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Full Operas - Released September 1, 2013 | Challenge Classics

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica

Symphonic Music - Released October 26, 2010 | PentaTone

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
Premiered in 1954 with poor results due to insufficient rehearsal time, Erich Wolfgang Korngold's Symphony in F sharp didn't become part of the concert repertoire until the 1970s, when it was finally received by audiences as a neglected masterpiece. A late work in the post-Romantic vein that is full of drama and lyricism, the symphony showed Korngold's resistance to avant-garde twelve-tone composition and the international serial school, which he regarded as disastrous to music. However, his score crosses into modern territory with its sharp dissonances, angular melodies, and hard percussive edge, yet it remains true to the composer's richly chromatic but recognizably tonal methods. This 2010 performance by Marc Albrecht and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg is especially vivid and bold sounding, thanks to the great hybrid SACD presentation by PentaTone, which omits no details and gives the symphony a depth and sonic splendor that other recordings fall short in reproducing. The symphony is backed with Korngold's incidental music for Much Ado About Nothing, composed in 1918 for the Shakespeare play and then organized into the symphonic suite heard here. The tone is lighter than the symphony, and the influence of Richard Strauss is quite strong in this youthful piece, even to the point of overt allusions to Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche in the overture. While this is enjoyable filler, the symphony provides the best reason to listen, and anyone who loves Korngold's music should become familiar with it through this exceptional recording. © TiVo

Classical - Released November 17, 2009 | PentaTone

In the mid-20th century, when few recordings did justice to the music of Alban Berg, this disc with conductor Marc Albrecht, soprano Christiane Iven, and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg would have been revelatory. Albrecht certainly understands Berg's music, and though the Strasbourg orchestra is not a major orchestra, its playing here is a match for all but the very greatest in terms of tone and ensemble. Albrecht's reading of the Drei Orchesterstücke is both precisely played and sensitively interpreted, and his accompaniments in the Altenberg Lieder and Sieben frühe Lieder are models of taste and sympathy. Iven delivers note-perfect yet thoroughly lovely accounts of the songs. Still, when this disc was released in 2009, it had 50 years of great Berg recordings to compete with, and as fine as this one is, it does not surpass Claudio Abbado's magnificent recordings with Juliane Banse, Anne Sofie von Otter, and the Weiner Philharmoniker on Deutsche Grammophon. PentaTone's super audio sound, though, is nearly as clear and immediate as Deutsche Grammophon's digital recording. © TiVo

Classical - Released September 1, 2008 | PentaTone

Directing the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Marc Albrecht turns in a perfectly acceptable disc featuring three of Strauss' most popular tone poems -- Don Juan, Death and Transfiguration, and Till Eulenspiegel -- along with a relative rarity: Dreaming by the Fireside from the opera Intermezzo. "Acceptable" here means well enough played and well enough conducted. The Strasbourg musicians clearly have the technique to play these immensely difficult works. Their violins are up to Don Juan's devil-may-care opening, their brass up for Death and Transfiguration's heavenly climaxes, and their winds are clearly enjoying themselves thoroughly in Till Eulenspiegel's slapstick episodes. If collectively they do not match the virtuosity of the Berliner Philharmoniker or the warmth of the Wiener Philharmoniker, the Strasbourg Philharmonic has its own lean, clean sound that is still quite appealing. Albrecht leads tightly controlled performances, never letting Strauss' imagination run away with itself but always striding confidently toward each work's ultimate climax. It's true Albrecht has nothing new to say about these orchestral warhorses. His Don Juan throbs, his Till Eulenspiegel laughs, and his Death and Transfiguration roars, but so have Dons, Tills, and Deaths from Furtwängler, Krauss, Böhm, Reiner, Kempe, Klemperer, and Strauss himself , and all of them have unique insights into the works' characters. Albrecht, an obviously skilled and talented conductor, stimulates the music, but despite his best efforts, he cannot bring it to life. The rarity Dreaming by the Fireside is a string-drenched piece of sentimental nostalgia from the 1924 opera that gets an appropriately tender-hearted treatment from Albrecht and the Strasbourg orchestra. PentaTone's super audio sound is clean, colorful, and very vivid. © TiVo

Comedy/Other - Released March 2, 2018 | SAGA Egmont


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Pop - Released August 4, 2017 | D7