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Symphonies - Released October 27, 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Month - Diapason d'or / Arte - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
An album, a symphony: you would think that we had returned to the days of the Long Play, and the era of Mravinsky, Doráti, Markevitch, Karajan as well as many other performers and interpreters who have marked the discographic history of the last symphony from Piotr Ilitch Tchaikovsky. The album cover also seems to confirm it: it brings to mind the old RCA covers from the 50s and 60s. Sony Classical, being very supportive of the artistic endeavours of the Greco-Russian master, didn't hesitate to bring out a roughly 45-minute album - they had done better with the Rites of Spring (2015), which was feted in the press. Here, Teodor Currentzis continues his exploration of Tchaikovsky's world, with the Pathétique, putting the accent on the dynamic contrasts, sometimes naturally, sometimes by technical means (adagio lamentoso), and bringing to bear some methods that are normally specific to pop music. He exploits the sombre tone of the work, even above its rhythmic energy, and looks to create atmospheres that one could often call morbid. For record-lovers, this release is a great opportunity to revisit his discography, and for all other ardent Qobuz users it is an opportunity to rediscover this true emblem of the orchestral repertoire. © TG/Qobuz
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Opera - Released February 14, 2014 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles Classica - Hi-Res Audio
There are many splendid recordings of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro that appeal to every taste, but there are relatively few that can be categorized as historically authentic, in the truest sense of the term. Of these, the 2014 Sony release by Teodor Currentzis and Musicaeterna may be the most thoroughly researched and carefully restored version available. Taking pains to consult original sources, and to use period instruments or modern replicas (including a fortepiano, a lute, and even a hurdy-gurdy), Currentzis creates a Classical sound that works brilliantly with the score as written and as Mozart intended, and makes the music as vivid and exciting as possible. Currentzis also has called for a historical approach to singing, and embellishments that were typical of Mozart's day are employed, as well as a more intimate delivery and purer vocal style with less vibrato. The cast may not feature international stars, but the artists are well-suited to Currentzis' goals of presenting Figaro in true period practice. Prominent in this production are Andrei Bondarenko as Count Almaviva, Simone Kermes as the Countess, Fanie Antonelou as Susanna, Mary-Ellen Nesi as Cherubino, and Christian van Horn as Figaro, who give their roles distinctive characterizations along with their impeccable vocal production. Sony's recording is rich in details and close enough to the musicians to give a front-row feeling. Le nozze di Figaro is presented on three CDs in a deluxe hardcover book that includes an interview with the conductor and the complete libretto in English, Italian, German, and French. © TiVo
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Symphonies - Released October 26, 2018 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
With Symphony No.6 in A Minor "Tragic" written in 1904 (the title, for once, is not a publisher's gimmick, but was indeed given by Mahler in the programme for the first performance in Vienna in 1906), Mahler almost returns to the classical symphony format; we find more voices in the score (a technique that he had already used in No. 5) and a four-movement structure (whereas No. 5 was articulated in five movements thrown into three "parts", with the absence of a programme or philosophical content). Admittedly, the orchestra remains huge, with four woodwinds, eight horns, and six trumpets, not to mention an impressive arsenal of percussion instruments including alpine bells, hammer and xylophone, which he never used elsewhere; in this respect, Mahler contributed to putting an end to the late romantic trend of gigantic works for titanic orchestras. It must be said that the last movement, which lasts at least half an hour, is of a truly tragic expression with its indelible darkness. This frightened the critics, who found the work somewhat bloated. It is therefore up to the conductor to make the score as transparent as possible, the contrapuntal lines readable and the orchestral colours perceptible through the orchestral immensity. Equipped with his MusicAeterna, Teorod Currentzis embarks on the adventure. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released March 17, 2011 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
This release stands out from among both the dozens or hundreds of available recordings of Mozart's Requiem in D minor, K. 626, and from among the recordings in the catalog of France's Alpha label. On the latter count, while most of Alpha's recordings have been historically oriented, this one falls into glorious Russian tradition of luxurious expression, and the usual art-historical essay included with Alpha's discs is missing here (although the packaging does bear some gorgeous Byzantine iconography). The recording pairs four western European soloists, who traveled all the way to Novosibirsk for the lengthy recording sessions, with the New Siberian Singers and the chamber orchestra MusicAeterna under its conductor, Teodor Currentzis. This is not a large choir (33 singers), but it has the rich sound associated with Russian opera choruses, which is what this group does as a general rule. If you're thinking this sounds a bit like Mozart as conducted by Rachmaninov, you're about right, especially in the sections where the dying Mozart seems to gaze into the fires of hell. The considerably more delicate soloists, especially alto Stéphanie Houtzeel, make a vivid contrast with the choir in this deeply colored, almost raw performance, which is nevertheless very carefully done in its details and sonically matched to the Novosibirsk opera house where it was recorded. By any measure this choir is a striking new talent. © TiVo
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Symphonic Music - Released March 25, 2010 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Classical - Released April 9, 2021 | Sony Classical

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With this new milestone in his ongoing collection of Beethoven's symphonies, conductor, actor and perfumer Teodor Currentzis invites us to a feast of rhythm and energy with a resolutely Dionysian feel. According to the Greek conductor, this Seventh Symphony in A major represents the most perfect form ever achieved in the symphony form."Each note has its proper place in absolute symmetry", says Currentzis, who compares the symphony to "the flowing lines of a Greek temple - specifically in the Doric style". The structure of the Seventh is "in fact highly complex", says Currentzis. "The secret is to dive into the music towards the freshness and light, then leap into the sacred dance of the second movement, and from there into the scherzo and dancing finale. It is a kind of journey towards freshness, towards a new vitality, the birth of a new cell in a world of contradictions".Perfectly in control of his music, Teodor Currentzis offers us a most refined version, in which the air seems to circulate between each section of the orchestra, carefully chiselled down to the smallest detail, playing with contrasts and a palette of nuances that we had long ceased to see, without the demonstration and eccentricity that some performers can be reproached for. The splendid acoustics of the great hall of the Musikverein in Vienna, where this record was recorded in the summer of 2018, further enhance the sense of exhilaration and plenitude in this new version, which joins the hundreds of others. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released December 4, 2020 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released April 3, 2020 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released November 14, 2014 | Sony Classical

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Greco-Russian conductor Teodor Currentzis had caused quite a controversy in the operatic world. Settling in the provincial city of Perm, he formed a historical-instrument (although hardly a historical-performance) group called MusicAeterna and shaped it to reflect his unique musical visions. This release is one of a group of three devoted to Mozart's operas with libretti by Lorenzo da Ponte, whom Currentzis regards as a kind of revolutionary comparable to the most outrageous figures in rock music, and his reading of Così fan tutte is explicitly rock-influenced. This doesn't mean that there are guitars or electric instruments, but listen to some of the overture for an idea: blazing speed, slashing attacks that include bow noise from the strings, and a heavy continuo in the recitatives that at times includes a hurdy-gurdy. Plainly there is no historical evidence for such a practice, and it's safe to say that Currentzis' reading is not the music Mozart heard in his head. There are some pretty well-known singers on this release, including soprano Simone Kermes as Fiordiligi, but they function pretty much as cogs in Currentzis' machinery. The recitatives have a fascinating skittery quality, and when Currentzis does let up on the hell-for-leather intensity, he creates beautifully delicate slow arias. Opinions, both critical and audience-formed, on Currentzis are sharply polarized, and this release will do nothing to change that situation. His backers include the executive staff at Sony Classical, who provide a luxurious hardbound book with libretto of the kind previously only seen on labels that get government support, and sprang for a studio recording in Russia (the edgy sound is well-matched to the concept). Listener reactions to this are necessarily going to be highly subjective, but note that this recording has one trait common to many paradigm-shifting performances: the players seem to be having a great deal of fun, even if (or perhaps because) they probably had to unlearn everything they had been trained in so that they could follow their conductor's instructions. © TiVo
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Classical - Released November 6, 2008 | Alpha

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Classical - Released November 4, 2016 | Sony Classical

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The conductor Teodor Currentzis has shaken up the operatic world with a series of Mozart recordings made with the Orchestra and Chorus of the Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre, way out on the eastern edge of European Russia. For several reasons, this version of Don Giovanni, the last in Currentzis' series of Mozart's da Ponte operas, may be a good place to start. It's not that Currentzis is any less radical here; it's just that Don Giovanni is by nature a radical work itself, so a radical treatment is less surprising. Too, the tempo decisions here are less unorthodox than those in Le Nozze di Figaro and Così fan tutte. Even Currentzis' detractors can't make the claim that his provincial Russian musicians aren't drilled to a really remarkable level of precision, and here they're deployed in colorful turns that generally hit the mark. Hear the lilting, dancelike "Là ci darem la mano" for a sample. From that famous duet, you'll also get an idea of Currentzis' influences from historical performance: he applies these influences not only to the instrumentalists (sharp, slicing attacks, fortepiano accompaniment) but to the singers, who are kept within a moderate ambit and not really allowed to bloom. How you'll react this will be a matter of taste; you may find the finale bracingly reimagined or feel that it lacks majesty. But the originality and skill of the performance aren't in question. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 17, 2014 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released November 13, 2015 | Sony Classical

You may have heard about the radical Mozart performances coming out of the provincial city of Perm, Russia, led by conductor Teodor Currentzis. He's in the middle of a cycle of Mozart's operas with libretti by Lorenzo da Ponte, with a sure-to-be-explosive Don Giovanni yet to come as of late 2015. This single-album set of excerpts from Currentzis' reading of Così fan tutte has sold well out of the blocks, perhaps to listeners curious to hear what the fuss is about, but unwilling to invest in an entire box set. With only snatches of recitative and transition, you miss the outrageous continuo group of fortepiano, lute, cello/gamba, and, yes, hurdy-gurdy. That's a major omission, but all the other aspects of the full opera, and of Currentzis' gleeful disregard for convention, are amply represented. Consider the garish tempo contrasts, with the blistering overture pushed right up to the boundary of playability, while soon after that in Act One the trio "Soave sia il vento" is glacial. That number is one of the many places where it's apparent that soprano Simone Kermes, as Fiordiligi, is perhaps Currentzis' ideal collaborator, able to cope with extravagant musical demands, to deliver fresh characterizations, and generally to enter into the spirit of the thing and make you believe that maybe, just maybe, everybody will be performing Mozart this way in 30 years. In general the characterizations are strong and appealing; Currentzis may be a wild man, but he does not unduly draw attention to himself. And the work of his hand-built Musicaeterna, his historical-instruments group in Perm, is sharp as a tack here: it's an ensemble that can react to all of this conductor's demands. You may get a shock from this, but it's a good kind of shock, and the excerpt album can be generally recommended. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 9, 2015 | Sony Classical

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In describing his interpretation of Igor Stravinsky's Le Sacre du printemps, Teodor Currentzis emphasizes the essential Russian origins of the music, and points out the folk influences that give it its cultural resonance. This is indeed the case, since the Russian and Lithuanian folk songs that Stravinsky used have been identified, and the score overflows with themes and melodic fragments that evoke an ancient tribal culture. This is perhaps the reason so much of this elastic performance of Le Sacre du printemps feels like a melodically based interpretation, rather than a sharp, rhythmic exploration, with more attention paid to articulation and phrasing than to accentuation and rhythm. While Currentzis and Musica Aeterna produce punchy moments in the expected places, they tend to slacken in subdued sections and deprive the work of the overwhelming drive and ruthless violence it needs. Opinions may vary over Currentzis' melodic approach, mainly in Part I, though from the Glorification de l'Élue to the Danse Sacrale in Part II, the orchestra kicks into gear and produces the necessary propulsion and volatility to make a convincing ending. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 27, 2017 | Sony Classical

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Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 in B minor, "Pathétique," is one of the greatest hits of classical music, and recordings of this extremely popular work are ubiquitous, though there's little variance among them to justify the large number of releases and reissues. Yet once in a while, a version appears that shakes up conventional notions about this symphony, and makes it sound fresh and revitalized. Teodor Currentzis and his period-instruments orchestra MusicAeterna give the "Pathétique" an edgy performance that's stripped of the layers of varnish it has acquired through tradition, and except for a few lush passages, the music is surprisingly lean and muscular, even pugnacious. While the long Adagio introduction is sufficiently languid and subdued to sound familiar to most listeners, the Allegro non troppo is all fire and fury, sounding nothing like any previous recorded version and suggesting rage rather than pathos. The Allegro con grazia is played with high energy and a lilting grace, and despite the 5/4 time signature, it has the ecstatic feeling of one of Tchaikovsky's great waltzes. The third movement, a march marked Allegro molto vivace, has always been a curious part of the symphony, insofar as it seems like a false triumphant ending; to prevent this, Currentzis turns it into a truly menacing and brutal assault that's over the top in its explosiveness. This justifies the poignant Finale as a profoundly tragic outcome of the march's violence, though the orchestra's alert playing keeps the music clear and free of murkiness. This raw and unexpectedly fierce "Pathétique" is highly recommended as an alternative to most mainstream interpretations, and this recording is another feather in Currentzis' cap. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 17, 2014 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released January 8, 2016 | Sony Classical

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Iconoclastic conductor Teodor Currentzis and his MusicAeterna orchestra, way out in Perm (the hometown of Diaghilev, among others), are never dull in the least, and Currentzis deserves credit for rethinking Mozart, Rameau, and other music of the 18th century in fundamental ways. His Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35, isn't dull, either, but with Tchaikovsky he enters a terrain where performance traditions have come down directly from the original performers of the music, and he disregards them. Reactions to this music are going to depend on the original, and the magic of Internet sampling will pretty quickly let you determine whether you find it brilliantly original or hopelessly idiosyncratic: in the first movement, violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja enters quietly, in the manner of a strolling violinist. It's hard to imagine that Tchaikovsky would have felt this made any sense, but it hangs together on its own terms as Kopatchinskaja explodes into fireworks soon enough. The graphics emphasize a kind of spiritual meeting of the minds between conductor and soloist, and this is actually conveyed in this music and gives it a hard-to-pin-down positive X factor. Elsewhere, Kopatchinskaja continues to flirt with dynamic extremes, which is arguably in the general spirit of Tchaikovsky even if not of this particular work. So: there's a lot to chew on here, but be sure you know what you're getting into. The punchy performances of Stravinsky's Les Noces is another plus, although pairing it with the Tchaikovsky may well be taken as another example of Currentzis' propensity for the outrageous. A worthwhile outing from one of the most controversial conductors of the 2010s. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 9, 2015 | Sony Classical

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You may have heard about the radical Mozart performances coming out of the provincial city of Perm, Russia, led by conductor Teodor Currentzis. He's in the middle of a cycle of Mozart's operas with libretti by Lorenzo da Ponte, with a sure-to-be-explosive Don Giovanni yet to come as of late 2015. This single-album set of excerpts from Currentzis' reading of Così fan tutte has sold well out of the blocks, perhaps to listeners curious to hear what the fuss is about, but unwilling to invest in an entire box set. With only snatches of recitative and transition, you miss the outrageous continuo group of fortepiano, lute, cello/gamba, and, yes, hurdy-gurdy. That's a major omission, but all the other aspects of the full opera, and of Currentzis' gleeful disregard for convention, are amply represented. Consider the garish tempo contrasts, with the blistering overture pushed right up to the boundary of playability, while soon after that in Act One the trio "Soave sia il vento" is glacial. That number is one of the many places where it's apparent that soprano Simone Kermes, as Fiordiligi, is perhaps Currentzis' ideal collaborator, able to cope with extravagant musical demands, to deliver fresh characterizations, and generally to enter into the spirit of the thing and make you believe that maybe, just maybe, everybody will be performing Mozart this way in 30 years. In general the characterizations are strong and appealing; Currentzis may be a wild man, but he does not unduly draw attention to himself. And the work of his hand-built Musicaeterna, his historical-instruments group in Perm, is sharp as a tack here: it's an ensemble that can react to all of this conductor's demands. You may get a shock from this, but it's a good kind of shock, and the excerpt album can be generally recommended. © TiVo
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Classical - Released November 27, 2015 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released October 14, 2016 | Sony Classical

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