clarity’, ‘phrasing’ are the key words that recur in reviews of the discs and concerts of the Argentine pianist, whose fifth solo release on Alpha this is. His latest venture is a complete recording of the Nocturnes, a highpoint of Chopinesque poetry. These twenty-one miniatures accompanied Chopin over a good part of his life, for he composed them between 1827 and 1848. They are tributes to Italian bel canto, expressing reveries but also complexity of feeling and a profundity that far transcends their apparent simplicity. Nelson Goerner’s feeling for melody and tempo works wonders in these pieces, which he recorded in the ideal surroundings of the Salle de Musique of La Chaux de Fonds (Switzerland). © Alpha
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Opera - Released September 8, 2017 | Alpha

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Chamber Music - Released September 8, 2017 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 étoiles de Classica
The fruitful partnership between the Alpha label, the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel and the Palazzetto Bru Zane continues with this set of chamber music by Anton Reicha, performed by the musicians of the Chapel, young talents of an exceptionally high standard, ready and willing to take up the challenge of this music. A key figure of the early nineteenth century, this Czech composer who became a naturalised French citizen did not leave his contemporaries indifferent. Both his music and his theoretical writings set zealous partisans against fierce detractors. This threedisc set, assembling pieces from different genres and periods, gives an insight into the richness of the composer’s extremely prolific output of chamber music, whose originality can still fascinate us nearly two centuries after his death: it illustrates the diversity of the instrumental genres he tackled (sonatas, fugues, études and variations for piano; piano trio, string quartet, string quintet) and a compositional art characterised at once by perfect mastery – as one would expect from someone trained by Haydn in Vienna between 1802 and 1808 – and by the greatest originality. © Alpha Classics
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Classical - Released January 1, 2004 | Alpha

Distinctions Choc du Monde de la Musique
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Classical - Released January 1, 2005 | Alpha

Distinctions 10 de Classica-Répertoire
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Opera - Released March 10, 2017 | Alpha

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Classical - Released March 10, 2017 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Opera - Released February 10, 2017 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet
The Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and Alpha extend their series of recordings of the Mozart operas conducted by Jérémie Rhorer. After Die Entführung aus dem Serail, which received excellent international reviews (including FFFF in Télérama), here now is La clemenza di Tito. Gilles Macassar wrote in Télérama late in 2014 of ‘divinatory conducting, a cast close to the ideal . . . The last opera Mozart composed, long undervalued, closes the chapter of the Baroque and looks into the future, blazing a new trail that looks forward to the nineteenth century.’ That outstanding interpretation is now available in this two-CD set, featuring a high-powered cast – Kurt Streit (Tito), Karina Gauvin (Vitellia), Julie Fuchs (Servilia), Julie Boulianne (Annio), Robert Gleadow (Publio) and, in the role of Sextus, a singer who enjoyed triumphal acclaim from the audience at each performance: Kate Lindsey. The American mezzo-soprano has now joined Alpha, and her first album, devoted to Kurt Weill (see Alpha 272), will be released in May 2017.
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Classical - Released October 21, 2016 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet
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Classical - Released January 1, 2003 | Alpha

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - Recommandé par Répertoire
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Classical - Released September 30, 2016 | Alpha

Booklet
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Classical - Released January 1, 2006 | Alpha

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Chamber Music - Released September 2, 2016 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
More than twelve years after its initial incursion into the music of Brahms, the Belcea Quartet now presents an eagerly awaited complete recording of his string quartets. A powerful style and a sense of musical architecture are the two qualities most often attributed to the Belcea, which is now one of the top international quartets. And those characteristics blossom to the full in Brahms. For the Piano Quintet, its members are joined by Till Fellner. This Austrian former student of Alfred Brendel is one of today’s most respected pianists, combining grace, rigour and musical intelligence. In September 2016 the Belcea Quartet will embark on a tour that will take it to the United States and most countries in Europe.
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Full Operas - Released June 17, 2016 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
The conductor Jérémie Rhorer is today regarded as one of the finest interpreters of the music of Mozart in general and his operas in particular. After conducting Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in 2015, he performed it again at a memorable concert at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris in September of that year with his orchestra, Le Cercle de l’Harmonie. It is this exceptional event, captured in a live recording conveying all the dramatic intensity of the opera, that we present today. ‘In Die Entfuhrung, Mozart presents a completely unprecedented vision of the singspiel, with highly developed ensembles and musical continuity at a time when contemporary spectators were expect-ing the standard alternation between spoken and sung sections’, says Jérémie Rhorer in the interview that accompanies the discs. That musical dramaturgy lies at the centre of this interpretation, which is served by an outstandingly homogeneous cast. This recording launches a series of recordings of concerts at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and a collaboration between Alpha Classics and Le Cercle de l’Harmonie, who will continue to place their excellence at the service of the great masterpieces of Mozart – and of other composers: watch this space!

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