Albums

Classical - Released October 19, 2018 | Glossa

Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice
Download not available
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
$18.99
$12.99

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
$15.49
$11.99

Jazz - Released August 31, 2018 | ACT Music

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
To say that Vincent Peirani shook the world of jazz accordion is an understatement... In 2015, his album Living Being further broke down the preconceptions of the instrument. "I wanted to start my own band, in which I needed to feel confident", explained the accordionist. I wanted to feel like a "family". That’s why I got in touch with four musicians who are good friends of mine". Peirani teamed up with Emile Parisien, his partner from the duo Belle Epoque, as well as the bassist Julien Herné, the drummer Yoann Serra and the keyboardist Tony Paeleman... The compositions by Peirani and the covers of Michel Portal and Jeff Buckley make Living Being an incredibly holistic album. These young musicians succeed in closing the gap that sometimes exists between composition and improvisation. Vincent Peirani's writing is touching and imaginative yet also surprising and elusive. The accordionist is from a generation that draws its inspiration from various musical sources, hence the albums’ richness. Three years later, with the same group members, Living Being II (Night Walker) is also wonderfully rich. Peirani also includes four covers alongside his eight compositions: Bang Bang by Sonny Bono, What Power Art Thou, an extract from King Arthur by Purcell and two hits by Led Zeppelin, Kashmir and Stairway To Heaven. His approach towards this atypical choice of covers is fascinating, as is the way in which his instrument adapts the score of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. Living Being II (Night Walker) is principally the success of a group who are in perfect equilibrium. Osmosis at its best. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
$15.49
$10.99

Classical - Released March 9, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice
The Tenebræ responsories come from an immense collection of polyphonic music for Holy Week, the Officium Hebdomadæ Sanctæ, published by Victoria in 1585, which brings together several pieces written during the twenty years he spent in Rome. The responsories, brought together here, form part of a much longer Tenebræ, which essentially combined the monastic Hours of matins and lauds, for each of the final three days of the Holy Week. One of the characteristic traits of this service consists in the progressive extinguishing of fifteen votive candles until the church is finally plunged into the darkness from which the ceremony draws its name. The responsory is one part of a much broader liturgy, which was for the most part sung in plainsong. The musical richness of Victoria's polyphonic compositions made a striking contrast to this liturgy. Such an effect is harder to effect in concert, or even on a recording, where we are outside the liturgical context: here, we have uninterrupted polyphony. While the music is very varied, the uninterrupted use of the same mode and the same textures in three or four pieces throughout these 18 Responsories could, at times, give the impression that one is listening to a single piece. To counteract that impression, here and there the Stile Antico vocal ensemble has introduced extracts from readings of the Lamentations, sung in plainsong at the end of each Responsory. And so the contrast is restored. The programme closes with the luminous and oh-so-soothing six-voice motet for Holy Week O Domine Jesu Christi, again published in Rome in 1576. © SM/Qobuz
$13.49
$8.99

Classical - Released February 2, 2018 | Ilona Records

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama
$14.49
$10.49

Duets - Released January 26, 2018 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama
The Hantaï brothers – Marc on traverso and Pierre on the harpsichord – give us here everything Bach “really” composed for flute and harpsichord, as some possible falsely attributed works are not featured here. Compared to the violin – which counts six sonatas and partitas for solo violin and six sonatas for violin and obbligato harpsichord – the transverse flute may look like the forgotten sibling in the Kantor’s works. But at the time the transverse flute was still a very recent instrument, that had just come (back) from France (where it was called the “German flute”) and Bach only started using it in his cantatas around 1721-1722, and therefore only had a very limited dedicated repertoire. These four sonatas are anything but a collection. Two are missing to reach the sacred number of six. Furthermore, they were composed over a period of twenty years. And while one may be tempted to confer them the balance and symmetry desired by the arranger – two sonatas with obbligato harpsichord (BWV1034 and 1035), two with basso continuo (1030 and 1032), two in minor, two in major, two in three movements, two in four, two in E, and two fifths ascending or descending from this central E, etc. –, all of it might be merely fortuitous; they are rather a “blended” family. However these works for flute have in common the fact of being clouded by great uncertainty – whether it is about their chronology, the date of composition, the intended recipient, their form, their main instrumentation, their creation… So all is left for the listener is to experience them, performed here on a flute made by Joannes Hyacinth Rottenburgh (first half of the 18th century) from Brussels, and a harpsichord after Mietke (Berlin) made in 1702. © SM/Qobuz
$15.49
$11.99

Jazz - Released January 26, 2018 | ACT Music

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
Love and peace. The program of this album by Joachim Kühn has the merit to be clear. With drummer Eric Schaefer and double bass player Chris Jennings, his trio formed in 2015, the German pianist, now 73, seems to have found a new playground in which the strength of his melodies proves central. Rather labelled as an avant-gardist—or even free—musician, Kühn, who has always rejected conventions throughout his extended career, is of course not sinking here into simplistic and plain music. Quite the contrary. Through rather concise themes, mostly original, aside from pieces from the Doors (The Crystal Ship), Mussorgsky (The old castle from Pictures at an exhibition) and Ornette Coleman (Night Plans), he lightens his improvisations and takes the time to play with space and even with silences. Released in 2016, Beauty & Truth, the first disc from the trio, already let you hear this somewhat uncommon Kühn. With Love & Peace, he found an inner peace which makes his music even more moving. © MD/Qobuz
$17.49
$12.99

Folk/Americana - Released January 19, 2018 | Columbia

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama
When they released The Big Black and the Blue in 2010, Johanna and Klara Söderberg were 20 and 23 years old respectively. The two Swedish sisters quickly made a name for themselves at the top of the charts thanks to their covers of songs by Fleet Foxes, Lorde, Jack White and even Black Sabbath… Though throughout it all, First Aid Kit imposed their own style. A sort of dreamy folk that was as fresh as it was mesmerizing, at the heart of which shimmered vocal harmonies… For their fourth album, the Söderbergs flew off to the West Coast of the United States. Written in California (Los Angeles) and recorded in Oregon (Portland), Ruins is without a doubt  their most beautiful achievement. It’s the strongest tie between their native Sweden and the America of their dreams. Produced by the wonderful Tucker Martine, an expert in classy country, this is a record that above all draws its inspiration from America's rich heritage (from the Gram Parsons/Emmylou Harris period to the recent Fleet Foxes) while staying true to its authors. Sparkling arrangements, smooth rhythmics, intense vocal harmonies and notable guests (Peter Buck from R.E.M., Glenn Kotche from Wilco and McKenzie Smith from Midlake), everything’s there to make their folk-rock even more luxurious than on The Lion's Roar (2012) and Stay Gold (2014). It’s almost impossible not to role out the old cliché: an album of maturity. © MD/Qobuz
$14.49
$10.49

Duets - Released October 13, 2017 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik

Secular Vocal Music - Released April 7, 2017 | naïve classique

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Diapason d'or / Arte - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année
Download not available
2017 marks the 450th anniversary of Claudio Monteverdi, one of the fathers of modern music, who gave a major impulse to expressivity and individuality of expression. Rinaldo Alessandrini’s benchmark recordings of the madrigals, the Vespers, L'Orfeo etc., contributed to unani-mously establish the Roman conductor and his ensemble Concerto Italiano as the leading ambassadors of Monteverdi today. "Notte. Storie di Amanti e di Guerrieri" offers a selection of highlights from Monteverdi’s most famous madrigals and instrumental movements: Lamento della ninfa, Combat-timento di Tancredi e Clorinda, Ho’r che’l ciel e la terra, sinfonias from Monteverdi’s three operas etc. A heart-stretching pro-gram in which Rinaldo Alessandrini’s sci-ence of light, emotions and colors is at its highest.
$14.49
$10.49

Secular Vocal Music - Released November 25, 2016 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama

Classical - Released October 28, 2016 | Glossa

Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
Download not available
$14.49
$10.49

Solo Piano - Released October 21, 2016 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles de Classica
$15.49
$10.99

Sacred Vocal Music - Released October 21, 2016 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama
$14.49
$10.49

Classical - Released August 26, 2016 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama
$13.49
$8.99

Sacred Vocal Music - Released August 19, 2016 | Ricercar

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
$16.49
$14.49

Jazz - Released June 3, 2016 | Nonesuch

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Indispensable JAZZ NEWS
Brad Mehldau's warm, utterly enveloping effort, 2016's Blues and Ballads, finds the pianist leading his trio through a set of well-curated standards and covers. The album follows up his genre-bending 2014 collaboration with electronic musician Mark Guiliana, Mehliana: Taming the Dragon, and smartly showcases his return to intimate acoustic jazz. Admittedly, the title, Blues and Ballads, is somewhat misleading, as Mehldau only tackles one actual blues with his jaunty, off-kilter take on Charlie Parker's "Cheryl." Otherwise, the blues of the title is implied more in the earthy lyricism of a handful of ballads. An influential figure in the jazz world since the late '90s, Mehldau has subtly transformed not only the way modern jazz is played, but also the repertoire from which musicians draw inspiration. He was one of the first jazz artists to rework modern alt-rock songs by the likes of Radiohead and Nirvana, imbuing them with a delicacy and harmonic nuance that both celebrated the original recordings and recontextualized them within the jazz canon. While the song choices on Blues and Ballads are by no means as adventurously maverick as that, they are well chosen and make for supple listening. Here, Mehldau and his longtime bandmates bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard dig into thoughtfully selected compositions like the Beatles' "And I Love Her," transfiguring the minor/major-key centers into something sweeping and operatic. Similarly, cuts like "I Concentrate on You" and "These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)" feel both well-considered and off the cuff, as if Mehldau and his trio simply decided to start playing during the afterglow of a jovial dinner party. Surprisingly, it's Jon Brion, who produced Mehldau's 2002 album Largo, who offers the pianist one of the album's most poignant moments with his original ballad, "Little Person." Based around a deftly simple melody, in Mehldau's sympathetic hands the song is the musical equivalent of a child's tears. While Blues and Ballads is by no means Mehldau's most ambitious album, it's nonetheless a work of expansive emotionality and deeply hued beauty. ~ Matt Collar
$15.49
$10.99

Sacred Vocal Music - Released April 29, 2016 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica
$14.99
$12.99

Classical - Released April 8, 2016 | Erato - Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
$33.49
$23.49

Solo Piano - Released March 18, 2016 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Pianiste Maestro - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik