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Classical - Released December 13, 2019 | Passacaille

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Classical - Released November 1, 2019 | Aeolus

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released September 27, 2019 | Ricercar

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Classical - Released September 13, 2019 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique
Since setting off in the early 2000s, Pierre Hantaï is still journeying into Domenico Scarlatti’s world. After a hiatus of more than ten years following the third volume, the harpsichordist finally recorded a fourth volume in 2016 and this autumn sees the sixth one come into bloom, once again superbly recorded in Haarlem in the Netherlands by Nicolas Bartholomée. Pierre Hantaï is taking his time to gradually construct a perfect anthology of Scarlatti’s keyboard work. Here, he explores some of his little-known sonatas. His keyboard intensifies the profound rhythmic force of Scarlatti’s world: the sharp lines burst forth, the harmonic tension constantly explodes, the new tones are revealed smoothly, and his playing – with an exhilarating left hand – is stunning throughout. The first five sonatas of this new release (all of which have a fairly fast tempo) form a representative ensemble of a rather uncompromising Scarlatti, followed by a moment of gravity and meditation with the exquisite Sonata in F minor, K. 69, while the surrounding Sonatas K. 502 and K. 43 (with a wonderfully volatile left hand) have clearly marked rhythms. The style and atmosphere changes with Sonata in C major, K. 384, whose tender “French” tone is emphasised by Pierre Hantaï, and at the same time there’s an almost modern feel which goes beyond even Soler’s most audacious scores. Fascinating! While the tender sonatas (K. 550, K. 544) distil an aftertaste that is slightly more spicy than the previous volumes, what continues to surprise us with Hantaï in this repertoire is his prolonged search for a “Hispanic” feel - a Spain in a majestic trance, with colliding rhythms and contrasting accents and registers. Let’s hope that Pierre Hantaï does not wait another ten years to deliver the seventh volume; there is no doubt that these Scarlatti recordings will remain one of the most exciting and necessary musical adventures of the 21st century. A perfectly captured sound, style and universe. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Classical - Released August 30, 2019 | Warner Classics

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released July 26, 2019 | Brilliant Classics

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
A new recording of Bach’s final testament and love-letter to the art of counterpoint, performed in exemplary style by the Dutch harpsichordist. When he died in July 1750, Bach left tantalisingly unfinished his final masterpiece, The Art of Fugue. He had been composing and compiling it during the last decade of his life, alongside several other compendious projects such as the Mass in B minor and The Musical Offering, whose fugal masterpieces are excerpted on this recording. However, The Art of Fugue remains an absorbing testimony to Bach’s genius and to his life-long love and mastery of counterpoint. A single theme is elaborated with unprecedented variety over the course of 14 fugues and four canons. One of the fugues is composed for two harpsichords – where Belder is joined by Gerard de Wit – and composed in such a way that it can be performed backwards: an extraordinary feat of ingenuity. Playing both a modern copy of a Blanchet harpsichord and a clavichord modelled on a Friederici original, Belder intersperses canons within the sequence of fugues at strategic intervals. The recording set contains also the 4 Duetti BWV 802-805, and two Ricercares from the Musical Offering. © Brilliant Classics
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Chamber Music - Released June 7, 2019 | Warner Classics

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Thirty years after his premature death, the American harpsichordist and organist Scott Ross is still present in the hearts of music lovers. His name remains attached to the marathon of 555 sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti he recorded on harpsichord for Disques Erato. It is out of this achievement that Scott Ross took on the task of recording the integrity of Johann Sebastian Bach’s works on keys (harpsichord and organ), but the great grim-reaper thought otherwise. This new homage-publication takes existing recordings and completes them with hitherto unseen material from French, Swiss and Canadian radios, including concerts and recordings on both harpsichord and organ. This disparate ensemble finds its coherence through the remastering of a wide range of sources by Christophe Hénault from Studio Art & Son. The happiness of experiencing the intense, fantastic and colourful joy of Scott Ross again will satisfy numerous admirers who will find him in solo, but also in duet with his old teacher Huguette Grémy-Chauliac and the Mosaïques ensemble under the direction of Christophe Coin. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released April 12, 2019 | Naxos

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Innovative music printer Pierre Attaingnant (c.1494-1551) published the first editions of keyboard music ever to appear in France in 1531 (Tracks 1-30). Only one copy of each of these seven tiny but crucially important volumes has survived, in which anonymous composers made arrangements of some of the most beautiful chansons, motets and dances from the reign of François I. Some pieces follow (Tracks 31-38), which are also from the 16th century French keyboard repertoire but not from the Attaingnant edition. All this keyboard music shows France at the forefront of developments in this field. Glen Wilson has corrected the countless errors in these original sources, restoring this rare and enchanting music and allowing it to shine in its original glory. © Naxos / Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released April 5, 2019 | Passacaille

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released April 5, 2019 | Globe

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 de Diapason
The affinity between Baroque music and jazz, often remarked upon since the days of the Modern Jazz Quartet and Gunther Schuller's "Third Stream," has not really been fully explored beyond the surface similarity: that both are rooted in a steadily progressing bass line. Consider this limited-edition (and numbered!) release by harpsichordist Patrick Ayrton. Hearing Gershwin's I Got Rhythm played, however vigorously, on the harpsichord at the beginning may cause you to ask whether this experiment was really necessary, but persist: there are several types of fusion here, and the variety is very attractive. For one thing, Ayrton touches on the actual Baroque only once, in Alec Templeton's Bach Goes to Town (Prelude and Fugue in Swing). He has another popular song treatment, Vernon Duke's I Can't Get Started with You, and a jazz piece, Artie Shaw's Summer Ridge Drive, as well as probably the only work written for this particular combination of forces, Joseph Horowitz's Jazz Harpsichord Concerto. Mostly the program features works of the 20th century that flirt with either the Baroque, jazz, or both. It's quite intriguing to reflect on how both these languages were unfamiliar to classical composers, who had to strive to assimilate them. Consider Alfred Schnittke's Suite in the Old Style (1965), which sounds a bit like Fritz Kreisler's phony Baroque violin pieces but hardly like actual Baroque music. Likewise, sample some of the Esquisses de jazz (Jazz Sketches) by the doomed Erwin Schulhoff, whose oeuvre seems more multifaceted with each passing year: they are certainly marked by jazz, but are only lightly jazzy. Throughout, the fusion is approached from different directions, whether that of improvisation (Poulenc's 7ème Improvisation) to genre (Stravinsky's "Marche Royale" from L'Histoire du Soldat, which has a very jazzy feel despite the fact that Stravinsky had hardly heard jazz in 1918). The whole thing effectively situates the neoclassic interest in jazz as part of a larger picture and is a great deal of fun besides. Recommended. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released March 29, 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Frescobaldi brilliantly combines improvisation and architecture. These qualities resonate with the discography of harpsichordist Christophe Rousset, whose choice of repertoire and interpretation are adventurous and serious at the same time. Frescobaldi’s counterpoint goes along with the finest art of singing, inherited from the Italian madrigal, and the flexibility of his language highlights the virtuosity of his compositions. Christophe Rousset recorded toccate and partite on a beautiful and original harpsichord of the late 16th century. Its sound faithfully testifies for the significant place of this First Book of harpsichord pieces in the nascent modernity of Frescobaldi. If the modal harmonies are still old-fashioned, the free beat and subtle melodies make it an indisputable baroque master, admired from Italy to France and Germany: Bach is said to have had a copy of his Fiori musicali! This new disc by Christophe Rousset reveals the first treasures composed specifically for the harpsichord. Its repertoire was served from the beginning by musicians whose expressive boldness recalls in a musical way Caravaggio’s chiaroscuro. © Aparté
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Chamber Music - Released March 15, 2019 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica
Two years after releasing her CD dedicated to Book I of J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Céline Frisch now presents the second volume of this musical landmark. Bach compiled Book II in 1744, twenty-two years after Book I. It took until 1801 for both volumes to be printed: from then until the present day they have inspired countless composers. After a series of recordings with the Ensemble Zimmermann she helped to found, Céline Frisch returns to the harpsichord recital, for a programme of this, her very favourite music. Through these preludes and fugues, she reminds us that far from being technical exercises, the Well- Tempered Clavier is a work of pure pleasure and constant renewed discovery. As Robert Schumann declared: ‘You should frequently play the fugues of the great masters, particularly those of J.S. Bach. Make the Well-Tempered Clavier your daily bread.’ © Alpha Classics
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Chamber Music - Released February 8, 2019 | Naxos

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Chamber Music - Released January 25, 2019 | ATMA Classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released December 28, 2018 | Brilliant Classics

Booklet
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Chamber Music - Released November 23, 2018 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
In 16 CD Alpha traces the adventure of Café Zimmermann on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the instrumental ensemble. Among the iconic albums featured in this discographic portrait are Celine Frisch's Goldberg Variations, unanimously acclaimed at the time of their release in 2001.
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Classical - Released October 19, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - 5 étoiles de Classica
Staying true to himself, harpsichordist Jean Rondeau stirs up another musical storm. In his interpretation of around fifteen Sonatas by Scarlatti, he unleashes a kind of rawness, a poetic rawness, as if he had invented the sonatas on the spot. But no, no, they are indeed Scarlatti’s sonatas! On the other hand, Domenico's letter to Queen Marie-Barbara de Bragança, found in the accompanying booklet, is factually apocryphal. She was his pupil as early as 1720 and continued to be until her royal marriage to the Spanish court; it seems that it was for her that he wrote his approximately five hundred and fifty-five sonatas, that is to say that he had found a student worthy of his genius. The farce on the ninth track is also apocryphal, which Rondeau uses as an interlude between the two “parts” of his programme. It is a funny little improvisation of jumbled notes and clusters - enough to clean the ears between the two Scarlattis. The instrument used here is quite amazing; it is a harpsichord “based on German models”, built in 2006 by Jonte Knif & Arno Pelto. It offers an extremely rich sound with a rather unusual tone, showing that it takes more than just pressing the keys of a harpsichord to get the desired sound. With his very personal technique, Rondeau makes his harpsichord wonderfully unique, giving the baroque music an incredibly modern feel. © SM/Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released October 19, 2018 | Metronome

Hi-Res Distinctions Diapason d'or
François Couperin was the most illustrious member of a dynasty of musicians comparable to that of the Bach family. There is every reason to believe that his name "Couperin the Great", first found in writing in 1780, had already been bestowed upon him during his lifetime to distinguish him from the other musicians in his family. In addition to his duties as the King's organist at Versailles, Couperin taught the harpsichord to many students from the royal family and the ranks of the nobility and, at the turn of the century, he was as active a composer as he was a performer. His work for harpsichord represents the most prominent part of his musical production with his pedagogical work L'Art de toucher le clavecin, or “The Art of Playing the Harpsichord” in English. The work was published in 1716 and deals with ornamentation, fingering, the general position of the body, – particularly focusing on the wrists - the touch, the character of the instrument, and so on. Also from this fruitful period we find his twenty-seven "orders" - a term he used to refer to a group of pieces with similar tonalities, halfway between a suite and an anthology. The work is divided into four volumes, published between 1713 and 1730. He develops a world of poetic fantasy that takes on the form of simple dance movements, portraits, "character pieces", pastoral paintings or theatrical miniatures. Here the Swedish harpsichordist Carole Cerasi offers us the complete works, spread over ten albums including L'Art de toucher le clavecin and the four Books, which she distributes over six different harpsichords. The first volume opens with L'art, which Cerasi performs on an Antwerp Ruckers model from 1624; it continues with the First Book which also covers the second and third volumes. This book contains five orders; it was published in 1713, although several of the pieces it contains had been written years earlier. For the First Book , Carole Cerasi plays an Antwerp harpsichord by Andreas Ruckers, built in 1636 and reworked in 1763 in Paris by Henri Hemsch, giving a Franco-Flemish sound! © SM/Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released October 19, 2018 | Metronome

Hi-Res Distinctions Diapason d'or
François Couperin was the most illustrious member of a dynasty of musicians comparable to that of the Bach family. There is every reason to believe that his name "Couperin the Great", first found in writing in 1780, had already been bestowed upon him during his lifetime to distinguish him from the other musicians in his family. In addition to his duties as the King's organist at Versailles, Couperin taught the harpsichord to many students from the royal family and the ranks of the nobility and, at the turn of the century, he was as active a composer as he was a performer. His work for harpsichord represents the most prominent part of his musical production with his pedagogical work L'Art de toucher le clavecin, or “The Art of Playing the Harpsichord” in English. The work was published in 1716 and deals with ornamentation, fingering, the general position of the body, – particularly focusing on the wrists - the touch, the character of the instrument, and so on. Also from this fruitful period we find his twenty-seven "orders" - a term he used to refer to a group of pieces with similar tonalities, halfway between a suite and an anthology. The work is divided into four volumes, published between 1713 and 1730. He develops a world of poetic fantasy that takes on the form of simple dance movements, portraits, "character pieces", pastoral paintings or theatrical miniatures. Here the Swedish harpsichordist Carole Cerasi offers us the complete works, spread over ten albums including L'Art de toucher le clavecin and the four Books, which she distributes over six different harpsichords. Volumes 4, 5 and the first half of the 6th include the entire Second Book, published in 1717. His seven orders, which vary hugely in size, contain some pieces that have become famous outside their context: Les Moissoneurs and Les Baricades Mistérieuses. Anna Magdalena Bach had included the Bergeries in her Clavierbüchlein dating from 1725 - proof that Bach held Couperin in very high esteem. In the Eleventh Order we find the satirical piece Les Fastes de la Grande et Ancienne Mxnxstrxndxsx, a joke by Couperin which we should read as "Ménéstrandise.” This was a brotherhood of musicians founded in 1321 who tried to impose a tax on musicians who were not members, including harpsichordists. Couperin was one of those who protested before the King and the Ménéstrandise was dissolved. The Second Book is divided between two harpsichords, a copy of a Parisian instrument by Antoine Vater (1738) and the copy of the 1624 Ruckers harpsichord again, which had been used for L'Art de toucher le clavecin. © SM/Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released October 19, 2018 | Metronome

Hi-Res Distinctions Diapason d'or
François Couperin was the most illustrious member of a dynasty of musicians comparable to that of the Bach family. There is every reason to believe that his name "Couperin the Great", first found in writing in 1780, had already been bestowed upon him during his lifetime to distinguish him from the other musicians in his family. In addition to his duties as the King's organist at Versailles, Couperin taught the harpsichord to many students from the royal family and the ranks of the nobility and, at the turn of the century, he was as active a composer as he was a performer. His work for harpsichord represents the most prominent part of his musical production with his pedagogical work L'Art de toucher le clavecin, or “The Art of Playing the Harpsichord” in English. The work was published in 1716 and deals with ornamentation, fingering, the general position of the body, – particularly focusing on the wrists - the touch, the character of the instrument, and so on. Also from this fruitful period we find his twenty-seven "orders" - a term he used to refer to a group of pieces with similar tonalities, halfway between a suite and an anthology. The work is divided into four volumes, published between 1713 and 1730. He develops a world of poetic fantasy that takes on the form of simple dance movements, portraits, "character pieces", pastoral paintings or theatrical miniatures. Here the Swedish harpsichordist Carole Cerasi offers us the complete works, spread over ten albums including L'Art de toucher le clavecin and the four Books, which she distributes over six different harpsichords. The first volume opens with L'art, which Cerasi performs on an Antwerp Ruckers model from 1624; it continues with the First Book which also covers the second and third volumes. This book contains five orders; it was published in 1713, although several of the pieces it contains had been written years earlier. For the First Book , Carole Cerasi plays an Antwerp harpsichord by Andreas Ruckers, built in 1636 and reworked in 1763 in Paris by Henri Hemsch, giving a Franco-Flemish sound! © SM/Qobuz