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Violin Concertos - Released October 26, 2018 | harmonia mundi

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To say that the concerto was one of Haydn's favourite forms would be a bit much, daft even. The man wrote a good hundred symphonies, dozens of quartets, trios, piano sonatas, fifteen or so masses and as many operas, and oratorios... Currently we know of three violin concertos (others being lost or apocryphal), two cello concertos (others... see above), one horn concerto, one for trumpet (there are no others) and at most about ten concertos for piano. Musically, they are fascinating works, but the level of technical skill they demand runs from moderate to a bit tricky. But the First Cello Concerto is not without its moments of difficulty, such as the rapid high notes in the final movement, and it offers some real fireworks. It should also be noted that most of the concertos were written for Esterházy, specifically for the first soloists in the house orchestra of Konzertmeister Luigi Tomasini and first cellist Joseph Weigl. The orchestral accompaniments offered the soloists some fine backdrops: in particular in the second movement of the Concerto for violin in C Major , with the orchestra's string section accompanying the solo violin with a sort of lute-playing that becomes a kind of serenade à la Don Giovanni. Amandine Beyer takes up the violin for this recording, while Marco Ceccato deals with the cello solo – both members of the Gli Incogniti ensemble ("The Unknowns"), a fluid grouping that plays without a conductor. Their leaderless style means that the musicians all listen to one another: it's a lovely way of making music (and sadly rare in the world of orchestras). © SM/Qobuz
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Cello Concertos - Released October 5, 2018 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Violin Concertos - Released September 28, 2018 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Fabio Biondi had his work cut out for him with the complete recordings of Vivaldi's violin concertos, as the Venetian left behind more than 250 works for one, two, three or four violins. Volume VI here offers a group of six concertos written in Prague and Bohemia in the course of his stay there between 1730 and 1731. Today, musicology has become much more of a science, and it is possible to put a date on these manuscripts by means of a precise analysis of the paper used by the composer if the music doesn't speak for itself. The Antonio Vivaldi of these pieces retains the style for which he is known and loved across Europe. Fabio Biondi notes that as there are only a few hints of Bohemian music in these concertos, which are more resemblant of Vivaldi's younger work. We might conclude that while abroad, the composer was writing pieces which, while new, were destined for use by his beloved students in the Pietà. Venetian chroniclers from the time often wrote of Vivaldi's virtuoso violin playing, admiring the inventiveness that he brought to the cadenzas of his concertos (the section at the end of a movement which is left open for creative improvisation) and the fantasy that he worked into his improvisations. While we have no proof that Vivaldi was the soloist for his own works during his Bohemian trip, Fabio Biondi, a true connoisseur of Vivaldi's style, clearly aims to apply this spirit to his recordings, and nowhere more so than here. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Violin Concertos - Released August 24, 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Chouchane Siranossian is a rising star of the baroque and classical violin, Jakob Lehmann a virtuoso violinist and orchestral director who frequently conducts Anima Eterna. Together, they embody what the Bruges orchestra and its founder, Jos van Immerseel, have decided to call the ‘Next Generation Anima Eterna’... Today they are presenting Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in its original version. “We wanted to take a look into Mendelssohn’s workshop. He struggled with his self-diagnosed ‘revision disease’ and always strove to work hard on himself and his creations” says Jakob Lehmann. Chouchane Siranossian keeps on : “It was a fascinating experience for me to discover historical research and its implementation on period instruments in collaboration with Anima Eterna Brugge. In my interpretation, I used exclusively the fingerings, bowings and other performance markings of Ferdinand David and Joseph Joachim, both of whom rehearsed the work with the composer.” This recording is rounded off with the Octet, also in its original version, which is longer and has many alterations in instrumentation, harmony and articulation... © Alpha Classics

Concertos - Released May 11, 2018 | naïve classique

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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
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Concertos - Released February 23, 2018 | Alpha

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The piano duo formed by Arthur Gold (1917–90) and Robert Fizdale (1920–95) enjoyed immense fame in the post-war years. Poulenc wrote a piece for them, as did Darius Milhaud, Samuel Barber, Luciano Berio and John Cage. They recorded with Leonard Bernstein. Nicknamed "The Boys", they played all over the world and were praised for their ‘seamless perfection and an inimitable "joie de vivre" (New York Times). The Boys were also famed for their bestselling books and television programmes on cooking, their other passion! Duo Jatekok (játékok ="games" in Hungarian) was formed in 2007. Like The Boys and unlike most current piano duos, Adélaïde Panaget and Naïri Badal are not siblings, but childhood friends. "They have everything going for them: dynamic rigour and expressive energy, exuberant keyboard skills and multilingual touch, and more than anything else, a sort of jubilatory osmosis", wrote Le Monde. For this first recording on Alpha, they have decided to pay tribute to "The Boys" with a programme of works written for them, Poulenc’s Sonata for two pianos and Élégie and a composition by a legend of jazz, the American pianist Dave Brubeck, Points of Jazz. Duo Jatekok also wanted to include music by one of their contemporaries: Baptiste Trotignon’s Trois Pièces (including one dedicated to Poulenc!) complete the programme. © Alpha Classics
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Keyboard Concertos - Released October 13, 2017 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Concertos - Released June 16, 2017 | Queen Elisabeth Competition

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In 1988, after 37 years of violin, piano and musical composition (the latter was only incorporated in 1953), the voice made its entry in the Queen Elisabeth Competition. And in 2017, the cello was finally entered in the competition, exactly 80 years after the creation of what was initially called the Eugène Ysaÿe Competition. Cello winners were (in order, from First to Sixth Prize) Victor Julien-Laferrière from France, Yuya Okamoto from Japan, Santiago Cañón-Valencia from Colombia, Aurélien Pascal from France, Ivan Karizna from Belarus, Brannon Cho from the United States. Therefore, we’ll listen to these six winners’ performances (semi-final and final performances with an orchestra or in recital) recorded live, as well as several other entrants who reached the last round. We can only wish fair winds to these wonderful talents! For the record, the jury was composed of no less than Gautier Capuçon, Henri Demarquette, David Geringas, Natalia Gutman, Gary Hoffman, Mischa Maisky, Antonio Meneses, Truls Mørk and, last but not least, Pieter Wispelwey: the very best in international cello. © SM/Qobuz
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Cello Concertos - Released April 28, 2017 | Musique en Wallonie

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Violin Concertos - Released April 21, 2017 | Orchid Classics

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Precisely the year John Adams was born, 1947, none else than Heifetz premiered Korngold’s Violin Concerto which star-violinist Ilya Gringolts plays on this Album, together with Adams’ own Concerto written 1993. Stylistically, these two works are polar opposites, but with a common emphasis on melody – and a common rejection of the ascendancy of atonality and serial techniques. John Adams is a composer who does not like to be pinned down. Being branded a minimalist has not suited him any better than did the confines of his training in the twelve-tone system while he was a student at Harvard. The term itself is a bit of a misnomer, and one might prefer the term “Pattern and Process” music, which highlights the tendency of these composers to set patterns in motion within dense, rhythmically complex textures, and then gradually morph these patterns over time. In the case of his Violin Concerto, the metamorphoses are so subtle that it is well-nigh impossible to trace any repetitive principle whatever, even though it is present. As for Korngold’s Violin Concerto, it might also be called “hypermelodic”. The composer himself noted that the concerto, “with its many melodic and lyric episodes, was contemplated rather for a Caruso of the violin than for a Paganini.” Written at a time in music history where atonality held nearly undisputed sway in musically sophisticated circles (Korngold’s music is emphatically tonal, if harmonically complex), the work was the first in what Korngold hoped would be his triumphant return to concert music, after a long and celebrated career as Hollywood’s preeminent film composer. The piece contains material in each of its three movements from several of Korngold’s film scores; but it would have been a pity indeed to waste such exquisite melodies to a mere movie, and self-recycling of good materials has been around for centuries, even Bach himself being a great self-recycler, an irrefutable role-modem. (c) SM/Qobuz
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Concertos - Released January 27, 2017 | Ad Vitam records

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Concertos for wind instruments - Released November 20, 2015 | naïve classique

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica
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At the dawn of the 20th century, Naive music label decided to uncover and release some 450 of Vivaldi's works held at the National University Library of Turin - many of which had hardly had the honour of being recorded. This amazing collection is a personal library handwritten by Vivaldi, and is the largest collection of scores that belonged to the eighteenth century composer to have survived to the present day. The thirty-nine bassoon concertos by Vivaldi constitute the largest collection of works devoted to this noble instrument. Clearly, the creativity of Vivaldi was greatly boosted by the phenomenal flexibility and nostalgic sound of the bassoon, which is still remarkable in the way it can "imitate" the human voice. It should also be emphasized that Vivaldi, a violinist, was always very attracted to the instruments with deep range. So much so that apart from the considerable number of works he dedicated to his own instrument, it is for bassoon and cello that he composed the greatest number of works. It is Italian bassoonist Sergio Azzolini who offers these six concertos, the fourth component of an box set published by Naive. The richness and invention of Vivaldi makes for an exhilirating listening experience from start to finish. © SM / Qobuz
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Violin Concertos - Released September 23, 2016 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Award - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Le Choix de France Musique
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Concertos - Released May 20, 2016 | Musique en Wallonie

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica
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Keyboard Concertos - Released February 5, 2016 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Violin Concertos - Released October 15, 2015 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles de Classica
1720: in his famous pamphlet entitled ‘Fashionable Theatre’, the composer Marcello ironized the excesses of the new Venetian opera. This landmark pamphlet was published anonymously as Benedetto Marcello, under the fictional editorship of ‘Aldaviva Licante’ - undoubtedly an anagram of A. Vivaldi – ridiculing the operatic world of the time. It took on singers puffed up with pride, uneducated librettists, composers seeking dramatic effects, in short, everything that the musical world then thought about as original, unusual, new, experimental, shocking, weird, baroque, and, in a word, Italian! Vivaldi was one of Marcello’s favourite targets, continually lampooning the Red Priest and his virtuoso violin escapades. It is precisely these escapades that the violinist Amandine Beyer and the Gli Incogniti ensemble have chosen for their rich repertoire: detuned violin concertos (in the manner of Scordatura), violin ‘in tromba’, that is to say violin in a tone that betrays a scraped sound, not to mention more singular works in which Vivaldi leaves the soloist a freedom that gives real heart to the joy of improvisation. This is what really marks out Amandine Beyer, who performs in accordance with the habits of the composer, giving a clear, historical picture of her treatment of the ornaments. So, for the almost implausible Circus Maximus track, it is as if you were actually there, attending the Carnival of the year 1720! © SM/Qobuz
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Concertos - Released April 7, 2015 | Ad Vitam records

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Concertos - Released March 24, 2015 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Concertos - Released March 23, 2015 | Fuga Libera

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Violin Concertos - Released February 24, 2015 | Glossa

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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