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Chamber Music - Released August 23, 2019 | Alpha

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On the sleeve, musicians are waiting patiently for a metro train at the imaginary Opus 1 station. This is how the ensemble Le Consort, led by young harpsichordist Justin Taylor, frame their first recording, which is made up of  Sonatas in trio opus 1 by Jean-François Dandrieu, a French composer known for his organ music.Born in Paris in 1682, Dandrieu, like Justin Taylor, came from Angers, where his whole family lived. A child prodigy, he would perform before the Princess Palatine at the age of 5, and later he would dedicate to her this imposing collection. He then took holy orders and became the titular organist of Saint Merry, a much-sought-after post at the time. He would become the organist of the Royal Chapel of Versailles, and one of the most important musicians in the Kingdom, accumulating admiration, privileges, honours and official recognition.Published in 1705, this collection of his Sonatas in trio, presented here interspersed with sonatas by Corelli which were Dandrieu's model, is bursting with inventiveness and vocality, and it artfully blends a French spirit with Italian influence. This new album is also a meaningful wink from this young ensemble, Le Consort, which originally formed around one of these sonatas and this Opus 1, which turned out to be lucky for them. So this is at once a musical thunderclap and an homage to friendship; and it gives us a key to an overlooked, yet essential part of late-baroque French music. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released May 24, 2019 | naïve classique

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Founded in 2018 by the singer Emiliano Gonzalez Toro, a specialist in baroque music and Monteverdi in particular, the ensemble I Gemelli has set itself the task of protecting the great works of the Italian "Seicento" (meaning 17th century), not hesitating to unveil many scores that are as yet still unpublished, waiting deep in the libraries for the musicians who will bring them to life.This is the case for composer Chiara Margarita Cozzolani, to whom the conductor and her ensemble dedicate their first album, with several superb psalms and motets collected here to form an office of “Vêpres à la Vierge” (Vespers to the Virgin). It’s the extraordinary richness of the Italian convents’ archives that has enabled the unearthing of this sensual and delicate music published some thirty years ago after Montevardi’s Vêpres, which seems to have served as a model.A nun, then abbess of the convent of Saint Ragedonde in Milan, Chiara Margarita Cozzolani was born into an upper-class Milanese family. Emiliano Gonzalez Toro’s choice was the collection of the 1650 Salmi a otto voci ("Psalms for 8 voices") and the Concerti sacri, published in 1642. They are connected to each other by an older work, composed by Caterina Assandra, with the text of "Duo Seraphim" already set to music by Monteverdi in his own Vêpres from 1610.Looking to the future, with the use of dissonances reinforcing expression, these psalms and motets alternate between parts for choir and those for soloists, with a voice treatment designed to highlight the talent of the singers of Sainte-Radegonde. A double debut album: the first for the ensemble and the first dedicated to this composer whose talent demands our full attention, just like her contemporaries Cavalli, Strozzi or Benedetto Ferrari. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released May 3, 2019 | Alpha

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‘The senses reign, and Reason now is dead’ (Petrarch). Giovanni Antonini, flautist and founder of the legendary Italian ensemble Il Giardino Armonico, enjoys musical voyages, the discursiveness of music. He begins with an anonymous 16th century pavane, La Morte della Ragione ("The Death of Reason"), which he believes refers to In Praise of Folly, in which its author Erasmus distinguishes between two forms of madness: ‘a sweet illusion of the spirit', and a negative form, ‘one that the vengeful Furies conjure up from hell...’. This succession of ‘musical pictures’ leads us to the threshold of the baroque era, starting out with the Puzzle Canon by John Dunstable (1390- ca.1453), whose manuscript is an enigma, via the ‘bizarre’ style of Alexander Agricola (1446- ca.1506) and his obsessive, ostinato rhythm – almost an anticipation of minimalist music… to the improvisatory freedom of the Galliard Battaglia de Scheidt (1587-1654), a battle piece involving a great many diminutions or ‘divisions’, a common technique of improvisation in the Renaissance... This grand instrumental musical fresco of time and space is a kind of self-portrait of Giovanni Antonini and his longstanding musical colleagues. To accompany this recording, a richly-illustrated booklet presents a free-ranging iconographical tour combining pictures and contemporary photos. © Alpha Classics
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Keyboard Concertos - Released May 3, 2019 | BIS

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Classical - Released March 22, 2019 | harmonia mundi

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Quartets - Released March 15, 2019 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released February 22, 2019 | Ramée

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Although we know of at least five concertos J.S. Bach wrote for solo organ we have no surviving Bach organ concertos with orchestral accompaniment. Contrast this with the 200+ cantatas: of these, 18 feature organ obbligato, which Bach uses as a solo instrument in arias, choral sections and sinfonias. The most obviously conspicuous date to 1726. In May to November of that year, Bach composed six cantatas which assign a prominent solo role to the organ. Most of these are reworkings of movements of lost violin and oboe concertos written in Bach’s time at Weimar and Köthen. Why Bach wrote such a number of obbligato organ cantatas in such a short period remains unknown. One possible explanation may lie in Dresden, where Bach had given a concert on the new Silbermann organ in the Sophienkirche in 1725. Some scholars think that, in addition to other organ works, he also performed organ concertos, or at least a few earlier versions of the sinfonias, with obbligato organ and strings in order to show off the organ. From the cantatas mentioned above, along with the related violin and harpsichord concertos, it is perfectly possible to reconstruct a number of three-movement organ concertos of this type. By using this method, we hope to bring some of the music which Bach may have performed in Dresden in 1725 back to life. © Ramée/Outhere
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Operettas - Released January 11, 2019 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Diapason d'or / Arte - Choc de Classica
The elegant Jodie Devos puts her talents to work in service of a fairly unknown known side of Offenbach, taking on several somewhat-forgotten pieces which call for very specific voices, known in Offenbach’s day by names such as "chanteuse d’agilité", "chanteuse à roulade" or "première chanteuse légère". Of course, everyone knows the tune of the doll Olympia from Tales of Hoffmann, or the telling of the death of Eurydice in Orpheus in the Underworld, but the substantial repertoire of the composer's smaller pieces (which he generally referred to as "operettas" to distinguish them from his larger works, his famous opéras bouffe) contains a number of virtuoso arias for coloratura soprano. In them, we hear the vocal imitation of the jeu perlé piano technique or of Paganini's "flying staccato", in which unstinting bravura hides the real difficulty behind something apparently easy. But the difference from many bel canto composers, who merely show off vocals and melody, is that Offenbach knows how to charge these things with emotion, with textual significance, with personality, and with contrasts: simple mechanics never take precedence over diversity. This record allows us to discover a neat little collection of sadly little-known works which are well overdue a return to the French stage. © SM/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released November 30, 2018 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica
Through his “brilliance and maturity” (as described by The Guardian) the Russian-Lithuanian pianist Lukas Geniušas has established himself on the international scene as one of the most interesting artists of his generation. He has appeared in London's Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Milan's Salle Verdi, Moscow's Conservatory and Roque d'Anthéron, and with orchestras such as the Philharmonique de Radio France, the National de Lyon, the NHK of Tokyo, the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, the Russian National Orchestra, the list goes on... He has chosen here a Prokofiev programme combining early works from his younger years (the Ten Pieces Op. 12 which is a junior work and yet so intimately prokofievian already!) with the work from his first stage of maturity (Second Sonata from 1912) and the work from his full maturity (the Fifth Sonata). Even better, this Fifth Sonata was written "for the first time" in 1923 after his time in Paris, then revised three decades later under the constraint, undoubtedly, of the infamous Jdanov decree which had accused the composer of all anti-Soviet evils, but also due to a very personal concern (he wanted to purify the piano gesture). In a way this work seems almost "Parisian" as it has so many similarities with Poulenc's style. © SM/Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released October 19, 2018 | Warner Classics

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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
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Keyboard Concertos - Released October 12, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

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Violin Solos - Released September 8, 2017 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica - Exceptional Sound Recording - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Of course, since years Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin have been recorded over and over again, including by world’s best and most prestigious solists. But when violinist Christian Tetzlaff releases a brand new recording, we can only say: “Friends, countrymen, lend Qobuz your ears”. Concerts with Christian Tetzlaff often become an existential experience for interpreter and audience alike; old familiar works suddenly appear in an entirely new light, also – of course – within the frame of a new studio recording such as this one. Essential to Tetzlaff’s approach are the courage to take risks, technical brilliance, openness and alertness to life. Such an interpretation becomes a real challenge for the aficionado and guarantees a brilliant musical adventure.
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released May 5, 2017 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Antonín Dvorák's Stabat Mater, Op. 58, truly merits the adjective "tragic"; it was written after the deaths of two of the composer's children in succession, and his grief rolled out in great, Verdian waves. There are several strong recordings on the market, including an earlier one by conductor Jiří Bělohlávek himself, but for the combination of deep feeling, technical mastery from musicians and singers who have spent their lives getting to know the score, and soloists who not only sound beautiful but are seamlessly integrated into the flow, this Decca release may be the king of them all. To what extent was the strength of the performance motivated by Bělohlávek's likely fatal illness (he died days after the album entered the top levels of classical charts in the spring of 2017)? It's hard to say, although he also delivered top-notch performances of Dvorák's Requiem in his last days. The members of the Prague Philharmonic Choir sing their hearts out in the gigantic, shattering opening chorus, which has rarely if ever had such a mixture of the impassioned and the perfectly controlled. Sample the chorus "Virgo virginium praeclara" to hear the magically suspended quality Bělohlávek brings out of the singers in lightly accompanied passages. The soloists, soprano Eri Nakamura, mezzo Elisabeth Kulman, tenor Michael Spyres, and bass Jongmin Park -- an international group in this otherwise almost all-Czech production -- are uniformly strong, but what stands out most is how inevitable their entrances sound. If this turns out to be Bělohlávek's swan song, it is an accomplishment for the ages. Highest possible recommendation.
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Solo Piano - Released April 7, 2017 | Sony Classical

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Sacred Vocal Music - Released March 3, 2017 | Coro

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Trios - Released January 27, 2017 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released November 10, 2016 | Alpha

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Duets - Released October 21, 2016 | Mirare

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Concertos - Released October 21, 2016 | Erato - Warner Classics

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