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Classical - Released October 25, 2019 | Musique en Wallonie

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 étoiles de Classica
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Classical - Released October 11, 2019 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Daniil Trifonov's journey around the world of Rachmaninov is at an end. The pianist has arrived safely into the harbour with Yannick Nézet-Seguin's Philadelphia Orchestra. This finale was inspired by the bells which are ubiquitous in the Great Russian soundscape. Alain Corbin explained their importance to the rhythmic and symbolic scansion of everyday life in 19th Century France in his book Village Bells. To the historian's analysis, we can now add the testimony of the pianist – who, like Rachmaninov, grew up in Novgorod. Russian bells leant Russian music its nobility and colouring of folk nostalgia. Daniil Trifonov hasn't forgotten this, as is clear from his piano transcription of the first episode of Les Cloches. He was wise enough to respect the operatic power of the score and the splendour of its orchestration: harp, celesta and flutes are all truly transformed into bells in the hands of a musician who stays true to the aura of disquieting oddness (with its shades of Edgar Allen Poe) which surrounds the first movement. His technique matches his capricious and bubbling imagination. While we might find ourselves yawning a little at the Vocalise, the first and third Concertos move us from thrilling ecstasies to tears of pleasure. A very fine record, in which the orchestra, perhaps a little distant, fulfils its role as a soundbox for the soloist. © Elsa Siffert/Qobuz
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Classical - Released October 11, 2019 | Musique en Wallonie

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
The author of a famous Toccata for Organ which overshadowed the rest of his œuvre, this Belgian composer Joseph Jongen has left behind an abundant catalogue of over 137 works. Born in Liège in 1873, his musical studies were crowned with the Belgian "Grand Prix de Rome", which allowed him to travel across Europe in search of the new musical currents of the era. Melody is the unbroken thread running through his life. It was in melodic music that he started out with composition at the age of 18; he would continue to compose melodies until 1948, when his mental powers began to slowly decline. Among the 55 melodies that he left behind, we can discern three periods. First, the period of French Romanticism, born of Massenet, using some rather old-fashioned verses by Armand Silvestre, very much a poet of his time, who had inspired Bizet, Chabrier, Delibes, Fauré and Messager. Jongen's style changes and becomes more personal in the era of the "Prix de Rome"; and it becomes fully mature around the time of his English exile, which lasted throughout the First World War. It's this intimate journey that is offered here, in a very delicate treatment by soprano Sarah Defrise and pianist Craig White. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released September 6, 2019 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Distinctions Diapason d'or / Arte
Leading the Lucerne Festival for two summers running, conductor Richardo Chailly has honoured composers that the musicians had never yet recorded: Igor Stravinsky in 2018, and Richard Strauss in 2019. The sumptuousness of the orchestration of the latter here affords a glittering clarity, just as much in the concertante parts as in the tutti. The writing conjures a Straussian atmosphere: a marvellously apt terrain for the Lucerne orchestra. In Zarathustra, the strings, in particular the double-basses, rumble away as under one bow, with gobsmacking precision in Von der großen Sehnsucht ("Of the Great Yearning") and Genesende ("the Convalescent"). Richard Strauss deploys a romantic counterpoint in his writing – in particular in Von den Hinterweltlern ("Of the Backworldsmen") – and the strings of Lucerne brilliantly bring his limitless lyricism to life. The following works, (Tod und Verklärung, Till Eulenspiegel and finally The Dance of the Seven Veils) bring to mind other epithets that we might apply to this perfect recording: epic majesty, burlesque humour, serpentine voluptuousness: all ingredients of Strauss's symphonic poems. The sound quality does justice to the beauty of the orchestra, and the mix doesn't leave anyone out: every counterpoint is defined, every pizzicato twangs appropriately and we hear even the softest touch of the timbal. Demanding in their extremity (in both nuance and difficulty), these scores make a perfect fit for the Lucerne orchestra, a meeting of the greatest soloists of the international stage, brought together by the festival. The only drawback comes from precisely this concentration of quality. While we are gripped by Salome's Dance of the Seven Veils, we are perhaps more impressed than moved by a piece that has been stripped of some of its finest orchestral ornamentation. © Elsa Siffert/Qobuz
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Classical - Released August 30, 2019 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
Best known as a composer of film music, Korngold was born in Brünn, Austria-Hungary (present-day Brno, Czech Republic) and – as both a pianist and composer – was a child prodigy. Mahler and Strauss were impressed by the young musician, and recommended he study with Zemlinsky rather than ‘waste his time’ attending music conservatory. Korngold emigrated with his family to the USA in 1934, where he went on to revolutionise the Hollywood soundtrack, composing scores for films such as The Sea Hawk, Captain Blood, and The Adventures of Robin Hood. Composed between 1947 and 1952, and dedicated to the memory of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, his (only) Symphony is a heartfelt response to the conflict of WWII. The premiere, in 1954 in Vienna, was under-rehearsed and not a success, and the work remained neglected until Rudolf Kempe came across a set of score and parts in Munich and resurrected it. The Theme and Variations and Straussiana were both commissioned by the Association of American School Orchestras, but Korngold makes no concessions to youth in his writing. Straussiana also reflects his lifelong love of the music of Johann Strauss II. This is the first recording with John Wilson and his new orchestra, the Sinfonia of London. The hand-picked players represent the cream of London’s orchestral musicians, and create an outstanding quality of sound that is evident throughout this exceptional recording. © Chandos
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Classical - Released August 16, 2019 | Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

Hi-Res Booklet
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Classical - Released August 9, 2019 | Signum Records

Booklet
British organist Joseph Nolan has created a very fine complete recording of Widor's works for organ on three French organs, all built by Cavaillé-Coll and each as sumptuous as the others: they are the organ of La Madeleine in Paris, mainly used for the symphonies; the organ of Saint-Sernin in Toulouse and the organ of Saint-François de Sales in Lyon for the other works. Widor's works don't finish with the exciting toccata of the Fifth Symphony, although this piece – a stunning homage to French romanticism, in the spirit of Johann Sebastian Bach – is durably marked by its luminous tone. Contrary to the style of the likes of Daniel Chorzempa, a spirited and above all colourist performer (Philips), Joseh Nolan adopts measured and tranquil tempos, overexposing the architectural side of the works of this romantic French composer, who was born in 1844 – the same year as Rimsky-Korsakov – and died in 1937, the same year as Ravel, Pierné and Roussel.The heart of Widor's organ works is surely to be found in his ten symphonies, composed between 1872 and 1900. They form a thrilling bridge between Mendelssohn and Messiaen, between the Empire and the Third Republic. Widor was intensely close to the organ: having grown up the son of an organ maker, he soon showed his affinity for the instrument. All of Widor's writing shows a musician with a real head for Dionysian virtuosity: a mindset that can't leave anyone indifferent. This re-release brings together into one box set volumes which have appeared separately over the years, and Signum Classics – for whom Joseph Nolan is one of the most important artists – allow the listener to dive again into a world of music that is too-often neglected outside of organ concerts. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Classical - Released July 26, 2019 | Editions Audiovisuel Beulah

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Classical - Released June 7, 2019 | CPO

Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released May 24, 2019 | NoMadMusic

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released May 17, 2019 | SOMM Recordings

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Symphonies - Released May 10, 2019 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Diapason d'or / Arte - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Trios - Released May 3, 2019 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Rachmaninoff's output of chamber music is small but all the more precious for that. Two absolute gems bear witness to the fact: these ‘elegiac trios’, which were produced by a young composer still indisputably under the influence of Tchaikovsky. But Rachmaninoff’s personality is already fully present, reaching heights of emotion and expressiveness. The pieces by Suk and Grieg add a further touch of character to the picture, which is painted with an exceptionally rich palette: the artistry of the phenomenal Trio Wanderer! © harmonia mundi
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Chamber Music - Released May 3, 2019 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
The three great chamber works, the String Quartet, Piano Quintet, and Violin Sonata, were among the very last works that Elgar wrote, composed during an intensive and productive period in 1918 and 1919 whilst living at Brinkwells in Sussex, and under the twin shadows of the horrors of the Great War and the terminal illness of his wife, Alice. The String Quartet was dedicated to the original Brodsky Quartet (the name subsequently taken by the current group when they arrived as students at the Royal Northern College of Music) and was championed by this new Brodsky Quartet from the off, sitting alongside Delius’s Quartet on their debut recording (1984). It has remained a cornerstone of their repertoire ever since. The Brodsky Quartet took the opportunity of the centenary year of both works to perform the String Quartet alongside the Piano Quintet with their frequent co-performer Martin Roscoe, and this recording is a result of that commemoration. © Chandos
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Pop - Released April 13, 2019 | Classicato

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Trios - Released March 29, 2019 | Supraphon a.s.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
The three pieces the Smetana Trio have selected for their new album came into being within the range of a mere four years, yet they represent three different musical universes. Anton Arensky’s Piano Trio evokes the atmosphere of the 19th-century salons, where music was played to delight the gathered bourgeoisie company. The work Alexander Zemlinsky created at the age of 25 marks the accession of the seeking of new sound and harmony. The one-movement trio Sergei Rachmaninoff, a piano virtuoso and composer rolled into one, wrote when hew was 19, teems with elegiac nobleness, which would remain the quintessential trait of the future globetrotter’s music. And whereas Arensky’s short life was marred by inner turmoil, the paths of Zemlinsky and Rachmaninoff were affected by outer circumstances – both of them died within a year, far away from their respective homelands, in the United States. With their typical vivacity and zest, the internationally renowned Smetana Trio perform three remarkable compositions dating from the late 19th century. © Supraphon
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Chamber Music - Released March 22, 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica
Vlado Perlemuter and Jean Hubeau’s pupil, Michel Dalberto has established himself during a forty year career as a master. And as an ardent defender of French music he launched on Aparté a series dedicated to Debussy, Fauré, Franck and Ravel. “With these recordings of works of four major French composers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, I wish to prove myself worthy of the teachers who used to provide a specific idea of French music made of severity and sensuality, a mixture of rigour and freedom.” After a first opus devoted to Debussy and a second to Fauré (both rewarded with international awards), Michel Dalberto chose the Salle Philharmonique in Liège to record the third part of this collection – that is to say in César Franck’s home town. © Aparté
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Symphonic Music - Released March 15, 2019 | London Philharmonic Orchestra

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released March 15, 2019 | CPO

Booklet
“An organ for Michelangelo” allegedly exclaimed Charles-Marie Widor upon seeing for the first time the Cavaillé-Coll organ at the Church of St. Ouen in Rouen, completed in 1890 and which has remained in pristine condition to this day. The famous organ builder had in fact integrated in his piece older elements from a Crespin Carlier organ from 1630, thus creating an instrument with wide-ranging sounds, from baroque to late romanticism. And Widor’s Organ Symphony No.9, Op. 70 “Gothique” is dedicated to this very organ! Here, this monumental work is played on the masterpiece that inspired it, a touching return to the original sound sources. In addition to the Ninth, this collection also features the Fifth and its final Toccata which is without a doubt the most famous moment in all of Widor’s work, as well as the Sixth, also made up of five movements, both characterised by their symphonic radiance. The Eighth, the Ninth and the Tenth end Widor’s cycle of ten symphonies for organ, which he wrote between 1887 and 1900 before turning his attention to other musical genres. All the while, he pursued his immense career as an international soloist until the end of his long life, as well as his vocation as a teacher, counting among his students the likes of Louis Vierne, Albert Schweitzer, Charles Tournemire and Marcel Dupré, and as a composition professor for Arthur Honegger, Edgar Varèse and Darius Milhaud. His style bears the clear influence of César Franck, whom he succeeded at the Conservatoire de Paris, and to a lesser extent of Saint-Saëns, for whom he worked as an assistant during his studies. The Cavaillé-Coll in Rouen is truly one of the most extraordinary instruments of its time; and Widor’s music is perfectly tailored for its thousand facets. © SM/Qobuz
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Violin Concertos - Released March 15, 2019 | Gramola Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason