The Qobuz Ideal Discography
With the Ideal Discography you (re)discover legendary recordings, all whilst building on your musical knowledge.
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Chamber Music - Released May 1, 2002 | Mirare
Lieder (German) - Released June 15, 2015 | INA Mémoire vive
Sacred Vocal Music - Released February 26, 2013 | Ricercar
French Music - Released October 19, 2009 | Naive
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
Electronic/Dance - Released June 3, 2013 | Domino Recording Co
Rap/Hip-Hop - Released March 3, 2010 | Parlophone UK
Jazz - Released February 21, 2011 | Nonesuch
Rock - Released July 13, 2009 | Parlophone UK
Quintets - Released April 5, 2011 | BIS
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.