Albums

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Solo Piano - Released February 2, 2018 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica
Like Stein’s fortepianos, the copy of a Walter and sons (a Viennese fortepiano once owned by Mozart) played here by Maxim Emelyanychev is equipped with a knee lever, the ancestor of the damper pedal. No doubt Mozart was inspired by the timbres, the dynamic and harmonic possibilities of this new instrument: the Fantasia in C minor that starts off this album highlights this orchestral − almost operatic − range, and in its profusion of themes, it express the most prominent contrasts, reaching great expressive density. The same accents can be found in Piano Sonata No. 14 in C minor, K. 457, while the Piano Sonata No. 16 in C major, K. 545 offers a dramatic respite. This “small sonata for beginners” was composed in 1788, preceding the “Jupiter” Symphony, also in C major: a beautiful gem, coming just before his monumental work. Its innocent melody revives childhood memories of the first piano lessons. Finally, the Piano Sonata No. 18 in D major, K. 576 was created as the first part in a cycle: “Six easy piano sonatas for Princess Friederike”. Composed in 1789, and in fact considered to be of great difficulty, it was Mozart’s last sonata. Anton Walter, the piano maker, started making a name for himself in Vienna in 1778. Like most inventors, he never stopped experimenting: while other workshops produced pianos at scale, Walter kept looking for “his ideal”; each instrument differed from the previous one in numerous details and ever-bolder additions. In total, he built around seven hundred instruments; here, Emelyanychev plays on a copy made by Paul McNulty, a great specialist of fortepianos and ancient pianos, with experience in manufacturing close to two hundred copies of instruments from Stein, Walter, Hofman, Graf and Pleyel. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released October 21, 2016 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Classical - Released November 6, 2015 | Erato - Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année
The Weber Sisters is rooted in Mozart’s life story and includes music inspired by Aloysia, Konstanze and Josepha Weber, three soprano sisters whom Mozart first met in the German city of Mannheim in 1777, when he was 21. Though he initially fell in love with Aloysia, who went on to become a celebrated diva, it was Konstanze who became his wife; she outlived him by nearly 50 years and did much to sustain and build his reputation after his death. The programme comprises songs, operatic and concert arias and orchestral numbers, and Sabine Devieilhe’s interpretations are typified by beauty of tone, a penetrating sense of drama and a scrupulous respect for the score and the text. Three of the highlights are: the concert aria ‘Popoli di Tessaglia’ – written for Aloysia – which rises to spectacular heights (specifically, the G two-and-a-half octaves above middle C); the sublime ‘Et incarnatus est’ from the C minor Mass – premiered in Salzburg by Konstanze, and ‘Der Hölle Rache’, written for Josepha as the second fireworks-filled aria of the Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte, a role that has brought triumphs for Sabine Devieilhe at the opera houses of Lyon and Paris. Her colleagues on this album are the Ensemble Pygmalion, the keyboard player Arnaud de Pasquale and the conductor Raphaël Pichon. © SM/Qobuz

Classical - Released June 15, 2015 | INA Mémoire vive

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Solo Piano - Released March 23, 2015 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama
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Classical - Released January 18, 2015 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
The cycle of Mozart's complete keyboard music by Kristian Bezuidenhout has gained plenty of notice for its sheer originality and energy, including some from U.S. Grammy nominators at the end of 2015 for this volume. It's one of the best of the Bezuidenhout cycle, using the fortepianist's copy of an 1805 Anton Walter instrument (by the great American-Czech builder Paul McNulty) to magnificent effect in the almost symphonic Piano Sonata in D major, K. 284. In that work, taking all the repeats in the finale and introducing substantial tempo rubato in the repeats, Bezuidenhout gives the work an epic quality. But he does this with all of Mozart's variation sets, including the small one recorded here at the beginning. The Piano Sonata in A minor, K. 310, with its slashing accents and tense atmosphere, takes on a Beethovenian quality. Bezuidenhout in general emphasizes the experimental, proto-Romantic side of Mozart's musical personality and greatly minimizes the graceful Classical (and French) side. Whether you accept this may be a matter of taste, but it works exceptionally well in the two sonatas here, masterpieces of Mozart's middle period in Bezuidenhout's hands. Highly recommended.
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Classical - Released January 1, 2013 | Deutsche Grammophon Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Hi-Res Audio
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Opera - Released February 14, 2014 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
There are many splendid recordings of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro that appeal to every taste, but there are relatively few that can be categorized as historically authentic, in the truest sense of the term. Of these, the 2014 Sony release by Teodor Currentzis and Musicaeterna may be the most thoroughly researched and carefully restored version available. Taking pains to consult original sources, and to use period instruments or modern replicas (including a fortepiano, a lute, and even a hurdy-gurdy), Currentzis creates a Classical sound that works brilliantly with the score as written and as Mozart intended, and makes the music as vivid and exciting as possible. Currentzis also has called for a historical approach to singing, and embellishments that were typical of Mozart's day are employed, as well as a more intimate delivery and purer vocal style with less vibrato. The cast may not feature international stars, but the artists are well-suited to Currentzis' goals of presenting Figaro in true period practice. Prominent in this production are Andrei Bondarenko as Count Almaviva, Simone Kermes as the Countess, Fanie Antonelou as Susanna, Mary-Ellen Nesi as Cherubino, and Christian van Horn as Figaro, who give their roles distinctive characterizations along with their impeccable vocal production. Sony's recording is rich in details and close enough to the musicians to give a front-row feeling. Le nozze di Figaro is presented on three CDs in a deluxe hardcover book that includes an interview with the conductor and the complete libretto in English, Italian, German, and French.
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Classical - Released March 25, 2013 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Hi-Res Audio
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Concertos - Released December 14, 2012 | Sony Classical

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released January 1, 2012 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Chamber Music - Released March 11, 2011 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released January 1, 2010 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Full Operas - Released October 7, 2010 | harmonia mundi

Booklets Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica - Exceptional sound
With Die Zauberflöte, René Jacobs continues his exemplary traversal of Mozart operas, having already recorded the da Ponte operas, La Clemenza di Tito, and Idomeneo. Jacobs has not only a formidable knowledge of historically informed performance practice, but a bold inventiveness and originality, and in the comedies, a bubbling, earthy wit. He is a master of comic timing, and there are many moments in Die Zauberflöte when he gives a lift or a pause to a phrase that's generally treated as routine, and spotlights a significant gleam of mirth or insight that might easily have gone unnoticed. For any listener who has loved this opera but has become jaded from overexposure to run-of the-mill or cute performances, Jacobs' version is likely to re-kindle a passion for its many delights. In the program notes he writes that it is "an exciting challenge to make the dialogue so lively and varied that listeners are not tempted to skip from one musical number to the next," and his success easily outstrips expectations. He simply offers so many surprises (some that might be considered daring or insufficiently respectful of the score) that even listeners who know the opera forward and backward will be kept on their toes. In his notes, however, Jacobs makes a scrupulous and systematic account for each of the apparent eccentricities of his interpretation, citing the libretto itself or the performing practices of Mozart's day. An example of his non-traditional approach is his treatment of the very long spoken interaction with Tamino, Papageno, and the Three Ladies that follows "Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja," in which he interjects sound effects and musical snippets and underscores some dialogue with improvisations on the fortepiano, in the manner of a melodram. The Three Ladies are so giddy that they sometimes can't help bursting into song, using music Mozart wrote but discarded before the premiere. Jacobs has a cast with the dramatic chops to pull off these hijinks with panache and naturalness so that they are genuinely funny without seeming silly. And they can sing! Few are international superstars; most are early in their careers, but they are attuned to the subtleties of singing Mozart and for the most part deliver outstanding performances. Daniel Behle's Tamino is pure and robustly heroic, and as Pamina, Marlis Petersen has a lovely lyrical innocence and plenty of strength. Daniel Schmutzhard and Sunhae Im as the secondary couple are absolutely secure vocally, and they bring a gleeful whimsicality to their roles. Anna-Kristiina Kaappola doesn't have as large a voice as is usually associated with the Queen of the Night, but it is consistent from its bottom to its stratospheric top, and her coloratura has a shimmering majesty. One gets the impression that her Queen is a physically small woman with a huge personality, a terrifying virago who sounds like she is spitting nails when she is angry. The smaller roles -- with Inga Kalna, Anna Grevelius, and Isabelle Druet as the Three Ladies, Kurt Azesberger as Monastatos, and Konstantin Wolff as the Speaker -- are all sung and acted beautifully. Marcos Fink doesn't quite have adequate vocal heft for the role, but his voice is warmly enveloping, and he makes an exceptionally humane and fatherly Sarastro; it's easy to see why the young lovers come to trust him. Jacobs' ensembles, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and RIAS Kammerchor, are entirely sensitive to the flexibility of his leadership and play and sing with spontaneous exuberance. The sound of Harmonia Mundi's beautifully produced album is wonderfully clean and lifelike, with excellent depth, clarity, and definition. Highly recommended.
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Classical - Released January 16, 2009 | Warner Classics

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - 4F de Télérama

Classical - Released January 1, 2003 | TransArt

Distinctions 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - 4F de Télérama
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