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Image Crazy Girl Crazy (CD+DVD)
Whether singing, conducting, dancing or acting, the Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan is a source of fascination. Alpha Classics is proud to enter her world today and to present in 2017 her very first album as singer and conductor: with the Amsterdambased orchestra Ludwig, of which she is associate artist, Barbara Hannigan has devised a programme including Berg’s Lulu Suite and Gershwin’s Girl Crazy in a Suite newly arranged by the multiaward- winning American composer Bill Elliott. To complement these two pieces, she has recorded Berio’s spectacular Sequenza III for solo voice.

An outstanding soprano, a distinguished interpreter of the music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, an all-round artist who creates a sensation on concert platforms and in opera houses throughout the world, Barbara Hannigan has enriched her palette over the past few years by devoting a portion of her activities to conducting.

This album in the form of a musical portrait of the artist, is completed by a DVD of a film made by Mathieu Amalric during the rehearsals and recording sessions. It plunges into the heart of the orchestra with a very personal look at the exchanges between conductor and musicians. Over the next few years, Alpha will accompany Barbara Hannigan in a number of projects from very varied horizons . . .

159 kr
Image Symphony No. 4; Alto Rhapsody; Schicksalslied
Ann Hallenberg • Collegium Vocale Gent
Orchestre des Champs-Élysées/ Philippe Herreweghe

Although the symphony was the most prestigious instrumental genre of his time, Brahms avoided it for many years. In 1872, when he was already more than forty years old and was widely acknowledged for his chamber and choral music, he observed: ‘I will never write a symphony! You can’t imagine what it’s like to hear a giant treading behind you.’ The giant was of course Beethoven, at once an inspiration and a source of intimidation for composers of Brahms’s generation. Fortunately, however, he went back on his promise a few years later with his First Symphony, followed by three more composed between 1876 and 1885. The two works presented here are the Second Symphony, sometimes sombre, sometimes radiant, and the Fourth, a genuine masterpiece of the genre. This disc, recorded on period instruments under the masterly direction of Philippe Herreweghe, is released to coincide with a double anniversary: as a prelude to the Flemish conductor’s seventieth birthday, it also celebrates the twenty-fifth year of existence of one of his favourite ensembles: the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées.

159 kr
Image Goldberg Variations
Pascal Dubreuil, harpsichord

The Goldberg Variations followed the first three parts of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Clavier-Übung. The title page presents the work as a ‘Keyboard exercise consisting of an Aria with diverse variations for harpsichord with two manuals...’ Forkel, in his biography of the composer, relates that these variations were composed at the request of the Count von Keyserlingk so that his harpsichordist, Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, might play a few of them during the insomnias that often disturbed the Count’s nights. But no concrete element has come down to us to verify Forkel’s remarks. The exceptional virtuosity required by this work also leads one to think that it was perhaps a sort of response to Domenico Scarlatti’s publication of 30 of his Essercizi in 1738, which also exploit, but to a lesser degree, aspects of keyboard technique not yet in common use at the time. These technical aspects as well as the sublime eloquence, the genius of the counterpoint and the inexhaustible variety of the variations combine to make this one of the summits of the genre.

With his captivating interpretation, Pascal Dubreuil completes the release of the four parts of the Clavier-Übung for Ramée (CÜ1: RAM0804, CÜ2: RAM1002, CÜ3: RAM1305).

159 kr
Image Chamber Music
Kuijken Ensemble

One quartet, three sonatas, Syrinx, and that basically sums up Claude Debussy's chamber music, as the rest does not amount to much. Pioneers of the historically informed practice movement, the Kuijken clan is mostly known for their excellent Baroque and Classical recordings, and it is therefore quite astonishing to find them tackling the chamber music of Claude Debussy, in what represents indeed the most advanced incursion in their extensive discography. In his performance remarks, Sigiswald Kuijken rejects any form of "historic or historicising or historically authentic Debussy", but the instruments that they have chosen are all either originals from his lifetime or copies thereof, and one has only to listen to the well-known Syrinx, performed by his younger brother Barthold on an Auguste Bonneville instrument of 1910 to realize that these don't come off sounding like 'modern' performances. After a long time out-of-print, we're happy to announce that this album is back with new artwork.



169 kr
Image Visions
After an album of French songs (Néère, Alpha 215) that earned her a Gramophone Award in 2016, Véronique Gens presents her new recital, this time with orchestra, which gives her an opportunity to display the maturity of her ‘Falcon’ soprano, the central tessitura typical of French Romantic opera, which takes its name from Cornélie Falcon, who created the works of Meyerbeer and Halévy staged in the 1830s. She pays tribute here to a number of composers whose unknown operas she was the first to reveal in projects mounted by the Palazzetto Bru Zane (which also coproduced the present recording), including David, Godard, Saint-Saëns and Halévy. The programme selects arias from all the genres in vogue in the Romantic era: opera (Saint-Saëns, Halévy, Godard, Février), opéra-comique (David), oratorio (Franck, Massenet) and the cantata for the Prix de Rome (Bizet, Bruneau). A nod to Wagner and his Tannhäuser – in its French translation of the 1860s – completes this programme conducted by a longstanding colleague of the soprano, one of the leading specialists in French music, Hervé Niquet.

169 kr
Image Agitata
Delphine Galou is renowned and admired for her musicality and her appealing timbre.

She has taken part in many productions of Baroque music and recordings of operas (notably by Vivaldi), but this is her first recital.

It is a programme of sacred music, motets, cantatas and excerpts from oratorios, which in the course of the 17th & 18th centuries were influenced by the increasingly fashionable genre of opera.

From the famous ‘Agitata infido flatu’ from Vivaldi’s oratorio Juditha triumphans, Stradella’s Lamentations and Porpora’s magnificent motet ‘In procella sine stella’, Delphine Galou covers a wide range of spiritual emotions.

Delphine is accompanied by the excellent Accademia Bizantina under its director and harpsichordist Ottavio Dantone.

A concerto by Gregori and a sinfonia by Caldara complete this release, which includes several world premiere recordings.

159 kr
Image Quartets Nos. 2 & 3
EDITOR'S CHOICE MAY 2018
"One is left feeling that the hugely impressive Elias Quartet have thought about every nuance and detail of these works; add in the rich sound, and it's a very fine release indeed."
Gramophone


The Elias Quartet has already recorded a complete cycle of Beethoven quartets at Wigmore Hall that was extremely well received by the critics. Now Sara Bitlloch, Donald Grant, Martin Saving and Marie Bitlloch present on Alpha an album devoted to Schumann: ‘We have always had a special affection for Robert Schumann’s Third Quartet. It’s one of the first works we played together. Since then we have often come back to it, as if to a splendid and familiar region that we think we know thoroughly, but which yields up new secrets with each visit. The Second Quartet, on the other hand, was a much later and more complicated discovery for us. The writing is so personal, so unidiomatic for the instruments, so full of nuances, that to begin with we found it hard to come up with a unanimous voice for this work. The enthusiasm of the first movement can easily turn into anxiety if you push it a bit too far. In the slow movement, the texture is sometimes so bare that to convey its tenderness you have to sustain it with great fervour. The capricious Scherzo is bristling with rhythmic pitfalls and requires a diabolical mastery of the instruments, while the Finale is an endless explosion of joy!’

159 kr
Image Diabelli Variations
The pianist Martin Helmchen has now joined Alpha for several recordings. Acknowledged as one of the leading pianists of his generation, an eminent interpreter of the German repertoire, Helmchen will explore various periods and composers (including Messiaen!), but Beethoven will have a preponderant place in his forthcoming recording projects. Before the complete concertos, planned for 2020, he tackles the Diabelli Variations, ‘a climax in the life of a pianist’. He sees these variations as ‘a voyage to the very heart of the infinity of human feelings and moods, by turns profound, philosophical, satirical’. He regards the cycle as a visionary work that heralds future developments in music, containing the first stirrings of twentieth-century minimalism, atonality and abstraction. This recording is the end result of a long personal association and numerous concerts; a powerful version in which each variation emerges as a masterpiece in its own right.

159 kr
Image Cello Concerto & Piano Quintet
After making several discs of chamber music by Brahms and Schubert, the cellist Marie-Elisabeth Hecker now records a large-scale concerto, showing the full range of her talent. Composed between 1918 and 1919, Elgar’s Concerto op.85 was poorly received at its first performance but has since become established as one of the key works in the cello repertoire. To complete the programme, Marie-Elisabeth Hecker rejoins her chamber music partners, the violinists Carolin Widmann and David McCarroll, the violist Pauline Sachse and the pianist Martin Helmchen, in Elgar’s Piano Quintet, composed at the same time as the Concerto and premiered in London in 1919.

159 kr
Image Anime Amanti
A voice, a lute, a sigh. Nothing could be simpler and more immemorial. This expression of sentiments and emotions, of the intermittencies of the heart and the shadows of the soul, is of course as old as the world. Yet it was truly a reconquest of the Renaissance. With Caccini, the ‘new music’ at once found a miraculous melodist. He composed a Euridice, performed in 1602, two years after Jacopo Peri’s setting and five years before Monteverdi’s Orfeo. The Renaissance did not know opera, but long secreted that genre soon to be born. And it is brand-new opera that opens and closes this recording, through the voice of its first visionary, Claudio Monteverdi. His Lamento d’Arianna, the centrepiece of a lost work, expresses sorrow, regrets, revolt through the very music of the Italian language, here brought to white heat. The ‘new music’ spread throughout Italy: Merula in Cremona, Falconieri in Naples, and Barbara Strozzi, the most famous woman composer of the age, in Venice. The Italian soprano Roberta Mameli is a great lover of this music, which she performs with an outstanding feeling for words and drama. Luca Pianca offers her his artistry and his great experience. Roberta Mameli is joining Alpha for several recordings, which will guide us towards other rarities and other periods.

169 kr
Image KENNST DU DANS LAND ?
159 kr
Image KROKODIL
259 kr
Image Musique pour violon & piano
This first recording of chamber music by the composer Lucien Durosoir (1878-1955) is the first in a series intended to revive the works of this composer, who deserves to be better known. After spending the whole of the Great War fighting on the front, Lucien Durosoir retired to his native village in the Landes (south-west France), where he composed works that he never had published. The talented interpreters, Geneviève Laurence, violin, and Lorène de Ratuld, piano, bring out the beauty of these works with intelligence, respecting their intentions and capturing their spirit. We discover music that is strongly personal, expressing lyricism and tenderness, cheerfulness and humour, sensitivity and tragedy.

159 kr
Image MAZURKAS, WALZES AND OTHER DANCES
169 kr
Image String Quartets
The notion of "original version" is not only important for period instruments, as this production of Janacek's two quartets will show. To accompany the critical edition of the score about to be published by Bärenreiter, the Diotima Quartet, holder of the exclusive rights on this edition, has chosen to play this version, which at last conforms to the wishes of the composer. The second quartet has been recorded in the two possible formations, a quartet with alto and a quartet with viola d'amore. This disc was recorded in the mythical Aldeburgh concert hall, much loved by Benjamin Britten.




159 kr
Image Ouverture & Concerti for Darmstadt
169 kr
Image Te Deum
Stradivaria & Les Cris de Paris / Daniel Cuiller

For the first time since its premiere in the eighteenth century, Henry Madin’s Te Deum for the victories of Louis XV rang out in 2015 in the Chapelle Royale at Versailles. Stradivaria, the Baroque ensemble of Nantes directed by Daniel Cuiller, and Les Cris de Paris, the chamber choir conducted by Geoffroy Jourdain, here revive the work of this composer born in Verdun in 1698 who was sous-maître de la Chapelle du Roi from 1738 onwards. The performance of the Te Deum, the longest setting composed during the Ancien Régime, is coupled with Diligam te, Domine, one of Madin’s principal works in the style of the grand motet for large chorus. At the single concert immortalised here, the two works came back to life in a highly symbolic historic venue. They are presented today in the Alpha/Château de Versailles Collection, which now includes more than ten titles.

159 kr
Image Fantastic Sonatas: The Lost Manuscripts
La Sainte-Folie Fantastique
Arnaud De Pasquale, organ and harpsichord; Jerôme vanWaerbeke, violin; Lucile Boulanger, viola da gamba; Thomas Dunford, lute

From England all the way to Germany, the douce folie of a young ensemble!

Four musicians, among the most talented of their generation . . . A repertory of which Alpha has been one of the most fervent champions over the past few years. . . An unknown manuscript containing unpublished sonatas by Young, Abell, and other pieces by anonymous composers . . . All this plus the complicity of Thomas Dunford and Jérôme van Waerbeke: the ingredients seem to have come together for this new release, like the first disc of Lucile Boulanger and Arnaud De Pasquale, which received a Diapason Découverte and a 'Choc' de Classica, to become a major event.

1. ANONYME Sonata et Suite en la mineur 10'
2. Henry BUTLER Sonata 28 en sol min 8'
3. ANONYME Sonata 24 en reì majeur 5'
4. ANONYME Daphne (Clavecin solo) 10'
5. Aria en mi mineur 5'
6. John JENKINS Aria n°7 en la majeur Courant en la mineur 10'
7. ANONYME What if a day et Fortune (Luth solo) 5'
8. Henry BUTLER Sonata 20 en sol majeur 7'
9. ANONYME Sonata 27 en reì mineur 10'
10. Heinrich SCHEIDEMANN Courante (Clavecin Solo) 5'
11. Wilhelm BRADE Choral (Violon solo) 10'
12. Dietrich STOEFFKEN Preludio et Allemanda (Viole de gambe solo) 5'
13. Heinrich SCHEIDEMANN Balletto (Clavecin solo) 5'
14. William YOUNG Sonata 21 en reì mineur 8'
15. Dietrich BECKER Sonata en reì majeur




169 kr
Image CAMILLE SAINT SAËNS
169 kr
Image Metamorfosi Trecento
Myth, Sallust tells us, is the relation of ‘things that never happened, but always are’. Ever since the fourteenth century, music has drunk deep from the source of myths. When composers were not dealing with sacred history, with the great morality tales of Christ, they turned to myth as to a great art and a matchless repertory of exemplary stories. Metamorfosi Trecento is a musical exploration of myths and of the polyphony of the late Middle Ages. The ancient myths, foremost among them Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and their medieval transpositions are extremely present in the repertory of the Ars Nova: Narcissus lost on a fatal voyage, the stories of Daphne’s dream, Philomela, the myth of Orpheus, Callisto . . . The lutenist Michele Pasotti and the singers and instrumentalists (fiddle, recorder, clavicymbalum, Gothic harp etc.) of the ensemble he founded in 2005, La Fonte Musica, bring these wondrous tales back to life with a beauty and artistry we wished to share with you.

159 kr
Image O fröhliche Stunden
While best known as a master of the organ and of the polyphonic Cantata, the great Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707) also left us a number of Spiritual Concerts for soloists and instrumental ensemble. For this recital, Hans-Jörg Mammel has selected works from this repertoire, including amazing vocal chaconnes which bear the undisputed signature of the great composer the young Bach so much admired.





169 kr
Image Thousands of Miles (LP)
Closing the distance between classical music and Broadway, between the old world and the new, this album is born out of a stunning encounter between two performers. Kate Lindsey is an opera star whose career is skyrocketing. She has stunned audiences with her performances of Mozart and Purcell, but grew up steeped in the music of Broadway, from Gershwin to Cole Porter. Baptiste Trotignon is a multi award-winning jazz pianist who plays with big names like Brad Mehldau or Tom Harrell, but who has a long-held interest in classical music, even composing a piano concerto for Nicholas Angelich. Together, they have produced a rich and varied programme around the songs of Kurt Weill, from Nanna’s Lied to Trouble Man, as well as the classics from The Threepenny Opera and Lost in the Stars. This journey through three European languages brings the listener to the very beginnings of jazz, and features all-new arrangements and deft improvisations by pianist Baptiste Trotignon. London-based American mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey joins Alpha Classics for several recordings over the coming years.

169 kr
Image De Vez en Cuando la Vida. Joan Manuel Serrat y el
‘The memories of my childhood in Argentina always bring me back to the singer-songwriter Joan Manuel Serrat, synonymous with shared family moments . . . Serrat’s poetry and music around a barbecue in Argentina; “De vez en cuando la vida” made me cry as it has made millions of people cry in Latin America, Spain and elsewhere . . . Joan Manuel Serrat is part of our life, he is our Jacques Brel! . . . Or, if we project ourselves back to the sixteenth century, he is in a sense our little Camerata Fiorentina, that movement of Italian poets and musicians in Florence. Serrat has allowed the whole of Latin America and Spain to reappropriate the works of its poets . . . He has also been synonymous with freedom and the struggle against dictatorial regimes. ‘His song “Mediterraneo” is one of the emblematic pieces of his career. It is almost a hymn that has special resonance nowadays: “I was born in the Mediterranean”! ‘I asked my good friend Quito Gato to arrange these songs for our ensemble, Cappella Mediterranea. The orchestration retains typical seventeenth-century instruments: recorders, cornett, violins, viola da gamba, cellos, lutes, harp, harpsichord, organ, with some percussion and a double bass. ‘These period instruments allow us to travel back in time and compare Serrat’s romances with the Ensaladas of Mateo Flecha (1481-1553) – La Bomba – or a piece by Francesco Valls, a Catalan who is now forgotten yet was one of the greatest composers of seventeenth-century Spain, the polyphony of Guillaume Dufay, a composition by Juan Cabanilles that recalls a Bach Passion. The Xacaras, a satirical genre from the Spanish Golden Age (Francisco Gomez de Quevedo, Pedro Calderon de la Barca) dialogues with Serrat’s works. As does the Música callada of the Catalan composer Frederic Mompou, transcribed here for the harp.’ Leonardo Garcia Alarcon

359 kr
Image L'Astrée
It would be quite impossible to understand French baroque art of the 17th and 18th centuries without acknowledging the major social impact caused by the publication of l'Astrée, Honoré d'Urfé's, lengthy novel. Published for the first time in 1607, l'Astrée fuelled the imagination of French society for almost two centuries with allegorical fancies filled with shepherds and shepherdesses and their thwarted and impossible love stories. It remains an essential landmark in French cultural, artistic and social history, which will influence the behaviour of the monarchy and the nobility, reaching even Marie-Antoinette, who will « seriously » play at being a shepherdess at her Trianon estate. On the occasion of an international university symposium gathered in Paris in 2007, the Faenza ensemble reconstituted the musical environment of l'Astrée, the subject of this disc, recorded on the site of the creation of the novel, Honoré d'Urfé's castle, in Forez.




169 kr
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