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Classical - Released February 5, 2021 | naïve classique

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Opera - Released September 25, 2020 | naïve classique

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The musical world owes a great debt of thanks to the Vivaldi Project on Naive as it edges ever closer to fulfilling its mission to record around 450 Vivaldi works located in the National University Library of Turin, and not simply for the number of premiere recordings of long-forgotten works it's chalked up. Also because of the quality of each new offering in purely musical terms, often from veritable dream teams of artists. Truly, Vivaldi has shone, and Il tamerlano is no exception to that rule. Premiered in Verona in 1735, Il Tamerlano – also known as Bajazet after the Ottoman sultan who Tuco-Mongul emperor Timur (Tamerlano) kidnaps - is a pasticcio: a musical patchwork drawing on arias from multiple other works, and which in this case saw Vivaldi cherry-picking not just from his own operas but also inserting up to ten further arias by the likes of Geminiano Giacomelli, Johann Adolf Hasse and Riccardo Broschi. These Vivaldi then tied together with freshly written recitatives. The present recording also “reconstructs” five arias which were not in the score but were certainly sung in 1735. Artists-wise, it's a stellar line-up: Ottavio Dantone and his Accademia Bizantina for the tenth time in this series (not all of which has been opera, and if you want to hear them strutting their brilliant stuff in purely instrumental repertoire then head to the six late “Per il castello” violin concertos they recorded with violinist Alessandro Tampieri); then baritone Bruno Taddia as Bajazet, countertenor Filippo Mineccia as Tamerlano, along with mezzos Sophie Rennert and Marina de Liso, soprano Arianna Vendittelli and contralto Delphine Galou. As for the actual music-making, in orchestral terms the opening sinfonia says its all: Vivaldian rhythmic punch and exuberance for the fortes, contrasting with softer-focus passages of delicately airy elegance in which theorbo rises deliciously to the fore, while metre chugs along in perkily precise manner one moment, before being dramatically stretched or paused the next. Vocally speaking meanwhile, the treats keep coming, not least from golden-toned and elegantly feisty Mineccia - for instance in his Act 1 “Vedeste mai sul prato”. Or flip to the third act for a sublime “Son tortorella” from a ravishingly pure-toned Sophie Rennert as Irene, whose beautifully controlled vocal embellishments are further set off by the poeticism coming from the orchestra's softly cooing recorders, and from its strings shining in the barely-there chamber textures. Essentially, another Vivaldi opera revived to perfection. © Charlotte Gardner/Qobuz
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Opera - Released September 25, 2020 | naïve classique

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Opera - Released September 25, 2020 | naïve classique

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Opera - Released September 25, 2020 | naïve classique

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Opera - Released September 2, 2020 | naïve classique

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Opera - Released September 2, 2020 | naïve classique

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Classical - Released March 6, 2020 | naïve classique

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These Années de pèlerinage by Franz Liszt (1811-1856) – the monumental piano work in three books that he composed over four decades – invites us on a threefold voyage: a journey through the thought and the art of a composer who gifted all his visionary genius to the piano; here he transcribes an actual physical geography, and transcends it with some of the most accomplished piano writing ever crafted. Our radiant guide on this great adventure is French-Hungarian pianist Suzana Bartal. From the bucolic Swiss scenes of nature to the evanescent mysticism of the final book, via the sudden flashes of the well-known Orage (Storm) and Après une lecture du Dante (After reading Dante), the pianist – one of the rare performers to present a complete recording of this dense, demandingly virtuosic masterwork – opens up astounding perspectives of sound and vision. ‘What I wanted was to translate this mixture of inspiration and technical brilliance so as to highlight the poetic aspect of these pieces,’ she says. ‘My core aim is to guide the listener through this poetic journey in all its incredible variety, by clearly defining the character of each piece so as to recreate their different worlds.’ © naive classique
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Classical - Released February 21, 2020 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - 5 étoiles de Classica
This is the first time a French violinist has joined the line of prestigious solo virtuosi recording for the Vivaldi Edition. Violinist Julien Chauvin and his Concert de la Loge – founded in 2015, and modelled on one of the most celebrated orchestras of the late 18th century – here reveal all the discreet charms of an inventive concertante style rich in detail, featuring Vivaldi’s favoured instrument. This particular set of concerti highlight the consistently close links between Vivaldi’s instrumental and operatic works. ‘Transcending the difference of genre, the Venetian composer’s unitary conception of language and style allowed him to pass with the deft skill of a juggler from one domain to the other, making them happily converge on common ground,’ writes Cesare Fertonani. In these six concertos we can hear superbly phrased cantabile, with all the players seeming to breathe as one: and above all a sense of dramatic and narrative tension in Vivaldi’s finest vein. Musical quotations, borrowings, reworkings and affinities here bring his instrumental music and operas closer together – two genres of equal virtuosity, on which he lavished his genius in equal measure, and in every expressive register. © naive classique
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Classical - Released February 14, 2020 | naïve classique

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Five young women, all top-flight string players, united in a single voice, radiating temperamental sympathies and similarities, deceptive depths, and a caustic sense of humour: this is the challenging vision of "Smoking Joséphine", the 100% feminine ensemble dreamt up by violinist Geneviève Laurenceau as a ‘space for creativity and exploration’, to develop the sophisticated opulence of the string quintet. The present album is the result of the special alchemy between Geneviève and her team – Olivia Hughes (violin), Marie Chilemme (viola), Hermine Horiot (cello) and Laurène Durantel Helstroffer (double bass), all acclaimed soloists in their own right, in orchestras and chamber ensembles. This, their very first album, they have dedicated to Love. The five artists embody this universal, timeless theme with their characteristic warmth of sound, generous lyricism, and dynamic rhythmic pulse: their programme unfolds like a voyage with surprising discoveries en route, passing through many styles and periods and covering the full range, the many faces of this emotion that rules the heart. We can thrill to the passionate love of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet and Bernstein’s West Side Story, the tender romantic reveries of Liszt, Chopin, Kreisler and Elgar, the ghoulish love depicted by Saint-Saëns, the "Bewitched Love" of De Falla ... This quintet, with its unconventional contrabass, has had each of its scores specially made to measure, in arrangements that are the last word in haute couture. © naive classique
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Classical - Released February 13, 2020 | naïve classique

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Classical - Released February 13, 2020 | naïve classique

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Classical - Released February 13, 2020 | naïve classique

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Classical - Released February 6, 2020 | naïve classique

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Classical - Released January 24, 2020 | naïve classique

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This album is an exploration of Beethoven's neglected works for mandolin. None of them are called suites; the "suites" of the title are groupings of mandolin music closely or more distantly related to Beethoven. Some of this other music turns out to be even more of a revelation than the Beethoven mandolin music, itself rare enough: the Grande Sonate for mandolin and piano, Op. 37a, is an excellent example of Hummel's style, with a slow movement that's highly idiomatic to the mandolin (Beethoven's pieces, especially on Julien Martineau's rather metallic-sounding mandolin, are more like piano pieces played on the mandolin). All of the Beethoven works are early, and despite his claimed affection for the instrument, it's hard to hear his voice in these. Midway through, however, the program turns into something else, humorous and very Gallic. Included is Walter Murphy's disco classic A Fifth of Beethoven, arranged for a small jazz combo. Get ahold of the booklet, if you can, where annotator Camille De Rijck points out that "in the history of art, it is only permissible to exclude an artist from a movement if he or she absolutely refuses ever to have joined it, a conclusive attitude that Beethoven never expressed toward disco music." The other selections toward the end are not that outrageous, but all poke a bit of fun at the lingering Romantic impressions of Beethoven that have come down to the present day. Pianist Vanessa Benelli Mosell keeps to a circumspect attitude that gives Martineau room to play around, and the result is an enjoyable romp that does give something of an idea of Beethoven's youthful, lighter side. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 15, 2020 | naïve classique

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Classical - Released January 8, 2020 | naïve classique

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Classical - Released January 1, 2020 | naïve classique

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Classical - Released December 6, 2019 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released November 15, 2019 | naïve classique

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Antonio Vivaldi had terrific luck with posterity, as almost the entirety his own collection of manuscripts made it down the years to the present day intact. Deposited in the National Library of Turin, this archive has been gradually pared down and published by the Italian musicologist Alfredo Basso. This new album presents six concertos for violin dating from Vivaldi's later period, marked by a very high quality of writing and inspiration. "The concertos of the late period are characterised by extremely refined soloist writing, even a certain affectation in the figural diversification, in the variety of articulations and phrasing, in the richness of the ornamentation, in the sumptuous inventiveness of a lyrical and cantabile virtuosity, marked from end to end by romantic inflexions", writes musicographer Cesare Fertonani. We know nothing of Vivaldi's final voyage to Vienna, where he would die alone and forgotten. This shortened series of concertos (eight are lost) is the last written trace of Vivaldi, which attests to his presence in the Austrian capital a month before his death. We have a receipt for a delivery of music to the Count Collalto, representative of an illustrious family of Venetian nobility, who were living in Vienna at the time, on diplomatic exchange. There is every reason to believe that the six concertos played here by violinist Alessandro Tampieri were a part of this delivery. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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