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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released January 12, 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica
Alpha continues its collaboration with the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and its Academy, which will celebrate its twentieth anniversary in 2018. We invite you to discover artists of great talent who take us on a trip to Auvergne, Sicily, Armenia and Azerbaijan thanks to Luciano Berio’s Folk Songs, to Andalusia with Falla’s Psyché on a poem of Georges-Jean Aubry, and to the world of Jules Renard with Ravel’s Histoires naturelles. The last-named are recorded in a version for chamber ensemble: ‘Since Ravel gave Manuel Rosenthal to make an arrangement for large orchestra which we found rather overblown, we set out to find a “chasseur d’images” (to quote the title of one of Renard’s Histoires naturelles poems) who could transcribe the work without losing its intimate, delicate aspect. . . . We hope you will be as charmed as we are by Arthur Lavandier’s work, which beautifully conveys the immensely refined timbres and nuances of Ravel’, says the oboist Clément Noël, a member of the Swiss Ensemble Labyrinth. Anna Stéphany is a true revelation, performing this programme with the technique, the sensuality and the emotional impact that earned her a huge triumph in Mozart at last summer’s Glyndebourne Festival. © Alpha Classics
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released September 22, 2017 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica
The six young singers of the Academy of Le Jardin des Voix, selected from several hundred candidates, offer us a musical journey through some of the finest pieces in the Italian repertory, from a Banchieri madrigal to Haydn’s Orlando paladino. Thanks to an outstanding training programme and the musical values transmitted by William Christie and Paul Agnew, here is a chance to discover both some splendid vocal gems and a group of new performers who honour them with talent, grace and humour. Sheer delight! © harmonia mundi
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released March 18, 2016 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica - Exceptional sound - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released September 18, 2015 | Erato - Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica

Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released February 24, 2015 | Glossa

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles de Classica
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released September 29, 2014 | naïve classique

Booklet Distinctions Diamant d'Opéra Magazine - 4 étoiles de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Argentine countertenor Franco Fagioli has emerged as one of the rising figures in that hot field, seemingly with the Italian opera of the first half of the 18th century as a specialty. As such, he might be particularly well represented by this collection of arias by Nicola Porpora, whose activities cut across a cross section of important activities in the century's second quarter. He was the teacher of both Haydn and Farinelli. He snagged many of Pietro Metastasio's high-tragedy opera seria libretti for himself and set them with suitably florid music, but he also had a considerable for sheer melody that's on display in this well-chosen program. Fagioli is not an exceptionally powerful countertenor, but he's capable of sheer smoothness of line that's appropriate to Porpora, who was called the greatest teacher of singers among composers, and the greatest composer among teachers of singing. He gets excellent support from the sparse but extremely sensitive Academia Montis Regalis under Alessandro de Marchi, and he makes a strong entry in the continuing case that Porpora ought to be ranked among the operatic greats. A countertenor release that can be recommended for pure melodic beauty.
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released November 16, 2012 | Sony Classical

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles de Classica - Exceptional sound
German baritone Christian Gerhaher has recorded lieder, and his fundamentally gentle, intimate, moderate-sized voice is suited to that genre. Here, however, he steps it up successfully to early Romantic opera, from Schubert up to Wagner's Tannhäuser and Otto Nicolai. If you're wondering about the two separate Schubert operas, that gives you an idea of the value of this vocal-orchestral recital: it touches on some very unfamiliar music and generally does a good job bringing it to life. Schubert's 1823 opera Alfonso und Estrella, not performed until it was revived by Liszt in 1854, has been recorded, but the excerpt from Der Graf von Gleichen, sketched out at the end of Schubert's life and left unfinished (the realization here is by Richard Dünser, made in the 1990s) is a much rarer animal. This is the highlight of the album; in Gerhaher's hands, the aria "O Himmel ... Mein Weib, O Gott, mein süßer Knabe" emerges as a real piece of Schubert's broad and harmonically pathbreaking late style. Another comparative rarity is the excerpt from Schumann's opera Genoveva, usually accounted the great failure of Schumann's later years; Gerhaher gives the excerpt "Ja wart' du bis zum jüngsten Tag" a spiky quality that is quite Wagnerian in its free speech cadences. The more melodic music from Otto Nicolai's Die Heimkehr des Verbannten, also not common on recordings, provides an effective foil. Gerhaher's voice has many surface pleasures, but his accomplishment here is to make the listener want to undertake a fresh hearing of the operas involved. A fine outing from the on-a-roll Sony Classical label, nicely recorded.
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released November 9, 2012 | deutsche harmonia mundi

Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles de Classica

Choral Music (Choirs) - Released April 3, 2012 | Ondine

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released January 3, 2012 | Ondine

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released January 24, 2012 | harmonia mundi

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica
Given the frequency with which he appears in the world's greatest opera houses, it is surprising that Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecien has made so few recordings and that this 2012 Harmonia Mundi release is only his second solo recital. He has made his reputation largely in the Italian bel canto repertoire and in Mozart, but his solo recitals have highlighted a different side of his artistic personality: Chopin songs in the first, and Russian, Polish, and Czech Romantic and post-Romantic arias in this one. He is to be commended for focusing on music that, for the most part, is little-known in the West. Kwiecien brings the suave, seamless lyricism that characterizes his approach to Donizetti and Mozart to these substantially darker characters. He's especially effective in the Tchaikovsky arias, from Eugene Onegin, Iolanta, and Mazeppa. His voice and temperament seem tailor-made for the role of Onegin and he beautifully conveys the character's development from shallow cad to a sincere, anguished adult. He also excels in the song-like excerpts from three operas by Moniuszko. Kwiecien doesn't have the weight usually associated with the role of Prince Igor, but his colorful voice is well-suited to the predominantly contemplative quality of the aria, "No sleep, no rest…" and he can summon the necessary power to put it across convincingly. Occasionally, as at the end of the scene from Szymanowski's King Roger and the end of the aria from Iolanta, when Kwiecien pushes for volume, his tone loses focus. In spite of those lapses, the album is an admirable introduction to the baritone's fluency in a diverse range of music and his easy versatility in establishing a variety of dramatic moods. Lukasz Borowicz leads the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra in rip-roaring but polished and nuanced performances of this fiery repertoire. The sound is clean, warmly resonant, and well balanced.

Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released November 7, 2011 | naïve classique

Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica
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Conductor Laurence Equilbey continues to broaden the range of repertoire in which the choir Accentus excels. This album presents a sampling of some of Mendelssohn's (relatively) small-scale sacred choral works. Each of them demonstrates the sweet euphony characteristic of so much of the composer's writing. The single-movement cantata Verleih uns Frieden gnädiglich, and the chorus from Christus, "Es wird ein Stern aus Jacob aufgehn" are especially lovely examples of the choral serenity Mendelssohn was so skilled at creating. Christus consists of six movements from the unfinished oratorio, with three movements devoted to the Nativity and three to the Passion. In the cantatas based on Lutheran chorales, O Haupt voll blut und wunden and Vom Himmel hoch, it's easy to hear the influence of J.S. Bach in the music's contrapuntal richness and the grandeur summoned in the choral passages. The soloists, soprano Sandrine Piau, tenor Robert Getchell, and basses Markus Butter and Laurent Slaars are all top-notch, singing with exceptionally pure, warm tone, and unmannered delivery. Accentus sings with its accustomed full, sumptuous blend; immaculate intonation; and shapely sensitivity to the music's nuances. Ensemble Orchestral de Paris capably matches the choir's subtlety and musicality. Naïve's album is beautifully engineered, with absolute clarity and spacious ambience. Highly recommended for fans of Romantic choral music.

Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released May 9, 2011 | naïve classique

Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released November 16, 2010 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica - Hi-Res Audio

Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released April 14, 2009 | Troba Vox

Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles de Classica
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