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Classical - Released September 4, 2012 | ATMA Classique

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Chamber Music - Released April 6, 2018 | ATMA Classique

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Quartets - Released August 2, 2011 | ATMA Classique

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Much like his predecessor Dmitry Shostakovich, Alfred Schnittke was to visit the string quartet genre through much of his career. Though Schnittke's quartets number only four compared to Shostakovich's 15, they still offer snapshots of the eclectic composer's frame of mind at different points along his evolution. At various times, Schnittke's writing adheres to the ideals of the Second Viennese School or to more tonal contributions. Schnittke was also a master of style imitation, particularly incorporating Baroque-style counterpoint and even a direct quote from Beethoven's Grosse Fugue. The final quartet, the only one written after a series of strokes began to plague the composer, is a dire, dark, gloomy work that starkly portrays the composer's inevitable physical decline. Because of the sometimes harsh, abrasive chromaticism and atonality, Schnittke's quartets are often unduly neglected. On this ATMA Classique disc, the Quatuor Molinari brings an uncommonly rich, inviting sound quality to these four quartets. Coupled with superb (and rarely heard) intonation, this has the welcome effect of mellowing some of the harshness without robbing the quartets of their essence. Following their stated mission of performing 20th and 21st century compositions, Molinari presents a confidently musical, well-balanced, and captivating performance of four quartets that deserve much more attention and appreciation. A welcome addition to any collection. © TiVo
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Classical - Released November 2, 2018 | ATMA Classique

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In contrast to the traditional Latin Requiem text, with its gloomy Dies Irae sequence and its implications of a severe Last Judgment, the Requiem, Op. 48 of Gabriel Fauré and the Requiem, Op. 9 of Maurice Duruflé reflect a gentler, humanistic attitude toward death, notably omitting the sequence. Instead, both composers chose to emphasize peace and consolation, so these works have become well-loved for their lyricism and serene beauty, and are often paired together as a matched set. This 2018 ATMA release by Jean-Sébastien Vallée and the Choeur de l'Église St.Andrew and St.Paul present the Fauré and Duruflé works in reduced scoring for two vocal soloists, boy choir, mixed choir, cello, and organ, giving both Requiems the intimate feeling of a small church funeral, rather than the more dramatic, cathedral-sized sound of the full orchestral versions. Featured vocal soloists in the Fauré Requiem are mezzo-soprano Julie Boulianne and bass baritone Philippe Sly, who eschew dramatic singing for a more reflective, internalized approach, and the Choeur de l'Église St.Andrew and St.Paul and Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal provide rich choral textures, which at times rise to the ecstatic, as in the closing measures of Fauré's Offertoire. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released January 1, 2013 | ATMA Classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Classical - Released September 18, 2015 | ATMA Classique

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Chamber Music - Released April 13, 2018 | ATMA Classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Contrary to what you might have expected, the ensemble Les Voix Humaines is... a viola ensemble, without a hint of human voice. That said, the often somewhat plaintive discourse of the violas does rather recall the threnodies of the Renaissance and early baroque. And who better than Dowland, with his sombre Lachrimæ, to use purely instrumental sounds to conjure up the most human of emotions and voices? With his collection Lachrimæ, or seaven teares figured in seven passionate pavans, with divers other pavans, galliards and allemands, set forth for the lute, viols, or violons, in five parts published in 1604, Dowland created a whole musical world, most likely aimed at aristocratic amateurs, but one which provided inspiration for all his musical descendants, all the way to Britain and beyond... The five violas of the Voix Humaines and Nigel North's lute have been chosen to accompany these "seaven teares" not only with other pieces from the same book but also with a few works taken from collections published between 1600 and 1612, with the addition of a very rare piece taken from a manuscript.. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released May 28, 2021 | ATMA Classique

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At the beginning of the 19th century, the composer and guitar-maker collaboration enriched the guitar with a variety of models, materials, and techniques. At the time the guitar was “the fashionable instrument,” a must in music halls and European courts. In this second volume of guitar stories, guitarist David Jacques brings together 15 instruments made by the best luthiers of the 19th century. These rare guitars are part of his important private collection. Originally from Saint-Georges de Beauce, au Québec, David Jacques holds a doctorate in early music performance from the University of Montreal. He first studied classical guitar at Cégep de Sainte-Foy, Laval University and the Conservatoire de musique de Québec. He has collaborated on more than fifty recordings on the XXI-21, ATMA, Oz and Analekta labels, many of which have been nominated for ADISQ, JUNOs, Opus Awards and ECHO Classiks. © ATMA Classique
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Classical - Released April 16, 2021 | ATMA Classique

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Canadian ensemble ¡Sacabuche! brings to life unknown yet stunning works of seventeenth-century Habsburg music located in the Czech, Kromeríž, and other European archives. Vivid writing for violins, cornettos, trombones, theorbo and organ colors these works by composers of the mid-17th century in Austria and Czech lands - Giovanni Valentini (1582–1649), Antonio Bertali (1605–1669), Giovanni Battista Buonamente (1595–1642), and Pavel Josef Vejvanovsky (1633–1693), among others. Their music is a testament to the storied tradition and opulence of the Habsburg court and its expansive influence. In 2021, ¡Sacabuche! marks 15 years of engaging audiences with performances of beautiful and lesser-known repertoire for baroque trombones, strings, lute, organ, and voice. Directed by Canadian bass Baroque trombonist Linda Pearse, ¡Sacabuche! is noted for its dedication to creative and appealing interpretations of early Baroque and late Renaissance masterpieces and for its willingness to explore intercultural works through innovative programs. © ATMA Classique
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Classical - Released January 1, 2007 | ATMA Classique

This disc has everything going for it: fascinating repertoire, terrific performances, and tremendous sound. The repertoire consists entirely of orchestrations by diverse arrangers of Debussy piano works, some for two hands, some for four hands, some well known, some barely heard of. The program opens with André Caplet's evanescent Children's Corner and closes with his luminous Clair de lune and in between it includes Ernest Ansermet's precise Six Épigraphes antiques, Ravel's radiant Sarabande and Danse, Henri Busser's romantic Petite Suite and Le Soirée dans Grenade, plus Leopold Stokowski's heavily atmospheric Clair de lune. The performances are uniformly excellent. Yoav Talmi is sensitive to Debussy's particular style of phrasing and textures, and he leads the Orchestre symphonique de Québec in a performance full of glowing colors, buoyant rhythms, and irresistible lyrical charm. And the sound is unvaryingly outstanding. Recorded in super audio surround sound, these performances are completely enveloping yet utterly clean and amazingly natural. Anyone interested in unusual Debussy, superb performances, and superlative recordings need not hesitate. © TiVo
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Classical - Released August 1, 2005 | ATMA Classique

Booklet
The popularity of the film Tous les matins du monde (All the Mornings of the World) has revived the fortunes of the shadowy composer named Sainte-Colombe, who was active in the late seventeenth century. The film was largely fictitious, but subsequent research, much of it nicely summarized in the notes to this disc, has shed light on who Sainte-Colombe might have been, and has shown that the filmmakers, and the novelist (Pascal Quignard) who wrote the novel on which Tous les matins du monde was based, made some good guesses about him. Some of the world's top players have recorded his music for the viols that figured so heavily in the film, and this two-disc set, by the Canadian bass-viol pair of Susie Napper and Margaret Little, is part of a series covering all of Sainte-Colombe's compositions for "deux violes esgales," two equal viols. It's a fine performance, and an informative presentation of the music. Napper and Little don't have the shimmering, ecstatic feeling that is Savall's specialty, and that he revealed on the film's soundtrack. But they approach the music differently, and cogently. Sainte-Colombe's "concerts," having between one and five movements, open with a descriptive Ouverture that is often as long as the rest of the movements, usually short dances, put together. Each piece takes its name from this opening movement, which, unlike the descriptive pieces of Couperin or Rameau, often has an abstract title referring indirectly to the structure of the music itself -- often, what the title putatively describes is the kind of conversation represented by the music. Thus the first work on the disc is subtitled "L'attentif," The Attentive One. In this work, one viol is silent for much of the work, as if listening to the comments of the other. An early manuscript copy actually explains the meanings of the titles: one work is called "Les récits" because "each part takes turns reciting." Other titles may describe a work's mood, but all of them have the flavor of a unique conversation between two individuals. It is this quality that Napper and Little capture effectively. Their tempos are generally brisk, but each player emerges as a lively individual. Anyone intrigued by Sainte-Colombe should check this set out, for it introduces the composer in detail and offers a sympathetic performance of his music. © TiVo
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Classical - Released February 12, 2021 | ATMA Classique

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"L'homme armé" is a musical journey into the music of the Court of Burgundy in the 15th century. Under the direction of Andrew McAnerney, the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal offers a program of motets by the first Franco-Flemish polyphonists - Guillaume Dufay, Antoine Busnois, Josquin des Prés and Gilles Binchois (whose motet A solis ortus cardineis is recorded for the first time). Sung a cappella or accompanied by sackbuts, this music reflects the subtle art of vocal counterpoint. Praised for its “rich-textured, vibrant sound” and “hypnotic beauty”, the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal (SMAM) has established a reputation as Canada’s finest early music vocal ensemble. Founded in 1974 by Christopher Jackson, Réjean Poirier and Hélène Dugal, the Studio’s mission is to perform sacred and secular early music, with a particular focus on choral works composed before 1750. Acclaimed for his early music interpretations, Andrew McAnerney has directed the Studio de musique anciennede Montréal since 2015. A former member of the Tallis Scholars, Andrew’s career has included music making in over 20 countries with many of the world’s foremost early music ensembles. © Atma Classique
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Chamber Music - Released November 6, 2020 | ATMA Classique

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The latest recording by Molinari Quartet presents Krzysztof Penderecki's major chamber music works, including three string quartets, a clarinet quartet, a string trio, and some short pieces for strings. An outstanding figure in contemporary Polish music, Krzysztof Penderecki died on 29 March 2020 in Krakow. His catalogue includes more than 160 works covering a wide range of styles, from sonorism to post-Romanticism, from folkloric to religious music, from dodecaphonism to tonal music. The Molinari Quartet has established itself as one of Canada’s leading string quartets. Recipient of 20 Opus Prizes awarded by the Quebec Music Council for musical excellence on the province’s concert stages, the Molinari Quartet as been described by critics as an “essential” and “prodigious” ensemble, even “Canada’s answer to the Kronos or Arditti Quartet”. © Atma Classique
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Concertos - Released February 1, 2003 | ATMA Classique

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Symphonic Music - Released February 1, 2011 | ATMA Classique

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Florent Schmitt's once popular ballet on the biblical story of Salome was revised and reorchestrated for concert performance in 1911, and the shortened version is what Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Orchestre Métropolitain recorded for ATMA Classique in 2010. A vivid score that incorporates rich harmonies and lush sonorities from late Romanticism and impressionism, La Tragédie de Salomé in its revised form is a tone poem in two parts, rather in the style of Richard Strauss, though quite unlike his famous opera Salomé. While Schmitt's work has flashes of brilliance and is famous for the irregular meters and propulsive rhythms that Igor Stravinsky admired, its orientation is essentially conservative and it lacks the shock factor that made Strauss' work daring and scandalous. Indeed, the inclusion of César Franck's Symphony in D minor as a companion piece seems to point up the inherent conservatism in Schmitt's work. However, the performances are much livelier than that assessment suggests, and Nézet-Séguin and the Montreal-based orchestra play with their expected interpretive skill and technical excellence. While the Schmitt selection is a fairly uncommon item and worth hearing at least once, the Franck is the more satisfying performance and what makes this disc worth owning. The fluidity of the playing and coherent shaping of the music give this symphony a vitality that is sometimes lacking in other, stodgier renditions. The reproduction is warm and resonant, though the recording sounds best with a moderately high volume setting. © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 11, 2020 | ATMA Classique

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Classical - Released April 3, 2012 | ATMA Classique

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Chamber Music - Released April 3, 2020 | ATMA Classique

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Symphonic Music - Released October 4, 2011 | ATMA Classique

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Classical - Released September 3, 2013 | ATMA Classique

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