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Classical - Released June 12, 2012 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles Classica - Hi-Res Audio
The performances on this lovely album of vocal and instrumental music by Marc-Antoine Charpentier make it a recording that should delight the composer's fans and anyone who loves the music of the Baroque. Listeners should be warned that the packaging and even the composer's titles create expectations of music of a very different character from what is actually presented. The three Leçons de Ténèbres of the title, scored for bass and chamber orchestra, refer to baleful texts taken from the Lamentations of Jeremiah describing the fall and abasement of Jerusalem, and were written for services on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of Holy Week, the darkest days in the Christian liturgical calendar. Rather than emphasizing the texts' dire pronouncements of God's wrath, Charpentier's music expresses a gentle compassion for Jerusalem in music that's comfortingly benevolent, full of light rather than darkness. It's a brilliantly counterintuitive but legitimate take on the meaning of the texts. Charpentier was certainly capable expressing profound grief and wrote some of the most wrenching, anguished music of his era, but here he offers a message of hope and reassurance in the darkest season of the Church year. Much of the other music included in the album, all written for liturgical use, is also essentially positive, in major keys and with perky tempos. It complements the tone of the Leçons de Ténèbres, but hardly fulfills the expectations of the album's packaging, which features Caravaggio's dark painting of an emaciated St. Jerome next to a skull. Bass Stephan Macleod is resonant, agile, and warmly expressive in the Leçons and in a very odd unaccompanied motet, Pour plusieurs martyrs, whose music is hardly as somber as its title would imply. Alexis Kossenko, best known as a transverse flute virtuoso, leads the Polish Baroque chamber orchestra Arte dei Suonatori in supple, beautifully nuanced performances. The orchestral sound is sweet and mellow, thanks in part to the prominent use of recorders and transverse flutes and the warm but focused string tone. The sound is clean and present with an expansive cathedral-like ambience, marred only by too-close miking of the winds, which makes gulping intakes of air distractingly prominent. © TiVo
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Concertos - Released March 24, 2015 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released September 8, 2017 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
For his new album Soave e virtuoso, Alexis Kossenko went on the trail of rare scores from the baroque era. Partitions that remind us that the Italian repertory, if it gives pride of place to the the violin and the voice, nevertheless doesn’t forget wind instruments. At the head of his ensemble Les Ambassadeurs, the conductor and flutist Alexis Kossenko performs delightly concertos by Tartini, Vivaldi and Sammartini. Sometimes voluptuous, sometimes dreadfully acrobatic, these scores require technique and sensitivity from the soloist. With a jubilant virtuosity, at the service of expressiveness, Alexis Kossenko, multi-skilled musician as at ease with flute as with recorder, brings life in colors to the works of the three Italian composers. © Aparté
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Concertos - Released April 9, 2013 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
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Concertos for wind instruments - Released January 1, 2006 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released May 7, 2009 | Alpha

Distinctions Choc de Classica - Exceptional Sound Recording
As usual with France's Alpha label, the nicely reproduced painting included, analyzed in the booklet, is worth the purchase price all by itself. It's a British image of Mount Vesuvius erupting, painted in the late 1780s, and its extreme details, starting with the magenta coloring, point not to realistic depiction but to the philosophical concept of the sublime that was in the air at the time. That concept had links to the dramatic Sturm und Drang (Storm and Stress) style favored by composers including Haydn and, in a somewhat earlier form, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, but the links are tenuous indeed in the case of the three flute concertos recorded here, which date from the 1740s and 1750s. They're more suited to illustrate the generally obstreperous quality of C.P.E. Bach's personality, combining vigorous outer movements with substantial slow movements that spin out a particular idea in detail. The historical-instrument group Arte dei Suonatori under flutist and director Alexis Kossenko stirs things up at the start with a fast, heavily accented and attacked opening movement in the Flute Concerto in A minor, Wq 166, and Kossenko, playing a copy of a flute made or owned by Quantz, keeps control over the lengthy central movements, which really form the heart of each work. The orchestra, with a dozen members, is as agile as one could ask, and their playing captures Bach's spiky idiom. Somehow the marvelous Vesuvius painting by Joseph Wright of Derby puts you in the mood for something different from what you get here, perhaps for some of the composer's wilder keyboard pieces. Yet the looser connections also make sense, and it's not as though crisp, committed performances of these concertos are abundant. Notes are in French and English. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 25, 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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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Concertos - Released November 4, 2010 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
Recordings of Vivaldi's flute concertos have tended to concentrate on a few vivid, crowd-pleasing works from the composer's Op. 10 collection, like the Flute Concerto in F major, RV 433 ("La tempesta di mare"). The flutist who wants to venture beyond these is faced with a collection of works that exist only in manuscripts and come with a variety of editorial challenges. Some of those are laid out in the unusually extensive booklet that accompanies the CD version of this release on the Alpha label, which also comes with one of the label's trademark art reproductions and its own accompanying essay (this one covering a scene of Venice by Antonio Visentini, from close to the time Vivaldi would have known it). The payoff is that, as with Vivaldi's concertos for other genres, there are plenty of unknown gems to discover. This release by flutist-conductor Alexis Kossenko and the small Polish early music group Arte dei Suonatori combines some of the lesser-known Op. 10 concertos with manuscript works, and any Vivaldi lover will find some fresh delights here. The group obtains some of its best results with some of the thorniest interpretive challenges. Hear the slow movement of the Flute Concerto in E minor, RV 430 (track 11), a work with a complex manuscript history; here the slow movement gets a heavily ornamented and quite haunting treatment from Kossenko, accompanied only by a continuo theorbo. The ensemble tones down some of the slashing attacks favored by the leading Italian groups, but is plenty innovative stylistically; check out the unusual string crescendos in the last movement of the Flute Concerto in G major, RV 438 (track 16). All the music is freshly and sensitively done, and the collection of Baroque flutes played by Kossenko is another attraction. Highly recommended. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2006 | Alpha

Distinctions 10 de Classica-Répertoire
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Classical - Released March 27, 2020 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet
 
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Classical - Released June 4, 2021 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet
Alexis Kossenko, flute, and Vassilis Varvaresos, piano, plunge us into the fantastic atmosphere of Northern Europe in the second half of the nineteenth century, when composers’ imaginations were fired by folktale and legend. The water spirit Ondine inspired Carl Reinecke, whose op. 167 provides the starting point for an allegorical programme inhabited by disturbing and fascinating creatures. © Aparté
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Classical - Released November 4, 2010 | Alpha

Booklet
Recordings of Vivaldi's flute concertos have tended to concentrate on a few vivid, crowd-pleasing works from the composer's Op. 10 collection, like the Flute Concerto in F major, RV 433 ("La tempesta di mare"). The flutist who wants to venture beyond these is faced with a collection of works that exist only in manuscripts and come with a variety of editorial challenges. Some of those are laid out in the unusually extensive booklet that accompanies the CD version of this release on the Alpha label, which also comes with one of the label's trademark art reproductions and its own accompanying essay (this one covering a scene of Venice by Antonio Visentini, from close to the time Vivaldi would have known it). The payoff is that, as with Vivaldi's concertos for other genres, there are plenty of unknown gems to discover. This release by flutist-conductor Alexis Kossenko and the small Polish early music group Arte dei Suonatori combines some of the lesser-known Op. 10 concertos with manuscript works, and any Vivaldi lover will find some fresh delights here. The group obtains some of its best results with some of the thorniest interpretive challenges. Hear the slow movement of the Flute Concerto in E minor, RV 430 (track 11), a work with a complex manuscript history; here the slow movement gets a heavily ornamented and quite haunting treatment from Kossenko, accompanied only by a continuo theorbo. The ensemble tones down some of the slashing attacks favored by the leading Italian groups, but is plenty innovative stylistically; check out the unusual string crescendos in the last movement of the Flute Concerto in G major, RV 438 (track 16). All the music is freshly and sensitively done, and the collection of Baroque flutes played by Kossenko is another attraction. Highly recommended. © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 8, 2014 | Alpha

Booklet
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Classical - Released September 8, 2014 | Alpha Classics

Booklet
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Classical - Released January 1, 2006 | Alpha Classics

Booklet
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Classical - Released November 4, 2010 | Alpha Classics

Booklet
Recordings of Vivaldi's flute concertos have tended to concentrate on a few vivid, crowd-pleasing works from the composer's Op. 10 collection, like the Flute Concerto in F major, RV 433 ("La tempesta di mare"). The flutist who wants to venture beyond these is faced with a collection of works that exist only in manuscripts and come with a variety of editorial challenges. Some of those are laid out in the unusually extensive booklet that accompanies the CD version of this release on the Alpha label, which also comes with one of the label's trademark art reproductions and its own accompanying essay (this one covering a scene of Venice by Antonio Visentini, from close to the time Vivaldi would have known it). The payoff is that, as with Vivaldi's concertos for other genres, there are plenty of unknown gems to discover. This release by flutist-conductor Alexis Kossenko and the small Polish early music group Arte dei Suonatori combines some of the lesser-known Op. 10 concertos with manuscript works, and any Vivaldi lover will find some fresh delights here. The group obtains some of its best results with some of the thorniest interpretive challenges. Hear the slow movement of the Flute Concerto in E minor, RV 430 (track 11), a work with a complex manuscript history; here the slow movement gets a heavily ornamented and quite haunting treatment from Kossenko, accompanied only by a continuo theorbo. The ensemble tones down some of the slashing attacks favored by the leading Italian groups, but is plenty innovative stylistically; check out the unusual string crescendos in the last movement of the Flute Concerto in G major, RV 438 (track 16). All the music is freshly and sensitively done, and the collection of Baroque flutes played by Kossenko is another attraction. Highly recommended. © TiVo
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Classical - Released December 18, 2009 | Ramée

Booklet
Joseph Touchemoulin (if you try this at home, don't get your fingers caught in it!), active in the middle of the 18th century, is an obscure figure of the early Classical era. French composers, living as they did in the best of all possible worlds, rarely traveled abroad like Germans, Bohemians, and Italians did, but Touchemoulin was the exception. Trained in Padua, he found employment in German courts at Bonn and at Regensburg in Bavaria. The styles revealed in this little sampler of his work are a mixture of Italian and German, with the former predominating in the highly virtuosic concertos for violin and for transverse flute, and the latter showing up in the two symphonies in the form of crescendos and ascending figures drawn on the style of the Mannheim School. The pieces heard here don't go far beyond those models, although they're pleasant enough. The most original work on the program is the Harpsichord Concerto in C major in the middle, in which the solo part calls the shots most of the way through. The historical-instrument group Les Inventions and its harpsichordist/director Patrick Ayrton deliver a smooth, fetching sound that's ideally suited to the music, and the graphics, showing a floral-patterned wooden block used for printing textiles, also deserve positive mention. The notes, which tell you all you ever wanted to know about Touchemoulin, are in English, French, and German. © TiVo
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Classical - Released May 7, 2009 | Alpha Classics

As usual with France's Alpha label, the nicely reproduced painting included, analyzed in the booklet, is worth the purchase price all by itself. It's a British image of Mount Vesuvius erupting, painted in the late 1780s, and its extreme details, starting with the magenta coloring, point not to realistic depiction but to the philosophical concept of the sublime that was in the air at the time. That concept had links to the dramatic Sturm und Drang (Storm and Stress) style favored by composers including Haydn and, in a somewhat earlier form, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, but the links are tenuous indeed in the case of the three flute concertos recorded here, which date from the 1740s and 1750s. They're more suited to illustrate the generally obstreperous quality of C.P.E. Bach's personality, combining vigorous outer movements with substantial slow movements that spin out a particular idea in detail. The historical-instrument group Arte dei Suonatori under flutist and director Alexis Kossenko stirs things up at the start with a fast, heavily accented and attacked opening movement in the Flute Concerto in A minor, Wq 166, and Kossenko, playing a copy of a flute made or owned by Quantz, keeps control over the lengthy central movements, which really form the heart of each work. The orchestra, with a dozen members, is as agile as one could ask, and their playing captures Bach's spiky idiom. Somehow the marvelous Vesuvius painting by Joseph Wright of Derby puts you in the mood for something different from what you get here, perhaps for some of the composer's wilder keyboard pieces. Yet the looser connections also make sense, and it's not as though crisp, committed performances of these concertos are abundant. Notes are in French and English. © TiVo