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Divers - Verschenen op 25 juni 2021 | Brilliant Classics

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The only complete survey available of the keyboard music written by a forward-looking contemporary of Monteverdi. Giovanni Picchi (1572-1643) flourished in Venice, notably as the organist at the Scuola di San Rocco. He became renowned as a composer of both secular and sacred music, attested by his presence in the Nobiltà di dame by Fabrizio Caroso, the most important collection of dance music of the time. A collection of his canzone was published in 1625 and his fame spread to England, where a Toccata for Harpsichord was transcribed within the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book (of which Brilliant has recently released the first-ever complete recording). In 1619, Picchi published Intavolatura di balli d’arpicordo, one of the rare collections of music for keyboard moulded on contemporary dance music. The majority of Picchi's dances are composed in pairs. Three of the four Passamezzos are followed by a Saltarello in triple meter. The short dances in duple meter (Ballo alla Polacha, Ballo Ongaro and the Todescha) conclude with either a balletto or saltarello in triple meter. The Padoana ditta la Ongara and the Ongara a un altro modo obviously form a single composition consisting of variations. Other important sources for his keyboard music include collections published in Venice in 1621 and an undated collection of intablatures (transcriptions and elaborations of music by other composers) which is now held in Turin. Together they amount to some of the most brilliant and appealing music for the harpsichord from 17th-century Italy. Picchi’s harmonic language was especially daring, and his flair as a performer is reflected in the style of his writing, which exploits the full range of the instrument. In complement to Picchi’s work, Simone Stella has chosen other jewels from Venetian composers of the time: toccatas, ricercare and canzone by Annibale Padovano, Claudio Merulo, Andrea and Giovanni Gabrieli and Vincenzo Bellavere. Bellavere is another neglected figure nowadays, but the Toccata recorded here is a gloriously ornate example of the genre, alternating intricate counterpoint with filigree decoration. Played on the harpsichord by Simone Stella. © Brilliant Classics
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 9 april 2021 | Pierre Verany

Booklet
Sebastián de Albero is less well known than his contemporaries José de Nebra, Antonio Soler, the great Farinelli, and, of course, Domenico Scarlatti. Nonetheless, his sonatas are appreciated by many harpsichordists who readily include them in their repertoire alongside those of Scarlatti, Soler, or Seixas. However, his oeuvre, limited owing to his premature death at the age of 34, gives us a glimpse of a musician brimming with originality and creativity. Sebastián de Albero died in 1756, leaving a collection of 30 sonatas, made up of 14 pairs of sonatas in the same key, and two fugues, one in position 15 to mark the end of the first part, which figures precisely in this recording, and the other at the very end to definitively close the cycle. Like Scarlatti’s sonata collections, Sebastián de Albero’s was found in Italy, specifically in Venice’s Marciana Library, surely brought by Farinelli, to whom Queen Maria Barbara had bequeathed her musical library as well as some of her keyboard instruments. It is interesting to pause for a moment on the case of the first two sonatas on this programme, which in fact seem to be related to two sources: first, with Sebastián de Albero at the beginning of his collection (Sonatas 1 and 2), and also in the copy of a collection of sonatas attributed to Scarlatti (Sonatas 11 and 12). This latter collection belonged to Ignacia Ayerbe (or Eyerbe), a young harpsichordist and very probably a student of Albero’s. It was seemingly Albero himself who introduced his own sonatas among those of the Neapolitan master, in homage to his colleague. This would prove to us that the two musicians knew each other and that they might have collaborated. Certain sources advance the hypothesis that Albero was one of the copyists of the collections of Scarlatti sonatas intended for Queen Maria Barbara. Yet a notable difference between the two emerges from the theme used by Albero, which is already closer to the aesthetic of musicians of Northern Europe, in particular Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach, who opened the way to the new tastes that were dominant throughout Europe in the late 18th century. (© Maria Raskin translated by John Tyler Tuttle / Pierre Vérany - Arion)
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 2 april 2021 | Alpha Classics

Hi-Res Booklet
During his lifetime, Rameau enjoyed a glittering reputation and was admired by all Europe, while Debussy’s Hommage à Rameau proves that his fame survived down the centuries. But what do we know about the rest of the Rameau family? After a highly acclaimed album devoted to the Forqueray family, the harpsichordist-genealogist Justin Taylor sets out on the trail of Jean-Philippe’s son Claude-François and his nephew Lazare. To be sure, Rameau’s genius dwarfs all around him, as is demonstrated by such pieces as La Livri, La Poule and L’Égyptienne, not to mention the magnificent Nouvelle Suite in A minor, but the music of his descendants has its own interest. Justin Taylor introduces us to a work by Claude-François Rameau (La Forqueray) and the Sonata No. 1 in E major by Lazare Rameau. He switches from the splendid harpsichord of the Château d’Assas (a two-manual instrument of the first half of the eighteenth century, attributed to the Lyon-based maker Donzelague) to the 1891 Érard piano of the Musée de la Musique in Paris for Debussy’s tribute to his great predecessor. © Alpha Classics
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 13 december 2019 | Passacaille

Hi-Res Booklet
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 1 november 2019 | Aeolus

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 13 september 2019 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique
Since setting off in the early 2000s, Pierre Hantaï is still journeying into Domenico Scarlatti’s world. After a hiatus of more than ten years following the third volume, the harpsichordist finally recorded a fourth volume in 2016 and this autumn sees the sixth one come into bloom, once again superbly recorded in Haarlem in the Netherlands by Nicolas Bartholomée. Pierre Hantaï is taking his time to gradually construct a perfect anthology of Scarlatti’s keyboard work. Here, he explores some of his little-known sonatas. His keyboard intensifies the profound rhythmic force of Scarlatti’s world: the sharp lines burst forth, the harmonic tension constantly explodes, the new tones are revealed smoothly, and his playing – with an exhilarating left hand – is stunning throughout. The first five sonatas of this new release (all of which have a fairly fast tempo) form a representative ensemble of a rather uncompromising Scarlatti, followed by a moment of gravity and meditation with the exquisite Sonata in F minor, K. 69, while the surrounding Sonatas K. 502 and K. 43 (with a wonderfully volatile left hand) have clearly marked rhythms. The style and atmosphere changes with Sonata in C major, K. 384, whose tender “French” tone is emphasised by Pierre Hantaï, and at the same time there’s an almost modern feel which goes beyond even Soler’s most audacious scores. Fascinating! While the tender sonatas (K. 550, K. 544) distil an aftertaste that is slightly more spicy than the previous volumes, what continues to surprise us with Hantaï in this repertoire is his prolonged search for a “Hispanic” feel - a Spain in a majestic trance, with colliding rhythms and contrasting accents and registers.Let’s hope that Pierre Hantaï does not wait another ten years to deliver the seventh volume; there is no doubt that these Scarlatti recordings will remain one of the most exciting and necessary musical adventures of the 21st century. A perfectly captured sound, style and universe. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 30 augustus 2019 | Warner Classics

Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 26 juli 2019 | Brilliant Classics

Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
A new recording of Bach’s final testament and love-letter to the art of counterpoint, performed in exemplary style by the Dutch harpsichordist. When he died in July 1750, Bach left tantalisingly unfinished his final masterpiece, The Art of Fugue. He had been composing and compiling it during the last decade of his life, alongside several other compendious projects such as the Mass in B minor and The Musical Offering, whose fugal masterpieces are excerpted on this recording. However, The Art of Fugue remains an absorbing testimony to Bach’s genius and to his life-long love and mastery of counterpoint. A single theme is elaborated with unprecedented variety over the course of 14 fugues and four canons. One of the fugues is composed for two harpsichords – where Belder is joined by Gerard de Wit – and composed in such a way that it can be performed backwards: an extraordinary feat of ingenuity. Playing both a modern copy of a Blanchet harpsichord and a clavichord modelled on a Friederici original, Belder intersperses canons within the sequence of fugues at strategic intervals. The recording set contains also the 4 Duetti BWV 802-805, and two Ricercares from the Musical Offering. © Brilliant Classics
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 14 juni 2019 | Cedille

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 7 juni 2019 | Warner Classics

Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
Thirty years after his premature death, the American harpsichordist and organist Scott Ross is still present in the hearts of music lovers. His name remains attached to the marathon of 555 sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti he recorded on harpsichord for Disques Erato. It is out of this achievement that Scott Ross took on the task of recording the integrity of Johann Sebastian Bach’s works on keys (harpsichord and organ), but the great grim-reaper thought otherwise. This new homage-publication takes existing recordings and completes them with hitherto unseen material from French, Swiss and Canadian radios, including concerts and recordings on both harpsichord and organ. This disparate ensemble finds its coherence through the remastering of a wide range of sources by Christophe Hénault from Studio Art & Son. The happiness of experiencing the intense, fantastic and colourful joy of Scott Ross again will satisfy numerous admirers who will find him in solo, but also in duet with his old teacher Huguette Grémy-Chauliac and the Mosaïques ensemble under the direction of Christophe Coin. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 12 april 2019 | Naxos

Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
Innovative music printer Pierre Attaingnant (c.1494-1551) published the first editions of keyboard music ever to appear in France in 1531 (Tracks 1-30). Only one copy of each of these seven tiny but crucially important volumes has survived, in which anonymous composers made arrangements of some of the most beautiful chansons, motets and dances from the reign of François I. Some pieces follow (Tracks 31-38), which are also from the 16th century French keyboard repertoire but not from the Attaingnant edition. All this keyboard music shows France at the forefront of developments in this field. Glen Wilson has corrected the countless errors in these original sources, restoring this rare and enchanting music and allowing it to shine in its original glory. © Naxos / Qobuz
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Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 5 april 2019 | Passacaille

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 5 april 2019 | Globe

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
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Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 29 maart 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
Frescobaldi brilliantly combines improvisation and architecture. These qualities resonate with the discography of harpsichordist Christophe Rousset, whose choice of repertoire and interpretation are adventurous and serious at the same time. Frescobaldi’s counterpoint goes along with the finest art of singing, inherited from the Italian madrigal, and the flexibility of his language highlights the virtuosity of his compositions. Christophe Rousset recorded toccate and partite on a beautiful and original harpsichord of the late 16th century. Its sound faithfully testifies for the significant place of this First Book of harpsichord pieces in the nascent modernity of Frescobaldi. If the modal harmonies are still old-fashioned, the free beat and subtle melodies make it an indisputable baroque master, admired from Italy to France and Germany: Bach is said to have had a copy of his Fiori musicali! This new disc by Christophe Rousset reveals the first treasures composed specifically for the harpsichord. Its repertoire was served from the beginning by musicians whose expressive boldness recalls in a musical way Caravaggio’s chiaroscuro. © Aparté
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Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 15 maart 2019 | Alpha Classics

Hi-Res Booklet
Two years after releasing her CD dedicated to Book I of J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Céline Frisch now presents the second volume of this musical landmark. Bach compiled Book II in 1744, twenty-two years after Book I. It took until 1801 for both volumes to be printed: from then until the present day they have inspired countless composers. After a series of recordings with the Ensemble Zimmermann she helped to found, Céline Frisch returns to the harpsichord recital, for a programme of this, her very favourite music. Through these preludes and fugues, she reminds us that far from being technical exercises, the Well- Tempered Clavier is a work of pure pleasure and constant renewed discovery. As Robert Schumann declared: ‘You should frequently play the fugues of the great masters, particularly those of J.S. Bach. Make the Well-Tempered Clavier your daily bread.’ © Alpha Classics
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Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 8 februari 2019 | Naxos

Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
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Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 25 januari 2019 | ATMA Classique

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 28 december 2018 | Brilliant Classics

Booklet
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Kamermuziek - Verschenen op 16 november 2018 | Alpha Classics

In 16 CD Alpha traces the adventure of Café Zimmermann on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the instrumental ensemble. Among the iconic albums featured in this discographic portrait are Celine Frisch's Goldberg Variations, unanimously acclaimed at the time of their release in 2001.
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 19 oktober 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - 5 étoiles de Classica
Staying true to himself, harpsichordist Jean Rondeau stirs up another musical storm. In his interpretation of around fifteen Sonatas by Scarlatti, he unleashes a kind of rawness, a poetic rawness, as if he had invented the sonatas on the spot. But no, no, they are indeed Scarlatti’s sonatas! On the other hand, Domenico's letter to Queen Marie-Barbara de Bragança, found in the accompanying booklet, is factually apocryphal. She was his pupil as early as 1720 and continued to be until her royal marriage to the Spanish court; it seems that it was for her that he wrote his approximately five hundred and fifty-five sonatas, that is to say that he had found a student worthy of his genius. The farce on the ninth track is also apocryphal, which Rondeau uses as an interlude between the two “parts” of his programme. It is a funny little improvisation of jumbled notes and clusters - enough to clean the ears between the two Scarlattis. The instrument used here is quite amazing; it is a harpsichord “based on German models”, built in 2006 by Jonte Knif & Arno Pelto. It offers an extremely rich sound with a rather unusual tone, showing that it takes more than just pressing the keys of a harpsichord to get the desired sound. With his very personal technique, Rondeau makes his harpsichord wonderfully unique, giving the baroque music an incredibly modern feel. © SM/Qobuz