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Sacred Vocal Music - Released October 15, 2010 | RCA Red Seal

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année - Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released March 5, 2012 | Sony Classical

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica - Exceptional Sound Recording
Listening to an album by conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt, even in his ninth decade, is a bit like attending a Richard Pryor show: you know you're going to be outraged at some point, but you're also going to get a radically new perspective on the subject matter. So it is with this Waltz Revolution, which the invigorated Sony Classical label deserves kudos for issuing. Hearing the album, you are in a world that's just about as far as possible from New Year's Eve Viennese waltz specials on television. The album begins with Mozart, who didn't write waltzes, and the initial contradances are not even in triple meter. This is the weakest part of Harnoncourt's argument here. It's true that Mozart wrote a lot of dances during the last years of his life, seems to have enjoyed doing so, and was esteemed in this field by the people who commissioned him, but what's not so clear is the implied line from Mozart to Joseph Lanner and Johann Strauss I. It seems unlikely that Mozart's German dances and the like were being much performed in the 1820s. Harnoncourt seems to put Mozart first largely because their instrumentation, with winds and percussion, works well to set up the main attraction, namely the authentic-instrument performances of Strauss and Lanner with Concentus Musicus Wien. As usual with Harnoncourt, you may like or hate these, but the album is undeniably fresh, with lots of music that has rarely been heard outside Austria. Sample the familiar Radetzsky March, Op. 228, of Strauss I for an idea of what's happening. First of all, this is not the version usually heard, which comes from a later arrangement; the work as Strauss wrote it is less brass and percussion heavy and generally a bit more transparent. Harnoncourt's reading is characteristically astringent. Second, you'll hear the sounds of Harnoncourt's assorted period brasses and winds, which add color where a modern section strives for homogeneity. In general, they have a somewhat rougher sound than usual, but as compared with other Harnoncourt recordings there's nothing too shocking about this one. It's more like a pastry with the Schlag scraped off than an intentionally sour dish. The pieces by Lanner on the second CD are uniformly enjoyable, with such details as a shouted part for the musicians in the Malapou-Galopp (named for a locale in New Caledonia). Unreservedly recommended for Harnoncourt fans, and even for waltz lovers with plenty of antacid on hand. © TiVo
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Concertos - Released December 14, 2012 | Sony Classical

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica
This recording features a pair of Austrian musicians: conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt, who is known for historical performances, and pianist Rudolf Buchbinder, who isn't. Buchbinder uses the state-of-the-art Mozart fortepiano, a copy of an Anton Walter instrument by American-Czech builder Paul McNulty, and he gets a big, broad sound out of it. Especially in the Piano Concerto No. 25 in C major, K. 503, he's just about able to stand up to Harnoncourt's 37-member Concentus Musicus Wien with its panoply of natural horns and period strings and winds. Harnoncourt's direction here is not quite as iconoclastic as in some of his readings; what you get is a pretty straightforward historical-instrument sound with spicy strings and winds that cut through the texture. In the C major concerto, a grand work, the instrumental effects are spread out, and Buchbinder matches the orchestral dimensions with an impressive cadenza of his own in the first movement. In the Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488, the balance is a bit less successful. There are again many nice moments from Buchbinder's fortepiano, but when the orchestra's massed strings enter forte, it can be a bit of a jolt. Part of the issue may be the venue: the music was recorded over five days, apparently live, at the 1870s-vintage Musikverein in Vienna, not really the right place for this music, and the placement of the instruments might have sounded better to the crowd than it does here. There's a lot to like in this recording, not least the fact that Buchbinder makes an unusually effective transition to a period instrument. But the recording is not entirely successful sonically. © TiVo
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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released August 29, 2006 | Warner Classics International

Distinctions Diapason d'or - The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Oratorios (secular) - Released April 26, 2013 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Month - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released August 16, 2019 | Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

Hi-Res Distinctions Diapason d'or / Arte
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Classical - Released May 1, 1991 | Warner Classics International

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released January 1, 1999 | Warner Classics International

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released June 1, 1991 | Warner Classics International

Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Year
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Symphonic Music - Released May 1, 1991 | Warner Classics International

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Cantatas (sacred) - Released November 13, 2009 | deutsche harmonia mundi

Distinctions 3F de Télérama
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Classical - Released May 29, 2006 | Warner Classics International

Distinctions Diapason d'or
Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra have a knack for delivering something with which many other orchestras and conductors struggle. That is, to produce a box set that has the ability to maintain a listener's interest from disc one to, in this case, disc five. Like their cycle of the Mozart and Schubert symphonies, this set of the late Haydn symphonies is a treat from start to finish. Although Haydn's symphonies do not display the dramatic changes from one symphony to the next that a listener might expect when listening to a cycle of the Beethoven or Mahler symphonies, Harnoncourt and the RCO play with ample exuberance, energy, and minute attention to detail so as to make every note and phrase as fresh as the last. The recordings, made between 1987 and 1993, are highly consistent in sound quality and could just as easily have been made in the same season. The RCO's sound is generally very well-suited to Haydn: crisp strings, punchy brass that don't get in the way, and winds that are equally comfortable in either an accompanimental or soloistic role. The one potential bugaboo that pervades the recording is the timpani, whose sound all too often covers the rest of the orchestra with its very boomy attacks. Apart from that, this collection makes for an excellent reference for the late Haydn symphonies. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 1996 | Warner Classics International

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released March 1, 1992 | Warner Classics International

Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Classical - Released January 1, 1990 | Warner Classics International

Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released April 1, 2012 | Warner Classics International

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released November 13, 2009 | RCA Red Seal

Distinctions The Unusual Suspects
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Classical - Released October 1, 1996 | Warner Classics International

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released November 27, 2007 | deutsche harmonia mundi

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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released September 13, 2005 | Warner Classics International