Qobuz’s experts gather all the essentials of each genre. These albums have marked music history and become major landmarks.

With the Ideal Discography you (re)discover legendary recordings, all whilst building on your musical knowledge.



Chamber Music - Released May 1, 2002 | Mirare

Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de l'année du Monde de la Musique - Choc du Monde de la Musique - Recommandé par Classica - 4F de Télérama - Joker de Crescendo - The Qobuz Ideal Discography

Electronic/Dance - Released May 17, 2013 | Columbia

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Lieder (German) - Released June 15, 2015 | INA Mémoire vive

Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - Timbre de platine - 10 de Classica-Répertoire - The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released February 26, 2013 | Ricercar

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Symphonic Music - Released April 28, 2009 | Chandos

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released March 19, 2015 | Aftermath III JV

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Music - Grammy Awards

Electronic/Dance - Released April 11, 2011 | Because Music Ltd.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Sélection Les Inrocks - 4 étoiles Technikart - Sélection du Mercury Prize

Jazz - Released November 28, 2014 | Deutsche Grammophon ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Indispensable JAZZ NEWS

French Music - Released October 19, 2009 | Naive

Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Victoire de la musique - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Sélection Les Inrocks
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Hailed as the wunderkind of a new generation of French songwriters, Benjamin Biolay has often divided opinion, as his undeniable talents are not always exempt from narcissism. His sprawling double-album La Superbe will provide both admirers and critics with plenty of ammunition. While many contemporary French artists have unabashedly attempted to present themselves as the natural heir to Serge Gainsbourg, Biolay is arguably the strongest contender to the throne. He is a consummate master of the sultry boy/girl dialogue against an ostinato motif of swirling strings that Gainsbourg patented in the '60s, and that since the '90s has seemingly become the Holy Grail of a hefty chuck of the alternative scene (Pulp, Divine Comedy, Tindersticks, Blur, Portishead, Placebo, Suede, etc.). Nowhere is this more evident in La Superbe than in "Brandt Rhapsodie," where Biolay and Jeanne Cherhal act out an entire French film of the "couple conversation" genre inside of a five-minute pop song, with results that are -- much like those films -- as seductive as they can be infuriating. The same applies for much of this album. Biolay is clearly at the top of his game as a composer and arranger, and indeed La Superbe sounds like the ultimate decalogue of French sensuality, but there is a limit as to how many long-winded, cinematic, spoken monologues on sex, the futility of life, and languid bitterness a record can hold. This ambitious but definitely self-indulgent project plays almost like a suite and can too easily become a sensuous sonic blur, one where it becomes hard to discern individually memorable songs. It should be noted, however, that La Superbe was greeted with rave reviews in France, many judging it to be Biolay's masterpiece. Still, in spite of its impeccable realization, one cannot help but to recommend the perfect pop conciseness of early Biolay albums, such as Rose Kennedy or L'Origine, to the lush abandon and excess of La Superbe. ~ Mariano Prunes

Classical - Released January 1, 1997 | Archiv Produktion

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Electronic/Dance - Released June 3, 2013 | Domino Recording Co

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Between Insides and its follow-up Immunity, Jon Hopkins worked with King Creosote on the charming Diamond Mine, which set the Scottish singer/songwriter's ruminations to backdrops that were half rustic folk and half evocative washes of sound. Immunity isn't nearly as acoustic as that collaboration was, but its gently breezy feel lingers on several of these songs: "Breathe This Air" expands from a pounding house rhythm into a roomy piano meditation that recalls Max Richter as much as Diamond Mine, while the title track -- which happens to feature King Creosote's vocals -- closes the album on a whispery note. This feeling extends to the rest of the album in less obvious ways; Immunity is often a more blended, and more expansive-sounding work than Insides, particularly on songs like the Brian Eno-esque "Abandon Window" and "Form by Firelight," which offers a playful study in contrasts in the way it bunches into glitches and then unspools a peaceful piano melody. Some of Immunity's most impressive moments expand on the blend of rhythm and atmosphere Hopkins emphasized on Insides: "Collider" uses sighing vocals courtesy of Dark Horses' Lisa Elle as punctuation for almost imperceptibly shifting beats and a heavy bassline that helps the track build into a moody, elegant whole; meanwhile, the aptly named "Sun Harmonics" turns Elle's sighs into something angelic over the course of 12 serene minutes. Despite these highlights, the album still reflects how Hopkins' polished approach is something of a blessing and a curse. Immunity shows how he's grown, in his subtle, accomplished way, as a composer and producer, yet its tracks occasionally feel like the surroundings for a focal point that never arrives. Even if it doesn't always demand listeners' attention, Immunity is never less than thoughtfully crafted. ~ Heather Phares

Africa - Released May 5, 2014 | World Circuit

Distinctions 4F de Télérama - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio - Sélection JAZZ NEWS
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released March 3, 2010 | Parlophone UK

Distinctions 4 étoiles Rock and Folk - 5/6 de Magic - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Music
Gorillaz began as a lark but turned serious once it became Damon Albarn’s primary creative outlet following the slow dissolve of Blur. Delivered five years after the delicate whimsical melancholy of 2005’s Demon Days, Plastic Beach is an explicit sequel to its predecessor, its story line roughly picking up in the dystopian future where the last album left off, its music offering a grand, big-budget expansion of Demon Days, spinning off its cameo-crammed blueprint. Traces of Albarn’s Monkey opera can be heard, particularly in the hypnotic Mideastern pulse of “White Flag,” but Damon’s painstaking pancultural pop junk-mining no longer surprises -- when hip-hop juts up against Brit-pop, it’s expected -- yet it still has the capacity to delight no matter which direction the Gorillaz may swing. Lou Reed’s crotchety croak on “Some Kind of Nature” has the same kind of gravitational pull as Mos Def leading the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble through the intensely circling “Sweepstakes,” while the group reaches new heights of sparkling pop on “Superfast Jellyfish,” aided by the return of De La Soul -- the rappers who propelled “Feel Good Inc.” -- and an appearance from Gruff Rhys, the Super Furry Animals frontman who is an ideal fit for Gorillaz (possibly because SFA’s genre-bending pop and Pete Fowler artwork clearly paved the way for Albarn and Jamie Hewlett’s collaboration). A common thread among all these tracks is that they find Albarn ceding the spotlight to his fellow musicians, preferring to be the puppetmaster behind the curtain, and Plastic Beach works best when he’s the composer and producer, finding hidden strengths within his guests -- having Mick Jones and Paul Simonon for the elastic title track, coaxing some powerful performances out of Bobby Womack -- but often when Albarn takes center stage his laconic drawl lets the air out of the balloon. Curiously, much of this arrives toward the beginning of the album, the record gaining momentum as it unspools, working toward its climax, but the overall album accentuates moody texture over pop hooks. This emphasis means Plastic Beach is the first Gorillaz album to play like a soundtrack to a cartoon -- which isn’t entirely a bad thing, because as Albarn grows as a composer, he’s a master of subtly shifting moods and intricately threaded allusions, often creating richly detailed collages that are miniature marvels. Ironically, these individual pieces don’t add up to an overall masterpiece, possibly because the narrative is convoluted and strained, getting in the way of the pure musical flow, but also because it’s hard not to shake the feeling that this is a transitional effort, pointing toward a day when Damon Albarn will feel no need to front a band, not even in a cartoon guise. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Jazz - Released February 17, 2012 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard - Hi-Res Audio - Stereophile: Recording of the Month

French Music - Released June 21, 2010 | Naive

Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Victoire de la musique - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Sélection Les Inrocks
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Full Operas - Released August 21, 2007 | naïve Opus 111

Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - Diamant d'Opéra Magazine - The Qobuz Ideal Discography

Jazz - Released February 21, 2011 | Nonesuch

Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Indispensable JAZZ NEWS - The Qobuz Standard
Brad Mehldau's latest solo recording, the two-CD/single-DVD Live in Marciac begins with two tracks that contrast his astonishing technical facility and his considerable inventive gift for empathic interpretation. The opening "Storm" is an original four-minute exercise in furious counterpoint, expansive layered harmony, and swinging ostinato; it's followed by a complex yet utterly inventive lyrical reading of Cole Porter's "It's All Right with Me" that not only underscores the lyric in its full harmonic voice, but expands upon it with low- and middle-register arpegiattic studies from Bach and Brahms without losing site of the tune. These are but two of the many surprises on this recorded in 2006. Mehldau ranges over his catalog to revisit his own compositions -- including three from his celebrated first solo piano album Elegiac Cycle -- "Resignation," "Trailer Park Ghost," and "Goodbye Storyteller." These new readings offer an aural view of how much more is in those songs as he's investigated them over the years. Among the performances here are healthy examples of Mehldau's love of rock and modern pop music, including Radiohead's "Exit Music (For a Film)," which closes disc one. Disc two kicks off with another contrasting study, this one music from two musicians who died at their own hands: a thoroughly imaginative reading of Nick Drake's "Things Behind the Sun" (that appeared first on the Live in Tokyo album) followed by its mirror image, Kurt Cobain's "Lithium," using the same percussive left-hand patterns with inverted changes and syncopated lyric accents (they appear as a medley on the DVD). Mehldau also delivers a lovely reading of Lennon & McCartney's "Martha My Dear," where he juxtaposes its sweet melody against a slightly angular, dissonant set of changes. The set closes with a deeply moving imaginative "My Favorite Things," followed by a funky, slamming take on Bobby Timmons' "Dat Dere" (which is missing from the DVD for some reason). For Mehldau's fans, this is another opportunity to hear just how creative and versatile he is, even with familiar material. For the uninitiated, this is a grand opportunity to acquaint yourself with one of the most gifted jazz pianists on the scene. ~ Thom Jurek

Rock - Released July 13, 2009 | Parlophone UK

Distinctions 4 étoiles Rock and Folk - 5/6 de Magic - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Sélection Les Inrocks
Richard Hawley has always shown a penchant for writing deeply evocative and emotional songs about people and situations in his hometown of Sheffield. His early recordings, especially Lowedges, reflected his obsession with lushly orchestrated pop songs and a production style that extended a song far beyond its margins and into the listener's world with a near visual sensibility. This was even more true on the brilliant, near cinematic recordings Cole's Corner (2005) and Lady's Bridge (2007), where he took production skills and hometown images to a level that almost -- but not quite -- overtook the glorious melodies in his songs. Hawley created emotional atmospheres as well as sonic ones; nostalgia was a poetic device that evoked the ghosts of history, but were clearly present for the listener. On Truelove's Gutter (another Sheffield-inspired title), Hawley has dug the well much deeper and brought forth a spring of new ideas in his singing, writing, and production, but paradoxically, has done so with less. The album is more sparse than anything he's released. Its eight songs have a decidedly late-night feel. The grand sweeping orchestral strings of his last two albums have been replaced by a chamber section and odd instrumentation -- like megabass waterphones and crystal baschets -- that add real intimacy to the proceedings. These songs reflect his own experiences, or the trials and tribulations of friends. His gorgeous melodies shine through brighter in songs that are naked and unflinching, yet musically more sophisticated, adding depth of field. "Open Up Your Door" would be just a pop song were it not for lyrical concerns underscored by the only chamber arrangement: it's a plea for reconciliation by a husband who confesses and owns his shortcomings, while professing an all-consuming love for his spouse as strings swell and punctuate the bridge. The melody is infectious, and Hawley's soaring baritone evokes the power of Roy Orbison's tenor. It is followed by the country-ish "Ashes on the Fire," whose melody is as revealing as its lyric; it's a devastating tale of someone who wrote -- and delivered -- a letter confessing an passionate love, only to discover its burnt remains in the dustbin. Hawley conveys his protagonist's complex emotions without judgment. His beautiful guitars support the storyteller line by line. "Remorse Code," at nearly ten minutes, melds acoustic and electric guitars with a drum kit played with Dean Beresford's bare hands. It's an observation tale of a friend who likens his life to a shipwreck. The lyric and melody are elementary; there isn't an extra note. Hawley's extended guitar solo underscores its powerful subject matter as a device and illustrates what a terrific storyteller he is. "For Your Lover Give Some Time," perhaps the album's most beautiful -- and wryly humorous -- track, confessionally reflects on his relationship with his wife; Hawley promises to deal with his failings but also points out hers. It's a complex meditation of committment detailing the worthy effort involved in maintaining its bond. "Don't You Cry," at nearly 11 minutes, utilizes Tibetan bowls, glass harmonicas, and a fisherman's lyre in an empathic reflection on getting stuck in the expectation of a moment that never arrives. Truelove's Gutter is a singular moment in Hawley's catalog that displays the maturity of all his gifts. It is quietly passionate yet graceful and elegant. He's realized an ambition here that is artful and singular. ~ Thom Jurek

World - Released October 1, 1993 | Naive

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc du Monde de la Musique - 4F de Télérama - The Qobuz Ideal Discography

Quintets - Released April 5, 2011 | BIS

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Choc Classica de l'année
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The immense popularity of his Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, both during his lifetime and into modern times, turned out to be almost something of a curse for composer Max Bruch. The violin concerto, his first foray into the concerto genre, was helped along by none other than Joseph Joachim. So widespread was the success of the concerto that Bruch found it difficult if not impossible to compose subsequent instrumental works that could stand against it. In the almost six decades between the completion of the violin concerto and Bruch's death, few works were even to come close. In addition to the concerto, this BIS album attempts to shed new light on some of his more neglected compositions, including the Op. 85 Romance in F major and the String Quintet in A minor, one of the composer's final works. Violinist Vadim Gluzman joins the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra under Andrew Litton for an exciting, dynamic performance of the concerto. Gluzman's playing is vibrant and energetic; his tone is both sumptuously warm and assertively powerful. Litton's orchestral leadership is equally enthralling. He does not simply race through the considerable orchestral tuttis, but adds shape, color, and interest throughout. Gluzman joins four other colleagues for a rare reading of the string quintet. Though written well into the 20th century, the quintet could just as well have been written in the mid-1800s; Bruch's commitment to Romantic ideals remained resolute right up to the end. The performance here is just as vivacious and edgy as the concerto, casting the little-heard work in its best possible light.