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Classical - Released June 9, 2011 | Ricercar

Hi-Res Booklets Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released March 25, 2014 | Ricercar

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released August 24, 2018 | Ricercar

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 5 étoiles de Classica
Brought up in the French-Flamish tradition but fed with the milk of Renaissance Italian madrigalism since he was about eighteen years old, Jacques Arcadelt (1507-1568) left behind him many gems whose importance has been realized only recently. Let’s acclaim this magnificent album gathering the Chœur de Chambre de Namur, the ensemble Doulce Mémoire and the Cappella Mediterranea, to give us not the complete marigals, songs and motets by Arcadelt, of course, but a large selection of his most stupefying pieces. These are thus madrigals from his First and Fourth Books released during his Italian years around 1540, songs from the various Livres de Chansons (Books of Songs) released between 1550 and 1565 when he was living in Paris, and motets from various eras in his career—mostly Italian, a bit French too since he moved from court to court depending on the jobs, the political assassinations, the change in alliances and, generally, the implausible chaos between the various power players at the time. As a nod, we also hear an Ave Maria “according to Arcadelt”, in truth an imitation by Louis Dietsch, a composer from the 19th Century, and the comical Ave Maria d’Arcadelt … by Liszt, inspired by the Dietsch imitation, for solo organ, an exercise in returning to your ancient roots like people loved to imagine them during the Romantic era. We could even wonder if Saint-Saëns didn’t use the head of the main theme to recycle it into his ”Organ” Symphony, incidentally. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released August 23, 2016 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
Passions run high in the operas and madrigals of Claudio Monteverdi, and they dominate Capella Mediterranea's 2016 release on Alpha-Classics, I 7 Peccati Capitali (The Seven Deadly Sins). Interpreted here as the seven deadly sins of sloth, envy, pride, greed, gluttony, lust, and wrath, and accompanied by corresponding virtues listed as hope, extravagance, chastity, humility, temperance, charity, and courage, the excerpts from Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea, Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria, and Orfeo, along with selections from Selva morale e spirituale, Ariose Vaghezze, and the Libri dei Madrigali, provide representations of 17th century morality and key examples of Monteverdi's seconda pratica, described by the group's leader, Leonardo García Alarcón, as "the rationalisation of emotions through music, and a meditation on human vanity." The intensely dramatic performances by this ensemble of six singers, joined by a consort playing period instruments, give an idea of the wide expressive range Monteverdi employed in his music and the theatricality and virtuosity of his artists. This extraordinary album was released in anticipation of the 450th anniversary of Monteverdi's birth, and the enthusiasm and high energy of Capella Mediterranea's performances suggest that their celebrations in 2017 will be quite lively and entertaining. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 13, 2015 | Ricercar

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles Classica
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Masses, Passions, Requiems - Released March 24, 2017 | Ricercar

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released April 23, 2013 | Ricercar

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released September 30, 2016 | Ricercar

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
At the height of the Renaissance, the music of Orlande de Lassus frequently combines the emotion of secular music with sacred compositions. With their erotic connotations, the texts of The Song of Songs are an ideal source for bringing together sacred and profane feelings. Based on his most famous song, Lassus wrote one of his unitary masses: Suzanne un jour. Along with the Magnificat that he composed on De Rore’s madrigal Ancorche col partire, here are two religious compositions of which the themes are borrowed from evocations of amorous turmoil.
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Classical - Released December 2, 2010 | Ricercar

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released June 4, 2021 | Ricercar

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It's always a wonderful thing when a dream-team of artists resurrects and ravishingly records lesser-known repertoire, and that's precisely what we have here from Leonardo García Alarćon's Capella Mediterranea, joined by sopranos Mariana Flores and Julie Roset. Alive roughly between 1582 and 1629, musician-courtesan Sigismondo d'India was writing just as the late Renaissance style gave way to the early Baroque, and in parallel with Monteverdi he was a key figure in developing that new musical language – one which broke free of the fixed rules of polyphony, and moved instead towards monodies in a more mannered style whose raison d'être was to express heightened emotion; D'India then consolidated that new, intensely expressive way of writing in the five books of accompanied monodies he produced between 1609 and 1623. And if all that sounds a bit textbook, the bottom line is that the selection of madrigal-esque accompanied pieces for one or two sopranos Alarcon has presented over this generous two-disc programme plunge the listener into such a world of silence-imbued, soulful melancholic beauty and contemplation that, once you've dived in, re-surfacing feels thoroughly painful. Of course it's Flores and Roset who play the starring roles in all this magic. In tonal quality alone they've been brilliantly cast, their respective ethereally pure voices a perfect match both for each other and for the music, Flores's tones just a shade softer and darker than those of Roset. Then there's their warmly expressive readings of the texts, and the technical control and colouristic nuance of their embellishments as they gently float their lines. Essentially, you're mere seconds into their curtain-raising duet, Ardo, lassa, o non ardo?, when you've clocked that this is album is a gold-plated keeper. Meanwhile the sensitive support from Cappella Mediterranea – appearing here in a chamber subset of lute, theorbo, harp and viola da gamba, led by Alarćon at the harpsichord and organ – is exquisitely delicate, lucid-textured and seductively shaped; tone-setting and responsive in equal measure, they've given Flores and Roset everything they need to bounce off. Listen to any one of these tracks in isolation and you'll give yourself a precious few minutes of contemplative bliss, but I'd be surprised if one proves to be enough. Essentially, this is an album to lose yourself in. © Charlotte Gardner/Qobuz
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Classical - Released April 23, 2013 | Ambronay Éditions

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Classical - Released September 29, 2011 | Ambronay Éditions

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Leonardo García Alarcón's 2011 recording of Michelangelo Falvetti's 1682 oratorio Il Diluvio Universale is a reminder, if one were needed, that there are untold treasures of Baroque repertoire waiting to be discovered. The story of The Flood is told economically, but with enough peculiar diversions from the Biblical story to keep listeners on their toes about what's going to happen next. There are personifications of Divine Justice, Human Nature, Water, Fire, Land, and Death (a smugly self-satisfied character who sings a triumphant, gleeful little gigue once humanity has been wiped out). This is the first recording of any work by Falvetti and it's a knock-out. Having performers like Leonardo García Alarcón, Cappella Mediterranea, and Choeur de Chambre de Namur in your corner perhaps gives any composer a hand up, but the exceptional quality of the score itself is also easy to discern. The work defies the conventions of its times and often astonishes with its originality and the richness of its inventiveness. Its many delightful quirks begin when Divine Justice, bringing charges against Mankind for its many failings, peremptorily breaks into the overture, bringing it to a grinding, premature halt. For all its strangeness, it's remarkably astute dramatically, and is typical of Falvetti's gift for odd but wonderfully apt musical gestures. Another moment: when the shrieking multitudes are being swept away by the deluge, they are engulfed mid-word, leaving silence except for the rushing of the wind. The score is also full of moments of breathtaking loveliness. Noah's duets with his wife, "Il Gran Dio di pieta," "Motor Divino," and "Placati Dio di bontà," sung radiantly by tenor Fernando Guimarães and soprano Mariana Flores, are as achingly poignant and sumptuous as anything out of Cavalli, perhaps even Monteverdi. Alarcón and his orchestral, choral, and vocal forces deliver virtuoso performances that quiver with musical vibrancy and dramatic conviction. The soloists are consistently superb; besides Guimarães and Flores, contralto Evelyn Ramirez Munoz and sopranos Magali Arnault and Caroline Weynants are standouts. Arnault delivers what can only be described as a jaw-dropping coloratura performance as Water in "Le nubi funeste," and then the choir joins in singing similar material with similar facility; it's simply astonishing. Complementing the standard instrumental ensemble, Iranian percussionist Keyvan Chemirani uses Arabic folk instruments that would have been familiar in countries around the Mediterranean basin to provide color and rhythmic energy. The sound of the Ambronay CD is clean, detailed, and warmly present. Il Diluvio Universale is a quirky piece and is not likely to supplant Messiah in popularity, but it deserves the attention of anyone who loves the byways of the Baroque and ought to leave scholars scurrying in search of other Falvetti scores. Highly recommended. © TiVo
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Classical - Released April 22, 2014 | Ambronay Éditions

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Classical - Released April 17, 2012 | Ambronay Éditions

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Classical - Released October 16, 2008 | Ambronay Éditions

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Classical - Released April 9, 2010 | Ricercar

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Classical - Released October 28, 2016 | Ricercar

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On 23 March 1783, an important concert took place in Vienna, playing a considerable role for Mozart’s reputation in the imperial capital, where he had resided since 1781. It is obvious that Mozart wanted to be heard in both what he had composed prior to 1781, as well as in his more recent works. From the Salzburg repertoire, he borrowed the ‘Haffner’ Symphony. To this he added the long concertant movement for wind instruments from the ‘Posthorn’ Serenade. Here we also find two piano concertos (one from Salzburg, and the latest, doubtless composed for the occasion), several arias from earlier operas (Lucio Silla, Idomeneo) or again, recently written. Although he played his concertos, he also improvised keyboard variations and even a fugue (because the emperor was in attendance)... An historic concert to be rediscovered, as if you were there!
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Classical - Released May 22, 2009 | Ricercar

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Classical - Released March 24, 2017 | Ricercar

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Classical - Released March 6, 2020 | Alpha Classics

Hi-Res Booklet
The multitude of incomplete manuscripts of so many baroque operas and oratorios offers a very tempting playground for today's performers and musicologists. However, it is quite rare for a 21st century artist to compose an entire act from scratch. This was what has happened with El Prometeo by Italian composer Antonio Draghi, who was active at the Habsburg court in Vienna. Composed in 1669, it is one of the few operas from that time written in Castilian, which gives this discovery a vital historical importance. Draghi is a direct heir to Monteverdi and Cavalli, whose works he sang in his youth and whose style he carried forward. As was the style in his day, his music is made up of a deft mixture of comic scenes. This was a tradition that would stretch all the way down to Mozart, via the Jommelli operas that the young composer so admired. Convinced that what he had discovered was the complete manuscript, Leonardo García Alarcón had found himself trapped when he realised his mistake just as the work was due to open at the Dijon Opera. So he was obliged to either cancel the production, or to assemble other works into a "pasticcio" of the style of the 18th century. The conductor wasn't paralysed by the fear of a blank page: he put himself into Draghi's shoes to compose a whole third act: the densest, most dramatic part of the artwork, the original of which was irretrievably lost. Going beyond mere plagiarism, García Alarcón had some fun, paying tribute to Austrian opera, borrowing from Draghi of course, but also from Cesti, Caldara, and all the way up to Mozart. The result of this tour de force is a perfect illusion: his assimilation of different styles allows him to create music that's inspired by and in perfect harmony with the rest of the score. The Namur Chamber Choir, the many soloists and the bewitching colours of the Cappella Mediterranea all contribute greatly to a production whose success you can feel on this new album. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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Leonardo García Alarcón in the magazine