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Concertos - Released May 11, 2018 | naïve classique
Concertos for viola d'amore represent a fairly atypical part of Vivaldi's work, and he was probably the first composer to write pieces for this work in the solo concerto format. The viola d'amore was certainly well-liked for its soft, suggestive sound, which evoked the moods and climes of the orient thanks, in particular to its sympathetic strings which vibrate with those strings the player bows. But it was little-used because of its complex tuning and objective difficulties involved in playing it. In fact, the instrument would be tuned in different ways to fit the tonality of the piece being played – the famous scordatura, so finicky for the musicians – and it is believed that Vivaldi wrote these specifically for one of the musicians at Venice's Pietá: the famous Anna-Maria. Another characteristic of these concertos for viola d'amore, the rapid movements are also much longer and fuller than in most of Vivaldi's writing, for example in the seven string concertos which figure at the start of the album, or in the miniatures which were intended as showcases for the talent of the greatest possible number of soloists in the public concerts at the Pietá. A little curiosity is offered up here in the shape of the original concerto La Conca RV163, whose themes mimic the sound of the "conca", a kind of large marine conch used as an instrument since prehistoric times. The recording includes a conch being sounded at the start of the first movement by way of explanation. © SM/Qobuz
Violin Concertos - Released April 27, 2018 | Nonesuch
Keyboard Concertos - Released March 2, 2018 | Ondine
This is the final volume in a Beethoven concerto cycle by German pianist Lars Vogt that has been generally acclaimed for its freshness and detail. Vogt both plays and conducts the Royal Northern Sinfonia, of which he is music director, and the result has been interpretations in which pianist and orchestra achieve an unusual kind of sync. The results are spectacular in the Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58, where Vogt eases into each movement, as it were, letting details accrete and add power. Sample the final movement, where the orchestra begins at a very low dynamic level, and Vogt weaves piano and orchestra together convincingly as the music proceeds. The first two movements open in circumspect ways but, as they develop, reveal Beethoven the virtuoso as Viennese audiences must have experienced him; note especially the curious clipped treatment of the second movement's orchestral theme, so different from the stomping giant favored by most conductors. The final diminished fifth comes out in sharp, chilling relief here. Vogt's approach is a bit less successful in the early Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 19, where the syncopations ring and rock, but the basic Mozartian shapes of the themes are indistinct. Nevertheless, Vogt's Beethoven recordings are major statements, and this album is no exception.
Concertos for wind instruments - Released January 19, 2018 | Accent
Stefan Temmingh is a member of the new young generation of world-class recorder players. Born in Cape Town, he comes from a Dutch-South-African family of musicians and now lives in Munich. Being an early music specialist, he plays internationally with his baroque ensemble at renowned festivals and concert series, and can also be heard as a member of ensembles of all sizes in Europe, Asia and Africa. His fine playing is regularly compared to the style of the legendary Frans Brüggen. On this collaboration with the Capricornus Consort Basel, he makes use of his wide array of technical and musical resources to render a reference version of Vivaldi’s Recorder Concertos. © Accent
Cello Concertos - Released February 3, 2017 | PentaTone
The profoundly moving, elegiac lyricism of Elgar and the wistful charm and brilliance of Tchaikovsky are on full display in this irresistible new Pentatone release. Composed at the end of the First World War, Elgar’s powerful Cello Concerto in E minor is one of his best-loved and most deeply-felt works. The soloist’s wrenching chords which open the work announce a mood of profound resignation and loss; gone is the youthful swagger of his earlier works, replaced instead with lonely introspection and longing, especially in the sublimely beautiful Adagio. The cello is given free rein in the vigorous final movement but the opening mood prevails as an anguished outburst from the cello brings the work to a close. No such dejection hangs over Tchaikovsky’s delightful Variations on a Rococo Theme which ooze elegance, ineffable charm and daring displays of technical brilliance. While the Pezzo capriccioso finds Tchaikovsky in a more restrained mood, with the Nocturne and Andante Cantabile he wears his romantic heart full on his sleeve. The great Russian writer Leon Tolstoy is said to have wept when he heard the Andante Cantabile and its sumptuous theme shows Tchaikovsky’s unerring gift for haunting melodies. It remains a special gem in the repertoire. The cellist Johannes Moser is no stranger to these works. Winner of the top prize at the 2002 Tchaikovsky Competition, he was also awarded the Special Prize for his interpretation of the Variations on a Rococo Theme. Described by Gramophone as “one of the finest among the astonishing gallery of young virtuoso cellists” and by The Lo Angeles Times as a musician who “…connects with the audience in a way that only great artists do”, this is Moser’s third outing for Pentatone. His first album of concertos by Dvořák and Lalo was widely praised for his “performance of enormous flair and effervescence” (BBC Music Magazine). (A Pentatone Introduction)
Keyboard Concertos - Released August 26, 2016 | harmonia mundi
Keyboard Concertos - Released April 1, 2016 | PentaTone
The pianist may be Russian, the orchestra German, and the label Dutch, but this audiophile recording of two of the most-played piano concertos of the 19th century tends rather to incline toward England, the place that bestowed honors on the young Denis Kozhukhin and launched his flourishing career. One hesitates to apply national stereotypes, yet a stiff upper lip is characteristic of Kozhukhin's approach here. Technically, the playing is unimpeachable all around, both from Kozhukhin and from the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra under Vassily Sinaisky, who attain a lush string sound usually associated with the Berlin Philharmonic in its classic days. The technical accomplishments, in fact, tend to crowd out the drama and tumult that have traditionally been part of playing the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23, and the poetic spirit of the Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16. Sample perhaps the last movement of the Grieg (track 6) to find out whether you'll be dazzled or somewhat bored. Whatever the case, audiophiles will find this a worthwhile acquisition. The detail of Kozhukhin's playing is captured with almost uncanny crispness in Pentatone's studio sound, which even on ordinary reproduction equipment creates an almost physical sense of space that is filled up by degrees. It's a wonderful use of the medium, but it's one that diverges from the Romantic expressive tradition. Whether that's good or bad will depend on individual listeners.
Violin Concertos - Released May 6, 2014 | PentaTone
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.
Concertos - Released November 5, 2013 | Chandos
Concertos - Released October 14, 2013 | Warner Classics International
Concertos - Released March 25, 2013 | harmonia mundi