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Symphonic Music - Released December 7, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
The originality of this recording (which presents works that are, in fact, rather common) comes from the orchestra Les Siècles playing on periodic instruments, in this case from the period in which Debussy wrote these masterpieces. This is particularly relevant for woodwinds and brass, whose mechanisms and sounds around 1900 were very different - more incisive perhaps, and undoubtedly more differentiated - which for music like Debussy's offers a real plus in the orchestral balance. Moreover, the number of strings remains reasonable, this way the woodwind is never swallowed up as it often is with large international orchestras. The listener will be able to hear this music as Debussy heard it, or at least how he would have liked to have heard it because in his time orchestras and conductors did not always have a clear understanding of his style or the infinite colours on his palette. © SM/Qobuz

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 26, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice

Symphonic Music - Released April 6, 2018 | Chandos

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Symphonies - Released April 6, 2018 | BIS

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Exceptional sound
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Symphonic Music - Released March 16, 2018 | CAvi-music

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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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.
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Symphonic Music - Released November 10, 2017 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
Haydn2032, the ambitious project of recording the complete symphonies of Haydn, has been placed from the start under the artistic direction of Giovanni Antonini, with two ensembles, Il Giardino Armonico, which made the first four volumes, and the Kammerochester Basel, to which this fifth volume and the next two are assigned. Another characteristic of the edition is that each time Haydn is set in perspective with another composer; here it is Joseph Martin Kraus (1756-92): ‘Kraus was the first man of genius that I met. Why did he have to die? It is an irreparable loss for our art. The Symphony in C minor he wrote in Vienna specially for me is a work which will be considered a masterpiece in every century’, said Haydn in 1797. Though he long remained forgotten after his death, Kraus made an active contribution to the movement of poetic renewal called ‘Sturm und Drang’ or ‘Geniezeit’ (time of genius) because such artists as the young Goethe broke free of all tradition to follow their hearts alone. When Haydn called Kraus homme de génie, in French, he probably had this context in mind. The two composers had met in Vienna in 1783. © Alpha Classics

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

Symphonic Music - Released May 19, 2017 | Chandos

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles de Classica
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The BBC Philharmonic has launched a highly interesting new series dedicated to George Antheil’s symphonic works, the totally underrated music of a composer who began his career with a reputation as an enfant terrible during his formative years in Europe, where he composed a succession of shockingly avant-garde works, including Ballet mécanique in 1925. In this and his other early modernist pieces, the self-styled “Bad Boy of Music” was heavily influenced by the rhythmic dynamism and crushing dissonances of Stravinsky’s early ballets, but his stylistic preoccupations would change markedly after his return to the USA in 1933. He moved towards a fundamentally tonal and melody-based style, surprising those who knew his earlier experimental music by now joining the growing ranks of US symphonists working in tuneful neo-classical and neo-romantic idioms. Antheil considered his Symphony No. 4, begun in 1942, to be a meditation on several aspects of the ongoing war: the massacre in Lidice for the second movement, while the third, a Scherzo, was “a brutal joke, the joke of war”. The Allies’ eventual triumph was adumbrated in the symphony’s dynamic finale. The work was a tremendous success with both critics and concert-goers, and Time magazine felt that the premiere was an “almost unprecedented” phenomenon: a new American symphony which “failed to bore its audience”. The Time reviewer, however, suggested strong influence of Shostakovich; particularly obvious were the apparent nods towards the Russian composer’s bombastic “Leningrad” Symphony (No. 7), first heard in the United States in July 1942. Antheil resented this implication, however, writing in his autobiography that the passage in the middle of his first movement which had most frequently been attributed to his fondness for Shostakovich had in fact been recycled note-for-note from his own opera Transatlantic published as early as 1928 (the reader can readily check that here, track 20). As Antheil was quick to point out, this music therefore had originated during a time just somewhat before Shostakovich had written even one symphony. In 1947, Antheil put the score of a new but unfinished Fifth symphony aside (the work would become the unnumbered tragic Symphony) and devoted himself instead to a completely different Symphony No. 5; this new work would have a far more celebratory nature, as its sobriquet, “Joyous”, unashamedly indicated. Antheil regarded the symphony as marking his final break from what he called “the now passé” musical modernism of the early twentieth century. In his review of the Carnegie Hall performance, music critic Virgil Thomson declared Symphony No. 5 to be Antheil’s best work to date. The album begins with the short Over the Plains (1945, here a world premiere recording), recalling the emotions that he had experienced when travelling through Texas ten years before, on which occasion he knew that one day he would write a piece celebrating not only the optimistic, pioneering spirit that the view had inspired but also the cheerfulness of the local inhabitants. © SM/Qobuz
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Ballets - Released March 17, 2017 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Award - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles de Classica
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Symphonies - Released January 20, 2017 | Sony Classical

Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik

Symphonic Music - Released November 4, 2016 | Toccata Classics

Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Symphonies - Released August 5, 2016 | BIS

Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Award - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Symphonies - Released June 10, 2016 | Dacapo SACD

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Symphonic Music - Released March 4, 2016 | CPO

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Symphonic Music - Released March 23, 2015 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice

Symphonies - Released June 3, 2014 | Dacapo SACD

Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Award - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles de Classica
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Symphonies - Released April 1, 2014 | Naxos

Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - La Clef du mois RESMUSICA
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Symphonic Music - Released February 25, 2014 | CPO

Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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