Albums

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Symphonic Music - Released February 8, 2019 | harmonia mundi

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The premiere of Mahler’s Third Symphony took place in June 1902 in Krefeld (not far from Düsseldorf), but it was indeed the Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne which gave that first performance... greeted with acclaim – this was not always the composer’s experience with his masterpieces. Originally conceived as a hymn to Nature, in which the inert chaos of the opening movement is gradually left behind, the work calls for enormous forces (large orchestra, women’s choir, boys’ choir, and contralto soloist) and at each hearing leaves an unforgettable impression on the audience. Such was the case in October 2018, when François-Xavier Roth led the esteemed successors of the work’s first interpreters in this latest Mahler adventure. © harmonia mundi

Ballets - Released November 2, 2018 | BR-Klassik

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Symphonic Music - Released October 26, 2018 | harmonia mundi

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Symphonic Music - Released October 12, 2018 | CAvi-music

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Symphonic Music - Released October 12, 2018 | NoMadMusic

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Symphonies - Released September 28, 2018 | Tonkunstler Orchestra

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Symphonies - Released September 7, 2018 | BR-Klassik

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Symphonies - Released August 10, 2018 | Alpha

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Symphonic Music - Released June 30, 2018 | Rogelio Rojas Duro

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Symphonic Music - Released June 22, 2018 | harmonia mundi

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Symphonic Music - Released May 25, 2018 | NoMadMusic

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It's true, we admit: no-one is really waiting for a new recording of Stravinsky's Firebird – even of the 1945 Suite, which is more rarely performed than the rather hackneyed one of 1919. But what's original about this album from the Orchestre National d’Ile-de-France is rather the rare work by Milhaud: La Bien-Aimée, a ballet from 1928 which had the considerable misfortune of being first performed at the same concert as Ravel's Boléro – which, of course, eclipsed everyone and everything else. But this Bien-Aimée is not without its charms; it is in fact a series of orchestrations of Liszt and Schubert, with one piece for pianola! Yes, the pianola, the mechanical piano which doesn't play quite as "automatically" as all that, given that the human musician decides the tempo, the dynamics and the balances themselves. The difficulty of course lies in perfectly synchronising the pianola and the orchestra: but here, it is pulled off perfectly. Milhaud's orchestrations of this music by Liszt and Schubert are a lot of fun, and Milhaud enjoys a few flashes of genius, and on occasion an unlikely orchestral hodgepodge with neither head nor tail but which, oddly, hits the mark, if in a somewhat slapstick manner. One to discover! © SM/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released April 13, 2018 | Mariinsky

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The second volume in a series of compilations exploring the jewels of Russian classical music as performed by the country’s greatest musical institution. Russian Classics Vol. 2 includes some of the most recognisable and well-loved pieces that Russian music has to offer, including Tchaikovsky’s delicate Waltz of the Flowers, the brooding opening to Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony and the Great Gate of Kiev from Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
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Symphonic Music - Released March 16, 2018 | CAvi-music

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Symphonic Music - Released February 16, 2018 | PentaTone

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No, this is not a re-edit, but really a brand new recording – January 2017 – made by the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne and Marek Janowski. In addition to the vigorous and explosive Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber, the theme in question stemming from Schiller’s version of Gozzi’s Turandot, the recording also features the rarer – and much less “fun” – Nobilissima visione suite. In the initial eponymous ballet from which the suite is derived, Hindemith depicted in musical tones a few episodes of the life of Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, better known as Saint Francis of Assisi. The last movement depicts, provided such a text can even be depicted, the Canticle of the Sun; Hindemith turns it into an immense and intense passacaglia that instead of actually “telling” the Canticle, manages to convey its sheer grandeur. The album closes on another splendour, Konzertmusik for Brass and String Orchestra, Op. 50 from 1930, as ordered by Serge Koussevitzky and the Boston Orchestra. In the great polyphonic tradition, the composer “opposes” groups, in this case the brass – 4 trumpets, 4 horns, 3 trombones, 1 tuba – and the strings (for which the partition requires the largest possible headcount), resulting in a fantastic musical, contrapuntal and architectural richness, not to mention a touch of humour in the race between both ensembles in the second part, as the brass play a rather quirky waltz with jazzy accents and the strings a much more “serious” style is adopted. For anyone barely familiar with Hindemith, these two latest works are a must-have, and more than likely a true revelation! © SM/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released February 9, 2018 | harmonia mundi

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Although a valedictory mood underpins it, Mahler’s Ninth Symphony offers above all a profound meditation on the fate of humanity and seems to exude an immense love of life. Sustained by the commitment and excellence of the artists, this recording reveals the formal, technical and orchestral modernity of a work that was to exert a genuine fascination on the Viennese composers of the following generation. © harmonia mundi
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Symphonic Music - Released February 9, 2018 | Alpha

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One of the big events of 2017 was the opening of the Hamburg Philharmonie. Krzysztof Urbański and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra gave inaugural concerts there that made a lasting impact on audiences and critics alike. On this occasion, the Polish conductor chose to record one of the works closest to his heart, The Rite of Spring: "Stravinsky invented a new language. For me, The Rite is not a score, but a painting: on each page, I see Matisse, Gauguin, the Fauve painters . . . It’s an explosion of colours, emotions, and surprises too: if you don’t know the piece, you never know what’s going to happen. It’s so suggestive that you don’t need to do all that much with the orchestra, the magic is written into the music. . . . When I conduct The Rite, I don’t think: the music penetrates your backbone, it’s inside you . . . It’s a ballet, and perhaps it’s because I was a dancer when I was younger that I can’t control my body when I hear and conduct this piece. It’s a mystical experience for me!". © Alpha Classics

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 1, 2017 | Evidence

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica
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Symphonic Music - Released November 24, 2017 | audite Musikproduktion

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Volume 12 of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL editionpresents a sensational archive discovery: a live recording of the Manfred Overture from the 1953 festival, until recently presumed lost, and now released for the very first time. In 1953, Furtwängler also conducted two of his all-time favourites, Beethoven's Eroica and Schumann's Fourth Symphonies. Until now, these exciting interpretations were only available in technically flawed recordings made by enthusiasts. For this edition, the newly rediscovered original tapes from the archives of the SRF Swiss Radio and Television were made available. Wilhelm Furtwängler, invited to Lucerne for the first time in 1944, was one of the defining artists of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL's first decades. From 1947, he performed in Lucerne each summer (with the exception of 1952, when he had to cancel due to illness) until his final concert in August 1954, a few months before his death (recording also available in the "Historic Performances" series: audite 95.641). In total, Furtwängler conducted eighteen of the festival's concerts, sixteen of which with the Swiss Festival Orchestra who also played on 26 August 1953. Furtwängler's motto was to be "faithful to the spirit" rather than "faithful to each note". This Lucerne recording demonstrates his methodical approach, especially by means of a precisely calculated tempo architecture: Furtwängler's seemingly arbitrary tempo modifications hold structural significance, dynamising the musical form. Illustrated with numerous photos from the festival's archive, the 32-page booklet in three languages discusses this approach, whilst also referring to other famous recordings, such as Furtwängler's studio recording of Schumann's Fourth Symphony with the Berlin Philharmonic, made only a few months earlier. © Audite