Albums

2372 albums sorted by Most acclaimed and filtered by Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred)
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released May 31, 2017 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
After an album of French songs (Néère) that earned her a "Gramophone Award" in 2016, Véronique Gens presents her new recital, this time with orchestra, which gives her an opportunity to display the maturity of her ‘Falcon’ soprano, the central tessitura typical of French Romantic opera, which takes its name from Cornélie Falcon, who created the works of Meyerbeer and Halévy staged in the 1830s. She pays tribute here to a number of composers whose unknown operas she was the first to reveal in projects mounted by the Palazzetto Bru Zane, including David, Godard, Saint-Saëns and Halévy. The programme selects arias from all the genres in vogue in the Romantic era: opera (Saint-Saëns, Halévy, Godard, Février), opéra-comique (David), oratorio (Franck, Massenet) and the cantata for the Prix de Rome (Bizet, Bruneau). A nod to Wagner and his Tannhäuser – in its French translation of the 1860s – completes this programme conducted by a longstanding colleague of the soprano, one of the leading specialists in French music, Hervé Niquet. © Alpha Classics
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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 Recitals - Released September 14, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica
A most unusual cabinet of curiosities 'Finding pleasure even in meditating on what causes one's pain': that neatly defines the theme of this album of music from the cusp of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Here Italian and English madrigals rub shoulders with motets and Tenebrae responsories. A melancholic poetry that provided endless nourishment for musical creativity in the late Renaissance, and which Geoffroy Jourdain presents in his first recording for harmonia mundi. © harmonia mundi

Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released March 2, 2018 | Glossa

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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With "Siface: l’amor castrato", countertenor Filippo Mineccia, together with Javier Ulises Illán and Nereydas, presents a short imaginary pasticcio opera reflecting the music-making and life of the contralto castrato known by that stage name. Born Giovanni Francesco Grossi in 1653 in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, Siface was acclaimed for his exciting musical performances, yet who became famous also for the tragedy of his love life. He was called upon to sing in operas and oratorios by the likes of Stradella, Pasquini, Bassani, Pallavicino and Agostini. For a long time in the service of Francesco II d’Este in Modena, Siface was an active member of the musical “ducal circuit” in the Italian peninsula, even, on one occasion, additionally being sent to England, where he performed before monarchy, and met and impressed Henry Purcell. Filippo Mineccia brilliantly captures the kaleidoscopic rush of emotions coursing through this selection of arias, which reflects the torrid and spectacular musical pace of life in late seventeenth-century Italy (as well as mirroring Siface’s own downfall on the road from Ferrara to Bologna). The Spanish ensemble Nereydas fully enter into the spirit of this, by turns, colourful, heartfelt, poignant and vivid celebration of vocal and instrumental music, which also features works by Alessandro Scarlatti (the emotive lullaby Dormi o fulmine), Francesco Cavalli and Purcell (My song shall be alway). Elena Bernardi puts flesh on still little understood aspects of the early stages of opera in the late Seicento., © Glossa

Choral Music (Choirs) - Released January 5, 2018 | BIS

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Award - Exceptional sound
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Alfred Schnittke and Arvo Pärt have both lived through the intense decades of upheavals that preceded the fall of the Soviet Union. From the 1970s, religion returned to public life as restrictions around it were relaxed. Schnittke turned towards Christianity, while remaining open towards Eastern religions. Arvo Pärt, from a family of Lutheran Estonians, embraced the Orthodox faith in the 1970s. The two composers both began to incorporate religious themes into their work, moving decisively away from the modernist abstraction of their early work. Schnittke wrote three religious works of great power: a Requiem in 1975 which could only be played in secret, disguised (what ignominy...) as stage music in a Muscovite production of Schiller's Don Carlos. His Choir Concerto, also with a religious theme, was performed in Moscow in 1986 after overcoming a daunting series of bureaucratic obstacles. On the other hand, the Penitential Psalms were performed out in the open in 1988 in as part of celebrations to mark a thousand years of Christianity in Russia. The style of this immense masterpiece is in line with Orthodox liturgical tradition, but Schnittke extends traditional principles to create modern sounds - in particular, rhythmical and harmonic modifications, which lend the work an intense richness.   Like Schnittke's Penitential Psalms, the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis by Pärt are composed in a semi-liturgical style. The Magnificat dates back to one year after Schnittke's score was composed, in 1989. Pärt had been living in Berlin since 1981, where he refined his "tintinnabuli" technique. The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir which plays here is one of Estonia's foremost chamber music ensembles. Founded in 1981, it has been directed by Kaspars Putniņš since 2014. Its choral repertoire stretches from Gregorian chant and baroque to more contemporary music, with a particular focus on the work of Estonian composers, which the Choir works hard to spread beyond the country's borders. © SM/Qobuz

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.

Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released January 1, 2013 | Glossa

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released January 1, 2006 | Chandos

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - Diapason découverte - Hi-Res Audio
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released January 24, 2012 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released September 2, 2016 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik

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 June 19, 2009 | deutsche harmonia mundi

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica
Did Michelangelo Rossi (1601-1656) know Gesualdo's madrigals? One might well ask how much the composer-murderer influenced Rossi, who also pushed chromatism, dissonance, and wild modulations to the limit: a kind of musical mannerism which could be mistaken for the work of a 21st-century composer who had turned their hand to old-style madrigals using avant-garde composing techniques. Once again, it's the Huelgas Ensemble who bring us this beautiful handful of exceptional madrigals, recorded in public concert – it's a testament to the quality of the ensemble that we don't hear a single bum note, a real tour de force. The selection takes in some of the most excessive pieces in terms of deviant harmonies, outlaw dissonances, and all manner of delicious and stupefying incongruities. Frankly, it would be no exaggeration to say that Rossi is the worthy heir and equal of Gesualdo. But note: don't confuse this Rossi with Salomone Rossi or Luigi Rossi, both from the same baroque era, and absolutely not with one Tino… © SM/Qobuz

Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released August 26, 2013 | naïve classique

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Hi-Res Audio
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This lovely release presents some little-known works by Leos Janácek, whose known oeuvre grows more impressive with each passing year. The title Brumes d'enfance (Mists of Childhood) is not the name of a work (although one short piano suite is called "In the Mists"), nor even a general mood title, but rather a thematic indicator: most of the music involves childhood in one way or another. One wishes for more recitals of this kind, combining works for various forces in a single idea, and the format would have been familiar to Janácek's own audiences. The ingenious little Rikadla (Nursery Rhymes) of 1926 are settings of children's verses that appeared in a Czech newspaper. The Elegie na Smrt Dcery Olgy (Elegy on the Death of My Daughter Olga) carries the emotional weight of the program: two of the composer's children died before reaching adulthood. Several of the works are from Janácek's own youth, and although they don't specifically treat childhood they are choral works rooted in folk song and storytelling. The French chorus Accentus, known for its virtuoso vocal arrangements of instrumental repertory, applies its celestial sound effectively to more down-to-earth stuff. These early works are particularly interesting: they sounded little like Dvorák's interpretation of musical folklore, which would have been Janácek's model at the time, and instead have a dramatic conception that points the way toward Janácek's own operas. The only work that doesn't readily fit the theme of childhoood is the impressionistic little piano suite V Mlhách (In the Mists), but it's clear why it was included: it seems to fit spiritually with the rest of the music, which shows a more lyrical side of this great composer. The entire album reflects his distinctive voice, and it is highly recommended indeed.
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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.

Choral Music (Choirs) - Released April 6, 2018 | OUR Recordings

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released September 21, 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
The tenor Julian Prégardien joins Alpha Classics for several recording projects that will showcase every facet of his talent, notably lieder and oratorio. His first album on the label is devoted to one of the greatest masterpieces in the history of music, Winterreise in a version with orchestra composed by Hans Zender in 1993. He scored the work for orchestral forces very different from the ensembles used in the nineteenth century (including, for example, a soprano saxophone, an accordion, a harmonica, a wind machine, a guitar and a very large percussion section). Hans Zender describes his work as a ‘creative transformation’: ‘My own reading of Winterreise does not seek a new expressive interpretation, but systematically takes advantage of the freedoms that performers normally allow themselves in an intuitive way: slowing down or accelerating the tempo, transposition into different keys, emphasising and nuancing colours.’ © Outhere Music
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released October 26, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Two composers who in one way or another sang about the horrors of war, and two who lost their lives in it: Ian Bostridge's takes a successful gamble here, with masterful accompaniment on the piano by Antonio Pappano. The first two are from Kurt Weill with Four Walt Whitman Songs in which the poet laments over the soldiers who died in the War of Succession, and Gustav Mahler, three of whose Lieder(s) taken from Knaben Wunderhorn cruelly and repugnantly evoke the lives of poor young people, peasants and people who are barely through with their school years, sent to be torn apart on every possible and imaginable front. More directly concerned, if one may say so, are George Butterworth - who fell at the Somme in 1916, aged thirty-one, and whose A Shropshire Lad is without a doubt the greatest masterpiece here. Rudi Stephan fell at the Galician front in 1915 aged twenty-eight. His cycle Ich will dir singen ein Hohelied is a climax of unsettling eroticism... Would the fate of German music have been different if this genius had been able to act as a counterbalance, for example, to the emerging dodecaphonic music? Bostridge gives it his all here in this sad centenary of the end of the “war to end all wars”, which we know was tragically not the case. © SM/Qobuz
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released October 14, 2016 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama
Since the dawn of Christianity, Christmas has been celebrated with festive singing. In the Baroque era numerous composers such as Charpentier, Delalande, Balbastre, Dandrieu and Daquin created masterpieces out of these simple tunes. When Sofi Jeannin told me of her wish to get her ‘Maîtrise’ choir to sing Christmas music, I was delighted. For a long time I had been gathering French sources of the 17th and 18th centuries with the intention of working on baroque carol arrangements with Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien. I wanted to create something quite different from what had been done before, by treating this repertoire with proper respect: being faithful to the old sources, yet re-working the musical material to make our own personal version. The different languages, regional dialects and accents illustrate the extraordinary diversity and cultural richness of France – as well as of ‘New France’ – at that historical period.
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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released October 6, 2014 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica
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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released August 29, 2006 | Warner Classics International

Distinctions Diapason d'or - The Qobuz Ideal Discography