Albums

Symphonic Music - Released October 5, 2018 | Chandos

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique
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Sir Andrew Davis returns to his exploration of Holst’s orchestral works with the brilliant BBC Philharmonic, a series initiated almost ten years ago by the late Richard Hickox, then taken over by another expert in British repertoire. This selection of orchestral works by Holst provides a remarkable overview of his career, ranging from such early works as A Winder Idyll – composed in 1897 when he was still studying at the Royal College of Music – to the Scherzo of a symphony on which he was working towards the end of his life. None of the music recorded here was published in his lifetime, and the Scherzo – rarely heard though it is – is the only work to have entered the repertoire. A Moorside Suite, originally written for brass band, is featured here in the composer's rarely heard arrangement for strings. The young British cellist Guy Johnston is the soloist in Invocation, one of Holst’s most significant works, calling for a subtle balance of virtuosity and expressive qualities. © Chandos
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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 Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Symphonies - Released July 6, 2018 | Decca

Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Symphonic Music - Released June 25, 2018 | Les Indispensables de Diapason

Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Ballets - Released May 11, 2018 | Decca

Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Symphonic Music - Released April 27, 2018 | La discothèque idéale de Diapason

Distinctions Diapason d'or

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
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Symphonic Music - Released April 13, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Recording Ravel's music on period instruments is the kind of thing that might raise a smile... until you realise just how much the production of instruments has changed in less than a hundred years: it's the return of catgut strings, skin drum heads, the French basson (and not the German system bassoon which is used across all the world's orchestras today), shaper tips, trumpets and trombones of French manufacture. At the head of his orchestra Les Siècles, François-Xavier Roth gives a new, orthodox, historically-informed version of Ma Mère l’oye (complete ballet), the Tombeau de Couperin and Shéhérazade, the long-neglected "ouverture de féérie" [Fairy Overture] which is pure Ravel. This return to the roots is clearly easier and more straightforwardly authentic for this period of music history, because, unlike earlier works, we possess recordings which date back to the 1920s, and even earlier, which can tell us about the style, the colours, the phrasing and the tempo. But it isn't enough just to have all this historical information to hand to make something interesting. What makes this record thrilling is that all the musicians in the Siècles are excellent, and François-Xavier Roth is a talented artist himself, who knows this music inside out. At which point, his complete recording of Stravinsky's Firebird has already struck us with its quality. This rediscovery of Ravel resounds with clarity and finesse; it is a feast of well-defined timbres which cuts against the "beautiful sound" which prevails in orchestras around the world today. © François Hudry/Qobuz

Symphonies - Released April 6, 2018 | BIS

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Exceptional sound
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Symphonic Poems - Released February 22, 2018 | Les Indispensables de Diapason

Distinctions Diapason d'or

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 Music - Released December 8, 2017 | naïve classique

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Symphonic Music - Released November 24, 2017 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Distinctions Diapason d'or

Symphonic Music - Released November 17, 2017 | ICA Classics

Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Symphonies - Released November 17, 2017 | Orfeo

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Symphonic Music - Released November 17, 2017 | MUNCHNER PHILHARMONIKER GBR

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice
The Munich Philharmonic and Sergiu Celibidache share an exceptional legacy. He started his work as principal conductor in 1979 and remained in this position for as long as 17 years. Sergiu Celibidache played an integral part in making the Munich Philharmonic what it is today: an orchestra of worldwide renown. Today the Munich Philharmonic is critically acclaimed internationally with hopelessly sold out concerts in Munich and the world. On their recently launched label MPHIL, the Munich Philharmonic is opening up its vast archives, giving listeners the opportunity to enjoy one of the richest collections of recordings by legendary artists. Because of the Celibidache era and its part in forming the core essence of the orchestra, this first MPHIL physical archive release consists of two recordings under the baton of Maestro Celibidache. The chosen repertoire on the album is Gustav Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder, recorded 30 June 1983 at the Herkulessaal der Residenz, Munich and Richard Strauss’ Tod und Verklärung, recorded on 17 February 1979 also at the Herkulessaal der Residenz, Munich. For a long time, Tod und Verklärung was the most popular of Richard Strauss’s early tone poems. It contains a wide range of memorable motifs subtly differentiated with the result that its music recurs whenever there is mention of death or transfiguration in Strauss’ later output. Together with the innocent tone and positively artificial naïveté of the poems that attracted Gustav Mahler as a composer and prompted him to compose the Kindertotenlieder, this thoughtfully curated pairing creates an altogether intimate character while revealing an astonishing wealth of colours. Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder feature German mezzo-soprano Brigitte Fassbaender, who holds the prestigious title “Kammersängerin” from the Bavarian State Opera and the Vienna State Opera.

Symphonic Music - Released November 3, 2017 | CPO

Distinctions Diapason d'or
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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