What is a Qobuzissime? It’s an award presented by Qobuz for a first or second album.
Pop or Reggae, Metal or Classical, Jazz or Blues, no genre is excluded. More often than not the award is presented to a newly discovered artist.
Sometimes it might be a particularly quirky or a crossover album from a discography.
The important aspects are uniqueness, sincerity and quality. We look for these things in the recording, the project and the sound identity.
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Chamber Music - Released September 17, 2021 | Orchid Classics
Classical - Released September 10, 2021 | InFiné
Classical - Released August 27, 2021 | L'Encelade
Classical - Released June 25, 2021 | Nonesuch
Classical - Released October 16, 2020 | Warner Classics
Chamber Music - Released September 25, 2020 | Passacaille
If the Richter Ensemble is a new name to you, then that's because in the grand scheme of things it's relatively new on the block, formed as recently as 2018 by British-Brazilian Baroque violinist and former Academy of Ancient Music concertmaster, Rodolfo Richter. Its other members are equally drawn from across the world of Historically Informed Performance, and while HIP credentials may not at first glance seem an obvious fit for a debut album of Second Viennese School repertoire, they actually point both to the group's mission statement and its unique selling point – to highlight hidden connections between repertoire ranging from the seventeenth to the twenty first centuries, with all of that repertoire played exclusively on gut strings. Back to the recording in hand, and this is the first installment of a project to record the complete Second Viennese School string quartets on gut strings, and it is very fine indeed. Repertoire-wise, they take us through chronologically, beginning with Webern's ardent one-movement Langsamer Satz of 1905, couched in the language of late Romantic chromaticism; then Schoenberg's String Quartet No. 2 of 1907-8, one of his first forays into atonality which features a mezzo soprano for its latter two movements setting poems by Stefan George; after which comes Berg's two-movement String Quartet Op. 3 of 1910, equally exploring atonality. Sound-wise, beyond super-glued chamber playing and wonderfully rich-toned and emotive vocal performances from mezzo Mireille Lebel, what really makes these interpretations stand out is the way they place the works in their immediate Viennese context: the fact that it wasn't a hard-edged brand of modernism that was in everyone's heads during these early ventures beyond tonality, but instead the music of Brahms, Mahler and Wagner; and all this amid a wider expressionist and symbolist artistic context that equally blended Romanticism and modernism – think of Gustav Klimt's paintings. So, beyond the greater softness and wider coloristic palette offered by those aforementioned gut strings, we also get tonal sheen, subtle “portamentos”, and a singing freedom to their lines. We are also at a period pitch slightly lower than today's standard: A=432Hz compared to the current 440Hz. Yet all this Romantic gorgeousness is still sounding clean as a whistle – just thanks to the nineteenth century practice of using vibrato only sparingly. Even if Second Viennese School isn't your usual bag, I urge you to give it a spin. This is likely to be a very covetable series indeed. © Charlotte Gardner/Qobuz
Classical - Released June 5, 2020 | InFiné
Classical - Released February 28, 2020 | Warner Classics
Classical - Released October 11, 2019 | Aparté
Six quartets: six works that are key to understanding what Joseph Haydn brought to western music. This effort by the Quatuor Hanson is particularly successful because they are past masters in constructing and expressing the soul of this subtle art. And what's more, they bring it off with a fascinating level of instrumental skill. Listening to this piece, we have to bow down once again before the genius of a composer who, along with Boccherini, invented a new genre and immediately studded it with masterpieces of staggering quality. Judiciously picked out from among Haydn's vast corpus, these six quartets are touching both in their expressiveness and in the perfection of their writing. Not a single note out of place, a perfect balance of four voices and inspired right from the first moment up to the incomplete closing Opus 77, which was a contemporary of Beethoven's first Quartets, Op. 18 – works that betray the lessons their writer learned from his master. More than two hundred years after his death, Haydn has only just found recognition as one of the greats, although he had been accorded that status during his life. But his works for keyboards, the symphonies, the oratorios, and to a lesser extent, the operas, speak in his favour. More than a forerunner, Haydn is a founder, a genius whose influence was felt by those who came after him, foremost amongst whom Beethoven and Schubert. This splendid album puts him (back) in his rightful place. © François Hudry/Qobuz
Lieder (German) - Released May 31, 2019 | Decca Music Group Ltd.
Opera Extracts - Released October 5, 2018 | Warner Classics
Full Operas - Released June 22, 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.
Classical - Released May 11, 2018 | Arts & Crafts Productions Inc.
Opera Extracts - Released March 2, 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.
Symphonic Music - Released October 27, 2017 | Chandos
Classical - Released September 22, 2017 | Erato - Warner Classics
Classical - Released September 1, 2017 | Warner Classics
Classical - Released April 14, 2017 | Glossa