Albums

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Classical - To be released October 5, 2018 | PentaTone

Booklet
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Concertos - To be released September 28, 2018 | PentaTone

Booklet
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Classical - To be released September 21, 2018 | PentaTone

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Classical - To be released September 21, 2018 | PentaTone

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Classical - Released September 7, 2018 | PentaTone

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Classical - Released September 7, 2018 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet
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Classical - Released August 24, 2018 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
In what sense Hayden's two concertos for cello – at least, the two that we know of as his, although he surely wrote more – are the fruit of a "Transfigured Night" is not clear, and isn't made more so by reading the booklet, although it is very interesting, historically speaking. But on the other hand, of course, Schönberg's Transfigured Night, still a classic of his tonal and post-Wagnerian works, clearly justifies the title. Hayden's concertos are played by the magnificent American cellist Alisa Weilerstein, herself a "privileged partner" of Trondheim Soloists who accompany her here (without a conductor) and give us Schönberg's version for string orchestra. Given that Trondheim is slap bang in the middle of Norway, we can well imagine how the night and the twilight – which lasts most of the day for several months every year – must be full of images of transfigurations to inspire our musicians! And let's recall briefly how this ensemble, founded in 1988, recorded the Four Seasons with Anne-Sophie Mutter in 1999, a veritable stepping stone to international fame. © SM/Qobuz
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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released August 17, 2018 | PentaTone

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Discover poetry in motion with Beauty Come Dancing, composer Gordon Getty’s new album of choral works. Love and dance permeate this collection of new music, paying homage to the romantic and elegant traditions abounding in the latter half of the 19th century. Here, Getty finds inspiration in the poetry of John Keats, Lord Byron, John Masefield, Sara Teasdale, Edwin Arlington Robinson, and Ernest Christopher Dowson. These settings sit alongside choral treatments of three of Getty’s original poems, plus his arrangement of traditional favorite “Shenandoah.” © Pentatone
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Classical - Released August 10, 2018 | PentaTone

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Composed by Stravinsky in 1933 in the wake of the French oratorio fashion whose figureheads are Milhaud (Les Choéphores) and Honegger (Le Roi David, Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher), and his own Oedipus Rex, Perséphone sanctifies the French period of the Russian composer, after he left Switzerland and before he settled definitely in the United States. Ordered by Ida Rubinstein, to whom music history already owed Debussy’s Martyre de Saint-Sébastien and Ravel’s Boléro, this melodrama, profane in its story and hybrid regarding its musical form, glorifies spring -without it being a new “Consecration” in its language) on a text by André Gide, thus prolonging the emotion created by the novel Si le grain ne meurt. The three acts of the work (Perséphone enlevée, Perséphone aux enfers, Perséphone renaissante) are close to human nature and psyche with an empathy reinforced by Stravinsky’s music. Conceived for a tenor (Eumolpe), a narrator, a mixed chorus, a chidren’s chorus and an orchestra, this work, so original in the production of its author, has however never found its audience. People long blamed Stravinsky for wringing the neck of the prosody of Gide’s text without understanding that it was however one of its more sensitive works, possessed with a melodic verve, a clear lyricism and a warmth for which he wasn’t known for. Under Esa-Pekka Salonen’s inspired and aerial baton, Perséphone finds here a second youth which might finally allow it to impose itself to a new generation of music lovers. This “strange profane mass” (as described by Marcel Marnat) is probably one of the most touching works of a composer that is always looking for new springs. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Opera - Released August 3, 2018 | PentaTone

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Yes, at the opera, when the tenor and the soprano stubbornly want to make eyes at each other, there is always a baritone or a bass to sow some discord, sometimes in vain—Osmin, Pizzarro, Caspar—, sometimes successfully—the various Mephisto, Nick Shadow Lindorf-Dapertutto-Miracle. The American bass-baritone Kevin Short offers here, accompanied by an Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille in great shape, a compendium of very, very bad characters, roles he has already sung more or less on the whole lyrical scene. Reckon that he has already performed at the MET in New York, at the operas in Chicago, Houston Los Angeles and Washington, at the Opéra Comique in Paris, in Cologne, Stuttgart, Bologna; in the festivals in Santa Fe, Bregenz, Baden-Baden, Aix-en-Provence. Not forgetting, obviously, his intense participation in the concertante field with the orchestras of Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Cleveland, the one from the RAI, from Radio France and so many others of that kind. Purists (who are absolutely right), fear not: Kevin Short perfectly masters the French pronunciation, as well as the German one and the Italian one. As a “bonus”, he offers a tune from his compatriot Gordon Getty, Mephistopheles to Faust. For your information, Getty indeed bears the name of the famous petroleum dynasty, but Gordon much prefers to compose music—some excellent pieces, incidentally. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released July 20, 2018 | PentaTone

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Classical - Released July 13, 2018 | PentaTone

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Classical - Released July 6, 2018 | PentaTone

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In January 1936, Shostakovitch put the final touches to his Fourth Symphony, when the doleful bell sounded which would become famous as Pravda's "Chaos in the Place of Music" article, dictated by the dastardly Stalin, who hadn't enjoyed the opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. Not fancying a thirty-year holiday in Siberia (or a trip to the mortuary), the composer finished his symphony, in fear of hearing the midnight knock at the door from the terrible NKVD, the forerunners of the KGB. He started rehearsals, but in the end he withdrew the work from the billing on some lame pretext, stuck it in a drawer, and forgot about it... For a quarter of a century, until 1961, when it was finally performed. It is one of the bitterest, darkest, most sinister works by Shostakovitch, who was not short of such pieces, and it is not hard to imagine that for Stalin it might have been the straw that broke the camel's back. Stalin would, quite involuntarily, assist in the creation of the Tenth Symphony, as it was written in the wake of the beast's death, in 1953. To be sure, this work was hardly lighter than the Fourth and the central Scherzo is one of those raging, brutal moments for which Shostakovitch is so well-known; but the third movement, terrifically lyrical, blows away the clouds of the second, with the famous DSCH signature theme, which seems to open a new era. The Russian National Orchestra, founded in 1990 by pianist and conductor Mikhail Pletnev – winner of the first prize in the 1978 Tchaikovsky Competition, and who conducts this recording – is very much at work in their element here. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released June 22, 2018 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Australian flutist Ana de la Vega, who studied in Paris under Raymond Guiot then under Catherine Cantin—and now goes through a brilliant international career—has chosen two Mozart hits that are his Flute Concertos, but coupled them with a gem of a rare beauty, Josef Mysliveček’s concerto. The name, little known these days, will however feel familiar to the readers of Mozart’s correspondence, because the latter often mentioned his colleague—if only to inform his father that the poor man had gone through a botched surgery leaving him without a nose… In his time, Mysliveček had had a beautiful career as a composer of operas which were held many times in Prague, but also at the San Carlo in Naples and in many other European venues. Unfortunately, after his death as a pauper at the age of forty-three in Rome, he was already forgotten and it only got worse, despite the fact that Mozart tried to have his works played in Salzburg. De la Vega, accompanied by the English Chamber Orchestra, whose reputation has never faltered, allows us to discover this small gem in conditions that could only been dreamed of by Mysliveček. But it is never too late to do things right. © SM/Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released June 15, 2018 | PentaTone

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Opera - Released June 15, 2018 | PentaTone

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It's inescapable: love him or hate him, Steve Jobs was a real character. By turns a visionary, an inventor, a despot, a manipulator, he took his computer business to the top of the industry. Long a public figure, he is now a character in an opera, brought to life brilliantly by Mark Campbell and composer Mason Bates, two great explorers of the most offbeat corners of American lyric art. Their opera, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs , first performed in 2017 in Santa Fe, presents the IT magnate and his inner circle around the time of the foundation and development of their business, his friends and his enemies, all in an extravagant musical language, in which Bates introduces a leitmotif for every new character and situation, with instrumental colours, dedicated themes, and also interjections of electronic sounds, from – you've guessed it – computers and mobile phones made by the firm itself. There's also some jazz thrown in (the symphonic jazz of Bernstein or Gershwin), and some very progressive rock, with atonalism and chromatism, as well as Adams-style minimalism. Bates stays firmly within the realm of classical lyricism, because his modernity has nothing to do with avant-gardist destruction: rather, it's a new creation based on existing elements being used in a thoroughly original and personal way. This recording was made at the world première in Santa Fe in summer 2017. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released June 1, 2018 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet
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Classical - Released June 1, 2018 | PentaTone

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This perfectly classical new version of The Creation by Haydn was recorded in two concerts given at the Jesse H. Jones Hall in Houston, on 27 September and 2 October 2016. Subtitled in English, these concerts also saw exhibits of cheerful drawings by the schoolchildren of Houston, who imagined whales jumping in the water beneath a starry sky. While the record doesn't contain the pictures, it does capture the festive and awestruck atmosphere of the night with conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada. Born in 1977, in Medellín, Colombia, this violinist and conductor went to study in Vienna at the age of 20, quickly becoming a sought-after artist. In 2009, he took charge of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, and then became the first guest conductor of the London Philharmonic, and took the post of musical director of the Houston Symphony Orchestra in Texas. Playing the game of musical chairs which is so popular these days, Orozco-Estrada will conduct the Vienna Symphony Orchestra from the 2021-2022 season, taking over from Philippe Jordan, who will himself move on to be the musical director of the opera house in the Austrian capital. Made sublime by the excellent sound recording by the engineers at Pentatone, this recording of The Creation offers a delicious taste of the Texan orchestra's exquisite wind soloists, the fluidity of the string section and the excellence of the Houston Symphony Chorus, whose substantial numbers don't in any way reduce the perfect clarity of this fervent performance, with highlights from the three soloists Nicole Heaston, Peter Rose and Toby Spencer. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released May 18, 2018 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet
What an excellent idea it was to put the Concertos for Orchestra by two friends as close as Bartók and Kodály together on a single record! The first, written for Koussevitzky and the Boston Orchestra, has been a hit for over 70 years in programmes and concerts the world over; but the second has, quite unjustly, been conspicuous in its absence since its first performance in 1941. The fruit of a commission from the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra in 1939, the Concerto for Orchestra by Kodály was supposed to have been first performed by the writer in person, but the plan was scotched by the war, which prevented Kodály from leaving his country. The score arrived in the US in the luggage of... Bartók, who carefully packed it up when he began his exile. Short, and made up of a single movement, Kodály's work doesn't bear the mark of the political events of the time. It is a work in a rather pastoral mood, in which elements of baroque concerto grosso are mixed in with traditional popular melodies. The very delicate orchestration almost overshadows the massed ranks of the orchestra demanded by the composer, who would shortly leave behind symphonic composition to write his famous Psalmus Hungaricus and oratorios, before one final Symphony put the capstone on his oeuvre. Jakub Hrůša does perfect justice to this seductive score, painting it in diaphanous colours and a most convincing mystery, at the head of the excellent Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra. The young Czech conductor doesn't stop at merely putting these two works on the same record, but works to underline the subterranean links that join them together. His approach to the Concerto for Orchestra by Bartók, which came a few years after Kodály's piece is the opposite of the monumental orchestral work that we normally hear. This renewed version expresses a piercing melancholy which even the thundering of the final Presto can't dissipate. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Opera - Released May 4, 2018 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
A record made up entirely of prologues from operas and baroque oratorios: this album isn't short on spice. Prologues are completely different from the – purely orchestral – overtures of later operas, as in the baroque era, after a short instrumental introduction, we'd get right into the action, often with a sung allegorical exposition of the setting and the story. Soprano Francesca Aspromonte and Enrico Onofri have collected these allegories with il pomo d’oro (the ensemble has decided that its name will be all lowercase), taken from the late 16th century with Monteverdi and Caccini up to the first quarter of the 18th century with Alessandro Scarlatti, via the rich beauty of the middle 17th century of Cavalli, Rossi, Stradella and Cesti. The listener will have to come to terms with the fact that the opera will never really start, that these are only the premises, the first tremblings, tantalising tasters, aimed at captivating the audience. Don't forget that in those days, it wasn't the custom to remain silent before the start of a show, and it took all the talents of the allegorist to finally get the fans' full attention. We reckon that Francesca Aspromonte will have no trouble captivating her audience. © SM/Qobuz

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