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Brahms: Piano Trios 2 & 3

David Haroutunian

Trios - Released November 26, 2021 | RUBICON

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Brahms keenly sensed the shadow of Beethoven saying "You do not know what it is like, hearing his footsteps constantly behind one". It was this towering presence that spurred the young Brahms to master his craft and establish his voice. The First Piano Trio in its original form (1854) quoted from Beethoven, but the revised version has no trace of the quote. This work was revised at the end of the composer’s career. The 2nd and 3rd Piano Trios show that Brahms had already achieved complete maturity and his unique voice was established before the revision of the earlier Trio. No. 2 dates from 1880 and No. 3 from 1886. The three musicians on this album have enjoyed playing together for many years and this is the first in a series of recordings that will see all the Brahms' Piano Trios recorded as well as an album exploring Armenian chamber music. © Rubicon Classics
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Infinite Bach

Christian Svarfvar

Concertos - Released November 19, 2021 | RUBICON

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"The Bach Violin Concertos are not only one of the Baroque period highlights, but are one of the foundations of the entire history of music", writes Swedish violinist Christian Svarfvar on his new album of "Bach Re:Composed" by fellow Swede Johan Ullén. "It’s a whole world of beauty in sixty minutes. Then you may ask yourself: why recompose something that is already so perfect?". The result is this brilliant album of re-composed Bach concertos, with a fearless and technically challenging stratospheric solo violin part contrasting with enriched cellos and basses. For those who loved Max Richter’s "Four Seasons", "Infinite Bach" will be a wonderful discovery for them. Bach was forward looking and his influence has travelled the centuries, influencing jazz, rock and pop musicians as well as every classical composer who came after him. © Rubicon Classics
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The Landscapes of the Soul

Fanny Azzuro

Classical - Released October 22, 2021 | RUBICON

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The French pianist Fanny Azzuro is the winner of several international competitions, including the World Piano Competition in Cincinnati. Her penchant for Russian music is confirmed in her new album devoted to the twenty-four Rachmaninov Preludes. Fanny Azzuro was still just a student at the Paris Conservatoire when pianist Vladimir Viardo set her to work on Rachmaninov's Variations on a Theme of Corelli during a master class. From then on Russian music became one of her principal interests. For Fanny Azzuro, Rachmaninov's twenty-four Preludes bear witness to the landscape of the Russian soul. They were very well described by the composer himself, as the pianist likes to say, quoting Rachmaninov: "The work must become a part of the pianist. Each note must bring an awareness of his true artistic mission". "Playing this music is exhilarating", she says, but Fanny Azzuro never loses the thread nor is she overwhelmed by the pathos and powerful expression of the Russian composer.
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Brahms: The String Quartets & String Quintet No. 2

Dudok Quartet Amsterdam

Quartets - Released October 22, 2021 | RUBICON

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The Dudok Quartet Amsterdam is forging a reputation as one of the most creative and versatile quartets of its generation. The Guardian commented on their "lithe, lively sound and alert sense of structure and detail". This recording, their first for Rubicon, of the Brahms Quartets and the second of the String Quintets for which they are joined by Finnish violist Lilli Maijala, will be eagerly awaited by their growing band of followers and chamber music fans generally. The quartet play with unwound gut strings and a set of bespoke classical bows. © Rubicon
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Berlin FREIZeit

Kuss Quartet

Quartets - Released October 15, 2021 | RUBICON

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The Kuss Quartet’s "KussPluss" at the Klassiklounge of the Berlin Classical Radio station RBB and in the trendy Watergate riverside nightclub in Berlin is the inspiration for their latest album. Guests Sarah Maria Sun, the soprano in the Reimann Lieder, percussionist Johannes Julius Fischer and slam poet Bas Böttcher mark this innovative album as something far removed from the standard string quartet recording. Prepare to be shocked, excited and delighted as you embark on a journey of musical discovery with one of the most creative and innovative quartets of our time. © Rubicon
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Transformation

Lea Birringer

Classical - Released September 24, 2021 | RUBICON

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Lea Birringer, for her first solo violin album, has selected three partitas for her instrument. Commencing with Bach’s great Partita No.3 in E major and ending with Auerbach’s 2007 example par.ti.ta. Lothar von Knorr’s Partita from 1946 will most likely be a discovery for most listeners. Partitas transformed over the centuries since Bach, and this programme also includes works by Reger and Ysaÿe. © Rubicon
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Dream Valley

Sophie Rosa

Classical - Released September 24, 2021 | RUBICON

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The music on this EP inhabits a particular corner of the bounteous repertory of characteristic pieces for violin and piano. Short without being slight, these miniatures are vibrant and emotive, getting to the heart of the matter with freshness and originality, and sharing a rich yet restrained harmonic language which is identifiably English in character. © Rubicon
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Shall We Gather

Lucas Meachem

Mélodies - Released September 24, 2021 | RUBICON

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"Shall We Gather" responds to the darkness of the pandemic and social distancing with the simple question of its title. Through fifteen art songs by and about a broad swath of people from the United States, Lucas and Irina Meachem offer a vision of Americanness centred around the things that call on us to gather and that we gather to call upon. Those things, they say, are rooted in an act of hope in the promise of resilience that underlies our national character. By channelling the feelings of those gatherings we are missing, we can, perhaps, conjure a greater sense of togetherness, of commonality. "Shall we Gather" is an emotional and heartfelt plea for a better, more tolerant world, a world that one hopes will emerge a better place after the trauma of the pandemic. © Rubicon
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The Lockdown

Maya Levy

Classical - Released August 20, 2021 | RUBICON

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With their concerts celebrating the anniversaries of Piazzolla and Prokofiev in 2021 cancelled due to Covid, violinists Maya Levy and Hrachya Avenesyan decided to put their time in Lockdown to good use by recording a programme of works by both composers and turning their Brussels apartment into a recording studio. The result is this striking and dramatic album. The music of both composers contains emotions that many of us will have experienced over the past year. Fear, tension, despair, hope, joy – the emotional range explored by the works on this recording is wide ranging but overall, the mood is of hope triumphing. Prokofiev composed his sonatas under Soviet repression, and Piazzolla’s Tangos have the unmistakable bitter-sweet melancholy of the Argentinian soul underlying the sultry and sensual tango. © Rubicon Classics
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Rachmaninov

Sonya Bach

Classical - Released June 25, 2021 | RUBICON

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Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Sonata was extensively revised by the composer in 1931, and the revised version is tighter and thinner in texture (the Fourth Piano Concerto is a fine example the more restrained and less opulent textures the composer developed in his later years) than the original version of 1913. It represents a supreme challenge to the pianist in either version, and has all the hallmarks of the composer at the height of his powers – he had just finished his huge choral symphony The Bells at the same time. The 6 Moments Musicaux, Op. 16 are early works which exhibit the flamboyance of the youthful virtuoso. Sonya Bach includes three of the Preludes from the Op. 23 set. © Rubicon Classics
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Threnodies

Alexander Soares

Classical - Released June 25, 2021 | RUBICON

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The extreme social trauma that followed the Great War of 1914-1918 engulfed Europe. In this context, English composer Frank Bridge is an intriguing figure: his musical language transformed to embrace a radically new harmonic style. Consequently, his popularity waned and it was not until the end of the century that his importance as a leading modernist was appreciated. The programme of this album seeks to illuminate the position of Bridge’s monumental Piano Sonata, by setting it alongside works by the composers who influenced it - Berg and Ravel - and his most famous pupil, Britten. Both the sonata and each movement of Ravel’s Suite were dedicated to those who fell in the war. Whilst the repertoire on this recording conveys strikingly varied tones, the title, "Threnodies" – a song of lamentation – reflects the essence of these memorials. Alexander Soares’ debut album "Notations and Sketches", a recital of works by Boulez, Messiaen and Dutilleux was a Gramophone Magazine editor’s choice : "Although most of these pieces have been collated on various anthologies of French piano music, few of them can match this new release in its balanced conception or consistency of execution…Soares has their measure in abundance, resulting in what could hardly be a more auspicious debut album". To be discovered. © Rubicon Classics
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Once Upon a Time

Esther Birringer

Classical - Released May 28, 2021 | RUBICON

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Poulenc, Franck: Cello Sonatas - Dutilleux: Trois Strophes

Michael Petrov

Chamber Music - Released April 23, 2021 | RUBICON

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The three works that make up this highly attractive programme span a century: Franck’s Sonata in its officially sanctioned transcription for cello was taken from his popular Violin Sonata of 1886. It was composed as a wedding present for the violinist Ysaÿe. Dutilleux’s Trois Strophes sur le nom de Sacher was composed for Paul Sacher’s birthday and given its premiere by Rostropovich with the composer at the piano. Composition was spread over a decade, having started in 1976. Poulenc’s Cello Sonata was dedicated to Pierre Fournier and completed in 1948. Michael Petrov and Erden Misirlioğlu are members of the acclaimed Trio Isimsiz. © Rubicon Classics
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Cai Thomas: Wherever you are - Walking in the Air

Cai Thomas

Classical - Released December 4, 2020 | RUBICON

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Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 3

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Symphonies - Released September 25, 2020 | RUBICON

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The first in a cycle of all seven of Sibelius’s symphonies sees the first dating from 1899 coupled with the third from 1907. No.1 although bound by classical conventions, and the influence of Tchaikovsky displays a remarkable and striking independence of thought. No.3 shows the composer making the transition from the large-scale symphonic structures of the first two symphonies to the more compact, tightly argued symphonies to follow. Like the 5th, the C major work is in three movements and the clean, highly individual instrumentation marks it as the first of the symphonies in his mature style. The sunny brisk nature of the Third belies its importance among the seven symphonies. © Rubicon Classics
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Debussy: Sonatas & Piano Works

Pixels Ensemble

Classical - Released July 24, 2020 | RUBICON

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Debussy was seriously ill at the outbreak of World War I, and struggled to compose. A wartime performance of the Saint- Saëns Septet prompted the composer to consider writing chamber music again – for the first time since his string quartet of 1893. The plan was for a sequence of six sonatas for diverse instruments, harking back to the 18th century practice in France. The composer wrote ‘I wrote like a fury or like one who is doomed to die the next morning’. He viewed these works as a memorial to the young French soldiers killed in the trenches. The Cello Sonata was premiered in Paris in 1916 by a young infantry-man on a cello made from an ammunition box and an old door. His health declining further, the Violin Sonata, turned out to be his last work. Debussy dismissed it as ‘an example of what may be produced by a sick man in time of war’. The final three sonatas were never composed. This album concludes with three rarely heard piano pieces completed by Robert Orledge. Toomai des éléphants inspired by Kipling was originally intended as No. 11 in the Second Book of Preludes. Petite Valse, began as an 18 bar outline sketched in 1915, and receiving its world premiere recording, A Night in the House of Usher is a fantasy for piano (or organ) compiled from Debussy’s sketches for the one act opera (1915-17) after Edgar Allan Poe which was left unfinished. © Rubicon Classics
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Arvo Pärt: Vater Unser

Cai Thomas

Mélodies - Released May 22, 2020 | RUBICON

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Beethoven: Great Chamber Works

Chloë Hanslip

Chamber Music - Released May 1, 2020 | RUBICON

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Beethoven: The String Quartets, Live from Suntory Hall, Tokyo, Vol. 3

Kuss Quartet

Quartets - Released March 27, 2020 | RUBICON

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Marcin Fleszar plays Rameau & Schumann

Marcin Fleszar

Classical - Released March 27, 2020 | RUBICON

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