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Sauguet: Les trois quatuors

Stanislas Quartet

Chamber Music - Released May 4, 2018 | Timpani

Booklet
Henri Sauguet, whose name had almost completely disappeared from hoardings after his death in 1989, and who is now travelling through a kind of purgatory from which we hope he'll soon emerge, set down three pieces in quartet form, at three different times of his life, which correspond to "periods": at 26, in the first flush of an easy and natural talent, in writing led by instinct; then at 47, in the midst of a deepening maturity; and finally at the age of 78, in a dusk in which every hour, rather than mourning the lost light of day, marvels at the colours of the night. Each of the three is a success, such that the artisan's handiwork seems more practised each time, especially in the unique format of the string quartet, where artifice has to give way to the artist's sincerity and soul. Rather than resembling a kind of doubled-back arc (as is often the case with composers who refuse to change with changing times), the evolution from the First to the Third Quartet doesn't hold back from embracing a number of modernisms, from the frank and insouciant, almost Mendelsohnian, tonality of the First of 1927, to the intense language which often flirts with atonality of the last one in 1979, written in memory of painter Jacques Dupont, Sauguet's companion. By way of a pivot, 1948's Second is an ample reflection on mourning, specifically, mourning for his mother, who had passed away a while before. The excellent Stanislas Quartet, based in Nancy and whose discography runs to some thirty albums, several of which have won some of the most prestigious prizes, ventures here into a rarefied world, and their passion sweeps our hearts along with them. © SM/Qobuz
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Fauré: Les treize barcarolles

Billy Eidi

Classical - Released April 20, 2018 | Timpani

Hi-Res Booklet
An essential component for impressionists, water and its multiple shimmers also fascinates musicians, but no composer spent forty years of their life writing aquatic pieces like Gabriel Fauré with his thirteen Barcarolles. Influenced by Mendelssohn’s own barcarolles in his youth, Fauré slowly moved away from mundane social events to find a style closer to abstraction and pure poetry. From the carefree and frivolous youth that aims to seduce, to the austerity of the more mature that leads to the melancholic nostalgia of the old age, it is a fascinating journey to take on, dotted with various experiences, which reflect the way of life that was abruptly interrupted by the tragedy of the Great War. Born in Egypt, but of Lebanese origins, Billy Eidi discovered classical music in Beirut with the professor who prepared him for his admission at the conservatory. Undecided between a career as a doctor or a pianist, he left for Paris at the start of the Lebanese Civil War and joined the Versailles Conservatory. Now a French citizen, Billy Eidi is a scholar, passionate about French music that he plays with subtle indulgence. He is a partner of choice for the melody he recorded with Marie Devellereau, Yann Beuron and Laurent Naouri. Always meticulous, the playing style of the “poet pianist” (Jean Roy) manages with constant vigour to avoid the potential pitfall of sounding insipid. Not to be missed! © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Adam: Le chalet

Toulon Opera Symphony Orchestra

Opera - Released February 16, 2018 | Timpani

Hi-Res Booklet
Poor Adam… With the exception of his ballet Gisèle, which still serves as a musical support for many performances on various scenes around the world, Le Postillon de Longjumeau is very rarely performed – and Minuit, Chrétiens (who knows if it’s from him?) –, Adam is on the sidelines. Despite his 45 comic operas and more than 15 ballets that were performed from London to Saint Petersburg, his name hasn’t left a mark for posterity. In fact, he even said it himself: “I have no other ambition for my theatre music than to create something clear, easy to understand and amusing for the audience. I can only make a little music. So I do the best I can, and in the way I know how, waiting for the moment when the public loses interest in me and I stop writing.” In this respect, the present comic opera Le Chalet is a little gem of lightness and amusement: Adam was a talented composer, with great verve and charm, who fully mastered the art of “memorable motifs”, the ones you hum right after the show, the musical equivalent of a bon mot in theatre, and – according to Bizet who knew a thing or two about composing for an audience − ” the only way a composer has to make himself understood by a modern audience.” With great finesse, Adam’s partition is faithful to the atmospheres and effects suggested in Scribe’s libretto. The efficient dramatic progressions are the sign of an unwavering theatrical sensibility. His rapid success and writing talents brought out jealousy in Adam, even the acrimony of his peers − particularly Berlioz − who criticised his convenience and “vulgarity”, accusing him of pandering to popular tastes. But in fact, Adam was a master of musical seduction and performed it the right way. His pleasant music consciously charms the listener with great elegance, refinement and savoir-faire. Labelled as a “comic opera”, Le Chalet is in fact a blend of several genres. Its style draws from the Théâtre du Vaudeville, which the young Adam frequented and supplied under various pseudonyms. Furthermore Le Chalet can be considered as a precursor of the operetta – as it seems to have influenced Offenbach in his early days… So why not enjoy it? A dazzling stage, a dedicated orchestra, wonderful dialogues: this work has all the ingredients to be discovered in the best possible light. © SM/Qobuz
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Portrait avec orchestre

Henri Demarquette

Classical - Released February 16, 2018 | Timpani

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Koechlin : Violin Sonata, Op.64 & Piano Quintet, Op.80

Stéphanie Moraly

Chamber Music - Released February 2, 2018 | Timpani

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Ropartz : Violin & Cello Sonatas

François Kerdoncuff

Chamber Music - Released September 2, 2016 | Timpani

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
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Reber: Piano Trios Nos. 2, 4 & 6

Trio Élégiaque

Chamber Music - Released September 2, 2016 | Timpani

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Thirion : Chamber Works

Quatuor Stanislas

Chamber Music - Released September 2, 2016 | Timpani

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
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Poulenc : Les mélodies sur des poèmes de Paul Éluard

Pierre-Yves Pruvot

Mélodies (French) - Released January 1, 2016 | Timpani

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
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Antoine Mariotte: Impressions urbaines - Mélodies...

Daniel Blumenthal

Solo Piano - Released January 1, 2016 | Timpani

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica
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Charles Koechlin: Chœurs et Mélodies

Régine Théodoresco

Secular Vocal Music - Released July 3, 2015 | Timpani

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Godard: Les 3 quatuors à cordes

Quatuor Elysée

Chamber Music - Released June 26, 2015 | Timpani

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
The amount of good instrumental music written in France in the 19th century, in a country whose musical life was supposedly completely dominated by opera, has been one of the pleasant discoveries of the 2000s. Benjamin Godard (1849-1895) has been largely forgotten. He wrote a great deal of music, including eight operas, in his short life, and he was criticized for being too prolific. But one suspects the real reason for his abandonment by the generation that followed him was that he was Jewish and had the temerity to criticize Wagner's anti-Semitism. The first two quartets here are in the Schumann tradition, with abundant melody, and, especially in the String Quartet No. 2 in A major, Op. 37, keen formal thinking. The inner movements are especially strong, with a light quality that makes the second movement of the String Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 33, and the third movement of the String Quartet No. 2 sound a bit like operatic dance scenes. France's Quatuor Élysée, a group specializing in the French and Russian schools, gets the essential melodicism of the music. A very pleasant find for lovers of Romantic chamber music and an album the members of any string quartet ought to hear. © TiVo
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Hahn: Divertissement pour une fête de nuit, Le bal de Béatrice d’Este, Sérénade & Concerto provençal

Ensemble Initium

Chamber Music - Released April 21, 2015 | Timpani

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Ibert : Le chevalier errant - Les amours de Jupiter

Jacques Mercier

Ballets - Released May 5, 2015 | Timpani

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Xenakis: Piano Works

Stephanos Thomopoulos

Classical - Released March 24, 2015 | Timpani

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Reynaldo Hahn : Le Rossignol éperdu

Billy Eidi

Solo Piano - Released January 6, 2015 | Timpani

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica
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Louis Vierne : L'œuvre pour piano

Olivier Gardon

Classical - Released May 23, 1995 | Timpani

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Magnard: Complete Chamber Music

Solenne Païdassi

Chamber Music - Released October 7, 2014 | Timpani

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Jacques Ibert : Œuvres pour vents

Clément Mao-Takacs

Chamber Music - Released June 3, 2014 | Timpani

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica
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Philippe Gaubert: Works for Violin, Cello, and Piano

Jean-Marc Phillips-Varjabedian - Henri Demarquette - Marie-Josèphe Jude

Chamber Music - Released March 3, 2014 | Timpani

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica - Hi-Res Audio