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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 januari 2014 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 9 juli 2021 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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The scarcity of the Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman's studio recordings is a result of his high standards and, at the same time, makes for an excellent sales pitch. The pianist leaves nothing to chance, scrutinising scores in search of answers to his musical and organological questions concerning the style, the mechanics and possibilities of his instrument. He travels the world with his own Steinway pianos exclusively, dismantling them and reassembling them himself for each concert.A first complete set of Beethoven's Concertos was started for the same publisher in Vienna with Leonard Bernstein in 1989, but this was unfortunately interrupted by Bernstein's death, which obliged Zimerman to conduct the first two concertos from his keyboard. The closeness of his Beethovenian vision to that of Sir Simon Rattle has led him to undertake a second complete collection with the latter, this time recorded in London with the London Symphony Orchestra. Krystian Zimerman's hyper-articulate playing, which gives exceptional legibility to Beethoven's lines, shines in this varied corpus, which starts at the end of the eighteenth century and goes straight into Romanticism. Around him, the fabulous English musicians sing and carry on their dialogues under Rattle's very lyrical direction. This conductor is particularly attentive to the pianist's slightest intentions, and there are many cues to watch out for.While the global pandemic did not change musical approaches, it did profoundly alter the physical layout of the orchestras. In their splendid home of St. Luke's, an eighteenth-century church in the heart of London that was abandoned in the early 1960s after a terrible landslide and rehabilitated for the London Symphony Orchestra in the early twenty-first century, the musicians were forced to spread out according to strict health regulations. The protective screens between the music stands, the social distance of 1.5 metres between the strings and 2 metres between the woodwinds and the brass did not, however, detract from the coherence and sonic splendour of this recording. “Sometimes it feels like blowing smoke signals over a mountain, but there’s something about the effort that almost suits Beethoven. The struggle is part of his style,” Rattle said. “After all the anxiety and uncertainty that the pandemic gave us, it was such a release and such a joy for us to play Beethoven again. We were able to do this at a time when so many musicians had been prevented from working. It’s something I think we will never forget.” The musical message is communicated with an ineffable, expressive intensity. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 9 april 2021 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet
With this new milestone in his ongoing collection of Beethoven's symphonies, conductor, actor and perfumer Teodor Currentzis invites us to a feast of rhythm and energy with a resolutely Dionysian feel. According to the Greek conductor, this Seventh Symphony in A major represents the most perfect form ever achieved in the symphony form."Each note has its proper place in absolute symmetry", says Currentzis, who compares the symphony to "the flowing lines of a Greek temple - specifically in the Doric style". The structure of the Seventh is "in fact highly complex", says Currentzis. "The secret is to dive into the music towards the freshness and light, then leap into the sacred dance of the second movement, and from there into the scherzo and dancing finale. It is a kind of journey towards freshness, towards a new vitality, the birth of a new cell in a world of contradictions".Perfectly in control of his music, Teodor Currentzis offers us a most refined version, in which the air seems to circulate between each section of the orchestra, carefully chiselled down to the smallest detail, playing with contrasts and a palette of nuances that we had long ceased to see, without the demonstration and eccentricity that some performers can be reproached for. The splendid acoustics of the great hall of the Musikverein in Vienna, where this record was recorded in the summer of 2018, further enhance the sense of exhilaration and plenitude in this new version, which joins the hundreds of others. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 4 september 2020 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
Simply magical. This release, beautifully recorded at the Villa Siemens in Berlin, initiates a complete set of Beethoven’s Violin and Piano Sonatas on BIS Records by two of the most extraordinary chamber musicians. Two musicians, of such sharp and intense refinement, violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann and pianist Martin Helmchen. It’s surprising to find these two artists on a label that isn't the home of their solo projects; Helmchen records for Alpha, and Zimmermann for Ondine. BIS, which is actually the label of Zimmermann’s brilliant trio, have recovered the Holy Grail, as the two musicians are in perfect musical harmony! Everything seems smooth, supple, the musical dialogue incomparably elegant, balanced and fitting. It was only after a few recitals that the first recording sessions took place in September 2019: the miracles that occur in concert seem to grace the recording sessions. If in doubt, start with the Third Sonata. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 3 april 1995 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen The Qobuz Ideal Discography
As recommendable an album as anyone could wish, Carlos Kleiber's performances with the Vienna Philharmonic of Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67, and the Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92, are classics that should always be within reach, and this disc should be passed along to friends as the single best pairing of these two pieces. Other performances of these symphonies are absolutely essential to know, and recordings by many great conductors and orchestras certainly compete with this Deutsche Grammophon album for listeners' affections. But for sheer excitement, cogent direction, and expressive playing, none is more convincing. Kleiber was highly esteemed for his thorough musicianship, and his clarity of interpretation and communication skills with musicians resulted in performances that were compelling in their power and fascinating for their faithfulness to details in the score. If the hallmarks of great performances are the way they grab onto the listener through their energy and sustain interest for their finer points, no matter how familiar the pieces are, then these riveting and utterly lucid readings of Beethoven's Fifth and Seventh are great indeed. Even purists who insist on period style in their Beethoven must concede honors to Kleiber for his accuracy and attention to repeats, for following the indicated instrumentation, and for careful application of all the dynamics. In depth of musicality, technical polish, and all matters of instrumentation except for the size of the orchestra, these recordings surpass many historically informed performances and make some of them seem pedantic and empty in comparison. Add to these accumulated merits DG's scrupulous engineering and masterful , incredible ADD sound, and this unassailable disc wins in any match-up. © TiVo
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 5 februari 2021 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet
Faced with the plethora of Beethoven recordings released in 2020, we expect more from some than from others, and this applies to this Missa Solemnis. An absolute masterpiece of Western music, it is conducted by René Jacobs, whose recent recording of Leonore (the first version of the opera Fidelio by the same Beethoven) conquered the musical world.Composed in 1824, the Missa, "a rough and uncomfortable work that leaves no room for narcissism in the singers" according to René Jacobs (and he would know what he is talking about!) is an older sister to the Ninth Symphony which shares the same faith in man over divinity. Recorded in Berlin in May 2019, this version packs as intense a gut-punch as a live concert.The understated and profound Kyrie brings shadow and meditation. Then, a surging explosive Gloria, a stirring call for peace and brotherhood, from the heart of all humanity presses this splendid performance onward. Without doubt, the RIAS Kammerchor has added one more stone to an edifice of recordings of the highest quality. In addition we are treated to an instrumental finale rarely heard and four soloists who contribute to the expressive power of the whole. All of Beethoven is here, with his idealism, his tenderness, and also his way of hammering out peace with mighty blows. As Goethe would have said “He would squash a fly with a rock”. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 26 februari 2021 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet
After a successful trilogy devoted to the concertos and trios of Schumann, the team assembled alongside the Freiburger Barockorchester and Pablo Heras-Casado could not ignore one of Beethoven’s most unusual works: the Triple Concerto. They bring this score to life as only true chamber musicians can, revealing its subtlest colours and balances. The trio transcription of the Second Symphony, which was supervised by the composer himself, judiciously completes this exploration of lesser-known Beethoven, in which intimacy mingles with grandeur. © harmonia mundi
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 27 augustus 2009 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Gramophone Award
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 17 december 2020 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 13 september 2019 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Pianist Igor Levit came on the scene with an album devoted to Beethoven's late piano sonatas, works normally not undertaken until a player has had some experience. As if that were not enough, he released a three-CD set featuring Bach's Goldberg Variations, BWV 988, Beethoven's Diabelli Variations, Op. 120, and Frederic Rzewski's The People United Will Never Be Defeated: three giant and challenging variation sets. Seemingly determined to outdo himself, he returned in 2019 with a complete set of Beethoven's sonatas. The four late ones, which made a critical splash, are included here (as played in 2013, not in new versions), and the rest follow somewhat in the pattern you might expect from the earlier album. Levit has said that he admires Artur Schnabel's Beethoven recordings from the 1930s, and indeed he has some of the same go-like-the-wind quality. His combination of fast tempi and graceful phrase shaping works well in many of the early sonatas, although in the Op. 10 set his tempos leave him little room for the marked Presto in the first movement of Op. 10, No. 3. His slow movements are a mixed bag, with the Adagio of the Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2 ("Moonlight"), lacking the evocative moods of some of the others. The first movement of the Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 ("Appassionata"), takes the forward sweep too far as the important short-short-short-long motif is reduced to decoration. Levit is never less than carefully considered in his phrasing, though, and many movements have a wonderful liveliness. Sample the joyous finale of the Piano Sonata No. 28 in A major, Op. 101, the first adumbration of the almost mystical quality of the late Beethoven. The late sonatas are worth revisiting, especially the masterfully clear Piano Sonata No. 29 in B flat major, Op. 106 ("Hammerklavier"), and the Piano Sonata No. 31 in A major, Op. 110. The collection may be brash in many ways, but it lives up to its ambitions and demands attention. © TiVo
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 17 april 2020 | Berlin Classics

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It is surely proof a great dedication that an American-born Swedish conductor would, in the mid-1970s, go behind the Iron Curtain in order to take up a post as principal conductor of an orchestra. Both the conductor and orchestra have fond memories of Herbert Blomstedt's Dresden years, from 1975 to 1985. The recordings of all of Beethoven's symphonies conducted by Blomstedt are proof of an intensive and artistically outstanding collaboration. © Berlin Classics
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 15 mei 2020 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 4F de Télérama
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 19 februari 2021 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or / Arte
A true ‘apotheosis of the dance’ in the words of Richard Wagner, Beethoven’s Seventh has enjoyed perennial popularity ever since its premiere - unlike his sole ballet, The Creatures of Prometheus, of which only the overture has remained (more or less) familiar to us. To offer a new version of a key work in Beethoven’s corpus while reviving the complete version of one of his most unjustly forgotten masterpieces: such is the challenge brilliantly taken up by the musicians of the Freiburger Barockorchester, under the direction of their Konzertmeister Gottfried von der Goltz. © harmonia mundi
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 27 mei 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 9 oktober 2020 | Challenge Classics

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 3 april 2020 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 4 juni 2021 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet
Fourty years on from his first release of this complete collection, cellist Yo-Yo Ma has become a venerable, white-haired gent, as has the pianist Emanuel Ax. "Hope Amid Tears" is the title of their new album, which they recorded at Seiji Ozawa Hall in Lenox, Massachusetts. And hope certainly was in high demand in August 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic was ravaging the world, and the USA in particular. And what could be more hopeful than Beethoven's humanist message? The Five Sonatas for Cello and Piano (for piano with cello accompaniment for the first two, in fact) are drawn from three different periods of Beethoven's artistic evolution. The first two are still rooted in the eighteenth century, and represent the first important works of the classical period. The Sonata No. 3 in A major, Op. 69, then sees the cello's horizon broaden. The instrument sets itself free, and really speaks in the first person. It is presently joined by the piano, in a style that mirrors great contemporary works such as the Fifth Symphony, the "Pastorale" Symphony, the Coriolan Overture and the "Razumovsky" Quartets.  The musical discourse is syncopated; the dialogue resembles a conversation between two people who are taking it in turns to get worked up into a passion.The last two Sonatas, Op. 102 date from a difficult time in the composer's life, when he was unwell and increasingly isolated by his deafness. These were fallow years where his productivity and creative energies seemed to be flagging. The more involved and inaccessible fugal writing style rendered many works from this period difficult to understand. The firm friendship and longstanding musical partnership between Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax have shaped this new recording. The musicians speak the same language, with the same intentions and the same phrasing, and their performance is enriched by their experience and maturity. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 6 november 2020 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet
Comprised of pianist Pauline Chenais, violinist Clémence de Forceville and cellist Angèle Legasa, Trio Sōra may well be a new name to many Qobuz listeners, when this is a debut album. That said, the name is likely to ring bells for anyone who keeps an eye on Europe's various young artist programmes and festival academies, because this young French ensemble's notable achievements of recent years include the Special Prize of the Verbier Festival Academy in 2018, and in 2020 a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship. Spread across three opus numbers, Beethoven's piano trios begin with the three-strong Op. 1 set, published in 1795 when he was in his mid-twenties, and stylistically still firmly rooted in the Viennese Classicism of Haydn. However Romanticism is thoroughly in the picture by the time he returned to the genre in 1808, shortly after completing the “Pastoral” Symphony No. 6, penning the Op. 70 pair with its famous “Ghost” Trio No. 1. Finally there's the grand Op. 97 “Archduke” Trio of 1811 - technically another middle period work, but one which with the almost symphonic scope of its four movements and complex emotional world feels feels well ahead of its time. What Trio Sōra bring to the set is immensely enjoyable. In performance practice terms, these are broadly “modern” readings, employing unobtrusive vibrato, and even subtle portamento at the most Romantic and impassioned end of the set. Beethoven's stormy switchings on the flip of a coin between dynamic extremes are realised with both clarity and charm: pianissimos are true whispers, and while sforzandos and fortissimos come with punch, it's never at the expense of beauty of tone; with the Opus 1 set in particular, Viennese elegance reigns supreme. As a result, the impression across the set is overwhelmingly of lightness of touch, sprightly and precise articulation. Yet don't interpret that description as “one flavour”, because these readings are anything but; not least because these three musicians are not shy about making this music their own. Take the “Archduke” Scherzo, where playful metrical tugs and pushes, and the odd slight second-beat emphasis, sometimes create an almost off-kilter effect, which then serves as a brilliant foil to other sections of rhythmically steady, joyous swing. Also mention-worthy is the poetry and technical aplomb with which Pauline Chenais rises to the demanding piano role, her tone beguilingly soft-focus and pearly one moment, and brightly crisp the next. A strong first recording. Bravo! © Charlotte Gardner/Qobuz
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Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 9 april 2021 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
2020 saw the release of the first instalment in this three-album traversal of Beethoven’s Violin Sonatas – a recording that has garnered many distinctions. As Frank Peter Zimmermann and Martin Helmchen open the second step, they do so with the iconic "Spring" Sonata, Op. 24. Completed in 1801, the work proved immediately popular with a second edition appearing only months after the first publication. There were also numerous arrangements for a variety of forces – including a song based on motifs from the sonata’s slow movement. Soon after completing Op. 24, Beethoven began work on a set of three sonatas of which the first two are included here. Musically the Op. 30 sonatas continue the development that had begun with the "Spring" Sonata towards a contrast-rich, symphonic style. Beethoven originally planned to end the first and shortest of the three with the expansive movement that later became the finale of the great "'Kreutzer" Sonata. As this would clearly have ruined the proportions of the work, he eventually replaced it with a set of variations. Closing this recording is the Second Sonata of Op. 30, in C minor. It is the most important of the set; a genuine Grande Sonate in four movements, and an early example of Beethoven’s "heroic" style. © BIS Records
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 6 november 2013 | Sony Music Labels Inc.