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Musique de chambre - To be released March 6, 2020 | BIS

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Classique - To be released February 7, 2020 | BIS

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Classique - To be released February 7, 2020 | BIS

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Classique - To be released February 7, 2020 | BIS

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Classique - To be released February 7, 2020 | BIS

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Musique de chambre - To be released February 7, 2020 | BIS

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Classique - To be released February 7, 2020 | BIS

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Classique - Released January 3, 2020 | BIS

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Musique de chambre - Released January 3, 2020 | BIS

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During the eighteenth century the cello gradually emerged from the anonymity of the continuo group, and by the beginning of the Romantic era the instrument had become an indispensable tool for composers. Robert Schumann, who had himself taken cello lessons, was very fond of it, describing is as a ‘beautiful instrument’; and Johannes Brahms, who acquired considerable skill as a cellist, praised its ‘masculine, serious character’. It is therefore to be hoped that neither composer would object to Christian Poltéra’s sensitive adaptations of their works. Schumann and Brahms wrote three violin sonatas each, both choosing D minor as the key of one of them. These D minor works are the ones that Poltéra – together with Kathryn Stott, whose piano parts remain unchanged – offers on this disc. The two sonatas are separated by the movements that the two composers contributed to the collaborative ‘F-A-E Sonata’ – Schumann’s Intermezzo and Brahms’s Scherzo, and Poltéra and Stott close the disc with two songs – by Brahms and by Clara Schumann, the pianist and composer, and Robert’s wife and Brahms’s lifelong friend. © BIS Records
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Musique de chambre - Released January 3, 2020 | BIS

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Classique - Released January 3, 2020 | BIS

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On this amply filled album, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s Clavierstücke verschiedener Art ("Keyboard Pieces of various Kinds") is presented in its entirety, with the exception of three songs for voice and keyboard. This collection is the most diverse of Bach’s publications and includes multi-movement genres, a free fantasia, a learned fugue, and various short pieces of varying degrees of difficulty. The variety suggests that Bach did not want for his keyboard music to be strictly divided into ‘light’ and ‘serious’ pieces. But he also wished to demonstrate a wide range of techniques of keyboard composition and performance: orchestral writing in the symphony and the concerto, two-part textures in the sonata, polyphony in the fugue, and free and virtuosic composition in the fantasias and solfeggios. In order to bring a similar variety to his recording of the collection, Miklós Spányi has chosen to perform the pieces on a harpsichord built after the Antwerp maker Joannes Daniel Dulcken. To this double-manual harpsichord offering a wide range of possible registrations, Spányi has added a so-called swell device which facilitates quick dynamic changes. This makes it possible to bring out the contrasts between orchestral and soloistic textures in the Concerto in C major, but also to highlight the different characters in the contrasting pairs of Minuets. © BIS Records
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Classique - Released January 3, 2020 | BIS

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Classique - Released January 3, 2020 | BIS

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Classique - Released December 6, 2019 | BIS

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Musique de chambre - Released December 6, 2019 | BIS

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Classique - Released December 6, 2019 | BIS

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Classique - Released December 6, 2019 | BIS

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Classique - Released November 1, 2019 | BIS

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Piano solo - Released November 1, 2019 | BIS

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Charles-Valentin Alkan made his name as pianist in nineteenth-century Paris and seemed poised for a glittering career. But following a series of setbacks he withdrew into a life of relative seclusion, and as he receded from the public eye, so too did his music. It was never entirely forgotten, but it was not until the 1960s and 1970s that Alkan’s works began to emerge from obscurity. To quote the liner notes by Paul Wee, ‘Alkan’s music exhibits a formidable grasp of form and structure, a strong command of melody, a high sense of drama and an unprecedented exploitation of the capabilities of the piano.’ Combined here are the Symphony and the Concerto for Solo Piano, two pinnacles of Alkan’s legacy. Unusually, the four movements of the Symphony and the three movements of the Concerto are included as seven études within Alkan’s Douze Études dans tous les tons mineurs (Twelve studies in all the minor keys), in 1857 as his Op. 39. As to why Alkan composed these epic works and then hid them away in a set of études, Wee suggests that they are to be seen as ‘a celebration of the piano and its capabilities.’ Paul Wee is a barrister specialising in commercial law and appears regularly before courts and tribunals on behalf of clients including governments, corporations, financial institutions and individuals. Born in Australia, he began his piano studies at the age of four, continuing them in New York City at the Manhattan School of Music. Going on to study law at the University of Oxford, he attempts to balance his love for the piano alongside the demands of a busy international career in law. © BIS Records

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