Albums

£49.99

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.
£29.99

Classical - Released November 7, 2011 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
£29.99

Classical - Released January 1, 2013 | Alpha

Booklet
£41.99
£27.99

Classical - Released April 23, 2012 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
£25.99

Classical - Released April 22, 2013 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
£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.
£24.99

Classical - Released April 24, 2008 | Alpha

Booklet
£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
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Classical - Released October 30, 2015 | Alpha

Booklet
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Classical - Released September 30, 2016 | Alpha

Booklet
£19.99

Classical - Released January 1, 2005 | Alpha

Booklet
There's a lot to be said for chronological order, to wit, it's instantly comprehensible. Shostakovich, for example, composed his 15 string quartets in chronological order starting with the youthful and excited First Quartet and ending with his aged and just about dead Quartet No. 15. And while it may be interesting to hear a set of the complete quartets in which chronology is disregarded, the listener is necessarily left looking for another comprehensible order. In this set of the complete quartets by the Quatuor Danel, the works appear in no particular order. Disc three, for example, opens with the penultimate and almost fatal Quartet No. 14, follows with the autobiographical and almost suicidal Quartet No. 8, and ends with the maniacal and almost atonal Quartet No. 12, an order that defies chronology along with comprehensibility. In lieu of an overriding order, the Quatuor Danel's sequence forces the listener to attend each performance individually. This is not altogether a good thing because there's also a lot to be said for ethnicity. While the Franco-German Quatuor Danel was trained by the Borodin Quartet in the secrets of Shostakovich quartet playing, it is still a quite distinctly Gallic-sounding ensemble. There is a nimbleness to its tone and a weightlessness to its sonorities, a sense of tart sweetness in its lyricism, and a touch of dry irony in its phrasing that relocates these truly, deeply, profoundly Soviet works smack dab in the middle of Europe. For those used to the extremely expressive and passionately pessimistic Borodin Quartet performances, the Quatuor Danel's performances may seem decidedly lightweight. For those looking for an alternative to excruciating existential agony, however, the Quatuor Danel's performances are an interesting alternative way to hear Shostakovich. Fuga Libera's sound is detailed, but a bit dim and a tad gray.
£19.99

Classical - Released May 21, 2012 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
Alpha Productions released A Tribute to Gustav Leonhardt: The Last Recordings about six months after the prodigious musician's death in January 2012. The set is made up of the last five albums Leonhardt recorded over his long career, made between 2001 and 2007. They fortuitously include examples of the three performing disciplines for which he was renowned -- as an organist, harpsichordist, and choral conductor -- and are infused with the depth of musicological research and insight that he brought to all his endeavors. It's an immensely satisfying collection, a fitting, mature, autumnal summation of a long and illustrious career, made up of music of the Baroque, along with some late Renaissance repertoire, much of it from off the beaten path. Regardless of medium, his performances were refined and elegant but with a lively internal energy and an unerring sense of pacing. They were always disciplined, but a listener could never come away from hearing him playing or conducting and think of Baroque music as predictable or metronomic. Three of the discs are devoted to harpsichord music of France, Germany, England, and Italy; one disc to a similarly broad collection of pieces for organ; and one disc to two secular cantatas by J.S. Bach, in which he's expertly joined by Les Chantres du Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles and the chamber orchestra Café Zimmermann. Alpha's sound is impeccable, detailed, and immediate.
£19.99

Classical - Released February 25, 2014 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica
In modern performances of J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, the piano is heard most often, due to its ubiquity and familiarity, and it is followed in frequency by the harpsichord, particularly in renditions based on Baroque period practices. Yet the organ is a viable alternative, as Frédéric Desenclos brilliantly demonstrates in this revelatory four-CD box set from Alpha. Because the term clavier can be applied to any keyboard instrument, there's no musical reason why the WTC shouldn't be heard this way. Desenclos' controlled playing and use of appropriate registration make a compelling case for organ performance, and he shows that Bach's transparent counterpoint works as naturally here as it does in the other preludes and fugues that were specifically composed for organ. Furthermore, there are internal connections and similarities between several of the preludes and fugues and other compositions in the Clavier Übung and the Orgelbüchlein, suggesting the possibility that Bach developed some ideas in the WTC at the organ, his primary instrument. While this is speculation, there is no doubt that Desenclos does a superb job of arranging the music in the spirit of Bach's transcriptions, playing them with great clarity and confidence. Organ fans will appreciate this set the most, but others should give it a hearing to appreciate the excellent performances.
£19.99

Classical - Released October 6, 2015 | Alpha

Booklet
£29.99
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Classical - Released November 13, 2015 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet
£17.99

Classical - Released November 14, 2013 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
£26.99
£17.99

Opera - Released September 8, 2017 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet
£26.99
£17.99

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
£17.99

Classical - Released September 9, 2014 | Alpha

Booklet
£23.99
£15.99

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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