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Opera - Released March 27, 2020 | ATMA Classique

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Keyboard Concertos - Released February 28, 2020 | Chandos

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Jean-Efflam Bavouzet’s acclaimed series of piano concertos by Mozart reaches its fifth instalment. Concertos Nos. 5, 6, 8, and 9 are complemented by the overtures to Il sogno di Scipione, Lucio Silla, La finta giardiniera, Il re pastore, and Zaide. That all of these works were composed by Mozart between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five serves as a vivid reminder of his unique talents as a child prodigy: these are not childhood efforts but mature works. The Fifth Concerto was actually Mozart’s first, as Nos 1 – 4 are arrangements of works by other composers. As in the previous volumes, Bavouzet is partnered by Manchester Camerata and Gábor Takács-Nagy, all recorded in The Stoller Hall in Manchester. © Chandos
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Symphonies - Released February 28, 2020 | deutsche harmonia mundi

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Duets - Released February 7, 2020 | harmonia mundi

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Using period instruments, Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov breathe new life into these ‘sonatas for keyboard with violin accompaniment’, a tradition Mozart renewed from within, blazing the trail for Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann. The first volume was widely praised: ‘The greater similarity of tone between Faust’s sparkling violin and Melnikov’s glittering fortepiano (within an airier acoustic) results in a sound more akin to the jingling of small bells. It’s delicious’ (Gramophone). ‘In a world full of star violinists, all with technical facility and individual style, it’s rare to find one that everyone agrees is just – brilliant. Isabelle Faust is that violinist’ (The Strad). © harmonia mundi
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Classical - Released February 7, 2020 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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The “discoveries” mentioned in the title of this record are mostly pieces of occasional light music, including a few marches, written by Luigi Cherubini when he was director of the French academy of music in Paris. But the lion’s share of the album conducted by Riccardo Chailly, head of the Filamornica della Scala in Milan, is the Italian composer’s sole symphony commissioned in London as a replacement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony which could not meet the required deadline. The German composer greatly admired Cherubini. But, unfortunately, Cherubini is not Beethoven and his skillful Symphony in D major, once championed by Arturo Toscanini, cannot bear comparison with Beethoven’s. Maestro Chailly’s performance generates beautiful energy and excitement but the conductor’s effort cannot turn the symphony into a masterpiece. The album is released to celebrate Beethoven’s birthday. It is worth listening to if you want to discover a composer that Beethoven praised and admired. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released February 7, 2020 | Decca

Three Philips albums of Mozart from the early years of Sir Colin Davis’s half-century association with the London Symphony Orchestra, including several recordings new to CD. Known as a peerless interpreter of Berlioz, Sibelius and Tippett, Sir Colin Davis was devoted above all to the music of Mozart. Symphonies, concertos and serenades by Mozart formed much the largest part of Davis’s early discography with several labels and ensembles. ‘He simply knew how Mozart should go,’ recalled the film director Humphrey Burton after the conductor’s death in 2013. A landmark event in his career occurred in 1959, when he took over performances of Don Giovanni in London from Carlo Maria Giulini, and record labels soon took notice of his Mozartian gifts and inclinations. He began to work regularly with the LSO in the early 1960s, and it was a relationship that quickly bore fruit in the recording studio with Symphonies Nos. 39 and 40, which also marked the beginning of the 40-year-long relationship between the conductor and the Dutch Philips label. Symphonies Nos. 25, 29 and 32 followed in 1964, likewise newly minted, rhythmically buoyant and quite foreign to the ‘grand old man’ style of Mozart playing then prevalent, and which Davis himself cultivated to a degree in the latter stages of his career. These recordings were welcomed as ‘young man’s Mozart’, respecting tradition but not in hock to it, reflecting Harold Rosenthal’s early praise of Davis in the pit: ‘‘Not since the departure from London of [Erich] Kleiber have we heard a Mozart opera directed with such musicality, style and rhythm, or so beautifully shaped.’ The third LP reissued in this generous compilation contained the two concertos written by Mozart for the flute: an instrument for which he apparently held no great affection, but produced all the same two works of boundless invention. The soloist was the Dutch-born, German flautist Hubert Barwahser (1906-1985) who had been recording for Philips since the label’s earliest days, both as a soloist and as principal flautist of the Concertgebouw Orchestra. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)
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Symphonic Music - Released January 17, 2020 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 étoiles de Classica
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Concertos for wind instruments - Released November 22, 2019 | NoMadMusic

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
After "Waiting for Clara", which focused on the music of Brahms and Schumann, this second album on NoMadMusic from the clarinetist Julien Hervé looks back another few years, to the apex of Classical style, with Mozart’s Quintet and Concerto. After discovering the instrument later in his life, Mozart fell entirely in love with it and dedicated these sublime pieces to it. This hedonistic, luminous programme, recorded live, offers us the opportunity to discover - or rediscover - two of the greatest masterpieces in the clarinet repertoire. © NoMadmusic
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Symphonies - Released November 15, 2019 | Aparté

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If we take a closer look at the first symphonic attempts by the young Mozart, we can see that they are motivated by a lot more than mere curiosity, musicologist Henning Bey, the author of the texts that accompany this new recording, points out. He shows how the young boy, without the presence of his bedridden father, managed to set down on paper his first symphony after a few efforts for the clavier and violin. The manuscript still bears the traces of the young composer's experimentations and difficulties with ink and an ill-cut quill. The lesson of this first orchestral outing is that "form develops from content". Mozart came to composition when his father taught him to write minuets. And it was also with dance that he would finish his oeuvre, writing the 5 Contredanses, K. 609, just a few days before his death, for the imperial balls in the Redoute. They are presented here by way of closing the circle, interspersed between each of the five youthful symphonies which make up the substance of this album. The excellent performance from Gottfried von der Goltz and the musicians of the Freiburger Barockorchester whom he directs with his violin, have a mature take on this childish music, written before Mozart the traveller starts taking in everything he sees and hears to elaborate his own unique language. What's troubling about it is the assuredness of the writing from a child of nine years old, who seems already to know exactly where he will go and what he will become. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Masses, Passions, Requiems - Released November 15, 2019 | harmonia mundi

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Joseph Haydn composed around 15 masses between 1748 and 1802. The Missa Cellensis in honorem Beatissimae Virginis Mariae, presented here in this new release from the Akademie für Alte Musik and the excellent RIAS-Kammerchor Berlin conducted by Justin Doyle, is better known by the later name Missa Sanctae Caeciliae ("Mass for Saint Cecilia"). It's the most vast of Haydn's masses and his only mass-cantata in the solemn Neapolitan style, whose numbers alternate between arias, ensembles and choirs. It seems that Haydn had intended the composition of this mass to be a great coup: it is a deft mix of the "modern" writing of his day and the "baroque" writing of his predecessors. In his monumental biography of the composer, Marc Vignal notes correctly that Haydn's masses are first-rate, not only set against the production of his quartets or symphonies, but also when set against the religious music of his times. This recording, taken at a June 2018 concert at the Berlin Konzerthaus, completes a RIAS-Kammerchor discography which is already rich in choral works but which hadn't yet tackled Haydn's masterpieces. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released October 18, 2019 | Decca

A feast of Haydn and Mozart under the sure and stylish baton of Karl Münchinger, including several recordings making their first international appearance on CD.This box of Münchinger’s legacy in Classical-era repertoire picks up where the Eloquence set of his Baroque recordings (484 0160) left off, with six symphonies of Haydn. He had founded the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra in 1946, and Decca began making records with them three years later. The excellence and commercial success of these albums caused the label to invite him to work with orchestras other than his own, in Paris (the Conservatoire Orchestra) and, more prestigiously still, the Vienna Philharmonic. The first fruits of this new relationship were issued in May 1955: an LP of No.88 and No.101, the ‘Clock’. Reviewers looked to the likes of Furtwangler and Toscanini for comparison respectively, and did not find Münchinger wanting for either grandeur or pathos in this music. The sequels took in Nos 96 and 104 (recorded in May 1957) and Nos. 83 and 100 (from April 1961): superbly open and spacious Sofiensaal recordings engineered in classic Decca sound by John Culshaw and Christopher Raeburn. By then Münchinger was also recording Mozart for Decca, both with an enlarged cohort of his Stuttgart ensemble and with the Vienna Philharmonic. The repertoire included not only mature symphonies but also concertos (with the Viennese principals Werner Tripp and Alfred Prinz on flute and clarinet respectively), serenades (featuring the inimitably luscious tone of Willi Boskovsky’s violin) and rarities such as the ballet Les Petits Riens, recorded back in Stuttgart. The set concludes with two discs of concertos: Haydn and Boccherini with the cellist Pierre Fournier, Mozart with both Christian Ferras – including the apocryphal ‘Adelaide’ concerto once championed by Menuhin – and Wilhelm Kempff, in a pairing of the Piano Concertos Nos. 9 and 15 that had critics reaching for superlatives in an era when these works had barely entered the record catalogues. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)
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Quartets - Released October 11, 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica - Qobuzissime
Six quartets: six works that are key to understanding what Joseph Haydn brought to western music. This effort by the Quatuor Hanson is particularly successful because they are past masters in constructing and expressing the soul of this subtle art. And what's more, they bring it off with a fascinating level of instrumental skill. Listening to this piece, we have to bow down once again before the genius of a composer who, along with Boccherini, invented a new genre and immediately studded it with masterpieces of staggering quality. Judiciously picked out from among Haydn's vast corpus, these six quartets are touching both in their expressiveness and in the perfection of their writing. Not a single note out of place, a perfect balance of four voices and inspired right from the first moment up to the incomplete closing Opus 77, which was a contemporary of Beethoven's first Quartets, Op. 18 – works that betray the lessons their writer learned from his master. More than two hundred years after his death, Haydn has only just found recognition as one of the greats, although he had been accorded that status during his life. But his works for keyboards, the symphonies, the oratorios, and to a lesser extent, the operas, speak in his favour. More than a forerunner, Haydn is a founder, a genius whose influence was felt by those who came after him, foremost amongst whom Beethoven and Schubert. This splendid album puts him (back) in his rightful place. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Quartets - Released October 11, 2019 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
After a first album devoted to Mozart quartets (awarded a ‘Choc de Classica’ and a ‘Diapason Découverte’), a second to French music (Debussy, Ravel and Chausson) and a third to two quartets by Schubert, Nos. 10 and 14 (the mythical "Death and the Maiden"), the group founded by Nicolas Van Kuijk returns to its first love by recording more Mozart. This recording is the second part of an eventual triptych that will contain the six string quartets dedicated to Haydn: No. 14 in G major, K.387, the first of them, was composed in 1782, when Mozart had just arrived on the Viennese musical scene; No. 15 in D minor K421, the second, is the only one in the minor mode and was completed in 1783 while his wife Constanze was in labour – she related that the rising intervals of the second movement recalled her cries from the room next door as he composed. © Alpha Classics/Outhere
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Symphonic Music - Released October 4, 2019 | Aparté

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The Haydn series continues with the Paris Symphony No. 87. Julien Chauvin and his orchestra keep shaking us up with historical instruments listening to Haydn’s works and several other forgotten scores from the same period. All of them were commissioned for the Concert de la Loge Olympique - ancestor and model for Julien Chauvin and his musicians – and all of them sank into oblivion during the 19th century, except for Haydn’s symphonies. The record offers an opportunity to experience some rare works of Grétry, Lemoyne and Ragué, and to revive the success that they once knew. © Aparté
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Symphonies - Released September 26, 2019 | Les Indispensables de Diapason

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Solo Piano - Released September 20, 2019 | SOMM Recordings

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Opera - Released August 30, 2019 | harmonia mundi

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A challenge. This is a disorienting, provocative, and terribly refreshing album. Before launching headlong into the "Da Ponte-Mozart Trilogy", Raphaël Pichon undertakes a spirited exploration of the themes, throwing all these pieces together into a three-part "pasticcio", with the help of Mozart's earlier works and those of his contemporaries. To do this, Pichon and his arrangers use concert arias, nocturnes, canons, unfinished operas with characters and situations that evoke those of the trilogy. They have thrown together a delicious miniature trilogy "like a sort of musical apéritif." The result is all the more pleasing because it allows us to follow the evolution of Mozart's thought, at the same time as underlining the continuity of his literary choices and situations that he would set to music throughout his short life. Add that to some lively conducting and soloists who have great fun prefiguring the coming masterpieces. The result is a real gourmet feast. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released August 2, 2019 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s saga on Mozart for Deutsche Grammophon continues: after The Clemency of Titus in 2018, it’s now time for The Magic Flute to pass under the Quebecois’ baton at the Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden. His direction breathes life into all the magic that is required for such a fairy-tale, Mozart’s final opera, and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe successfully communicates the opera’s majesty and depth, as heard in the radiant “Priest’s March”. When it comes to the singers, Christiane Karg is captivating in the role of Pamina, and Klaus Florian Vogt – who’s tonality is explosive here – embodies an innocent Tamino that is consistently dazzling. Rolando Villazón, Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s faithful companion in this Mozartian adventure (he has been present since the beginning of the recording of Don Giovanni), takes on the role of the bird catcher Papageno, written for a baritone voice; the former tenor is convincingly at one with the character’s personality. What’s more, despite their unequal distribution, the singers seem to be at home with this extraordinary singspiel. The orchestra whets our appetite with their clear love for playing together and invites us to dive once more into the discography of such a luxurious and dramatic work that is both humorous and spectacular. Nézet-Séguin’s orchestration is tight and the variation in the writing is that of a phenomenal musician. One thinks of Strauss’ Rosenkaalier for the sensual intermingling of voices in the final trio. The Magic Flute is almost masonic as the development of its spiritual storyline is akin to an initiation. Its enchanting atmosphere is typical to the German composer, much like the later Oberon by Weber. © Elsa Siffert/Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released July 19, 2019 | DOREMI

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Solo Piano - Released July 5, 2019 | BIS

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