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Classical - Released April 16, 2021 | Aparté

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The prestigious Schola Cantorum of the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, London, returns to its prime vocation with music from the liturgical choir tradition: gems covering almost 350 years of British music, from Purcell to Britten (the enchanting Rejoice in the Lamb), via John Ireland, Gustav Holst and others. With harmonies that sometimes create a feeling of unreality, expression moving between the grandiose and the mysterious, and an atmosphere that is truly captivating. © Aparté

Classical - Released April 2, 2021 | Aparté

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Halfway between the style of Heinrich Schütz and the more modern style of Buxtehude and Johann Sebastian Bach, the music of the glorious unknown Augustin Pfleger (1635-1686) is fascinating in many ways, starting with a powerful spirituality. The author of Concerts spirituels and numerous cantatas relating the life of Christ, Pfleger's work is religious first and foremost. Martin Wahlberg has drawn from this source to design this programme, whose connecting thread is the life and passion of Christ. It takes the listener through some significant works.The programme offered here by Martin Wahlberg, his musicians and his singers, is a valuable testimony to the practices of Northern Europe. Based on Pfleger's religious cantatas, it has been articulated to form a dramatic whole through the use of regional instruments that were very fashionable in the past and forgotten today, such as the ancient psalter inherited from the Middle Ages, a positive organ and a consort of viols. Recorded in 2018 in Norway, it is a sonic panorama of Baroque Scandinavia and seems to continue the tradition of previous centuries. © François Hudry / Qobuz
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Opera - Released March 5, 2021 | Aparté

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Cellists rarely think of themselves as "prima donnas", and yet this is Ophélie Gaillard's gambit on this album, which is perhaps a questionable choice. The answer may be found on the cover showing the cellist opening the heavy red curtain of an opera stage with an amused look. It's a hint at the fact that it takes a good dose of courage and nerve to tackle the greatest pages of the operatic repertoire, from Don Giovanni to the operetta Toi, c'est moi, via the hits of Bellini, Rossini, Donizetti, Verdi, Puccini (E lucevan le stelle!!!), but also Tchaikovsky (Lenski's great aria in Eugene Onegin) or the famous O! du mein Holder from Wagner's Tannhäuser.During a rehearsal of Don Giovanni at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, the solo cello of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra suddenly had to replace an absent singer, under the direction of Daniel Harding. It was at that moment that Ophélie Gaillard developed the idea of this original programme of operatic arias without words. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Opera - Released February 19, 2021 | Aparté

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Classical - Released February 12, 2021 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Le Concert de la Loge and Julien Chauvin continue the Haydn adventure with the "Paris" Symphonies No. 84 and No. 86. The conductor and his period instruments orchestra complete the programme with the beautiful Stabat Mater, one of Haydn’s most performed ones during his lifetime. Composed in 1767 during the "Sturm and Drang" period, the Stabat Mater’s strikingly sober and plain expression (« Fac me vere tecum flere ») doesn’t exclude some outstanding passages, as in the « Sancta Mater, istud agas ». © Aparté Music
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Tango - Released February 5, 2021 | Aparté

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With "Tango", the accordionist Pascal Contet steps off the beaten path to explore the repertoire of Piazzolla's precursors. He bears homage to the greatest tango titles with a set of contemporary arrangements, rounding things off with two original works, Stras Medianoche and Valentino Suite. In partnership with Paul Meyer, Contet invites himself into the pantheon of a musician who never stopped reinventing the tango, the "sad thought that is danced". © Aparté
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Classical - Released January 22, 2021 | Aparté

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Recorded from 10th to 13th July 2020 at the Philharmonie de Paris, this Armida teaches us a little more about Antonio Salieri, so loved during his lifetime and so maligned later, especially because of his obscure relationship with Mozart that the nineteenth century invented and that Milos Forman's film has given more life to in our time. First performed in Vienna in 1771, this "dramma per musica" which marked Salieri's debut in opera seria in the Austrian capital, is presented here as a world premiere thanks to the tireless curiosity of Christophe Rousset who gives a very lively, lyrical and theatrical interpretation with four singers, The Talens Lyriques and the excellent Chamber Choir of Namur. The discovery of this other outing of the famous heroes of Jerusalem Delivered  by Tasso deepens the gulf separating great craftsmen from geniuses like Mozart, whose later operatic productions were of a completely different level. Nevertheless, one can enjoy Salieri's colourful and well-decorated melodic contours, the drama and nostalgia that often pervade his work. After Les Danaïdes, Les Horaces and Tarare, Christophe Rousset happily continues his exhumation of Salieri's works. Here this youthful Armida is still following the bright trail of Gluck. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released January 15, 2021 | Aparté

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K, a multicultural orchestra under the direction of the Italian-Brazilian conductor Simone Menezes, is bringing out its first album. Born out of the awareness that classical music was exported throughout the world and took on multiple influences in the last century, K’s project seeks to find the original accents of the works it performs. Their goal: to tell each story in its original language. © Aparté
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Classical - Released December 11, 2020 | Aparté

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Classical - Released November 27, 2020 | Aparté

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Vivaldi put the whole force of nature into this music, one of the most performed around the world, uniting us in our human condition. Alexandra Conunova gathers a chamber orchestra to share a thrilling version of this work, celebrating the joy of playing together again. © Aparté
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Classical - Released November 20, 2020 | Aparté

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Through a medley of burlesque miniatures, this album explores the Paris of the inter-war years. Sometimes tender, sometimes mischievous, "Fleurs" presents a charming musical bouquet, with the scent of freedom. © Aparté
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Classical - Released November 6, 2020 | Aparté

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How moving it can be to hear the crystal-clear voices of a boys’ choir! The Schola Cantorum of the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, London, has a tradition of fine choral singing that dates back over a hundred years. These pure voices are heard here in a selection of works both secular and sacred, ranging from popular pieces from films to the heavenly beauty of the Allegri Miserere. © Aparté
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Classical - Released November 6, 2020 | Aparté

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Patrick Messina and Fabrizio Chiovetta take us to America, with a programme of traditional songs, jazz, Broadway melodies, avant-garde pieces… by composers from Charles Ives to André Previn. The essence of American music! © Aparté
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Classical - Released October 23, 2020 | Aparté

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Opera - Released October 16, 2020 | Aparté

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For the French soprano Élisabeth Duparc, known as “La Francesina”, Handel composed no fewer than twelve principal roles in major works – operas and oratorios – written towards the end of his life. She took the title role in Semele, for instance, and the parts of Michal in Saul and Nitocris in Belshazzar. Nothing is known of her life: only Handel's works remain to testify to her talent and aura. They are brought to life here by the brilliant and virtuoso voice of Sophie Junker, accompanied by Franck-Emmanuel Comte's Concert de l'Hostel Dieu: sometimes mischievous ("Myself I shall adore"), sometimes penetrating ("In sweetest harmony they lived"), the soprano resurrects her model and magnificently digs out all the nuances of Handel's genius. Sophie Junker and the Concert de l’Hostel Dieu pay tribute to her here through some of her most successful roles as the composer’s muse. © Aparté
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Classical - Released September 25, 2020 | Aparté

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Betulia Liberata, K. 118, premiered in 1771, was called an azione sacra. Essentially it is an oratorio, Mozart's only one, but its libretto by Pietro Metastasio has strongly operatic qualities; there are few choruses, and those that exist are part of the action, not commentaries. The story is based on the biblical tale of the Israelite heroine Judith and her seduction and then decapitation of the enemy general Holofernes. The libretto posed many challenges for the 15-year-old composer: to name a few, the heroine does not make her appearance until well over half an hour into the music; the recitatives are complex, with intricate dialogues and the central event of the plot, Judith's story of how she happened to return home bearing Holofernes' severed head, told in one of them; and the characters are sharply delineated, with some of the despairing Israelites counseling surrender. Mozart surmounted these challenges brilliantly, and perhaps more than any other of his early works, this one points the way to the adult genius. Only the unconvincing conclusion points to Mozart's youth. Director Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques deliver a performance that catches the leaps and bounds Mozart was making here. The instrumental ensemble and the chorus Accentus are generously sized by contemporary standards, and they realize the large dimensions in which Mozart was thinking. Rousset's soloists, especially Teresa Iervolino in the title role and Pablo Bemsch as the Israelite prince Ozia, vividly realize the characters; only the voice of Sandrine Piau, as the noblewoman Amital, shows strain. Perhaps the definitive recording of Betulia Liberata, this reading is enhanced by excellent engineering from the Little Tribeca team. © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 25, 2020 | Aparté

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Armand-Louis Couperin was a much younger cousin of François Couperin, born in 1727. By the time these harpsichord pieces were published around 1750, new musical currents were in the air, even in France, and Armand-Louis had the bad fortune to be one of the first composers killed in a traffic crash. He was all but forgotten for 200 years, but he has received attention lately from various harpsichordists. None has had quite the charisma of the great Christophe Rousset, whose attentions here may well propel this music back into the harpsichord repertory. Couperin's pieces have the same kind of descriptive titles familiar from the several preceding generations of French harpsichord music, but to portray him as a conservative hopelessly out of touch with trends in the middle 18th century is inaccurate. Listen to the second movement of the suite Les Quatres Nations, titled "L'Angloise," with its Alberti bass. There are many other broken-chord figurations uncharacteristic of the High Baroque French style or even of Rameau, and some pieces here might be taken for Domenico Scarlatti. Others might be called fusions of Scarlatti and François Couperin. This is an exciting prospect, and it is this fusion, this balance of elements, that is the genius of Rousset's playing. He loses neither the melodic element nor the brilliant ornamentation, and the result is compelling music that will be new to many listeners. One can't ask for much more than that. © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 18, 2020 | Aparté

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By the time Beethoven came to compose the last three of his 32 piano sonatas, written, he said, “in a single breath” and conceived as a unified whole, he was almost completely deaf. Dense and complex, these innovative works, marking indelibly his farewell to the genre, pose many challenges, which are taken up here with mastery by Fabrizio Chiovetta. © Aparté
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Opera - Released June 26, 2020 | Aparté

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Classical - Released May 29, 2020 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - 5 étoiles de Classica
Alessandro Scarlatti’s oratorio is an exciting drama of life, love and death, set in the fourth-century Roman Empire. Preferring to devote her life to God, Teodosia rejects the love of Arsenio, the son of the Roman governor, and welcomes death. St Theodosia of Tyre died at the age of eighteen, in the year 308. One cannot help but be struck by the dramatic strength and the vocal beauty of this work, performed here by a very talented casting, gathering Emmanuelle de Negri, Emiliano Gonzalez Toro, Anthea Pichanick, Renato Dolcini and the fiery orchestra Les Accents led by Thibault Noally. © Aparté

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