Albums

$18.99
$12.99

Chamber Music - Released January 25, 2019 | B Records

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

Classical - Released January 11, 2019 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
$22.99
$16.49

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
$17.49
$12.99

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.
$18.99
$12.99

Classical - Released November 23, 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice
$79.49
$65.49

Rock - Released November 2, 2018 | Columbia - Legacy

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Best New Reissue
For fans of Bob Dylan's wide-ranging Bootleg series, More Blood, More Tracks (Vol. 14) is an entryway into one of the most mysterious, tangled stories in his recording career. These six discs contain the complete recordings sessions for 1975's Blood on the Tracks, 87 tracks in all, the vast majority unreleased. This box assists in offering a view of the process behind one of the songwriter's most enigmatic albums. On September 16 of 1974, Dylan entered Columbia's Studio with engineer Phil Ramone, with songs at once seething with anger, brokenness, and vulnerability. Written and recorded during his eventual divorce from first wife Sara, Dylan shrouds these songs in alliteration and metaphor, stretching time itself as past and present, commingling in numerous locations; they separate and return in new configurations. His protagonists speak in first and third person, often in the same verse. Once encountered, however, they're impossible to shake. Presented here are the complete sessions of the four days in New York, chronologically recorded, and, for the first time at the proper speed (Dylan had Ramone bump the master tape speed to make the tunes faster for radio play), and without the substantial reverb on the original tapes. These tunes were cut in a fit of white-heat inspiration, first by Dylan solo, and then with a band of folk-associated sidemen in Eric Weissberg & Deliverance. By the time you reach discs three through five, all the accompaniment, save for Dylan's guitar, harmonica, Tony Brown's bass, and occasional pedal steel and organ, are stripped away, resulting in what was then thought to be the completed album. Scheduled for late December release with a promotional campaign drafted, printed cover, and test pressings distributed, Dylan wasn't satisfied. Ultimately, he kept only one band track, "Meet Me in the Morning." He spent Christmas in Minnesota with his producer brother David Zimmerman, who was also less than enthused with the tracks. Dylan called his label and insisted on holding the album back. On December 27, he and a band of hastily assembled local players re-recorded five songs to complete Blood on the Tracks (captured on disc six). Since nearly half-a-million copies of the cover were already printed, the Minnesota musicians remained uncredited until now. This is exhaustive but fascinating material that sounds fantastic due to a painstaking remixing job -- nothing here sounds like a rough demo. Check the nine takes of "Idiot Wind," some offer different words, all roil with anger and bitterness. "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go" is gradually revealed as one of Dylan's finest love songs in a dozen more takes. "You're a Big Girl Now," in 15 takes, is peeled away from its sarcasm to reveal a man saddled with regret. Multiple versions of "Tangled Up in Blue," "Lily Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts," and "Simple Twist of Fate" offer proof that there were many versions of the songs before they assumed their final incarnations. Dylan's constant rewriting and creative flow are captured warts and all in false starts, stuttering alternate takes, studio conversation, and flowing inspiration in complete versions. There are hours of fascination awaiting listeners, and the music poses as many new questions as it does answers surrounding the album's mythos. As for the autobiographical nature of the content, it remains, thankfully, unclear. The enclosed photo book is as essential as the liner essays in the deluxe package. By any measure, More Blood, More Tracks is a monumentally important document in the history of popular music and a gem in Dylan's catalog. ~ Thom Jurek
$20.99
$17.99

Rock - Released October 12, 2018 | Concord Records

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama
From the release of his debut album, My Aim Is True, in 1977, Elvis Costello expressed his musical gluttony by mixing explosive pub rock, reggae tones, almost country-like ballads and pop songs sculpted with crystalline arpeggios. It was this eclecticism that allowed him to work with people as diverse as George Jones (the godfather of country music), Burt Bacharach (the master of pop lounge), the mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, the jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, and even the rappers from The Roots, just to name a few… Forty years later, the elusive spectacled Brit (having always been fond of concept albums), releases Look Now with the Imposters, featuring Steve Nieve on keyboards, Davey Faragher on bass and Pete Thomas (already the drummer of his group Attractions). This group, with whom he recorded Momofuku in 2008, give him the chance to get his writing pen out once again… and it’s as sharp as ever. Here he has shared the writing responsibilities with the great Carole King on Burnt Sugar Is so Bitter, co-written 25 years earlier, as well as with Bacharach on Photographs Can Lie and Don't Look Now. Once again, it feels like Costello is searching for the perfect pop song. He takes an approach that screams 1960s. However, the timelessness of the album anchors the songwriter well in his time, in 2018. Costello succeeds in writing melodies and lyrics that stick in his listeners’ heads. A good song, as we all know, is ageless and Elvis Costello certainly reminds us of that here... © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
$12.49
$7.99

World - Released October 12, 2018 | Glitterbeat Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
$22.49
$18.49

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!
$11.99
$7.99

Alternative & Indie - Released October 5, 2018 | Domino Recording Co

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama
A guitar held up by the neck, a child's head pressed against the holder's body. Cat Power reveals a lot with the cover of her tenth album. The American is up and running again and now she is a mother. At 46, Chan Marshall seems to be doing... better? Well, It's not as if her life, which has been studded with internal chaos, turbulence, a lot of moving around, depression and addiction is going to be all plain sailing from here on in, but Wanderer contains some of her most beautiful songs yet. Stripped-down compositions. A simple piano. A few notes on a guitar. A lean rhythm section. It's clear that the message here is "less is more." Perhaps her aim is to return to the roots of her old folk and blues mentors. Bringing a child into the world during the Trump era is enough to get anyone thinking again... And Cat Power hasn't sung for years. Her tones with their bluesy style, unmistakeable from the first syllable, reach sublime heights here. After a slightly electro detour with Sun, mixed by Zdar from Cassius, she doesn't give us too many surprises here in terms of the pretty classical form of her songs, but the surprise comes in the sheer quality of the tracks. One of her biggest fans, Lana Del Rey, makes an appearance on the album on the track Woman maintaining the sober feel to this beautiful and honest record. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz  
$13.49
$8.99

Contemporary Jazz - Released September 21, 2018 | Label Bleu

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Indispensable JAZZ NEWS
$14.49
$10.49

Symphonic Music - Released September 14, 2018 | Aparté

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

Solo Piano - Released September 14, 2018 | Mirare

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

Keyboard Concertos - Released September 7, 2018 | Warner Classics

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

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
$20.99
$17.99

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
Download not available
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
$17.99
$14.99

Symphonies - Released August 24, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Diapason d'or / Arte - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik - 5 étoiles de Classica
The Second Symphony by Leonard Bernstein, The Age of Anxiety, based on a poem of the same name by W. H. Auden, is a work of the composer-conductor's relative youth, dating from 1948-1949, when he was just turning thirty. The symphony is presented as a series of variations, but not variations around an initial theme. No: each variation takes on elements of the previous variation, varies in turn, and so on. It brings to mind an unbroken metamorphosis. As one might imagine, Bernstein mixes classical symphonic elements with jazz, in particular in the solo piano passage – tackled here by Krystian Zimerman, who had the good fortune to perform with Bernstein several times. In its own way, it is a kind of homage to the centenary of the composer's birth: as Zimerman mentions in the liner notes, Bernstein asked him if he wanted to play this symphony with him for his hundredth birthday. And he almost keeps the promise, although the orchestra is the Berlin Philharmonic, under Sir Simon Rattle. © SM/Qobuz
$13.49
$8.99

Lieder (German) - Released August 24, 2018 | Alpha

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

Full Operas - Released May 2, 2018 | PentaTone

Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Record of the Month - Diapason d'or / Arte - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica
Download not available
The story of the Pêcheurs de perles [Pearl Fishers] by Bizet is nothing short of torturous: after its first outing in 1863, the score – whose manuscript is now in private hands and no longer available, alas – fell into obscurity, and was only returned to its rightful place in the sun after the composer's death, once Carmen had made his name. Alas – a thousand times, alas – many different theatre directors took themselves for great geniuses and made little amendments to the work, cutting here, adding there, changing bits up to and including the end. Until the 1960s, this calamitously cack-handed version was the one that was performed – this libretto looks a little flat, why not add a few mistakes? – until musicologists stumbled across the original documents, in particular the cut-down version by Bizet himself, as well as the "conductor's score" of the time, which contained many notes about orchestration. This version, put together in 2014 by Hugh MacDonald, is sung by the flower of great French lyrical music – Julie Fuchs, Florian Sempey, Cyrille Dubois and Luc Bertin-Hugault – and returns as closely as possible to the original version of the work, so that the listener will encounter a number of big surprises, and good surprises too: additional numbers, several melodic and dramatic developments: almost a whole new score. © SM/Qobuz