Albums

Jazz - Released January 11, 2019 | JMS Productions

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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91 years old and still loves... to play? On his album Improvised Stories (Words and Music), Martial Solal shows us the rules of the game, the rules of his game: "I improvised about twenty pieces, rather short ones, each one inspired by a name or a few words written on 52 small squares of paper picked out of a hat. All I had to do was close my eyes and pick one, and that would be my starting point. The whole thing was recorded in a single take, which explains why there are some repetitions and some wild, unexpected pieces... I played the same way I would at home in the morning, just wandering around on the keyboard." The result shows how Solal is a modest master of jazz piano, or just the piano full stop. Each piece lasting from one to five minutes, these delicious sequences don’t only tell the story of a musician, a city, an instrument, a track or whatever, but most of all the story of Solal himself. And as usual with his recordings, some of his younger colleagues would be wise to listen to these wonderfully fresh and incredibly intelligent improvisations. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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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
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Pop - Released November 16, 2018 | Elea

Distinctions 4F de Télérama