Categories :

Albums

HI-RES$14.99
CD$9.99

Classical - To be released February 7, 2020 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet
HI-RES$14.99
CD$9.99

Choral Music (Choirs) - Released November 1, 2019 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet
Composer Juris Karlsons (b. 1948) is one of the leading names in Latvian music today. This new album by the Latvian Radio Choir under their music director Sigvards Kļava features Karlsons’ choral works. These works are marked by deeply religious feeling and profound message. Oremus is choral piece written by the composer in 2018 for the Latvian Radio Choir. It was premiered as part of the Lincoln Center White Light Festivals. When writing this work, no doubt Karlsons had specifically the sound and vocal abilities of the choir in mind. The largest work of the album is Adoratio (2010), a symphonic, single-movement work for choir and orchestra with a duration of over thirty minutes. Yet, this powerful work filled with drama can, like a symphony, be clearly divided into musical sections. Le lagrime dell’anima (2013) for piano and choir is based on a short poem written by the composer: “Here are just seven simple notes that are born on a beautiful summer evening when watching the sunset. The stars slowly light up, one, then another. You wait for the next one. The seven sounds of stars are gradually born under the pianist’s fingers, somewhere in the silence they appear in the chorus’s intonations, and finally intertwined in a melodic line” the composer describes. The final piece of the album, Ora pro nobis (2019), is a tribute to Virgin Mary based on an earlier work and written for Sigvards Kļava. © Ondine
HI-RES$14.99
CD$9.99

Classical - Released October 4, 2019 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet
This second volume in a series dedicated to the orchestral works of Heino Eller by the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra under conductor Olari Elts is a ground-breaking introduction to one of the founders of the Estonian school of music. The present volume consists of Eller’s symphonic poems and contains some of Eller’s earliest symphonic works, including one of his most well-known works, Dawn (Koit). © Ondine
HI-RES$14.99
CD$9.99

Classical - Released October 4, 2019 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet
Hannu Lintu here takes a stand against Paavo Berglund’s legendary version in Bournemouth, the very first of the discography recorded in 1970. Kullervo is a piece of work generally considered epic, a style not often explored by the Finnish composer, who had returned to Vienna at the beginning of the 1890s where he was able to submerge himself in Bruckner and discover some composers of the new generation. Here, Hannu Lintu dares to offer up a serene interpretation, with moderate contrasts in both the emphasis and the tone. For him, Kullervo stays within the defined category of Austro-hungarian music, even if it remains a singularly unique piece of music, as it does not demonstrate much of the modern and cutting-edge Sibelius which broke out from the 4 Legends of Kalevala and certainly over the course of the 1900s after the Second Symphony. Hannu Lintu privileges the ensemble line with regular post-Bruckner-esque balances, organised around polyphony, all the while underlining the freedom which escapes from the young Sibelius’ woodwind motifs. He also appears to snub typically runic Finnish popular influences, which notably guide the whole Introduction, an Allegro which is perfectly moderato. Kullervo transforms into a vast lyrical poem, meditative but somber (there are essences of the Violin concerto). From this vision are born some incredibly poetic moments, like in the third episode (Kullervo and his sister) as the choir sing their last lines just before the soprano (Johanna Rusanen, what a husky tone!) and the baritone (Ville Rusanen) begin their respective narratives, themselves just as astonishing in their dramatic power. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
HI-RES$14.99
CD$9.99

Classical - Released September 13, 2019 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet
With their album dedicated to Psalms of Repentance by Alfred Schnittke, and two works by Arvo Pärt (BIS), this same line-up won some fine prizes (Diapason d'Or, Gramophone). Kaspars Putniņš leads the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir as they continue on their way through the works of Arvo Pärt with four very seductive scores (including the choral version of Summa): they are starting here, and this forms an ideal introduction to the programme's most major work, which is surely Via Crucis, S. 53 by Franz Liszt, an ample score for piano and choir finished in 1879 in Budapest, recordings of which are all too rare. The voices of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir are sublime here, possessed of an enrapturing depth and purity. This Via Crucis is a perfect summary of the later, most modern Liszt: the writing for piano "comes" directly from the final part of the Years of Pilgrimage. There are such striking similarities with pieces like Angelus! Prière aux anges gardiens or the Sursum corda that one might well wonder whether certain pages from Via Crucis (number 12, Jesus stirbt am Kreuze, for example) aren't in fact elaborations from these. In this work, Franz Liszt is developing astoundingly modern harmonies, which draw out a naked form of Wagner's chromatisms, rarefying them: all the more so given that pianist Kalle Randalu tends to put the accent on their dryness. This is the essence of the end of Romanticism, in an absolutely hypnotic record. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
HI-RES$14.99
CD$9.99

Classical - Released August 9, 2019 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet
Beethoven was really following his heart when he chose to set Goethe's dramas to music. The work is a dream of a utopia of a free humanity; a dream Beethoven had already held up in his opera Fidelio and that reached its culmination in his Ninth Symphony. Written in 1788, Goethe's piece has the Count of Egmont grappling with a despotic Duke, who represents the Spanish invader in Flanders. Arrested, imprisoned and abandoned, he is condemned to death. But his martyrdom turns out to be a victory against absolutism. For Beethoven, this was a goldmine. With great enthusiasm, he sent his score to the poet... And got no response.We are indebted to Herbert von Karajan for this full version of the stage music with soprano Gundula Janowitz, recorded for the great "Édition Beethoven" to mark the bicentenary of the composer's birth in 1970. This new edition, recorded at a concert in Helsinki, is the first "historically accurate" recording, performed on period instruments. It also includes a narrator, in fact the actor, producer and Swiss-German auteur Robert Hunger-Bühler, a member of the Zurich Schauspielhaus.Revolutionary productions of Monteverdi, Handel and the operas of Koželuch have won widespread respect for the Helsinki Chamber Orchestra. Since 2011, its monthly performances have won a vast, new and enthusiastic audience. A visionary selection of repertoires and guest artists has thrilled the public to a degree never seen before with baroque music in Finland. The guest soloists and conductors include Franco Fagioli, Isabelle Faust, Reinhard Goebel, Werner Güra, Erich Höbarth, René Jacobs, Sophie Karthäuser, Julia Lezhneva, Riccardo Minasi, Enrico Onofri, Valer Sabadus, Carolyn Sampson, Skip Sempé and Dmitry Sinkovsky. © François Hudry/Qobuz
HI-RES$14.99
CD$9.99

Sacred Vocal Music - Released June 14, 2019 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
HI-RES$14.99
CD$9.99

Concertos for wind instruments - Released April 12, 2019 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
HI-RES$14.99
CD$9.99

Classical - Released March 8, 2019 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet
HI-RES$14.99
CD$9.99

Classical - Released March 8, 2019 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet
HI-RES$14.99
CD$9.99

Classical - Released February 8, 2019 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet
HI-RES$29.99
CD$19.99

Classical - Released January 11, 2019 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
HI-RES$14.99
CD$9.99

Symphonies - Released November 9, 2018 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Exceptional Sound Recording
What a curious and charming piece of work the First Symphony by Witold Lutosławski is! Written in 1947, it is still borrowing from Stravinski, Bartók, Prokofiev and clearly Roussel, and yet it display the composer's own personal ideas, and his flawless skill in orchestration. But he had not yet made the dodecaphonic style his own, nor the principle of randomness which would be found later in 1961's Jeux vénitiens (Venetian Games). In his case, randomness refers to musicians or groups of musicians having the freedom to play their different parts when they feel like it, or when the conductor gives them a cue. But for sure, this piece's formal framework is still constrained: every performance will shed a different light on it, but it is still the same work. The album finishes with the Fourth Symphony, the composer's last, written between 1988 and 1991, performed in 1993 with Lutosławski himself conducting before his death a few months later. In this work he makes a clear return to his harmonic and melodic ideas, which at times approach Mahler or Bartók, even though the discourse remains decidedly modern. The contrast between the First Symphony, Jeux vénitiens and the Fourth Symphony could not be more spectacular, and it gives a brilliant picture of the evolution of a musical genius who embraced a wide range of influences, constantly adapting them to his own style. © SM/Qobuz
HI-RES$14.99
CD$9.99

Classical - Released November 9, 2018 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
With a career spanning two thirds of the 20th century, Estonian composer Heino Eller (1887-1970) can be rightfully considered as one of the founders of the country's national musical style. His style remains resolutely tonal while taking on board the influences of French impressionism, German expressionism, and of course Edvard Grieg and Jean Sibelius, but also a certain "nationalism" in the choice of themes. At the outset of his career in the 1920s, his country had been liberated from the grip of the Russian Empire before falling back into the hands of the USSR in 1940. In those twenty years, a feeling of a distinct Estonian culture developed. His Violin Concerto got off to a bumpy start: written in 1934, revised three years later, it had to wait until 1965 for its world première – conducted by a young Neeme Järvi, its recording was organised by a young Arvo Pärt, a follower of Eller – but only in an abridged form. This recording gives us the score in full. The Symphonic Legend of 1923, substantially revised in 1936, was a kind of calling card for the composer: it contains all the possible influences he could have fit into it, from Ravel to Debussy, Sibelius and even Hollywood. This is the first ever release on CD. The 1948 Second Symphony was never finished, likely due to the pressure of the USSR and the infamous Zhdanov, whose decrees silenced many artists. The movement which has survived to this day, troubling and violent at times, doesn't really represent a smiling Socialist Realism, and – worse still – seems to evoke a Baltic national consciousness, which couldn't have pleased the dictatorship's policemen… © SM/Qobuz
HI-RES$14.99
CD$9.99

Chamber Music - Released October 5, 2018 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
HI-RES$29.99
CD$19.99

Classical - Released June 8, 2018 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet
It's hard to believe that the editions by Frans Brüggen (1934-2014) of Bach's works for solo violin and solo cello, transcribed for solo recorder, are now forty years old. But it was in the 1970s that he undertook this remarkable work, and committed it to vinyl. Flautist Bolette Roed has taken a dive into the world of transcriptions – and we can't repeat this enough: the art of transcription, of re-writing, of re-arrangement, of recycling, of transposition, is an integral part of the baroque repertoire, and in particular of baroque itself! Roed has given us the complete recording of what Brüggen transcribed for recorder: eleven movements of the Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin (because not everything can reasonably be transcribed for recorder), and the first three suites initially written for cello. For the violin works, Roed has used a whole panoply of different flutes, so as to keep within Bach's original keys; and so she alternates between alto recorders,"fourth" flutes (that is, a flute in B-flat, the fourth in question being calculated from the standard recorder of the baroque era, in F), and a "fifth" flute (see above). These sounds are radically different from one another, of course, which is made quite clear in the recording. As for the Suites for Cello, these are played on a "voice flute", an instrument between tenor and alto, with some very deep low notes. But its range corresponds to the range of a soprano voice... It goes without saying that the move from violin (or cello) to the recorder gives the listener the impression of hearing brand-new works: but they are very much by the Cantor, note for note. © SM/Qobuz
HI-RES$14.99
CD$9.99

Classical - Released May 11, 2018 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet
It's hard not to think of Rachmaninov's Vespers when listening to this masterpiece for a capella choir by Georgy Sviridov; which is perfectly natural, some would say inevitable: Vespers dates from 1915, the year of Sviridov's birth. Sviridov's Canticles and Prayers were written between the years 1990 and 1998, when he died, leaving the work incomplete – but this impressive quantity of musical material surely represents the majority of the planned opus. In it, we hear the same borrowings from Orthodox liturgy, a rich harmony – perhaps so rich as to be even closer to the original liturgy – as when Rachmaninov unfurled an extravagant harmonic carpet which was all his own, in spite of his relative lack of religious feeling. Sviridov saw his work as a part of the tradition of Russian religious song, and his pieces could quite easily form a part of religious services – if he finds choirs which are capable of mastering the extremely difficult score. That's where the Latvian Radio Choir steps in, and with great talent. The parts which are heavier on soloists are given over to voices which are closer to what we might hear at an Orthodox service: that is, quite a long way from the power and volume of lyrical voices which would, to be sure, be completely out of place in this repertoire. © SM/Qobuz
HI-RES$14.99
CD$9.99

Choral Music (Choirs) - Released May 11, 2018 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
One doesn't often get a chance to hear Schumann's Vom Pagen und der Königstochter ("Of the Page and the King's Daughter") a score from 1852 in the form of an epic drama in four movements, for soloists, choir and orchestra. In it, the composer uses the form of a recitative with accompaniment which surely prefigures high Wagner in terms of the vocal and orchestral treatment. The album continues with another rarity, the Cantata BWV 105 by Bach as revised by Schumann, probably for a performance when he was the musical director at Düsseldorf. For sure, the "arrangement" is pretty modest – or, rather, non-existent – in the choral overture and the first recitative, with the first big surprise coming in for the first soprano air: instead of an oboe interweaving finely with the singing, Schumann plumped for... the clarinet! You'll love it or hate it. The following recitative, a sublime bass arioso, also unadulterated; the bass aria which follows uses a romantic horn instead of the corno da tirarsi stipulated by Bach, a fairly modest alteration; the final chorale is also untouched, up to and including the extraordinary "slowing-down" writing for strings, which is entirely Bach's. The main difference here has to do with the fact that the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra plays on instruments from Schumann's century and in keeping with Romantic attitudes – something which Bach's score can happily handle, precisely because this is one of his most "Romantic" cantatas. The album closes – as remarkable as it may seem – on a discographic world first for Schumann! It seems that the Adventlied Op. 71 was never recorded until this album was made. That being said, it's clear why singers and orchestras haven't been in a hurry to tackle this rather ethereal, bloodless score: a blind listen would rather give the impression that this is a nice try by a forgotten composer at putting out some sub-Schumann stuff. But at least the enthusiast can now boast of having heard a "lost" Schumann! © SM/Qobuz
HI-RES$14.99
CD$9.99

Chamber Music - Released April 13, 2018 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet
HI-RES$14.99
CD$9.99

Keyboard Concertos - Released March 2, 2018 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
This is the final volume in a Beethoven concerto cycle by German pianist Lars Vogt that has been generally acclaimed for its freshness and detail. Vogt both plays and conducts the Royal Northern Sinfonia, of which he is music director, and the result has been interpretations in which pianist and orchestra achieve an unusual kind of sync. The results are spectacular in the Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58, where Vogt eases into each movement, as it were, letting details accrete and add power. Sample the final movement, where the orchestra begins at a very low dynamic level, and Vogt weaves piano and orchestra together convincingly as the music proceeds. The first two movements open in circumspect ways but, as they develop, reveal Beethoven the virtuoso as Viennese audiences must have experienced him; note especially the curious clipped treatment of the second movement's orchestral theme, so different from the stomping giant favored by most conductors. The final diminished fifth comes out in sharp, chilling relief here. Vogt's approach is a bit less successful in the early Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 19, where the syncopations ring and rock, but the basic Mozartian shapes of the themes are indistinct. Nevertheless, Vogt's Beethoven recordings are major statements, and this album is no exception.