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Classical - Released November 15, 2019 | Aparté

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Often seen as playing second fiddle to his close friend Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Philipp Telemann is making a spirited comeback and taking his place among the best composers of his day. In the manner of a Vivaldi production, Telemann's abundant work can be intimidating in its sheer quantity. A multiple instrumentalist, violinist, conductor, ensemble performer, Gottfried von der Goltz has dug up this group of six sonatas referred to as the Frankfurt Sonatas, named for the town where they were published in 1715. Leaving the Court of Bach's native Eisenach, Telemann set up in Frankfurt in 1712 as the chapelmaster of the Franciscan church. He would become one of the richest citizens of the town thanks to the ample emoluments he received in this post. These six sonatas are written in "stilo francese", all divided into four movements: a solemn overture followed by a faster second movement, and then a cantabile finishing with a lively, virtuoso finale. This strict schema gives range to a range of sonatas, which vary widely in their writing style and steer clear of the then-fashionable trio-sonata form, offering a tremendous free rein to the lead instrument. They are only equalled by Bach's sonatas for flute and violin. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released November 15, 2019 | Aparté

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If we take a closer look at the first symphonic attempts by the young Mozart, we can see that they are motivated by a lot more than mere curiosity, musicologist Henning Bey, the author of the texts that accompany this new recording, points out. He shows how the young boy, without the presence of his bedridden father, managed to set down on paper his first symphony after a few efforts for the clavier and violin. The manuscript still bears the traces of the young composer's experimentations and difficulties with ink and an ill-cut quill. The lesson of this first orchestral outing is that "form develops from content". Mozart came to composition when his father taught him to write minuets. And it was also with dance that he would finish his oeuvre, writing the 5 Contredanses, K. 609, just a few days before his death, for the imperial balls in the Redoute. They are presented here by way of closing the circle, interspersed between each of the five youthful symphonies which make up the substance of this album. The excellent performance from Gottfried von der Goltz and the musicians of the Freiburger Barockorchester whom he directs with his violin, have a mature take on this childish music, written before Mozart the traveller starts taking in everything he sees and hears to elaborate his own unique language. What's troubling about it is the assuredness of the writing from a child of nine years old, who seems already to know exactly where he will go and what he will become. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released November 15, 2019 | Aparté

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This record is about reparation. History has not let two extraordinary composers meet each other. Georg Friedrich Haendel and Johann Sebastian Bach came to the world in 1785, one month apart. Twice, they failed to meet each other, and never again their life paths happened to come across, following parallel ways all along. This album is, thus, dedicated to this failure. Lina Tur Bonet and Dani Espasa offer here a record that reflects multiple questions, engaging a critical dialogue. If Bach and Haendel’s sonatas are facing each other, it is mostly their voices that echo to one another. By choosing these works, Lina Tur Bonet and Dani Espasa recreate, for an instant, the encounter of the two German composers, whose existences suddenly merge into one. This is the exact meaning of the matter of music, being able to suspend the time for a moment by giving birth to something that has never been before. Lina Tur Bonet and Dani Espasa prove to be true magicians in this recording, and much as their exceptional reinterpretation reveals the whole deepness and closeness that these works and their composers share. © Aparté
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Classical - Released November 15, 2019 | Aparté

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The world of bossa nova meets classical music for a unique record, born from the exceptional encounter of the Brazilian singer Toquinho, living legend of the bossa nova, and the international cellist Ophélie Gaillard. Including standards alongside several exclusive songs, with original arrangements of the composer Gabriel Sivak, this present recording breathes the sweet fragrance of a warm summer night. The soft warmth of Ophélie Gaillard’s strings supports Toquinho’s soul-stirring whispers. With delicate harmonies and irresistible rhythms, this subtle reveals the essence of the bossa nova, which lies in this bright nostalgia and its wistful swing, at the rhythm of the beating heart. Toquinho picks out the chords on his guitar as he murmurs the words of Vinicius de Moraes and proves that the poet found in this music the right echo of his soul: how can one resist to this betwitching Song of the siren? © Aparté
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Opera - Released November 8, 2019 | Aparté

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This performance of Raoul Barbe-Bleue (‘Raoul Bluebeard’) from the 16th-17th November 2018 at Selbu Church (Norway) follows a number of performances at the Trøndelag Theatre as part of the Barokkfest Early Music Festival in Trondheim, in coproduction with the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles. The comic opera was written on 2nd March 1789, on the eve of the French Revolution and is a parody of two tales. André Grétry and his librettist Michel-Jean Sedaine were inspired both by Perrault’s story of Bluebeard and by the legend of The Lady of Fayel, which may not be as well-known nowadays but was very much in fashion in the 18th century and is itself a fusion of two tales. Sedaine deftly ensured that the opera included the first names of the various main characters to indicate that it is indeed a comedy and not a tragedy. Wagner even recalled in his memoirs how he had seen the opera performed in Dresden at the age of five and had been fascinated ever since. Now, re-enacted for the first time since 1789 in a Franco-Norweigan stage version conducted by Martin Wåhlberg, this version of Raoul Barbe-Bleue is guaranteed to make you laugh with its hybridised style that somewhat confused the 18th century audience. It’s a challenge but a wonderful opportunity to experience this work, produced primarily for the stage, without actually seeing the performers here – just by creating an inner theatre in your mind. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Symphonies - Released November 8, 2019 | Aparté

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Beethoven are both composers and were both born in the year 1770. They met in Bonn and even played together for several years in Bonn’s orchestra pit. The Concert de la Loge takes the opportunity of their 250th birthday to pay them a tribute, with this recording that brings together Beethoven’ Septet op.20 (for an atypical string quartet with violin, viola, cello and double bass, plus clarinet, horn and bassoon) and Reicha’s Grande Symphonie de Salon no.1 (for string quintet, oboe, clarinet, cor and bassoon). These hybrid works are situated at crossroads between chamber music and symphony and reflect the taste of experimentation of their composers. The sophisticated instrumental lines of Beethoven’s work meet here the great orchestral charism of Reicha, whom Berlioz hailed as a “true revolutionary” when he was nominated at the head of the Académie des Beaux-Arts’s music section. © Aparté
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Classical - Released November 1, 2019 | Aparté

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Following its first performance before the court at the Château de Saint-Germain-en- Laye on 1 January 1677, Isis won librettist Philippe Quinault two years' banishment, for having dared to bring to the stage the jealousy of Madame de Montespan (Juno) at the decision of King Louis XIV (Jupiter) to leave her for the young and attractive Mademoiselle de Ludres (Io). Although Lully and Quinault insisted that they were inspired by Ovid's Metamorphoses, no-one was fooled: after its performance, the rumour mill went into overdrive, which saw the unfortunate Mademoiselle de Ludres obliged to leave the court the following year. The show turned out to be a one-night- only affair and the opera lay forgotten for three centuries. It survived in part through Purcell's Cold Song, written for his semi-opera King Arthur, which was rather influenced by the mischievous Chœur des trembleurs in Act Four of Isis. Christophe Rousset, a Lully specialist, has set happily to work on this opera, which is jam-packed with instrumental marvels (wind machines, for example) and vocal wonders. It's these features that have won it the reputation as an "opera for musicians": so rich is the score in music and novelties. This great show was unveiled by Christophe Rousset and his team of singers and instrumentalists during summer 2019, in particular at the Beaune Festival, and recorded thereafter at the Salle Gaveau in Paris. It will continue on its round of concerts during the 2019-2020 season. Conducted with unstinting tension and lots of imagination from Christophe Rousset at the head of the Orchestre des Talens Lyriques, the Chœur de chambre de Namur, and a team of soloists all welded together into a perfectly coherent whole, this recording is a highlight of this Autumn's music. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released October 25, 2019 | Aparté

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Built around the young soprano Katherine Watson and suggested by the conductor and flutist Alexis Kossenko, supported by the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, this operatic program revives the splendor of Versailles. Blending operatic airs and instrumental pieces, this baroque collection offers a selection of the major works of the Sun King’s court, from André Campra to Marin Marais, but rediscovers as well several long-forgotten works from this period, as Louis de Lully’s opera Orphée. It also allows us to glimpse into the dramatic power of the rôles tendres, that mostly suit to women in love, leading roles of the tragédie lyrique, and for which Katherine Watson proves to be the ideal interpreter. The smoothness of her timbre and the clarity of the orchestra, under Alexis Kossenko’s sure direction, reveal all the treasures of these French airs that explore the depths of the human soul. Often exposed to torments, victims of the avarice of the gods, suffering from love and cruelty, the heroins of the tragédie lyrique nevertheless embody tragic beauty and majesty. © Aparté
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Quartets - Released October 11, 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - Qobuzissime
Six quartets: six works that are key to understanding what Joseph Haydn brought to western music. This effort by the Quatuor Hanson is particularly successful because they are past masters in constructing and expressing the soul of this subtle art. And what's more, they bring it off with a fascinating level of instrumental skill. Listening to this piece, we have to bow down once again before the genius of a composer who, along with Boccherini, invented a new genre and immediately studded it with masterpieces of staggering quality. Judiciously picked out from among Haydn's vast corpus, these six quartets are touching both in their expressiveness and in the perfection of their writing. Not a single note out of place, a perfect balance of four voices and inspired right from the first moment up to the incomplete closing Opus 77, which was a contemporary of Beethoven's first Quartets, Op. 18 – works that betray the lessons their writer learned from his master. More than two hundred years after his death, Haydn has only just found recognition as one of the greats, although he had been accorded that status during his life. But his works for keyboards, the symphonies, the oratorios, and to a lesser extent, the operas, speak in his favour. More than a forerunner, Haydn is a founder, a genius whose influence was felt by those who came after him, foremost amongst whom Beethoven and Schubert. This splendid album puts him (back) in his rightful place. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Art Songs - Released October 4, 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica
A scribe of Schubert’s lieder, piano virtuoso, composer of powerful symphonic works, a precursor to modern music which would blossom at the start of the twentieth century, Franz Liszt is also the author of many lieder and other melodies. This great European traveller spoke many different languages, never holding back from putting German romanticism to music through the words of Heine, Schiller, Rellstab or Goethe, the French smoothness of Victor Hugo or the perfect language of Petrarch’s Sonnets in Italian. At 35 years old, the French tenor Cyrille Dubois already has a long career behind him. A young singer in the Caen children’s choir in Normandy, he started his solo career at the age of 12, playing Miles in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw at the Opéra de Lyon, before joining the Opéra de Paris’ Atelier Lyrique program in 2010. He has since performed on various international stages. His accompanist Tristan Raës studied at the Conservatoire de Paris, winning several prizes, including that of Anne Le Bozec’s accompaniment class. The two musicians that make up Duo Contraste met for the first time over ten years ago during their studies. Driven by a passion for melody which they admirably deliver, they have dedicated themselves to this repertoire with a skilful blend of simplicity and clarity, as well as a remarkable sense of nuance and expression all while avoiding any over-exaggerated sentimentality. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released October 4, 2019 | Aparté

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The Haydn series continues with the Paris Symphony No. 87. Julien Chauvin and his orchestra keep shaking us up with historical instruments listening to Haydn’s works and several other forgotten scores from the same period. All of them were commissioned for the Concert de la Loge Olympique - ancestor and model for Julien Chauvin and his musicians – and all of them sank into oblivion during the 19th century, except for Haydn’s symphonies. The record offers an opportunity to experience some rare works of Grétry, Lemoyne and Ragué, and to revive the success that they once knew. © Aparté
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Classical - Released September 27, 2019 | Aparté

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Bruno Rigutto performed a new recording, matured over time, of Chopin's Nocturnes, 40 years after his first complete recording of these pieces. His long-time attendance and his poetic approach to this corpus make this new album an exciting object. This second complete recording is enriched with the sheen that only time and long-lasting imagination can give to the performance. For the French pianist, playing Chopin's music has a mysterious aura. The performer's sensitivity has to resonate with the composer's affects. The alchemy is complete, the interpreter drawing from within himself the atmospheres to create subtle nuances and phrasings. Finally, the album is the mirror of the inner life of Chopin since it follows the chronological order of composition of the Nocturnes. So this is the soundtrack to Chopin’s life that we are following as we listen. The listener discovers or rediscovers Bruno Rigutto under the nocturnal rays of romanticism, which are infused with the works of one of the most endearing composers and pianists. © Aparté
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Classical - Released June 21, 2019 | Aparté

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Violinist Thibault Noally leads his ensemble Les Accents through a new musical adventure inspired by Johann Sebastian Bach. Around the father of European music are summoned by famous and more discreet contemporaries, all authors of concertos, such as Telemann, Fasch and Förster. Enlightened by the miraculous southern light emanating from the works of German Baroque pieces, the album vibrates thanks to the obvious pleasure of the musicians to play once more together at Aparté’s. Guided by the spirit of the Leipzig cantor, the musicians walk through the alleys of the eighteenth century following the Thibault Noally’s sound. Most comfortable in this environment, he and his violin literally sing with his musical mates in the double concertos for recorder or oboe. Baroque repertoire is inexhaustible! © Aparté
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Solo Piano - Released June 14, 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Following a previous recording devoted to Mozart, François Chaplin has chosen Brahms' latest opus for solo piano: Rhapsodies Op. 79 and the intermezzi from Klavierstücke Op. 117 and Op. 118. The Rhapsodies, moving and powerful scores, express Brahms' sober melancholy. Far from his symphonic works, the interludes of Opus 117 and Opus 118, true miniatures, reveal the inner imagination of the composer. Brahms talks directly to the heart of the listener with his mature and sober poetry. Within these Klavierstücke, the interlude is a humble but generous genre where the musician gathers freely the fruits of his most intimate inspiration. These « lullabies of pain », as he called them, are composed during summer in the Austrian countryside, dear to this sturdy northern German. The emotion that emerges from it is all the more intense as it measures his artistic evolution. On this journey, François Chaplin brings out a soft poetry from a contained lyricism. © Aparté
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Full Operas - Released June 7, 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica
While Mozart was largely overlooked in the French capital, Antonio Salieri took on the reigns of the Académie Royale de Musique (Paris Opera), a fruitful collaboration that was completely broken up by the French Revolution. After the success of his work Les Danaïdes, composed for Paris in 1784, Salieri worked tirelessly with Beaumarchais, spurred on by the success and scandal of his Figaro, on a new project which would become Tarare. Beaumarchais moved himself shamelessly toward stardom, skillfully self-promoting and attending rehearsals so as to assure that the orchestra played pianissimo to emphasize the primacy of his verse during performances. Beaumarchais found that the music was too overwhelming to “embellish the lyrics”.Created one year after Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (which was relatively well-received in Vienna before triumphing in Prague), Tarare was an immense success in Paris maintaining the status of the composer’s repertoire despite the political turmoil of the time before disappearing from view around 1826, thereon ceasing to be played. Beaumarchais’ words were immediately adapted into Italian by Lorenzo Da Ponte to be performed and met with equal success in Vienna. Tarare is half lyrical tragedy, half comic opera with a hint of orientalism.After resuscitating Les Danaïdes and Les Horaces, Christophe Rousset finished off his series of recordings dedicated to Salieri’s French operas for the Parisian public. Tarare is very much of its time, that of the Lumières, and used the power of art to challenge despotism in all its forms. Thanks to Christophe Rousset’s excellent delivery and lively direction, this recording enables one to judge the merits of the composition and the chasm that separates an honest and talented musician from a solitary and impassioned one like Mozart. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released April 19, 2019 | Aparté

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“Right after God comes my Papa”: these were young Wolfgang's words of praise for his father Leopold Mozart. 2019 is the anniversary of Leopold that Aparté celebrates with a gorgeous recording of his Missa Solemnis. Alessandro de Marchi, who ran the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music right after René Jacobs, conducts the beautiful Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie from Augsburg, where Leopold was born. By paying homage to the father, this album put an end to the eternal inequality of treatment, saving the father from collective oblivion and worldwide overshadowing by the child prodigy. For a long time, the Missa Solemnis haunted Wolfgang's catalogue but we now know for sure that it’s Leopold’s. Committed to the Leopold legacy owing to his native city of Augsburg, the Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie, together with the Vokalprojekt choir, apprehend this work afresh. In this research, they find in Alessandro de Marchi an ally and passionate champion of unknown works, who knows how to highlight the Neapolitan subtleties from the strict contrapuntal style of this mass. For those who’re desperately rummaging the second-end market to find the only out of print recording of the Missa from 1982, a new and invaluable record is now available! © Aparté
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Keyboard Concertos - Released April 12, 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Chopin’s Piano Concertos are works of a twenty-year old composer and ambitious soloist. Powerful and challenging, their romantic dimension also carries sensitive effusions. This duality is highlighted here by an interpretation on period instruments in a chamber version. Choices that are as many clues to recognize the musicians from the Cambini-Paris Quartet and their accomplices: Pianist David Lively and Double bassist Thomas de Pierrefeu. Direct heir to Chopin’s piano teaching legacy, David Lively chose a vintage Érard piano to record both Concertos. Accompanied by a string quintet, he revives the tradition of the genre: before being performed in big concert halls, composers and pianists like Chopin played their latest scores in music lovers’ salons. The broad ambitus covered by the strings and the richness of the sound of the pianoforte respect the symphonic dimension of those two pieces. A musical quest for fidelity and authenticity to music and musicians, and a gift for the listeners! © Aparté
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Chamber Music - Released March 29, 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Frescobaldi brilliantly combines improvisation and architecture. These qualities resonate with the discography of harpsichordist Christophe Rousset, whose choice of repertoire and interpretation are adventurous and serious at the same time. Frescobaldi’s counterpoint goes along with the finest art of singing, inherited from the Italian madrigal, and the flexibility of his language highlights the virtuosity of his compositions. Christophe Rousset recorded toccate and partite on a beautiful and original harpsichord of the late 16th century. Its sound faithfully testifies for the significant place of this First Book of harpsichord pieces in the nascent modernity of Frescobaldi. If the modal harmonies are still old-fashioned, the free beat and subtle melodies make it an indisputable baroque master, admired from Italy to France and Germany: Bach is said to have had a copy of his Fiori musicali! This new disc by Christophe Rousset reveals the first treasures composed specifically for the harpsichord. Its repertoire was served from the beginning by musicians whose expressive boldness recalls in a musical way Caravaggio’s chiaroscuro. © Aparté
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Chamber Music - Released March 22, 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica
Vlado Perlemuter and Jean Hubeau’s pupil, Michel Dalberto has established himself during a forty year career as a master. And as an ardent defender of French music he launched on Aparté a series dedicated to Debussy, Fauré, Franck and Ravel. “With these recordings of works of four major French composers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, I wish to prove myself worthy of the teachers who used to provide a specific idea of French music made of severity and sensuality, a mixture of rigour and freedom.” After a first opus devoted to Debussy and a second to Fauré (both rewarded with international awards), Michel Dalberto chose the Salle Philharmonique in Liège to record the third part of this collection – that is to say in César Franck’s home town. © Aparté
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Chamber Music - Released March 15, 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Couperin’s four Concerts royaux were published in 1722 as in a supplement to his third anthology of harpsichord pieces. They sound like a twilight tribute to Sun King’s reign. The score doesn’t mention any instrument but we know the musician envisaged them as ensemble pieces for a mixed consort of instruments. And that was how they were performed at the Sunday concerts at Versailles organized by Mme de Maintenon for Louis XIV between 1714 and 1715. Chamber music concerts were in fashion at the time so the four Suites were to be played by a bass instrument and several dessus, and not only by the solo harpsichord. Christophe Rousset and his soloists recorded with sense and sensibility this concentrate of French elegance and virtuosity! With Violinist Stéphanie-Marie Degand, Flutist Georges Barthel, Oboist Patrick Beaugiraud and Violist Atsushi Sakaï, the 18th-century-music lover and baroque conductor features a majestic version of these well-named royal Concerts! © Aparté Music

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