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Quartets - Released November 30, 2018 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica - Exceptional Sound Recording
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Overtures - Released November 16, 2018 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Exceptional Sound Recording
From the moment they were performed, Gioachino Rossini’s overtures have enjoyed the status of colourful, elegant orchestral showpieces. With their sweet cantilene, their rich harmonies, their brilliant orchestration, and their powerful and exciting rhythmic drive, these overtures encapsulate all that was modern, exhilarating and electrifying in Rossini’s music, yet maintain their freshness and attraction to modern audiences. This album features a collection of Rossini overtures, taken from less well-known operas such as La Scala di seta, Tancredi, La gazza ladra, Matilde di Shabran and Semiramide, as well as from the classic comic operas L’italiana in Algeri and Il barbiere di Siviglia, concluding with the preludes to Rossini’s French operas Le siège de Corinthe and Guillaume Tell, in which the composer explored musical Romanticism. The overtures are performed by the Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, which has played a seminal role in the Rossini renaissance of the last three decades. The orchestra is led by its Musical Director Michele Mariotti. Being born in Rossini’s native town Pesaro, Mariotti cherishes a life-long affinity with the city’s most famous son, and is commonly considered as one of the outstanding Rossini conductors of his age. He frequently works with the world’s most prestigious opera houses. © Pentatone
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Symphonies - Released November 9, 2018 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Exceptional Sound Recording - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Symphonies - Released November 9, 2018 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Exceptional Sound Recording
What a curious and charming piece of work the First Symphony by Witold Lutosławski is! Written in 1947, it is still borrowing from Stravinski, Bartók, Prokofiev and clearly Roussel, and yet it display the composer's own personal ideas, and his flawless skill in orchestration. But he had not yet made the dodecaphonic style his own, nor the principle of randomness which would be found later in 1961's Jeux vénitiens (Venetian Games). In his case, randomness refers to musicians or groups of musicians having the freedom to play their different parts when they feel like it, or when the conductor gives them a cue. But for sure, this piece's formal framework is still constrained: every performance will shed a different light on it, but it is still the same work. The album finishes with the Fourth Symphony, the composer's last, written between 1988 and 1991, performed in 1993 with Lutosławski himself conducting before his death a few months later. In this work he makes a clear return to his harmonic and melodic ideas, which at times approach Mahler or Bartók, even though the discourse remains decidedly modern. The contrast between the First Symphony, Jeux vénitiens and the Fourth Symphony could not be more spectacular, and it gives a brilliant picture of the evolution of a musical genius who embraced a wide range of influences, constantly adapting them to his own style. © SM/Qobuz
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Cello Concertos - Released November 2, 2018 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Exceptional Sound Recording - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Lutosławski's Cello Concerto and Dutilleux’s Tout un monde lointain (also a cello concerto) are linked by their unique destinies. Both were led by Rostropovitch; both were started in 1967 and both were created by the patron in 1970. Both were performed "in the West": one in London, the other in Aix-en-Provence; and that's when things started to unravel for Rostropovich, who fell out of favour with Brezhnev's regime in the USSR. When the soloist left the USSR for good in 1974, Lutosławski's Concerto suffered the same fate in the East and was hardly played there for a long time. While the two works are perfectly contemporary, and the two composers as well, the difference between them couldn't be greater. Whilst Lutosławski's Concerto seems to describe chaos, with a soloist part that resembles a Don Quixote battling against an orchestra, Tout un monde lointain bathes in a fantastical light, where the cello is primus inter pares with the orchestra. Two visions, both so different, defended here with the same ardour by cellist Johannes Moser, who has worked on them and played them many times over, and his experience has produced a recording where every inflection is carefully chosen. © SM/Qobuz
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released October 26, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Exceptional Sound Recording - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Two composers who in one way or another sang about the horrors of war, and two who lost their lives in it: Ian Bostridge's takes a successful gamble here, with masterful accompaniment on the piano by Antonio Pappano. The first two are from Kurt Weill with Four Walt Whitman Songs in which the poet laments over the soldiers who died in the War of Succession, and Gustav Mahler, three of whose Lieder(s) taken from Knaben Wunderhorn cruelly and repugnantly evoke the lives of poor young people, peasants and people who are barely through with their school years, sent to be torn apart on every possible and imaginable front. More directly concerned, if one may say so, are George Butterworth - who fell at the Somme in 1916, aged thirty-one, and whose A Shropshire Lad is without a doubt the greatest masterpiece here. Rudi Stephan fell at the Galician front in 1915 aged twenty-eight. His cycle Ich will dir singen ein Hohelied is a climax of unsettling eroticism... Would the fate of German music have been different if this genius had been able to act as a counterbalance, for example, to the emerging dodecaphonic music? Bostridge gives it his all here in this sad centenary of the end of the “war to end all wars”, which we know was tragically not the case. © SM/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released August 10, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Record of the Month - Exceptional Sound Recording - 5 étoiles de Classica
If Leonard Bernstein was one of the greatest conductors from the second half of the 20th Century, his interpretation job never outshone his composer one. But the durable and worldwide success of West Side Story has often irritated him, as it left in the shadowed the rest of his abundant and varied catalog. Antonio Pappano has had the good idea to gather the three symphonies from Bernstein in a single album recorded in several concerts in Rome with his Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, which reaches under his baton an international dimension. Bernstein had a special relation with this institution that he has frequently conducted. Jeremiah, Bernstein’s first symphony, dates from 1944. Bernstein was 26 and wrote it the same year as his first ballet for Broadway, Fancy Free.He blends genres in a way that is now typical of him, disturbing many timorous music lovers who don’t understand that this dichotomy is the result of his genius. This first symphony sung in Hebrew denounces the horror of the Holocaust in Europe. 1949 is the year of The Age of Anxiety, his strange second symphony inspired by a long and difficult poem by W. H. Auden. Rarely played because of his difficult solo piano section that few interprets possess in their repertoire, this symphony is a succession of “themes and variations”. If the beginning flirts with the European Art music, notably from Prokofiev, it ends in a syncopated sentimentalism in the style of the great Hollywood movies. The excellent pianist Beatrice Rana (who has recorded for Warner Classics a very exciting Second Concerto by Prokofiev with the same conductor, as well as, more recently, the most talked-about Goldberg Variations by J. S. Bach) is here a brilliant and convinced performer of the work. Written in 1963 and dedicated to President Kennedy, Kaddish, his third symphony, is probably the most personal work of this trilogy. Heterogeneous as is all Bernstein music, it goes together with a text written by him that caused a scandal because of his iconoclastic arrogance, as Bernstein is giving advice to God to better rule mankind… Unsatisfied with his text, the composer did several revisions of his work to give it the form that is mostly used today. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released May 4, 2018 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Exceptional Sound Recording
Absolute Jest, written in 2011 and revised a little later, is one of John Adams's most irresistible works. The composer borrows liberally from Beethoven, from the quartets but also the Ninth Symphony, to distil a furious, sumptuously-orchestrated score – alongside a solo string quartet, which could render the work a sort of concerto, Adams has added a harp and a piano, both tuned according to the meantone temperament, a way of blending tones and sounds together – which is rich in allusions ("tattoos", in Adams's phrase) to Ludwig van. The final movement, however, makes no bones about its debt to Stravinsky's Symphony in Three Movements. Highly original, Absolute Jest was written for Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Orchestra (a Qobuzissime of summer 2015), but the evidence is that every new performance uncovers new facets of the work. The same applies to Naïve and Sentimental Music, written for the Los Angeles Philharmonic (and there exists a superb recording of it, by Salonen with Nonesuch); note though that the score is neither naïve nor sentimental, but ferocious and original; the title is surely a borrowing from Schiller (Über naive und sentimentalische Dichtung), which classified Shakespeare and Homer as "naïve" poets. Among some slightly unusual sounds, the listener will note an electric guitar and a piano linked to a sampler… © SM/Qobuz
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Secular Vocal Music - Released April 27, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Exceptional Sound Recording
We could say that the composers chosen here by Sébastien Daucé and the Ensemble Correspondances cover England from 1600 to 1700, from Coprario's generation (real name Cooper, but Italicised for fashion reasons!), Johnson and Lanier, all born before the turn of the 17th century, up to Hart and Blow who died just after. Step by step, we follow the integration of the new art brought over from Italy, although the typically-Italian recitations remain coloured by "declamation", a typical feature of English music. Another clear pivot is the twenty-year musical hiatus between the start of the Civil War in 1642 and the Restoration with Charles II's return to the throne, and in between, the Puritan religious dictatorship of Cromwell, which tried to ban more or less any form of celebration, including music. A number of English artists chose exile in the countryside, teaching music, or went abroad. This comprehensive selection spanning a whole century allows the Correspondances ensemble, a broad group of singers and instrumentalists, to show their deep knowledge of this whole epoch, which is extremely rich despite often precarious conditions of life and threats to survival. © SM/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released April 13, 2018 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Exceptional Sound Recording
Among the many young talents which are currently developing on the musical scene, a select few are particularly spellbinding. One of these is Florian Noack whose generosity and solar brilliance shine through from the very first listening. His vivaciousness and curiosity are thrilling and infectious. His "twenty-five" fingers gallop marvellously across the keyboard. And most important of all, his sincerity and humility command respect.  A traveller to the heart of national folk musics, he shares in their unique flavours, by turns exquisite and powerful; he sometimes offers his own unique arrangements... Pianist Florian Noack invites us here on a stunning musical adventure: his first recording for La Dolce Volta, after several albums for Ars Produktion and Artalinna. Florian Noack's album is structured around dance: Brahms, Grieg, Schubert, Rachmaninov, Szymanowski, Komitas, Janáček, Nín, Martucci, Grainger, for a virtuous, poetical and intimate sequence. Florian Noack deploys all the range of his talent to bring us the quintessence of these pieces, which in other hands would seem banal. This is an utterly charming album, which will not leave anyone indifferent: that's for sure! © La Dolce Volta
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Violin Concertos - Released April 13, 2018 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Award - Gramophone Record of the Month - Exceptional Sound Recording - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - 5 étoiles de Classica
Today, Finland is one of the richest musical countries on Earth. Thanks to the exceptional quality of its musical teaching it produces numerous composers, conductors and artists who perform all over the world. The very rich catalogue of the dynamic Finnish publisher Ondine contains several recordings of the German violinist Christian Tetzlaff (Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin) by Bach, Mozart's sonatas, Trios by Brahms, concertos by Mendelssohn, Schumann and Shostakovich); and the Finnish conductor Hannu Lintu (Sibelius, Mahler, Enescu, Berio, Messiaen, Lindberg, Melartin), but it is their first record together. Bartók's two Violin Concertos were written thirty years apart, for two virtuosos. While the Second Concerto in the form of variations on a theme that develop ingeniously across three movements, has been well-known for a long time, the first remained unheard for years. Written as a declaration of love for the Hungarian-Swiss violinist Stefi Geyer, for whom Bartók had fallen, it was a secret kept by the dedicatee: it was only long after the composer's death that the violinist let Bartók's patron and close friend, the conductor Paul Sacher, know about the work. He would see that it was performed, with Hansheinz Schneeberger, but only in 1958. Bartók's two concertos, essential parts of the repertoire for violin and orchestra would enjoy a well-deserved resurgence in interest among a younger generation of violinists – the recording of the same works by Renaud Capuçon for Warner came out a few weeks ago. This new version, magnificently recorded, carefully explores all the orchestral richness, in perfect dialogue with Christian Tetzlaff's outstanding violin. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released April 6, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Exceptional Sound Recording - 5 étoiles de Classica
The remarkable Turkish pianist Fazıl Say (born 1970) here offers us a suitably remarkable album, recorded in 2016 in the Great Hall of the Salzburg Mozarteum and given over to the Premier Livre of Debussy's Préludes – 1910 – which he sets up in against the six Gnossiennes by Satie (1890 for the first three, 1897 for the latter three) and to the pieces which made him famous, the Gymnopédies of 1888. It's quite stunning to hear these works and to reflect on the fact that Satie's works actually come before Debussy's Préludes – by almost two decades, in fact. It is hardly surprising the Satie has been thought a real avant-gardist both in his day and by minimalists today. Considering how different these two were, it was natural that they should have been friends, especially given Debussy's tendency towards jealousy of his contemporaries... But it is impossible to be jealous of a kind, bubbly soul like Satie. Say brings immense tenderness to these two opposite poles – poles so far removed that they almost join back up. © SM/Qobuz
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Symphonies - Released April 6, 2018 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Exceptional Sound Recording
The symphonies of Swedish composer Allan Pettersson cannot easily be classed as conservative or progressive, and it is no surprise that they have been gaining new performances outside Sweden. They are monumental, rather dark, and suggest the sound of a Mahler who had lived to hear atonality more than an avatar of the Scandinavian tradition: Pettersson organizes works around large-scale contrasts and an attempt to encompass vastly different materials. The two works here are quite different but are representative of his style, and they receive fine performances from the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra under Christian Lindberg. These works, like most of Pettersson's other symphonies, are in a single movement: the track listings on the album denote mere breaks in the music. The Symphony No. 5, however, retains aspects of the traditional four-movement form. Sui generis as far as form is concerned is the Symphony No. 7, from 1967. Early commentators took it as a throwback to tonality, and in fact it works toward tonal resolution at the end. But the earlier instances of tonal chords are not resting places at all, but moments that point toward someone else, and there are passages of vast, dark, Mahlerian chaos. Sample the section denoted Bar 255 here for an idea of Pettersson's orchestral canvas. The key to interpretation of his music is a sense of the long line, and here Lindberg excels; moreover, he gets from the Norrköping Symphony a bright edge in the very high string writing that Pettersson favors, just one of the superb regional ensembles Sweden has produced over the years. Strongly recommended for those enamored of the Scandinavian school. © TiVo
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Classical - Released March 23, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Exceptional Sound Recording
After the volumes dedicated to Vivaldi's great instrumental cycles, La Stravaganza (2004), La Cetra (2012) and L’Estro armonico (2015), English violinist Rachel Podger continues her work with her Brecon Baroque ensemble to bring out this version of the Four Seasons, which is rounded off with three violin concertos. Brecon Baroque is an offshoot of the festival of the same name that takes place every year at the end of October, in Wales. A magical place at the confluence of two rivers, where the spectacular countryside draws visitors every year in their hundreds. A passionate fan of the music of Vivaldi and Biber, Rachel Podger, who studied in Germany, demonstrates through her performances just how much the Red Priest's music (and her herself, following Biber) can cloak itself in the mysterious and bizarre, to the point that Vivaldi appears here as a distant descendant of the mannerists from the late Renaissance and early Baroque period. This is a particularly interesting and successful take.
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Symphonic Music - Released February 9, 2018 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Exceptional Sound Recording
‘Travel’ and ‘journey’ are often appropriate metaphors for the music of the Estonian composer Erkki-Sven Tüür (b. 1959). The composer himself describes his viola concerto Illuminatio as a “pilgrimage towards eternal light”, and with his Symphony No. 8 he stresses the importance of a “constant sense of ‘being on the road’”. This says something essential about the dynamics, growth and development of his music. To take a broader view, Tüür’s entire career may be described as a journey: in the course of his professional life beginning in the 1980s, he has thoroughly revised and reformed his idiom and compositional precepts. His ambitious journey began in rock music while at the same time he was studying flute, percussion and composition at the Conservatory. Since 1992 he has been a freelance composer. In his early career, Tüür developed a ‘polystylistic’ approach that combined minimalist and tonal elements on the one hand, modernist features on the other, into an idiom where he juxtaposed elements from different and seemingly incompatible styles, seeking both contrasts and syntheses. In the early 2000s, he went through a transition that resulted in his new composition technique. Here, “the entire composition is encapsulated in a source code – a gene which, as it mutates and grows, connects the dots in the fabric of the whole work”. All the works on the present album are from this period. The core of Tüür’s output consists of extensive orchestral works (including nine symphonies and several concertos), chamber music and vocal works. Whereas the viola concerto can be compared to a journey, Whistles and Whispers from Uluru (2007) for recorder and chamber orchestra was inspired by a landscape and a sonority. The piece was written to a commission from the Australian Chamber Orchestra for recorder virtuoso Genevieve Lacey, who also plays on this album – several different recorders, from sopranino to bass. Some sonorities are enhanced by electronic means. When a composer has written nine symphonies, the genre is obviosuly very important for him. In the case of Tüür, the term ‘symphonic’ must be understood in a broad sense – not as a strict formal scheme, but rather as a uniquely shaped and independently formed structure in each work. Tüür’s symphonies form the hard core of his output, spanning the length of his career, the first dating from 1984 and the latest from 2017. The symphonies vary greatly in terms of form, ensemble and idiom. Symphony No. 8 was commissioned by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and was completed in 2010. Considering the resources of the commissioning party, Tüür scored the work for a sinfonietta-type ensemble instead of a large symphony orchestra, and as a result the music has at times a chamber music feel. © SM/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released February 2, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Exceptional Sound Recording
In addition to Prokofiev’s two violin concertos – whose ample discography is brilliantly enriched by this interpretation of Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili and the excellent conductor Yannick Nézet-Seguin –, the album also features three treats from Prokofiev arranged by Tamás Batiashvili, the father of the aforementioned Lisa and a renowned teacher in his country. These are rewritings for solo violin and orchestra of the Dance Of The Knights from Romeo and Juliet, the Grand Waltz from Cinderella and the nefarious and quirky Grand March from The Love For Three Oranges. Batiashvili – the father – streamlines the message, allowing the solo violin to showcase its full power in moments that were bloated in the original partition, particularly in the rather bulky Dance Of The Knights which, losing some of its imposing weight, gained lyricism in return. As for the two concertos, they benefit greatly from the reasonably sized Chamber Orchestra of Europe, as it perfectly lets Prokofiev’s writing shine through. © SM/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released February 2, 2018 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Exceptional Sound Recording
No, no: we would never suggest that the music of the Swedish composer Dag Wirén (1905-1986) was in the slightest bit avant-garde. On the contrary, he always strove to write music which, while certainly novel, made for pleasant listening, without either dogma, or pedagogy, or a particular method. His oeuvre, more remarkable for its quality than its quantity, contains five symphonies, of which the Third from 1944 is presented here, and above all the renowned Divertimento for strings from 1957, in which one can discern the legacy of Grieg or Dvořák just as much as Honegger, whom Wirén venerated, or other musicians from the Group of Six; or indeed Shostakovitch in his more wily moments. The writing shares more than a few family resemblances with Jean Françaix, in its impeccable harmonic, thematic and architectural conceptions, all while retaining its light and transparent spirit. During his lifetime, his rejection of the avant-garde was a black mark against his name; but thirty years on from his death, this kind of consideration is no longer relevant. We can finally rediscover Wirén for what he is: an excellent composer. To cut a long story short, it was he who wrote the score to Absent Friend which was Sweden's entry for the 1965 Eurovision Song Contest – which was won by France Gall, under the flag of Luxembourg, and not of France, as it happens – Absent Friend was neither strictly pop, nor variety, but a piece of pure classical romance, a tragic waltz sung by a truly great operatic baritone, Ingvar Wixell, accompanied by an exclusively classical orchestra, without drums or anything of the sort! © SM/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released January 5, 2018 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Exceptional Sound Recording
This much awaited recording offers keenly idiomatic performances of the most famous works by Grieg, played by the composer’s own orchestra, the Bergen Philharmonic, and its Chief Conductor, Edward Gardner. The drama and passion of such favourite pieces as the incidental music to Peer Gynt and the Piano Concerto are superbly captured in surround-sound with exemplary Chandos sound quality. Unlike most existing recordings, offering only the orchestral suites, this disc presents numerous extra excerpts from Peer Gynt, which follow the sequence of Henrik Ibsen‘s dramatic poem, including sections for the unique Norwegian "Hardanger Fiddle". Having collaborated with the orchestra on several occasions, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet is the soloist in the Piano Concerto, a piece that stands out as a shining example of a single great thought captured and expressed in music. The power of this conception is evident throughout the concerto in the pianist’s faithful, yet highly romantic interpretation. © Chandos
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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released January 5, 2018 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Award - Exceptional Sound Recording
Alfred Schnittke and Arvo Pärt have both lived through the intense decades of upheavals that preceded the fall of the Soviet Union. From the 1970s, religion returned to public life as restrictions around it were relaxed. Schnittke turned towards Christianity, while remaining open towards Eastern religions. Arvo Pärt, from a family of Lutheran Estonians, embraced the Orthodox faith in the 1970s. The two composers both began to incorporate religious themes into their work, moving decisively away from the modernist abstraction of their early work. Schnittke wrote three religious works of great power: a Requiem in 1975 which could only be played in secret, disguised (what ignominy...) as stage music in a Muscovite production of Schiller's Don Carlos. His Choir Concerto, also with a religious theme, was performed in Moscow in 1986 after overcoming a daunting series of bureaucratic obstacles. On the other hand, the Penitential Psalms were performed out in the open in 1988 in as part of celebrations to mark a thousand years of Christianity in Russia. The style of this immense masterpiece is in line with Orthodox liturgical tradition, but Schnittke extends traditional principles to create modern sounds - in particular, rhythmical and harmonic modifications, which lend the work an intense richness. Like Schnittke's Penitential Psalms, the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis by Pärt are composed in a semi-liturgical style. The Magnificat dates back to one year after Schnittke's score was composed, in 1989. Pärt had been living in Berlin since 1981, where he refined his "tintinnabuli" technique. The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir which plays here is one of Estonia's foremost chamber music ensembles. Founded in 1981, it has been directed by Kaspars Putniņš since 2014. Its choral repertoire stretches from Gregorian chant and baroque to more contemporary music, with a particular focus on the work of Estonian composers, which the Choir works hard to spread beyond the country's borders. © SM/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released October 6, 2017 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Exceptional Sound Recording - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Vaughan Williams’ seventh symphony (1951), Sinfonia Antartica, reuses numerous materials from the stunning piece the composer wrote in 1948 for the film Scott of the Antarctic. Therefore none will be surprised by the extraordinarily visual orchestration and theme, which any listener – even ignoring the title or cinematographic influence – will immediately associate with vast windy flatlands, scintillating icy lights, Antarctica in all its splendour – and dangers, as Scott’s expedition ended tragically, that’s the least one can say. As a complement to the programme, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra (where they are used to the great cold!) and Andrew Davis provide us with Vaughan Williams’s Concerto For Two Pianos: initially created in 1933 for a single piano, the work was adapted to two pianos in 1946 in light of the tremendous difficult piano part, and the composer also took the opportunity to change a few sections. Here it is performed by two Canadians, Louis Lortie and Hélène Mercier. And finally you’ll discover the Four Last Songs sung by Roderick Williams, a kind of Vaughanwilliamsian equivalent to Strauss’ own Four Last Songs, even though Vaughan Williams’ four songs were first orchestrated after his death, by Anthony Payne in 2013 – scrupulously following the composer’s orchestral habits. A beautiful musical testament, created during the last few months of his life. © SM/Qobuz