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Classical - Released July 12, 2019 | Decca

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The great African-American jazz trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis, born in 1961, expands his extensive and diverse musical repertoire every year. His Violin Concerto in D – like those of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky (Sibelius’ is in D minor) – was made especially for violinist Nicola Benedetti. In fact, the incredibly versatile jazz virtuoso admits that the work takes inspiration from her life and the way she “enlightens and delights communities all over the world with the magic of her virtuosity”.“Scored for symphony orchestra, with tremendous respect for the demands of that instrument, it is nonetheless written from the perspective of a jazz musician and New Orleans bluesman” writes Wynton Marsalis. “We believe that all human beings are connected in the essential fundamentals of life: birth, death, love, and laughter; that our most profound individual experiences are also universal (especially pain); and acknowledging the depth of that pain in the context of a groove is a powerful first step towards healing”.The piece is skilfully composed in four movements and is a delightful montage of sounds from one of today’s most world-renowned virtuosos, with jazz influences and a style like that of Stravinsky’s American period which was itself a patchwork of all different types of music. The Fiddle Dance Suite for Solo Violin is a kind of 21st century urban “Sonata” or “Partita” in five movements which fuse Irish and American influences in a clever mix of folk and scholarly music, a fusion that Bach was well accustomed to and which Marsalis now brings to the modern world with a softness and sense of humour. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released July 5, 2019 | Decca

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
The Kanneh-Mason family has a website covering all seven siblings, plus a piano trio, who are active musically. Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason has gotten the headlines with his appearance at the Prince Harry-Meghan Markle wedding, but now comes older sister Isata Kanneh-Mason, elegant indeed in an off-the-shoulder African dress. She deserves credit for choosing an off-the-beaten-path program for her debut: a recital of Clara Schumann's piano music. These pieces are played more often than they used to be, but most of them, especially the concluding Piano Sonata in G minor that was not published until 1991, still qualify as novel. Kanneh-Mason takes the works chronologically, which has the virtue of showing Schumann's compositional development but the disadvantage of leading with the weakest suit, the Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 7, which the composer wrote in her teens. It's a precocious and at times clever work, but it is no match for Robert Schumann's Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54, and the performance with Holly Mathieson leading the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra is straightforward but no more. Things improve as Kanneh-Mason traverses two sets of Romances, a Scherzo, and two arrangements of music by Robert Schumann. The best is saved for last with the Piano Sonata in G minor. Clara Schumann modestly titled this work a Sonatine and gave it to her husband as a Christmas present. The latter should not disqualify it from consideration in the least, and the Sonatine title was given when the work had only two movements; Schumann returned to the work twice and ended up with a substantial four-movement work that is more sonata than sonatina. Sample its muscular Scherzo, which also shows Kanneh-Mason developing some lively power. She's definitely a pianist to watch, and this is a worthwhile addition to the Clara Schumann discography.
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Symphonic Music - Released January 11, 2019 | Decca

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Country - Released June 8, 2018 | Decca

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Cedarmont is the debut solo album from Lawson frontman Andy Brown and his debut release for Decca. After soaking up the vibes of Nashville for six months, the album sees Brown drawing on the rich heritage of the city to inform his own brand of contemporary country pop. The single "Talk of the Town" is included. ~ Rich Wilson
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Symphonies - Released July 6, 2018 | Decca

Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Symphonies - Released June 8, 2018 | Decca

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Ballets - Released May 11, 2018 | Decca

Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Symphonic Music - Released May 11, 2018 | Decca

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Solo Piano - Released April 6, 2018 | Decca

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Born in 1975, the Italian pianist Robert Prosseda is without equal when it comes to discovering rare works, like previously unseen pieces by Mendelssohn; or compositions for piano by Salieri, Rossini or Caetani. And here he is with Charles Gounod's works for keyboards, after having exhumed the composer's Concerto pour piano-pédalier et orchestre, which he first performed in concert in 2011. Gounod's music for keyboards makes up about fifty pages, or rather uneven importance. He wasn't very interested in the piano, and many compositions are sketches or short pieces for his own use. For this album, Prosseda has selected the most substantial part of this corpus, with a charming Veneziana to open, followed by the equally famous Marche funèbre pour une marionnette in its excellent original version. The six Romances sans paroles are a welcome discovery, as are the Préludes et fugues which served as preliminary studies for Bach's Clavier bien tempéré and in which Gounod used "a clear writing for two voices, lifted by a chromatism that pushes the artist onward", as Gérard Condé put it in his monumental biography of Gounod (Fayard). The Sonate pour piano à 4 mains (with Enrico Pompili) in a Schubertian style is a pleasant youthful work, probably written in 1839 at the age of 21, during his stay in Rome in the Villa Medici. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released November 29, 1988 | Decca

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Vocal Jazz - Released December 28, 1955 | Decca

Jeri Southern's second Decca session strips her music of pretense and artifice in favor of an unflinching honesty that crawls deep under the listener's skin. With its austere rhythmic backdrops and melancholy textures, The Southern Style casts a stark spotlight squarely on Southern's intimate vocals, and she responds with some of the most deeply felt performances of her career -- the nuance and depth she invests in songs like "One Day I Wrote His Name Upon the Sand" and "I Don't Know Where to Turn" are nothing short of remarkable. This is a record made for and by adults, articulating emotions and delineating experiences lost on the young. ~ Jason Ankeny
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Duets - Released August 12, 2016 | Decca

Distinctions 5 étoiles de Classica
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Symphonies - Released November 1, 2016 | Decca

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or / Arte - Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released May 16, 2016 | Decca

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Classical - Released January 1, 2002 | Decca

A sort of cross between Sex and the City and the Kronos Quartet as they might be remixed by Paul Oakenfold (actually Orion and the Beatmasters do most of the producing), Bond is a string quartet of toothsome beauties at least as concerned with their hair and makeup as their playing whose work on Shine is heavily augmented with dance beats. It's a formula that sits them atop the classical crossover charts, up there with Sarah Brightman and Josh Groban, and why not? As with their peers, the music is only ersatz classical, containing classical tunes here and there mixed in with classical-sounding new compositions. And the elaborate dance programming makes the music highly, well, programmable. Leadoff track "Allegretto" was quickly tapped for an upscale television commercial, a mark of success in this market previously achieved by the likes of Moby. Here and there among the oddly familiar melodies are actually identifiable ones. "Strange Paradise" is a much modified version of the same theme from Borodin's "Polovetsian Dances" in his opera Prince Igor that became the show tune and pop hit "Stranger in Paradise" from the musical Kismet; "Kashmir" is the Led Zeppelin song; "Libertango" comes from Astor Piazzolla; the bonus track, "Bond on Bond," is, inevitably, Monty Norman's James Bond movie theme; and "Space" sounds like the theme from every movie ever set in a Middle Eastern desert (although here it sounds like it comes from a Middle Eastern disco). The CD booklet, full of fashion-style photography, outdoes anything from Britney Spears, and, of course, there's nary a musical instrument in sight. The music may be the least of it, but as marketing, Bond is hard to fault. ~ William Ruhlmann
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Pop/Rock - Released January 1, 1965 | Decca

Her erratic, self-titled debut features lovely baroque arrangements by Mike Leander and decent tunes like "As Tears Go By," and Jackie DeShannon's "Come and Stay With Me" and "In My Time of Sorrow," and Bacharach/David's "If I Never Get to Love You," as well as fairly crummy covers of hits by the Beatles, Herman's Hermits, and Petula Clark. Look for the Japanese CD reissue: It adds six non-LP bonus tracks from mid-'60s singles, including a couple (the girl-groupish "The Sha La La Song," the melancholy "The Morning Sun") that rank among her best '60s recordings. ~ Richie Unterberger
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Pop/Rock - Released January 1, 1965 | Decca

When Marianne Faithfull released her first two albums for the U.K. market in the spring of 1965, she took the unusual step of issuing them simultaneously. One, simply titled Marianne Faithfull, was the pop-oriented collection that listeners of her hit singles would have expected. The other, Come My Way, by contrast was comprised solely of folk tunes, most of them traditional, the acoustic settings arranged by guitarist Jon Mark. Faithfull at this very early stage in her career still had the tremulous soprano common to many woman folk singers of the era. While her singing here is pleasant and competent, it's rather average when stacked against the emotional commitment and personality the best interpreters of such tunes brought to the material at the time. Indeed, Faithfull herself would do the same kind of repertoire, with considerably greater vocal imagination and more forceful musical backing, on her underrated third U.K. album, 1966's North Country Maid. Still, it's an OK record, Faithfull putting her pipes to reverent use on folk revival staples like "Portland Town," "House of the Rising Sun," "Once I Had a Sweetheart," and "Black Girl," taking on a contemporary writer with Ian Tyson's "Four Strong Winds." Her reading of "Lonesome Traveller" stands out for the propulsive backing, with hasty 12-string guitar strums and what sound like bongos. The CD reissue, available briefly in Britain in the early '90s and then in Japan in the early 2000s, adds four bonus tracks: the 1964 B-side "Blowin' in the Wind"; "Et Maintenant," from a 1965 EP; the poppy and bluesy 1966 B-side "That's Right Baby"; and her classic 1969 single "Sister Morphine," which predated the Rolling Stones' version by a couple of years. ~ Richie Unterberger
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Pop/Rock - Released January 1, 1966 | Decca

Faithfull was still known primarily as a pop singer when she put out North Country Maid, but this is in fact very close to a pure folk album, with a bit of influence from pop, rock, blues, and jazz. Largely overlooked even by Faithfull fans, it's actually a quite respectable effort, and probably her best LP (other than greatest-hits compilations) from the time when her voice was still on the high side. Ably backed by sessionmen including guitarists Jon Mark and Jim Sullivan, she interprets mostly traditional material on this record, including "She Moved Through the Fair," "Wild Mountain Thyme," "Sally Free and Easy," and "Scarborough Fair." There are some mid-'60s covers too, though, including Donovan's "Sunny Goodge Street" and Tom Paxton's "Last Thing on My Mind." Sometimes, when the bass gets prominent and the arrangements swing, this isn't too far from early Pentangle, as unexpected as that comparison is. The use of sitar on "She Moved Through the Fair" and "Wild Mountain Thyme" is adventurous, and she sings pretty well throughout, with dignity and purity if not utmost imagination or grit. The 1990 CD reissue on Deram U.K. adds three worthwhile bonus tracks: "The Most of What Is Least" (from a 1965 EP) and alternate versions of "Come My Way" and "Mary Anne" (the originals of which had appeared on her 1965 album, Come My Way). ~ Richie Unterberger
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Classical - Released November 1, 2015 | Decca

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Classical - Released January 1, 1999 | Decca

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