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Classical - Released September 1, 1973 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released August 28, 2020 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet
For his first release on Alpha, the clarinettist and conductor Jörg Widmann celebrates the music of a composer who wrote some of the finest pieces ever devoted to his instrument: Carl Maria von Weber. With the ensemble of which he is principal conductor, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, he has recorded the Clarinet Quintet (in its version with string ensemble) and the Concertino, composed in 1811 and 1815 respectively, along with the ever-popular Overture to Der Freischütz. The pianist Denis Kozhukhin joins Widmann to perform the Grand Duo concertant. This album is the first in a series of recordings that will also give us a chance to meet Jörg Widmann in his role as one of the most active composers of his generation. © Alpha Classics
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Symphonic Music - Released July 28, 2009 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Exceptional Sound Recording
Stemming from the same fertile compositional period as the majority of his clarinet works, composer Carl Maria von Weber was also hard at work penning two symphonies (in fact, his only two forays into this genre) and his lone Concerto for bassoon and orchestra. Though written only a few short years after Beethoven's revolutionary Third Symphony, Weber seems little interested in innovation apart from his use of scherzos in place of minuets. Rather, these two early works are more Haydn-esque in their melodies and accompaniment, and Mozartian in their frequent use of wind concertante parts. The Bassoon Concerto, one of the few available from this time period, may not be revolutionary, but is still a virtuosic tour de force proving that the instrument is easily capable of holding its own in front of an orchestra. Conductor Jean-Jacque Kantorow leads the Tapiola Sinfonietta in these unfailingly precise, crisp readings of these early Weber works. The orchestra's sound is wonderfully balanced, light but not fluffy, and vigorous without being frantic. The wind section puts forth one beautifully performed solo after another. Bassoonist Jaakko Luoma dazzles listeners in the concerto with his extremely musical playing coupled with an abundantly facile technique. BIS' sound is clean and well-balanced; the multi-channel SACD track adds even more depth and spaciousness. © TiVo
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Classical - Released March 19, 2021 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
Carl Maria von Weber wrote music that has been admired by composers as diverse as Schumann, Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Ravel and Stravinsky. But in his lifetime he was also recognised as one of the finest pianists of the period, with an exceptional technique and a brilliant gift for improvisation. Especially during the 1810s he toured extensively, and like other composer-pianists he wrote works to use as his personal calling cards, among them the two piano concertos recorded here. They were both composed in 1811-12, but while the First Concerto takes Mozart’s concertos as its model, Piano Concerto No. 2 looks towards Beethoven. This change of direction was probably influenced by the fact that Weber had acquired a score of Beethoven’s recently published "Emperor" Concerto. In any case there are some striking similarities between his concerto and Beethoven’s: the use of identical keys, and the inclusion of a slow, subtly orchestrated Adagio and a closing playful rondo in 6/8. Weber is unmistakeably Weber, however: a highly original orchestrator whose music is at turns brilliant, melancholy and charming. These qualities are to the fore also in the Konzertstück from 1821, in which the composer liberates himself from Classical models and finds a new path. Much admired by Liszt, the work is a kind of symphonic poem in four sections, played without a break. © BIS Records
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Chamber Music - Released January 29, 2013 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles Classica - Exceptional Sound Recording - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released February 15, 2003 | Warner Classics

Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
Right after Mozart and Brahms, every clarinet player's favorite composer is Weber. He wrote a delightful concertino, an exquisite quintet, and not one but two terrific concertos for them. Each one is unique, wonderful, and extremely gratifying to play. Gratifying, that is, for those who can play them: Weber's works for clarinet are amazingly difficult to play at all and even more difficult to perform with the bravura virtuosity they demand. Sabine Meyer's 1985 recordings of Weber's clarinet works were controversial in their time -- some thought her too dramatic, some too polished, some too reserved -- but time was on Meyer's side and her performances have come to be regarded as classic recordings, poised, polished, and yet still passionate. But even at the time, Meyer's performances were recognized for their virtuosity and expressivity and even those who couldn't warm to her interpretations had to acknowledge her technical brilliance and tonal beauty. Re-mastered and re-issued in 2003, Meyer's performances sound better than they ever have, with the slight glare of EMI's early digital sound reduced and the presence of the instruments increased. © TiVo
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Classical - Released March 1, 2011 | Oehms Classics

Carl Maria von Weber's piano music, with the exception of Invitation to the Dance, is not nearly as well known as his operas, but it deserves more attention. Michael Endres makes a strong case for the music in this two-disc set. The most significant works, the four sonatas, are full of drama, colorful pianism, and lyrical melodies, particularly in Endres' hands. The sonatas are on a similar scale to those of Beethoven and Schubert, with the drama built of sharp contrasts in key, humor, and dynamics, and with beautiful, cantabile slow movements. Weber, like Beethoven, also took advantage of the size and scope of the piano's sound. Endres vividly brings out the drama and the brilliance of virtuosic passages, while maintaining a sense of refinement and ease with the music. The waltzes are particularly polished, but Endres' also recognizes their folk elements and gives them a wonderful energy and sparkle. The showpieces of Weber's piano works are the sets of variations, obviously written to impress audiences. Again, Endres handles the technical challenges easily and cleanly. In the second set here, the Variations on the aria "Vien'qua dorina bella," he is always aware that the theme was originally a vocal work, playing with song-like phrasing and coloring. The sound of the recording could be a little richer, but it doesn't hurt Endres superb performance. © TiVo
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Classical - Released February 26, 2021 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet
The historical-performance movement has moved profitably into the 19th century, but the music of Carl Maria von Weber has so far mostly not benefited from such treatment. The present recording is not the very first historically informed performance of his masterwork, the opera Der Freischütz, but when this release appeared in 2021, there hadn't been one for at least 15 years. The title The Freischütz Project does not really mean anything; what listeners get here is a set of excerpts from the opera, linked to but recorded independently of a 2019 Paris production and featuring the same performers. The physical album comes packaged with a DVD containing actual scenes from the production, but listeners may do well with the CD itself, for it is the instrumental sounds that are the chief attraction. The cast, led by powerhouse soprano Johanni van Oostrum as Agathe, is solid, but for the real revelations, listen above all to the "Wolf's Glen" scene in the second act. It is always the center of this opera, but here, it produces a genuinely uncanny sound with the creaking low brass and other supernatural effects. It's not just the brass and winds, though, that are distinctive; hear the chattering, scraping strings in "Schau', der Herr mich an als König," from the first act. It's not clear from the notes exactly what instruments, strings, and bows were used and how much is the contribution of the instrumentalists of the Insula Orchestra or conductor Laurence Equilbey, but whatever the case, the sound world of the opera holds together solidly as the work proceeds. Erato's sound (from the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées) is very good, and one may hope that this group of excerpts can serve as a prelude to a CD release of the complete opera. © TiVo
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Concertos - Released November 1, 2006 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
The billing of moderately well-known Swedish clarinetist Martin Fröst in last-name-only large type, above that of composer Carl Maria von Weber, may seem a bit presumptuous, but Fröst delivers what he presumes. This is a superb recording of Weber's clarinet music, which is attractive for its mixture of an extreme virtuoso language with Germanic formal logic. Weber wrote all of the music here for a star clarinetist, and, listening to the opening movement of the Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in F minor, Op. 75, especially, it is hard to imagine that he did not have the feats of Paganini in his head. Yet everything is fitted, smoothly and inventively, into the logic of sonata form. Leaping cadenzas, for instance, may serve as transitions between thematic areas. Plenty of clarinetists have tackled these fearsome works, but few have understood this duality as well as Fröst -- and then combined that understanding with an awe-inspiring fluidity of sound across the entire range of the clarinet. In the central movements of the two concertos, and in the long, sober introduction to the single-movement Concertino in E flat major, Weber scales back the decorative writing in favor of long, Beethovenian cantibile lines, and here Fröst shows an impressive ability to extend an utterance over the musical long term. Jean-Jacques Kantorow and the Tapiola Sinfonietta complete a near-perfect picture of Weber's clarinet music. If you are looking at the cover and wondering how a quintet can be played by a sinfonietta, the answer is that Kantorow has arranged this other major Weber clarinet work for orchestra. Some of the more intricate chamber-music logic of this work is lost in the arrangement, but it still makes sense to put all of Weber's clarinet music, which stands apart from the rest of his output, together on one disc -- a disc that may well be around for decades. Taken together with BIS' release of Iberian and French flute music by Israeli flutist Sharon Bezaly, this disc suggests that the label is revitalizing the tradition of the virtuoso soloist in innovative ways, with very exciting young players pursuing repertory that, if not exactly obscure, has lost its zing. Impressively transparent Super Audio sound is part of the overall success of the enterprise (this CD was auditioned on a good conventional system). © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 29, 2017 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
After winning the Tokyo Competition at the age of twelve as well as being nominated for the ‘Solo Instrumental Discovery’ prize at the Victoires de la Musique Classique at the age of fifteen, Raphaël Sévère went on to win the prestigious Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York in November 2013, where he was awarded First Prize and eight of the ten special prizes. Raphaël Sévère is invited to appear as a soloist with numerous orchestras in France and other countries, including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, National Philharmonic of Russia, Sinfonia Varsovia, Polish Chamber Orchestra, Budapest Chamber Orchestra, Württemberg Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St Luke’s and Hong Kong Sinfonietta. Jean-Frédéric Neuburger has rapidly established himself as one of the most brilliant musicians of his generation. Having attracted attention as a finalist in the 2004 Long-Thibaud International Competition, he embarked on a high-profile career as a pianist, characterised by the exceptional variety of his repertory from Bach to composers of the twenty- first century. He soon had the opportunity to perform with the most prestigious orchestras throughout the world, including the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Bamberger Symphoniker and NHK Symphony Orchestra.
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Chamber Music - Released August 9, 2019 | Naxos

Hi-Res Booklet
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Classical - Released August 9, 1994 | Naxos

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Classical - Released August 9, 1994 | Naxos

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Classical - Released January 1, 1997 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released April 24, 2020 | LSO Live

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While the full opera is now rarely performed, Weber's Overture to Euryanthe has taken on a life of its own in the concert hall and serves as a window onto some of the most exciting moments in the whole work. Gardiner programmed and recorded this piece as part of his Schumann series with the London Symphony Orchestra, and the brooding intensity of Weber's score hints at the music to come from his fellow countryman. © LSO Live
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Classical - Released August 4, 2008 | Warner Classics

Distinctions Diapason d'or - The Qobuz Ideal Discography
The stars of this recording of Der Freischütz are conductor Joseph Keilberth, the Chorus of Deutschen Oper Berlin, and the Berlin Philharmonic. The chorus sings with wonderfully full, warm tone and high spirits, creating vivid characterizations of the hunters, peasants, bridesmaids, and spirits that populate the opera. The Berlin Philharmonic performs with complete assurance and stylishness, beautifully capturing the atmosphere of the opera's widely diverse scenes, and Keilberth keeps the dramatic tension high. The leads are more than adequate, but not stellar. Rudolf Schock is a bland Max, and his voice lacks the sheen and resonance to give him a real heroic presence. As Agathe, Elisabeth Grummer conveys a woman of fragile temperament through a somewhat tremulous tone. She has no difficulty with the role's demands, but there is a pronounced change in timbre between her upper and middle registers, most noticeably in "Und ob die Wolke sie verhülle." The secondary roles are more memorably taken. Lisa Otto is an adorable, perky Ännchen, and she sings with silky smoothness. Hermann Prey is a powerful Ottakar, and best of all is Gottlob Frick, hugely resonant and authoritative in the small role of the Hermit. This performance includes the spoken dialogue, which is delivered with great effectiveness. EMI's sound is clean and creates a good sense of dramatic space. © TiVo
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Full Operas - Released April 7, 2015 | CPO

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released August 8, 1994 | Naxos

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Classical - Released August 9, 1994 | Naxos

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