Albums

335 albums sorted by Date: from newest to oldest and filtered by Classical
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Chamber Music - Released January 25, 2019 | B Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Classical - Released January 18, 2019 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
A new aesthetic calls for new forms: such is the challenge the composer set for himself in the two works presented here. In Les Nuits d’été, Berlioz pioneered, well before Mahler and Ravel, a song cycle for voice and orchestra. In Harold in Italy, scored for large orchestra and solo viola, he experimented with the symphonic genre. These period-instrument performances by Les Siècles, led by François-Xavier Roth, with violist Tabea Zimmermann, also feature Stéphane Degout in the vocal cycle, heard here in the composer’s own version for baritone. File under: out of the ordinary. © harmonia mundi
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Classical - Released January 11, 2019 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Opera - Released November 30, 2018 | LSO Live

Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Symphonic Music - Released November 30, 2018 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
The four Nations by François Couperin (also known as "Couperin the Great") consist of France, Spain, the Empire and Piedmont (Italy, therefore), though it would be rather futile to look for any truly national characteristics in each of the movements of these four suites. And all the more so due to the fact that many of the pieces had already been composed well before the collection’s publication in 1726, and they were simply renamed... Yes, throughout the thirty-six movements of the work we do hear the French style on the one hand and the more Italianising style on the other, but the many interpolations make it, in fact, a kind of mixed European collection. At most, Spain is entitled to a few rare and truly Iberian turns of phrase, even though they are only visible under a microscope. Christophe Rousset and his musical ensemble Les Talens Lyriques approach these "trios" with joy and respect, knowing that the term "trio" does not necessarily imply three musicians; in fact, the melodic parts are entrusted to two oboes, two flutes and two violins, both together and alternately, while the continuo is played by the bassoon, harpsichord, gamba and theorbo, again either together or in various combinations depending on the musical texture. In this way, the thirty-six movements demonstrate the immense musical richness of these various nations, with all the diversity and contrasts that Couperin has assigned to them. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released November 30, 2018 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama
Looking at the program here, you may not have been aware that Robert Schumann contributed so many works to the cello repertory. He didn't; the two central works were originally written for other instruments and are presented here in versions for cello and piano. Nevertheless, there is no hint of the program being scraped together. This is because Argentine cellist Sol Gabetta has assembled a group of mostly late Schumann works (the Fantasy Pieces, Op. 73, might be called transitional) that aren't terribly common, probably have never been heard together before, and offer all kinds of insight into the late Schumann style that heavily influenced the young Brahms. The contrapuntally dense Konzertstück für Cello und Orchester, Op. 129, generally rendered as Cello concerto in English, was one such work; it's a thorny work that Schumann's contemporaries wouldn't touch, but Brahms would later write concertos that would similarly be accused of not favoring the soloist enough, but that continued to rethink the concerto form. The work gets a fine performance here, influenced by historical-instrument readings, from Gabetta and the Kammerorchester Basel under Gabetta's frequent collaborator Giovanni Antonini. Sample the first movement for an idea of the clarity they bring to Schumann's gnarly textures. Of course, another periodic aspect of the Brahms style was an interest in folk-like melodies, and here that's anticipated by a very rarely heard Schumann work, the Fünf Stücke im Volkston, Op. 102 (Five Pieces in Folk Style). This one is worth the price on its own; the five works move progressively away from folk models, and really the work is unlike anything else in the repertory. The two middle works are played well enough by the cello, and all in all this is a fine, even revelatory Schumann recital even if the cello concerto, recorded two years earlier than the other pieces, seems to inhabit a different sonic world.
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Classical - Released November 23, 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice

Classical - Released October 19, 2018 | Glossa

Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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One of the great composing figures from the French Baroque, Michel-Richard de Lalande is starting to receive his just dues through modern recordings, and Glossa is happy to unveil a new release featuring Olivier Schneebeli directing Les Pages et Les Chantres du Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles in three of Lalande’s sumptuous “grands motets”. Very much a favoured composer during the reign of Louis XIV, Lalande progressively assumed – from the 1680s onwards – more and more of the principal court offices, and was called upon to provide sacred music for the Chapelle Royale within the Château de Versailles. Although the new (and ‘definitive’) chapel was not consecrated until 1710, the trio of “grands motets” (extended multi-movement choral and solo settings, typically of Psalms, with instrumental accompaniment) recorded here will have been conceived of according to the chapel’s architectural and acoustical characteristics. Thomas Leconte, from the CMBV, provides an illuminating historical backdrop in his booklet essay. Much detailed performing information from Lalande’s time is known today – including number of instrumental forces used and about the composer’s later revisions of his scores – and Venite, exultemus Domino, De profundis and Dominus regnavit all receive expressive and meticulously-prepared performances within the Chapelle Royale itself. To the quality of preparation of the CMBV “maîtrise” can be added the presence of a quartet of vocal soloists deeply experienced in the style of music from this time: Chantal Santon-Jeffery, Reinoud Van Mechelen, François Joron and Lisandro Abadie. Likewise, the contribution of Jana Semerádová’s Collegium Marianum provides exemplary instrumental support to Schneebeli’s direction in this new CMBV production. © Glossa
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Classical - Released October 12, 2018 | Ramée

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
The present recording constitutes more than just a new version of the Vespers. It is the first recording of the Vespers in the alternative version proposed by the composer, without concertato instruments. It reveals the underlying matrix of the work we all know, the ‘original version’ to which Monteverdi added concertato instruments for use in large-scale performances. Respecting the structure of the Office of Vespers, Ludus Modalis has chosen to frame the psalms with the antiphons corresponding to a Marian ceremony. The interpretation proposed here is one influenced by the Renaissance tradition. It places the work in perspective in a musical world at the point of equilibrium between prima and seconda prattica, between the achievements of tradition and the contributions of modernity. © Alpha/Outhere
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Solo Piano - Released October 5, 2018 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Pianist Igor Levit moved from Russia to Germany when he was eight, but there's still a lot of Russian in his outlook: an attraction to the pure virtuoso tradition, and a tendency toward big statements and the big questions. Nowhere has this been more true than on Life, an album that succeeds both thematically and as a thrilling embodiment of late-Romantic pianism at its best. The title, and the contents, refer to the album's memorial function: Levit chose the program to honor a close artist friend who died in an accident. The music is monumental enough to live up to its death-haunted theme, rising out of silence in the Fantasia after J.S. Bach of Busoni and continuing with a remarkably sustained mood of soberness and dignity, punctuated by frenetic outbursts. Busoni is one major presence on the program; the other is Liszt, and the two come together in the Busoni transcription of the Fantasy and Fugue on the Chorale Ad nos, ad salutarem undam of Liszt, originally for organ and an impressive virtuoso task on the piano. So the program works well also as a revival of pure late-Romantic pianism: you can easily imagine that Liszt would have loved this, and loved to play it. A third theme interweaving the works on the program is that of reinterpretation, as in the Brahms transcription of the Chaconne from the Bach Partita for solo violin in D minor, BWV 1004; the fact that Levit has played these works in different orderings in recital testifies to the program's remarkable cohesiveness. There is music by Frederic Rzewski in a memorial vein, and Bill Evans' serene Peace Piece is a lovely conclusion. Bravo!
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Classical - Released September 14, 2018 | La Dolce Volta

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros - Choc de Classica
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Symphonic Music - Released September 14, 2018 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 5 étoiles de Classica
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Solo Piano - Released September 14, 2018 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released September 14, 2018 | La Dolce Volta

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros - Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released September 14, 2018 | La Dolce Volta

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros - Choc de Classica
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Theatre Music - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
With one of the very best orchestras in the world, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, one of today’s most fascinating conductor, Iván Fischer, offers one of the most beautiful recent interpretations of Mendelssohn’s integral A Midsummer Night's Dream. In other words: first the Overture, the phenomenal stroke of genius of a seventeen-year-old – one can only wonder where he discovered all of these orchestral inventions, as in 1826, templates were still rare and Berlioz had yet to enter the musical scene. Afterwards, the remaining pieces were composed sixteen years later for the theatrical presentation of Shakespeare’s play with musical interludes: thirteen very diverse pieces, ranging from the fabulous Scherzo − a masterpiece of finesse and orchestral invention – to delicious singing moments, as well as a pre-Mahler funeral march (reminiscent of Frère Jacques from Mahler’s Symphony No. 1), the overly well-known wedding march, the grotesque dance, and many more. There is little doubt that this is, if not Mendelssohn’s greatest masterpiece, at least one of his absolute pinnacle works. Presented here in a truly irresistible interpretation. © SM/Qobuz
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Keyboard Concertos - Released September 7, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica
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Violin Concertos - Released September 7, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Solo Piano - Released August 31, 2018 | ECM New Series

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
Since the first composers started calling their works things like "nocturnes" or "serenades", there has been music designed specifically to evoke the dusk or the night. And then from the romantic period onward, the night began to become associated with worry, or even terror. Schumann's Phantasiestücke (1837) contain at least one nocturne movement in which the night is presented in a terroristic light (so to speak). In der Nacht, one of the great Schumannian moments, is concentrated into scarcely four minutes. Seventy years later, Ravel took the fear even further with Le Gibet, the central movement of Gaspard de la nuit – even more night – which tells of the gibbet where the hanged men twist gently to the sound of the night chimes; while Scarbo closes the triptych on the image of a nightmare dwarf. Finally, while Out of Doors by Bartók isn't necessarily all set at night, the fourth movement, The Night's Music, remains one of the most unsettling moments in all of piano literature. Born in Budapest in 1968, Dénes Várjon studied with György Kurtág and András Schiff. The winner of Liszt prizes as well as of Budapest's Géza Anda and Leo Weiner competitions, he has performed at the festivals of Salzburg, Lucerne, Davos and with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the Zürich Tonhalle, the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and the Kremerata Baltica. © SM/Qobuz

Classical - Released August 24, 2018 | PentaTone

Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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In what sense Hayden's two concertos for cello – at least, the two that we know of as his, although he surely wrote more – are the fruit of a "Transfigured Night" is not clear, and isn't made more so by reading the booklet, although it is very interesting, historically speaking. But on the other hand, of course, Schönberg's Transfigured Night, still a classic of his tonal and post-Wagnerian works, clearly justifies the title. Hayden's concertos are played by the magnificent American cellist Alisa Weilerstein, herself a "privileged partner" of Trondheim Soloists who accompany her here (without a conductor) and give us Schönberg's version for string orchestra. Given that Trondheim is slap bang in the middle of Norway, we can well imagine how the night and the twilight – which lasts most of the day for several months every year – must be full of images of transfigurations to inspire our musicians! And let's recall briefly how this ensemble, founded in 1988, recorded the Four Seasons with Anne-Sophie Mutter in 1999, a veritable stepping stone to international fame. © SM/Qobuz