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Full Operas - Released November 24, 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Record of the Year - Gramophone Award - Gramophone Record of the Month - Victoire de la musique - 4 étoiles Classica
We will gladly forgive the occasional "weakness" in sound technology in this recording of Troyens by Berlioz (recorded live in concert in April 2017). In light of the first-rate quality of the music and vocals that appear on the disc (a majority of which are French voices, with Stéphane Degout at their head) this immense work is from the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra and the three choirs which have been brought together – because the work demands immense swelling choirs – which are the choir of the Opéra national du Rhin, the Opéra National de Bade, and the Strasbourg Philharmonic's own choir. This recording rests, of course, on the complete original edition, which gives the listener a chance to hear Les Troyens as the work was performed in 1863, at the Théâtre-Lyrique, in which some intense chopping saw Acts I and II condensed into one part and Acts III to V into another, producing two distinct operas (La Prise de Troie and Les Troyens à Carthage). We also get a taste, naturally, of Berlioz's immensely rich orchestral innovations: with every new work, he would invent some exciting new prototype from scratch, never content to rest on his laurels. The listener should note the presence of six saxhorns, recently invented by Adolphe Sax (of whom Berlioz was an indefatigable champion, even if he didn't often use his instruments in his scores, no doubt because of the poor quality of the early instrumentalists who learned - however well or badly - Sax's instruments); bass clarinet, and an army of percussion pieces including several instruments which must have been rare in those days: crotales, goblet drums, tom-toms, thunder sheets... clearly, this is a milestone in the Berlioz discography. © SM/Qobuz
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Secular Vocal Music - Released November 10, 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Le Choix de France Musique - Victoire de la musique - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
This project originated, Sabine Devieilhe says, from her desire to tackle Lakmé. In fact, Delibes was able to compose for her heroine some of the most memorable pages for coloratura soprano, starting with the hugely famous "air des clochettes" [Bell Song]. And as Western ears at the time were eager for musical and poetic voyages, and sensations from far-off lands, we find these same Oriental fantasies with Maurice Delage, who himself went on a grand tour of India, where he found modal colours, but also in Madame Chrysanthème by Messager or Rossignol by Stravinsky, to say nothing of the Egypt of Thaïs as portrayed by Anatole France and Massenet. Sabine Devieilhe, who won the "Lyrical revelation" prize at Victoires de la musique classique in 2013 before winning "Lyrical artist of the year" at the same ceremony – certainly not an unfair judgement of this particular artist – started her recording career with recordings of Rameau, Bach and Mozart, before launching into the lyrical repertoire from more recent years… And with great success! © SM/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released April 24, 2015 | Erato - Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Victoire de la musique - Choc de Classica
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Chamber Music - Released July 15, 2013 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - RTL d'Or - Victoire de la musique - Hi-Res Audio
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World - Released May 22, 2013 | AGFB

Distinctions Victoire de la musique
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Electronic - Released June 25, 2012 | Parlophone (France)

Hi-Res Distinctions Victoire de la musique - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
Since the advent of acid jazz in the mid-'80s, the many electronic-jazz hybrids to come down the pipe have steadily grown more mature, closer to a balanced fusion that borrows the spontaneity and emphasis on group interaction of classic jazz while still emphasizing the groove and elastic sound of electronic music. For his second album, French producer Ludovic Navarre expanded the possibilities of his template for jazzy house by recruiting a sextet of musicians to solo over his earthy productions. The opener "Rose Rouge" is an immediate highlight, as an understated Marlena Shaw vocal sample ("I want you to get together/put your hands together one time"), trance-state piano lines, and a ride-on-the-rhythm drum program frames solos by trumpeter Pascal Ohse and baritone Claudio de Qeiroz. For "Montego Bay Spleen," Navarre pairs an angular guitar solo by Ernest Ranglin with a deep-groove dub track, complete with phased effects and echoey percussion. "Land Of..." moves from a Hammond- and horn-led soul-jazz stomp into Caribbean territory, marked by more hints of dub and the expressive Latin percussion of Carneiro. Occasionally, Navarre's programming (sampled or otherwise) grows a bit repetitious -- even for dance fans, to say nothing of the jazzbo crowd attracted by the album's Blue Note tag. Though it is just another step on the way to a perfect blend of jazz and electronic, Tourist is an excellent one. © John Bush /TiVo
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World - Released April 2, 2012 | Because Music

Hi-Res Distinctions Victoire de la musique - Sélection Les Inrocks - Hi-Res Audio
On 2012's Folila (which translates as "music" in Bambara), Mali's famed Amadou & Mariam, the husband-and-wife duo, effortlessly prove that "purist" alarm calls about melding popular and traditional musics across geographies because they dilute authenticity are not only inherently false, but their motivations are suspect. Amadou & Mariam originally cut twin albums -- same songs, tunings, and tempos -- one in New York with Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner, Santigold, Theophilus London, members of TV on the Radio and Antibalas, the Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears, and Bertrand Cantat. The other was a Malian offering, cut in Bamako with master musicians, including Bassekou Kouyaté on ngoni, Zoumana Tereta on sokou, and Toumani Diabaté on kora, to name a few. A possibility presented itself when they took the completed sessions to producer Marc-Antoine Moreau in Paris. He was asked to try to bring the albums together. Moreau enlisted other producer/engineers -- Kennie Takahashi, Renaud Letang, Josh Grant, and Antoine Halet -- to assist. The end result is an organic-sounding masterpiece of cross-cultural collaboration, sung in three languages -- Bambara, French, and English (sometimes in the same song). Production magic aside, this project wouldn't have succeeded were it not for truly amazing songs (written by the duo) and inspired performances by all the musicians. "Dougou Badia" features crunchy guitar interplay between Amadou's instantly recognizable percussive style and Zinner's more rockist attack; it's fuel for a soaring duet between Mariam and Santigold. "Wily Kataso" features Amadou & Mariam with Kyp and Tunde from TV on the Radio on lead vocals; the meld of the two guitarists with Kouyaté's ngoni and the popping rhythm section is infectious. "Metemya" features Shears and Amadou's voices with the latter's knotty, raw guitar and Wurlitzer from Antibalas' Victor Axelrod amid layers of organic percussion. "Nebe Miri" features London rapping and singing in complement to Amadou's lead vocals, all drenched in a soulful meld of harmonies, three guitars, keyboards, and dundun drums. "C'est Pas Facile Pour les Aigles" is a rave-up that combines highlife, power pop, and Bo Diddley, and features Ebony Bones singing with Mariam. On "Sans Toi," Mali's traditional instruments such as sokou and kamale ngoni appear alongside guitar, piano, and the duo's hypnotic vocals. The haunting "Mogo" features bass clarinet, ngoni, djembe, dundun drums, and slide and rockist guitars and chants. "Chérie" is simply presented with Mariam above a Malian children's choir, with Diabaté's kora adding a carefree rural feel to close it. Forget prejudices about "world music"; Folila is great music. Period. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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French Music - Released October 17, 2011 | Columbia

Distinctions Victoire de la musique - 3 étoiles Technikart
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released September 26, 2011 | Wagram Music - 3ème Bureau - 7th Magnitude

Distinctions Victoire de la musique - The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Described as France's answer to Eminem, Normandy rapper Aurelien Cotentin, aka Orelsan, proved he was just as capable of creating controversy as his U.S. counterpart with the leaked track "Sale Pute," a misogynistic tale of domestic violence that had everyone from women's rights groups to the Culture Minister calling for his music to be banned. Perhaps burned by the hostile response, his second album, Le Chant des Sirènes, slightly tones down his venom-spitting persona in favor of a more mature and reflective approach that largely deals with the pressures of his notorious rise to fame. Despite this less vitriolic lyrical stance, the album's sound is still just as dark as 2009 debut Perdu d'Avance, as Skread's claustrophobic production shifts from industrial dubstep ("Raelsan," "Mauvaise Idée") to aggressive crunk (Gringe collaboration "Ils Sont Cools") to nocturnal Streets-esque suburban rap ("Finir Mal") throughout, while even its poppier moments such as the Timbaland-inspired title track, the clattering R&B of "Si Seul" (featuring a rare melodic lead vocal from Orelsan), and the low-key acoustic hip-pop of "La Morale" are laced with a sense of melancholy that suggests the past two years have hit the 29-year-old hard. Elsewhere, the authentic old-skool vinyl-scratching pastiche of "1990" and the bizarre fusion of twinkling music boxes, nursery rhyme melodies, and childlike vocals on "La Petite Marchande de Porte-Clefs" briefly lighten the mood, while there are flashes of his former self on his biting attack on Parisian society, "Suicide Social." But while Le Chant des Sirènes is unlikely to make as many headlines as his previous output, it's an inventive if admittedly downbeat progression suggesting that the enfant terrible of French rap might be growing up. © Jon O'Brien /TiVo

Solo Piano - Released April 20, 2009 | Paraty Productions

Booklet Distinctions Victoire de la musique
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Rock - Released January 1, 2009 | Universal Music Division Barclay

Booklet Distinctions Victoire de la musique
Released in 2009, Izia is the self-titled debut album from the French singer/guitarist Izia, sister of Arthur H and daughter of Jacques Higelin. Co-written with Sebastien Hoog and Antoine Toustou, its 12 tracks fuse her Janis Joplin-esque vocals with a Nirvana/Led Zeppelin-influenced sound, and includes the singles "Lola" and "Back in Town." © Jon O'Brien /TiVo
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Africa - Released January 1, 2009 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Victoire de la musique - The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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French Music - Released January 1, 2008 | Universal Music Division Polydor

Distinctions Victoire de la musique
Following his previous star-studded Adieu Tristesse, 2008 follow-up L'Homme du Monde is a much more personal effort from Parisian singer/pianist Arthur H. Featuring 13 self-penned tracks sung in both English and French, the Jean Massicotte-produced album eschews H's usual piano-led ambient jazz for a more energetic, guitar-based sound. With lyrics inspired by the birth of his son a year previouslyn and his relationship with his own father, Jacques Higelin, it also includes the single "Dancing with Madonna." © Jon O'Brien /TiVo
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French Music - Released June 18, 2007 | Sentinel ouest

Distinctions Victoire de la musique
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Electronic - Released June 11, 2007 | Ed Banger Records

Distinctions Victoire de la musique - The Qobuz Ideal Discography
The Parisian duo Justice seem, for the most part, unfettered by niceties such as sonic subtlety or restraint. Combining French-touch house with large doses of heavy metal hedonism, the group's self-titled debut (aka Cross) privileges rock's devil-may-care mid-range thrash over electro's low-frequency thump. The album, in classic rave style, is all about colossal riffs. And Justice manages to pull out a corker of a pop-crossover hit with "D.A.N.C.E.," the album's first single. Instantly hummable, with its Sesame Street style singalong chorus, the song is an ebullient, slightly nostalgic nod to '80s electro-funk. Reminiscent of another act that ignited a youth culture revolution (Daft Punk), Justice seem intent on winning a new generation over with their head-banging house music. © Dave Shim /TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released May 9, 2006 | naïve

Distinctions Victoire de la musique
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World - Released January 1, 2006 | Universal Music Division Capitol Music France

Distinctions Victoire de la musique
3 stars out of 5 -- "'Ilham' is a beguiling rhythm from the Maghreb mountains with more passionate singing than the tasteful mob can muster..." © TiVo
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Pop - Released September 9, 2005 | Parlophone (France)

Distinctions Victoire de la musique
French heartthrob Raphael (that's Raphael Haroche, not to be confused with the veteran Spanish singer Rafael Martos, who goes by the same name) continues to soften his sound on his third album, Caravane. A longtime admirer of David Bowie, he's brought in two of Bowie's former sidemen, pianist Mike Garson, who plays piano on "La Route de Nuit," and guitarist Carlos Alomar, who plays throughout. Those musicians played with Bowie in the mid- and late '70s, but Raphael's musical approach here is somewhat closer to the early-'70s Bowie of Hunky Dory (though the album's concluding instrumental, "Funambule," is a child of Bowie's 1977 anthem "'Heroes'"). He is somewhat less theatrical than his mentor, but also likes to mix his voice way upfront. Since his lyrics are simple and sentimental (though effectively put across by his expressive tenor), he is easily understood whether he's singing about good times ("C'est Bon Aujourd'Hui") or eulogizing an actor who died young ("Chanson pour Patrick Dewaere"). Even English speakers with a little French (or high school students studying the language) are likely to have little trouble getting the gist of his messages, and even those who don't will appreciate the melodic pop/rock sound © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2005 | Universal Music Division Polydor

Distinctions Victoire de la musique
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World - Released November 8, 2004 | Because Music

Distinctions Victoire de la musique - The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Amadou & Mariam, the blind couple from Mali, have certainly paid their dues over the last 30 years, and it's about time they received their big break. Certainly given the excellent reviews in Europe, Dimanche a Bamako could be it, thanks to the production and participation by the elf prince of world music, Manu Chao. He brings a playful lightness to their soulful, bluesy Malian sound, letting in plenty of sunshine, and drawing in a sense of place through the ambience of traffic sounds and snippets of conversation. Chao is also obviously present on several tracks, such as "Senegal Fast Food," which offers a bouncy, reggae-styled rhythm so typical of Chao's own records. But even when not so obviously asserting himself, his presence is felt in the space he creates, and the use he makes of Mariam's admittedly limited voice (she's good, but no one will ever mistake her for one of the word's greatest singers), as on "Beau Dimanche," for example. Lyrically, this is very much an album of love songs, postcards between the couple, but it never veers into maudlin sentiment. Yet there's also a political edge to it, such as with "La Realite." Even if you don't understand the words, however, the entire disc is an absolute aural joy, poppy enough to be exquisitely memorable, yet with layers of resonance underneath. Likely to be one of the world music albums of 2005, it can hopefully find the kind of wide audience it surely deserves. © Chris Nickson /TiVo