Albums

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Chamber Music - To be released March 1, 2019 | BIS

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Classical - To be released March 1, 2019 | BIS

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Chamber Music - To be released March 1, 2019 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
£11.99
£7.99

Classical - To be released March 1, 2019 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
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£15.98

Classical - Released February 1, 2019 | BIS

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Classical - Released February 1, 2019 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
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Classical - Released February 1, 2019 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
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Classical - Released February 1, 2019 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
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£7.99

Chamber Music - Released February 1, 2019 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
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£7.99

Classical - Released February 1, 2019 | BIS

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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released January 4, 2019 | BIS

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Chamber Music - Released January 4, 2019 | BIS

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Classical - Released January 4, 2019 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
Mendelssohn's piano concertos are not the standard repertory works they were in the 19th century, when they seemed to display the capabilities of the new instrument in an accessible way. But there are various recordings, with both historical and modern pianos and orchestral instruments. This one comes from veteran Dutch fortepianist Ronald Brautigam, who has recorded Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words nicely in the past. Here he takes on a variety of the composer's concerted works, and that's one strong point: the Rondo Brillant in E flat major for piano and orchesra, Op. 29, Capriccio Brillant in B minor, Op. 22, and Serenade and Allegro Giojoso, Op. 43, are not commonly played, and Brautigam's piano, a replica of a Pleyel instrument of 1830 by Americo-Czech builder Paul McNulty, gives a real feel for what Mendelssohn's audiences heard and why he was so popular: the works are brilliant, melodic, and natural under his fingers. In the concertos, Brautigam is strongest in the slow movements, which are close to the melodic idiom of the Songs Without Words; in the outer movements, the fortepiano doesn't quite stand up to the vibrato-free strings of Die Kölner Akademie under Michael Alexander Willens, and you might wish for a more powerful instrument. Your mileage may vary, however, and most will find this a worthwhile addition to the Mendelssohn discography.
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Classical - Released January 4, 2019 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
It's hardly common to become a global star at the age of 96; and even less so to record Beethoven's nine symphonies at that age – especially if these recordings rejuvenate our whole approach to a corpus that seemed to have no secrets left. And as the most familiar landscape can suddenly take on a new appearance when viewed from a new angle, so can music. The Swede Herbert Blomstedt, son of a strict pastor and cut from the same cloth as his countryman Ingmar Bergman, is possessed of a freshness and physical appearance that belie his age: the greatest concession he has made has been to cut down from 100 concerts a year to 70, conducting the greatest orchestras in the world. After his recent refreshing reinterpretation of Beethoven and Mozart's last two symphonies, recorded in concert in 2017, we find him here dealing with the works of the great Swedish composer Wilhelm Stenhammar, recorded at concerts given in Gothenburg in 2013 and 2014. Bowled over by hearing his friend Sibelius's Second Symphony, Stenhammar tried to renew his own style, writing a "second symphony" of his own, and as soon as it was done, in May 1915, he wrote to the Finnish composer. Written for the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, which plays it in this recording, it is structured classically around four movements. The first is built on a folk music theme; the second is a kind of great nocturnal procession that precedes a Scherzo written as a stylised dance whose central Trio is played on wind instruments whose quality Stenhammar looked to underline. As for the Finale (which, how to put it, gave some critics a headache...), it is to this day one of the most masterful pages of symphonic music written in Sweden. First performed in 1914, the Serenade in F major, written after a trip to Florence, was quickly withdrawn by the composer, who made a new version in five movements which was performed in 1919 and enjoyed lasting success at home. Just like Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony, Tchaikovski’s Souvenir de Florence and Italian Capriccio , or indeed Strauss's Aus Italien the work highlights the magic attraction that Italy exercises on Northern composers. It is an illuminating and idealised description of a dreamy Arcadia, largely inspired by antiquity. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released January 4, 2019 | BIS

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Classical - Released January 4, 2019 | BIS

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Symphonic Music - Released January 4, 2019 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Keyboard Concertos - Released January 3, 2019 | BIS

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Classical - Released December 7, 2018 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
Bernstein, Copland, Ives, Mahler, Strauss, Pärt, Duruflé, Messiaen, Martin, Liszt and Richard Rodgers: those are the composers honoured here by Anne Sofie von Otter, accompanied on the organ (which makes the album truly original, in addition to the eclectic repertoire) by Bengt Forsberg. A few fellow musicians join forces for a few pieces here and there; we find the violin, cello, harp, viola and even an electric guitar for Bernstein's Mass aria. A touching detail is that the organ used is that of St. James Church in Stockholm, the same church where a very young Anne Sofie first started singing, initially as a member of the choir, then quickly as a soloist, notably with St. John Passion. It was also in this church that she first performed as a soloist more than thirty-five years ago with none other than Bengt Forsberg. The programme alternates between English, German and French, with a touch of Latin for incursions into the sacred world. It ends with an almost improvised version of "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" from the musical The Sound of Music; indeed, Von Otter has been enjoying crossing the barriers between periods and genres for several years now. © SM/Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released November 2, 2018 | BIS

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