Albums

Symphonic Music - Released November 2, 2018 | Chandos

Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 étoiles de Classica
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Symphonies - Released October 26, 2018 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
With Symphony No.6 in A Minor "Tragic" written in 1904 (the title, for once, is not a publisher's gimmick, but was indeed given by Mahler in the programme for the first performance in Vienna in 1906), Mahler almost returns to the classical symphony format; we find more voices in the score (a technique that he had already used in No. 5) and a four-movement structure (whereas No. 5 was articulated in five movements thrown into three "parts", with the absence of a programme or philosophical content). Admittedly, the orchestra remains huge, with four woodwinds, eight horns, and six trumpets, not to mention an impressive arsenal of percussion instruments including alpine bells, hammer and xylophone, which he never used elsewhere; in this respect, Mahler contributed to putting an end to the late romantic trend of gigantic works for titanic orchestras. It must be said that the last movement, which lasts at least half an hour, is of a truly tragic expression with its indelible darkness. This frightened the critics, who found the work somewhat bloated. It is therefore up to the conductor to make the score as transparent as possible, the contrapuntal lines readable and the orchestral colours perceptible through the orchestral immensity. Equipped with his MusicAeterna, Teorod Currentzis embarks on the adventure. © SM/Qobuz
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Keyboard Concertos - Released October 12, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica
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Cello Concertos - Released October 5, 2018 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Chamber Music - Released September 27, 2018 | Les Indispensables de Diapason

Distinctions Diapason d'or

Secular Vocal Music - Released September 21, 2018 | SOMM Recordings

Booklet Distinctions 5 étoiles de Classica
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Somm Recordings is delighted to present a revelatory collection of orchestral songs by Sir Edward Elgar (on double slimline selling as a single disc), performed by two of today’s most exciting young singers – mezzo-soprano Kathryn Rudge and baritone Henk Neven – accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Barry Wordsworth. Historically the least regarded part of Elgar’s output, his songs contain a treasure-trove of vocal gems and here receive performances of insight, imagination and emotional directness. The Op. 59 Song Cycle is an exemplary case in point, by turns quietly radiant, touchingly nostalgic and achingly melancholic. Two settings of poems by Elgar’s wife – the richly orchestrated The Wind at Dawn and celebratory The King’s Way (which borrows a tune from his Fourth Pomp and Circumstance March) – show Elgar at his most evocative and ebullient. Sombre and powerful, The Pipes of Pan boasts colourful imagery and driving rhythmic energy, The River and The Torch wholly Elgarian in their wonderful sonorities. A first recording of the orchestral version of the marching song Follow the Colours shows Elgar at his most patriotic. The complete incidental music for a 1901 staging of WB Yeats’ Grania and Diarmid offers a rare opportunity to experience the full gamut of Elgar’s moving and dramatic evocation of a timeless tale of love in the ancient Irish myth. A bonus disc of recordings made under the auspices of the Elgar Society showcases soprano Nathalie de Montmollin and pianist Barry Collett in a collection of piano-accompanied songs. It includes first recordings of the piano version of ‘Winter’ from The Mill Wheel (with its churning left-hand patterns and a text by the composer’s wife) and the world-weary tread of Muleteer’s Serenade, setting words from Cervantes’ Don Quixote.© Somm Recordings
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Symphonies - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Exceptional sound - Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet
Fans of Gustav Mahler's joyous Symphony No. 4 in G major will relish this buoyant performance by Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra, featuring soprano Miah Persson, for it is wholly in keeping with the light tone and merry spirit of the score and is as delightful as any other recording on the market. Along with the Second and Third symphonies, this is one of the so-called Wunderhorn symphonies because of its radiant setting of the German poem, "Das himmlische Leben" in the Finale, and because of the incorporation of related themes from Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn. It expresses the youthful energy and magical sweetness of the first period in Mahler's symphonic style and is the culmination of this charming phase, before the onset of darker things in the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh symphonies. Fischer and his musicians are in a light and playful mood, and their reading is cheerful, energetic, and irresistibly gemütlich in its warmth and happiness. Some listeners may quibble over Fischer's seemingly casual use of rubato, which in spots can seem a little too arbitrary, but on the whole this remains a well-balanced and spirited performance, and the slight changes of tempo serve to give the symphony a gentle Viennese flavor that seems indispensable. The DSD multi-channel sound on this SACD is stunning in its clarity, wide in its dimensions, and vibrant in its tone colors, so there is much to rejoice over in this sublime recording.
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Symphonic Music - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet
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Symphonic Music - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
Best known for performing music by modern Hungarian composers such as Bartók and Kódaly, and also for his numerous Mozart recordings in the 1990s, Iván Fischer takes a surprising turn in his repertoire by recording Mahler's Symphony No. 6 in A minor, "Tragic," with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, a bold undertaking for any maestro, but one for which he is well-prepared. Fischer has performed Mahler live on many occasions, and has devoted considerable time to studying the music before committing an interpretation to disc, so his 2005 Channel Classics release cannot be called careless or hastily planned. This symphony may not be as difficult to interpret and perform as are others of Mahler's gargantuan essays, but because expectations are high among devotees, Fischer has a tough job pleasing the cognoscenti. (Curiously, many obsessive Mahlerians have a marked preference for this work, possibly because it is the most coherent and powerful of the purely instrumental symphonies. Fischer's performance can be enjoyed as one of the best sounding to come along in years -- the nuances in the brass and percussion are especially marvelous -- and it can be taken as one of the most reasoned and thoughtful interpretations as well. Fischer aims for clarity and balance, and gets a transparent reading from the BFO that reveals every note. Yet a real feeling for Mahler's exaggerated emotional world seems to be lacking, and when the music should be wildly hysterical, appallingly grotesque, and running headlong toward catastrophe, Fischer's version keeps safely back from the edge of the abyss, dusts itself off, and reminds us that it is, after all, only a symphony, not the end of the world. Alas, the great recordings of the Symphony No. 6 actually do sound like the end of the world, and can almost create physical sensations of heartache and terror. This recording, however well it sounds and despite its many interesting features, has no such power, and is much less gripping than it should have been.

Symphonic Music - Released August 24, 2018 | Oehms Classics

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Symphonic Music - Released June 1, 2018 | LPO

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released May 18, 2018 | DUX

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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One might well say: this is just yet another recording of Rachmaninov's Vespers. And while, objectively, that's what this is, it’s also a reading which differs markedly from the norm – the norm in question being to drown the discourse in an intense reverberation, natural or artificial, and to record it at a distance, to create a "churchy" feel. None of that here: the choir – exemplary, superb – of the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic in Poland, an institution based in Białystok, is recorded here quite close up, almost intimately, with no added reverb and in a comfortable acoustic location: the European Art Centre in Białystok. The result is that the listener hears every word and almost every counter-punctual line – and Rachmaninov had a field day with this, adding up to eleven real voices into the most harmonically intense passages. We bet that for many, this will be a real discovery, of an immense masterpiece of Slavic religious music. We also note that the soloists are of great quality and that the basso profundos demanded of the choir at points are real basso profundos, not unfortunate bass baritones in danger of asphyxiation. Hats off. © SM/Qobuz

Symphonies - Released April 13, 2018 | SWR Classic

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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What utter happiness to find probably one of the greatest performances (ranking alongside Barbirolli, Bernstein, Tennstedt) of the complex Sixth by Mahler, which came out a few years ago on Hännsler: the performance by Kirill Kondrashin at the head of the Baden-Baden Südwestfunk. In 1981, Kirill Kondrashin had been regularly directing the Amsterdam Concertgebouw for several years, tackling material from the most varied repertoires, and several times performed the works of Gustav Mahler, of which he was one of the USSR's most ardent partisans, having made the first-ever complete recording of the symphonies with the Moscow Symphonic Orchestra (Melodiya). Benefiting from some of the most captivating orchestras of the West, he never gave up on his fluid, rapid visions, his strident polyphonies, or his implacable rhythms. For Kirill Kondrashin, Mahler wasn't the post-romantic composer that he is often taken for: he didn't look for song at any cost, or even any particular lyrical virtues. The formal balances accompany a drive for minute precision in the most up-to-date sonic alloys. As a vision, it is sometimes abstract: it fits into the more experimental branch of Haydn's descendants. And it gives us cause to regret not having a "Western" version of a 9th Symphony conducted by Kondrashin! © Pierre-Yves Lascar

Symphonies - Released April 6, 2018 | BIS

Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Chamber Music - Released March 23, 2018 | CPO

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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French music has often been enriched by musicians from abroad who have breathed new life into national styles, like the Florentine Jean-Baptiste Lully (Giovanni-Battista Lulli, in fact) who invented musical tragedy, the grand motet or the French overture; or indeed César Franck, the Liégeois to whom France owes the renewal of the symphony and of chamber music, and who fostered a whole school of young French musicians. César Franck's String Quartet in D Major, one of his last works, is the first great string quartet of the modern French school, and it opened the way for Debussy and Ravel. First performed in 1890 to a very enthusiastic reception at the Société Nationale de Musique, today it is somewhat overlooked by quartet musicians, although no-one can really say why, because it is a strong piece which fits very well as part of the repertoire. Specialising in the Russian repertoire (Shostakovitch, Weinberg) and having performed the débuts of several contemporary works (Greif, Mantovani and Rihm) the Danel Quartet has worked with the Amadeus and Borodin Quartets. Thanks to a very colourful expressive range, and deeply subtle nuances, the musicians of the quartet are able to find here both the elegiac and the tragic within Franck's two works. On the famous Quintet in F Minor, which is more often recorded, Finnish pianist Paavali Jumppanen melds perfectly into the ensemble, as part of a very rewarding dialogue. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released March 16, 2018 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason

Symphonic Music - Released February 2, 2018 | BR-Klassik

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Record of the Month - Le Choix de France Musique - 5 étoiles de Classica
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Classical - Released January 5, 2018 | HORTUS

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason