Albums

£9.99

Chamber Music - Released January 1, 1999 | Alpha

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc du Monde de la Musique - Recommandé par Répertoire - Recommandé par Classica
£5.99

Chamber Music - Released January 1, 1999 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
£9.99

Classical - Released January 1, 1999 | Alpha

Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Choc de l'année du Monde de la Musique - Choc du Monde de la Musique - 10 de Répertoire - Recommandé par Classica - 4F de Télérama - Timbre de platine
£9.99

Classical - Released January 1, 1999 | Alpha

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Recommandé par Répertoire
£9.99

Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc du Monde de la Musique - 10 de Répertoire
£9.99

Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | Alpha

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Timbre de platine
£9.99

Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | Alpha

Distinctions Diapason d'or - Recommandé par Répertoire
This Alpha Productions release, Mysterious Morning, is the first full-length disc by the Quatuor Habanera, a French saxophone quartet founded in 1993 and dedicated to the exploration of the ever-expanding universe of music being created for this instrumental combination. The main event for many listeners will be the inclusion of a late Iannis Xenakis work, Xas (1987). Booklet note-writer Alain Poirer describes Xenakis' music as "harsh and severe," yet Xas' surprising moments of sweetness are what the listener takes note of; the sections aptly described by Poirer's words will come as no shock to ears attuned to the sound of free jazz groups. György Ligeti's popular and oft recorded Bagatelles (6) are presented in a saxophone quartet adaptation made in 1997 by Guillaume Bourgogne with the approval of the composer and recorded here for the first time. The tone of the saxophone enhances the bright, folksy, and popular aspects of this early Ligeti piece. The best thing on the disc, though, is young Japanese composer Fuminori Tanada's Mysterious Morning II, which dives into the realm of saxophone ensemble sonority feet first, producing many startling effects that can only be made by these instruments. Mysterious Morning II also has the benefit of being a mysterious, atmospheric, and vaguely spiritual piece without being new agey. Franco Donatoni's Rasch, originally written for the Rascher Saxophone Quartet, starts out sounding like a broken-down old squeeze box and dissolves into a flurry of Berg-like flittering. It does not make much of an impression, but Donatoni's mirror-image retrograde version of it with some added percussion, Rasch II, does. It is just that in reverse order for some reason the form of the piece is more convincing -- go figure. Outside of referencing the Dies Irae several times, Sofiya Gubaidulina's In Erwartung is so sparse it seems hardly there, and it didn't do a thing for the listener. To want Mysterious Morning one must take a fancy to saxophone groups and contemporary music, a rather specialized combination of tastes. For those who qualify, this is a solid effort by Quatuor Habanera and, despite some less than interesting music, it does make one want to hear more by this group.
£9.99

Classical - Released January 1, 2001 | Alpha

Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc du Monde de la Musique - Recommandé par Répertoire
£9.99

Chamber Music - Released January 1, 2001 | Alpha

Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - 10 de Répertoire - Recommandé par Classica
Bruno Cocset is the real thing. His earlier recording of Bach's Suites for solo cello was in the same league as Casals and Fournier's, but his new disc of Sonatas by Jean Barrière is truly in a league of its own. There are two reasons for this. First, Cocset is a performer of tremendous virtuosity and terrific charisma. His technique is flawless and he makes completely convincing and utterly compelling music of these supremely difficult works. Second, Barrière is a virtually unknown composer of amazingly good music. A bit younger than the generation of Marais and Forqueray, Barrière was at the peak of his career as a composer of soulful, sensitive, and staggeringly difficult music, much of it for the cello, when he died suddenly at the age of 40. The opportunity to hear a fabulous player performing stunningly good music is not to be missed by anyone who loves French cello music of the Baroque period. Alpha's recording is warm and deep, but perhaps just a bit too distant. The packaging is tasteful, beautiful, and tiny.
£9.99

Classical - Released January 1, 2001 | Alpha

Distinctions Diapason d'or - 10 de Répertoire - Recommandé par Classica
£9.99

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
£9.99

Classical - Released January 1, 2001 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - 10 de Répertoire
£9.99

Classical - Released January 1, 2001 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc du Monde de la Musique - 10 de Répertoire - 3F de Télérama
£9.99

Classical - Released January 1, 2001 | Alpha

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - Joker de Crescendo
£9.99

Classical - Released January 1, 2001 | Alpha

Distinctions 10 de Répertoire - Recommandé par Classica
£9.99

Classical - Released January 1, 2002 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - 10 de Répertoire - Recommandé par Classica
£9.99

Classical - Released January 1, 2002 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - 10 de Répertoire - 5 croches d'Opéra International - Diapason découverte
£5.99

Classical - Released January 1, 2002 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
£9.99

Chamber Music - Released January 1, 2002 | Alpha

Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - Recommandé par Répertoire

The Collections

Label

Alpha in the magazine