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Opera - Released February 14, 2014 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles Classica - Hi-Res Audio
There are many splendid recordings of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro that appeal to every taste, but there are relatively few that can be categorized as historically authentic, in the truest sense of the term. Of these, the 2014 Sony release by Teodor Currentzis and Musicaeterna may be the most thoroughly researched and carefully restored version available. Taking pains to consult original sources, and to use period instruments or modern replicas (including a fortepiano, a lute, and even a hurdy-gurdy), Currentzis creates a Classical sound that works brilliantly with the score as written and as Mozart intended, and makes the music as vivid and exciting as possible. Currentzis also has called for a historical approach to singing, and embellishments that were typical of Mozart's day are employed, as well as a more intimate delivery and purer vocal style with less vibrato. The cast may not feature international stars, but the artists are well-suited to Currentzis' goals of presenting Figaro in true period practice. Prominent in this production are Andrei Bondarenko as Count Almaviva, Simone Kermes as the Countess, Fanie Antonelou as Susanna, Mary-Ellen Nesi as Cherubino, and Christian van Horn as Figaro, who give their roles distinctive characterizations along with their impeccable vocal production. Sony's recording is rich in details and close enough to the musicians to give a front-row feeling. Le nozze di Figaro is presented on three CDs in a deluxe hardcover book that includes an interview with the conductor and the complete libretto in English, Italian, German, and French.
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Classical - Released October 19, 2012 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
The Chopin Album is Lang Lang's first recording for Sony devoted entirely to the solo piano music of the Romantic master, focused on the Études, Op. 25, with three of the most popular Nocturnes and a handful of other pieces included for good measure. While Lang Lang's phenomenal popularity guarantees this CD's success, and his ability to play the technically demanding Études will impress his fans, devotees of Chopin's music may be skeptical of the pianist's interpretations, which at their best are flashy and extroverted. While it's not necessary to play Chopin close to the vest, with the expressive reticence of a wallflower, Lang Lang is no introvert, and it shows in the pieces where sensitivity and poetic refinement are desirable. He plays with his customary bravado in the loudest Études, the Grande Valse Brillante, the Grande Polonaise, and even in the inaccurately nicknamed "Minute" Waltz, but his expression at softer levels seems affectless, uninvolved, and rather uninteresting. While connoisseurs may balk at this fairly showy album, it is sure to appeal to a wide audience, perhaps most especially because of the inclusion of Lang Lang's duet with Danish singer Oh Land, "Tristesse," which is based on Chopin's Étude in E major, Op. 10/3, and taken from the soundtrack for the film The Flying Machine. Sony's sound is generally good, though Lang Lang's dynamic range is wide enough to make setting the volume a little tricky.
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Classical - Released May 17, 2013 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Record of the Month - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année - Exceptional Sound Recording - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released August 22, 2011 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Franz Liszt's birth, virtuoso pianist Lang Lang has selected some of the composer's most characteristic pieces for his 2011 Sony release, Liszt: My Piano Hero. Prominent on this album is the Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, which features Lang Lang in a high-energy performance with Valery Gergiev and the Vienna Philharmonic. Without a doubt, most of Lang Lang's fans will savor this Romantic showpiece, and for technical brilliance and drama, the performance doesn't disappoint. He is especially lively and vivid in this work, and his interactions with the orchestra seem spontaneous and playful, as one might well imagine Liszt would have been. But Lang Lang seems more introspective and personally involved with the solo keyboard pieces that make up the greater part of the album. Here also is the flashy side of Liszt, but there is a greater emphasis on the poetic and rhapsodic, so Lang Lang indulges in reflective pieces as much as the flashy encores. Highlights include La Campanella, the Grand Galop chromatique, Liebestraum No. 3, the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6, and the arrangement of Schubert's Ave Maria.
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Classical - Released November 12, 2010 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Opera Extracts - Released September 13, 2013 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica - Hi-Res Audio
German tenor Jonas Kaufmann has been laying a strong claim to the legacy of the superstar tenors of the 1980s and 1990s, but until now it hasn't been completely clear that Verdi, the tenor's bread and butter, was a fully compelling part of his arsenal. With this release, Kaufmann puts any doubts to rest and steps up in a big way to his signing by the Sony Classical label and its attendant operatic muscle. The sheer ease of Kaufmann's voice in its upper register is about to get to casual opera fans in a big way (and he's a bit hipper than Pavarotti or even Domingo ever were), and right now the sky would seem to be the limit to his popularity. Yet there is plenty here for opera scorekeepers to dig their teeth into, and it seems likely that Kaufmann will come out very well with them, too. Consider the high C at the end of "Di quella pira" from Il trovatore: surely few tenors in history have hit it out of the park the way Kaufmann does. There is a good mix of hits from various parts of Verdi's career and some lesser-known pieces, and the album is all newly performed, not a collection of things recorded at different times. It has a sense of confidence, purpose, and commitment to the text (no soulless technical perfection here), and it's a joy for listeners at all levels. With recent Wagnerian (and Straussian) triumphs under his belt, Kaufmann seems to be entering a period where he can do pretty much anything and probably will.
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Concertos - Released September 14, 2012 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released April 26, 2013 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released January 2, 2012 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released August 16, 2013 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released July 12, 2013 | Sony Classical

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Symphonic Music - Released April 16, 2012 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released March 21, 2014 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released October 14, 2013 | Sony Classical

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Britain's Got Talent duo Jonathan & Charlotte surprised judges with their classical crossover audition in 2012. Although they failed to win the talent show, they released their debut album that year after signing to Simon Cowell's Syco label. Their second record, Perhaps Love follows the theme of their debut, including a mixture of classical songs and pop reworks. Here they interpret Florence + the Machine's "You've Got the Love" and "Falling Slowly" (made famous in the film-turned-musical Once) by Glen Hansard.
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Oratorios (secular) - Released April 26, 2013 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Month - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released April 11, 2014 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
One of the most beloved spiritual leaders of the modern era, Pope John Paul II was not only a humanitarian and theologian, but an artist and author. In his pre-Papal life as Karol Wojtyła, the holy man wrote plays, essays, and, most notably, poetry. Considering that John Paul II was known as the “people’s Pope,” it makes sense that his work should be interpreted by another figure with populist leanings, the great tenor Placido Domingo, who consistently brought classical music to non-traditional audiences. As such, much of the music here is of a very accessible nature. “La Tua Semplicita” is a duet that employs a sweeping, cinematic orchestral arrangement, while the gentle, Domingo-composed “Gratitude” pairs the opera great with R&B crooner Vanessa Williams and features Irish penny whistle. Throughout, Domingo attempts to capture both the simple truth and faith-based zeal that characterized Pope John Paul II’s literary work.
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Classical - Released February 10, 2012 | Sony Classical

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This Sony-label debut release by Israeli pianist David Greilsammer has much in common with his earlier recording Fantasie Fantasme, released on the Naxos label. In fact, here Greilsammer might be said to have refined the ideas on the earlier album. Both combine contemporary and mainstream repertory, and apparently Greilsammer has an inclination toward pretentious graphic design. But here the focus is tightened. Greilsammer constructs a sequence of four Baroque three-movement "pieces," each consisting of three compositions. Of these sets of three, the outer two are Baroque works, while the center is a contemporary piece, commissioned in two cases by Greilsammer himself from contemporary Israeli composers. Greilsammer balances these works cleverly: the structure of the sets of three is not fast-slow-fast, but not simply random, either; the pieces instead are linked by motive and mood, with the modern work emerging as just a slight shift from what precedes it, and as a logical introduction to the finale. One might make several objections along the way: the Handel Suite for keyboard in D minor, HWV 447, with its four movements, disturbs the plan for no very good reason, and Greilsammer's readings of the Baroque pieces, especially the opening Gavotte et Six Doubles of Rameau, are a bit too dreamy, a bit too obviously bent to the requirements of the project. Still, there's no denying that Greilsammer has come closer than most other performers to the grail of integrating contemporary music into a mainstream concert program, and that he has done it in a very inventive way. The combination of a Frescobaldi toccata and the Wiegenmusik of German-born composer Helmut Lachenmann, each with little figures gracefully spinning off an underlying rhythm, is especially effective. Recommended for listeners of a speculative frame of mind.
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Film Soundtracks - Released January 3, 2014 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released January 1, 2013 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released August 31, 2012 | Sony Classical

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