Albums

Symphonic Music - Released November 2, 2018 | Chandos

Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 étoiles de Classica
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Symphonic Music - Released October 5, 2018 | Chandos

Booklet Distinctions 5 étoiles de Classica
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To commemorate the centenary of Parry’s death, Rumon Gamba and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales offer this rare album of major works never recorded before, at the centre of which stands the original version of Symphony No. 4. These works highlight Parry’s skills as an orchestrator to supreme effect, the music full of attractive thematic invention, the scores wonderfully expansive, the canvas more intellectual, the many ideas more bold and passionate. The works prove to be a much severer challenge for the musicians but are here masterfully tackled thanks to both orchestra and conductor’s experience performing forgotten or unpublished British repertoire. The Suite moderne was written for the Three Choirs Festival. Despite its popularity, the work remained unpublished at Parry’s death and is performed here in a new edition by Jeremy Dibble. The album is completed by Parry’s one and only ballet score, Proserpine. A triptych in miniature, the colourful score is full of great delicacy. © Chandos
$14.49
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Symphonic Music - Released September 14, 2018 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 5 étoiles de Classica
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Symphonic Music - Released August 31, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 étoiles de Classica
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Symphonies - Released August 24, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Diapason d'or / Arte - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik - 5 étoiles de Classica
The Second Symphony by Leonard Bernstein, The Age of Anxiety, based on a poem of the same name by W. H. Auden, is a work of the composer-conductor's relative youth, dating from 1948-1949, when he was just turning thirty. The symphony is presented as a series of variations, but not variations around an initial theme. No: each variation takes on elements of the previous variation, varies in turn, and so on. It brings to mind an unbroken metamorphosis. As one might imagine, Bernstein mixes classical symphonic elements with jazz, in particular in the solo piano passage – tackled here by Krystian Zimerman, who had the good fortune to perform with Bernstein several times. In its own way, it is a kind of homage to the centenary of the composer's birth: as Zimerman mentions in the liner notes, Bernstein asked him if he wanted to play this symphony with him for his hundredth birthday. And he almost keeps the promise, although the orchestra is the Berlin Philharmonic, under Sir Simon Rattle. © SM/Qobuz
$26.49
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Symphonic Music - Released August 10, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Record of the Month - Exceptional sound - 5 étoiles de Classica
If Leonard Bernstein was one of the greatest conductors from the second half of the 20th Century, his interpretation job never outshone his composer one. But the durable and worldwide success of West Side Story has often irritated him, as it left in the shadowed the rest of his abundant and varied catalog. Antonio Pappano has had the good idea to gather the three symphonies from Bernstein in a single album recorded in several concerts in Rome with his Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, which reaches under his baton an international dimension. Bernstein had a special relation with this institution that he has frequently conducted. Jeremiah, Bernstein’s first symphony, dates from 1944. Bernstein was 26 and wrote it the same year as his first ballet for Broadway, Fancy Free.He blends genres in a way that is now typical of him, disturbing many timorous music lovers who don’t understand that this dichotomy is the result of his genius. This first symphony sung in Hebrew denounces the horror of the Holocaust in Europe. 1949 is the year of The Age of Anxiety, his strange second symphony inspired by a long and difficult poem by W. H. Auden. Rarely played because of his difficult solo piano section that few interprets possess in their repertoire, this symphony is a succession of “themes and variations”. If the beginning flirts with the European Art music, notably from Prokofiev, it ends in a syncopated sentimentalism in the style of the great Hollywood movies. The excellent pianist Beatrice Rana (who has recorded for Warner Classics a very exciting Second Concerto by Prokofiev with the same conductor, as well as, more recently, the most talked-about Goldberg Variations by J. S. Bach) is here a brilliant and convinced performer of the work. Written in 1963 and dedicated to President Kennedy, Kaddish, his third symphony, is probably the most personal work of this trilogy. Heterogeneous as is all Bernstein music, it goes together with a text written by him that caused a scandal because of his iconoclastic arrogance, as Bernstein is giving advice to God to better rule mankind… Unsatisfied with his text, the composer did several revisions of his work to give it the form that is mostly used today. © François Hudry/Qobuz

Symphonic Music - Released May 11, 2018 | SWR Classic

Booklet Distinctions 5 étoiles de Classica
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Ballets - Released March 9, 2018 | Naxos

Booklet Distinctions 5 étoiles de Classica
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Symphonic Music - Released March 2, 2018 | Profil

Distinctions 5 étoiles de Classica
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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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Symphonic Poems - Released December 1, 2017 | Naxos

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 étoiles de Classica
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Symphonic Music - Released November 3, 2017 | Chandos

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Qobuzissime - 5 étoiles de Classica
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Aside from Elgar’s fascinating and obligatory Falstaff composed in 1913 (a Symphonic Study according to the partition, but in reality a symphonic poem in the grand tradition of Strauss— about whom Elgar probably thought when he wrote his masterpiece, and the rather present solo cello cannot help but remind us of Strauss’ Don Quixote, composed sixteen years earlier), the album distinguishes itself by a few melodies with orchestra from the same Elgar, a repertoire unfortunately too often neglected and yet of breathtaking beauty (we hear, in a pinch, the Sea Pictures performed from time to time, but that’s all folks). And when you know that it’s the now very famous baritone Roderick Williams on the mic, we can only applaud the initiative of Andrew Davis and the BBC Philharmonic to feature these splendors once again. Elgar proves to us here that, far from just being a great master of large symphonic-vocal soundscapes in the form of oratorio (we obviously think about The Dream of Gerontius, The Apostles and The Music Makers), he handles the miniature with genius. Roderick Williams, one of the most beautiful voices of today’s British scene, grasps these rarities with a joy that is as rare as these pieces. The album closes on a hilarious wink, the Smoking Cantata, a cantata with a ginormous orchestration but that lasts… only 49 seconds, and whose text is limited to: “Kindly, Kindly, kindly do not SMOKE in the hall or staircase”. It’s the best British humor! Qobuz technical commentary on sound quality The sound quality for this wonderful orchestration is refined; the level ratios are well-judged; and the distances between the consoles are just right, in this airy piece of mixing that renders the lines exceptionally clear. Clear and enveloping reverberation never hides the discourse: the result is a rare evenness between the different families within the orchestra. The tutti certainly aren’t lacking any liveliness, thanks to the remarkably assured dynamic, and when the percussion gets going we discover a beautifully-proportioned hall, which gives the sound room to develop without constraints. Without falling into the very (too?) popular trap of ultra-proximity, and because the acoustics allow it, Chandos has produced a mix which really respects the score, the performance, and the sound scene... what a relief! © SM/Qobuz