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Concertos - Released November 8, 2011 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Opera - Released November 29, 2019 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Created in 1804 in Vienna before an audience of French officers, none of whom understood any German, Beethoven’s only opera, Leonore, was not successful. Based on a true story which took place during the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution -- the story of an intrepid young woman who dresses up as a man in an attempt to rescue her husband, a victim of arbitrary arrest and imprisoned in a dark cell -- Beethoven took his inspiration from several sources. The story, very in keeping with the troubled times, was indeed put to music in 1798 by the French composer Pierre Gaveaux from a libretto by Nicolas Bouilly, then again a little while later in Italian, in 1804 in a smaller-scale work by Ferdinando Paër. The Italian-German composer Simon Mayr then created a “sentimental farce” in Padua not long after Beethoven’s Leonore. Having dreamed of a tragically utopian level of universal human fraternity his whole life, as well as the image of a couple whose relationship is ideally based on marriage and loyalty, Beethoven had found a story which perfectly corresponded to his own political opinions, formed as a result of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution (before the emergence of Napoleon’s power). We now know that he reworked this lyrical work twice, turning it into the format we know it as today with its new name Fidelio. For René Jacobs, the original 1804 version is preferable to the successive amendments and deletions which were made. And we can’t blame him for this, his new recording highlighting all the beauty and modernity of this unfortunately destined first version of Leonore. In 1804, Beethoven has all his resources at his disposal: it’s the year of the Eroica symphony and the Appassionata sonata. By means of his directorial verve, his acute sense of theatrics and a distinguishably well-chosen cast, René Jacobs does this original version of Leonore justice in all its wonder, with all the delights which Beethoven, worried about being portrayed at the opera, ruthlessly scored from his work. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Concertos - Released March 25, 2013 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released February 19, 2021 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or / Arte
A true ‘apotheosis of the dance’ in the words of Richard Wagner, Beethoven’s Seventh has enjoyed perennial popularity ever since its premiere - unlike his sole ballet, The Creatures of Prometheus, of which only the overture has remained (more or less) familiar to us. To offer a new version of a key work in Beethoven’s corpus while reviving the complete version of one of his most unjustly forgotten masterpieces: such is the challenge brilliantly taken up by the musicians of the Freiburger Barockorchester, under the direction of their Konzertmeister Gottfried von der Goltz. © harmonia mundi
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Classical - Released February 10, 2014 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released March 11, 2011 | harmonia mundi

Booklets Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Chamber Music - Released February 9, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 étoiles de Classica
It was for the occasion of the Covent Garden premiere of his oratorio Joshua in 1748, that Handel composed – or rather arranged – the first of his three Concerti a due cori (« Cori » does not mean here a vocal group, but two instrumental groups – two oboes, two horns, and one bassoon each, a total of ten soloists – answering to each other on the playing grounds provided by the strings), namely the HWV 332. At that time, it was customary to lighten up performances of the largest compositions, especially oratorios, with a sprinkling of instrumental pieces. But as Handel was a busy man and a businessman, and producing so much music so fast was no easy feat. This accounts for the fact that so many of his instrumental pieces are in fact recyclings – transcriptions, reorchestrations, transcriptions, according to what was available and requested – of earlier works, mostly his own, sometimes that of fellow composers – who would not necessarily be informed of the pillage. In the case of Concerto a due cori No. 1, Handel plundered a handful of his own operas and oratorios. The second of Handel's Concerti a due cori, HWV 333, written around the beginning of 1747, was premiered at Covent Garden in 1748 as part of a huge musical banquet, the main course of which was the brand new oratorio Alexander Balus. Here, the composer drew from some of his own English oratorios: Esther and Messiah, the latter still quite unknown. The wind groups take over melodic lines given to singers in the original choral versions of the adapted music. The third Concerto, HWV 334, contains mostly brand new music – yes! – even though the first movement is reworked in part from Handel's so-called Fitzwilliam Overture, for two clarinets and horn, while the concluding Allegro, with its brilliant and difficult horn writing, is a rewrite of a hunting aria from his own opera Partenope. For this recording, the Freiburger Barockorchester has added a twist: each soloist group is accompanied by its own string ensemble, thus creating a higly energetic stereo effect. One orchestra is conducted (from the violin) by Gottfried von der Goltz, the other – also from the Konzertmeister position – by Petra Müllejans. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released February 26, 2021 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet
After a successful trilogy devoted to the concertos and trios of Schumann, the team assembled alongside the Freiburger Barockorchester and Pablo Heras-Casado could not ignore one of Beethoven’s most unusual works: the Triple Concerto. They bring this score to life as only true chamber musicians can, revealing its subtlest colours and balances. The trio transcription of the Second Symphony, which was supervised by the composer himself, judiciously completes this exploration of lesser-known Beethoven, in which intimacy mingles with grandeur. © harmonia mundi
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Classical - Released June 26, 2020 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet
A fantasy that turned into a symphony? First and foremost, this double album enshrines the exemplary work of an ensemble whose designation ‘Baroque Orchestra’ by no means limits its excursions into later repertories: under the watchful eye of a gifted conductor, the ‘Freiburgers’ (and co.) offer us a profoundly renewed vision of the Ninth, that myth among myths, that touchstone of a genre in quest of the absolute – and the direct descendant of a much earlier Choral Fantasy. The latter work showcased one of Beethoven's most extraordinary talents: improvisation. Kristian Bezuidenhout has joined forces again with his concerto partners to let us experience this little-known score as if it had just been premiered ... then transcribed by Beethoven himself! © harmonia mundi
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Classical - Released August 21, 2020 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet
In their own way Beethoven’s five piano concertos relate a part of their composer’s life. In the previous volume of this complete recording, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Pablo Heras-Casado and the musicians of the Freiburger Barockorchester explored the beginning (Concerto No. 2, a springboard to Viennese fame) and the end (the ‘Emperor’) of the story; they now turn to the most personal of all the Beethoven concertos, the Fourth, which, at a time when the spectre of total deafness threatened his career, shattered the conventions of the genre – as did such orchestral works as Coriolan and the Overture to The Creatures of Prometheus. © harmonia mundi
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Classical - Released July 29, 2011 | deutsche harmonia mundi

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Opera - Released May 3, 2013 | harmonia mundi

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Opera - Released March 24, 2003 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released January 1, 1994 | deutsche harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released December 22, 2004 | harmonia mundi

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Concertos - Released September 3, 1990 | deutsche harmonia mundi

Classical - Released December 4, 2020 | harmonia mundi

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Symphonic Music - Released June 4, 2002 | deutsche harmonia mundi

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Symphonic Music - Released April 17, 2020 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released January 30, 2004 | harmonia mundi