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Opera - To be 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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Opera - Released June 26, 2020 | Aparté

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Classical - Released May 29, 2020 | Aparté

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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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Jazz - Released May 8, 2020 | Aparté

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Classical - Released March 27, 2020 | Aparté

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Cello Concertos - Released March 20, 2020 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama
After a double album dedicated to Boccherini and acclaimed by critics, Ophélie Gaillard and the Pulcinella Orchestra reveal the incredible sound palette of Vivaldi, one of the most brilliant venetian musicians. Drawing on the finest cello works of the composer, Ophélie Gaillard’s selection places great emphasis on the concerto, for one, two or even four performers. It also includes an exclusive reconstruction of the Concerto RV 788. The vocal interventions of Lucile Richardot and Delphine Galou light up the program like rays of sun through the clouds. The album alternates between moments of great emotion, sometimes even dolorous as in the Largo of the Concerto RV 416, and moments of passion and frenzy (in the Concertos RV 419 or RV 409) that evoke "The Summer" from The Four Seasons. This music thus unveils all its mysteries in the interplay of lights and shadows, giving its name to this recording. © Aparté
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Classical - Released March 13, 2020 | Aparté

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The Orchestre National d’Auvergne invite us to dive into the lyricism of the musical universe of Berg, Webern and Schreker. In the heart of Vienna, at the twilight of romanticism, Webern and Schreker embrace their beginning careers. With much spirit and expression, their works convey a surprising melodic breadth, as the first lights of expressionism loom on the horizon. On the other side, Berg’s Lyric Suite echoes Beethoven and Mahler but also reveals all the extent of the serial modernism. The Orchestre National d’Auvergne, conducted by Roberto Forés Veses, brings us to Vienna as the musicians perform this programme with an exceptional verve. © Aparté
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Mélodies (French) - Released February 21, 2020 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 étoiles de Classica
After the very recent publication by tenor Nicolas Phan and pianist Myra Huang, this is another album dedicated to sisters Lili and Nadia Boulanger that sheds more light on their talent. If Lili Boulanger’s work has been starting to emerge from obscurity in recent years, that of her sister Nadia’s has remained largely unknown, partly her own fault as she stopped writing after the premature passing of her sister, whose talent for writing she thought was superior. Nadia Boulanger instead forged a name for herself through education and the discovery of new works. This new recording produced in 2018 by the Cyrille Dubois and Tristan Raës duo in the enchanting Palazzetto Bru Zane in Venice presents an altogether different programme and is opposite to the previous publication: with an emphasis on Nadia. There are nine of her melodies on offer here, as well as the Heures claires cycle that she wrote for four hands with pianist-composer Raoul Pugno to whom she was very close. The Quatre chants by Lili Boulanger reflect the infinite sadness which permeates the entire catalogue, small though it may be but intensely expressive nonetheless. Two new figures of French music in the wake of Gabriel Fauré that are rising in prominence. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released February 21, 2020 | Aparté

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"Incantation" holds many mysteries. The brilliant violinist Virgil Boutellis-Taft strips away the veil of its secret powers, the ones that lie inside his violin’s fascinating chant. Sometimes violent and fiery, as in Saint-Saëns’ Danse macabre, sometimes tender, as in Tchaikovsky and Bruch, incantation is indeed deeply rooted in musical history, from the baroque era, with Vitali’s Chaconne, to the ‘Yumeji’s Theme’, part of the soundtrack of the film In the Mood for Love. Over and over, it kept inspiring many composers their most captivating works. Virgil Boutellis-Taft and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, under’s Jac Van Steen direction, show remarkable eloquence in this magical recording: one can only fall under these spells. © Aparté
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Opera Extracts - Released January 31, 2020 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Chantal Santon-Jeffery and the Orfeo Orchestra, conducted by György Vashegyi, take us through a musical journey that leads straight to the French Enlightenments. Glorious time of the "sopranos légères", whose agile voices allowed all fantasies and ornaments, it’s during Louis the Beloved’s reign that French opera reaches new heights: the public hastens to every representation to delight in hearing the demoiselles vocalize with their brilliant voices. Chantal Santon-Jeffery pays tribute to these opera virtuosos with a beautiful recital that celebrates all the splendours of the repertoire, in association with the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles: with numerous unrecorded works, Chantal Santon-Jeffery brings this admirable singing back to life. © Aparté
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Classical - Released January 24, 2020 | Aparté

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For his new record, Pierre Genisson honors the legacy of the one known as the 'King of Swing' and his worldwide successes: Benny Goodman. Both composer and conductor, born in Chicago, Illinois, the clarinetist shared his musical life between jazz and classical music: He was the first to perform jazz music with black musicians in the famous Carnegie Hall in 1938. Though we know most of his jazz standards, he also contributed a lot to the development of the classic clarinet repertoire: for instance he distinguished himself performing Aaron Copland's Concerto, Bernstein's Prelude, Fugue and Riffs or Bartók's Contrasts. Bringing together these emblematic works with unforgettable hits like Sweat Georgia Brown or the irresistible Sing, sing, sing, Pierre Genisson makes Benny Goodman's star shine brighter and proves once again, alongside with the brilliant musicians of the BBC Concert Orchestra, all the extent of his talent. © Aparté
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Solo Piano - Released January 17, 2020 | Aparté

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Chamber Music - Released November 15, 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Often seen as playing second fiddle to his close friend Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Philipp Telemann is making a spirited comeback and taking his place among the best composers of his day. In the manner of a Vivaldi production, Telemann's abundant work can be intimidating in its sheer quantity. A multiple instrumentalist, violinist, conductor, ensemble performer, Gottfried von der Goltz has dug up this group of six sonatas referred to as the Frankfurt Sonatas, named for the town where they were published in 1715. Leaving the Court of Bach's native Eisenach, Telemann set up in Frankfurt in 1712 as the chapelmaster of the Franciscan church. He would become one of the richest citizens of the town thanks to the ample emoluments he received in this post. These six sonatas are written in "stilo francese", all divided into four movements: a solemn overture followed by a faster second movement, and then a cantabile finishing with a lively, virtuoso finale. This strict schema gives range to a range of sonatas, which vary widely in their writing style and steer clear of the then-fashionable trio-sonata form, offering a tremendous free rein to the lead instrument. They are only equalled by Bach's sonatas for flute and violin. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Symphonies - Released November 15, 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
If we take a closer look at the first symphonic attempts by the young Mozart, we can see that they are motivated by a lot more than mere curiosity, musicologist Henning Bey, the author of the texts that accompany this new recording, points out. He shows how the young boy, without the presence of his bedridden father, managed to set down on paper his first symphony after a few efforts for the clavier and violin. The manuscript still bears the traces of the young composer's experimentations and difficulties with ink and an ill-cut quill. The lesson of this first orchestral outing is that "form develops from content". Mozart came to composition when his father taught him to write minuets. And it was also with dance that he would finish his oeuvre, writing the 5 Contredanses, K. 609, just a few days before his death, for the imperial balls in the Redoute. They are presented here by way of closing the circle, interspersed between each of the five youthful symphonies which make up the substance of this album. The excellent performance from Gottfried von der Goltz and the musicians of the Freiburger Barockorchester whom he directs with his violin, have a mature take on this childish music, written before Mozart the traveller starts taking in everything he sees and hears to elaborate his own unique language. What's troubling about it is the assuredness of the writing from a child of nine years old, who seems already to know exactly where he will go and what he will become. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Duets - Released November 15, 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
This record is about reparation. History has not let two extraordinary composers meet each other. Georg Friedrich Haendel and Johann Sebastian Bach came to the world in 1785, one month apart. Twice, they failed to meet each other, and never again their life paths happened to come across, following parallel ways all along. This album is, thus, dedicated to this failure. Lina Tur Bonet and Dani Espasa offer here a record that reflects multiple questions, engaging a critical dialogue. If Bach and Haendel’s sonatas are facing each other, it is mostly their voices that echo to one another. By choosing these works, Lina Tur Bonet and Dani Espasa recreate, for an instant, the encounter of the two German composers, whose existences suddenly merge into one. This is the exact meaning of the matter of music, being able to suspend the time for a moment by giving birth to something that has never been before. Lina Tur Bonet and Dani Espasa prove to be true magicians in this recording, and much as their exceptional reinterpretation reveals the whole deepness and closeness that these works and their composers share. © Aparté
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Classical - Released November 15, 2019 | Aparté

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The world of bossa nova meets classical music for a unique record, born from the exceptional encounter of the Brazilian singer Toquinho, living legend of the bossa nova, and the international cellist Ophélie Gaillard. Including standards alongside several exclusive songs, with original arrangements of the composer Gabriel Sivak, this present recording breathes the sweet fragrance of a warm summer night. The soft warmth of Ophélie Gaillard’s strings supports Toquinho’s soul-stirring whispers. With delicate harmonies and irresistible rhythms, this subtle reveals the essence of the bossa nova, which lies in this bright nostalgia and its wistful swing, at the rhythm of the beating heart. Toquinho picks out the chords on his guitar as he murmurs the words of Vinicius de Moraes and proves that the poet found in this music the right echo of his soul: how can one resist to this betwitching Song of the siren? © Aparté
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Symphonies - Released November 8, 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Beethoven are both composers and were both born in the year 1770. They met in Bonn and even played together for several years in Bonn’s orchestra pit. The Concert de la Loge takes the opportunity of their 250th birthday to pay them a tribute, with this recording that brings together Beethoven’ Septet op.20 (for an atypical string quartet with violin, viola, cello and double bass, plus clarinet, horn and bassoon) and Reicha’s Grande Symphonie de Salon no.1 (for string quintet, oboe, clarinet, cor and bassoon). These hybrid works are situated at crossroads between chamber music and symphony and reflect the taste of experimentation of their composers. The sophisticated instrumental lines of Beethoven’s work meet here the great orchestral charism of Reicha, whom Berlioz hailed as a “true revolutionary” when he was nominated at the head of the Académie des Beaux-Arts’s music section. © Aparté
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Opera - Released November 8, 2019 | Aparté

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This performance of Raoul Barbe-Bleue (‘Raoul Bluebeard’) from the 16th-17th November 2018 at Selbu Church (Norway) follows a number of performances at the Trøndelag Theatre as part of the Barokkfest Early Music Festival in Trondheim, in coproduction with the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles. The comic opera was written on 2nd March 1789, on the eve of the French Revolution and is a parody of two tales. André Grétry and his librettist Michel-Jean Sedaine were inspired both by Perrault’s story of Bluebeard and by the legend of The Lady of Fayel, which may not be as well-known nowadays but was very much in fashion in the 18th century and is itself a fusion of two tales. Sedaine deftly ensured that the opera included the first names of the various main characters to indicate that it is indeed a comedy and not a tragedy. Wagner even recalled in his memoirs how he had seen the opera performed in Dresden at the age of five and had been fascinated ever since. Now, re-enacted for the first time since 1789 in a Franco-Norweigan stage version conducted by Martin Wåhlberg, this version of Raoul Barbe-Bleue is guaranteed to make you laugh with its hybridised style that somewhat confused the 18th century audience. It’s a challenge but a wonderful opportunity to experience this work, produced primarily for the stage, without actually seeing the performers here – just by creating an inner theatre in your mind. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released November 1, 2019 | Aparté

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Following its first performance before the court at the Château de Saint-Germain-en- Laye on 1 January 1677, Isis won librettist Philippe Quinault two years' banishment, for having dared to bring to the stage the jealousy of Madame de Montespan (Juno) at the decision of King Louis XIV (Jupiter) to leave her for the young and attractive Mademoiselle de Ludres (Io). Although Lully and Quinault insisted that they were inspired by Ovid's Metamorphoses, no-one was fooled: after its performance, the rumour mill went into overdrive, which saw the unfortunate Mademoiselle de Ludres obliged to leave the court the following year. The show turned out to be a one-night- only affair and the opera lay forgotten for three centuries. It survived in part through Purcell's Cold Song, written for his semi-opera King Arthur, which was rather influenced by the mischievous Chœur des trembleurs in Act Four of Isis. Christophe Rousset, a Lully specialist, has set happily to work on this opera, which is jam-packed with instrumental marvels (wind machines, for example) and vocal wonders. It's these features that have won it the reputation as an "opera for musicians": so rich is the score in music and novelties. This great show was unveiled by Christophe Rousset and his team of singers and instrumentalists during summer 2019, in particular at the Beaune Festival, and recorded thereafter at the Salle Gaveau in Paris. It will continue on its round of concerts during the 2019-2020 season. Conducted with unstinting tension and lots of imagination from Christophe Rousset at the head of the Orchestre des Talens Lyriques, the Chœur de chambre de Namur, and a team of soloists all welded together into a perfectly coherent whole, this recording is a highlight of this Autumn's music. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Opera Extracts - Released October 25, 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Built around the young soprano Katherine Watson and suggested by the conductor and flutist Alexis Kossenko, supported by the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, this operatic program revives the splendor of Versailles. Blending operatic airs and instrumental pieces, this baroque collection offers a selection of the major works of the Sun King’s court, from André Campra to Marin Marais, but rediscovers as well several long-forgotten works from this period, as Louis de Lully’s opera Orphée. It also allows us to glimpse into the dramatic power of the rôles tendres, that mostly suit to women in love, leading roles of the tragédie lyrique, and for which Katherine Watson proves to be the ideal interpreter. The smoothness of her timbre and the clarity of the orchestra, under Alexis Kossenko’s sure direction, reveal all the treasures of these French airs that explore the depths of the human soul. Often exposed to torments, victims of the avarice of the gods, suffering from love and cruelty, the heroins of the tragédie lyrique nevertheless embody tragic beauty and majesty. © Aparté

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