Albums

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Classical - To be released October 5, 2018 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - To be released September 28, 2018 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released September 14, 2018 | harmonia mundi

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A miniature Theatre of the World This box set launches a new complete recording of François Couperin's works for harpsichord: an extensive selection of vocal pieces and chamber music and the organ masses will be gathered around this rich corpus, each in its own way shedding further light on the keyboard music. In this first volume, Bertrand Cuiller draws the portrait of a mysterious alchemist: the ordres chosen here play with the colour of sounds, alliterations, double meanings and parodies, freely inspired by the world of the theatre. An enigmatic world to which Bertrand Cuiller undoubtedly holds the key . . .© harmonia mundi
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Classical - Released September 14, 2018 | harmonia mundi

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A most unusual cabinet of curiosities 'Finding pleasure even in meditating on what causes one's pain': that neatly defines the theme of this album of music from the cusp of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Here Italian and English madrigals rub shoulders with motets and Tenebrae responsories. A melancholic poetry that provided endless nourishment for musical creativity in the late Renaissance, and which Geoffroy Jourdain presents in his first recording for harmonia mundi. © harmonia mundi
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Classical - Released September 14, 2018 | harmonia mundi

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Unexpected? The pairing of viola da gamba and accordion is certainly that! But perhaps even more surprising is how well the singing strings of the veteran instrument harmonize with the subtly vibrating reeds of the centuries-younger newcomer. Also unexpected is this cross-generational meeting of two musicians (what are the odds?), who found each other exploring the 'poetical humours' of early seventeenth-century England. Recently reunited in the recording studio after several seasons of rapturously received recitals, with this well-timed album the duo Les inAttendus makes its first entry into the harmonia mundi catalogue. © harmonia mundi
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Classical - Released September 7, 2018 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released August 31, 2018 | harmonia mundi

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Mozart's and Beethoven's Quintets for piano, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn are set apart by the strong similarities they share. The standard juxtaposition of these pieces on albums makes for a comparison in which the work by Beethoven rather comes off the worse: it is often thought of as a juvenile work, although Beethoven was 26 when it was written in 1796. Meanwhile, Mozart's piece is seen as a mature work – "I think it the best thing I have written", he wrote to his father in 1784 – although he was himself only 28 at the time. For sure, the composers' chronological development is completely different. It is not generally thought that Beethoven could have known Mozart's Quintet, which was unpublished when he wrote his own work. But knowing that Mozart's manuscript was at that time in the hands of a friend of Beethoven's, and that the Quartet VK 470 had been dedicated to oboist Friedrich Ramm – we know that he performed Beethoven's Quintet alongside the composer – it is quite possible that the latter had taken a look at Mozart's work. Indeed, the connections are concrete: it's as if Beethoven had set out to follow Mozart in terms of tone and form. And then there are the clear thematic references: the Allegro in Beethoven's first movement opens on the countess's theme from the Marriage of Figaro; the second movement clearly takes from the "Batti, batti, o bel Masetto" aria from Don Giovanni, while the Rondo in the Finale is a direct quote of the Rondo of Mozart's 22nd Concerto. These linkages are beautifully underscored by the Dialoghi ensemble, which plays period instruments, in particular a fortepiano which is a copy of a Walter from the 1800s, typical of the Viennese sound. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released August 31, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
With these recordings which mark the launch of the Stradivari collection, discover the unique instruments lovingly preserved at the Philharmonie de Paris's Museum of Music: the finest examples of the art of instrument-making which, like the iconic harpsichord crafted in 1652 by Ioannes Couchet, are given a new life thanks to the skill and commitment of its keen conservators. When this 'national treasure' is entrusted into the hands of an expert like Christophe Rousset, the magic is evident. As the sumptuous sonority of Louis Couperin's music is revealed, poetry meets fantasy.
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Classical - Released August 24, 2018 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released August 24, 2018 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released July 13, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet
Organ player and harpsichordist, titular player of the Aubertin organ of the Saint-Louis-en l'Île church in Paris, where he regularly plays Bach in concert, Benjamin Alard is an unstoppable talent. Passionate about the world of Johann Sebastian Bach, this young man, "reserved, with an understated sense of humour", has undertaken a complete recording of the Cantor's keyboard works for harmonia mundi. The project is vast, and has never before been completed by a single musician. Benjamin Alard's very original approach is based on the idea of taking on this vast catalogue split into fourteen chapters, following the timeline of the composer's life, describing his influences, his travels and his professional choices. Every volume is to be thought of as a series of episodes retracing the life and works of the Cantor of Leipzig. This first volume paints a picture of "the young heir", whose music is still very much a tribute to his predecessors, such as Georg Böhm, Johann Kuhnau, Tomaso Albinoni, Johann Pachelbel, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Louis Marchand and Johann Jakob Froberger. The instruments used for this complete recording have been selected, thankfully, with great care. Recorded in May 2017, this first volume uses the Silberman organ in Sainte-Aurélie in Strasbourg, a superb instrument built in 2017, which benefited from a magnificent restoration in 2015, to mark its tricentenary. As for the harpsichord, it is a modern instrument produced by manufacturer Émile Jobin, inspired by models from Ruckers and Dulcken. A young man of his times, Benjamin Alard accompanies this complete works with an original idea: every work is recorded and published separately on streaming and download sites (like Qobuz), along with videos on social media. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released December 1, 2014 | harmonia mundi

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Opera - Released April 7, 2014 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released June 29, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet
Bye bye… or Berlin for ever? Throughout the 1920s, all eyes were turned towards Berlin. Driven by a collective energy, artists of all persuasions (writers, painters, architects, filmmakers and composers) there established the principles of “New Objectivity”, which saw the city become the very epitome of modernity, at the same time as following in the footsteps of other great cities worldwide, not least New York, the birthplace of jazz. Life in Berlin was not the stuff of romance however: strikes, poverty, repression, the rise of Nazism… The post-war social context contributed to the craze that swept the capital for cabaret, a kind of safety valve that allowed for a moral and social release. It is this ephemeral, underground world of “Great Berlin” as depicted in The Blue Angel that Marion Rampal and the Quatuor Manfred invite us to rediscover here, in collaboration with saxophonist Raphaël Imbert: a liberal burst of freedom and humanity delivered with passion! © harmonia mundi
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Solo Piano - Released June 29, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
Released as one of nine new albums dedicated to Debussy by harmonia mundi to mark the centenary of the French composer's birth, this volume offers the Second Book of the Preludes played by Alexander Melnikov on an Erard piano. The world of Debussyan piano relied so heavily on timbre that pianists and editors alike often prefer one or another make so as to get a grip on the specificities of the music. Alexander Melnikov is one of those rare Russian artists to take an interest in ancient instruments. This student of Sviatoslav Richter was quickly captivated by this kind of work, working with Andreas Staier and Alexey Lubimov and playing with specialised ensembles like the Concerto Köln or the Berlin Akademie für Alte Musik. His performance of the Preludes by Debussy at London's Wigmore Hall was particularly well received by critics who described the Russian pianist as a "sorcerer" who is highlighting "ravishing", "violent", "terrifying" music. An iridescent orchestral masterpiece, La Mer is difficult to boil down to a four-handed piano piece, and Debussy disowned his transcription, leaving it to André Caplet to prepare another one for two four-handed pianos. Alexandre Melnikov and Olga Pashchenko have taken up the challenge to prove that the auteur's transcription is not at all "unplayable". © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released June 22, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
It's on a big Fazioli piano, recorded in a public concert in 2017, that Vadym Kholodenko – gold medallist at the prestigious Van Cliburn Competiton – offers us a journey through the fascinating, sometimes unsettling, always vivid, world of Scriabin. The programme follows the compositions in chronological order: we start with some harmonically almost "well-behaved" works, which still bear the marks of Chopin and Rachmaninov, moving gradually towards total liberation from any audible tonality in the form of Vers la flamme from 1914 – one of Scriabin's last pieces – a hair-raising firework display on the piano in the form of an inexorable, almost orgasmic, crescendo. Between these two poles, Kholodenko offers several series of Preludes and Études, two Sonatas – the 4th from 1903 and the 5th from 1907, representing the transition in the composer's style – and isolated piece with evocative titles such as the Poème tragique and the Poème satanique. It's a fine journey, at the end of which the listener will feel both full and emptied-out! © SM/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released June 22, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet
Moving from Palestrina to Boulez with stupefying ease, Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado is interested in all music, beyond boundaries of epochs and styles. For this album, recorded as part of the publications planned by French label harmonia mundi to mark Debussy's centenary, Heras-Casado is conducting the famous London Philharmonic Orchestra, which, much like him, can happily play all sorts of music. It's a classic programme: the Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, which shows off the splendour of Samuel Coles's flute, and La Mer, shimmering and diaphanous, but whose rising tide gracefully carries all before in the train of the the London orchestra's flamboyant brass. Rarer are the symphonic extracts from the The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, a somewhat ill-starred work, a kind of ballet-oratorio for solo vocalists, mixed choir and symphonic orchestra that Debussy had written for the dancer Ida Rubinstein, based on a fashionably outdated text by Gabriele D'Annunzio. The original work, in five acts, lasted five hours and was threatened with a ban by the Archbishop of Paris, who was shocked by the heathen representation of the young Sebastian, who resembled a beautiful Adonis. This transfiguration, in fact already made by many painters of the Italian Renaissance, was surely too much for the era, and the work had no success, in spite of the beauty of Debussy's music. Only the "symphonic fragments", recorchestrated by André Caplet, survived the shipwreck. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released June 15, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Classical - Released June 15, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet
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Classical - Released June 15, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet

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