NEW RELEASES 2020 // 1 WWW.OUTHERE-MUSIC.COM
THE OUTHERE MUSIC GROUP IS ONE OF THE WORLD’S LEADING INDEPENDENT PRODUCERS OF CLASSICAL AND CONTEMPORARY MUSIC. IT IS HOME TO THE LEGENDARY ALPHA CLASSICS AND LINN RECORDS LABELS AND TO SEVERAL MORE SPECIALIZED LABELS SUCH AS ARCANA, FUGA LIBERA, HAT HUT RECORDS, OUTNOTE, PHI, RAMÉE, RICERCAR AND INSTINCT. BECAUSE OUTHERE HAS AN UNRELENTING PASSION FOR QUALITY AND INNOVATION, IT HAS BECOME A MUST-JOIN GROUP FOR THE MOVERS AND SHAKERS OF THE MUSICAL WORLD.
Alpha Classics Outhere Music France
S 4 25
Ricercar 27 Linn Records
Arcana 38 Phi 45 Fuga Libera
RamĂŠe 52 Outnote 57 Instinct 60
From the Renaissance to the music of the twenty-first century, with new or established talents, Alpha is committed to ambitious projects of the highest artistic standard that often stray far from the beaten track.
Over the last twenty years Alpha has established its reputation with music firmly anchored in the Baroque period; more recently however, the French record label has been opening its doors to artists and repertoire from very varied horizons. Alpha is ready to take risks in exploring programme ideas that are off the beaten track, never forgetting the fresh new talents that are a priority for the label. Favouring bold artistic projects and long-term relations with its musicians, Alpha is in the process of forming a family of artists of international repute, all driven by the same desire for artistic freedom and excellence.
Alpha is one of the main independent classical music producers in the world today, yet it still remains committed to the core values of craftsmanship.
ORPHÉE AUX ENFERS // CHARPENTIER LA DESCENTE D’ORPHÉE AUX ENFERS, H488 ORPHÉE DESCENDANT AUX ENFERS, H471 (CANTATA)
VOX LUMINIS A NOCTE TEMPORIS
REINOUD VAN MECHELEN LIONEL MEUNIER
ALPHA 566 JANUARY 2020
The Orpheus myth was as important for the birth of opera in France as it had been in Italy. In 1684, Charpentier composed a work for three voices, Orphée descendant aux Enfers. With this piece, remarkable for its style and concision, he showed how well he had assimilated Carissimi’s art. It is a dramatic scene, similar to the ‘sacred histories’ of the Roman master. The text, by an unknown author, narrates Orpheus’ quest for his beloved in the Underworld. The hero’s haute-contre gives him an elegiac timbre – this was the vocal register in which Charpentier, himself a singer, excelled. In 1687 he created his second illustration of the myth, La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers. In its two acts can be discerned the outline of a possible complete opera – the manuscript has reached us shorn of the third act in which Orpheus would presumably have lost Eurydice before being devoured by the Maenads. While La Descente d’Orphée has already been recorded several times, the Orphée of 1684 is a rarity and a magnificent discovery. In these two roles that might have been written for him, Reinoud van Mechelen is at the peak of his artistry, while his ensemble A Nocte Temporis and Lionel Meunier’s group Vox Luminis blend in perfect symbiosis.
STRING QUINTETS OP. 29, 104 FUGUE OP. 137
WDR SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA COLOGNE CHAMBER PLAYERS
With this recording of chamber music composed by Beethoven at three key moments in his life, Alpha begins a collaboration with the WDR of Cologne and its various ensembles. Here a group of chamber musicians from the symphony orchestra presents the string quintets op. 29 (1801) and op. 104 (1817), thus linking Beethoven’s exuberant early period with that of the worry, discouragement and anguish caused by the conflict over custody of his nephew Karl. The disc comes to a majestic conclusion with the Fugue, op.137 (1817).
ALPHA 585 JANUARY 2020
BACH CONCERTOS FOR TWO HARPSICHORDS BWV 1060, 1061, 1062 PRELUDE AND FUGUE BWV 552
OLIVIER FORTIN HARPSICHORD EMMANUEL FRANKENBERG HARPSICHORD ENSEMBLE MASQUES
ALPHA 572 JANUARY 2020
The practice of composing for two keyboard instruments, very common in the illustrious Bach family, naturally achieved its apotheosis with Johann Sebastian, whose three concertos for two harpsichords are performed here by Olivier Fortin and Emmanuel Frankenberg with the Ensemble Masques. These works, particularly the concertos in C minor, are among the composer’s most admired. They suggest a conception of the concerto specific to Bach: rather than a dialogue between several individual entities, the piece presents a subtle intertwining of melodic lines and blurs the distinction between solo and tutti parts by making them respond to and quote each other, thus illustrating the principle of harmony dear to the composer. Finally, the recording on two harpsichords of the Prelude and Fugue BWV 552, originally composed for organ, is in keeping with the nineteenth-century tradition of transposing Bach’s works with the aim of giving their refined polyphony greater clarity.
WOMEN COMPOSERS AT THE DAWN OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY (LILI BOULANGER, CÉCILE CHAMINADE AUGUSTA HOLMÈS...)
JULIETTE HUREL FLUTE HÉLÈNE COUVERT PIANO
ALPHA 573 JANUARY 2020
Juliette Hurel and Hélène Couvert, who have long enjoyed a close rapport on the concert platform and on disc, here celebrate five French women composers at the turn of the twentieth century. Countess Clémence de Grandval was the composer of some sixty songs, of which Saint-Saëns said: ‘They would certainly be famous if their composer did not have what many people regard as the irremediable defect of being a woman.’ Augusta Holmès earned the admiration of Liszt, Wagner and SaintSaëns. To mark the Universal Exhibition of 1889, she composed a monumental work for more than a thousand musicians. During her studies at the Conservatoire, Mélanie Bonis fell madly in love with a singer, but had to marry a rich industrialist. She later returned to composition and used the pseudonym Mel Bonis, leaving her gender in doubt. Cécile Chaminade displayed extraordinary gifts at a very early age. Bizet called her ‘My little Mozart’. Lili Boulanger received her first music lessons from her sister, the famous teacher Nadia. In 1913, at the age of nineteen, she became the first woman to receive the Prix de Rome. The word ‘compositrice’ was born!
L’ARIANNA (EBRA D’AMOR FUGGIA), H.242
AH CRUDEL, NEL PIANTO MIO
ARIANNA A NAXOS
KATE LINDSEY ARCANGELO JONATHAN COHEN
ALPHA 576 JANUARY 2020
After a first album dedicated to Weill, Zemlinsky and Korngold (Alpha272), Kate Lindsey explores here her other repertoire of choice, the music of the eighteenth century. In partnership with Jonathan Cohen and Arcangelo, she has recorded three cantatas focusing on the myth of Ariadne, abandoned on the island of Naxos after helping Theseus kill the Cretan Minotaur by giving him a ball of thread so that he could find his way back through the labyrinth. Alessandro Scarlatti’s Ebra d’amor fuggia (1707) relates Ariadne’s flight, ‘drunk with love’, alongside Theseus, for whom she expresses her tenderness in the magnificent aria ‘Pur ti stringo’. The same year, the young Handel composed his cantata Ah crudel, nel pianto mio, this time with an anonymous abandoned lover as the subject. In 1789, Joseph Haydn also turned to Ariadne, in a cantata for which several orchestrations exist. The one recorded here is by Sigismund Neukomm, Haydn’s pupil between 1797 and 1804. Three faces of disappointed love, brought to passionate life by the mezzo-soprano.
HAYDN2032 NO. 8 ‘LA ROXOLANA’
SYMPHONIES 28, 43 ‘MERKUR’, 63 ‘LA ROXOLANA’ (+ BARTÓK ROMANIAN FOLK DANCES)
IL GIARDINO ARMONICO GIOVANNI ANTONINI CONDUCTOR
ALPHA 682 JANUARY 2020
For its eighth volume, Haydn2032 invites us on a musical journey that takes the Balkan route. Of all the ‘Viennese Classical School’, Joseph Haydn is certainly the composer closest to folk music, first because he spent his early years in the countryside and also because, unlike his colleagues who worked in the urban centres of the Habsburg monarchy, Haydn was in contact with Croats, Roma and Hungarians throughout his life. These influences were omnipresent in his music, to the delight of Prince Nikolaus I Esterházy and his guests, but by some accounts were not to the taste of many music theorists in Germany. Haydn gave his Symphony No. 63 in C major the title of ‘La Roxolana’, from the famous sixteenth-century sultana who was the wife of Suleiman the Magnificent after having been his slave. As usual, Giovanni Antonini, who is reunited here with Il Giardino Armonico, juxtaposes Haydn’s music with that of another composer. The natural choice here was Béla Bartók, who is represented by his Romanian Folk Dances, composed in 1917.
SONATAS OP. 106, 111
FILIPPO GORINI PIANO
© Mat Hennek
After a first recording of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations acclaimed by the critics (Diapason d’Or, BBC, Guardian, Le Monde) Filippo Gorini, a student of Alfred Brendel and winner of the first Prize and Audience Prize of the Bonn Beethoven Competition in 2015, pursues a fast-growing career. Here he returns to Beethoven and tackles the perilous Sonata no.29, known as the ‘Hammerklavier’, which the composer himself said would pose a challenge for future generations, along with the Sonata no.32, which according to Thomas Mann represents the supreme accomplishment of and ‘farewell’ to sonata form.
ALPHA 591 JANUARY 2020
BEETHOVEN COMPLETE SONATAS
KONSTANTIN LIFSCHITZ PIANO
ALPHA 584 FEBRUARY 2020
In a world like ours, shaped by centrifugal forces, even a monumental corpus like Beethoven’s thirty-two piano sonatas can appear in a new light. Chronological examination of its genesis reveals fascinating parallels. – The Sonatas op.2 were published in the last year of the French Revolution. – The ensuing wave of political migration reached Vienna and also affected Elector Maximilian Franz, who was not only the brother of Marie Antoinette and Emperor Joseph II but had also been Beethoven’s employer in Bonn. – Beethoven gave compositional form to the triumph and downfall of a tyrant who brought war to Europe and occupied Vienna. – After the international peace conference of 1815, he vigorously embarked on writing modernistic late works in opposition to the emerging police state and its postmodern entertainment culture. Konstantin Lifschitz applies strict criteria in order to realise the groundbreaking compositional dynamics of these works. He shows his musical independence by supplementing the cycle of sonatas with the Allegretto WoO 53, and still has much to tell us about it, defying past and present fashions. The fact that he recorded the massive cycle live on eight consecutive days also makes this set a monument in its own right.
TARTINI VIOLIN CONCERTOS D44, 45, 56, 96… CHOUCHANE SIRANOSSIAN VIOLIN [NEW SIGNING]
VENICE BAROQUE ORCHESTRA ANDREA MARCON
© Franck Juery
After several recordings with Anima Eterna and Jos Van Immerseel, the French violinist Chouchane Siranossian tackles a programme of extremely virtuosic concertos that few Baroque violinists dare to face. Thanks to her technical gifts and to partners ideally suited to this repertory – the Venice Baroque Orchestra and its conductor Andrea Marcon, a specialist in the Italian Baroque style – she takes up the challenge with brio. This album is released to coincide with the 250th anniversary of Tartini’s death in 2020. Of special interest is a completely unknown and unpublished concerto in G major, the manuscript of which was recently found by the musicologist Margherita Canale.
ALPHA 596 FEBRUARY 2020
COMPLETE PIANO CONCERTOS VOL. 2 CONCERTOS 4 & 1 MARTIN HELMCHEN PIANO DEUTSCHES SYMPHONIE-ORCHESTER BERLIN ANDREW MANZE
ALPHA 575 FEBRUARY 2020
Beethoven’s piano concertos are a precious source for understanding the history of the practice of this instrument, which, in the early nineteenth century, permanently replaced the harpsichord in the hearts of composers. Thus one can still hear the galant influence of Mozart in the First Concerto (1795-1800), whereas the Fourth (1805-06) reveals the introspective personality, at once vigorous and generous, of a Beethoven at the height of his artistic maturity. In the second instalment of his recording of the complete concertos, the German pianist Martin Helmchen performs these two contrasting works with Andrew Manze and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin.
BRIDGE | BRITTEN | DEBUSSY CELLO SONATAS (+JANAČEK POHADKA [A FAIRYTALE])
TRULS MØRK CELLO
HÅVARD GIMSE PIANO
© Johs Boe
Alpha is proud to welcome one of the foremost cellists of our time, Truls Mørk, for a numberof recordings, beginning with a programme devoted to Bridge, Britten, Debussy and Janáček – an assortment of twentieth-century works that give this chamber music lover a chance to make his instrument sing (he plays a Domenico Montagnana of 1723) and to explore the many chromatic nuances of these pieces. While Frank Bridge’s Sonata (1913-17) expresses the anguish of an ardent pacifist in time of war, Debussy’s Sonata (1915) transports the listener into an ethereal dream, while Benjamin Britten’s modernism alternates between introversion and relaxation in his five-movement work (1961). In a more narrative register, Janáček’s epic poem Pohádka (1910) completes this programme, in which Truls Mørk is reunited with a fellow compatriot and seasoned partner, the Norwegian pianist Håvard Gimse.
ALPHA 560 FEBRUARY 2020
SIBELIUS COMPLETE SYMPHONIES VOL. 2 SYMPHONY NO. 2 KING KRISTIAN II
GOTHENBURG SYMPHONY SANTTU-MATIAS ROUVALI CONDUCTOR
ALPHA 574 FEBRUARY 2020
After the resounding success of Volume 1 (Gramophone Editor’s Choice, Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, Diapason d’Or, Choc de Classica, FFFF Télérama), the project to record the complete Sibelius symphonies continues with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Santtu-Matias Rouvali, whose career as a conductor is entering top gear: he has just been appointed Principal Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. At the turn of the twentieth century, as Finland struggled to free itself from Russian rule, Sibelius and his wife faced several domestic dramas, including the loss of one of their daughters, Kirsti, to typhoid fever. The Second Symphony, written in the brilliant key of D major, seems to be marked by the events of the composer’s private life, but many of his contemporaries nevertheless saw it as a political manifesto! In 1898, Sibelius composed the incidental music for Adolf Paul’s play King Christian II, the story of the downfall of a king of Scandinavia (Denmark, Sweden and Norway) in the sixteenth century. The suite derived from it was successfully performed in several European cities.
NETHERLANDS CHAMBER CHOIR PETER DIJKSTRA RASCHÈR SAXOPHONE QUARTET
ALPHA 593 FEBRUARY 2020
‘72 Angels is a large-scale work for mixed choir and saxophone quartet. It is structured as seventy-two prelude-evocations and an epilogue. Each prelude sets to music one of the seventytwo names derived from an esoteric interpretation of Exodus 14:19-21. Angelic beings, spiritual guides, higher energies or messengers are a common theme throughout many belief systems in human history. My intention in 72 Angels was to focus on what the religious, spiritual, esoteric and mythological traditions of different cultures have in common. I would like to focus on what unites us through shared connections. These seventy-two evocations celebrate all angels in their multifaceted variations... My hope is that every listener or musician will adopt his or her own personal interpretation’ - Lera Auerbach
The voices of the Netherlands Chamber Choir, directed by Peter Dijkstra, bring these angels to life here, accompanied by the Raschèr Saxophone Quartet.
CHOEUR DE CHAMBRE DE NAMUR CAPPELLA MEDITERRANEA
LEONARDO GARCÍA ALARCÓN
ALPHA 582 MARCH 2020
The original score of El Prometeo (Prometheus) is held in the Leopoldine Library in Vienna. It dates from 1669 and was written by Antonio Draghi, a composer who was also a singer, notably in the operas of Cavalli. For the first time in history, an Italian set a text in Spanish. The last act of El Prometeo has disappeared. But since the libretto of this act has survived, Leonardo García Alarcón decided to rewrite all the music for it. ‘I immersed myself in Draghi’s music in order to understand his style, his favourite intervals, the type of melody he composed and the type of basso continuo he was fond of, so as to try to produce a score that is worthy of him. So I hope that this third act will measure up to his music, his intentions and his creativity!’ says the Argentinian conductor. Directing a brilliant cast (Fabio Trümpy, Mariana Flores, Giuseppina Bridelli, Scott Conner, Borja Quisa, Zachary Wilder, Ana Quintans), Leonardo García Alarcón brings this Baroque opera to life in Spanish, an opportunity to show his love for his mother tongue, ‘a supremely musical language’!
SYMPHONY NO. 9 “MYTHOS”
ESTONIAN FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA PAAVO JÄRVI
ALPHA 595 MARCH 2020
Erkki-Sven Tüür, born in Estonia in 1959, writes music that is characterised by intense energetic transformation. The intuitive and rational approach is synthesised into a complete organic system. He is the composer of nine symphonies, ten concertos, numerous chamber works and an opera. Dedicated to his compatriot Paavo Järvi and composed to mark the centenary of the Estonian Republic in 2018, Tüür’s Ninth Symphony is entitled Mythos. According to the composer, this refers to the myths that arise about nations and how they have acquired their independence, and also deals with the long history of the FinnoUgric peoples. Paavo Järvi and his Estonian Festival Orchestra have made the world premiere recording of this work, along with The Incantation of Tempest (Ormiloits, 2004), dedicated to the Estonian composer Veljo Tormis, and Sow the Wind, composed in 2015, inspired by climatic ‘gusts of wind’ and ‘whirlwinds’.
RESOUND BEETHOVEN VOL. 8 SYMPHONIES NOS 5 & 6 ‘PASTORAL’ ORCHESTER WIENER AKADEMIE MARTIN HASELBÖCK
ALPHA 479 MARCH 2020
The Orchester Wiener Akademie and its conductor Martin Haselböck continue the Resound Beethoven series, performed on period instruments and scrupulously respecting the orchestral layouts of 200 years ago. Volume 8, the last volume of the series, is devoted to two emblematic works, both of them dedicated jointly to Prince Franz Joseph Maximilian Lobkowitz and Count Andreas Kirillovich Razumovsky: Symphonies nos.5 and 6. Each of these symphonies has a name attached to it. While the Fifth Symphony is sometimes called the ‘Fate’ Symphony for more or less determined reasons, Beethoven himself named the Sixth ‘Pastoral’, thus pursuing the venerable tradition of the musical pastorale while conferring a new dimension on it. The Orchester Wiener Akademie recorded these two works in the Landhaus Saal of the Niederösterreich Palais, Beethoven’s favourite concert venue. Between 1819 and 1827, all his nine symphonies were performed there at the ‘Concerts spirituels’ founded by Franz Gebauer, and it was in this same palace that the Austrian Revolution of 1848 began.
© Sandrine Expilly
SANDRINE PIAU CHRISTOPHER LOWREY LES TALENS LYRIQUES CHRISTOPHE ROUSSET
ALPHA 449 MARCH 2020
Longstanding partners Sandrine Piau and Christophe Rousset have frequently performed the Stabat Mater, an emblematic work of the eighteenth-century Neapolitan repertory, both together and with other musicians. It was therefore a natural step for them to record this supreme masterpiece of sacred music. They are joined here by a relative newcomer to Les Talens Lyriques who has also become a regular partner with the ensemble, the American countertenor Christopher Lowrey (already heard on an Alpha disc devoted to Monteverdi, Alpha 216). The programme is completed by a Beatus vir by Leonardo Leo (1694-1744), sung by Sandrine Piau, and a Salve Regina for alto by Nicola Porpora (1686-1768), two totally unknown works by two composers who were nevertheless very famous at the time – Porpora, for example, was Farinelli’s singing teacher and mentor to the youthful Haydn. Christophe Rousset finds in this music ‘an expression of very Mediterranean, very highly flavoured piety, in which one moves from tears to laughter quite quickly’. Sandrine Piau sees in Leo ‘an elegance of style, a certain distance in sorrow’.
PARAMETASTRING, WITH ELECTRONICS
STRING QUARTET OP. 18 NO. 1 IN F MAJOR
With its collection created in collaboration with the Academy of the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Alpha continues to support new talents. The Esmé Quartet, consisting of four Korean women musicians, was founded in 2016 and is based in Germany. Its members have received guidance from Günter Pichler of the Alban Berg Quartett and Heime Müller of the Artemis Quartett, among others. In addition to winning the HSBC Prize of the Aix Festival Academy, they also received First Prize at the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition in London. They present here a programme that combines Classical and contemporary music: Beethoven’s first string quartet is joined by ParaMetaString, a quartet ‘with magnetic tape’ that the Kronos Quartet commissioned from the Esmé’s compatriot Unsuk Chin in 1996. The Novelletten by the English composer Frank Bridge (1904) serve as a link between these two works and round off an overview of some of the finest chamber music written over the past 200 years.
ALPHA 590 MARCH 2020
QUATRE CHANTS POUR FRANCHIR LE SEUIL
SYMPHONY NO. 49 « LA PASSIONE »
© Marco Borggreve
BARBARA HANNIGAN LUDWIG ORCHESTRA
ALPHA 586 MARCH 2020
The starting point for Barbara Hannigan’s third recording for Alpha is a work by Gérard Grisey (1946-98) that is particularly close to her heart. Grisey wrote: ‘I conceived the Quatre Chants pour franchir le seuil [Four songs for crossing the threshold] as a musical meditation on death in four parts: the death of the angel, the death of civilisation, the death of the voice and the death of humanity... The texts chosen belong to four civilisations (Christian, Egyptian, Greek, Mesopotamian) and have in common a fragmentary discourse on the inevitability of death.’ Luigi Nono (1924-90) was a politically engaged composer. His stunning monody Djamila Boupacha, a heartrending cry for solo soprano, pays tribute to a freedom fighter tortured by French paratroopers during the Algerian war; Picasso also portrayed her in charcoal. Once again Barbara Hannigan both sings and directs this pair of twentieth-century works with her friends of the Ludwig Orchestra. She has chosen to couple them with a Classical symphony by the master of the genre, Joseph Haydn, which also deals with the theme of the Passion. Her interpretation is extremely intense and highly personal.
CHOR DES BAYERISCHEN RUNDFUNKS IL GIARDINO ARMONICO GIOVANNI ANTONINI
Giovanni Antonini has been recording the complete symphonies of Joseph Haydn with the Alpha label for more than five years. Now the series is enriched by another monument by the Austrian composer: Die Schöpfung (The Creation), recorded in 2019 with the Bavarian Radio Chorus and his own orchestra, Il Giardino Armonico. This great oratorio was inspired by those of Handel, which Haydn heard performed by very large forces during his visits to England. The Creation, composed between September 1796 and April 1798, demanded such a colossal effort of him that he even fell ill just after its first performance; but the work enjoyed immense success. The marriage between the Bavarian chorus, so familiar with this masterpiece, and the period-instrument musicians of Il Giardino Armonico works perfectly, with a vocal trio composed of leading soloists: Anna Lucia Richter, Maximilian Schmitt and Florian Boesch.
ALPHA 567 MARCH 2020
SAN GIOVANNI BATTISTA
LE BANQUET CÉLESTE DAMIEN GUILLON
ALPHA 579 MARCH 2020
A composer who led a dissolute life and ended up stabbed to death in Genoa, Stradella nevertheless left a distinctive stamp on the history of music. He is situated at the intersection of several stylistic paths and periods, at the crossroads between opera and sacred drama, since his output, and especially San Giovanni Battista (St John the Baptist), marks the encounter of the great Roman oratorio inherited from Carissimi with the Venetian opera of Cavalli. Stradella is also close to the next generation, that of Scarlatti and Handel. His music is characterised by liveliness, expressiveness and profound humanity. Although San Giovanni Battista enjoyed genuine success when it was premiered in 1675, it was only in 1949 that the work was exhumed from the libraries where its score lay slumbering. That event took place in Perugia, and the role of Salome was sung by Maria Callas. (after A. Surrans)
DIEGO ORTIZ TRATTADO DE GLOSAS (BOOK II)
BRUNO COCSET LES BASSES RÉUNIES GUIDO BALESTRACCI
ALPHA 563 MARCH 2020
Born in Toledo, Diego Ortiz published the Trattado de Glosas in Rome in 1553. At that time he was living in Naples in the service of Ferdinand Álvarez de Toledo, Duke of Alba and Viceroy of Naples. This region was deeply influenced by Spain. His treatise, published simultaneously in Spanish and Italian, is first and foremost a precious source for the art of Spanish instrumental performance. The second book of the Trattado de Glosas is performed here in its entirety, with Bruno Cocset and Guido Balestracci alternating in the Recercadas. As a counterpoint to this corpus mingling inventiveness and virtuosity, the programme includes short pieces by composers emblematic of the Golden Century of Spain, contemporaries of Ortiz: Antonio de Cabezón, Luis de Milán and Tomás Luis de Victoria. The process of reinterpreting this repertory is closely linked to the rediscovery of instruments that have disappeared and been recreated for the occasion: based on information gleaned from the luthiers Gasparo da Salò and Domenico Russo, the paintings of the Spanish master El Greco, the engravings in Ganassi’s treatise Regola rubertina and the few remaining – and alas ‘restored’ – instruments from the period, five viols have been specially made by the luthier Charles Riché.
BOX SETS Alpha continues to explore its catalogue and this year again offers a wide variety of combinations. After a box assembling the gems of the Baroque era (Masters of the Baroque - Alpha 372), the piano is now given pride of place. The box set Masters of the Piano brings together 10 CDs in which great contemporary interpreters (Nelson Goerner, Alexander Lonquich, François-Frédéric Guy, Eric Le Sage, Edna Stern, Anna Vinnitskaya) retrace three centuries of creation on the piano, from Bach to Shostakovich, by way of Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Liszt, Chopin, Brahms, Rachmaninoff and Debussy. The piano will also be at the heart of a 7-CD box set devoted to Alexei Lubimov’s recordings. Fortepiano, piano, prepared piano . . . the Russian musician has distinguished himself in every repertoire. Finally, to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven, the Beethoven Rediscovered box highlights 16 CDs that offer a chance to rediscover his symphonies, concertos and sonatas on period instruments, the fortepiano, etc.
RELEASE DATE: MARCH 2020
The debut of the Taracea ensemble creates a bridge between past and present. The Madrid-based trio’s artistic project is to combine early music, jazz and improvisation. Its founder Rainer Seiferth, a German musician who lives in Spain, plays the vihuela, the Spanish counterpart of the Renaissance lute. Belén Nieto is a flute and recorder specialist and a regular member of Jordi Savall’s ensembles. The double bass player Miguel Rodrigáñez is at home in jazz, flamenco and classical music. If there is a movement for ‘new’ early music, Michel Godard was one of its founders: the French virtuoso of the serpent blends in perfectly with the group. Percussionist David Mayoral combines East and West on zarb, riq and darbuka. The young Spanish singer and percussionist Isabel Martín performs a song by the Spanish Renaissance composer Juan del Encina. This album is called ‘Akoé’ – ‘Listening’ in ancient Greek: each of the musicians brings his or her own sound and ideas and becomes an integral part of an inextricably interwoven texture.
ALPHA 597 MARCH 2020
PARADISE LOST PURCELL, FAURÉ, MESSIAEN, STRAVINSKY, WOLF, DEBUSSY, BRAHMS, REIMANN, BRITTEN, RAVEL, RACHMANINOV, SCHUMANN, SCHUBERT, WAGNER, SCHUMANN, EISLER, MAHLER, CRUMB, IVES, BERNSTEIN...
ANNA PROHASKA SOPRANO JULIUS DRAKE PIANO
ALPHA 581 APRIL 2020
The gestation of this project lasted two years. Anna Prohaska and Julius Drake finally concentrated their research on the themes of Eve, Paradise and banishment. Some songs were obvious choices, such as Fauré’s Paradis, in which God appears to Eve and asks her to name each flower and animal, or Purcell’s Sleep, Adam, sleep with its references to Genesis. But Anna Prohaska also wished to illustrate the cliché of the woman who brought original sin into the world and her status as a tempter who leads man astray, as in Brahms’s Salamander, Wolf’s Die Bekehrte or Ravel’s Air du Feu. In Das Paradies und die Peri, Schumann conjures up the image of Syria’s rose-covered plains. Bernstein also transports us to the desert with Silhouette . . . John Milton’s seventeenth-century masterpiece Paradise Lost was the inspiration for Charles Ives and Benjamin Britten, also featured in this very rich programme that constitutes an invitation to travel and reflection.
ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA, OP.30 DON JUAN, OP. 20 TILL EULENSPIEGELS LUSTIGE STREICHE, OP. 28
NDR ELBPHILHARMONIE ORCHESTRA ’ KRZYSZTOF URBANSKI
ALPHA 413 APRIL 2020
Is the imitation of rolling thunder, howling winds and bleating sheep a form of musical composition worthy of the name? Can we take seriously a composer who boasts of being able to ‘set a restaurant menu to music, if need be’? These were the kinds of questions that Richard Strauss, one of the most virtuosic composers of the so-called ‘programme music’, had to ask himself. His answer: ‘I am a musician from head to toe; for me, all “programmes” are merely incentives to invent new forms, nothing else.’ The NDR Orchestra, conducted by Krzysztof Urbański, has chosen to devote its sixth Alpha Classics recording to three of Richard Strauss’s most famous symphonic poems: Also sprach Zarathustra op. 30, Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche op. 28 and Don Juan op. 20.
BEETHOVEN COMPLETE CELLO SONATAS VARIATIONS
NICOLAS ALTSTAEDT CELLO
ALEXANDER LONQUICH PIANO
© Marco Borggreve
Beethoven’s output for cello and piano is fascinating because it covers every period of his career, from early to late, with references to Bach in op.69 and op.102 no.2 and an especially innovative and amazingly modern musical language. For this complete set, which includes the variations on themes from Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Nicolas Altstaedt was keen to record on an instrument with gut strings, a Guadagnini from Piacenza dated 1749, and using a Classical bow. Alexander Lonquich, his faithful recital partner – they been inseparable companions since the day Altstaedt replaced his teacher Boris Pergamenschikow at the last minute for a concert of Beethoven sonatas with Lonquich at the Beethovenfest in Bonn in 2004 – here plays a Graf fortepiano of 1826. The combination of these instruments produces a finely balanced sound and exceptional tone colours. This recording is Nicolas Altstaedt’s first for Alpha as a soloist. Others will follow, in very different genres, for eclecticism is the hallmark of this musician, among the most promising of the new generation.
ALPHA 577 APRIL 2020
HARMONIEUSES DISSONANCES (ERIC MONTALBETTI)
CHRISTIAN TETZLAFF ALEXANDRE VORONTSOV DELPHINE HAIDAN PIERRE GÉNISSON SOLISTES DE L’ENSEMBLE INTERCONTEMPORAIN QUATUOR LES DISSONANCES
ALPHA 583 APRIL 2020
Harmonieuses Dissonances: that is the title of the string quartet that closes this second album of music by Eric Montalbetti, but above all it is a statement of the very subject of the works assembled here: they start out from heterogeneous elements, like the diversity of the people we know, or of our moods and thoughts, and aim – through encounters, comparisons, organisation or a search for common ground – to find the meaning of a life that we hope will, in the end, be harmonious. Since the first album of his music, Solos, appeared in 2016, Eric Montalbetti has been fortunate enough to hear seventeen of his scores come to life thanks to some wonderful musicians in France, Germany, Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Japan and Korea. Two duos (including a Hommage à Matisse), a piano trio and a string quartet, were premiered and have now been recorded by Christian Tetzlaff and Alexandre Vorontsov, Delphine Haidan and Pierre Génisson, the soloists of the Ensemble intercontemporain and the Quatuor Les Dissonances.
FRANCK BY FRANCK SYMPHONIE EN RÉ MINEUR CE QU’ON ENTEND SUR LA MONTAGNE © Christophe Abramowitz Radio France
ORCHESTRE PHILHARMONIQUE DE RADIO FRANCE MIKKO FRANCK
ALPHA 561 APRIL 2020
Some music lovers are familiar with Ce qu’on entend sur la montagne, Liszt’s symphonic poem based on Victor Hugo. But who knows that, ten years earlier, César Franck was inspired by the same poem? This early piece is recorded here by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France conducted by Mikko Franck. They couple it with the famous Symphony in D minor, dedicated to Henri Duparc and premiered, without much success, in 1889. Even if the score is quite well-known today, in the end it is performed quite rarely, which is a pity, because it really has all the characteristics of a masterpiece: melodic and harmonic inspiration, refined orchestration, variety of mood, an ingenious structure. Two works by Franck . . . by Franck! This album marks the beginning of a collaboration between Alpha and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, which will focus on very varied repertories.
NUITS VÉRONIQUE GENS SOPRANO I GIARDINI
SHUICHI OKADA & PABLO SCHATZMAN VIOLINS LÉA HENNINO VIOLA PAULINE BUET CELLO DAVID VIOLI PIANO
© Sandrine Expilly
As the symbiosis between the art of the poet and that of the composer, the French mélodie became the jewel of the salons of the ‘Belle Époque’. By placing a string quartet and a piano around the singer, Chausson’s Chanson perpétuelle, Lekeu’s Nocturne and Fauré’s La Bonne Chanson oscillate between chamber musical intimacy and orchestral ambition. Alongside these famous pioneering pieces, this programme devised by the Palazzetto Bru Zane champions a return to the art of transcription, so popular in the nineteenth century, with the aim of expanding the repertory for voice, strings and piano in order to unearth some forgotten treasures. Hence Hahn, Berlioz, SaintSaëns, Massenet, La Tombelle, Ropartz, Louiguy and Messager all appear in a programme whose guiding thread is the emotions of nocturnal abandonment: the charms of twilight, the trajectory of dreams, the terror of nightmare or the exhilaration of festive occasions. Alexandre Dratwicki has made these arrangements in the style of the nineteenth century. Appropriately enough, the programme ends with La Vie en rose, for this music offers a kaleidoscope of all the colours of human feeling. The texture of solo strings and piano sets Véronique Gens’s incomparable storytelling artistry in a new light.
ALPHA 589 MAY 2020
LE SECRET DE MONSIEUR MARAIS VITTORIO GHIELMI IL SUONAR PARLANTE ORCHESTRA
ALPHA 453 APRIL 2020
Between 1680 and 1728, Marin Marais brought the pièce de viole to the peak of perfection. An ‘unremitting’ teacher, he was also the publisher of his own music and invented special signs to notate certain ornaments for the viol. In the course of his research at the Salzburg Mozarteum, the Italian gambist Vittorio Ghielmi studied these manuscript codes, in the hand of Marais himself or his direct students. ‘This led me to a new vision of French Baroque music, which applies not only to the viola da gamba, but also to vocal and orchestral music. These signs reveal the technique of playing in action. Contrary to the static descriptions of the treatises of the time, one has the impression of seeing didactic “videos”.’ This album, entirely devoted to the music of Marais, alternates récits for solo viola with orchestral pieces, all of them reinterpreted in the light of the new discovery of Monsieur Marais’s ‘codes’. In addition to Parisian viols of the time, Vittorio Ghielmi owns an instrument by the famous luthier Michel Colichon (a friend of Marais’s teacher Sainte-Colombe), made in Paris in 1688. Only two of the five surviving viols by Colichon are still in playable condition.
SONATAS OP.10/3, OP. 13 “PATHÉTIQUE”, OP.14/1, OP. 27/2 “MONDSCHEIN”, OP. 51/2, OP. 51/3, OP. 14/2, OP. 26, OP.129 “ALLA INGHARESE”, OP. 28 “PASTORAL”
JOS VAN IMMERSEEL PIANO
ALPHA 594 MAY 2020
A leading authority on the fortepiano, Jos Van Immerseel has devised a programme focusing on the music Beethoven composed for a Viennese piano with a range of five octaves. This includes the finest keyboard music from Beethoven’s early Viennese period, more specifically works written between 1795 and 1804. For this recording, the Flemish pianist has used the composer’s extant autograph manuscripts or the first editions published shortly after composition, as well as the latest critical edition by Jonathan Del Mar (Kassel: Bärenreiter-Verlag, 201718). The writings of Carl Czerny, one of Beethoven’s most important ‘pupils’, were also a significant source of information. With his customary attention to the instrumentarium, Jos Van Immerseel has opted for a five-octave Viennese grand fortepiano by Christopher Clarke, a masterly replica, built in 1988, of an instrument by Walter, whom Beethoven himself selected in 1802 from among the sixty or so Viennese piano makers of the time.
ARMIDE 1778 LULLY | L.-J. FRANCOEUR VÉRONIQUE GENS, REINOUD VAN MECHELEN, TASSIS CHRISTOYANNIS, CHANTAL SANTON-JEFFERY, KATHERINE WATSON, ZACHARY WILDER… CHŒUR ET ORCHESTRE DU CONCERT SPIRITUEL HERVÉ NIQUET
© Julien Mignot
Armide, premiered in 1686, was the last joint work of Lully and the poet Philippe Quinault. It immediately became a pillar of the Opéra’s repertory, which it finally left only in 1766, when it was removed to make room for a new wave of composers, Philidor, Grétry, Gossec and soon Gluck. A few attempts to restore former tastes still allowed audiences to hear such works as Persée, revived in 1770 (and recorded in that version by Hervé Niquet, ALPHA 967). But these operas were profoundly modified in order to increase the role of the orchestra and tailor the vocal numbers to the singers of the day. This was the context for the fascinating and unpublished version of Armide that has lain dormant in the Bibliothèque Nationale for more than two centuries. The revisions to the original are by Louis-Joseph Francœur, nephew of the celebrated François Francœur, one of Louis XV’s court musicians. This recording of the 1778 version of Armide, made at the Opéra Royal du Château de Versailles in collaboration with the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, is not merely the first modern performance but the work’s world premiere, since none of its music was ever actually played at the time. It enables us to grasp the evolution of the ideas and practices of French music over a whole century.
ALPHA 973 MAY 2020
EN DUO TELEMANN CONCERTO IN D MINOR FOR TWO CHALUMEAUX AND STRINGS
STAMITZ CONCERTO NO. 4 FOR TWO CLARINETS
MENDELSSOHN KONZERTSTÜCKE NOS. 1 & 2 & DUOS BY TELEMANN & C. P. E. BACH
MICHEL PORTAL & PAUL MEYER CLARINET ORCHESTRE DE CHAMBRE DE WALLONIE
ALPHA 415 MAY 2020
A legendary clarinettist equally experienced in classical music, jazz and film music, Michel Portal meets Paul Meyer, another outstanding ambassador of the clarinet in the world and a longtime friend. Side by side and accompanied by the Orchestre de Chambre de Wallonie, they offer a programme that reveals their musical rapport for the first time on disc, whether the repertory is Baroque, galant or Romantic. So, alongside Telemann’s Concerto in D minor for two chalumeaux and strings, we have Carl Stamitz’s Concerto no.4 for two clarinets, while Mendelssohn’s Konzertstücke nos. 1 & 2 are juxtaposed with duos by Telemann and C. P. E. Bach. Each work constitutes a calm dialogue in which words are replaced by notes, a touching testimony to two exceptional careers.
ORCHESTER WIENER AKADEMIE MARTIN HASELBÖCK
In the course of the eight recordings released by Alpha, the Orchester Wiener Akademie, conducted by Martin Haselböck, has accomplished its objective of recording the complete Beethoven symphonies on period instruments, in the very venues where they were premiered, scrupulously respecting the orchestral forces of 200 years ago. The symphonies take us back to nineteenth-century Vienna for a tour of the Lobkowitz, Hofburg and Niederösterreich palaces, as well as the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Theater in der Josefstadt. ALPHA 480 JUNE 2020
VIENNE 1900 DAISHIN KASHIMOTO VIOLIN EMMANUEL PAHUD FLUTE PAUL MEYER CLARINET ZVI PLESSER CELLO ÉRIC LE SAGE PIANO
Daishin Kashimoto, Emmanuel Pahud, Paul Meyer, Zvi Plesser and Éric Le Sage, who have been close musical partners for years, joined forces once again at the Salon de Provence Chamber Music Festival to record this programme devoted to Viennese composers of the early twentieth century. The most famous and innovative of these are represented: Schoenberg with his Kammersymphonie no. 1, Mahler with two lieder transcribed for flute and piano, Zemlinsky’s Clarinet Trio and several pieces by Berg. A disc that encapsulates both the exhaustion of a bygone Romantic age and the avant-garde promises of a modern world still to be built…
ALPHA 588 JUNE 2020
MAHLER SYMPHONY NO. 7
ORCHESTRE NATIONAL DE LILLE ALEXANDRE BLOCH
Alexandre Bloch, who has been Music Director of the Orchestre National de Lille since 2016, has chosen to devote a whole season of concerts to Mahler’s symphonies. The Seventh (1904-05) is the most rarely recorded of the cycle – unjustly, because this work later nicknamed ‘Song of the Night’ testifies as clearly as its companions to the metaphysical grandiloquence that haunted Mahler during its gestation. From the gloomy Adagio of the first movement to the thundering Rondo that concludes the work, Alexandre Bloch and his orchestra lead us from the anguish of twilight to the ecstasies of dawn. ALPHA 592 JUNE 2020
ALPHA COLLECTION VI: 14 MORE TITLES REISSUED After the success of the Red, Yellow, Blue, Blue, Pink and White collections (a total of 70 reissues), which brought the pearls of the Alpha and Zig Zag catalogues back into the spotlight, here are 14 new titles that allow you to discover other treasures and rarities of early music. Fourteen reissues performed by the finest musicians in the field; most of these recordings received one or more awards on their original release. Genuine booklets accompany the discs, with a liner note in three languages (French, English, German). Photographers from all over the world illustrate the covers of the series, this time with the colour green as the main theme… RELEASE DATE: JUNE 2020
- ALPHA 609 JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH - SONATES EN TRIO, BWV 525-530 - BENJAMIN ALARD - ALPHA 610 JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH - SONATES ET PARTITAS, BWV 1001-1006 - AMANDINE BEYER - ALPHA 611 GIOVANNI BONONCINI - LA NEMICA D’AMORE FATTA AMANTE - ADRIANA FERNÁNDEZ, MARTIN ORO, FURIO ZANASI, ENSEMBLE 415, CHIARA BANCHINI - ALPHA 612 PHILIPP HEINRICH ERLEBACH - ZEICHEN IN HIMMEL - VICTOR TORRES, STYLUS PHANTASTICUS - ALPHA 613 ANTOINE FÉVIN - REQUIEM D’ANNE DE BRETAGNE - DOULCE MÉMOIRE, DENIS RAISIN DADRE - ALPHA 614 GIROLAMO FRESCOBALDI - CANZONI - BRUNO COCSET, LES BASSES RÉUNIES - ALPHA 615 LA BELLA NOEVA - MARCO BEASLEY, GUIDO MORINI - ALPHA 616 CLAUDE LEJEUNE- MOTETS POUR LE CULTE CATHOLIQUE ET PSAUMES PROTESTANTS - LES PAGES ET LES CHANTRES DU CENTRE DE MUSIQUE BAROQUE DE VERSAILLES, OLIVIER SCHNEEBELI - ALPHA 617 MARIN MARAIS - LA RÊVEUSE ET AUTRES PIÈCES DE VIOLE - SOPHIE WATILLON, FRIEDERICKE HEUMANN, XAVIER DÍAZ, EVANGELINA MASCARDI, LUCA GUGLIELMI - ALPHA 618 W. A. MOZART - SERENATA NOTTURNA K239, CASSATION K63, CONCERTONE K190 - ENSEMBLE 415, CHIARA BANCHINI - ALPHA 619 ALESSANDRO SCARLATTI - SONATES, NAPLES, 1685 - OLIVIER CAVÉ - ALPHA 620 ANTONIO VIVALDI- GLORIA MAGNIFICAT - LE CONCERT SPIRITUEL, HERVÉ NIQUET - ALPHA 621 J. P. VON WESTHOFF - SONATES POUR VIOLON ET BASSE CONTINUE - DAVID PLANTIER, LES PLAISIRS DU PARNASSE - ALPHA 622 J. D. ZELENKA - I PENITENTI AL SEPOLCHRO DEL REDENTORE, ZWV 63 - COLLEGIUM 1704, COLLEGIUM VOCALE 1704, VÁCLAV LUKS
OCTET FOR STRINGS AND WINDS IN F MAJOR
PASSAGE ÉCLAIR [WORLD PREMIERE / CREATION]
PIERRE FOUCHENNERET, SHUICHI OKADA, MARC DESMONS, YAN LEVIONNOIS, YANN DUBOST, NICOLAS BALDEYROU, JULIEN HARDY & DAVID GUERRIER
OMF 706 JANUARY 2020
Created in 2013 at the instigation of the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, La Belle Saison brings together several prestigious concert venues in a network hosting chamber music concerts. It also produces recordings. This programme – initiated by a group of friends and chamber musicians – was able to mature in the course of one of these residencies. Inspired by the unprecedented scoring of Beethoven’s Septet op.20, Schubert’s Octet D803 is an immense work of symphonic proportions. It was written just one year before the Ninth Symphony, known as the ‘Great C major’, composed in 1825, the last major orchestral work Schubert completed. The composer Raphaël Merlin, who is also a former member of the Quatuor Ébène and a conductor, took Schubert’s Octet as his inspiration to write Passage Éclair: ‘In Schubert, three wind instruments act as a foil for five stringed instruments, which is in keeping with the laws of acoustics and dynamics, but nevertheless gives the ensemble a relatively dark colour. Thus we have the numbers 3, 5 and 8, evoking the Fibonacci sequence, which, like the golden section, underpins a very large number of works of the past and present. We engage with musical time in reference to the timespan of human life on earth and the acceleration of history...’
ˇ MOZART, GLINKA, DVORÁK, TCHAÏKOVSKY & DOGA VALENTINA NAFORNITA PIANO MÜNCHNER RUNDFUNKORCHESTER KERI-LYNN WILSON
OMF 705 JANUARY 2020
Very appropriately, Valentina Naforniţă devotes half of her debut album released on Outhere to the composer who makes the highest vocal demands, with his incomparable dramatic complexity and inspired musical invention. Ever since she sang her first Papagena as a new ensemble member of the Vienna State Opera in the autumn of 2011, she has repeatedly enjoyed enormous success performing Mozart’s great female roles, which are so challenging in their diversity. The charismatic Moldovan soprano impresses with an astonishingly wide palette of expression and emotion. The second part of the CD is devoted to the Slavonic repertory. With her rich, bronze timbre, she is ideally suited to the tragic depth of expression of Dvořák’s ‘Song to the Moon’, with which she made her breakthrough at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, and to Tchaikovsky, whose Iolanta she sang at the Opéra de Paris in May 2019. The recording ends with a song dedicated to Valentina by the Moldovan composer Eugen Doga, recounting the life story of this singer who has been known as ‘The Nightingale’ in her homeland since she was five years old.
RICERCAR Join us in celebrating 40 years of Ricercar! Ricercar was founded by Jérôme Lejeune in 1980 and the label swiftly became one of the major players in the rediscovery of early music.
Each Ricercar recording documents a moment in the history of music, one that can be experienced not only by listening but also by reading informative liner notes written with the general public in mind. Ricercar’s aim has always been to seek out and make available unusual and unpublished works, although it has also recorded certain well-known works when new musicological discoveries have inspired its artists to a new style of performance or interpretation. Each recording is made with the greatest respect possible for the history and origins of the work concerned; this goes from the use of the most authentic sources possible for the score to the choice of the musicians and the instruments that are most suited to the particular type of repertoire. Ricercar’s recordings are produced by Jérôme Lejeune, its artistic director, who takes meticulous care that there is always a perfect symbiosis between the players themselves and the space in which the recording is made; this includes the choice of natural acoustics according to their character and their suitably to the repertoire being recorded. Ricercar fully respects the acoustic of its recording space and the particular timbres of its voices and the instruments: it has never used any form of sound filtration or artificial reverberation.
Ricercar is supported by the Ministère des Arts de la Scène de la Fédération Wallonie Bruxelles.
A SCHUBERTIADE WITH ARPEGGIONE L’AMOROSO GUIDO BALESTRACCI ARPEGGIONE
RIC 409 JANUARY 2020
The arpeggione, invented in 1823 by the Viennese luthier Johann Georg Stauffer, had a curious destiny. As its alternative names ‘guitar violoncello’ and ‘guitare d’amour’ suggest, it is in fact a guitar fitted with a bridge, held between the knees like a cello and played with a bow. The instrument enjoyed some success for around a decade, but, oddly enough, almost nothing has survived from its specific repertory except one supreme masterpiece: the sonata Franz Schubert wrote for it in 1824. The guitar was very popular in Vienna at that time, and Schubert was also fond of it; the original version of Die schöne Müllerin was published with guitar accompaniment! Guido Balestracci and the musicians of L’Amoroso have built a delightful Schubertiad around this famous sonata, combining the arpeggione and the piano with voice and guitars to appropriate a rich selection of the Viennese composer’s lieder.
JOHANN PAUL VON WESTHOFF SUITES FOR SOLO VIOLIN
PLAMENA NIKITASSOVA VIOLIN
Johann Paul von Westhoff (1656-1705) was one of the most brilliant members of the significant school of violinists that flourished in seventeenth-century Dresden. This impressive virtuoso, who was even applauded by Louis XIV at Versailles, wrote the very first compositions for unaccompanied violin, which of course foreshadow the later masterpieces of Johann Sebastian Bach. The programme recorded here includes some suites from his collection published in Dresden in 1696, as well as the suite that was printed in the Mercure galant of Paris in 1683, following his visit to Versailles. RIC 412 MARCH 2020
RICERCAR COLLECTION Since it was founded in 1980, Ricercar has made nearly 450 recordings, some of which have been unavailable for many years now. Its artistic director Jérôme Lejeune conceived this ‘research’ label as a wide-ranging exploration of the music of the past, considering each disc as a ‘page of history’, though this has not prevented him from tackling better-known repertory on occasion when it has been revisited in the light of an innovative interpretation. In order to give its back catalogue a new lease of life, Ricercar now presents a new series at an attractive price.
RELEASE DATE: MARCH 2020
- RIC 137 SALVE REGINA - LA CACCIA - RIC 138 WILHELM FRIEDEMANN BACH - COMPLETE CHAMBER MUSIC - RICERCAR CONSORT - RIC 139 CARLO FARINA - CAPRICCIO STRAVAGANTE - CLEMATIS - RIC 140 JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH - TOCCATAS & PASSACAGLIA - BERNARD FOCCROULLE - RIC 141 GIOVANNI FELICE SANCES - DULCIS AMOR JESU - SCHERZI MUSICALI - NICOLAS ACHTEN - RIC 142 ELISABETH JACQUET DE LA GUERRE - SONATES POUR VIOLON - LES DOMINOS - FLORENCE MALGOIRE - RIC 143 MARC-ANTOINE CHARPENTIER - TE DEUM - CHŒUR DE CHAMBRE DE NAMUR - JEAN TUBÉRY - RIC 144 NUITS OCCITANES (TROUBADOURS SONGS) - CÉLADON - PAULIN BÜNDGEN - RIC 145 DIETERICH BUXTEHUDE - CANTATAS - RICERCAR CONSORT - RIC 146 KRUMHORN, CROMORNE, STORTO, TOURNEBOUT? - SYNTAGMA AMICI - RIC 147 HENRY DU MONT - MOTETS À VOIX SEULE - HENRI LEDROIT - RICERCAR CONSORT - RIC 148 BACH, TELEMANN, BOXBERG, RIEDEL - TRAUERKANTATEN - RICERCAR CONSORT - RIC 149 GIROLAMO FRESCOBALDI - IL REGNO D’AMORE - MARIANA FLORES - CLEMATIS - LEONARDO GARCÍA ALARCÓN - RIC 154 FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN - BARYTON OCTETTE - RICERCAR CONSORT 29
A CONSORT’S MONUMENT L’ACHÉRON FRANÇOIS JOUBERT-CAILLET
RIC 413 MARCH 2020
In his Musick’s Monument of 1676, Thomas Mace described in great detail numerous aspects of contemporary musical life in London. This volume evokes all the characteristics of English music, going back to the most glorious years of the Renaissance, with a particular emphasis on the repertory written for consort of viols. While his writings describe the performing practices of the time, they also provide invaluable information on instrument making, which has enabled L’Achéron to build a ‘set’ of six viols following Mace’s indications. For this new project of English music, the ensemble inaugurates a new virginal and an organ made in accordance with the famous theorist’s specifications. The programme comprises fantasias, ayres and dances by composers who brought this viol consort tradition to its peak, including Alfonso Ferrabosco, John Ward, William White, Thomas Lupo, Richard Dering, Giovanni Coperario, William Lawes, John Jenkins and Christopher Simpson.
NUN DANKET ALLE GOTT CLEMATIS STÉPHANIE DE FAILLY BRICE DE SAILLY DIRECTORS JULIE ROSET SOPRANO
RIC 415 APRIL 2020
With its ciaconna bass, Hammerschmidt’s sacred concerto Nun danket alle Gott perfectly exemplifies the programme of this recording devoted to the influences of the Italian Baroque on the works of seventeenth-century Lutheran composers. The vast majority of the repertory gathered here comes once again from the exceptionally rich library assembled at the end of the seventeenth century by Gustav Düben, organist of the German Church in Stockholm. His collection contains the only known copy of a Confitebor tibi Domine by Claudio Monteverdi. Other composers such as Bernhard and Rosenmüller had very close links with Italy and were among those who helped to disseminate Italian practices in the German-speaking lands. In all this sacred repertory, the role of instruments, and particularly that of the violin (the emblematic instrument of Italy), is highly developed. The instruments accompany the voice and comment on the texts in most expressive fashion. This programme also offers a chance to discover some gems by lesser-known composers such as Hanff and Pfleger.
CHŒUR DE CHAMBRE DE NAMUR MILLENIUM ORCHESTRA LEONARDO GARCIA ALARCON CONDUCTOR SAMSON: MATTHEW NEWLIN DALILA: KLARA EK MICAH: LAWRENCE ZAZZO MANOAH/HARAPHA: LUIGI DI DONATO VIRGIN/ISRAELITE WOMAN: JULIE ROSET
RIC 411 MAY 2020
Samson is not merely an effective narrative, but also a drama of great psychological depth. Over its three acts, we witness the slow but inexorable mental resurrection of a man chosen by God who, overcome by remorse, gradually rebuilds his character. Awareness of his error sustains him and helps him to conceive a decisive reversal of his situation. Though held in chains and for ever deprived of his sight, Samson nevertheless gradually becomes convinced that his strength is intact. In order to set Israel free, he will succeed in regaining God’s mercy and destroying his captors’ people at a single blow. This recording was made live during the Namur Music Festival in July 2018.
FRANÇOIS DEVIENNE TRIOS
LE PETIT TRIANON
RIC 416 JUNE 2020
François Devienne (1759-1803), sometimes nicknamed the ‘French Mozart’, was equalled famed for his talents as a flautist and a bassoonist. He was one of the first professors at the Paris Conservatoire, established in the early years of the Republic. Devienne devoted a large proportion of his compositions, in several different forms, to the two instruments of which he was a virtuoso exponent. The programme presents several of his trios, which combine the violin and the cello with the two wind instruments in turn. These works possess all the charm of the galant aesthetic that developed in the late eighteenth century, along with a certain penchant for virtuosity.
LINN RECORDS Linn’s philosophy combines a love of music with a passion for quality.
We capture the finest performances from favourites such as Robin Ticciati, Dunedin Consort, Francesco Piemontesi and Thomas Søndergård so you can experience music the way the artist intended from the comfort of your own home. Linn’s credentials as a leading classical label have been cemented by multiple industry accolades; notable awards from Gramophone (Label of the Year) and BBC Music Magazine (Disc of the Year), in addition to GRAMMY® and Latin GRAMMY® nominations, demonstrate the continued dedication of a team striving to bring you the very best music. With a catalogue brimming with quality and diversity, you will be sure to find so much music to enjoy. ‘…another one of those delicious Linn recordings that ensures the label’s output is always worth exploring.’ Gramophone ‘Linn Records has always been a company that does things differently.’ Hi-Fi News
‘Renowned for the care and attention it devotes to the quality of its releases.’ Hi-Fi World
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
THE WELL-TEMPERED CONSORT - I
CKD 618 JANUARY 2020
In this new recording Phantasm make no excuses for arranging some of Bach’s remarkable keyboard music for a consort of viols. Led by director Laurence Dreyfus, they go on a conscious mission to uncover the hidden riches concealed behind the more neutral resources of the harpsichord and organ so as to liberate the fascinating characters lurking in the shadows and behind the scenes within Bach’s individual polyphonic lines. In the process of fugal confrontation among three to six musicians, they come face to face with the astounding psychological insights of Bach’s most radical inventions. Drawn chiefly from the two books of The WellTempered Clavier, the Musical Offering and the Clavier-Übung III, the repertoire chosen for this recording has an uncanny way of forging Bach’s links with the old English traditions of the Fantasy and In nomine as much as leaping forward into a chromatic twelve-tone world where the raw emotions of expressionist modernism become not only audible but adventurously relevant. A second instalment of The Well-Tempered Consort is already planned for 2021.
SERGEI PROKOFIEV SYMPHONIES NOS. 1 & 5
THOMAS SØNDERGÅRD CONDUCTOR ROYAL SCOTTISH NATIONAL ORCHESTRA
CKD 611 FEBRUARY 2020
Thomas Søndergård’s sophomore album as Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra marks his first recording devoted to the symphony with the orchestra. Søndergård conducts an allProkofiev programme juxtaposing two contrasting symphonies: Symphony No. 1 in D major ‘Classical’ and Symphony No. 5 in B flat major. Prokofiev delights in paying homage to Haydn in his neo-classical masterpiece; its characterful melodies, freshness and overall joie de vivre have established Symphony No.1 as enduringly popular. The Scotsman awarded the concert performed live in the 2018/19 season five stars, commenting that ‘the detail in this performance was breathtaking’. In contrast the Fifth Symphony was forged in the flames of war, and dedicated, Prokofiev said, to ‘the greatness of the human spirit’. Following a concert performance The Herald commented, ‘This was the conductor at his most energetic and impassioned, and it drew a corresponding performance from the orchestra.’ Prokofiev has been a key focus for Søndergård since 2016 and the conductor has announced plans to complete a symphonic cycle over four seasons with his orchestra.
AND THE VIENNESE TRUMPET
JONATHAN FREEMAN-ATTWOOD TRUMPET CHIYAN WONG PIANO
CKD 621 FEBRUARY 2020
Richard Strauss and the Viennese Trumpet is the latest in Jonathan Freeman-Attwood’s imaginative series of musical reinventions for trumpet and piano. Works by Fux, Beethoven, Schubert, Mahler, Bruckner, Webern and Zemlinsky complement the core work: a newly imagined Strauss trumpet sonata. Building on his highly successful transcriptions of sonatas by Fauré, Grieg, Mendelssohn and Schumann, Freeman-Attwood pushes the boundaries further delivering a fully realised trumpet sonata which Strauss did not write. This innovative approach embraces various levels of transcription, transformation, realignment and composition to create a significant new contribution to the trumpet repertoire, full of the gloriously idiomatic writing for which Strauss is renowned. The material is variously drawn from the first movement of Strauss’s Violin Sonata Op. 18, a combination of both light and very significant arrangements of miscellaneous music, newly composed music, and development or transitions based on existing material within the Sonata itself. Accompanying Freeman-Attwood is pianist Chiyan Wong, who was awarded the prestigious 40th Grand Prix du Disque by the Franz Liszt Society.
CARMEN SUITE NO. 1 SYMPHONY NO. 1
FRANÇOIS LELEUX CONDUCTOR SCOTTISH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
CKD 624 MARCH 2020
In his debut recording with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra oboist François Leleux celebrates his dual roles of conductor and soloist as he directs performances of Bizet and Gounod. Following several successful collaborations, including a season as a Featured Artist, Leleux has established a strong rapport with the SCO. The programme features Bizet’s Symphony in C, written in two months when the French composer was just eighteen, which is simply full of life, exuding brilliance, charm, wit and wonderful tunes. The Scotsman described his interpretation as ‘brisk, urgent, full of bite, and as playful as you could ever want it to be’. Leleux is particularly suited to performing Gounod’s Petite Symphonie, which was written for nine of the finest wind players in Paris. Directing from the oboe, Leleux joins the SCO section principals as they demonstrate the strength of their chamber music instincts in a performance which sparkles with personality and individuality. To complete the programme Leleux takes listeners to the opera with a suite from Bizet’s Carmen bursting with the drama, passion and entrancing melodies that set this iconic opera apart.
CHOIR OF NEW COLLEGE OXFORD ROBERT QUINNEY CONDUCTOR
John Sheppard Media vita
The Choir of New College Oxford, one of the world’s leading choral ensembles, makes its Linn debut with a recording of works by the English Renaissance composer John Sheppard. New College Choir was already 150 years old when Sheppard arrived in Oxford intent on contributing to the wealth of choral polyphony that defined the Tudor era. Media vita is his most celebrated work, almost symphonic in its proportions, in which he combines and elevates commonplace Tudor musical devices to striking effect. Sheppard’s boundary-pushing polyphony requires the skill and precision of liturgical professionals, and in the hands of director Robert Quinney it is compelling. Excitingly the programme includes several choral works by Sheppard which are premiere recordings: Confitebor tibi (I will give thanks), Inclina Domine (Hear, O Lord), Beati omnes (Blessed are all they), Deus misereatur (God be merciful), Judica me Deus (Judge me, O God) and A solis ortus cardine (From the rising of the sun). This is another distinctive and stylish performance from this acclaimed choir.
CHOIR OF NEW COLLEGE OXFORD ROBERT QUINNEY
CKD 632 MARCH 2020
FRANZ SCHUBERT LEBENSSTÜRME MUSIC FOR PIANO FOUR-HANDS
DUO PLEYEL RICHARD EGARR ALEXANDRA NEPOMNYASHCHAYA
CKD 593 APRIL 2020
Duo Pleyel (Richard Egarr and Alexandra Nepomnyashchaya) makes its recording debut with a programme of works for piano four-hands by Schubert, whose contribution to this genre exceeds that of any other composer. Aside from being hugely enjoyable this repertoire features some of Schubert’s finest piano writing. Schubert’s great F minor Fantasy, although justly famous, represents only a small proportion of his music for piano fourhands. It is an extraordinary body of work which demonstrates the gathering importance of this compositional medium. Duo Pleyel brings this famous Fantasy into context with other lesser known works such as the wonderfully melodic early Sonata in B flat major, written when Schubert was 21, and the two contrasting Rondos: the Rondo in D major D. 608 (post.) and the Rondo in A major (Schubert’s final work for piano four-hands). Perhaps the star composition is the passionate Allegro in A minor, written a month after the Fantasy, and sometimes known by its posthumous title ‘Lebensstürme’. It gives us a clear picture of Schubert’s inner life: of a man who wrote ‘Every night when I go to bed, I hope that I may never wake again, and every morning renews my grief.’
TRIBUTE TO MIYOSHI KUNIKO SCOTTISH ENSEMBLE
CKD 596 APRIL 2020
For her sixth Linn recording KUNIKO has chosen to pay a personal tribute to one of Japan’s most celebrated post-war composers: Akira Miyoshi (1933 - 2013). Showcasing Miyoshi’s marimba works from the last four decades of the twentieth century, this recording represents a reference collection commemorating the composer’s significant contribution to this repertoire. Solo marimba works include the Conversation Suite, Torse III, Ripple and the unpublished Six Prelude Etudes, the last piece for marimba that Miyoshi composed. The inclusion of Miyoshi’s Concerto for Marimba and String Ensemble inspired an exciting collaboration between KUNIKO and Scottish Ensemble, which celebrates its fiftieth anniversary in the 2019/20 season. This recording offers a compelling exploration of the marimba’s remarkable sound-world, highlighting sharper and more percussive characteristics than those heard on KUNIKO’s critically acclaimed album, J. S. Bach: Solo Works for Marimba. Tribute to Miyoshi is an important addition to the wider percussion catalogue and enhances KUNIKO’s celebrated discography of works by Steve Reich, Iannis Xenakis, J. S. Bach, Arvo Pärt and Hywel Davies.
MANUEL DE FALLA NIGHTS IN THE GARDENS OF SPAIN THE THREE-CORNERED HAT
© The Orchestra of the Americas
THE ORCHESTRA OF THE AMERICAS CARLOS MIGUEL PRIETO CONDUCTOR JORGE FEDERICO OSORIO PIANO
CKD 625 MAY 2020
Fresh from its debut recording with Linn Records, The Orchestra of the Americas took a break from its 2019 Mexico Crescendo tour to record its second album with Musical America’s 2019 Conductor of the Year, Carlos Miguel Prieto. Prieto is joined by fellow Mexican and celebrated pianist Jorge Federico Osorio, who brings his superb musicianship, powerful technique, vibrant imagination and deep passion to this programme celebrating Spanish composer Manuel de Falla. Osorio is the soloist in Falla’s highly atmospheric piano concerto, Nights in the Gardens of Spain, a set of symphonic impressions which conjures up the enticing sounds and scents of a summer’s evening. Conductor and pianist received critical acclaim following their performance of this work in Ireland: ‘Prieto elicited a diaphanous palette of colours [and] as Osorio’s arpeggios shimmered up and down the piano we were magnetically drawn into this highly evocative world full of lush sounds and sensuous possibilities.’ The programme is completed by Falla’s The Three-Cornered Hat Suite which showcases the ‘superb precision’ of The Orchestra of the Americas.
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH GOLDBERG VARIATIONS
(ARR. JÓZEF KOFFLER)
ROYAL ACADEMY OF MUSIC SOLOISTS ENSEMBLE TREVOR PINNOCK
CKD 609 MAY 2020
This new recording of Józef Koffler’s arrangement of J. S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations has been widely anticipated since Trevor Pinnock conducted the UK premiere in June 2019. As a renowned historical performance pioneer Pinnock has a unique perspective to contribute: ‘It’s an interesting challenge because some people might consider it a sacrilege for Bach, but in my view Koffler did this with the greatest love and respect for Bach’s music and so it’s a totally valid approach.’ Koffler, who was considered the most important pioneer of contemporary music in Poland, arranged Bach’s masterpiece for small orchestra in 1938. Coincidentally Koffler was friends with Alban Berg and corresponded with Arnold Schoenberg, two composers whose arrangements of Johann Strauss and Gustav Mahler respectively have been conducted by Pinnock in this chamber music series. In its second transatlantic musical collaboration, the Royal Academy of Music is joined by students from the Glenn Gould School in Toronto. The partnership with the Royal Academy has produced four recordings with Trevor Pinnock, one with the late Oliver Knussen and one with Reinhold Friedrich in collaboration with The Juilliard School.
BARSANTI & HANDEL PARTE SECONDA
ENSEMBLE MARSYAS PETER WHELAN
© Mirjam Devriendt
Following the success of its 2017 recording Edinburgh 1742: Barsanti & Handel, Ensemble Marsyas returns to the music of the Italian Francesco Barsanti who made his home in eighteenth-century Scotland. Having already explored Barsanti’s Concerti Grossi - Parte Prima, his double horn concerto and his arrangements of Scottish tunes, fans will be pleased to be able to hear more music from this engaging composer. The new album will feature the world’s first recording of Barsanti’s Concerti Grossi - Parte Seconda, composed and published in Edinburgh in 1743, which will complete the Opus 3 collection. A further selection from his ‘Collection of Old Scots Tunes’ featuring Colin Scobie and Elizabeth Kenny, as well as Handel’s Overture to Atalanta, which was performed by the Edinburgh Musical Society, complete the programme. Ensemble Marsyas’ groundbreaking recording of the Parte Prima enjoyed a rapturous reception, gaining a 2018 ICMA nomination and Gramophone ‘Editor’s Choice’ and MusicWeb International ‘Recording of the Year 2017’ accolades. Artistic Director Peter Whelan has once again created an album that provides a fascinating glimpse into eighteenth-century musical life in the Scottish capital.
CKD 626 JUNE 2020
ARCANA Founded in 1992 by the legendary Michel Bernstein, Arcana is devoted to the exploration of lesser-known composers from the Middle Ages to the beginning of the twentiethcentury mostly focusing on Italian repertoire and interpreters.
Hidden, secret, mysterious… the word Arcana, from Latin arcanus, clearly sums up the mission of the label: to broaden our knowledge of the repertoire and unearth what is still concealed and forgotten within it, from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century, distinguishing masterpieces form trivial works, and involving some of the biggest names on the historically informed performance scene. But Arcana has also succeeded in making an important contribution to the standard repertoire, particularly Viennese, most notably the first complete recording on period instruments of Joseph Haydn’s string quartets (performed by Festetics Quartet) and Franz Schubert’s piano sonatas (Paul Badura-Skoda). Often based on ground-breaking research, each release is meticulously studied, the liner notes feature contributions of leading experts in each field. Not to mention the sound quality, one of the trademarks of the label founded by Michel Bernstein. Since the beginning, Arcana has also shown a clear focus on both Italy, with its huge and multifaceted musical heritage (still to be fully explored), and Italian performers: Fabio Biondi, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Fabio Bonizzoni yesterday; La Reverdie, Ensemble Zefiro, Gaetano Nasillo and an impressive line-up of new talents from the younger generation, today.
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART DIVERTIMENTI FOR STRINGS K 136-138 EINE KLEINE NACHTMUSIK K 525
ARCHI DI SANTA CECILIA LUIGI PIOVANO
A 471 JANUARY 2020
The Arcana label continues its fruitful collaboration with the Archi di Santa Cecilia, the Rome-based ensemble formed from members of the famous Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. The ensemble is conducted by Luigi Piovano, the orchestra’s principal cellist and since 2007 a regular partner in a cello-piano duo with Sir Antonio Pappano, its chief conductor (their recording of the Brahms cello sonatas will be released later this year). The Archi di Santa Cecilia now offer us a brand new recording devoted to Mozart: the famous Serenade Eine kleine Nachtmusik K525 and the less familiar but equally brilliant Divertimenti K136, K137 and K138. The combination of such luminous music and the virtuoso skill of the players is bound to elicit enormous enthusiasm. Their previous recording of the Tchaikovsky and Dvořák Serenades met with outstanding acclaim, leading Janos Gardonyi in the Canadian magazine The Whole Note to describe the relationship between Piovano and his group in the following terms: ‘I imagine the orchestra moves with him and his every gesture. A tremendous rapport, like hypnosis, that only a Gergiev, Ozawa, Solti or the great Karajan could muster.’
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
THE COMPLETE PIANO SONATAS PLAYED ON PERIOD INSTRUMENTS
PAUL BADURA-SKODA PERIOD PIANOS
A 203 JANUARY 2020
The partnership between the late Viennese pianist Paul BaduraSkoda and Michel Bernstein, the French record producer who founded Arcana, proved to be one of the most fruitful and longlasting relationships in the history of recording. Among their most significant achievements is the set comprising the complete piano sonatas of Franz Schubert played on period instruments. Recorded in the 1990s, it has long been a benchmark and one of the Arcana catalogue’s top bestsellers (A 364 – 9 CDs). As part of the Beethoven celebrations, Arcana is now releasing a new edition of a related recording made in the 1980s that has been out of print for many years. To this day it is one of the few complete recordings on period instruments, and is in many respects an unrivalled achievement.
‘For the complete recording of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, the performer has chosen seven instruments of the period. Period instruments are sometimes victims of haphazard conservation and hasty or unscrupulous restoration. However, the best of them possess an inimitable sound, a richness of colour that is almost unconceivable and an indefinable charm. That is the reason why Paul Badura-Skoda works solely with original instruments, accepting the risk of difficulties in order to bring out the poetry and radiance of the discourse.’ - Michel Bernstein
THE LADY FROM THE SEA
DUOS FOR VIOLIN AND CELLO
CHIARA ZANISI VIOLIN GIOVANNI SOLLIMA CELLO
A 468 FEBRUARY 2020
After calling it ‘a wonderful album in all respects’, the magazine Diapason concluded its review of Suite Case. Violin Duos from Vivaldi to Sollima (A448) with the question, ‘When can we look forward to the second volume?’ In this new project, the violin of Stefano Barneschi gives way to the cello of Giovanni Sollima, the multi-talented musician from Palermo featured here not only as a composer. On this new journey, again beginning with Antonio Vivaldi, Giovanni Sollima and Chiara Zanisi travel between early and modern music, between classical and folk (the Old Scots Tunes of Francesco Barsanti), with two previously unrecorded gems by the Roman composer Giovanni Battista Costanzi. The entire recording is punctuated by tracks taken from Suite Case, a cycle composed especially by Sollima for this project.
‘Travel has always been a recurring theme in my life, but the journey with Chiara is different, and new for me. The music passes through time and space with a violin that is noble, intense, richly colourful, united with a full, nostalgic, ancestral cello – a magic bubble of strength, fragility, intensity and wonder. A full moon, gravid and protective, looked down on our recording from above, while incredible music took us by surprise.’ - Giovanni Sollima
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
MANDOLIN MUSIC [+ HUMMEL & BORTOLAZZI]
RAFFAELE LA RAGIONE MANDOLIN MARCO CROSETTO FORTEPIANO
A 117 (CHROMA SERIES) MARCH 2020
Ludwig van Beethoven went to Prague for the first time in 1796, accompanying Prince Lichnowsky, who introduced him to the city’s foremost aristocratic families. One of these was the ClamGallas family, who played an eminent role in musical circles. It was here that Beethoven met Josephine Clary-Aldringen, an amateur singer and mandolinist who in 1797 married Count Christian Christoph. It was to her that Beethoven dedicated a number of pieces for mandolin and piano that feature in this recording, along with two interesting sonatas by Johann Nepomuk Hummel and Bartolomeo Bortolazzi, originally composed for the same combination of instruments. Neapolitan mandolinist Raffaele La Ragione has already made several recordings of mandolin music, and this is his first CD with the Arcana label. Marco Crosetto, the founder of the ensemble La Vaghezza, is a Turin-based harpsichordist who in 2018 reached the semi-finals of the famous Musica Antiqua international competition in Bruges. The result of an in-depth study of the original sources, this selection of Beethoven’s lesser-known works constitutes a fitting and original contribution to the 250th anniversary celebrations.
DOUBLE CONCERTOS FOR VIOLIN & VIOLONCELLO PICCOLO
GIULIANO CARMIGNOLA VIOLIN MARIO BRUNELLO VIOLONCELLO PICCOLO ACCADEMIA DELL’ANNUNCIATA RICCARDO DONI CONDUCTOR
A 472 MARCH 2020
Violinist Giuliano Carmignola and cellist Mario Brunello: one of greatest interpreters of Vivaldi and Bach, whose recent recording of the Sonatas and Partitas was described by the authoritative magazine Gramophone as ‘a definite first choice among periodinstrument recordings of these works’; and his long-time friend Mario Brunello, acclaimed for his personal reinterpretation of that same famous collection on the violoncello piccolo (A 469). Accompanied by the Milanese ensemble Accademia dell’Annunciata, they offer a highly original, experimental programme. Inspired by the three existing double concertos for violin and cello by Vivaldi – an unusual coupling in eighteenth-century concerto literature – they revisit double concertos by Vivaldi and Bach (the famous BWV 1043 for two violins and BWV 1060 for violin and oboe), transposing the second solo part an octave lower on the violoncello piccolo. Underpinned by persuasive historical and musicological evidence, the approach first and foremost reveals their pleasure in working together on an innovative project. The outcome is a delightful opportunity to enjoy famous pieces in a totally different light.
SONATE PER VIOLINO OP. 9
A 473 APRIL 2020
In 1738 the acclaimed violinist and composer Michele Mascitti (1664-1760) published in Paris his ninth collection of sonatas. The seventy-four-year-old Neapolitan musician was at the end of his long and celebrated career, but not of his creative powers. Dedicated to the Crozat family, which was to be Mascitti’s patron until the end of his life, the twelve sonatas for violin and bass op. 9 are fine examples of the graceful blend of Italian and French styles that made this composer so popular in France. With the world premiere of Mascitti’s op. 9, the Quartetto Vanvitelli carries on the rediscovery of this music that Hubert Le Blanc likened ‘to the warbling of the nightingale’. After the success of their interpretation of Mascitti’s op. 8, greeted as ‘a jewel of interpretation that exalts with grace, elegance and, more importantly, finesse of touch, the individual stylistic experimentation of Mascitti’ (A 111), the ensemble Vanvitelli makes with this recording another decisive step towards the full appreciation of this remarkable and unjustly forgotten composer.
BROKEN-HEARTED LOVERS IN SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY VENICE
CARLO VISTOLI COUNTERTENOR SEZIONE AUREA FILIPPO PANTIERI CONDUCTOR
A 474 APRIL 2020
Following the success of ‘Arias for Nicolino’, a musical portrait of the celebrated castrato of Handel’s era (A427), Carlo Vistoli turns his attention to Venetian opera of the seventeenth century. The Italian countertenor – ‘a voice [...] intrinsically beautiful, strong and powerful’ (Opera Magazine) – has been delving into this repertory since the beginning of his international career with specialists such as Leonardo García Alarcón, William Christie and John Eliot Gardiner. In this anthology accompanied by the ensemble Sezione Aurea, the focus is on operatic scenes and chamber music by the leading composers of the time, such as Francesco Cavalli and Claudio Monteverdi, whose famous aria ‘Sì dolce è ’l tormento’ exemplifies the linking thread of the arias in this recording: disappointed lovers. They express their disillusion not only through lamenti, but also in a lighter, more humorous fashion that can include dance forms, as in the chaconne ‘Amanti, io vi so dire’ by Benedetto Ferrari, a lesserknown but historically important composer who, like Filiberto Laurenzi and Francesco Sacrati, contributed to the development of the dramma per musica as a genre.
PULCHRA ES AFFETTI IN 17TH-CENTURY ITALIAN INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC
RICERCAR CONTINUO GIULIA GENINI RECORDERS AND DULCIAN ALESSANDRO PALMERI CELLO MICHELE PASOTTI ARCHLUTE AND THEORBO
A 118 (CHROMA SERIES) MAY 2020
The Italian composers of the seventeenth century, living at the time of Galileo, were at the forefront of a musical revolution that offers some surprising analogies with the birth of the modern scientific method. Just as Galileo with his telescope was able to observe the sky and discover new celestial objects, so the musicians of the time strove to fathom the depths of the human soul with their string, wind and plucked instruments. Each ‘affetto’ or emotion was made to correspond to a musical phrase constructed according to the ‘Stil Moderno’. This style was often somewhat unpredictable, which is why it is still so fascinating for today’s listeners. Instruments thus came to dominate the musical scene, eliciting as much excitement and wonder as singers thanks to the skill of virtuoso players and music that was specifically written for them: sonatas, canzones, sinfonias, diminutions, ballets etc. Il Ricercar Continuo tackles this extraordinary repertory with an exemplary selection of pieces that demonstrate the remarkable creativity typical of Italian instrumental music during the seventeenth century. The three musicians are highly versatile, playing nine different instruments, including dulcians, recorders of different sizes, lute, archlute and cello.
ARCANA COLLECTION Arcana is launching a new mid-price series. It features some of the label’s milestones, such as the seminal first release (Jean-Paul Paladin, Tablature de Luth, Eugène Ferré); bestselling reference recordings (Biber’s Rosary Sonatas with Gunar Letzbor and Ars Antiqua Austria, Vivaldi’s Concerti per flauto e flautino with Dorothee Oberlinger and Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca); and rare gems that include the unique incursion of the Festetics Quartet into the world of the Schubert quartets. The first batch is also an opportunity to mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven (Harmoniemusik by Zefiro) and the death of Tartini (violin sonatas by Enrico Gatti) and the 350th anniversary of the birth of Caldara (cello sonatas by Gaetano Nasillo). The new series will also include recordings originally released on other labels featuring musicians and groups who have since become part of the Arcana roster, among them Mattutino de’ Morti by the Neapolitan composer Davide Perez, performed by the Coro e Orchestra Ghislieri under Giulio Prandi. RELEASE DATE: MAY 2020
- A 001 BIBER - ROSARY SONATAS - GUNAR LETZBOR - A 002 BEETHOVEN - HARMONIEMUSIK - ZEFIRO - ALFREDO BERNARDINI - A 003 CALDARA - SONATE À VIOLONCELLO SOLO COL BASSO CONTINUO - GAETANO NASILLO - A 004 MERULO - TOCCATE, RICERCARI, CANZONI D’INTAVOLATURA D’ORGANO - FABIO BONIZZONI - A 005 PALADIN - TABLATURE DE LUTH - EUGÈNE FERRÉ - A 006 PEREZ - MATTUTINO DE’ MORTI - CORO E ORCHESTRA GHISLIERI - GIULIO PRANDI - A 007 SCHUBERT - STRING QUARTETS D 46 & D 804 « ROSAMUNDE » - FESTETICS QUARTET - A 008 TARTINI - SUONATE A VIOLINO E VIOLONCELLO O CIMBALO - ENRICO GATTI - A 009 TELEMANN - VIOLA DI GAMBA - ARMONICO TRIBUTO AUSTRIA - LORENZ DUFTSCHMID - A 010 VIVALDI - CONCERTI PER FLAUTO E FLAUTINO - DOROTHEE OBERLINGER – SONATORI DE LA GIOIOSA MARCA
ALESSANDRO STRADELLA IL TRESPOLO TUTORE OPÉRA COMIQUE EN TROIS ACTE THE STRADELLA PROJECT VOL. 6
ENSEMBLE MARE NOSTRUM ANDREA DE CARLO CONDUCTOR ROBERTA MAMELI SOPRANO / ARTEMISIA RICCARDO NOVARO BARITONE / TRESPOLO SILVIA FRIGATO SOPRANO / CIRO RAFAŁ TOMKIEWICZ COUNTERTENOR / NINO LUCA CERVONI TENOR / SIMONA PAOLA VALENTINA MOLINARI SOPRANO / DESPINA
A 475 JUNE 2020
A major achievement for The Stradella Project, now in its sixth volume, this world premiere complete recording of the comic opera in three acts Il Trespolo tutore comes at a time of important new discoveries concerning Stradella’s life and his operas. This includes the recovery of Doriclea (A 454) and the recent discovery of Amare e fingere, soon to be released in the same series. ‘Il Trespolo tutore was first staged at the Teatro del Falcone in Genoa for Carnival 1679. Alessandro Stradella’s only comic opera, it unquestionably deserves a place among the masterpieces of this genre. On a libretto by Giovanni Cosimo Villifranchi, the entertaining plot mirrors that of a successful comedy published a decade earlier: Amore è veleno e medicina degl’intelletti o vero Trespolo tutore by the Florentine Giovanni Battista Ricciardi. The paradoxical behaviour of the characters, including a ward who falls in love with her tutor and a madman who regains his wits through love, contribute to moments of intense comic delight.’ ––Arnaldo Morelli
PHI The Phi label, created by Philippe Herreweghe in 2010, is noted for its eclecticism, its audacity and its high production standards.
Under the artistic direction of the Ghent-based conductor Philippe Herreweghe, Phi boasts among its artists such major ensembles as Collegium Vocale Gent, the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées and the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra. Thanks to the unwavering and enthusiastic support of Outhere, Philippe Herreweghe enjoys creative freedom that enables him to present recordings commensurate with his artistic ambitions. The Phi catalogue is the fruit of its founder’s vast experience and incessant explorations. It offers a wide repertory ranging from the Romantic symphony to Renaissance polyphony, not forgetting chamber music.
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH ST JOHN PASSION, BWV 245
PHILIPPE HERREWEGHE COLLEGIUM VOCALE GENT
Bach’s St John Passion, with its famous opening chorus traversed by shadows and light, is a powerful musical and spiritual reflection. Dramatic, grandiose, complex, resolutely theatrical: there has been no lack of superlatives to describe this supreme masterpiece of western music. Philippe Herreweghe and Collegium Vocale Gent present an accomplished reading that reflects their knowledge of the composer, based on extensive research and deepened by countless concerts. Soloists Krešimir Stražanac and Maximilian Schmitt demonstrate the breadth of their talents in the roles of Jesus and the Evangelist. LPH 031 FEBRUARY 2020
FUGA LIBERA With a repertory stretching from late Baroque to contemporary music, and supported by eminent actors of the European musical life Fuga Libera’s catalogue presents a growing collection of releases mixing classical music with other music genres.
Fuga Libera was founded in 2004. With its catalogue of more than 80 titles, it is one of Belgium’s most lively and active labels. The catalogue stretches from Baroque to contemporary repertory. Fuga Libera invests in the future by profiling itself explicitly as a platform for young musicians. Creative and durable collaborations with musicians who are at the beginning of their professional careers, as well as with musicians who have already developed an international reputation form the heart and the soul of the label. Through an open dialogue with partners such as festivals, concert halls and music schools Fuga Libera plays an important role in the development of musical talent. Moreover Fuga Libera is a platform for experiment, where different musicians can meet each other, exchange musical ideas, and develop new musical alliances.
A TRIBUTE TO YSAŸE WORKS BY EUGÈNE YSAŸE, ERNEST CHAUSSON, GUILLAUME LEKEU, CÉSAR FRANCK & CLAUDE DEBUSSY NIKITA BORISO-GLEBSKY, ELINA BUKSHA, RENAUD CAPUÇON, HYEON JIN JANE CHO, AUGUSTIN DUMAY, LORENZO GATTO, YOSSIF IVANOV, KERSON LEONG, VLADYSLAVA LUCHENKO, MARIA MILSTEIN, TEDI PAPAVRAMI, JÚLIA PUSKER VIOLIN MIGUEL DA SILVA, HÉLÈNE DESAINT VIOLA HENRI DEMARQUETTE, GARY HOFFMAN, ASTRIG SIRANOSSIAN, DANILO SQUITIERI CELLO JONATHAN FOURNEL, PAVEL KOLESNIKOV, JULIEN LIBEER, JEAN-CLAUDE VANDEN EYNDEN PIANO QUATUOR HERMÈS FUG 758 JANUARY 2020
BRUSSELS PHILHARMONIC STÉPHANE DENÈVE CONDUCTOR
ORCHESTRE PHILHARMONIQUE ROYAL DE LIÈGE CHRISTIAN ARMING, JEAN-JACQUES KANTOROW, FRANÇOIS-XAVIER ROTH CONDUCTORS
Eugène Ysaÿe, a violin virtuoso admired by all his contemporaries, was an inheritor of what has justly been considered as the Belgian school of violin, whose ascendancy can be traced back to the beginning of the 19th century. His work as a composer, however, is much less well known today and it is this facet of his extraordinarily active life that we will explore here. He composed many different types of works; here we present his works for solo violin and orchestra, including two movements of violin concertos which are now available on record for the first time, and his chamber music. A great champion of the music of his time, Ysaÿe gave the first performances of a great number of works, many of which were dedicated to him as well as having been commissioned by him; the most well-known of these pieces are also included here. This fascinating boxed set from the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel is a fine example of the work of this important musical institution: it features the Chapel’s masters and the young soloists who trained there alongside two Belgian orchestras of international renown.
HiKAYE WORKS BY YIANNIS KONSTANTINIDIS, ARNO BABADJANIAN, ULVI CEMAL ERKIN, VASILIJE MOKRANJAC, STÉPHANE GALLAND, ERNEST BLOCH, CÉSAR FRANCK, TORU TAKEMITSU
IŞIL BENGi PIANO
FUG 759 JANUARY 2020
The Turkish-Belgian pianist Işıl Bengi is an insatiable artist who has developed a unique personality, thanks especially to her curiosity about the rich diversity of cultures, her keen interest in the different styles and techniques of the piano, and her extreme sensitivity. Here she presents an original and colourful programme, in which intimacy and virtuosity, gentleness and violence, joy and rage are heard as expressions of the memory of the peoples who form part of her family history. The modernity of the works is characterised by a very natural and organic aspect, often nourished by the musical folklore of the countries of origin of the respective composers. Rhythm is a particularly prominent feature, highlighted in most of the pieces, notably through the use of irregular metres and polyrhythm.
JAN MICHIELS PIANO
For Ferruccio Busoni, Bach’s music was the root and the foundation of piano playing. His many transcriptions confirm this point of view, whilst his monumental Fantasia Contrappuntistica attempts to provide a conclusion to Bach’s unfinished Art of Fugue. Busoni received a great deal of criticism for this, to which he replied: ‘the musical art-work exists both within and outside of Time . . . there is no Old or New. There is only Known or Unknown’. Today - one century and many fashions of ‘authentic’ ways of performing Bach later - it is possibly the time to rediscover the true voice of this great musician; for Busoni, music was like ‘a divine child who did not touch the earth with his feet but floated on air’. Jan Michiels takes you into this divine air with a ‘period’ Bechstein from 1860 and a brand new Straight Strung Grand by Chris Maene.
FUG 760 FEBRUARY 2020
DAVID CHAILLOU LÉGENDES
LAURA MIKKOLA PIANO
© Ulf Andersen
The word ‘legend’ suggests to everyone a distant, wonderful story, which is reinvented every time it is told. There is no longer any present or past; we enter the borderless space of the imaginary and the timeless. In composing Légendes, I wanted to create on the piano the same idea of blurring the gap between past and present, and of freedom of the imagination. The eleven pieces on this album are presented as an inner journey, a listening itinerary that forms a kind of narrative thread without words. Illusions, mirages, distortions, echoes: all these effects on which Légendes plays were achieved through a form of intimacy with the piano. The play on contrasts (distance and proximity, emptiness and fullness) and the approach to harmonic texture attempt to create a new sound space that might be described as a spectratonal halo. The Finnish pianist Laura Mikkola, who recorded these works, has brought out all their resonances in masterly fashion. - David Chaillou
FUG 761 FEBRUARY 2020
Bernard Foccroulle • E vidi quattro stelle
E VIDI QUATTRO STELLE
FOR BARITONE, SOPRANO, CORNETT, THREE TROMBONES, HARP AND GREAT ORGAN
INALTO LAMBERT COLSON CONDUCTOR & CORNETT
This composition was commissioned from Bernard Foccroulle for the inauguration of the new organ of the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. The work’s text consists of fragments from Dante’s Purgatorio. At the beginning, the narrator and Virgil emerge from Hell and climb the mountain that leads to Paradise. The most sublime visions of the sky and nature are scattered throughout the text. The two travellers converse and meet many tormented shades who are awaiting their salvation. Exhausted, Dante falls asleep several times. Towards the end of their ascent, Virgil silently disappears at the very moment when Dante meets Beatrice. Their reunion forms an extremely dramatic scene: Beatrice reminds her friend of his past errors and the betrayals that followed her death. Her bitter reproaches plunge the poet into a state of prostration close to a swoon. But forgiveness comes: Matelda (a beautiful and mysterious lady we have encountered shortly before, who probably represents earthly happiness) comes to meet him, bathes him in the waters of Lethe and entrusts him to four beautiful women who dance and enfold him in their arms. The blazing sun is at its zenith. Regenerated like a young plant, Dante is ready to rise up to the stars.
FUG 762 MARCH 2020
CALL TO PRAYER GHALIA BENALI VOICE ROMINA LISCHKA VIOL VINCENT NOIRET DOUBLE BASS
FUG 763 APRIL 2020
The viol player and Hathor Consort director Romina Lischka, a specialist in early European music, and the Tunisian singer, dancer, poet and actress Ghalia Benali, ambassador of contemporary Arab music, join forces in this fascinating project in order to explore the intersection of their musical cultures. In combining music by Marin Marais with classical Arab maqams on contemporary Arab poetry, yet without altering the nature of each genre, they reveal the universal truth in music and poetry of different cultural and historical contexts and grasp their common spirit. A dialogue that takes the soul on a journey back to the first prayer that ascended . . . Coming from totally different backgrounds, Romina’s and Ghalia’s experience of common ground and mutual understanding underlines the connecting elements in different cultures – a powerful message in our day. The harmony emanating from their musical venture deeply touches concert audiences of all cultures, and has now finally been recorded.
RAMÉE Ramée creates albums that are objets d’art in their own right, because the pleasure of the ear is closely linked with that of the eye and the hand. A collection for connoisseurs!
The Ramée label was founded in 2004 by the violinist and sound engineer Rainer Arndt, and swiftly established itself as a greatly respected presence on the Early Music scene. Many releases from its catalogue have been highly acclaimed by public and press alike and have won prestigious awards. Each year sees the production of eight to ten recordings, featuring handpicked, quality repertory seldom or never before recorded for the White Series, or better-known works in highly original interpretations for the Black Series.
The label maintains extremely high standards not only in terms of recorded sound, but also in the musicological, literary and graphic aspects of the booklet and jacket.
D’AMOR MORMORA IL VENTO SONGS AND DANCES ALLA SPAGNOLA BY KAPSBERGER, LANDI, ARAÑÉS, STEFANI AND MILANUZZI
LA BOZ GALANA
RAM 1909 JANUARY 2020
In the early seventeenth century Italy was one of Europe’s most active regions artistically and culturally, experiencing a decisive moment with the creation of a new musical genre which would later establish itself as what today we call opera. At the same time, in squares, homes and palaces, musical activities in intimate domestic and courtly circles formed the perfect setting for social gatherings. In this programme, we take a journey through the popular idioms of Italian and Spanish composers who worked in Italy, among them Kapsberger, Landi, and other less wellknown figures such as Arañés, Stefani and Milanuzzi: villanelle and canzonette with texts on amorous, pastoral, and sometimes burlesque and erotic themes, in both Italian and Spanish. They were also influenced by Spanish bailes cantados (sung dances), such as folías, and even Latin American chaconas, and stand in contrast with the more refined dances and songs in Italian, written in a more elaborate poetic metre. These pieces were the true ‘pop songs’ of their time, and are often true gems of their kind.
KÜHL NICHT LAU WORKS FOR FLUTE AND FORTEPIANO BY LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN AND FRIEDRICH KUHLAU
TAMI KRAUSZ FLUTE SHUANN CHAI FORTEPIANO
RAM 1903 FEBRUARY 2020
The era of Ludwig van Beethoven and Friedrich Kuhlau was one of great stylistic changes in music, as composers searched for new forms of expression and tonal possibilities while stimulating a rapid pace of innovation in the field of instrument design and manufacturing. This recording is anchored by two pillars of the nineteenth century repertoire for flute and piano: Beethoven’s Serenade, originally conceived as a trio for flute, violin and viola, bends the boundaries of Classicism with impulsive dynamic changes and measured attention to timing, while Kuhlau’s Grande Sonate concertante reaches eagerly for a more Romantic aesthetic, inviting expressive freedom in its virtuosic writing and rich harmonic textures. The juxtaposition of works of Beethoven and Kuhlau on this recording is inspired by the delightful account of their personal encounter in September 1825, after which Beethoven wrote a canon on the text kühl, nicht lau (cool, not lukewarm), a friendly pun on Kuhlau’s name.
VENICE 1726 CANTATAS AND SONATAS BY A. VIVALDI, N. PORPORA, G. SAMMARTINI AND A. SCARLATTI
PERRINE DEVILLERS SOPRANO THE 1750 PROJECT
RAM 1902 MARCH 2020
The 1750 Project proposes a journey from 1720 to 1750, each stage of which will allow us to discover the richness and specificity of a city’s musical life at a key juncture in its history. For the first episode in the 1750 Project, we stop off in Venice around 1726, at a pivotal moment in the history of music when the meeting of two styles led to an aesthetic turning point. The city, then dominated by Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), also welcomed several other leading Italian composers, including the Neapolitan Nicola Porpora (1686-1768) and the Milanese Giuseppe Sammartini (1695-1750), who was about to revolutionise the world of wind instruments. The city on the lagoon was a cultural hub and a mandatory destination in the itinerary of many nobles and musicians from northern Europe who wished to round off their training and culture. Several German composers, including J. G. Pisendel, J. J. Quantz, J. A. Hasse and G. F. Handel, passed through Venice in the early eighteenth century before returning to their native regions to spread the gospel of Italian music. Let us therefore, for a short while, put ourselves in the shoes of an imaginary traveller discovering the musical life of Venice around 1726.
JEAN BOYER AIRS DE COUR ET CHANSONS
RATAS DEL VIEJO MUNDO
RAM 1910 APRIL 2020
In its first Baroque programme, Ratas del viejo Mundo turns its attention to music by the Parisian composer Jean Boyer (died 1648). Four colourful voices and a rich continuo pay homage to Boyer’s rhythmical drinking songs and dance tunes as well as his refined airs de cour. He was held in high esteem in his lifetime and held posts with various members of the French aristocracy, including the King’s Chamber and Chapel. In this recording, Ratas del viejo Mundo mixes the warm timbre of a stunning luteharpsichord with cittern, different types of lute, zither, Baroque harp and – of course – the instruments Boyer himself mastered, the viol and the theorbo. All these instrumental sonorities are heard to advantage in uplifting instrumental pieces, as well as in the generous accompaniments of settings of poetry. Such titles as Donne-moi ton pucelage, Sombres forêts, noires vallées and the proudly proto-feminist Je suis à présent à moi already give an insight into the fascinating variety of this new Ratas del viejo Mundo recording.
THE PUMPKIN HUT OF KÖNIGSBERG AIRS AND SUITES BY H. ALBERT, S. SCHEIDT, H. SCHÜTZ, A. HAMMERSCHMIDT, J. H. SCHEIN...
DOROTHEE MIELDS SOPRANO HATHOR CONSORT
RAM 1913 MAY 2020
Königsberg in East Prussia (now Kaliningrad in Russia) was a rare haven of peace during the Thirty Years War, thanks to its geographical location. Many people, including artists and musicians, fled there from the horrors of war and plague. Heinrich Albert, a pupil of Schütz, Hans Tunder and Schein, was appointed court and cathedral organist in the city in 1630. From 1636 onwards, the ‘Gesellschaft der Sterblichkeit Beflissener’, also known as the Königsberg Circle of Poets, met in his summer house, a garden hut overgrown with pumpkin plants – whence the name ‘pumpkin hut’ (Kürbishütte) – to exchange poetry and music. The members wrote hymns and polyphonic songs (Gesellschaftslieder) as well as occasional poetry of a religious bent. Their meetings found expression in Albert’s Arien in Acht Teilen (Arias in eight parts). By contrast, it is the suffering and terrors of war that we find reflected in the vocal compositions of his contemporaries Schütz, Schein and Johann Bach.
ASTORGA AND LALLI
CANTATAS AND SONATAS BY D’ASTORGA, BONONCINI, ALBINONI, HANDEL
SOETKIN ELBERS SOPRANO LES ABBAGLIATI
RAM 1907 JUNE 2020
Can one imagine a more unusual and colourful character than Baron Emanuele d’Astorga? Reading the various biographies concerning him, one has the impression he lived a thousand lives ... He fled Sicily around 1707 and met the Neapolitan poet and librettist Domenico Lalli, hailed by Goldoni as a ‘poetic genius’, who was to collaborate with many of the most important composers of the time, including Alessandro Scarlatti, Handel, Vivaldi, Albinoni and Caldara. The two men then forged a firm friendship in their travels across Italy with Rome as their destination. The ensemble Les Abbagliati has devised a programme built around these two protagonists. Its singer Soetkin Elbers discovered a fascinating manuscript in a Vienna library, a collection of cantatas by several composers who worked in the Austrian capital. Two unpublished cantatas for voice and continuo from this source, composed by Giovanni Battista Bononcini and Astorga respectively, alternate with instrumental pieces by composers who had a close relationship with Lalli.
SONG OF BEASTS
A MUSICAL PORTRAIT OF MEDIEVAL BESTIARIES
RAM 1901 JULY 2020
Medieval interest in animals and mythical creatures was not limited to the visual arts and literature. At the same time that bestiaries â€“ manuscripts depicting animals and mythical creatures â€“ were being compiled, composers were producing innumerable pieces that describe these same beasts from a musical point of view. Song of Beasts combines medieval iconography with texts and music, immersing a modern audience in this fascinating world of verbal, visual and aural imagery. Ensemble Dragma paints a multifaceted, moving and in-depth portrait of the bestiaries, giving a glimpse of a long lost medieval mindset. Various mythical and real animals are introduced, including the panther, the viper, the phoenix, the unicorn and the basilisk. These pieces by both renowned and less well-known composers are musical jewels, combining artful poetry with engaging melodies.
OUTNOTE Embracing contemporary musical expression throughout the entire contemporary landscape of creative music, OUTNOTE aims to transcribe the stimulating aesthetic vitality of our age faithfully and in the finest detail...
Outnote Records, a label devoted to jazz, reflects all the vitality of creation today with the highest standards in terms of artistic choices and realisation, combined with the openness to innovation that constitutes the very essence of this ‘most learned type of popular music’. For Outnote Records, recording still represents the medium by which a musician propels his inspiration from the development stage to that of an elaborated work, captured in a particular moment of vast time without, for all that, being rigid. This desire for openness and plurality is also manifest in the realisation of projects such as drummer Stéphane Galland’s ‘(the mystery of) KEM’, which takes inspiration from many music sources, and strong works of the jazz of this early 21st century by the trombonist Samuel Blazer or the trumpetist Jean-Paul Estiévenart. An important place is also dedicated for young musicians who will be tomorrow’s ambassadors of this jazz that no longer recognizes boundaries and quite naturally rubs shoulders with a multitude of different styles in current music (electro, hip-hop, rock, pop). Pianists Jeremy Hababou or Bram De Looze are excellent examples.
THE MELODIC LINE REVERSO FRANK WOESTE PIANO RYAN KEBERLE TROMBONE VINCENT COURTOIS CELLO
OTN 631 FEBRUARY 2020
Reverso is a transatlantic group of outstanding improvisers, equally at home in jazz and classical music. ‘The Melodic Line’, the group’s second album, is set against the backdrop of Paris in the Années Folles and is inspired by the aesthetic of the composers of the Groupe des Six (Poulenc, Milhaud, Honegger, Auric, Tailleferre and Durey). Jean Cocteau said that the only common point between these composers, apart from their friendship, was their ‘salvation of melodic line’. Frank Woeste, co-leader and composer of the group, has developed, in the course of his albums and tours, a unique language that makes him an unclassifiable and polymorphous artist, a sideman with prestigious musicians but also a producer. Vincent Courtois, a stunning cellist, is as comfortable in the classical repertory as in free improvisations or indeed in chanson. Ryan Keberle, the trio’s other co-leader and composer, is one of today’s key trombonists on the New York scene, whether with his group ‘Catharsis’ or with Maria Schneider and Dave Douglas. All three pursue, with new points of reference, the same ambition, to ‘take music lovers out of their compartments and tune them to an unclassifiable “elsewhere”, impossible to label, where a certain French elegance meets American energy’ (Le Télégramme).
JAZZOO 1 & 2 ODDJOB
OTN 632 MARCH 2020
JAZZOO is an extraordinary and delectable sonic adventure, sparkling, witty and groovy, juxtaposing the virtuoso, hugely cultured soloists who make up the multi-award-winning Swedish quintet ODDJOB with irresistibly sensitive miniature portraits of animals, insects and birds. Here is musical awakening in the true sense of the word, with a free and poetic approach to this remarkable, wholly musical concept designed for the very youngest children, to whom its content and form are ideally suited. An intelligent and playful way to initiate them to music and to jazz in particular. The project comprises twenty-six instrumental pieces of one to three minutes, each of which is associated with an animal by means of an illustration and a double-page poem. It genuinely immerses its listeners in the wonderful world of animals and their reveries, against a background of extremely varied original compositions of lyrical, jubilant inspiration. Oddjob’s ethereal yet lavish music is a perfect match for the drawings, associated with contrasting colours. The ‘wordless’ stories feature the adventures and emotions of a funny, appealing bestiary. The groovy or tender rhythms of the excellent quintet and the cameos created by the British illustrator Ben Javens combine ideally to create a multicoloured universe, a learned, lively, joyful and glowing experience in which each animal has a recognisable musical identity. An aural journey for even the youngest children and those who accompany them.
1291 SAMUEL BLASER TROMBONE DANIEL HUMAIR DRUMS HEIRI KÄNZIG DOUBLE BASS
© Jean-Baptiste Millot
Three generations of top Swiss jazz musicians from three different parts of the country, Daniel Humair, Samuel Blaser and Heiri Känzig, form a new trio that promises to stimulate the interest of both music lovers and curious listeners. The title of the album, 1291, is a nod to the Federal Charter, one of the earliest Swiss constitutional documents that eventually became the founding text of Switzerland. Daniel Humair sculpts the tempo on drums just as he paints his pictures. Inventive and attentive to the interaction between his companions, he produces playing in which finesse and energy alternate. Samuel Blaser, who is first and foremost a melodist, is an important, relatively new voice on his instrument who has already distinguished himself as a mature yet curious bandleader and composer. Heiri Känzig is better-known on the international jazz scene than to the Swiss public. His humble attitude and musical talent are extremely convincing. Blaser’s robust tone and wide-ranging improvisation are framed by the organic tumult of the interlocking rhythms of Känzig and Humair. From breath, strings and sticks, slides, wood and skins, an alchemy is born which, through inspiration and creativity, transforms the sound into moments of pure poetry.
OTN 633 APRIL 2020
18 MONOLOGUES ÉLASTIQUES SAMUEL BLASER TROMBONE
© Joanna Rusinek
18 monologues élastiques was recorded by Martin Ruch at the Funkhaus on Nalepastrasse in Berlin. Located in an industrial area of the capital, the mysterious, colossal structure from the DDR era looks more like an abandoned cold-war nuclear facility than a working radio station. Here time seems to have stopped back before the Wall came down. Martin Ruch and I were looking for unique recording environments to create the 18 monologues élastiques. While working on the album we came up with the idea of adding a third dimension to the music by including motion. Instead of recording the trombone in a traditional manner, that is, in a single studio and in a static way, we decided to capture the sound while moving throughout the complex. The result is outstanding and adds a cinematographic aspect to the music. To illustrate and describe the eighteen pieces, Joanna Rusinek created paintings and collages for which I wrote descriptive poems. - Samuel Blaser
OTN 634 APRIL 2020
OPUS 111 AKA MOON
FABRIZIO CASSOL SAXOPHONE STÉPHANE GALLAND DRUMS MICHEL HATZIGEORGIOU BASS FREDY MASSAMBA VOCALS JOÃO BARRADAS ACCORDION FABIAN FIORINI PIANO
© Danny Willems
In addition to being one of Beethoven’s most emblematic works, the Piano Sonata no. 32 op. 111 (1821-22) is a manifesto of radical modernity. It begins the process of disintegration of sonata form, a formal pillar for any composer of the preceding century, and introduces in its second movement a new method of constructing the musical phrase, to such an extent that some commentators regard it as marking the first stirrings of jazz. The innovations it presented, particularly in the field of rhythm, left most of the composer’s contemporaries perplexed. Here is an ideal space for the Aka Moon trio to occupy. It has called on three strong musical personalities for the occasion: the singer Fredy Massamba, who contributes his expressive power as an African storyteller; the rising star of the Portuguese accordion João Barradas, who adds a flavour of urban modernity with the added feature of playing both acoustic and electronic instruments; and the pianist Fabian Fiorini, a longstanding partner of the trio, who acts as the ‘mirror musician’ for Beethoven’s sonata. It is through this nexus of meanings with multiple resonances that Fabrizio Cassol approaches Beethoven’s sonata, synchronising emotional spaces that rise above periods, cultures and social or aesthetic viewpoints.
OUT 664 MARCH 2020
ALL INFORMATION FOUND IN THIS DOCUMENT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE