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Concertos - Released January 1, 2012 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Record of the Month - Diapason d'or / Arte - Qobuzissime - Hi-Res Audio
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Violin Concertos - Released October 28, 2016 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Year - Gramophone Award - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année
"Not another complete recording of Mozart's violin concertos!", some might complain, and in absolute terms they wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. Except that this complete edition is signed by star violinist Isabelle Faust, accompanied by Il Giardino Armonico (who plays on instruments from Mozart’s time, including natural horns, nine-key bassoons, six-key flutes, two-key oboes), and – last but not least – the cadenzas are signed by Andreas Staier, since Mozart has left us no cadenzas for his violin concertos (unlike several piano concertos, as well as his Sinfonia concertante for violin and viola). Far from playing the star, Isabelle Faust prefers to blend in with the whole orchestra, a kind of primus inter pares attitude quite refreshing in this repertoire which, in fact, does not require so much emphasis of the part of soloist – the sound engineering and balance itself favours an overall sound rather than an opposition between solo violin and orchestra. This is a new and very original interpretation, whatever the abundant discography of these works may already be. In addition to the five concertos, Faust plays the three single movements for violin and orchestra – two Rondos and one Adagio – which are actually "spare" movements for one or the other of the concertos written on request for soloists of that time. One wonders what Mozart would have written had he had Isabelle Faust by his side! © SM/Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released September 25, 2012 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles de Classica - Qobuzissime - Hi-Res Audio
Following up on the 2010 release of Volume I of J.S. Bach's sonatas and partitas for solo violin, which covered BWV 1004-1006, Isabelle Faust presents BWV 1001-1003 on the second volume, her 2012 release on Harmonia Mundi. For the first installment, she garnered critical acclaim and popular praise for her unstinting scholarship and unparalleled virtuosity, and the same applies to the long-awaited completion of the project. As in her previous performances, Faust uses the manuscript as her source and is careful to get all details right, while finding the proper balance between Bach's expression and her own. Faust plays a Stradivarius violin from 1704, nicknamed "Sleeping Beauty," and her tone is pure and radiant, despite some unavoidable but minimal scratchiness on double-stops, and she has a slight vibrato that she uses sparingly, almost as embellishment, in keeping with Baroque practice. The sonatas and partitas are virtuoso works where everything is exposed and a violinist's abilities are put to the ultimate test, not only in managing technical difficulties, but also in imagining the sounds, ornaments, textures, timbres, and nuances that Bach implies in his writng. Faust is one of the few artists to withstand the toughest scrutiny, and her set is highly recommended for her extraordinary fidelity to the music and true artistry.
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Chamber Music - Released January 29, 2013 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles de Classica - Exceptional sound - Hi-Res Audio
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Chamber Music - Released May 26, 2017 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik
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Chamber Music - Released October 5, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Trios - Released February 24, 2014 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica - Qobuzissime - Hi-Res Audio
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Duets - Released January 12, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - 5 étoiles de Classica
The six Sonatas for Violin and Obbligato Harpsichord BWV 1014-1019 (“obbligato” – compulsory – means the keyboard is fully scored, as opposed to basso continuo for which only the bass is scored, the rest being left to the discretion of the performer, who improvises) are some of these works that Bach kept revisiting and reworking. The oldest remaining source – from around 1725, through one of his nephews – already highlights the will to make these compositions evolve by refining them with successive adjustments. The work underwent another overhaul in Agricola’s manuscript, around 1741, while a copy made around 1750 by Altnickol reveals a third cycle status. An observation made by the musician’s second youngest son, Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach – “He wrote these trios just before his end” – seems to have been interpreted as proof that Bach was still working on these sonatas in the last years of his life. This new recording by Isabelle Faust, a great specialist of baroque interpretation, and Christian Bezuidenhout on the harpsichord, discretely reveals the extraordinary richness of these works’ three-voice writing, that resembles the format of a trio sonata. © SM/Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released May 18, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
Clocking in at a full hour, the Octet in F Major is one of the longest works in the chamber music repertoire. Ravaged by disease, Schubert took as his starting point, as expressly stipulated in the commission he received from the Steward of the Archduke Rodolphe, Beethoven's Septet in E-flat major Op. 20, whose fame greatly chagrined its writer. In Schubert's Octet there is a certain joie de vivre cut across, as ever with him, by occasional notes of desperation (the call of the horn in the first movement, the elegiac turns of the Adagio). In order to meet his patron's very precise specifications, he used the same instrumentation, with the addition of a second violin, and he took on the same order of movements and the same tonal pattern as the Beethovian model. But while Schubert poured his work into this mould so as to please his client, he wrote a very personal work which, by his own account, would lead him towards the great symphonic form which would appear rather later with his Symphony No. 9 in C major. Isabelle Faust and friends make you laugh and cry, moving in perfect unison from one emotion to another, never hesitating to lay this sublime music bare, without any recourse to affected vibrato or excessive expression. A performance that brings us close to the fragility of existence. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Duets - Released September 17, 2015 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Concertos - Released March 22, 2015 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles de Classica
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Violin Concertos - Released March 1, 2011 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklets Distinctions Diapason d'or - Hi-Res Audio
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Violin Concertos - Released March 26, 2007 | Pan Classics

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 9 de Répertoire
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Classical - Released March 15, 2019 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
After the double album of the Violin and Harpsichord Sonatas with Kristian Bezuidenhout, here is the next instalment in a Bach recording adventure that began nine years ago with a set of the Sonatas and Partitas. Isabelle Faust, Bernhard Forck and his partners at the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin have explored a multitude of other works by Bach: harpsichord concertos, trio sonatas for organ, instrumental movements from sacred cantatas etc. All are revealed here as direct or indirect relatives of the three monumental Concertos BWV 1041-43. This fascinating achievement is a timely reminder that the master of The Well-Tempered Clavier was also a virtuoso violinist! © harmonia mundi
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Duets - Released November 9, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
At a time when Mozart was writing his first sonatas for violin and clavier, in 1778, it was the done thing to write piano sonatas with violin accompaniment in which the violin part is fairly unobtrusive. The purpose of this was not to put off the target audience for the scores: educated amateurs. But Mozart paid no heed to this convention and took off into a new world with real duets, in which the two instruments found themselves on an even footing. At the same time, he avoided the corrective exaggeration which would appear in some scores which resembled violin concertos with a little piano support. Here we have a perfect balance between the two players: Isabelle Faust on the violin and Alexander Melnikov at the clavier. The latter of the two plays on a copy of a Viennese fortepiano made in 1795 by Anton Walter. The sound balance is utterly perfect, which is a relief, as all too often these sonatas either favour the keyboard part when played on the piano or the violinist tries to force it. We have here two sonatas written in Paris shortly after the death of Mozart's mother (who accompanied him on the journey), and then another from 1787 written in the wake of Leopold Mozart's death. Despite this the composer seems to be putting on a brave face, flashing a smile tinged with a tender nostalgia on the Sonata in E Minor K. 304. © SM/Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released April 22, 2010 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Chamber Music - Released August 25, 2009 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Concertos - Released August 26, 2013 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Violin Concertos - Released August 25, 2017 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet
After the mystical Hebrides Overture and the masterly ‘Reformation’ Symphony, Mendelssohn embarked on his second violin concerto. After a long gestation in which he polished the orchestration and meticulously revised the solo part, the work was finally premiered in Leipzig in 1845. From David to Joachim, several virtuosos honed the violin part with the composer over successive revivals, leaving posterity traces of their playing style: fingerings, bowings, performance marks. This precious heritage has been scrutinised here for previously unexploited expressive resources. Isabelle Faust, accompanied by the Freiburger Barockorchester in top form under the direction of Pablo Heras-Casado, offers us a miracle of purity and lyricism in this freshly minted interpretation that fulfills Mendelssohn’s promise of ‘a concerto to make the angels rejoice in heaven’! © harmonia mundi
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Classical - Released June 22, 2010 | harmonia mundi