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Classique - Released December 4, 2020 | Zig-Zag Territoires

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Classique - Released December 4, 2020 | Zig-Zag Territoires

Although he occupied the exalted position of harpsichordist among Louis XIV's celebrated group of chamber musicians, Jean-Henri d'Anglebert is now known for the most part only to specialists. Indeed, this may be the only album ever to boast a cover blurb by longtime Indiana University musicologist Willi Apel, a scholar who helped lay the groundwork for the revival of early music by performers. Apel's commentary, more of which appears in the booklet (in French and English), points to d'Anglebert's skill "in continuing a melody," in "concatenating harmonies by way of suspensions," and in "meaningful" uses of ornamentation, much of which is, as with Bach's, written out. These descriptions are a bit inscrutable, but they point toward a large sweep and a certain restless quality in d'Anglebert's dances, which seem to take on great momentum as they land on suspensions instead of resolved chords. Though they fall into the strict forms of the dance suite genre, these works have depth and even magnificence. The G major and G minor suites end with a Galliarde followed by ground bass pieces: a chaconne-rondeau in the former case and a splendid passacaille in the second. In the G minor suite, especially, that makes for a powerful conclusion. Harpsichordist Laurent Stewart, playing a copy of a Flemish Ruckers instrument of 1638, makes the most of the instrument's power in the lower registers and delivers a fine performance that emphasizes the music's dimensions. General listeners shouldn't be discouraged by the specialist tone of the heavily footnoted booklet essay; it discusses such issues as the presence of Flemish harpsichords in Paris, as well as furnishing a sketch of d'Anglebert's (although it doesn't really make clear how much of the ornamentation is d'Anglebert's and how much is Stewart's). The sound, from a Lyon conservatory concert hall, is superb. © TiVo
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Classique - Released December 4, 2020 | Zig-Zag Territoires

As a follow-up to their 2006 disc debut featuring the works of the great French Baroque composer Marin Marais, gambaist Marianne Müller and her Ensemble Spirale released this 2008 disc, Tombeau pour Mr. de Ste. Colombe & autres portraits..., featuring works by contemporaries of Marais as well as three works by Marais himself, including the title track. As before, Müller demonstrates her rich tone, strong technique, and agile dexterity. Her performance of the opening Prelude by Ste. Colombe is forcefully expressive, while her duet with second gambaist Emily Audouin in Concert à deux violes égales is tenderly sensual. And as before, the Ensemble Spirale not only supports her in the ensemble works, but its individual members shine in the smaller works. Claire Antonini's performance of Denis Gautier's Tombeau de Gautier is both technically accomplished and emotionally affecting. It should be noted that the performance of the Tombeau pour Mr. de Ste. Colombe, which gives this disc its title, is the same stoically doleful performance that appeared on Müller and the Ensemble Spirale's previous disc. In both cases, it fits right in: there as the closing work in E minor Suite, here as the epitaph following two works by Ste. Colombe. Once again, Zig-Zag Territoires' sound is clear, close, and extremely atmospheric. © TiVo
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Classique - Released December 4, 2020 | Zig-Zag Territoires

If you attend some concerts of medieval music or take a course covering the music of the period, you will encounter pieces by singers known as troubadours or trouvères, depending on where in France they came from, or minnesingers, if from German-speaking lands. But Europe was more linguistically diverse 6-700 years ago than it is today, and medieval songs from a variety of places, some in languages no longer spoken, have come down to the present day, perhaps by oral transmission, perhaps collected by scholars or other observers, perhaps notated in a few cases. Performers are beginning to rediscover songs, especially from around the Mediterranean region, with special emphasis thus far on the tricultural heritage of the Spanish golden age. This collection by the French group Alla Francesca includes Sephardic Jewish pieces from Iberia, as well as a few troubadour songs by the Countess of Die and other anonymous creators. But it includes a group of songs from along Italy's west coast, from Naples to Tuscany, in what would now be called dialects of Italian but weren't thought of that way at the time. Several themes were common across the repertory: songs on some variation of courtly love, cradle songs, Marian pieces, and what might be called songs of a knight errant. There are also several instrumental dances of the kind that appear on many medieval discs. All the texts are given in their original languages, French and English, and a brief introduction to the music in the latter two languages is also included. Alla Francesca is a trio of scholar-singers, accompanying themselves on harps, winds, and percussion; compared with the heavily Arabic-influenced sounds coming out of Spain or even with the medieval recordings of Jordi Savall's groups, these are rather sedate interpretations, pleasant but lacking a sense of the distinct cultural flavors stressed in the booklet notes. The disc is a welcome addition, however, to the sparse set of recordings exploring this legacy. © TiVo
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Classique - Released December 4, 2020 | Zig-Zag Territoires

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Classique - Released December 4, 2020 | Zig-Zag Territoires

Performed by clarinetist Florent Heau and pianist Patrick Zygmanowski and recorded at the 2002 Printemps des arts de Monaco festival, Max Reger's clarinet sonatas sound as tender, as lovely, and as lyrical as the Brahms' sonatas they're modeled on. Clarinetist Heau keeps his tone lean and incisive and his rhythms light and dancing. Pianist Zygmanowski's sonorities are clean, his lines clear, and his use of the sustain pedal is judicious. Together they keep Reger's textures lucid, his rhetoric restrained, and his emotions near, but not on, the surface. Although the sonatas are obviously the main attraction here, the album also includes Heau's and Zygmanowski's expressive performance of Albumblatt for clarinet and piano, a work of simple beauty that concludes the disc. Though recorded live, the digital sound here is transparent yet atmospheric. © TiVo
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Classique - Released December 4, 2020 | Zig-Zag Territoires

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Jazz - Released December 4, 2020 | Zig-Zag Territoires

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Classique - Released December 4, 2020 | Zig-Zag Territoires

Giovanni Coprario was actually an English composer named John Cooper who devised an Italian version of his name in an effort to garner some good PR. His rediscovery has been slow, perhaps because he is not much associated with the madrigal, the genre through which most listeners come to the music of the English Renaissance. This fine French release shows what many have been missing. At the center of the program are two sets of lute songs, the Songs of Mourning (1613) and the Funeral Teares (1606). Despite their similarity of function, the two are different in flavor. The Songs of Mourning were written after the death at age 18 of Prince Henry of Wales. They are public in form, with the individual songs addressed to figures from King James on down; the last two are directed to "most disconsolate Great Britain" and "to the World," respectively, with the final "O poor distracted world" delivering the Christian message just as the King James Bible was being prepared. These are profound and moving expressions of melancholy, with a somber mood unbroken by displays of compositional virtuosity such as highly chromatic treatment. It would be easy to guess Dowland as the composer if you didn't know otherwise. The Funeral Teares, for a lesser nobleman, are more in the nature of a warm recollection, with sober melodies underlaid by livelier instrumental parts (harp and viol are added at times to the lute accompaniment). Interludes are provided by the incidental pieces from The Masques of Squires (1614) and a pair of viol fantasies interpolated into the Songs of Mourning. The English pronunciations of soprano Anne Delafosse-Quentin and countertenor Paulin Bündgen may seem odd, with "nature" pronounced "NAH-ture" in the dour "Fortune and Glory" (track 4), among other examples, but the performers are relying on a theoretical reconstruction of the sounds of English in the time of King James. All texts are given in French and English, and the booklet offers two separate short essays, one practical, the other a more philosophical reflection on melancholy and its place in the British world at the time. An altogether absorbing release, if a downbeat one. © TiVo
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Jazz - Released December 4, 2020 | Zig-Zag Territoires

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Classique - Released December 4, 2020 | Zig-Zag Territoires

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Jazz - Released December 4, 2020 | Zig-Zag Territoires

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Classique - Released December 4, 2020 | Zig-Zag Territoires

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Classique - Released December 4, 2020 | Zig-Zag Territoires

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Classique - Released May 5, 2017 | Zig-Zag Territoires

By today's standards, there's nothing particularly jarring or seemingly progressive about the mature works of Gabriel Fauré. In his own time, however, he was often criticized for his curious, almost experimental use of harmony in his chamber music, and for what some saw as his neglect of the individual qualities of the instruments for which he was composing. Some of these sentiments have endured and resulted in the infrequent performance of many of his chamber works, in this case the two sonatas for cello and piano. While the cello "miniatures," such as the Op. 24 Elegie and the Op. 7 Apre un Reve (transcribed by Casals), have enjoyed popularity particularly in high school and early college studios, they are not representative of Fauré's developed harmonic language. The sonatas are something quite difficult, and require performances that can withstand their harmonically dominated landscape. Cellist Xavier Gagnepain and pianist Jean-Michel Dayez deliver on this necessity on this album, providing listeners with an unadulterated reading of the score and allowing Fauré's music to speak for itself. Gagnepain's combines the clarity and lucidity associated with a true "French sound" with warmth and intensity so as not to appear thin or weak. Intonation and technique are polished as the musical interpretation itself. The result is an album that even those who think they may not care for Fauré's cello sonatas should still check out. © TiVo
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Classique - Released August 14, 2015 | Zig-Zag Territoires

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Trios - Released May 18, 2015 | Zig-Zag Territoires

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This recording is the first to be made by Trio Dali with its new violinist, Jack Liebeck. After a Ravel programme in 2009, then a Schubert disc, the Trio turns its talents to the two Mendelssohn trios and transcriptions of Bach. The Trio Dali has thus chosen to contrast Mendelssohn’s two trios with works by a composer for whose rediscovery Mendelssohn was largely responsible in his time: Johann Sebastian Bach. Thus, the Trio Dali proposes a recording that is a sort mirroring of Mendelssohn and Bach.
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Piano solo - Released May 4, 2015 | Zig-Zag Territoires

Hi-Res Booklet
Lest anyone think modernist piano pieces all sound the same or operate on the same premises, Alexei Lubimov has chosen a program of key works that are not only quite varied in style, content, and expression, but are distinctive because of their originality. Charles Ives' iconoclastic Piano Sonata No. 2, "Concord, Mass., 1840-60," is an excellent example of his method of freely juxtaposing chaotic dissonances and jagged rhythms with raucous quotations of popular melodies and hymn tunes, in a spirit of rugged American individualism. To contrast this sonata, Lubimov has selected works from the Second Viennese School, to demonstrate the approaches taken by Anton Webern in his dodecaphonic Piano Variations, and Alban Berg in his loosely atonal Piano Sonata, Op. 1. Where Webern strives for a delicate balance of pitches and a purity of ideas, Berg's music is intensely emotional, languid, and unsettled, and these characteristics show that their approaches diverged as much from each other as they did from Ives. Lubimov's playing is sensitive and sympathetic, and his clear interpretations make this album something of a revelation, even for those who know these pieces well. To be sure, they are still challenging today, many decades after they were written, and they are enjoyed most by well-informed and adventurous listeners. Lubimov provides a fine introduction to these landmarks of modernism, and this exceptional disc from Zig Zag Territoires and Outhere Music is highly recommended. © TiVo
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Musique de chambre - Released April 20, 2015 | Zig-Zag Territoires

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Musique vocale profane - Released March 23, 2015 | Zig-Zag Territoires

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