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Mélodies (Northern Europe) - Released May 10, 2019 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
This programme offers an immersion into Kaija Saariaho’s magical and poetic world, with three works that were recently recorded for the very first time. The Paris-based Finnish composer is among the most prominent names on the music scene today. Born in 1952, Saariaho has successfully crafted her own musical universe, with unique colours and whispers, drawing inspiration from the great spectacle of nature as well as her own mental landscapes, imagined from her dreams, philosophy and international literature.Although they were all composed within the same era (between 2013 and 2015), these three captivating pieces offer three different perspectives on her orchestral music. Ciel d’hiver is a rearrangement for orchestra only, True Fire is a song cycle, and Trans a harp concerto. Ciel d’hiver is a transposition for small orchestra of the central movement of Orion, a triptych composed in 2002 for a giant orchestra. Inspired by Greek mythology, it joins a series of works inspired by the infinity and mystery of sky and space.True Fire was commissioned by four orchestras (Los Angeles, Hamburg, Paris [Orchestre National de France], and London [BBC]) for baritone Gerald Finley. It is a cycle of six songs written from poems of various authors. Saariaho’s goal was to explore the singer’s unique vocal range by allowing him to deploy the full scope of his expressiveness. And with Trans, the composer first and foremost explores the “depths of the instrument’s soul” − the harp − without sacrificing virtuosity. Written in three movements, this concert uses a relatively small orchestra, with a translucent writing in which the harp converses with an instrument, or an entire section. This way, the harp becomes the driving force of the music, and its main protagonist. © François Hudry/Qobuz

Classical - Released February 8, 2019 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Unlike usual opera sequences, the ones excerpted from Zimmerman’s Die Soldaten (‘The Soldiers’) which he named Vokal-Sinfonie (Vocal Symphony) were created before the opera as proof that the music was playable. Indeed, its final score posed quite the challenge for the singers, the orchestra, the theatres and for the audience: with sixteen singing roles, around ten spoken roles, an orchestra of about one hundred musicians, crazy percussion instruments, film projectors, tape recordings and extra-musical sound effects – it’s enough to make any opera house fear for their budget! Not to mention the fact that the audience was also subject to the strict dodecaphonic system and some of the opera scenes actually overlapped. Zimmermann initially wanted the piece to be performed on twelve different stages that surrounded the audience who would be sitting on swivelling chairs and would rotate themselves accordingly. However, the idea was rejected by the theatre where the first performance was to take place and the composer finally abandoned the idea and remodelled his work to render it – almost – performable. Here, you can listen to Vokal-Sinfonie from 1963 which has some noticeable similarities with Berg’s Wozzeck, particularly in the raw and deeply moving lyricism of the vocal material. The Sinfonie is followed by the 1968 Photoptosis for full orchestra, one of the composer’s last two works before he died two years later after having suffered from severe depression. The score is both dark and light at the same time and is a work of sheer orchestral genius. The album opens with the 1950 Violin Concerto, which despite its supposedly classic form (Sonata-Fantasia-Rondo) explores the world of modernism in an intense and beautifully dark lyricism. © SM/Qobuz

Violin Solos - Released September 8, 2017 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica - Exceptional Sound Recording - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Of course, since years Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin have been recorded over and over again, including by world’s best and most prestigious solists. But when violinist Christian Tetzlaff releases a brand new recording, we can only say: “Friends, countrymen, lend Qobuz your ears”. Concerts with Christian Tetzlaff often become an existential experience for interpreter and audience alike; old familiar works suddenly appear in an entirely new light, also – of course – within the frame of a new studio recording such as this one. Essential to Tetzlaff’s approach are the courage to take risks, technical brilliance, openness and alertness to life. Such an interpretation becomes a real challenge for the aficionado and guarantees a brilliant musical adventure.