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Classical - Released December 29, 2014 | harmonia mundi

In almost 20 years, since the release of the much-acclaimed Cosi fan tutte in 1999 (with Gens, Fink, Güra), René Jacobs has recorded the entirety of Mozart’s great operas, a feat considered as one of the most important discographical achievements of the beginning of the 20th century for its theatrical force, volcanic intensity of direction and vocal quality.Among this renewed collection, the recording of Die Zauberflöte is most Mozartian in nature: after the discovery of a new interpretation of his Da Ponte trilogy and a profoundly reimagined approach to two other opera serias (Idomeneo and La Clémence de Titus), Jacobs works to sensitively combine an array of perspectives in The Magic Flute, going well beyond the Masonic elements and integrating a range of theatrical genres.This sometimes rather sombre work contains a rather welcome light to it! Anna-Kristiina Kaappola’s “Queen of the night” is beautiful although less virtuoso than the former Cristina Deutekom’s rendition or the radiant “double” Pamina/Papageno by Marlis Petersn and Daniel Schmutzhard. © Qobuz“[…] Jacobs wanted a stripped down Flute, one that is de-romanticised […] and here, he works in a disc-oriented, hyper-theatrical mindset. The work displays an energy capable of charming a traditional Viennese audience (the work was created in Vienna’s Theater auf der Wieden) without losing any of its philosophical and Masonic airs […]. The interpretation includes a subtle study of dialogues: how to move from song to spoken word (the scenes with the Ladies of the Night are particularly revelatory), how to weave them into the music with the help of a loquacious and blunt pianoforte […] A masterfully captivating work in which multiple listens are required to extract all its riches […] (Diapason, novembre 2010/Michel Parouty)
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Symphonies - Released April 7, 2015 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Karl Böhm's set of the last Mozart symphonies, recorded for Deutsche Grammophon between 1959 and 1966, rank among the greatest performances of these extraordinary works. The Berlin Philharmonic brings genuine warmth and vitality to the symphonies, yet maintains a poise throughout, which, in terms of balance and measured phrasing, is decidedly Classical. Böhm's rendition of the Symphony No. 35 "Haffner" is exciting in the outer movements, but steadily paced in the Andante and the stately Menuetto. The Symphony No. 36 "Linzer" is admirable for its clarity of form and sturdiness, though the performance is briskly paced to keep the music from seeming rigidly architectural. The Symphony No. 38 "Prager" glows with amorous feeling and humor, and Mozart's orchestral palette is at its most colorful in the Andante. After an intensely dramatic introduction, the Symphony No. 39 proceeds in a relaxed, gemütlich manner, and the slower tempi allow the winds to be fully resonant. In the Symphony No. 40, tenderness and pathos are emphasized over anxiety and drama, and Böhm's dynamics are carefully gauged to make this distinction clear. The Symphony No. 41 "Jupiter" is grand and energetic, and the Berlin Philharmonic's performance of the miraculous finale is this set's crowning achievement. © TiVo
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Classical - Released March 17, 2011 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
This release stands out from among both the dozens or hundreds of available recordings of Mozart's Requiem in D minor, K. 626, and from among the recordings in the catalog of France's Alpha label. On the latter count, while most of Alpha's recordings have been historically oriented, this one falls into glorious Russian tradition of luxurious expression, and the usual art-historical essay included with Alpha's discs is missing here (although the packaging does bear some gorgeous Byzantine iconography). The recording pairs four western European soloists, who traveled all the way to Novosibirsk for the lengthy recording sessions, with the New Siberian Singers and the chamber orchestra MusicAeterna under its conductor, Teodor Currentzis. This is not a large choir (33 singers), but it has the rich sound associated with Russian opera choruses, which is what this group does as a general rule. If you're thinking this sounds a bit like Mozart as conducted by Rachmaninov, you're about right, especially in the sections where the dying Mozart seems to gaze into the fires of hell. The considerably more delicate soloists, especially alto Stéphanie Houtzeel, make a vivid contrast with the choir in this deeply colored, almost raw performance, which is nevertheless very carefully done in its details and sonically matched to the Novosibirsk opera house where it was recorded. By any measure this choir is a striking new talent. © TiVo
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Classical - Released May 28, 2021 | Sony Classical

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Thematic albums have become widespread, and often enjoy varying degrees of success. The pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, long known for his seriousness and exceptional musical talent, has chosen two crucial years of Mozart's output as the programme for this album and the one that is set to follow it. In 1785, Mozart was at the height of his genius. He had just been initiated into Freemasonry, which was then in vogue in Vienna; he had finished the 6 Quartets dedicated to his friend Haydn; he had begun composing the Marriage of Figaro and gave numerous "Academies", playing his own works on the piano.These productive times form the basis of Leif Ove Andsnes's project, which brings together three contemporary and very different concertos, from the dramatic D minor (n° 20, K. 466), to the luminous C major (n° 21, K. 467), and the most original (and longest at 23 minutes), the powerful E flat major (n° 22, K. 482). The prodigious year of 1785 also saw the creation of the Fantasia in C minor which seems to recall the teachings of the fickle Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, the Masonic Funeral Music in the same dark tone and the Quartet with piano in G minor, another key in which Mozart wrote some masterpieces. By turns a pianist, a chamber musician and a conductor, the distinguished musician Leif Ove Andsnes offers up an album that is as historically coherent as it is musically successful. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released September 30, 2016 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année - Exceptional Sound Recording
« [...] Well recorded, in the hall of the Salzburg Mozarteum and on a singing instrument, the pianist-composer returned to Wolfgang Amadeus eighteen years after dedicating his very first record to him. At the time he was not approved unanimously, so much did he break with a clean Mozart on him, drawn with a line, smooth [...] Fazil Say has not calmed down over the years. So much the better! [...] the artist chooses the path of theater, surprise, fantasy at the same time as drama, when he highlights the modulations. An improviser as facetious as he is the fort in subject, Fazil Say grabs hold of these sonatas less to reinvent them than to project them into our imagination. [...] Almost everywhere else, this theatrical Mozart, alive, dominated by an irresistible loquacity, suddenly, without warning, lowers his tone and plunges in a fraction of a second into the very heart of some mystery. The slow movements have a finesse, a sensitivity, a candor rarely heard.» (Diapason, October 2016 / Alain Lompech)« A Mozart that is by no means classical and unclassifiable. Fazil Say offers his personal vision of Mozartian Sonatas with a dynamic, subtle, dazzling piano. One of the larger modern versions. [...] Listening is a big surprise. The variety of climates, the mobility of play so particular to Fazil Say work here admirably. It does not play for showing off, nor does it add incongruous effects. His Mozart is personal, simple and obvious at the same time. [...] The sound is direct, "vertical" and full of subtleties, but also of bursts, of striking contrasts in the same line of song. [...] Fazil Say dedicates a passion to Mozartian opera. In fact, he commits no error of taste, playing roles distributed from one hand to the other, while pushing the expressive limits of the Steinway admirably prepared and recorded in the acoustics of the Mozarteum of Salzburg [...].» (Classica, October 2016 / Stéphane Friédérich)   
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Full Operas - Released June 16, 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - The Qobuz Ideal Discography
' This set... put into the hands of those who have not yet unlocked the paradise of Mozartean opera, is worth... what ? A year at a foreign university ? I don't believe I exaggerate.' (Gramophone)
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Violin Concertos - Released May 6, 2014 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Hi-Res Audio
With several of her recordings of Romantic and modern violin concertos already issued on the PentaTone label, Arabella Steinbacher releases her first Classical-era album with this hybrid SACD of Mozart's Violin Concertos No. 3, No. 4, and No. 5. One may presume that she will eventually round out the series with the first two violin concertos and the Sinfonia concertante, but it's still a fine program for connoisseurs of Mozart and aficionados of Steinbacher's exquisite playing. Performing with Daniel Dodds and the Festival Strings Lucerne, she delivers all three works with bright sonorities and fluid grace, and plays with an elegance that is quite attractive. Even so, she reserves her virtuosity for the cadenzas (Wolfgang Schneiderhan's in the Violin Concerto No. 3, and Joseph Joachim's in the last two concertos), and the brilliance and warmth of her sound is well matched by the rounded tone of the orchestra, which in spite of its name includes woodwinds and horns. While the ensemble isn't a period orchestra, and Steinbacher makes no attempt to play in the historically informed manner, that's just as well, considering that the later vintage of the cadenzas would clash stylistically, and that this group of musicians obviously knew what they'd feel comfortable playing. In the end, it comes down to taste, and these are quite tasteful performances, so putting the historical debate aside, they are an enjoyable change of fare for this artist. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 9, 2020 | Sony Classical

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Symphonies - Released May 28, 2013 | Naxos

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Symphonies - Released May 31, 2019 | Alia Vox

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By the middle of 1788, at the age of 32, Mozart had reached the height of his creative maturity, dominated by the last three symphonies, absolute masterpieces that he composed in a very short period of time – barely one and a half months. This extraordinary “symphonic massif” consisting of three peaks – Symphony No. 39 in E-flat major, completed on 26th June, Symphony No 40 in G minor, completed on 25th July and Symphony No. 41 in C major, the “Jupiter”, dated 10th August – is unquestionably the composer’s “Symphonic Testament”.
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Opera - Released February 14, 2014 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles Classica - Hi-Res Audio
There are many splendid recordings of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro that appeal to every taste, but there are relatively few that can be categorized as historically authentic, in the truest sense of the term. Of these, the 2014 Sony release by Teodor Currentzis and Musicaeterna may be the most thoroughly researched and carefully restored version available. Taking pains to consult original sources, and to use period instruments or modern replicas (including a fortepiano, a lute, and even a hurdy-gurdy), Currentzis creates a Classical sound that works brilliantly with the score as written and as Mozart intended, and makes the music as vivid and exciting as possible. Currentzis also has called for a historical approach to singing, and embellishments that were typical of Mozart's day are employed, as well as a more intimate delivery and purer vocal style with less vibrato. The cast may not feature international stars, but the artists are well-suited to Currentzis' goals of presenting Figaro in true period practice. Prominent in this production are Andrei Bondarenko as Count Almaviva, Simone Kermes as the Countess, Fanie Antonelou as Susanna, Mary-Ellen Nesi as Cherubino, and Christian van Horn as Figaro, who give their roles distinctive characterizations along with their impeccable vocal production. Sony's recording is rich in details and close enough to the musicians to give a front-row feeling. Le nozze di Figaro is presented on three CDs in a deluxe hardcover book that includes an interview with the conductor and the complete libretto in English, Italian, German, and French. © TiVo
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Classical - Released May 21, 2021 | harmonia mundi

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By modifying the balance of the dialogue between the two protagonists, whom he turns into genuine alter egos, Mozart leads the genre of the sonata for fortepiano and violin onto the road to modernity. Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov present here the third volume of an exciting complete set on period instruments. Their playing, showing "great elegance and utter rigour", is distinguished by "a tender and delicate expressiveness served by exceptionally subtle nuances" (Classica). © harmonia mundi
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Classical - Released May 3, 2019 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama
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Classical - Released July 3, 2020 | PentaTone

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After a proliferation of recordings from Marc Minkowski and The Musicians of the Louvre for several years, they have now become scarcer. Fans will, therefore, be very pleased to find him here in this well-polished version of the Great Mass in C minor, a work that was left unfinished by Mozart. It is difficult to play in its current state and has been reconstructed a dozen times with varying degrees of success. Here, Minkowski set his sights on the version reconstructed by Austrian composer and conductor Helmut Eder, who published it in the New Mozart Edition in 1985. It is well known that this monumental work, which should have been as long as Bach’s Mass in B minor or Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis had it been completed, was never commissioned and was composed as a thanksgiving for the recovery of his fiancé, Konstanze Weber. It is still a mystery why the work was left incomplete but there are probably multiple reasons for this. The original manuscript was found at the end of the 1970s and contains three-quarters of the work. It represents a kind of culmination of Western sacred music with the complete assimilation of earlier styles and a distinct Mozartian sound. Recorded in concert in Grenoble in 2018 following a European tour, this new version is performed using a reduced choir in keeping with its premiere performance in the small St. Peter’s Abbey in Salzburg, 1783. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released September 25, 2020 | Alpha

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As in its Schubert recording in 2018, the Quatuor van Kuijk likes to delve into a composer’s youthful output and then measure his evolution by confronting it with his mature works. Hence, after recording two of Mozart’s early string quartets in 2016, the French group, here joined by violist Adrien La Marca, now offers the String Quintets K. 515 and K. 516. These two large-scale works dominate Mozart’s instrumental output in the year 1787, which ended with the premiere of Don Giovanni. They show us a composer at the height of his creative powers, in a genre to which he had not returned for fourteen years and which he herebrought to a high degree of formal perfection. © Alpha Classics
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Masses, Passions, Requiems - Released December 2, 2016 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Award - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Exceptional Sound Recording - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
As he reached the end of his magisterial cycle of Bach cantatas, one might have been forgiven for asking, "Well, what's next?" for conductor Masaaki Suzuki and his Bach Collegium Japan. With the release of a recording of Mozart's Requiem in D minor, K. 626, and now the Mass in C minor, K. 427, the answer appears to be the application of historical-performance techniques to Mozart and perhaps to other later music. Suzuki, with so much Bach on his plate, is a bit late to this game, and there are places here where his smooth, sensuous yet sober choral style from the Bach recordings makes this sound a bit like Bach. Several things make it work, however. First is the fact that much of the mass is written in the old polyphonic style and was influenced by Mozart's first serious engagement with Bach's music at the home of the aristocrat Baron van Swieten, and all the virtues of the Collegium's performances apply in the big choruses. Sample the Wall of Sound effect in the double-choir "Qui tollis peccata mundi," and note throughout the way the levels of size in the mass are handled intelligently. Second, Suzuki has always chosen effective soloists, and he scores in a big way here with soprano Carolyn Sampson, who delivers a thrilling Exsultate, Jubilate, K. 165, to bring down the curtain, throwing in a rarely heard alternate version to boot. Finally, Suzuki performs a 1989 partial completion of the mass by German scholar Franz Beyer. This version fills out the sections that Mozart partially completed, including the "Incarnatus "(gorgeous here under Sampson's control), without making grand new statements, and it's probably the most preferable approach, available up to now with historical instruments only in an unorthodox version by Nikolaus Harnoncourt. The unusual tempos that appeared in Suzuki's Requiem are absent here, and the bottom line is that if you're OK with Mozart that sounds a bit like Bach at times, you'll find this a satisfying rendition of the "Great" C minor mass. © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 25, 2020 | Aparté

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Betulia Liberata, K. 118, premiered in 1771, was called an azione sacra. Essentially it is an oratorio, Mozart's only one, but its libretto by Pietro Metastasio has strongly operatic qualities; there are few choruses, and those that exist are part of the action, not commentaries. The story is based on the biblical tale of the Israelite heroine Judith and her seduction and then decapitation of the enemy general Holofernes. The libretto posed many challenges for the 15-year-old composer: to name a few, the heroine does not make her appearance until well over half an hour into the music; the recitatives are complex, with intricate dialogues and the central event of the plot, Judith's story of how she happened to return home bearing Holofernes' severed head, told in one of them; and the characters are sharply delineated, with some of the despairing Israelites counseling surrender. Mozart surmounted these challenges brilliantly, and perhaps more than any other of his early works, this one points the way to the adult genius. Only the unconvincing conclusion points to Mozart's youth. Director Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques deliver a performance that catches the leaps and bounds Mozart was making here. The instrumental ensemble and the chorus Accentus are generously sized by contemporary standards, and they realize the large dimensions in which Mozart was thinking. Rousset's soloists, especially Teresa Iervolino in the title role and Pablo Bemsch as the Israelite prince Ozia, vividly realize the characters; only the voice of Sandrine Piau, as the noblewoman Amital, shows strain. Perhaps the definitive recording of Betulia Liberata, this reading is enhanced by excellent engineering from the Little Tribeca team. © TiVo
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Classical - Released April 1, 2013 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet
This release stands out from among both the dozens or hundreds of available recordings of Mozart's Requiem in D minor, K. 626, and from among the recordings in the catalog of France's Alpha label. On the latter count, while most of Alpha's recordings have been historically oriented, this one falls into glorious Russian tradition of luxurious expression, and the usual art-historical essay included with Alpha's discs is missing here (although the packaging does bear some gorgeous Byzantine iconography). The recording pairs four western European soloists, who traveled all the way to Novosibirsk for the lengthy recording sessions, with the New Siberian Singers and the chamber orchestra MusicAeterna under its conductor, Teodor Currentzis. This is not a large choir (33 singers), but it has the rich sound associated with Russian opera choruses, which is what this group does as a general rule. If you're thinking this sounds a bit like Mozart as conducted by Rachmaninov, you're about right, especially in the sections where the dying Mozart seems to gaze into the fires of hell. The considerably more delicate soloists, especially alto Stéphanie Houtzeel, make a vivid contrast with the choir in this deeply colored, almost raw performance, which is nevertheless very carefully done in its details and sonically matched to the Novosibirsk opera house where it was recorded. By any measure this choir is a striking new talent. © TiVo
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Opera - Released October 7, 2010 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica - Exceptional Sound Recording
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Classical - Released June 16, 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet