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Classical - To be released October 16, 2020 | Accent

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Classical - Released July 17, 2020 | Accent

This album, recorded in 1988, is a sonic representation of Watteau’s Pilgrimage to Cythera (a variant of The Embarkation for Cythera which you can see at the Louvre), owned by the Prussian king Frederic The Great, an avid painter. What better to illustrate the works of Johann Philipp Kirnberger, a violinist, choirmaster and musical advisor to the court of the flautist king? Trusting in the consistency of tradition, we can assume that Kirnberger was Johann Sebastian Bach’s student in Leipzig. Other than the Sonatas For Flute that we find here, which he wrote for his royal employer, Kirnberger is known among musicians for his various uneven temperaments that he composed and which are used today by historically informed performers. Such is the case for the Belgian flautist Frank Theuns, founder of the Les Buffardins ensemble (2007) with whom he has tirelessly recorded the 18th century flute repertoire (Haendel, Sammartini, Kirnberger, Quantz, Hotteterre, Montéclair, Boismortier, Blavet) for Accent (label). In this early recording, Frank Theuns plays on a modern copy of a Belgian traverso from around 1720. He is joined by harpsichordist Ewald Demeyere playing on a copy of a 1778 instrument and by Richte van der Meer using a baroque cello by a Parisian luthier from 1720. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released July 3, 2020 | Accent

Booklet
David returns from the battle bearing the head of the giant Goliath – as a reward, King Saul promises him the hand of his horrified daughter Merab. But when David receives more popular acclaim than the King, Saul is consumed by jealousy. His daughter Michal advises David to soothe the incensed monarch with the calming strains of a harp. But Saul’s rage is merely exacerbated, and he finally casts a spear at David. When he misses, Saul orders his son Jonathan to slay David... When setting this Old Testament material to music in 1738, Georg Friedrich Haendel worked together for the first time with the librettist Charles Jennens, who later on, for example, put together the text for the Messiah. The work was premiered on 16 January 1739 in the King’s Theatre at the Haymarket in London. © Accent
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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released July 3, 2020 | Accent

The Benedictine abbey at Lambach in Upper Austria was founded in 1056. Research undertaken since 2002 has revealed a treasure trove of musical works written by musicians associated with the abbey. Two such composers are featured on this recording (previously released on the Symphonia label in 2006), which was recorded in the historic building itself: Beniamin Ludwig Ramhaufski (c 1631-1694) and the Salzburgborn Joseph Balthasar Hochreither (1669-1731), who perhaps studied with Biber. Hochreither's Missa ad multos annos was first performed at Lambach for the consecration of a new Abbot in 1705. The choral and instrumental elements are much like the older composer's style but the overall flow of the music is more imaginative in dramatic wordsetting, and the passages for soloists and consort are in a more elegant and expressive style. Ramhaufski's Mass a 23 is a finely crafted work that in no way suffers from comparison with Biber. “Ars Antiqua Austria play with commendable articulation and shapeliness, and the contributions from trumpets and trombones are particularly excellent. The small vocal force of St Florianer Sängerknaben, assisted by a few adult soloists, is very good indeed: consort passages possess attractive clarity and the fuller choral sections swell with the perfect amount of resonance.” (Gramophone)
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Opera - Released July 3, 2020 | Accent

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Chamber Music - Released July 3, 2020 | Accent

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica
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Opera - Released July 3, 2020 | Accent

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Classical - Released June 19, 2020 | Accent

Hi-Res Booklet
Composed in 1761, the year Joseph Haydn became the court musician for the Esterházy Family (with whom he stayed for more than thirty years), Symphonies No. 6, 7 and 8 form a unique trilogy in the history of music and are, according to musicologist Marc Vignal, Haydn's first masterpieces in this field and probably even for symphonies in general. Haydn put all his theory and know-how into the compositions, at a time when he was still being tested by the Prince, having to meet overwhelming specifications that would give any musician today nightmares. In these three gems of concise, virtuosic composing, Haydn distributes solos to all the musicians of the orchestra, including the double bass and bassoon, instruments which were not accustomed to this kind of exercise. It is a fiesta of sonic garlands, as found in the ancient baroque "concerto grosso", alternating with dark, deeply moving passages. The subtitles, the only ones Haydn himself gave to his symphonies, "Le Matin", "Le Midi", "Le Soir", were suggested and even commissioned by Prince Paul Anton to describe an allegory of the "Hours of the Day" and, above all, the three stages of life. Recorded in 2019 in the splendid Apollo Hall of Eszterháza Castle in Fertöd, where Haydn wrote many symphonies (though not these ones), this recording by the Orfeo Orchestra of Budapest - not to be confused with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra - conducted by György Vashegyi obviously has an undeniably authentic feel. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released May 22, 2020 | Accent

Booklet
With Il trionfo della morte by Bonaventuro Aliotti from 1677, the French ensemble Les Traversées Baroques presents an important example of an early oratorio. The form of the oratorio developed after the Catholic Church in the Council of Trent (1545-1563) severely restricted the use of music in church services. Some religious congregations then began to perform new forms of music in their prayer and assembly rooms, the "oratorios". An important centre for the development of the oratorio or "Dialoghi sacri", as this musical form of theological approach was called, was Sicily. There Bunaventuro Aliotti grew up and entered the Franciscan Minorite Order, where he received extensive training as organist and conductor. Aliotti created a total of eleven oratorios, but only four of them have survived. Il trionfo della morte revolves around the story of Adam and Eve, who are confronted with temptation, but also with their passion, their torments and their doubts. Aliotti characterises his characters with great inspiration, and the orchestra comments and underlines the plot with short interjections in a varied and colourful way. © Accent
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Classical - Released May 22, 2020 | Accent

Booklet
Margret Köll is one of the most important interpreters of the historical harp. On her new album she dedicates herself to the “single pedal harp”, which was developed at the beginning of the 18th century. By using pedals, the player now had the possibility to change the pitches of the strings by a half-tone, and in this way was able to play more complicated harmonies and chromatic melodies. In 1728 such a harp was presented to Emperor Charles VI and under the rage of his daughter Empress Maria Theresa (since 1740) this instrument conquered the hearts of Vienna and other European centres. On the basis of works by Wagenseil, Krumpholtz, Joseph Haydn and Gluck, Margret Köll shows how this instrument conquered the Viennese salons: as a soloist, as a popular accompanying instrument, as an equal-ranking chamber music partner or as a solo instrument with string accompaniment. A very colorful program around the harp of the early and high Viennese classical period. © Accent
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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released March 20, 2020 | Accent

Hi-Res Booklet
The name of the composer Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679-1745) was nothing more than a footnote in a few scholarly dictionaries, before the great oboist Heinz Holliger discovered – and in 1972, along with Maurice Bourgue, recorded – all his sonatas in trios for two oboes and continuo. A great composer who had been swallowed up over the years was suddenly revealed. Following this discovery, many musicians and musicologists have been working steadily to excavate the music of an author who became the most important Czech composer of the baroque period. As was often the case with composers of his time, Zelenka's catalogue runs to a considerable size, consisting mainly of religious music, with twenty-three Masses and three Requiems. Bach knew his peer and respected him, although their music is very different: one with its Lutheran origins and the other with a fervent Catholicism which brings the Czech's work a passionate charge and a more emotional expression than the austerity of the Leipzig master. At the head of his Collegium Vocale 1704, Václav Luks is continuing his work around Zelenka, this time bringing us an imaginary mass based on various psalms composed around the year 1724. It is a showcase for works which are original both in terms of their expressive power (with bold chromatisms) and their varied instrumentation featuring trombones and a rich continuo. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released February 7, 2020 | Accent

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
The content of “Schranck No: II” represents the rich Dresden instrumental repertoire from the first two thirds of the 18th century with a volume of about 1,750 pieces of music. After the end of the Seven Years’ War, these musical pieces were sorted, inserted into envelopes with their characteristic detailed title labels and deposited in an archive cabinet, the aforementioned “Schranck No: II”, in the court church. Like a time capsule, this treasure was rediscovered only after the middle of the 19th century by the court capellmeister Julius Rietz. Today, this unique collection belongs to the collection of the Saxon State Library – Dresden State and University Library. The sources of the violin concertos by Francesco Maria Cattaneo have been handed down exclusively in Dresden and all originate from the almost legendary “Schranck No: II”. Stylistically, Cattaneo drew from the musical language of his environment, whereby echoes of Vivaldi can be discerned, as well as of Hasse, who set the tone in Dresden. The three anonymous orchestral pieces for strings also originate from the “Schranck No: II”. With the combination of Italian sinfonia and French overture suite, they are exemplary of the typical reception of the so-called mixed taste of Dresden. © Accent
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Opera - Released January 17, 2020 | Accent

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Chamber Music - Released November 15, 2019 | Accent

Booklet
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Chamber Music - Released November 15, 2019 | Accent

Booklet
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Chamber Music - Released October 18, 2019 | Accent

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Classical - Released October 18, 2019 | Accent

Booklet
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Opera - Released September 20, 2019 | Accent

Booklet
For a long time, a large portion of Handel’s early opera Rodrigo was thought to have been lost. It was not until 1974 that the printed libretto turned up again, and nine years later the third act was found in the Earl of Shaftesbury’s Handel collection. On August 29, 1984, finally, the work was revived during the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music, and in 2019 it’s on the programme at the Göttingen International Handel Festival. The opera narrates a freely adapted version of the end to the regency of the Last Visigoth King Roderich. In the libretto by Francesco Silvani, however, the reason behind it is less the lust for power on the part of his opponents than the thirst for vengeance of his spurned mistress. It was back in 1707 in Rome that George Frideric Handel wrote Rodrigo. © Accent
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Classical - Released September 6, 2019 | Accent

Booklet
Carl Heinrich Graun, like other Italian-influenced or Italian-trained German composers of his time, composed Italian Cantatas throughout his entire creative period. The three cantatas belong to a small group in Graun’s output, for soprano. The greater part of his 38 positively attributed Italian Cantatas were composed for tenor, and thus probably for his own voice. Graun's soprano Cantatas were probably written in his Berlin years after Friedrich's accession to the throne in 1740, when virtuoso castrati and singers were available for the demanding solo parts. After several successful albums with music by Fasch, Hertel and Molter, the ensemble Main-Barockorchester has now joined the Accent label. Hannah Morrison is regarded as one of the most promising young sopranos of the early music scene. © Accent
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Classical - Released June 21, 2019 | Accent

Booklet