The decision to award a Qobuzism is made unanimously by the Qobuz team. In most cases, a Qobuzism is given to a “crossover” album in the best sense of the term, in that it will speak to all of our users.

By awarding a Qobuzism, we aim to draw attention to standout albums across a wide range of genres. In theory a Qobuzism is intended to alert you to an artist’s debut which has ventured into unexplored territory; but albums which merit this distinction can, in practice, come from anywhere! In each instance Qobuz endorses the album entirely, working with the artist in order to give them the greatest exposure possible – both within and outside of Qobuz. 

What we love is to give our Qobuz users the chance to discover recordings which are not necessarily what they would normally go for.

Albums

55 albums gesorteerd op Date: from newest to oldest en gefilterd op Klassiek
€ 21,49
€ 14,99

Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 2 maart 2018 | Decca

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or / Arte - Qobuzism
Nowadays it might seem rather strange to describe a composer as a “singing master”, but, during the eighteenth century, this was not the case at all. In Italy, almost every composer worthy of the name wrote opere serie (Porpora wrote at least forty- ve): serious opera was the dominant musical genre, glorifying the human voice above everything else. It was the maker or breaker of musical reputations, with its nest singers the rst superstars of music. Therefore composers, though generally eclipsed by the fame of their leading men and women, needed to understand the human voice and all its remarkable capabilities, both technical and histrionic, in order to be able to exploit the possibilities of the operatic form at a time when those “machines made for singing”, the castrati, had brought the vocal art to a pitch of perfection never known before, nor equalled since. Though this recording is bringing Porpora’s name to public attention again on the 250th anniversary of his death, his fame as a singing teacher has probably obscured, until recently, his remarkable qualities as a composer, quite simply because two of the most famous castrati were among his many pupils, namely Gaetano Majorano, known as Caffarelli, whom Porpora once called “the nest singer in Europe”, also famed for his amorous antics and arrogance on- and off-stage, and the even more celebrated Carlo Broschi, who, under his stage name of Farinelli, amazed audiences and set hearts a- utter for fteen years throughout Europe, before being called to Spain to heal a crazed King by the power of his voice. Max Cencic remarks: “Porpora was a severe teacher, I think, maybe almost sadistic in his demands — you need 120% control of breath, brain and voice”. Legend indeed has it that he taught Caffarelli one page of exercises, and those alone, for six years. The formal alternation of aria and recitative in opera seria conceals a great range of emotional expression, that varietas that Erasmus famously described as “so powerful in every sphere that there is absolutely nothing, however brilliant, which is not dimmed if not commended by variety”. In such forms as the orid aria di bravura or the lyrical aria di sostenuto, the composer’s fantasy only provided a framework for the singer to embroider: the performer’s skill in ornamentation and other emotional devices was of paramount importance. Porpora’s many years of both teaching and composing experience made him, in Max Cencic’s opinion, “one of the top ten composers of Italian Baroque opera. I chose the arias for this recording almost by instinct, by what ‘felt right’. There is no way one can encompass a composer of such quality in one album, and each piece is a treasure in its own right. Though technical display is everywhere — leaps, rapid scales, trills, long phrases — Porpora’s special and utterly captivating melodic gift always shines through.” The arias are all taken from works composed at the height of Porpora’s fame, from Ezio (Venice 1728; “Se tu la reggi al volo” is a semiquaver spectacular) to Filandro (Dresden 1747, with a ravishing siciliano in “Ove l’erbetta tenera, e molle”), including three of the operas he composed for London during the 1730s, in direct competition with Handel (Arianna in Nasso 1733, Enea nel Lazio 1734 — real reworks here in “Chi vuol salva” — and I genia in Aulide 1735). The Teatro San Carlo in Naples, perhaps the most famous of all opera houses at that time, saw the premiere of Il trionfo di Camilla in 1740, and the two arias recorded here show Porpora at his best: the music of “Va per le vene il sangue” evocatively matches its darkly suggestive text, while “Torcere il corso all’onde” combines rapid- re coloratura with elegance of line. In the three arias from Carlo il Calvo (Teatro delle Dame, Rome 1738) the singer is similarly called to match Porpora’s varietas with his own: from the scurrying oriture of “So che tiranno io sono” to the high-lying phrases of “Se rea ti vuole il cielo”, and the beguilingly hypnotic sostenuto of “Quando s’oscura il cielo”. Porpora’s orchestral writing is also remarkably varied, all the more so in that he generally uses only strings, nowhere better than in the elaborate lines of “Torbido intorno al core” from Meride e Selinunte (Venice 1726), where voice and violins entwine in an elaborate and emotionally suggestive web of divisions. However, sometimes he pulls out all the sonority stops, as in the martial “Destrier, che all’armi usato” where, at the rst performance in the Teatro Regio, Turin in 1731 trumpets and horns vied with the unmatchable power of the voice of Farinelli. As Max Cencic has said: “How can we emulate the great castrati? That is hard to pin down, but these voices were the very soul of Porpora’s music.” -Nicholas Clapton © 2018 – Decca Group Limited
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Symfonische muziek - Verschenen op 3 november 2017 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Qobuzism
Aside from Elgar’s fascinating and obligatory Falstaff composed in 1913 (a Symphonic Study according to the partition, but in reality a symphonic poem in the grand tradition of Strauss— about whom Elgar probably thought when he wrote his masterpiece, and the rather present solo cello cannot help but remind us of Strauss’ Don Quixote, composed sixteen years earlier), the album distinguishes itself by a few melodies with orchestra from the same Elgar, a repertoire unfortunately too often neglected and yet of breathtaking beauty (we hear, in a pinch, the Sea Pictures performed from time to time, but that’s all folks). And when you know that it’s the now very famous baritone Roderick Williams on the mic, we can only applaud the initiative of Andrew Davis and the BBC Philharmonic to feature these splendors once again. Elgar proves to us here that, far from just being a great master of large symphonic-vocal soundscapes in the form of oratorio (we obviously think about The Dream of Gerontius, The Apostles and The Music Makers), he handles the miniature with genius. Roderick Williams, one of the most beautiful voices of today’s British scene, grasps these rarities with a joy that is as rare as these pieces. The album closes on a hilarious wink, the Smoking Cantata, a cantata with a ginormous orchestration but that lasts… only 49 seconds, and whose text is limited to: “Kindly, Kindly, kindly do not smoke in the hall or staircase”. It’s the best British humor! Qobuz technical commentary on sound quality The sound quality for this wonderful orchestration is refined; the level ratios are well-judged; and the distances between the consoles are just right, in this airy piece of mixing that renders the lines exceptionally clear. Clear and enveloping reverberation never hides the discourse: the result is a rare evenness between the different families within the orchestra. The tutti certainly aren’t lacking any liveliness, thanks to the remarkably assured dynamic, and when the percussion gets going we discover a beautifully-proportioned hall, which gives the sound room to develop without constraints. Without falling into the very (too?) popular trap of ultra-proximity, and because the acoustics allow it, Chandos has produced a mix which really respects the score, the performance, and the sound scene... what a relief! © SM/Qobuz
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Kwartetten - Verschenen op 13 oktober 2017 | BMC Records

Booklet Onderscheidingen Qobuzism
Homer, James Joyce and Kafka, these are the three authors Peter Eötvös has chosen for his Sirens Cycle, composed 2016. It is a string quartet with an added soprano coloratura voice, just as Schönberg did in his Second Quartet, Berg in the vocal version of his Lyrische Suite, or Wellesz in his Sonnets for Elisabeth  Barrett-Browning.  The composer illustrates three very different literary versions of the mythological Ulysses meeting the sirens, each entrusted to the singer in the respective languages they were written in : Greek, English, German. The first and longest part, Joyce, has seven movements in which Eötvös freely transcribes Joyce’s "interior monologue". On the other hand, Homer’s Odyssey and Kafka’s Silence of the Sirens uses the exact original text, even though Homer is assigned a Lied form, Kafka a kind of recitative. “Each language, by its rhythms and own consonants, its accents and its inner architecture, implies a very peculiar musical character”, says Eötvös. With regards to his first quartet, Korrespondenz composed in 1992, it is a kind of “mini-opera” without singers or singing. Its starting point was an exchange of letters between Mozart and his father Leopold in 1778, when the 22-year-old composer was unhappily living in Paris. In the quartet’s three “scenes” the viola represents Wolfgang and the cello Leopold, both with music that mimics the inflexions of what they write in their letters, while the two violins attempt to mediate between them. Eötvös assigns each vowel of the text to an interval, diphthongs become glissandi, while the consonants are expressed by different ways of playing; for instance, ‘r’ is always a trill or a tremolo. This technique would appear to place severe restrictions on the composer, but Eötvös feels that the more he has to compose within limitations, the wider opens the store of infinite possibilities. The work is divided into three scenes: Leopold trying to dissuade his son from pursuing his passion for the soprano Aloysia Weber; Wolfgang complaining that the Parisians are indifferent to his music; and Wolfgang tells his father of his mother’s death in Paris. The score contains the complete text but the listener does not know it, yet the string instruments communicate in a startlingly human fashion. Eötvös’s music “reads between the lines”, so to say. A fascinating composer, two of his fascinating works, both played with passion by the Calder Quartet, joined by Audrey Luna for the Sirens. © SM/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 29 september 2017 | Erato - Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 4 étoiles de Classica - Qobuzism - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
For their first recording, the Arod Quartet has selected Mendelssohn, one of the pillars of the quartet's art, in particular his masterpiece, the Fourth Quartet in E Minor of June 1837 - more Mozartian than Beethovian in its structure and development, to be sure, even if it bears Mendelssohn's hallmark from the first note to the last. To find the influence of the deaf genius, we have to look in the Second Quartet Op. 13 of 1827, a work written shortly after Beethoven's death, the full extent of whose innovations Mendelssohn was only just discovering. The Arod Quartet continues its album with Four Pieces for Quartet, assembled posthumously and numbered Op. 81 by Mendelssohn's successor at the Gewandhaus, Julius Rietz, and based on four disparate pieces from various eras. Finally, the album closes with the Arod's re-interpretaton of a Lied, sung here by Marianne Crebassa, whose theme takes in several passages from Beethoven note for note, a real homage from the young composer to his illustrious elder. It’s worth noting that the Arod Quartet, only founded in 2013, has shot to global prominence, having performed at the Paris Philharmonic, the Louvre Auditorium, the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, the Metz Arsenal, and further afield the Salzburg Mozarteum, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Zurich Tonhalle, London's Wigmore Hall, as well as in Tokyo, Finland, Switzerland... the list goes on! © SM/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 september 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Qobuzism
"Händel goes wild", that’s putting it mildly: in Christina Pluhar’s album, he goes wild to quite some extremes! Indeed the Austrian harpist, theorbist, and lute player picked a handful of Handel’s (and a bit of Vivaldi’s) arias, concerto movements and overtures, and put them not only in the hands of baroque musicians of the L’Arpeggiata Ensemble, but also of half a dozen jazz musicians of various styles. The result is a reinterpretation, in turn gypsy, Klezmer, salsa, New Orleans jazz, lounge, blues and so on, that everyone can either love or hate depending on their own degree of adaptability. Undeniably using a clarinet and piano in this language can be confusing for some… But Pluhar’s approach is simple: Handel himself reused, reshaped, tinkered, disguised, ransacked and rewrote, using both the works of other composers and his own, always with his own personal approach and the most immediate style of his time. So why not do the same nowadays?! In any case, this mixture of baroque instruments and voices with 20th-century instruments and genres is breathtaking. The artists invited include clarinettist Gianluigi Trovesi, pianist Francesco Turrisi and bass player Boris Schmidt in the field of jazz, but also countertenor Valer Barna-Sabadus and soprano Nuria Rial. © SM/Qobuz
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Religieuze vocale muziek - Verschenen op 14 april 2017 | Glossa

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Qobuzism - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
The Vespers for the Blessed Virgin by Monteverdi – Vespro della Beata Vergine – is, so to speak, a work made up of many works. The composer seems to have put everything he had into this piece, which appeared in Venice in 1610. It is as if he wanted to use it as an immense catalogue of all his skills: his facility with ancient and modern styles; with the strict and the flamboyant; with instrumentals, vocals, choruses, solos, parody masses, the magnificat, psalms... Perhaps he wanted to use the work as a CV in Venice, where he would indeed land a job as choirmaster in 1613? The fact that several passages are written for two choirs would seem to support this idea. Elaborate job application or not, in this work Monteverdi has produced one of his most durable masterpieces, which forms a bridge between the late Renaissance - with passages taken from prima practica, the style developed by Palestrina - and the nascent Baroque style, and its seconda practica which was so dear to Monteverda, and which would free the use of dissonance from its old straitjacket. For this recording, Giuseppe Maletto has brought together the rich talents of La Compagnia del Madrigale and the Cantica Symphonia and La Pifarescha ensembles, because it takes a whole lot of talent to give the Vespers the treatment it deserves.
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 14 februari 2017 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Qobuzism
€ 26,99
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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 20 januari 2017 | Glossa

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Qobuzism
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 26 oktober 2016 | Erato - Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Qobuzism
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Opera - Verschenen op 7 oktober 2016 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Qobuzism
As Mozart wrote to his father in 1778: "I love it when an aria fits a singer as perfectly as a suit". This, by reasoning, means that virtually all of his greatest melodies – for both prima donna and secondary (supporting) roles - were designed for a specific type of voice. This means that anyone who wants to tackle numerous Mozart roles must know how to adapt their suit accordingly – no simple task, to say the least. Swiss soprano coloratura Regula Mühlemann, with her sumptuous, clear and precise vocals, has perfectly adapted to all of these melodies, as well as the wide range of genres, styles and characters explored. Among the works, one will find Exultate, Jubilate and also a melody that Mozart had written to be inserted in The Barber of Seville by Paisiello, although this did not materialize and Mozart left the work unfinished. Regula Mühlemann, whom we have already witnessed in Salzburg, Berlin, Paris, Zurich, and many other prestigious cities and settings, is accompanied here by the Basel Chamber Orchestra conducted by Umberto Benedetti Michelangeli, the nephew of famous Italian pianist Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli. © SM / Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 16 september 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Pianiste Maestro - Choc de Classica - Qobuzism
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 24 augustus 2016 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - Qobuzism
Justin Taylor, the winner of the 2015 edition of the celebrated harpsichord competition of the Musica Antiqua Festival in Bruges (which has honoured some of the world’s finest players, including Scott Ross, Christophe Rousset, Pierre Hantaï, Benjamin Alard, and more recently Jean Rondeau), has recorded for Alpha Classics a programme of music by the Forqueray family: Antoine, Michel, Jean-Baptiste, Nicolas-Gilles . . . Those are just some of the first names of a great dynasty of French composers, gambists and organists. Antoine Forqueray, born in 1672, obtained the highly coveted position of Musicien de la Chambre du Roi. He subsequently had, shall we say, a complicated relationship with his son Jean-Baptiste, born in 1699 . . . Envious of the boy’s talent for the viol, Antoine had him imprisoned when he was just sixteen years old! The recital, as well as painting a musical portrait of this unique family, also offers a chance to reflect on the issue of transcription. In fact, the suites performed here on the harpsichord were originally written for viola da gamba. The passage from one instrument to another, from one soundworld to another, sheds new light on the music and allows us to grasp its full originality. © Alpha
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Duo´s - Verschenen op 6 mei 2016 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - Qobuzism
Marie-Elisabeth Hecker made her entry into the ‘big leagues’ by winning first prize in the Rostropovich Competition in Paris back in 2005. Her international career was simultaneously launched on the back of this great success. Born in 1987 in Zwickau, the young cellist has studied with Steven Iserlis, Bernard Greenhouse and even Gary Hoffman. She has performed as a soloist with the Russian Symphony Orchestra, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Kremerata Baltica, the Mariinsky Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Munich and Dresden Philharmonic Orchestras, the Staatskapelle Berlin, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris… the list goes on. Her experience has seen her work with conductors such as Yuri Temirkanov, Yuri Bashmet, Gidon Kremer, Valery Gergiev, Fabio Luisi, Marek Janowski, Emmanuel Krivine, Christian Thielemann or even Daniel Barenboim. Here, with her musical partner (and husband) pianist Martin Helmchen for their first duo album; the two musicians met at the Lockenhaus Festival at which time they performed another one of Brahms sonatas: Proust's Madeleine! More than twenty years separate the two sonatas for cello and piano, the first from 1862 – the composer had not yet turned 30 – and the second from 1886, by which time he had nothing left to prove to anyone. Hecker-Helmchen thoroughly master this repertoire. A coup for this first album as a duo. © SM / Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 april 2016 | Arcana

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Qobuzism
€ 10,99€ 16,99
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Piano solo - Verschenen op 25 maart 2016 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Choc de Classica - Qobuzism
In 2015, young French pianist Lucas Debargue set the classical world alight at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Although he took home ‘just’ fourth prize, he also received the coveted Music Critic’s Award (all disciplines). This is all the more impressive when you consider the sort of ‘anti’ child prodigy that we have on our hands here; Debargue is a musician who arrived very late to the piano, and is entirely self-taught. ”Not since Glenn Gould graced Moscow with his presence, or the victory of Van Cliburn at the Tchaikovsky competition during the cold war, has a foreign pianist generated such excitement”, wrote the Huffington Post, known for being difficult to please. The program here was recorded in live concert at the Salle Cortot in Paris back in November 2015, and we’re delighted to add another award to a growing list for the young Frenchman, our Qobuzism award for excellence! The adventure has most certainly just begun for this exciting prospect in Classical Music.