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Blant annet Barbara Hannigans roste ” Crazy Girl Crazy” ( CD+ DVD), og Brahms 4. Med Ann Hallenberg

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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 . . .

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Image Symphony No. 4; Alto Rhapsody; Schicksalslied
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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Image Quartets Nos. 2 & 3
"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."

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!’

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Geneviève Laurenceau, violon

Lorène de Ratuld, piano

Lucien Durosoir

Sonate en la mineur

1. Introduction

2. Le Lis

3. Oisillon bleu

4. Rêve

5. Nocturne

6. Légende

Cinq Aquarelles

7. Bretagne

8. Vision

9. Ronde

10. Berceuse

11. Intermède

12. Chant élégiaque

13. Prière à Marie

14. Lucien Durosoir en 1950

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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.

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Image Ouverture & Concerti for Darmstadt
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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Image Mélodies & Danses Anciennes De Suisse Allemande
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Image Don Quichotte
Corinne & Gilles Benizio
Le Concert Spirituel / Hervé Niquet

The Niquet, Shirley & Dino trio was formed on the occasion of Purcell's King Arthur, a show that marked the lyric stage and the world of the DVD. Five years later, their complicity has been further reinforced, and they present a work close to Hervé Niquet's heart: Boismortier's Don Quichotte chez la Duchesse.

This opera-ballet, written for Carnival and first performed in Paris in 1743, occupies a particular place in Hervé Niquet's career since it was the first work played by Le Concert Spirituel 27 years ago: 'In addition to being composed by a genius of the Enlightenment, this comic opera is a gem of music, wit and humour,' says he.

The wit of the famous Benizio couple is felicitously expressed in this story of which they have rewritten the comedy scenes, which had disappeared: 'From this succession of episodes, one more incongruous than the next, from this incredible accumulation of remarkably constructed gags (Niquet as Don Quichotte, Corinne Benizio/Shirley in a hilarious cantadora number, accompanied by Hervé Niquet with castanets, Gilles/Dino singing - not too badly! - a courtly air with harpsichord whilst the hysterical Duchess bellows in the wings), ensues a perfectly mad show' (ResMusica).

The whole thing with all the necessary strictness in reproducing the music... Worth noting: the performance of the singer-actors and the splendid costumes and sets. A total spectacle filmed at the Royal Opera of the Château de Versailles.

Bonus: a 52-minute documentary on the behind-the-scenes preparation of the production.
Format: DVD - NTSC - DVD9 - stereo
French - Subtitle French/English/ German

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Image 3CD-BOX: Louis XIV - Musiques du Roi-Soleil
On the occasion of the tricentennial of the death of the Sun King, Alpha Classics, boasting a rich catalogue of benchmark Baroque recordings and a collection in partnership with the Château de Versailles, is celebrating A reign full of music. More than any other sovereign of his time, Louis XIV (1638-1715) loved the arts and was responsible for their exceptional development. All disciplines were the object of royal attention, thanks to both the considerable means that the monarch devoted to them and to the structuring of each of the Beaux Arts in an academy. The result was a fantastic harvest of masterpieces, a unique period when most of the disciplines joined forces to work on flagship projects, with unprecedented international repercussions. The artistic France of Louis XIV set the tone for all of Europe.

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Image Calling the Muse (LP)
It’s a logbook, the one I’ve never really kept. My years of blues/rock and early music mingle here; the thousands of kilometres travelled with that theorbo of mine, the cities and the countryside, the railways, the skies, the scents, the lights; but above all, the music of the people. Partite variate sopra quest’aria francese detta l’alemana is a tablature by Piccinini of an aria also called La Monica. In North America in the late nineteenth century, railroad hoboes carved their vagabond pseudonym along the tracks, which they called their ‘moniker’ . . . Corrente VI sopra l’alemana, by the same composer, is the energetic counterpart to the noble and meditative allemande. Like a Belfry is taken from a dream... Rosemary Standley has set her words to the melody and sings them. J. H. Kapsberger’s Toccata nona is associated here with Perivoli Blue. Perivoli is a village in the south of the island of Corfu. Thanks Toumani expresses my fascination with Mandingo music. Bellerofonte Castaldi’s Arpeggiata a mio modo was one of my first challenges on the theorbo. Erik Satie’s Gnossienne no.1 arrived under my fingers without warning and made a place for itself here by fitting in so naturally that I couldn’t say no to it. This is the piece chosen by my photographer friend Richard Dumas (who did the booklet cover and portrait) to make the video clip of the album. With Kapsberger’s Bergamasca, a dance from Bergamo in Italy, the theorbo becomes a festive and agile instrument. Dans la chambre de mon theorbe. Over a passacaglia by J. H. Kapsberger, we hear the actor and author Jean-Luc Debattice reading a poem he dedicated to me. A Tea with Bach is an arrangement of the Minuet from Bach’s Cello Suite no.1. The Toccata Undicesima serves as the introduction to an improvisation: Vos luths. And invokes India. (from the article Carnet de route by Bruno Helstroffer)

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Image Musique de Chambre (3 CD)
The fruitful partnership between the Alpha label, the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel and the Palazzetto Bru Zane continues with this set of chamber music by Anton Reicha, performed by the musicians of the Chapel, young talents of an exceptionally high standard, ready and willing to take up the challenge of this music.

A key figure of the early nineteenth century, this Czech composer who became a naturalised French citizen did not leave his contemporaries indifferent. Both his music and his theoretical writings set zealous partisans against fierce detractors.

This 3CD set, assembling pieces from different genres and periods, gives an insight into the richness of the composer’s extremely prolific output of chamber music: it illustrates the diversity of the instrumental genres he tackled (sonatas, fugues, études and variations for piano; piano trio, string quartet, string quintet) and a compositional art characterised by perfect mastery – as one would expect from someone trained by Haydn in Vienna between 1802 and 1808 – and by the greatest originality.

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Image Cello Sonatas
Acclaimed for their interpretation of Vivaldi and Barrière's sonatas, Bruno Cocset's Les Basses Réunies return to Italian 18th century music in this recording. The programme, comprising sonatas by Francesco Geminiani, a great traveller who journeyed through Italy, France and England, calls upon a distinguished guest: theorbist and lutist Luca Pianca.

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Image Concertante Works for Violin, Cello & Piano
Soloists of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel: Elina Buksha (violin), Ori Epstein (cello), Lorenzo Gatto (violin), Nathanaël Gouin (piano), Woo Hyung Kim (violin), Vladyslava Luchenko (violin)

Liège Royal Philharmonic / Jean-Jacques Kantorow

Édouard Lalo made his mark on French music with his opera Le Roi d'Ys, but his instrumental output also has considerable historical importance, with its resolutely innovative aims for its time. More specifically, his concertante music rewards the attentive ear with a brilliant, skilfully constructed style, studded with fresh rhythmic and harmonic inventions that renew the melodic and orchestral language of the genre. Under the direction of Jean-Jacques Kantorow, himself a violinist and extremely familiar with this repertory, the Liège Royal Philharmonic places itself at the service of the virtuoso fingers of six young soloists from the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel: this anthology provides an opportunity, notably, to renew acquaintance with the violinist Lorenzo Gatto - who recently released a recording of the Beethoven Concerto - in the famous Symphonie espagnole for violin and orchestra. Works such as the powerful Cello Concerto, the elegant Piano Concerto, the folk-influenced Concerto russe and Fantaisie norvégienne, and the sparkling Introduction et Scherzo on themes from Namouna complete this set, which highlights both the work of the prestigious and internationally renowned Belgian nursery for young talent, recently renovated, and a repertory championed by the Palazzetto Bru Zane, which contributed to the realisation of the project.

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Image Lettres Intimes
The Quatuor Voce, which recently celebrated its tenth anniversary, follows up its two recordings of Mozart with Juliette Hurel (Alpha 204) and Brahms with Lise Berthaud (Alpha 214) by inviting us on a journey to central Europe. The three works recorded here were written over a period of twenty years. Two of them allude to their composer’s love lives. Bartók’s First Quartet might be seen as Beethoven’s Quartet no.17. The intense opening Lento is a lyric-dramatic movement that transposes an unhappy experience of love. No previous quartet had come so close to the Beethovenian ideal. Janácek’s Second Quartet reflects his love for Kamila Stösslová, and is a faithful mirror of emotions in all their spontaneous and constantly shifting authenticity. Schulhoff was one of the first Jewish composers to fall victim to Nazi barbarity. Inventive, omnivorously curious, he was a virtuoso pianist who performed both jazz and serial music. His Five Pieces consist of a suite of dances in different styles, successively Alla Valse viennese, Alla Serenata, Alla Czeca, Alla Tango milonga and Alla Tarantella. (from a text by Bernard Fournier)

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Image À la gloire de Dieu et du Roi
During the reign of Louis XIV (1638-1715) sacred music took three essential forms: the largescale grand motet (specific to the French court), the smaller-scale petit motet, and organ pieces alternating with plainchant. All three forms were brought together at Versailles in the daily celebration of the king's mass. They were also the components of the important religious ceremonies that were held at the principal churches of Paris, such as Notre Dame and the Sainte-Chapelle, which maintained a body of first-rate musicians. Sacred music at Versailles included the ordinary daily office, but also the performance on special occasions of pieces such as the Te Deum. The famous 'pomp' of Versailles, as illustrated by the glorious Te Deum setting by Marc-Antoine Charpentier heard on this recording, involving soloists, a large chorus and an orchestra with trumpets and timpani, co-existed with exceptionally intimate works, such as Lalande's Miserere or the petits motets composed by Du Mont, which illustrate the most personal aspect of French sacred music of the Baroque era. Finally, organ music played a part in religious ceremonies throughout the kingdom, in the cathedrals of the provinces and in the Royal Chapel. At Versailles four organists shared the task of playing the instrument commissioned by Louis XIV, with each one taking a quarter of the year. Francois Couperin and Louis Marchand were among the most famous of the royal organists.

Tracklist :
1. Lebègue : Prélude du Premier Livre d'Orgue [Alpha 950]
2. Charpentier, Te Deum, H. 146_ I. Prélude [Ricercar 245]
3. Te Deum, H. 146_ II. Te Deum laudamus
4. Te Deum, H. 146_ III. Te aeternum Patrem
5. Te Deum, H. 146_ IV. Te per orbem terrarum
6. Te Deum, H. 146_ V. Tu de victo mortis aculeo
7. Te Deum, H. 146_ VI. Te ergo quaesumus
8. Te Deum, H. 146_ VII. AEterna fac sum Sanctis tuis
9. Te Deum, H. 146_ VIII. Dignare Domine
10. Te Deum, H. 146_ IX. In te Domine speravi
11. Couperin : Elevation, Tierce en taille [Alpha 950]
12. Dumont : Cantica Sacra : II. In Lectulo Meo [Ricercar 230]
13. Couperin : Plein Jeu, premier Couplet du Kyrie [Alpha 950]
14. Delalande : Miserere (Dumestre) [Alpha 030]
15. Marchand : Grand Dialogue [Alpha 950 Orgues à Versailles]
16. Dumont : Motet à deux voix : II. In Lectulo Meo [Ricercar 230]
17. Dandrieu : Offertoire sur les Grands Jeux [Alpha 950]
18. Charpentier : Domine Salvum Fac Regem [Alpha 050]

kr 69 (kr 99)
Image Larmes de Résurrection
In 1623, when the Thirty Years War was raging, Europe was torn apart by the confrontation between Protestant and Catholic peoples. Schütz and Schein, close friends with a deep-rooted Lutheran faith, were thoroughly in accordance with the spirit of their time when they wrote these works imbued with frugality, humility, even austerity. Yet these two great minds were still driven by a burning passion, paradoxically very attached to Italianate style, which is very evident here. With his ensemble La Tempête, Simon-Pierre Bestion has now become established as one of the most creative interpreters on today’s musical scene, revisiting the repertory, juxtaposing works in varying styles and from different periods, as he demonstrated in his first two recordings for Alpha (The Tempest – Diapason d’Or – and Azahar – Choc de Classica). At the head of an exceptional group of performers, equally at home in medieval and contemporary music, he presents here a ‘rewrite’ for a large and colourful orchestra, featuring a Lebanese singer specialising in Byzantine chant in the role of the Evangelist: a radical new take on the ardent mysticism buried in this music, bringing it unexpected vitality and warmth.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Winterreise
In 1827 Franz Schubert was not in good health. At this time he was living in the house of his friend Franz von Schober. Here Schubert discovered in the pages of an almanac for 1823 the cycle of poems Die Winterreise by Wilhelm Müller.

The tenor Hans Jörg Mammel and Arthur Schoonderwoerd have recorded Winterreise for Alpha. In their performance they have stuck strictly to the tonal scheme of the autograph, which means all the lieder are sung in the keys initially planned by Schubert.

Hans Jörg Mammel, tenor; Arthur Schoonderwoerd, piano

Franz Schubert


1. Gute Nacht

2. Die Wetterfahne

3. Gefrorne Tränen

4. Erstarrung

5. Der Lindenbaum

6. Wasserflut

7. Auf dem Flusse

8. Rückblick

9. Irrlicht

10. Rast

11. Frühlingstraum

12. Einsamkeit

13. Die Post

14. Der greise Kopf

15. Die Krähe

16. Letzte Hoffnung

17. Im Dorfe

18. Der stürmische Morgen

19. Täuschung

20. Der Wegweiser

21. Das Wirtshaus

22. Mut

23. Die Nebensonnen

24. Der Leiermann

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Trobar: Chansons d'amour, de la Vierge à la Dame
This programme of love songs presents pieces from the repertoire of the monastery of St Martial de Limoges, which includes the earliest written polyphonic compositions that influenced Bernard de Ventadour, one of the finest of the troubadour poets and probably the most important musically. Bernard's songs show an idealistic view of courtly love that is very close to the themes that appear frequently in the monastic tropes referring to the Virgin Mary.

kr 55 (kr 79)
Image Portrait(s)
This new release comes to us from the winner of the 2015 Musica Antiqua Festival in Bruges, Justin Taylor. The festival is one of the most celebrated harpsichord competitions in the world, and has honored some of the world’s best performers such as Scott Ross, Christophe Roust, Pierre Hantai, and more. + This program me of music comes from the Forqueray family, Antoine, Michel, Jean-Baptiste, and others, all of which are part of a dynasty of French composers, gambists, and organists. + This recital, in addition to painting a portrait of one of the most unique families in music, reflects on the issue of transcription. These suites, which are performed here on the harpsichord, were originally composed for the viola da gamba. This transfer from one instrument to another allows us to focus on the true originality of this music.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Ad Vesperas
Ensemble Cantar Lontano/Marco Mencoboni

Diego Ortiz - Ad Vesperas

Versiculus : Deus in adiutorium

Antiphona : Ave Maria

Salmo 109 : Dixit Dominus, a 4 alternatim (Diego Ortiz)

Mottectum : Beata es Virgo, a 4 (Diego Ortiz)

Antiphona : In Odorem unguentorum

Salmo 110 : Confitebor, a 4 alternatim (Diego Ortiz)

Mottectum : Dignare me laudare te, a 5 (Diego Ortiz)

Antiphona : Cum esse parvula

Salmo 111 : Beatus Vir, a 4 alternatim (Diego Ortiz)

Mottectum : Ave regina coelorum, a 6 (Diego Ortiz)

Antiphona : Speciosa facta es

Salmo 112 : Laudate Pueri, a 4 alternatim (Diego Ortiz)

Mottectum : Benedicta es celorum, a 7 (Diego Ortiz)

Antiphona : Beata Mater

Salmo 116 : Laudate Dominum, a 4 alternatim (Diego Ortiz)

Mottectum : Regina coeli, a 7 (Diego Ortiz)

Capitulum : Ab inizio et ante saecula

Himnus : Ave Maris Stella a 4 alternatim (Diego Ortiz)

Versus et responsorium : Dignare me

Antiphona : Beatam me dicent

Magnificat, octavi toni alternatim (Diego Ortiz)

Antiphona : Beatam me dicent

Oratio : Concede nos famulos

Versus et responsorium : Benedicamus Domino

Motectum : Salve Regina, a 5 (Diego Ortiz)

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image 3CD-BOX: Tancrède
A Baroque West Side Story, Tancrède tells of the absolute but impossible love between two young people brought together by their passion but separated by their origins. We are in the time of the Crusades: Tancredi is the champion of the Frankish army, and Clorinda the passionaria of the Saracen troops. In the labyrinth of sentiments, the magic wand of the sorcerer Isménor confuses the issues, luring the two heroes into the enchanted forest to better prepare their downfall. Dances, choruses and arias merge in a subtle, poetic mixture, magnified by the dialogues sung in the grand tradition of French prosody and the tragédie lyrique. With Tancrède, André Campra established himself as one of the great opera composers between Lully and Rameau.

kr 244 (kr 349)
kr 111 (kr 159)
Image LES WITCHES: Nobodys Jig
kr 83 (kr 119)
Image How pleasand 'tis to Love
Scherzi Musicali / Nicolas Achten

Few of the many recordings devoted to Henry Purcell have succeeded in capturing all the richness and diversity of musical instruments of the late 17th century. Here well-known pieces by Purcell played take on an entirely new and unexpected colouring, while also serving to highlight the theatricality of the vocal airs.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Vespro della beata Vergine

Monteverdi Choir, The English Baroque Soloists / John Eliot Gardiner

In 1610, Monteverdi gave his Vespers for the Virgin in Mantua before conquering the Basilica of Saint Mark in Venice. This was the first great sacred masterpiece of the Baroque. Following the brilliant Orfeo (1607), the Vespers borrow its opening fanfare and positioned Monteverdi as the leading composer of his time.

J. E. Gardiner founded the Monteverdi Choir, one of the world's finest choruses, specifically for this work, which he conducted for the first time in 1964 and subsequently recorded twice. With the present recording, where the image ideally accompanies the music, J. E. Gardiner wanted to make more perceptible the spatialisation that characterized Venetian music, by using the specific architecture and different levels of the Chapelle Royale at Versailles.

kr 209 (kr 299)
Image Carnets de voyages

The works of the French lutenist and composer Charles Tessier give evidence of his vast curiosity and extensive travels in the years around 1600. He achieved a happy balance in his works between the different cultures of his time, with popular songs and refined airs de cour, a mixture of rusticity and delicacy that reflects the tastes of the court of Henri IV.
With this recording Le Poème Harmonique and Vincent Dumestre invite us to take a look at the travels and the encounters that enriched the joyful works of this very interesting composer.

Claire Lefilliâtre, sopran

Bruno le Levreur, countertenor

Jan van Elsacker, tenor

Arnaud Marzorati, bass

Le Poème Harmonique/Vincent Dumestre
Charles Tessier

Carnets de voyages

1. Chansons turcquesques

2. Air espagnol : No ay en la tierra

3. Chanson suisseee : Mattone mie care

4. Bransle de village

5. Bransle de Lorraine

6. Junckfraw deine schöne gstalt erfreüt mich sehr (Hassler)

7. Pavana del Sgr. Guilhelmo Keudelio

8. Madonna di Coucagna

9. Vita di voria dar

10. Air de court : Me voilà hors du naufrage

11. The earle of Essex galiard (Dowland)

12. Burth foth my tears (Dowland)

13. Les Gascons

14. Chanson : Je suis par trop longtemps pucelle

15. Air de court : Quand le flambeau du monde

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Une flute invisible

The story begins one evening and ends the following morning; it is divided into six ‘scenes’, each beginning with a piece for solo piano from Debussy's Epigraphes antiques and containing pieces by various composers, forming a conversation between a man (tenor) and a woman (soprano), with the flute sometimes joining in, sometimes performing alone.

Sandrine Piau, soprano

Hervé Lamy, tenor

Gilles de Talhouët, flute

Arthur Schoonderwoerd, piano

Une flûte invisible: Musique française à l'aube du XXe siècle

Claude Debussy

1. Pour invoquer Pan, dieu du vent d'été

Andrée Caplet

2. Petite valse

Claude Debussy

3. La Flûte de Pan

4. Pour la danseuse aux crotales

Albert Roussel

5. Pan

Benjamin Godard

6. Viens

Claude Debussy

7. Pour que la nuit soit propice

8. La chevelure

Albert Roussel

9. Rossignol, mon mignon

Gabriel Pierné

10. Les trois chansons

Claude Debussy

11. Pour l'Egyptienne

Andrée Caplet

12. Rêverie

Claude Debussy

13. Le Faune (Verlaine)

Camille Saint-Saëns

14. Une flûte invisible

Claude Debussy

15. Pour un tombeau sans nom

16. Le tombeau des Naïades

17. La Flûte de Pan (Syrinx)

Andrée Caplet

18. Viens! Une flûte invisible soupire

Claude Debussy

19. Pour remercier la pluie au matin

Andrée Caplet

20. Écoute, mon coeur!

Albert Roussel

21. Ciel, aer et vens...

Camille Saint-Saëns

23. Viens!

kr 111 (kr 159)
kr 55 (kr 79)
Image Dardanus
Bernard Richter, Gaëlle Arquez, João Fernandes, Benoit Arnould, Alain Buet, Sabine Devieilhe, Emmanuelle De Negri & Romain Champion

Ensemble Pygmalion / Raphaël Pichon

Alpha's reissue of Ensemble Pygmalion's version of Dardanus, conducted by Raphaël Pichon and recorded in the majestic acoustics of the Opéra Royal at Versailles Palace. This set won multiple awards on its first release.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image L'isle joyeuse, Images Book I, Etudes Book II & Es
Well known for his interpretations of the works of Frédéric Chopin and Serge Rachmaninov, appearing on concert platforms the world over, the great Argentinian pianist Nelson Goerner is joining the Zig-Zag Territoires label. 'Obviously, from the performer of these pieces - of all the pieces on this disc -, one will expect mastery and sensitivity. But even more is necessary: gifts of a colourist; an imagination of the settings; a vision of the sound planes and space. And also, for these pieces that are heirs to and the summary of such a glorious tradition, it also calls for broad knowledge and culture of the piano repertoire. The performer of the Etudes stands at the arrival of an itinerary, that of the keyboard "en blanc et noir". He must know everything and play almost everything. Nelson Goerner is that performer.' (Dominique Jameux)

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Symphony No. 4 / Concerto for Orchestra
NDR Symphony Orchestra / Krzysztof Urbanski

Since 2015, Krzysztof Urbanski has been principal guest conductor of the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg, one of the leading German orchestras. They are currently preparing together the inauguration in January 2017 of Hamburg's new concert hall, the Elbphilharmonie, a major musical event in Germany with which Alpha Classics will be associated. Krzysztof Urbanski is also music director of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. A resolutely international career for a young conductor who recently earned praise from the Chicago Tribune for 'his keen musical instincts and vigorous way of translating his ideas into orchestral sound that has both shape and meaning'.

For this first recording, he was keen to celebrate a great composer, one of the most eminent of the twentieth century and a Pole like himself, who, like Stravinsky, Bartók, Berg, Prokofiev and Shostakovich, gloried in the sound material of the orchestra and displayed boundless imagination. Though less well known than his illustrious colleagues for the moment, Lutoslawski amply deserves to meet a wider public, for his music can speak as directly to connoisseurs as to simple music-lovers. We hope that this programme will help to further his reputation.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image String Quartets
A new landmark on the fascinating path leading to the discovery of Lucien Durosoir. A virtuoso violinist who was so badly shocked by the First World War that he withdrew from the world altogether after the conflict, Lucien Durosoir still composed works for himself alone, which have mostly never been played. Influenced by Debussy, but also by the German romantic composers which he revered before the war, his music shows great formal skilfulness but, at the same time, a degree of inspiration which is often lacking in creative artists much more famous than himself. After a disc devoted to his violin and piano music, Alpha pursues in this line with Durosoir's four quartets, complex and difficult works to play, in which the composer has concentrated the essence of his musical language and personality.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image DUROSOIR / Le Balcon
kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Bach Privat
This recording is an invitation to immerse ourselves in the musical inner circle of the Bach family,

We know little about Bach’ family life, with the exception of the famous Clavierbüchlein (Little keyboard book) that the forty-year-old composer gave as a present in 1725 to his second wife Anna Magdalena.

This manuscript is a unique document of the music the family played together containing short keyboard pieces, songs, extended arias taken from the church cantatas and chamber music.

A talented family: Bach and his two eldest sons were also excellent violinists, son-in-law Bach, J. C. Altnickol played the cello & double bass; Anna Magdalena Bach and her oldest stepdaughter both sing and the young children of the second marriage play easy pieces on their father’s various keyboard instruments.

The musicians and singers on this recording, all eminent exponents of Bach and of Baroque music in general, have come together here to bring these exceptional moments back to life.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Vivaldi, Per l'Orchestra di Dresda
Zefira Valova, solo violin
Les Ambassadeurs
Alexis Kossenko, conductor

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Les Boys
The piano duo formed by Arthur Gold (1917–90) and Robert Fizdale (1920–95) enjoyed immense fame in the post-war years. Poulenc wrote a piece for them, as did Darius Milhaud, Samuel Barber, Luciano Berio and John Cage. They recorded with Leonard Bernstein. Nicknamed ‘The Boys’, they played all over the world and were praised for their ‘seamless perfection and an inimitable joie de vivre’ (New York Times). The Boys were also famed for their bestselling books and television programmes on cooking, their other passion! Duo Jatekok (játékok = ’games’ in Hungarian) was formed in 2007. Like The Boys and unlike most current piano duos, Adélaïde Panaget and Naïri Badal are not siblings, but childhood friends. ‘They have everything going for them: dynamic rigour and expressive energy, exuberant keyboard skills and multilingual touch, and more than anything else, a sort of jubilatory osmosis’, wrote Le Monde. For this first recording on Alpha, they have decided to pay tribute to The Boys with a programme of works written for them, Poulenc’s Sonata for two pianos and Élégie and a composition by a legend of jazz, the American pianist Dave Brubeck, Points of Jazz. Duo Jatekok also wanted to include music by one of their contemporaries: Baptiste Trotignon’s Trois Pièces (including one dedicated to Poulenc!) complete the programme.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Symphonie fantastique
Le Balcon, founded in 2008, is an artistic collective that has made a name for itself with highly original creations (Eötvös, Boulez, Stockhausen, etc.) combining sonic and visual innovations. In this, the very first disc made by Le Balcon and its conductor Maxime Pascal, who recently won the Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award, the masterpiece of Berlioz is recomposed – or decomposed – by the young composer Arthur Lavandier and recorded in 3D sound! Le Balcon takes a keen interest in technological issues related to sound reproduction, and here offers an original approach by superimposing three recording processes (transaural, binaural, 5.1), each dedicated to a specific medium: physical disc, web, video. The recording was made at the Conservatoire d’Art Dramatique in Paris, in the very hall where the Symphonie fantastique was premiered in 1830. For the ‘March to the Scaffold’, Le Balcon, which has a very open-minded attitude to amateur music making, collaborated with a street band from Carcassonne, ‘Tonton à faim’! A final point worth noting: the bronze bells used in the "Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath" (300 and 600 kg) were cast specially for the recording by the Festival Berlioz at La Côte Saint-André. This is the first release in a series that inaugurates a new type of partnership initiated by Alpha, which presents highly creative musical ensembles like Le Balcon while leaving them in total control of their project from A to Z, from production through to communication.

kr 132 (kr 189)
Image Paris expers Paris
For the first time in musical history, towards the end of the twelfth century one centre took the leadership in music: the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. It was to serve as a model for the whole of the Christian world. The music composed by the Notre Dame composers was very soon imitated, copied and sung in the great churches of France.
Paris Expers Paris (Paris without Equal) presents an entirely new facet of this magnificent repertoire.

Diabolus in Musica/Antoine Guerber
Paris expers Paris: Ecole de Notre-Dame, 1170-1240

1. Benedicamus Domino, organum à 3

2. Deus misertus, conduit à 4

3. Sursum corda, conduit à 2

4. Descendit de celis, organum à 3

5. Mundus vergens, conduit à 4

6. Olim sudor herculis, conduit à 1

7. Veri floris sub figura, conduit à 3

8. Naturas deus regulis, conduit à 3

9. O Maria virginei, conduit à 3

kr 55 (kr 79)
Image Confidence
"The French tenor Julien Behr is one of today’s rising vocal stars.? Voted ‘Revelation artiste lyrique de l’Adami’ in 2009, the year he made his international debut at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, he has become famous for his Mozart roles (including Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, recorded live at the Theâtre des Champs-elysees in 2016 under the direction of Jeremie Rhorer, Alpha 379). The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung recently wrote of his performance as ‘lively, with a fine timbre’, while Forumopera added: ‘Julien Behr’s Fenton is superb: though the French tenor has hitherto been especially appreciated as a Mozartian, here he confirms his aptitude for nineteenth-century repertory.’ And it is the French Romantic repertory composed between 1800 and 1900 that the tenor has chosen for his first recital disc. A wide variety of works (both grand opera and opera-comique), famous arias and absolute rarities make up this programme devised by the Palazzetto Bru Zane and Alexandre Dratwicki, who writes in the booklet that accompanies the CD: ‘Nothing is more difficult for a tenor than “finding his voice” in this imbroglio of genres and institutions . . . Already much admired for his charismatic vocal style and personality, the tenor Julien Behr is now the hero of a recital that revisits this repertory in all its variety, ranging from tenderness to heroism, from joy to melancholy.’ The programme takes in Ambroise Thomas (Mignon, after Goethe), Bizet and his famous La Jolie Fille de Perth, Cinq-Mars (1877) by Gounod, Benjamin Godard (Jocelyn), Andre Messager and his splendid Fortunio (1907), Delibes (Jean de Nivelle and Lakme, with Gerald’s celebrated aria) and Le Chevalier Jean (1885) by Victorin Joncieres (one of the first Wagnerians) among others. French versions of two extremely well-known numbers by Franz Lehar from The Merry Widow and The Land of Smiles – the title track ‘Je t'ai donne mon cœur’ (‘You are my heart’s delight’) – complete this panorama magnificently supported by the Orchestre de l'Opera National de Lyon and conducted by another rising star, Pierre Bleuse. Julien Behr offers as a bonus a song by Charles Trenet (‘Vous qui passez sans me voir’), arranged by Arthur Lavandier, which holds a special place in his life. The tenor now joins Alpha for several projects that will focus on illustrating every facet of his talents."

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Il Violoncello del Cardinale
Cardinals Benedetto Pamphili and Pietro Ottoboni played a prominent role in Rome at the turn of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with their patronage of the three most important composers of the day, Corelli, Alessandro Scarlatti and Handel. At that time, numerous musicians converged on Rome, and the large orchestra directed by Arcangelo Corelli at the church of San Luigi dei Francesi included several famous cellists, among them G. L. Lular, N. F. Haym, F. Amadei and G. M. Perroni. As well as notable virtuosos, these men were often also composers of oratorios, vocal music, and pieces for their own favourite instrument, though very few of these have survived. It is to their music, often unpublished, that Marco Ceccato and his Accademia, winners of a Diapason d’Or of the year in 2015, introduce us here, along with works by the composers who subsequently formed the core of this group after Handel left for London: G. Bononcini, P. G. P. Boni, and G. B. Costanzi, who was later to teach Boccherini.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Chansons D'autrefois
Vincent Dumestre and his Poème Harmonique invite us to the sources of the songs, laments and romances of the France of the past. Reproducing the pronunciation of the time and combining various early, and sometimes rustic, instruments with the voices, the programme will appeal to everyone, young and old alike.Here we hear songs passed down from generation to generation, some well-known, some forgotten, but always sensitive to the heart of a broad public today... Alpha proposes discovering all the recordings of these treasures, brought together here at a low price.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Semaine Mystique, La
The turn of the first millennium was experienced by people of that time not with fear that the world was coming to an end, but rather with hope that the world would be renewed. Christianity was moribund. So the new millennium was to be that of a new world, purged of its former vices. Thus, Christ's Passion came to symbolise the resurrection of the Church; a great reformation began. Seen in that context the lyric poem La Passion de Clermont takes on its full meaning. It lies at the heart of the century's preoccupations and bears all its ideology.

Faenza/Marco Horvat
La Semaine Mystique: Chants de dévotion du règne de Louis XIII

Introduction en forme de catéchisme

1. Qu'est-ce que la foi (Père Guillaume Marc et Peter Philipps)

2. A Paris sur petit pont (Pierre Guédron)

3. Savez-vous quelle est cette astuce ? (La Pieuse alouette et Les Odes Chrétiennes)

4. Le Seigneur est mon flambeau (Pierre Guédron)

Lundi : méditation sur notre vie et sur les péchés commis depuis notre naissance

5. O qu'un bonheur mondain (Antoine Boesset)

6. Si tu veux apprendre le pas à danser (Pierre Guédron)

Mardi : méditation sur notre mort à venir et sur la vie éternelle

7. Dans le lit de la mort (Etienne Moulinié)

8. Que je veux mal à ce peintre fantasque (Antoine Boesset)

Mercredi : méditation sur le Jugement Dernier

9. Quand je pense, Seigneur (Lazare de Selve)

Jeudi : méditation sur l'Enfer et ses peines

10. Holà, Caron, nautonier infernal (Pierre Guédron)

11. Vous a qui plait la danse (Giovanni Giacomo Gastoldi)

Vendredi : méditation sur la Crucifixion

12. Ou va ce flambeau de ma vie ? (Antoine Boesset)

13. Sortez, larmes sanglantes (Antoine Boesset)

14. Là n'étaient que gibets (Jean Auvray)

15. Sortez, larmes sanglantes (Antoine Boesset)

Samedi : méditation sur la naissance de Jésus

16. O heureuse nuitée (Giovanni Giacomo Gastoldi)

Dimanche : méditation sur les Gloires du Paradis

17. Beni soit sur tout ce grand Dieu (Robert Ballard)

18. Blanc est le vêtement (Jean de la Ceppède)

19. Bénis Dieu, ô mon âme (Pierre Guédron)

kr 55 (kr 79)
Image Music for Piano Four Hands
Jos van Immerseel et Claire Chevallier sont des complices de longue date. Comme lui, Claire Chevallier est une amoureuse du pianoforte, comme lui elle est aussi chercheuse et possède sa propre collection d’instruments à clavier. Après ses enregistrements d’oeuvres de Saint-Saëns pour deux pianos et des oeuvres de Rachmaninov à quatre mains, le duo consacre un programme à la danse avec les célèbres Danses hongroises de Johannes Brahms, les non moins célèbres Danses slaves d’Antonín Dvorák. Les plus rares Danses norvégiennes d’Edvard Grieg et les cinq Danses espagnoles de Moritz Moszkowski complètent ce voyage à travers toute l’Europe. Un enregistrement réalisé sur un authentique piano Carl Bechstein fabriqué en 1870 à Berlin, issu de la collection personnelle de Jos van Immerseel.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Dixit Dominus & Magnificat
After several recordings on Ricercar and a first disc on Alpha, Actus Tragicus, containing early Bach cantatas, ‘of staggering profundity, purity and beauty’ (ffff Telerama), Lionel Meunier and his ensemble Vox Luminis devote this new project to two showpieces by Handel and Bach. Of these two composers born in 1685, the first travelled to Italy in 1707 and made a powerful impression in Rome with the creation of his Dixit Dominus, while the second produced one of his finest compositional tours de force in the Magnificat of 1723/32-35. Two works from the core repertoire of the Belgian ensemble, here fielding combined vocal and instrumental forces, which is perfectly versed in the style and expression of Baroque rhetoric.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Viola da gamba Sonatas
Friederike Heumann (viola da gamba); Gaetano Nasillo (cello); Dirk Börner (hammerflügel by Denzil Wraight, after Cristofori 1730)

Nowadays Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach finds himself either in the shadow of his famous father or labelled as the precursor of the following stylistic periods. Things were very different in the second half of the eighteenth century: the 'great Bach' referred to Carl Philipp Emanuel, the principal exponent of Sturm und Drang in music and one of the most famous keyboard virtuosos and musicologists of his time. His three sonatas for viola da gamba of 1745, 1746 and 1759 illustrate the intermediary position of a composer whose works are deeply rooted in the past, while at the same time being very forward-looking.

In the search for an appropriate keyboard, alpha decided on the hammerflügel (the first recording made on this instrument). Its flexible dynamics and the possibility of using touch to control sound production lend eloquence and a passionate quality to the melody. In order to add extra colour to the continuo, cello is added in one of the sonatas. Bach described the cello-keyboard combination as 'the most perfect accompaniment for the solo instrument, to which no one can object'.

Friederike Heumann studied viola da gamba with Jordi Savall and Paolo Pandolfo. She appears with ensembles such as Hespèrion XXI and Le Concert des Nations, Le Concerto Vocale and Les Arts Florissants. With her own ensemble Stylus Phantasticus, she has already made two recordings for Alpha.

kr 118 (kr 169)
Image Trios for Nicolaus Esterhazy
Rincontro: Pablo Valetti (violin); Patricia Gagnon (viola); Petr Skalka (cello)

Grouping the leading musicians of Café Zimmermann, Rincontro had attracted attention with a first disc devoted to Franz Xavier Richter's quartets. Here, the ensemble takes the form of a trio to address music by Josef Haydn. Haydn's trios with baritone were composed for Prins Nicolaus Esterhazy, nicknamed "The Magnificent" because of his extravagancies, amongst which a huge country residence named Esterhaz, built on the model of the chateau of Versailles. Nicolaus was a great music lover; he notably played the baritone, an instrument of the viola family with sympathetic strings. Haydn wrote over a hundred string trios including this instrument.

kr 118 (kr 169)
Image Romanus Weichlein Opus I, 1695
Ensemble Masques / Olivier Fortin

After a first disc devoted to Schmelzer, enthusiastically hailed by the critics ('Editor's Choice' Gramophone, 'Choc' of Classica), the Ensemble Masques, conducted by Olivier Fortin, returns to Alpha with a programme combining works by Muffat, Kerll and Pachelbel along with those of a composer who has remained largely unknown and totally forgotten: Romanus Weichlein (1652-1706).

Benedictine monk, prefect and official composer of the Benedictine abbey of Säben, Romanus Weichlein left several collections of sonatas and masses as well as large chaconnes, magnificent works in the tradition of his compatriots Biber, Johann Heinrich Schmelzer, Pavel Josef Vejvanovský and Georg Muffat.

In this new programme, Masques presents both ensemble pieces and others for solo or two harpsichords (the second harpsichord being played by Skip Sempé), always featuring the expressiveness, eloquence and profound interpretation for which it is known.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Polychrome
Polychrome. A simple concept that defines the very essence of this recording, in which colour is omnipresent and takes on diverse and nuanced forms. The choice of works in itself forms at once a harmony and a contrast of shades and sonorities: this album offers the virtuosic and lyrical Violin Sonata no.2 in D major op.94a of Sergei Prokofiev, the Sonate posthume of Maurice Ravel, and the Violin Sonata in E flat major op.18 of Richard Strauss, the pièce de résistance of the programme. Tobias Feldmann, a prizewinner at the 2015 Queen Elisabeth International Competition, invites us on this musical journey with his vividly coloured and expressive violinistic language, supported with finesse by his partner Boris Kusnezow. Skilfully combining virtuosity and elegance, their expert fingers create an alchemy whose extreme precision enables these works to yield up all their poetry and refinement, revealing the specific colour of each of them. Alpha Classics is proud to support the career development of these young yet already seasoned artists.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Requiem à la mémoire de Louis XVI
In spite of the immense success he enjoyed in his lifetime, Sigismund Neukomm (born in Salzburg in 1778, died in Paris in 1858 at the age of eighty) is practically forgotten nowadays. Yet he left a catalogue of nearly two thousand works, including fifty masses and a number of oratorios and motets. Neukomm spent twenty years in the service of Prince Talleyrand, who commissioned him to write a requiem mass in memory of Louis XVI, guillotined in Paris on 21 January 1793. This was the second mass of the fifty he was eventually to compose, several of which were dedicated to monarchs. The Requiem was given at St Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna on 21 January 1815 by more than three hundred singers divided into two choirs. Neukomm conducted one of them, while the other was directed by his friend Salieri. As part of their joint series of recordings, the Château de Versailles and Alpha continue their rediscovery of repertory that has marked the history of France and of music. Here Jean-Claude Malgoire conducts this unpublished Requiem. This is the first appearance in the Alpha catalogue of this pioneering figure from the golden age of the exploration of Baroque performing practice.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image 4CD-BOX: Well-Tempered Clavier, Books 1 and 2
kr 223 (kr 318)
Image Weltliche Kantaten
A big splash to start the new musical season : after two years of absence, Gustav Leonhardt picks up the baton again on this record featuring two beautiful and neglected cantatas. He’s accompanied by Café Zimmermann. Two of Alpha’s star performers join forces in this exceptional project.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Piano Trio Nos. 3 & 4 Dumky
Busch Trio

This young trio that takes its name from the legendary vio-linist Adolf Busch (1891-1952) has already made its name on the international scene as one of the most talented of the new generation, picking up on its travels enthusiastic re-actions from public and press – as well as several prizes at the major competitions. ‘ . . . what impressed most was the group’s effortless musicianship and unity of thought and at-tack. The threesome even seemed to be breathing in synch’, wrote The Times after one of their concerts at the Wigmore Hall.

Under the auspices of Alpha Classics and the Queen Elisa-beth Music Chapel, the ensemble has set itself a challenge: to record the complete chamber music with piano of Antonín Dvorák. With the monumental Trios no.3 op.65 and no.4 op.90, these Londonbased musicians get the saga off to a fly-ing start, in deeply felt interpretations that penetrate to the heart of the great Czech composer’s poetic universe.

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Image Das Marienleben
The German soprano Juliane Banse has sung the Lieder of Brahms, Schubert, Wolf, Ullmann, Strauss, Schumann, Loewe and Berg, earning a reputation for both the quality of her interpretations and the warmth of her timbre. She and her regular partner Martin Helmchen, who has just joined Alpha, have chosen to record Paul Hindemith’s song cycle Das Marienleben, composed in 1923 and revised by the composer in 1948. A bewitching, sometimes disturbing cycle whose texts, taken from the great poet Rainer Maria Rilke, retrace the life of the Virgin Mary. Fifteen poems, fifteen episodes tinged with mysticism and lyricism. They proved to be the ideal inspiration for Hindemith, whose compositional style here draws on both the power of Wagner’s operas and the subtle nuances of Debussy.

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Image Alcina & Tamerlano (Blu-Ray)
This Handelian diptych, the brainchild of the director Pierre Audi, was conceived in a style of great purity, right down to the costumes, the decors and the sumptuous chiaroscuro lighting. In order to replicate this aesthetic, reminiscent of Renaissance paintings, with the greatest possible fidelity, the performances, filmed in high resolution, are being released on BLU RAY only. Christophe Rousset and his orchestra convey exceptional fervor in this music, here served by the finest Handelian voices imaginable, foremost among them Sandrine Piau, who enjoyed a genuine triumph in the stage production. Nor can one forget the dramatic performance of Jeremy Ovenden in Tamerlano, or the beauty of the voices of Ann Hallenberg, Sophie Karthauser, Delphine Galou and the countertenor Christophe Dumaux. Christophe Rousset writes of this production: “…In Alcina, Handel gives us one of his most dramatically accomplished scores, in which each character follows a wholly individual trajectory, and the different “stages” of love are delicately handled.”

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Image Variations
Olga Pashchenko makes a conspicuous entrance in the Alpha catalogue with a disc devoted entirely to Beethoven. One will remember her interpretation of Opus 111, released by Fuga Libera, of which the appropriateness and maturity left a powerful impression.

In this new recording, Olga Pashchenko has chosen to combine the two Opus 49 sonatas and three sets of variations, thus tackling what are commonly called 'smaller forms' but which remain major Beethoven works nonetheless.

This young pianist (she is not yet 30) commands admiration for her way of always enlarging her route, which is already long (she gave her first recital when she was 9, in New York), relying on certain great influences (in particular, Alexei Lubimov) and thereby further affirming her personality as an exceptional musician.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Nachtmusik
Les Folies Françoises
Patrick Cohën-Akenine (violin and direction)

Though a child prodigy, Wolfgang Amadeus had no choice but to enter the service of princes and to fulfil commissions from individual patrons for his family to survive. Among them was Countess Antonia Lodron, a member of a leading Salzburg aristocratic family. The two Divertimenti that Countess Antonia commissioned from the young composer (K247 and K282) are known in literature on Mozart by the name 'Lodronische Nachtmusiken' (Lodron Night Music, or Lodron Serenades).

In the mid-eighteenth century the term 'divertimento' was commonly used for any instrumental work that could not be described as a concerto or a symphony. The Divertimenti, like all the commissions Mozart received from individual patrons in Salzburg, were occasional pieces, i.e. intended for a special occasion.

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Image Dido & Aeneas
kr 209 (kr 299)
Image Deux Siecles D'Orgue
Two centuries of organ music at the Chapelle Royale, Versailles . . . The recently restored organ of the chapel bears witness to the glorious past of this historic site and the magnificence of the royal liturgy. This project, entrusted to the four resident organists of the instrument, presents a rich panorama of the composers who had the privilege of entering the Versailles organ loft, from the Couperin dynasty to Balbastre. It forms part of a new series produced by Alpha with the Château de Versailles, which will present the fruits of the latest research into the organ repertory in a sumptuous edition.

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Image Trio Sonatas Op.1
For this recording of music by Buxtehude, Jonathan Cohen, founder of the ensemble Arcangelo, is joined by a distinguished trio, including two regulars on the Alpha label, Sophie Gent and Thomas Dunford, alongside the gambist Jonathan Manson. Although Dietrich Buxtehude is famous above all for his organ music and cantatas, and for the long journey the young Bach undertook to meet him, his chamber music is virtually unknown. In the mid-1690s, at the height of his fame, Buxtehude published two collections in rapid succession, each comprising seven sonatas for violin, viola da gamba and basso continuo. It is the works of the first collection (1694) – designated Opus 1 in the print – that Arcangelo has recorded here. These sonatas are characterised by pronounced experimental features in both the scoring and the handling of the instruments.

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Image String Quartets
The first disc of the quartet founded by Nicolas Van Kuijk, a
programme of Mozart, was awarded a ‘Choc de Classica’ and
‘Diapason Découverte’. Now they return to their roots with key
works from the French repertory: the single quartets of Maurice
Ravel and Claude Debussy and the Chanson perpétuelle of
Ernest Chausson, in which they are accompanied by the mezzosoprano
Kate Lindsey, who recently joined Alpha, and the pianist
Alphonse Cemin, also well-known on the label.
The Quatuor Van Kuijk gives these works all their youthful
impetuosity. The quartet is already a BBC New Generation Artist, having won
First Prize and the Haydn and Beethoven Prizes at the Wigmore
Hall International String Quartet Competition, and First Prize and
the Audience Prize at the Trondheim International String Quartet
Competition. It has just joined the roster of ECHO Rising Star
artists for the 2017-18 season.

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Image Solos
Eric Montalbetti has had a long and fulfilling music career, though not necessarily in the field of composition. He is most known for his 18 year tenure as Artistic director of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. However, he began composing as a young child and has continued throughout his whole life. + Montalbetti writes of this project: “Today, I am most happy to see my scores taking life thanks to wonderful conductors and soloists, and to develop new composition projects for the future.” In this music one can hear all of our most varied emotions- energy, mourning, hope, love, rage, and gratitude. + Notable works on this release include “Trois etudes pares Kandinsky” for piano, and “Esprit tendre,” for oboe, which is a tribute to Helen and Elliott Carter. These works are performed by some of the best soloists in the current French music scene.

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Image Aires
Edouard Ferlet has already explored intriguing byways for the Alpha label: in 2015 he and Violaine Cochard recorded ‘Plucked Unplucked’, an album associating piano and harpsichord – a successful venture that will soon see a follow-up. The bassist Stephane Kerecki has already made several recordings for Outhere, including ‘Nouvelle Vague’, a prizewinner at the Victoires de la Musique. The career of the trumpet player Airelle Besson has been on a high since 2015, when she won both the Prix Django Reinhardt of the Academie du Jazz and the ‘Revelation’ Award at the Victoires du Jazz. These three jazz musicians met and decided to form a trio in order to combine their universes and their ambitions. Here is the fruit of their first year of companionship, a programme presenting compositions by each of them, an album wearing the colours of jazz but featuring several tracks directly inspired by great standards of the classical repertoire, including ‘Es ist vollbracht’ from Bach’s St John Passion, the Pavanes of Ravel and Faure, the Valse sentimentale of Tchaikovsky, and Khachaturian’s Sabre Dance, which can be recognised behind the ‘Stances du sabre’. The refinement of the compositions and the playing and the musicians’ capacity for listening to each other are a source of endless pleasure and fulfilment.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Black is the Colour
"Alpha continues its collaboration with the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and its Academy, which will celebrate its twentieth anniversary in 2018. We invite you to discover artists of great talent who take us on a trip to Auvergne, Sicily, Armenia and Azerbaijan thanks to Luciano Berio’s Folk Songs, to Andalusia with Falla’s Psyché on a poem of Georges-Jean Aubry, and to the world of Jules Renard with Ravel’s Histoires naturelles. The last-named are recorded in a version for chamber ensemble: ‘Since Ravel gave Manuel Rosenthal to make an arrangement for large orchestra which we found rather overblown, we set out to find a “chasseur d’images” (to quote the title of one of Renard’s Histoires naturelles poems) who could transcribe the work without losing its intimate, delicate aspect. . . . We hope you will be as charmed as we are by Arthur Lavandier’s work, which beautifully conveys the immensely refined timbres and nuances of Ravel’, says the oboist Clément Noël, a member of the Swiss Ensemble Labyrinth. Anna Stéphany is a true revelation, performing this programme with the technique, the sensuality and the emotional impact that earned her a huge triumph in Mozart at last summer’s Glyndebourne Festival."

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Image Noël baroque en Pays d'Oc
Natalis Cordat (ca1610-1663), was a country vicar who wrote very refined and aristocratic « noëls » while Nicolas Saboly (1614-1678), is the caustic master of an Avignon Chapel , writer of small pieces in a popular vain. They both echo and contrast each other.

Their Christmas pieces illustrate the interesting diversity of Occitan masters, mixing popular and learned traditions, the profane and the religious, local and universal, French and Langue d’Oc.

The Camera delle Lacrime approaches these « noëls » in a most delightful way. They perfectly catch the historical context of these works, which originate in medieval mystery plays, and which were very popular in the 16th and 17th centuries. Such a performance is the trademark of this ensemble, whose variable configuration allows it to interpret many types of ancient music including popular traditions and songs in French as well as in Occitan.

By the way : none of Natalis Cordat’s « noëls » has ever been recorded !

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Fortepiano Sonatas, Adagio & Variations
For his first disc, Bobby Mitchell, 'Alpha winner' of the legendary Bruges Competition, proposes a programme devoted to Joseph Haydn. His interpretation, juvenile yet based on solid musicological research, lets us rediscover all of Haydn's humour as well as the depth of his feelings. It also reveals an unusual musical personality and an absolutely remarkable pianist.

Bobby Mitchell is a perfect example of Alpha's desire to bear witness to the talent of young artists and to accompany them in their development: a way for the label to contribute to the future of 'early music'.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image I 7 peccatti capitali
Today regarded as one of the most innovative and active Baroque ensembles on the international scene, Cappella Mediterranea has already made several distinguished recordings for the Ricercar label. Leonardo Garcia Alarcon will continue his diverse collaborations with Ricercar, but will also release several projects with Alpha Classics, beginning with this original program of music by one of his favorite composers, Claduio Monteverdi. On the occasion of a music theater piece performed at the Doge’s Palace in Venice which was centered on Poppea, whom her nurse Arnalta warns against the vices, Cappella Mediterranea recorded this anthology of arias and madrigals alternating between sins and virtues, performed by the singers who have made the ensemble’s reputation, including Francesca Aspromonte as Poppea, Mariana Flores in Si dolce e’l tormento among others, and the tenor Emiliano Gonzalez-Toro.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Les Grandes Eaux Musicales de Versailles
Alpha invites you to prolong the pleasure of your visit to Versailles with this recording of the music you heard in the gardens : a selection of great works played by some of the finest musicians of today. Almost two centuries of music, reviving the fabulous history of the palace up to mideighteen century and representing opera, ballet, the air de cour and other genres, are performed here by Le Poème Harmonique (conductor Vincent Dumestre), Pygmalion (conductor Raphaël Pichon), Le Concert Spirituel (conductor Hervé Niquet), Capriccio Stravagante Orchestra (conductor Skip Sempé), les Nouveaux Caractères (conductor Sébastien d’Hérin, l’Orchestre des Temps présents (conductor Olivier Schneebeli), . You'll also discover some excerpts from Campra's Tancrède and Leclair's Scylla & Glaucus.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Judith: Une histoire biblique
Judith: Une histoire biblique de la Croatie renaissante

Katarina Livljanic, Ensemble Dialogos

A film by Radislav Jovanov Gonzo

The Dialogos ensemble presents a highly original DVD. Here, far from the traditional filming of a staged performance, Alpha and Katarina Livljanic offer a genuinely cinematographic work based on the epic poem of the Croatian writer Marko Marulic. Musically speaking, this project comes into the category of a 'reconstruction', inspired by listening to and studying Dalmatian Gregorian and Glagolitic sources from the time of Marulic and by melodies of oral tradition. In this research, it was necessary to study the most archaic layers of what is known as Glagolitic chant. This repertory, curiously sung in the local vernacular even though it belonged to the Roman rite, was preserved in manuscripts written in the Glagolitic alphabet used in medieval Croatia. The archaic beauty of the text is fabulously illustrated here by images of incredible aesthetic refinement. For lovers of fine sound recordings, Alpha offers as a bonus CD the audio version of the project as realised at the time of filming.

kr 209 (kr 299)
Image Dolly 4 mains - Duos and Trios with Piano
Eric Le Sage
Alexandre Tharaud, Emmanuel Pahud, Pierre Colombet,
Raphaël Merlin, François Salque

For the fourth and penultimate volume of his Fauré series, Eric Le Sage has been joined by Alexandre Tharaud, Emmanuel Pahud, and François Salque, long-standing accomplices, in order to record these pieces for four hands. Recipient of numerous prizes both in France and abroad, this complete Fauré series is already asserting itself as a reference for the interpretation of Gabriel Fauré's chamber music with piano.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Sonatas for Cello & Basso Continuo, Vol. 2
Bruno Cocset, cello
Les Basses Réunies / Guido Balestracci

Following on from the album released in 2001 and honoured by numerous distinctions ('Or' of Diapason, 'Choc' of Classica), Bruno Cocset and Les Basses Réunies devote a new recording to Jean Barrière, allowing us to discover six other sonatas - some of which are taken from his Fifth Book - played on the pardessus by the Italian gambist Guido Balestracci. The two harpsichord pieces from the Sixth Book, constituting this programme, are interpreted by Bertrand Cuiller. Bruno Cocset and Les Basses Réunies have contributed considerably to the rediscovery of Jean Barrière, who has become essential in the repertoire of cellists and Baroque instrumental music.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Quatuors Parisiens
After their first recording on Alpha, ‘Conversations’, featuring rarely heard pieces by Quentin and Guillemain, Anna Besson (flute), Louis Creac’h (violin), Robin Pharo (viola da gamba) and Jean Rondeau (harpsichord) continue to introduce the public to the riches of a repertory that has been too long ignored, with this recording of Georg Philipp Telemann’s Nouveaux Quatuors parisiens.

At the height of his glory, the German composer left Hamburg in 1737 to spend time in Paris and appreciate the city’s vibrant musical life. There he composed a new set of quartets that came to be called the ‘Paris Quartets’ and in which he celebrated the union of the European styles of his time, at the zenith of the Baroque. The four musicians and friends of Nevermind pursue their exuberant conversation, as virtuosic and eloquent as ever.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Maddalena à piedi di Cristo
Born in Venice around 1670, Caldara gave Barcelona the first opera ever heard in Catalonia, Il più bel nome (1708), commissioned by his patron, the future Emperor Charles VI, before eventually settling in Vienna in the latter’s service in 1716. A prolific composer with three thousand works to his credit, Caldara died in the Austrian capital in 1736 – in the Kärtnerstrasse, like Vivaldi five years later . . . and in a similar state of destitution. [...] The genre, born in the wake of the Counter-Reformation and illustrated notably by the Roman composers Carissimi and Landi, was initially sung in Latin and performed in pious confraternities. But La Maddalena is an oratorio volgare, that is, sung in Italian. [...] The protagonists of La Maddalena, six in number, are split between Earth and Heaven. They are Martha, Mary Magdalene and a Pharisee on the one hand; Jesus, Earthly Love and Divine Love on the other. They divide among them thirty-three arias and ensembles, in a sequence alternating recitative and aria.

kr 202 (kr 289)
Image 3CD-BOX: Scylla et Glaucus
Anders J. Dahlin, Emöke Barath
Les Nouveaux Caractères / Sébastien D'Hérin

Jean-Marie Leclair, a pure product of the 18th century, was at the crossroads of styles, cultivating a virtuosic art combining melodies à la française and Italian virtuosity stemming from Corelli and Vivaldi. He was 49 when he undertook his first (and only) lyric tragedy: Scylla et Glaucus. In the greatest French tradition, this work combines sumptuous numbers of sentimental outpourings with frightening scenes of fury and terror, in which the orchestra, with forceful passages, plays a dazzling role. A veritable masterpiece, revealing the obvious influence of Rameau, Scylla et Glaucus left a strong mark on French opera.

First performed at the Académie Royale de Musique in 1746, this opera, which had a run of 17 performances and enjoyed great success, was only rediscovered in the 1980s (by John Eliot Gardiner in Lyon). For this re-creation, recorded at the Royal Opera and featuring in the Alpha/ Château de Versailles collection, Sébastien d'Hérin, a connoisseur of Rameau and that era, has surrounded himself with top-notch performers, including the promising amorous duo of Anders Dahlin and Emöke Barath, for a resurrection of what the great musicologist Cuthbert Girdlestone considered 'probably, along with those of Rameau et Gluck, the finest French opera of the century'.

kr 223 (kr 319)
Image Compl. Flute Quartets
En route to Paris, Mozart stayed in Mannheim in 1777, obtaining a commission for several works on behalf of an amateur flautist who was also a rich and distinguished surgeon, formerly engaged in the Dutch East India Company. The flute imposed itself undeniably as solo instrument in these scores imbued with concertante writing and the gallant style characteristic of the taste of the Mannheim court at that time. Some of the quartets would be composed later, in Vienna, such as the jovial K. 298 in which each movement takes up a familiar tune, which Mozart either varied or parodied.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image An Italian in Paris
Sophie Marin-Degor (soprano); Claire Brua (mezzo-soprano); Serge Cyferstein (piano)

Rossini was enjoying great success at the Opéra, in the late 1820s when Donizetti made up his mind that he too would go to Paris. Donizetti did not actually make his début in the French capital until 1835, at Rossini's invitation, but the publication of Rossini's Soirées musicales that year opened a new chapter in the history of salon music. The success of these songs and duets encouraged fellow Italians to produce similar collections: Mercadante's Soirées italiennes (1836) and the various collections by Donizetti from which the pieces on this recording are taken: Nuits d'été à Pausilippe (1836), Rêveries Napolitaines (1839), Matinées Musicales (1841) and Inspirations Viennoises (1842).

Les nuits d'été à Pausilippe is the most famous. This recording ends with six duets that form the latter part of the collection. The title is a reference to the villa of the impresario Domenico Barbaja on Mount Pausilippo, overlooking the Bay of Naples, where these songs and duets were first performed.

GAETANO DONIZETTI An Italian in Paris - duos & mélodies
L'Addio I, O Crudel, La lontananza, Che vuoi di più? C'est le printemps, La gondoliera, Les gondoliers de l'Adriatique, La Sultane, L'Addio I, La nouvelle Ourika, Predestinazione, Vision, Tu mi chiedi,

Sei notturni a due voci(extraits des Nuits à Pausilippe)

Il giuramento, L'aurora, L'alito di Bice, Amor, voce del cielo, Un guardo ed una voce, I bevitori,

kr 118 (kr 169)
Image Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche / Die Seejungf
Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra / Emmanuel Krivine

In this new recording devoted to the symphonic poem, Emmanuel Krivine and the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra couple two of the finest composers in the genre, Alexander von Zemlinsky and Richard Strauss. Die Seejungfrau follows the narrative of Andersen’s tale The Little Mermaid: the realm of the Mer-king, the storm and the Prince’s fall into the waters and rescue by the Little Mermaid; her transformation into a woman by the Sea Witch; the Prince’s admission that he does not love her and marriage to another woman; the Mermaid’s death. It is said that this work was Zemlinsky’s way of exorcising his grief after Alma Schindler, with whom he was madly in love, decided to marry Gustav Mahler. Richard Strauss may be said to have taken the style of the symphonic poem to its peak. Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, which revives the world of a character from north German literature – a vagrant trickster who supposedly lived in the Middle Ages – transcends the genre with its orchestral and melodic verve and a constant renewal of the form itself. This supremely virtuosic, Romantic score, a sarcastic work that mocks bourgeois conventions, set the seal on the composer’s international success.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Belle Voyageuse (La)
Arthur Schoonderwoerd, Claire Brua, Alain Gabriel, Marie-Benedicte Souquet, Jean-Francois Lombard Alpha

kr 118 (kr 169)
Image String Quartets Nos. 16 & 19
Despite its Dutch-sounding name, the quartet founded by Nicolas Van Kuijk in 2012 is French. But its short career is already international. The Quatuor Van Kuijk won First Prize in the 2015 Wigmore Hall Competition and First Prize and Audience Award at the Trondheim Interna-tional Chamber Competition, and its members have been named BBC New Generation Artists until 2017. It has also been distinguished by the Academy of the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, and it is in the framework of the latter’s partnership with Alpha Classics that it has recorded this programme. Mozart is obviously the ideal composer to forge a link between chamber music and opera, the raison d’être of the Aix Festival. This programme combines an impish divertimento by the youthful Mozart of 1772 with two mature quartets composed around 1782, including the famous ‘Dissonance’ Quartet with its eminently dra-matic opening. Nowhere else in Mozart’s quartets do thea-tre and counterpoint form such a happy pairing. Praised by The Guardian for its ‘style, energy, and a sense of risk’, the QVK is one of the most promising chamber groups of the new generation. Alpha is proud to accompany it for several recording projects.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Entre parodies & transcriptions
415 or 440 ? Period or modern instruments? Here, we will hear a modern
violin and organ, at a pitch of 440 therefore, illustrating with virtuoso fingers a fertile page of the rediscovery of Bach at the beginning of the twentieth century. Concertos and cantata sinfonias transcribed by Marcel Dupré (and reputed to be « unplayable » because of their difficulty), sonatas and partitas for violin interpreted in the spirit preceding the baroque revival.

kr 118 (kr 169)
Image Caligula (Blu-ray)
‘From Suetonius to Camus, Caligula has constantly inspired historians, poets and playwrights, to the point of becoming a myth: that of madness steeped in cruelty . . . Caligula raves, Caligula is crazed, but his gaze is that of the visionary, his derangement of the senses is an opening towards the fantastical. Now it is precisely that fantastical (and also comical) dimension that is inscribed in the fable set to music Giovanni Pagliardi in Venice in 1672, which Vincent Dumestre brings back to life here. But above all, this portrait of Caligula as a hero of the impossible, a showman of wonders, has been rounded off with an idea that suddenly seems self-evident: Caligula, and all the characters around him, could only be “wooden actors”, puppets. (...) The traditional Palermitan pupo – used in the famous puppet shows – is manipulated in full view of the audience by means of iron rods fixed to the head of the wooden character and one of the arms of the pupo, especially for the fight scenes, while the other arm is connected by a thread. The specific genius of the pupi is not mimetic, as in Venice, but poetic. Or, even better: epic . . . There is only one surviving representative of this popular art backed up by learned culture: Mimmo Cuticchio. Born in 1948, he learnt his skills from his father Giacomo, through practical experience of performances both itinerant, going from village to village, and local, in Palermo.’

kr 251 (kr 359)
Image Flute Sonatas
Jan Van Hoecke, recorder
Jovanka Marville, harpsichord & fortepiano

Always keen to show its commitment to helping talented young musicians to develop their professional careers, Outhere Music has for several years been the partner of the Musica Antiqua International Competition in Bruges, offering one of the prizewinners the chance to make a recording. In the 2014 finals, the choice fell on the young recorder player Jan Van Hoecke, who convinced the entire jury of the record label with his expressive playing and his inventive and colourful sound palette.

A passionate and exciting interpreter of early and Baroque music, Jan Van Hoecke presents a transcription for recorders and harpsichord or fortepiano of J. S. Bach’s Trio Sonatas for organ BWV 525 and 527-530. His talent is ideally complemented by that of Jovanka Marville, herself a former prizewinner of the competition. With sure-footed mastery of their art, always at the service of the music, they invite us on a captivating journey, shedding new light on these masterpieces by the master of Leipzig.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Passagio - Eine Barocke Alpenüberquerung
For several years now, the guitarist and lutenist Björn Colell and the Baroque violinist Georg Kallweit, Konzertmeister of the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, have formed a noted duo called Ombra e Luce: ‘With only two musicians and two instruments, we aspire to a perfect rapport and a permanent dialogue. We have access to a rich repertory of original pieces from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries for violin and lute/theorbo: this was a widespread combination, essentially before 1700. We work a great deal on tone colours and nuances, spontaneity and improvisatory playing – a flexible and sensual interpretation of the works we perform, giving full value to chiaroscuro: ombra e luce! We are convinced that, played in this way, our “early music” can speak directly to the hearts even of listeners who are hearing it for the first time. This new recording, “Passagio”, is the result of our recent musical journeys. Setting out from Italy to go farther north, we have virtually and musically crossed the Alps with our instruments. The works on this recording shed a different light on the music of the courts of Modena, Bologna and Venice.’

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Kohllhaas
This album represents an unexpected dialogue between two musical worlds, the fruit of our encounter with Arnaud des Pallières for the film Michael Kohlhaas. This is not a simple soundtrack: it presents some of the music from the film, but also many pieces that accompanied its genesis but were not retained in the final edit. It thus provides an extension of the film.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Bereshit
Alpha Classics continues its collaboration with the Ensemble Intercontemporain and presents a programme devoted to compositions by its conductor and artistic director, Matthias Pintscher. bereshit, ‘in a beginning’ in Hebrew, is a piece on the subject of divine creation. The architecture of the work refers to the idea of the growth of the elements out of nothingness to their finished state: the colours, the harmonies are therefore always redefined by what precedes and follows them. Songs from Solomon’s garden – still in a highly spiritual dimension – explores amorous passion through the shir ha shirim (Song of Songs). The poetic density of this text is underlined here, with the only repeated phrase of the work taking on a quasi-incantatory signification: ‘she-cholat ahava ani’ (for I am sick of love).

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Der Frühling
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach is the most famous of the sons of J.S. Bach. His magisterial oeuvre contains, notably, a large number of concertos for various instruments and keyboard pieces. But the composer also excelled at vocal music, thus continuing in the family tradition by composing, among other genres, sacred and secular cantatas and songs. His works respect the rules of Baroque style while also hinting at the dawn of the Classical style subsequently represented by Haydn and Mozart. Café Zimmermann has been including the music of C. P. E. Bach in its programmes for years, notably in a recording (ALPHA 107) that marked a turning point in the discography. A Leipzig newspaper wrote of the ensemble’s interpretation of works by Emanuel Bach: ‘Anyone who has heard the sensational Café Zimmermann in this music, the brilliant, ardent spirit of their playing, their profusion of colours...will want to hear more of this composer.’ Here is a further opportunity to do so, in partnership with the English tenor Rupert Charlesworth, who recorded his first album in 2015 (‘Nocturnes’, ZZT 355).

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Mélodies avec orchestre
Although the turn of the twentieth century marked the golden age of French song, the genre was generally accompanied on the piano and only rarely orchestrated by its composers. But Camille Saint-Saëns, a great lover of poetry, was also a champion of the orchestrated mélodie and the French coloristic style. He also wanted to counterbalance the overwhelming popularity of operatic arias in concert programmes. An immense admirer of Victor Hugo, Saint-Saëns set many of his poems to music, including L'Enlèvement, Rêverie, and Le Pas d'armes du Roi Jean, regarded as one of his masterpieces. Exoticism and a certain sense of the supernatural run through such songs as Danse macabre, one of the most popular pieces of classical music, but always heard nowadays either in its version for orchestra alone or performed by a singer with piano accompaniment. Of the twenty-five mélodies with orchestra listed in the catalogue of Saint-Saëns, nineteen are recorded here, all of them for the first time! With interpreters of the calibre of Yann Beuron and Tassis Christoyannis, the words are perfectly served here and the composer’s coloristic talents heard from the very first bars. This disc is a genuine event that enables us to rediscover a whole segment of the history of vocal music, a renaissance made possible by the Fondation Bru Zane. World premiere recording

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Miroirs
After his first recording, devoted to Chopin (ZZT 347), and the award of First Prize at the Géza Anda Competition in 2015, which gave a substantial boost to his career, the young American pianist Andrew Tyson has devised a new programme to showcase his talents: two sonatas and a waltz by Scriabin coupled with Ravel’s Miroirs. Andrew Tyson has chosen to associate two composers whose language seems to divide them, but who nevertheless have many things in common, notably their use of tonality, of certain unusual harmonies and of dissonance. Alexander Scriabin and Maurice Ravel also lived in the same city, at the same period, without ever meeting: Debussy, Ravel and the French musical elite of the period regarded their Russian colleagues as crude and uneducated. Yet when one listens to their music, even if their approach to the piano and to composition could hardly be more different, it is apparent that they use tone colours in the same way. For Andrew Tyson, ‘Ravel is an elegant perfectionist, whose every detail is calculated and glitters like crystal; Scriabin is like a flickering flame – passionate, reckless, spontaneous and erotic.’

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Labirinto d amore
The 'Eric Clapton of the lute' (BBC Magazine) comes back to the Alpha microphones, this time with the soprano Anna Reinhold.

Here, Thomas Dunford applies his truly prodigious virtuosity to the eight Toccatas from the first book by Meister Kapsberger, giving us a veritable concert such as the composer himself might have proposed with, in counterpoint to the toccatas, a few of the loveliest airs by Caccini, Merula et al. The beauty of Anna Reinhold's voice (a young talent noticed especially in William Christie's 'Jardin des voix') has a freshness and energy that bring to mind the young performers at work in Alpha's earliest recordings. This goes to prove that there still remains much distance to cover in the discovery of Baroque art.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Passion de Clermont, La
The turn of the first millennium was experienced by people of that time not with fear that the world was coming to an end, but rather with hope that the world would be renewed, as 'the promise of a new Spring'. Thus, Christ's Passion came to symbolise the resurrection of the Church; a great reformation began. Seen in that context the lyric poem La Passion de Clermont takes on its full meaning.

kr 55 (kr 79)
Image Splendeurs de Versailles (10 CD)
Versailles is remembered for its court, its atmosphere, its music, and its splendor which defined a monument with an incomparably rich history. The works associated with the palace have travelled down the centuries, and today represent a precious part of the Western music tradition. In this release, Alpha retraces the musical life of the unique and luminous universe of Versailles. Le Poeme Harmonique, Café Zimmermann, Capriccio Stravagante, and many others invite themselves into the company of Jean-Baptiste Lully, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, and Jean-Henry d’Anglebert and share with us for a few hours the sumptuous concerts that made Versailles a place like no other.

kr 209 (kr 299)
Image Piano Concerto
Idil Biret, piano
Bilkent Symphony Orchestra / Alain Paris

French music of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century abounds in fine and very original symphonic and concerted works that are rarely explored. During the symphonic revival initiated by Camille Saint-Saëns and César Franck, several famous virtuosos encouraged composers to write new works that were to leave their mark on the repertoire. At a time when composers were trying to get away from the traditional image of music, it opened up a new path that others were to follow.

kr 118 (kr 169)
Image 4CD-BOX: Schubertiade
Anima Eterna Brugge / Jos Van Immerseel

4 CD's, 17 musicians, 32 master pieces: these are the main ingredients of Schubertiade - a compilation of vocal and instrumental chamber music by Schubert, hand-picked and assembled by Jos van Immerseel to form the soundtrack to 4 imaginary Schubertian salons.

An ode to the master of Ständchen and Forellenquintett, this recording is also a celebration of Anima Eterna Brugge's maestro, who, over the past 25 years, has led the orchestra to many happy encounters with his favorite composer.

kr 258 (kr 369)
Image Piano Concertos, K.415, K.175 & K.503
This album combines a well known pianist who has already recorded multiple successful albums and a conductor whose ventures into Mozart are always equally successful. + Olivier Cave was a student of Nelson Goerner, Maria Tipo, and Aldo Ciccolini. His playing is refined and virtuosic, and his recordings of Clementi, Haydn, and Scarlatti have all been praised by audiences and critics alike. + Conductor Rinaldo Alessandrini formed this orchestra specifically for this recording. He and the ensemble Divertissement will embark on a European tour centered around this program me along with Mozart’s symphonies. + This program me follow’s the composer from his youth to his maturity, from Concerto no. 5 was written when Mozart was only 17, all the way to No. 25 which was written at his peak in the same year as Le Nozze di Figaro. All of these works are stylishly performed by all musicians involved.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Give me your hand - Geminiani & The Celtic Earth
Some of the Italian musicians who came to London to ‘make their fortunes’ found themselves influenced by the Celtic lands and their rich tradition of folk music. They were in their turn admired and sometimes even copied by their counterparts in the British Isles. This recording shows the outcome of that encounter. Lorenzo Bocchi was probably the first Italian cellist to settle in Edinburgh, in 1720. Francesco Geminiani (1687-1762) arrived in Dublin in 1733. Since 1714 he had been resident in London, where he performed with Handel, but his passion for art dealing landed him in prison. The Earl of Essex then took him under his protection in Dublin, where he swiftly acquired a high reputation. In 1749 he published in London a collection of songs and tunes arranged as sonatas for several instruments combined with a treatise that gives us much useful information on how to play this music. James Oswald (1710-1769), whom Geminiani greatly admired, was a prolific Scottish composer. Turlough O’Carolan (1670-1738), a harper who went blind at the age of eighteen, travelled throughout Ireland as an itinerant bard in the service of aristocratic families. This disc brings these four musical protagonists together in an imaginary meeting (or perhaps it actually took place!) in Dublin.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Paris Joyeux & Triste
Alexei Lubimov, piano
Slava Poprugin, piano

In Paris joyeux & triste, Alexei Lubimov and Viacheslav Poprugin alternate pieces by Igor Stravinsky and Erik Satie, two composers who became friends in the early years of the twentieth century despite their very different musical personalities. Stravinsky made his own two-piano arrangement of the 'Dumbarton Oaks' Concerto, while Satie's Socrate and Cinéma are heard here in arrangements by John Cage and Darius Milhaud respectively. Pieces for two pianos, for piano four hands and for prepared piano combine on this disc which mingles music and theatre - for it is the theatrical element that unites the two composers. As Diaghilev said to Cocteau: 'Astonish me!' With this programme, these instruments and his extremely diverse musical experiences, Lubimov continues to make that his credo today.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Serpent & Fire
This creative program comes to us from German soprano Anna Prohaska. In this endeavor, Anna follows the queens of Egypt and Carthage, (Dido and Cleopatra), across first century Europe. + The works featured on this release come from the biggest names in Baroque names, like Cavalli, Handel, Purcell, and Hasse, as well as lesser known composers such as Graupner and Castrovillari. These opera arias are all virtuosic and passionate, and Prohaska delivers them with a fervor that has solidified her reputation in the world of opera. + This is the first in a series of releases that will be recorded by Anna Prohaska. For this release, she is joined by Il Giardino Armonico- one of today’s most accomplished Baroque ensembles. The ensemble is directed by Giovanni Antonini, who is also heard as a recorder soloist in some of these arias. + Anna Prohaska is a leading star in her native Germany. She has sung on the world’s finest opera stages, including La Scala and Covent Garden.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image DoReMi / Cello Concerto Grosso / Speaking Drums
Midori, violin
Jean-Guihen Queyras, cello

Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France / Peter Eötvös

In November 2014, Radio France inaugurated its new auditorium with a programme giving carte blanche to one of the most eminent composers of our time, Peter Eötvös, who was then celebrating his seventieth birthday. On this occasion, three of his concertos were given their world premiere recordings under his direction with three soloists of the front rank. The violin concerto DoReMi, played here by its dedicatee Midori, is followed by Cello Concerto Grosso, a triangular dialogue between the solo cello, the cello section, and the full orchestra. The spectacular Speaking Drums concludes the programme on a highpoint: the orchestra (around forty musicians) prolongs the performance – theatrical as much as musical – of the percussionist, who declaims texts by the poets Sándor Weöres (in Hungarian) and Jayadeva (in Sanskrit) and moves from point to point on the platform, thus creating links with various instruments of the orchestra. The stunning Martin Grubinger lends his voice and his percussion playing to this piece, which ends in highly virtuosic polyrhythm.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Rikadla
Collegium Vocale Gent, Het Collectief / Reinbert De Leeuw

Even though the international reputation of Leoš Janácek was first and foremost built round his operas, it would be regrettable to neglect his choral and instrumental works in which the Moravian composer gave us some of the most beautiful pages of his art.

Slavic soul - of that there is no doubt - he charms with his unique stylistic originality, nurtured on popular culture and folklore. Under the sure, inspired conducting of Reinbert de Leeuw, the Collegium Vocale Gent and Het Collectief ensemble combine choral works and purely instrumental music: From Potulný šílenec (The Wandering Madman) to the Piano Sonata '1.X.1905', arranged by the Dutch conductor for thirteen instruments, by way of the famous Ríkadla or Elegie na smrt dcery Olgy (Elegy on the Death of my Daughter Olga), Reinbert de Leeuw transmits naturally his love of the composer and inspires his musicians with an infectious poetic energy.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image L'art de toucher le clavecin
"The harpsichord is perfect in its compass, and brilliant in itself; but, as one can neither swell nor diminish its notes, I shall always be grateful to those who, through consummate art sustained by good taste, manage to make this instrument capable of expression.’ Why is it difficult to play the music of Francois Couperin when it seems so simple at first glance? By offering precious information on the interpretation of his music (and more generally on the interpretation of French music of his time) in his treatise L’Art de toucher le clavecin (The art of harpsichord playing), Couperin provides us with the necessary elements for today’s performer, who seeks above all to respect the composer’s intentions. However, fear of not going beyond the indications given by the latter and excessive attention to every detail can inhibit inspiration and distract from the purpose of the works. Like the French language, it consists of rules but also of many exceptions. Modern grammars and dictionaries give us complete, firm, infallible answers to all these questions. But things were quite different at the time"

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Bach Plucked / Unplucked
Violaine Cochard, harpsichord
Édouard Ferlet, piano

Edouard Ferlet is a jazz pianist featuring a refined swing. His album Think Bach, a first incursion into the world of the Cantor, was a total success: from Télérama (ffff) to Jazz Magazine, everyone was charmed by his approach and the quality of his piano ('incredibly well turned out and beautiful,' wrote Stéphane Friédérich in Pianiste)... Unclassifiable and unpredictable, as he defines himself, the pianist-composer is in the habit of combining jazz with the most varied forms: classical music, theatre, filmscores, performances and musical readings with authors such as Nancy Huston...

In the continuity of the Think Bach project, Arièle Butaux provoked an unexpected duo on French radio, centred on Baroque music and improvisation, a magical, timeless face-to-face between Edouard Ferlet and harpsichordist Violaine Cochard. Considered one of the finest ambassadresses of her instrument and also a great lover of Bach, she recorded, on an exceptional instrument, an album that drew considerable attention. This disc is the result of that meeting of struck strings and plucked strings. Side by side, each at his or her own instrument, the two musicians carry on a dialogue about Bach's music, between original text and improvisations.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image La Clemenza di Tito
The Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and Alpha extend their series of recordings of the Mozart operas conducted by Jérémie Rhorer. After Die Entführung aus dem Serail, which received excellent international reviews (including FFFF in Télérama), here now is La clemenza di Tito. Gilles Macassar wrote in Télérama late in 2014 of ‘divinatory conducting, a cast close to the ideal . . . The last opera Mozart composed, long undervalued, closes the chapter of the Baroque and looks into the future, blazing a new trail that looks forward to the nineteenth century.’ That outstanding interpretation is now available in this two-CD set, featuring a high-powered cast – Kurt Streit (Tito), Karina Gauvin (Vitellia), Julie Fuchs (Servilia), Julie Boulianne (Annio), Robert Gleadow (Publio) and, in the role of Sextus, a singer who enjoyed triumphal acclaim from the audience at each performance: Kate Lindsey. The American mezzo-soprano has now joined Alpha, and her first album, devoted to Kurt Weill (see Alpha 272), will be released in May 2017.

kr 132 (kr 189)
Image Le théâtre musical de Telemann
"Tremendous fun!", "Scintillating!", wrote the journalists of Diapason and Classica about the most recent recording of Olivier Fortin and his ensemble, devoted to the rarely heard Romanus Weichlein, which received every honor from the French musical press (Diapason d'Or, Choc de Classica, FFFF Telerama). This year, the Canadian harpsichordist and his loyal band have decided to record Telemann, the 250th anniversary of whose death will be commemorated in 2017. Two anonymous musicians from the city of Hamburg wrote in 1728 that "Handel composes music" but Telemann composes "music and affects". The overture-suites by Telemann presented on this recording are written in a "mimetic' style: Les Nations, the Concerto Polonois, La Bizarre and the Burlesque de Quixotte explore a vast range of subjects and, even more than all his other works, reveal a man of the theatre, widely read, curious a humorist and a shrewd observer of the physical and political world around him.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Son of England
Henry Purcell died on 21 November 1695 at the age of thirty-six. The music he had written for the funeral of Queen Mary only eight months earlier was performed again for his burial service. Soon afterwards, several composers paid tribute to Purcell by writing odes in his memory. Jeremiah Clarke’s homage to ‘Orpheus Britannicus’ in his Ode on the Death of Henry Purcell is a deeply moving token of the younger composer’s admiration. Alas, Clarke too was destined to die in his prime, and we can only imagine what the destiny of British music might have been if their lives had been prolonged. After an acclaimed production of Dido and Aeneas, Vincent Dumestre and Le Poème Harmonique continue their exploration of the world of Purcell and seventeenth-century English music. Constantly keeping an ear out for multiple musical ramifications, from Dowland to Lully by way of the Elizabethan masques, this new programme spotlights the genius of Jeremiah Clarke, whose sadly premature death makes us regret all the marvels he might have produced. Here is a collection of masterpieces coupling two of Purcell’s most popular works with an exceptional discovery.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Symphony No. 9 (From the New World)
Following on from his critically acclaimed Lutoslawski programme, the conductor Krzysztof Urbanski pursues his collaboration with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester et Alpha. The New World Symphony is a work that has always fascinated Krzysztof Urbanski: ‘It was only when I studied Dvorák’s other symphonies that I came to understand the principal characteristic and strength of the Ninth: simplicity. I wanted to dig deeper, and so I examined the manuscript and parts used for the New York premiere. There I discovered things that changed my view of it, like the fact that the first four bars of the third movement shouldn’t be played on the repeat. That gives them a completely different meaning when they recur at the da capo . . . The coupling, the rare Hero’s Song, shows an entirely different side of Dvorák. The way he transforms the initial four-note motif to evoke so many varied feelings, from joy to tragedy, shows his immense compositional mastery.’ This new album will be released to coincide with the opening of the ElbPhilharmonie hall in Hamburg, where Urbanski will be one of the leading figures.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Pape musulman (Le) & autres chansons
Yet another unknown section of French music which remains to be discovered! Béranger, who was hugely successful during the whole of the 19th century, was considered the « Balzac » of song writing, at a time when this genre, far from being considered minor, occupied a respectable place in the literary world. Political songs, social and religious satire, no subject escaped Béranger, especially not a provocative one! The baritone Arnaud Marzorati, mainstay of Le Poème Harmonique, is supported by two outstanding accompanists, Freddy Eichelberger at the pianino and Yves Rechsteiner at the harmonium. Let's rejoice that this unique instrumental combination, which had rather fallen into oblivion at the beginning of the 20th century, now finds the visibility it deserves. It completely changes our perception of a repertoire that had been erroneously tagged as "minor" and which can offer us considerable pleasure.

kr 118 (kr 169)
Image Néère
Véronique Gens, soprano
Susan Manoff, piano

A great Mozartian, Gens also excels in Gluck, Berlioz and Offenbach and has sung with the greatest, from Claudio Abbado to Marc Minkowski and Frans Brüggens.

Her rich discography features a wide range of repertoire, but up until now it included only one recording of mélodies, despite the fact that she is unanimously recognized as one of the world's most eminent ambassadresses of the French art song.

With her accompanist Susan Manoff, a connoisseur of vocal music and a tremendously sensitive pianist, she has assembled this programme devoted to songs she loves, mixing well-known gems and rarities such as the superb Néère, from Reynaldo Hahn's Muses latines.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Lulier
In Rome between the late seventeenth century and the early eighteenth, academies and ‘conversazioni’ (artistic gatherings) organised by aristocrats and cardinals attracted the leading writers and musicians. The names of Arcangelo Corelli, Alessandro Scarlatti and the young G. F. Handel stand out among many others. Giovanni Lorenzo Lulier (Rome, c.1660-1700), a cellist and composer known as ‘Giovanni del Violone’, participated in this intensive musical activity. [...] When he entered the entourage of Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, in 1690, Lulier already had a decade of compositional activity behind him in the genres of oratorio, opera and above all the chamber cantata. Originally consisting of a succession of strophic arias, the cantata gradually established itself as a poetic and musical genre characterised by alternating recitatives and arias. [...] As is well known, the conversazioni of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries also included the performance of instrumental music.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Piano Works & Chamber Music, Vol. 5

"Det ambitiösa skivmärket Alpha producerar läckerbitar inom tidig musik, barock och romantik. I serien dubbel-cd:ar med Schumanns piano- och kammarverk, (beräknas komplett till Schumannåret 2010), är den franske pianisten Eric Le Sage sammanbindande kraft. Med genuin känsla för Schumann gör han på femte volymen ypperliga tolkningar av de fantasirika och sköna Novelletten op 21, Nachtstücke op 23 samt Drei Phantasiestücke op 111. Lysande framförs också g-moll-sonaten op 22, Vier Märsche op 76 samt de sena Gesänge der Frühe op 133. Även vol III, med kammarmusik, rekommenderas."
(Svenska Dagbladet)

Eric Lesage continues the flamboyant exploration of Robert Schumann's solo piano repertoire, all of them cornerstones of 19th century musical history. This momentous endeavour receives more and more critical acclaim and is recorded in optimal conditions (the outstanding acoustics of La Chaux-de-Fonds and brilliant sound by Jean-Marc Laisné). The complete recording of these works will come to an end by 2010 (the anniversary of Schumann's birth) and so crown its festivities.

kr 209 (kr 298)
Image Cello Concerto / Piano Concerto / Violin Concerto
Ensemble Intercontemporain / Matthias Pintscher

Alpha is launching a collaboration with the Ensemble Intercontemporain and its new artistic director, composer-conductor Matthias Pintscher.

This new series will alternate 20th-century landmarks and new works, providing an opportunity to show to advantage the great quality of the EIC musicians in the major masterpieces of the last century and to discover scores by composers of the 21st century.

kr 202 (kr 289)
Image Plucked' N Dance
A journey through countries, periods and styles on the theme of dance. The themes and melodies are borrowed from Spanish, Turkish, Russian, Italian, English, Hungarian and French composers, inspired by folk music and dances. edouard Ferlet has used this music to compose new pieces, arranged for harpsichord and piano. There are no direct quotations here, but a thread which is woven between these well-known melodies and a new musical vocabulary. In each piece Violaine Cochard and Edouard Ferlet improvise freely, each with their individual ‘temperament’ and sensibility. They work on sonority, texture, the exploration of sound palettes, spatialisation, phrasing, distillation. The two artists seek to develop sonic possibilities, articulations, playing techniques and interaction between their musical personalities. A special feature is their work on pulse and tempo, with compound metres linked with the rhythms of folksongs and dances, which are often in compound time. Each piece is underpinned by an individual dramaturgy; the melodies are immediately appealing because they remind us of something while surprising us with jazz and contemporary arrangements.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Des Pas sous la Neige
Joël Grare, percussionist and tireless seeker after offbeat sounds and instruments, here presents his third album for Alpha: ‘Footprints beneath the snow: first sounds of innocence, cowbells and jingle-bells, sounds swallowed up by the mountain’… Through his compositions and inspirational influences (Debussy, Bartók) he follows a dizzying emotional Alpine path, along with his amazing instruments: drums, balafon, melodica, sanza, cowbells of all sizes, Japanese drums, trompiki, rainstick, thunder sheet – and his famous ‘clavicloche’: One early afternoon in January 1986 I visited the Devouassoud workshop in Chamonix, manufacturer of the jingle bells and tongued cowbells that adorn the animals’ necks, filling the mountainside with their chimes… I added these new treasures to my percussion set, not realizing that these newbies arranged among my cymbals would eventually become an instrument in their own right… Totally unlike church bells, whose pitches are pre-calculated when casting them, the pitch of cowbells is only approximate. The low-pitched bells are called “dull”, and the high-pitched ones “bright” – you need only a few cowbell notes to identify a particular herd. When trying to assemble a full tuned set, you might test several hundred cowbells and pick out just a few… To collect a chromatic set of three-and-a-half octaves took me a good twenty years!’ (Joël Grare)

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Trios For Fortepiano & Viola Da Gamba
Lucile Boulanger, viola da gamba
Arnaud de Pasquale, fortepiano

For this second recording as a duo, Lucile Boulanger and Arnaud de Pasquale propose a journey to 18th-century Germany, in the marvellous setting of the Sans Souci palace where Frederick II of Prussia had established his court.

This disc, reflecting the extraordinary conjuncture experienced by the court of Berlin under Frederick II, brings together some of the virtuosic works for viola da gamba and fortepiano by Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach, Johann Gottlieb Graun and Ludwig Christian Hesse, attesting to the results of fruitful collaborations between the composers at that court.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Cello Sonatas
Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, cello
Martin Helmchen, piano

Since her high-profile victory at the 2005 Rostropovich Competition (she is the only winner ever to have taken both the First Prize and two special jury prizes), Marie-Elisabeth Hecker has belonged among the cellists who really count in the world.

For her very first sonata recording, she is reunited with her partner both on the concert platform and in private life, the stylish pianist Martin Helmchen, in a programme of Brahms. The combination of the cellist whose playing was described by Die Zeit as ‘moving and instinctively beautiful’ and the pianist whom Diapason calls a ‘master of sound, tempo and articulation’ promises to be a moment of true chamber music, lyrical and brimming with complicity.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Messe pour la Naissance de Louis XIV
In 1638 Louis-Dieudonne, destined to become King of France under the name of Louis XIV, was born. Louis XIII instructed his ambassadors to celebrate the event with pomp and circumstance, sparing no expense. In Venice, four days of festivities were organized in honor of the French Dauphin, culminating in the performance of a solemn mass specially composed by Giovanni Rovetta at the San Giorgio Maggiore. Giovanni Rovetta served as Monteverdi’s deputy maestro di cappella at San Marco, and eventually succeded him in 1644, becoming one of Venice’s leading musicians. The mass was never sung again after its first performance. In 2015, Benjamin Chenier reconstructed the work to celebrate the tercentenary of the death of Louis XIV. The grandiose Venetian work displays all of the splendor appropriate to the spirit of La Serenissima Repubblica. The Galilei Consort, founded by the violinist Benjamin Chenier, is principally dedicated to the reconstruction of musical practices and works of seventeenth-century Italy. Such practices emerged from the humanist movement, and are personified by Vincenzo Galilei, father of the famous Galileo, who advocated a return to the Green conception of music with primary impoprtance accorded to the meaning of the text.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image 12 fantasias for solo flute
‘The reserve collections of the Bibliothèque Royale of Brussels hold the sole printed copy of Telemann’s Twelve Fantaisies for solo flute. . . . These fantasias considerably enrich the slender corpus of Baroque works for flute without bass, alongside two other gems, the Partita of J. S. Bach and the Sonata in A minor of C. P. E. Bach. A cycle for solo flute of this kind, arranged by tonalities (the twelve that come most naturally to the instrument) and rising gradually from the key of A to that of G, is unique in the repertory. . . . These fantasias, each with its own mood, are miniatures consisting of a succession of three or four movements in the same key. All of them have in common the concision, the formal brevity and the rapid alternation of their movements. Telemann plays on effects of contrast and surprise by switching between opposing characters and tempi. ‘The open form of the fantasia offers the composer an ideal field of freedom and expression for his inexhaustible imagination. A fervent champion of the réunion des goûts (mixed style) embracing German, Italian, French and Polish tastes, Telemann covered all the genres, national styles and compositional idioms of his time.’ François Lazarevitch

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Lieder and Songs
Mari Eriksmoen, soprano
Alphonse Cemin, piano

In the framework of its partnership with the Académie of the Aix-en-Provence Festival, Alpha presents the recital of a Norwegian soprano already well known in opera houses and especially for her interpretations of Mozart heroines whom she embodies under the direction of the greatest conductors such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt and René Jacobs. For this first recital, which she recorded with another eminent member of the Aix Académie, pianist Alphonse Cemin, she has chosen a programme combining her roots, with Grieg and Agathe Backer Grøndahl (1847-1907), pianist-composer born in 1847 of whom we discover a few songs, and those masters of the German Lied Richard Strauss et Hugo Wolf in whose songs her pure, luminous voice works wonders.

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Image Piano Quartets Nos. 1 & 2
Following a first recording devoted to Dvorák’s Dumky Trio and Trio no.3, Omri Epstein, Mathieu van Bellen and Ori Epstein are joined by one of their former teachers at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, the violist Miguel da Silva, a founder member of the famous Quatuor Ysaÿe. Together they pursue this series of the Czech composer’s complete chamber music with piano: there is an obvious close rapport between the musicians, who share with us their passion for this repertory and their pleasure in playing together.

The Piano Quartet no.1 in D major op.23 of 1875 was one of the first works in which the young Dvorák, inspired by Schubert, laid the foundations of the compositional style which he would conserve for the rest of his life. Fourteen years later, he composed the Piano Quartet no.2 in E flat major op.87, completed under pressure from his publisher. This work, influenced by Brahms, is one of the masterpieces of his maturity.

Two further recordings will complete this quadriptych of the Czech composer’s keyboard trios, quartets and quintets.

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Image Violin Concerto No. 2 / Concerto for Orchestra
Tedi Papavrami, violin
Orchestre Philharmonique Du Luxembourg / Emmanuel Krivine

After two first recordings released by Zig-Zag Territoires and devoted to Ravel, Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov, Emmanuel Krivine and the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra devote this CD to two emblematic works from the end of Bartók's life: the Violin Concerto No.2, first performed in 1939, and the Concerto for Orchestra, premiered in 1944. These are absolutely major works both in Bartók's catalogue and from this period in the history of music, and are, moreover, close to the universe of Emmanuel Krivine.

For the Violin Concerto, it is Tedi Papavrami who was invited by both the Orchestra and by Zig-Zag Territoires. Let us recall the astonishing recording that Tedi Papavrami recently made of Eugène Ysaÿe's complete violin sonatas for this label.

These are absolutely major works both in Bartók's catalogue and from this period in the history of music, and are, moreover, close to the universe of Emmanuel Krivine. For the Violin Concerto, it is Tedi Papavrami who was invited by both the Orchestra and by Zig-Zag Territoires. Let us recall the astonishing recording that Tedi Papavrami recently made of Eugène Ysaÿe's complete violin sonatas for this label.

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Image Pyrrhus
This world première recording, with a first-rate cast, brings to light a major work of the French operatic heritage. Pyrrhus by Pancrace Royer (also noted for his very fine - and virtuosic - harpsichord music) was first performed early in the reign of Louis XV. It is one of the twenty-one tragédies lyriques on the subject of the Trojan War that were performed at the Académie Royale de Musique (the Paris Opéra) between 1687 and 1730.

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Image Majesté
In 1683, Michel-Richard de Lalande entered the Chapelle Royale as a sous-maître after receiving the support of Louis XIV in a formidable recruitment competition. Still only twenty-five years old, the young composer was swiftly to become established as the King’s favourite and accede to the most coveted posts at court in a career spanning almost forty years. Above all, Louis included him in the consultations for the construction of the new Chapelle Royale, adjacent to Versailles Palace. As the arches gradually rose skywards, Lalande composed and revised his motets, which give expression to the then-peerless grandeur of the realm, while at the same time testifying to the chapel’s incomparable acoustics. His works – settings of psalms, hymns, the Te Deum – record the atmosphere at court in the liturgy, in times of both trouble and rejoicing. Following their earlier recording of Te Deum settings by Lully and Charpentier at the Chapelle Royale, Vincent Dumestre and Le Poème Harmonique have now returned to Versailles to tackle the music Lalande composed for that extraordinary place. Alongside the grands motets Deitatis majestatem and Ecce nunc benedicite, with their synthesis of royal pomp and the language of opera, they offer the deeply moving Miserere and the most grandiose Te Deum performed in the reign of Louis XIV, the Te Deum of the King himself.

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Image Piano Quintets & Bagatelles
After two earlier Dvorák releases, the Trios nos.3 and 4 (Dumky) and the two Piano Quartets, Omri Epstein, Mathieu van Bellen and Ori Epstein are joined by one of their teachers at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, the violist Miguel da Silva (founder member of the famous Quatuor Ysaÿe) and the violinist Maria Milstein, who was also an artist in residence at the Music Chapel from 2011 to 2014. Together they continue this recording of the Czech composer’s complete chamber music with keyboard, this time in the two Piano Quintets and the Bagatelles. There is an obvious close rapport between these musicians, who share with us their passion for this repertory and their enjoyment of playing together. A gap of fifteen years separates Dvorák’s two Piano Quintets, which have few features in common except a shared home key: the First marks the debut of a youthful composer, while the Second shows him at the peak of his art. The Bagatelles, originally scored for two violins, cello and harmonium, are among his bestknown short pieces. A recording scheduled for release in autumn 2018 will complete this quadriptych of Dvorák’s piano trios, quartets and quintets.

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Image Mazeppa
Patrick Scheyder (piano Ignace Pleyel 1846)

Patrick Scheyder takes a fresh look at the tradition of Liszt interpretations to reveal the long lost link between instrument and its specific technique. This recording, played on a Pleyel built in 1846, aims to turn this CD into a manifesto, as was the case with the poem Mazeppa, published by Victor Hugo in 1828.The last track is an improvisation, a personal and musical conclusion to the programme.

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Image Arpeggione Sonata & Trio No. 2
Following a first recording on Alpha devoted to Brahms which garnered much praise – ‘real duo playing’ said Gramophone, while Classica discerned ‘shared music making . . . a world full of nuances and subtlety, boundless sonic imagination (Marie-Elisabeth Hecker), playing of rare intelligence (Martin Helmchen)’ and awarded the disc a ‘Choc’ – the duo is reunited. Its new programme features two summits of chamber music: Schubert’s famous Arpeggione Sonata – named after a now obsolete instrument that was a cross between the guitar and the cello – and his no less celebrated Trio no.2 D929, which achieved even greater popularity thanks to Stanley Kubrick’s film Barry Lyndon. In the latter, the duo is joined by an eminent musician with whom they enjoy playing, Antje Weithaas, ‘one of the great violinists of our time’ (Fonoforum) and also one of the teachers most sought after by the young generation. For example, she taught Tobias Feldmann, the young violinist recently signed by Alpha.

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Image Symphony No.5
Shostakovich’s Fifth is without doubt one of the greatest symphonies ever written, and it is also one of my personal favorites. This genuine masterpiece represents a mirror image of the world around Shostakovich: in it he depicted in music the reality of life in Leningrad in 1937 from his own perspective. For him this was the ‘worst of times’. After the premiere of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and the official denunciation of the opera prompted by Stalin’s stormy reaction to the work, the composer was closely watched by the Party.(…) This sense of threat however did not silence his need to compose. He had to find a way to cope with the sense of pressure, and to create new music which would please the authorities and keep the danger of public criticism at a safe distance. His Fourth Symphony had been denounced for its dissonances, its bleak atmosphere, and its ending, fading away into silence. So for his Fifth Symphony the composer deliberately simplified his musical language in order to produce a work that might be considered ‘accessible’ by the Party: one that would be perceived as full of positive spirit, with a resoundingly triumphant conclusion. One might imagine that such dubious circumstances could have destroyed the talented young composer, and turned him into a Soviet propagandist. For on the surface, the piece appears to be full of orchestral bravura, optimistic, ‘happy’. On the contrary, I believe the symphony to be actually extremely tragic….” Krzysztof Urbanski (extr)

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Image Rugby
Honegger by Honegger: historic recordings from 1929 to 1947

In the third leg of our pilgrimage in search of long lost sound, we brought down from the shelves of the abundant archive service of the Discothèque Centrale de Radio France, a series of recordings related to the composer, director and pianist Arthur Honegger. The wax engravings of the Rugby or Pacific 2.3.1 symphonic movements are famous (or at least known...) but music and record lovers will notice in this new volume in the collection « Pêcheurs de perles » this rare Decca version of Symphony n°3 « Liturgique » under the direction of the author. Also to be discovered are fifteen rare melodies, presented and sung here by voices chosen by Honegger, all the more interesting since the composer himself sat at the piano. These are tones from the past in moving and ideal live interpretations. A priceless witness of Arthur Honnegger's way of thinking about music.

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Image Dom Quichotte: Cantates & Concertos Comiques
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Image L'orgue romantique tchèque
For fifty years, with his country under Austro-Hungarian rule, Josef Klicka, organist, concert musician, conductor and teacher championed Czech culture.

Recorded on the Stoltz-Dargassies organ of the church of St Joseph-des-Nations in Paris, Klicka's organ works express not only his suffering at Bohemia's fate, but also his love for the folk tunes of his native land.

Michel Estellet-Brun, organ

Josef Klicka

1. Fantaisie de concert sur le choral de Saint-Wenceslas - Hymne tchèque en ré mineur

2. Fantaisie de concert en fa# mineur

3. Légende en ré mineur pour harmonium (transcription pour orgue Michel Estellet-Brun)

4. Fantaisie de concert en ut mineur

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Image Cantates Francaises
After a Bach album, the tenor Reinoud Van Mechelen and his ensemble A Nocte Temporis present a programme of French music devoted to Nicolas Clérambault (1676–1749), a precociously gifted composer who published four volumes comprising a total of twenty-one cantatas. Reinoud van Mechelen offers us an anthology of these Cantates Françoises – Le Jaloux with its final air ‘Dieu des Amants’, Apollon, L’Amour guéri par l’amour and Pirasme et Thisbé (based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses) – set as a succession of recitatives, airs and simphonies, as in a tragédie lyrique. The young Flemish tenor, now aged thirty, pursues an intensive solo career with the leading Baroque conductors (Christie, Pichon, Niquet) but is also keen to develop his personal projects and his ensemble: ‘I’m a purist but without elitism. Music has to appeal to people. Perhaps that requires them to make an effort and depends on different criteria from the somewhat sensationalist criteria of society, politics and money. But music must be more than a simple distraction, and many people actually want it that way’, he told the Belgian newspaper Le Soir in 2017, when the Prix Caecilia named him ‘Artist of the Year’.

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Image Violin Sonatas Nos. 1, 10 & 5 (Spring)
Building on the success of their first disc of Beethoven violin sonatas (Alpha 240), which won a Diapason d’Or of the year (the magazine hailed ‘the birth of a great duo’) and ‘Choc’ de Classica, Lorenzo Gatto and Julien Libeer continue their complete recording of the cycle. ‘Beethoven’s sonatas have become the core of our musical lives. Rehearsed, tried out in concert, given a rest, rehearsed again.’ Since performing the entire cycle over three consecutive evenings at Flagey in Brussels in 2016, they have played them repeatedly, and they met again at the end of 2017, at the Hilversum studio in Amsterdam, to record three more sonatas: ‘Surprise, even now? . . . Anyone who frequents Beethoven for a long time is no longer surprised to be surprised. For him, everything is coherent, but nothing is written in advance.’ So they experiment here again and Julien has chosen a piano with parallel stringing: ‘The resonance of Chris Maene Straight Strung illuminates this music in a subtly different way. We enjoy ourselves.’ (Lorenzo Gatto, Julien Libeer)

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Image J.S Bach: Motets
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Image Pro Organico
Jean-Charles Ablitzer (organ Hans Scherer de Tangermünde 1624)

The works of Michael Praetorius (1571-1621), an outstanding composer and great innovator, have mainly come to the contemporary public's attention thanks to his collection of dances under the name of Terpsichore and to his theoretical writings.

Jean-Charles Ablitzer here gives us the first recording of 10 organ pieces selected from his Musae Soniae (phantasies on Lutherian melodies) and from his Hymnodia Sonia (Latin hymns).

This interpretation, already acclaimed by a « Choc » from the Monde de la Musique, reveals Praetorius as an inspired and gentle colourist, whose musical idiom will leave a deep imprint on the first generation of baroque composers.

The musicological rigour and the great sensitivity of the interpreter is further expressed by the choice of the historic organ of the church of St. Stephan in Tangermünde. Not only is it contemporary of the composer, but an identical model by the same maker is extensively described in Preatorius' Syntagma Musicum. For once, as a unique exception, Alpha forfeits its role as a producer in order to bring this record to the public. It had been auto-produced by the artist but never commercialised while its unique quality soon turned it into an absolute, although unavailable reference.

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Image Bridges
Guillaume De Chassy, Laurent Naouri, Thomas Savy & Arnault Cuisinier

Guillaume de Chassy, Arnault Cuisinier and Thomas Savy have long made up a trio exploring original paths between jazz and classical. Laurent Naouri, the well known baritone so impressive in numerous, famous operatic roles, is a passionate aficionado of jazz in general and of Broadway songs in particular. 'In a parallel life,' says Guillaume de Chassy about him, 'he turns out to be a fantastic crooner.'

This album was born from their meeting. Naouri sings Hanns Eisler's marvellous Hollywood Songbook, composed in 1943 on poems by his companion in exile in Los Angeles, Bertolt Brecht. The trio accompanies the singer and improvises bridges between the songs. In complement, De Chassy dares Prokofiev: 'For a long time I've wanted to transcribe for voice themes by Prokofiev originally written for piano or violin, but of which the evidence makes them naturally vocal.' He adapted texts by Russian poets (Tsvetaeva, Chulkov, Lermontov, Pushkin and Esenin) to ex-cerpts from the Violin Concerto No.1 (1917), Piano Concerto No.2 (1923) and the Piano Sonata No.6 (1939). 'So we reversed the usual process, which consists of adapting the music to the text. 'I don't know if Prokofiev liked jazz, but it so happens that the harmonies colouring his themes are very inspiring vehicles for improvisation. So I proceeded as on Cole Porter songs: a theme, followed by an improvisation on the harmonic sequence, followed by a final theme.'

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Image Piano Sonata No. 29, Hammerklavier / 6 Bagatelles
Nelson Goerner, piano

He is nicknamed ‘the poet of the piano’, an epithet confirmed by each of his appearances in concert or on record, most recently with his multi-award-winning Debussy and Chopin CDs. Nelson Goer-ner already has an imposing discography, but this is the first time he has tackled Beethoven on a recording: he has chosen the ‘Hammerklavier’, a work of unparalleled dimensions, complexity and profundity . . . But is this artist, whom a Buenos Aires newspaper praised after a recital at the famous Teatro Colón for his ‘ability to combine intellectual lucidity, undeniable depth, and a technical ease that enables him to express his ideas’, not the perfect interpreter for that monumental composition? ‘Here is a sonata that will make pianists work hard’, said Beethoven to his publisher after labouring on it for almost three years, at a time when his deafness was constantly worsening. Forty-five minutes of immense difficulty for the performer (and also the listener?): between a first movement as fiery as Beethoven ever wrote and a finale that seems to foreshadow jazz improvisations, comes a splendid and deeply moving slow movement that Goerner renders with deep emotion. He then invites us to move from the monumental to the miniature, with the Six Bagatelles op.126, subtle gems of late Bee-thovenian style, constructed with formidable skill.

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Image Last Three Sonatas
Eric Le Sage approaches this cycle with the sensitive vision of a great interpreter, henceforth renowned for his complete Schumann and Fauré recordings.

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Image Azahar
After The Tempest (Alpha 208), its first recording on a Shakespearian theme, which was much admired (Diapason d’Or etc.), La Tempête presents ‘Azahar’ (orange blossom in Spanish), which contrasts and interweaves the polyphony of Machaut with the poetry of the Spanish cantigas and the century of Stravinsky and Ohana. Simon-Pierre Bestion, founder of the company La Tempête, tells us: ‘I like the idea of disorientating the listener between different historical periods. Stravinsky wrote his Mass after discovering Machaut’s setting, while Ohana’s Cantigas de Santa Maria allude to those of Alfonso the Wise and to folksong . . . One can take extraordinary liberties with Machaut’s famous Mass: its music calls for a fairly sonorous, straight style of singing – like Corsican or Basque polyphony. I chose singers familiar with early music, powerful, direct voices, using little vibrato, voices that could also sing Stravinsky and Ohana. The orchestra was arranged in consorts for the early repertory, and in mixed desks for Ohana and Stravinsky. The chorus was placed all around in a circle, in a single row. I like to share that experience of feeling the sound physically.’

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Image String Quintets
Lise Berthaud, viola
Quatuor Voce

After its first two recordings, devoted to Schubert then Beethoven, highly praised and recommended by the critics (both ffff in Télérama, recommended by The Strad...), this eclectic, innovative quartet is now celebrating its tenth anniversary by tackling the string quintets of Mozart and Brahms.

These two scores, representative of the culmination of a career in the case of Brahms and, for Mozart, the end of a life, are sustained by vigorous inspiration and frothing energy. Whereas the Brahms Quintet, both brilliant and highly moving, recalls some of his best known themes (including that of the Sextet, Op. 18, used by Louis Malle in his film The Lovers), Mozart jotted down on paper the four movements of a work that speaks intensely about him, in the diversity of its moods and the complexity of its writing.

Named 'Rising Star' for the last season by the European Chamber Hall Organisation, the Voce Quartet has performed in venues the world over. For this project, it calls on Lise Berthaud, one of the most brilliant French violists, to round out the quintet.

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Image Dans un bois solitaire Recordings, 1938-51
On seeing a list of her recordings included in the French Radio Sound Archives, Yvette Grimaud smiles with surprise: "I had forgotten all about those recordings. We would meet for a recording session without knowing when or how the record was going to be produced, and without mentioning money problems, which were no longer important. We were alive. We spoke very little when working; music was our means of communicating. We had great respect for one another: I was in contact with Oubradous (a discreet man) and my fellow musicians on this recording at the Paris Conservatoire. Mozart brought us together, simply, without our needing to talk about it. Listen to the plenitude, the feeling of perfect communion that pervades the slow movement of the Quintet! We understood one another and I was receptive to the music. I was twenty-eight at the time and there was something elusive and ineffable about that precious moment."

Sinfonia Concertante K. 297b
Pierre Pierlot (oboe); Pierre Lefebvre (clarinet); Jean Devemy (horn); Maurice Allard (bassoon); Orchestre de chambre Fernand Oubradous 1946

Quintet K. 452
Pierre Pierlot (oboe); Ulysse Delecluse (clarinet); Jean Devemy (horn); Maurice Allard (bassoon); Yvette Grimaud (piano) 1948

Oboe Concerto K314 / 271k
Pierre Pierlot (oboe); Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux / Arthur Goldschmidt, Paris 1951

Dans un bois solitaire K308, Ariette, An Chloe K524
Irène Joachim (soprano); Ludwig Bergmann (piano) 1938

Die Verschweigung K518
Irène Joachim (soprano); Jean Germain (piano) 1947

kr 104 (kr 149)
Image Piano Works & Chamber Music, Vol. 4
On this CD, the fourth volume of the complete works for the piano and for chamber music with piano, Eric Le Sage takes on four monuments of Schumann's solo piano repertoire: the Humoreske op.20 and the Klaviersonate op.11 (CD1), the Albumblätter (topped up by three pieces from the Klavierstücke) and the Études in the form of variations op.13 (CD2). The acoustic qualities of the mythical « Chaux-de-Fonds » hall is caught in all its magic by Jean-Marc Laisné. This box contributes to strengthening Eric Le Sage and his complete works as THE reference among great Schumann interpreters. The exceptional beauty of the publication and the quality of texts offered by Brigitte François-Sappey further enhance the value of this set. The very wide recognition of the first volumes by the critics and the impressive concert attendance (the series at Salle Pleyel last January was sold out!) all serve to emphasise the validity of this endeavour.

kr 209 (kr 298)
Image The Tempest
A profoundly modern dimension emerges from this confrontation between English works from the 17th century (Henry Purcell, Matthew Locke) and works from the 20th and 21st centuries (Philippe Hersant, Franck Martin, Thierry Pécou). Coming from highly different musical universes, each composition is, however, largely inspired by the founding themes of Shakespeares play, sometimes taking up excerpts from it. The text is recited in English, or rather Shakespeares Old English, as are all the sung parts, in order to reproduce the strong, sweet accent of that tongue.

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Image Au Sainct Nau
Humor and reverence. With all the delicacy allowing humor and talent, Dominique Visse and his Ensemble Clément Janequin do mingle several faces of Christmas, between sacred vocal pieces and parodies the crisp text, with the young trio Musica Humana.

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Image Les cris de Paris / ENCORES
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Image Chants de la Mer, Les
Inspelningar gjorda mellan åren 1927-1940 med kompositören, dirigenten, instrumentalisten och musikläraren Philippe Gaubert.

Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire;
Orchestre Symphonique/Philippe Gaubert

Philippe Gaubert

Inscriptions pour les portes de la ville

Les Chants de la Mer

Johann Sebastian Bach


Philippe Gaubert

Soir sur la plaine


Carl Maria von Weber

Uvertyr till Friskytten

Camille Saint-Saëns

Danse macabre

Henri Duparc

Aux étoiles

Maurice Ravel

La Valse

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Image Concerti Grossi Op. 7
‘“WHAT?!” was the first stunned reaction of the musicians after reading through Geminiani’s Concertos Op.7. A composition that is invariably controversial, at once surprising and familiar. Then it was a new discovery with each concerto, with different textures and styles from one movement to the other. This music led us along unexpected paths from the church to the theatre, from Italy to France, from the seventeenth century to the eighteenth.’ (Pablo Valetti, violin)‘Geminiani’s music reflects my state of mind, one foot in the seventeenth century and the other in the eighteenth. The rhetoric and architecture it employs are still compatible with the Baroque. But the choice and exploration of emotions are already very new, similar to the way we feel today. This state of inner contradiction was probably not always understood by Geminiani’s contemporaries, but it is exactly what we look for and admire nowadays.’ (Petr Skalka, cello) ‘What a wonderful surprise it was to study and record Geminiani’s Op.7! In this strangely little-played set of concertos, I discovered an infinite variety of forms and colours, totally unpredictable every time, from one concerto to another and even from one movement to another.’ (Patricia Gagnon, viola)

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Image Manuscript Susanne van Soldt
In Nobody's Jig (Alpha 502), the Witches had explored the English country dance repertoire found in notebooks published by John Playford as from 1650, which had been hugely successful as we know. For this new release, Alpha asked the Witches to work on Susan Van Soldt's famous manuscript of the end of the 16th century, comprising dances, songs and psalms adapted to the virginal or the harpsichord. Aged 16 when she noted in this copy-book the pieces she probably enjoyed playing at home, Susan was a young protestant who had to leave Flanders for England with her family at this time of raging religious conflict between Christians. The majority of pieces in the manuscript are reductions for the keyboard. Contrary to what is usually the case, the Witches had therefore to imagine, on the basis of these reductions, the «original » versions for instrumental ensembles and hence recreate the tonal colours that we see in Brueghel's country fairs, weddings and village feasts. Let's get up and dance!

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Image Harke Harke
With this new recording, Bruno Cocsets Les Basses Réunies propose a journey back to 17th-century England, centring on the work of Tobias Hume, an emblematic musician of the viola da gamba and, more precisely, the lyra violl. This exploration in terms of music as much as of sound, presents three instruments that have just come from the hands of instrument-maker Charles Riché (seconded by Friederike Dangel). A distinguished guest, the talented Italian gambist Guido Balestracci, plays a selection of solo pieces by the famous soldiercomposer. The Lyra violl is also accompanist for pieces composed for a dessus and Lyra violl, in which case Bruno Cocset plays his little bastarda alto viol. The continuo, subtle and lush, brings together Bertrand Cuiller on the two harpsichords (one strung with brass wire, the other with gut strings), and Richard Myron on the large bass in G.

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Image Piano Concerto No. 2
Recorded live in Tokyo on 20 May 2009 with the NHK Symphony Orchestra conducted by Tadaaki Otaka, this concert provides a new opportunity to take the full measure of the poetry deployed by Nelson Goerner, the poetic approach has come to be seen as the pianist’s trademark in his recordings of Chopin or Debussy. Yet his interpretation also shows unfailing virtuosity, with a precision and power that place him among the most eminent pianists of our time.This recording is one that Nelson Goerner was particularly keen to make, for he views Brahms’s Second Concerto as an immense masterpiece. Premiered in Budapest in 1881 with Brahms himself at the piano, the work enjoyed immediate success with critics and public alike.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Don Giovanni (3 CD)
Third and last instalment in the ‘Live at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées’ series of Mozart operas conducted by Jérémie Rhorer. After Die Entführung aus dem Serail and La Clemenza di Tito comes Don Giovanni, recorded in 2016.

Of the performances (directed by Stéphane Braunschweig), during which Radio France recorded the present discs, Le Figaro wrote: ‘Jérémie Rhorer expertly conducted his orchestra “Le Cercle de l’Harmonie”.

On the stage, Jean-Sébastien Bou sang and acted the title role impeccably. He was seconded by his valet Leporello, superbly played by the Canadian Robert Gleadow.

A thrilling production both musically and intellectually.

The cast is completed by the ardent Myrtò Papatanasiu in the role of Donna Anna, the lovely voice of Julie Boulianne as Donna Elvira and the elegant timbre of Julien Behr as Don Ottavio, not forgetting the magnificent Commendatore of Steven Humes and the lively Zerlina and Masetto of Anna Grevelius and Marc Scoffoni.

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Image Inspiration
After a Mozart release with the Quatuor Voce, Juliette Hurel has devised a programme focusing on Bach, featuring two staples of the flute repertoire: the Suite for orchestra no.2 with its famous Badinerie and the Partita for solo flute, his only work for the unaccompanied instrument. To complement this, she has chosen to assemble the most celebrated arias with a prominent part for solo flute, very rarely played outside the works for which they were written: the Easter Oratorio (‘Seele, deine Spezereien’), the St Matthew Passion (‘Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben’), the Coffee Cantata (‘Ei wie schmeckt’) and the Cantata Ich habe genug. For this recording, she plays a modern wooden flute and was keen to work with a Baroque ensemble performing on period instruments and a soprano well versed in this music, Maïlys de Villoutreys, a rising vocal star of French scene. The magnificent Trio Sonata BWV 1038 completes the programme in the spirit of chamber music.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Violin Concertos
Following his Alpha recording of sonatas by Prokofiev, Ravel and Strauss, the violinist Tobias Feldmann now turns to the concerto form, performing the two major works of the Finnish repertoire for the instrument: the violin concertos of Jean Sibelius and Einojuhani Rautavaara. Premiered in Helsinki in 1904, the Sibelius Concerto proved to be exceptionally difficult technically for the soloist. Sibelius revised his score, but subsequently composed for violin and orchestra only in shorter forms, the serenade and the humoresque. It was not until nearly seventy years later that a Finnish composer wrote another large-scale work for violin and orchestra, with the Concerto of Rautavaara, which in all respects equals the degree of virtuosity demanded by the earlier work.

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Image Tirannique Empire
Impatience, Jealous Mars and Héraclite & Démocrite are three French Cantatas composed between 1706 et 1714 by Jean-Baptiste Stuck (1680-1755), also known as Batistin. This composer of Tuscan origin spent most of his career working for the Régent and his ambition was to unite the taste for Italian music with French texts. The theme of this record is jealousy, which contrives to somehow disturb the harmonious landscapes of a French garden.
Jean-François Novelli, Arnaud Marzorati
Ensemble Les Lunaisiens

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Image Itineraire
‘Playing the demanding and constantly shifting string quartet repertory is enough to fill up four lives . . . Buoyed up by this heritage, we wanted to explore less well-known territories. In the early years of the twentieth century, Bartok and Kodaly roamed the villages of Hungary and Romania, collecting, transcribing and recording hundreds of folk tunes and songs. ‘Building on a number of encounters with leading figures of jazz and world music, we asked five instrumentalist-composers to write us pieces inspired by musical worlds to which they feel close. In addition to these new compositions, we wanted to record Escalay by the Egyptian oud player Hamza el Din who died in 2006, a nod to the Kronos Quartet whose approach is an inspiration to us.’ (Voce Quartet: Sarah Dayan and Cecile Roubin (violins), Guillaume Becker , Lydia Shelley ). A recording made under the artistic direction of Vincent Segal."

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Produzioni Armoniche
...en sällsynt charmfull cd...


Musik av den kvinnliga, franska kompositören Antonia Bembo (1640-1710).
Convoce Coeln:

Maria Jonas, sopran

Bernhard Hentrich, cello

Stephan Rath, teorb

Markus Märkl, cembalo

Antonia Bembo

1. Clizia amante del sole: Lungi dal patrio tetto

2. Aria Adagio: Habbi pieta di me

3. Aria: Volgete altrovi il guardo

4. Aria affettuosa: S'è legge d’Amore

5. Aria allegra: Mi consolo, non son solo

Robert de Visée

6. Prélude und Silvains, théorbe seul

Antonia Bembo

7. Lamento della Vergine: D'omnipotente Padre

Robert de Visée

8. Tombeau, théorbe seul

Antonia Bembo

9. Aria: Anima perfida

Giuseppe Maria Jacchini

10. Sonata per violoncello

Antonia Bembo

11. Aria: Passan veloci l’hore

12. Aria: Beata sirena

Elisabeth Claude Jacquet de la Guerre

13. Chaconne pour clavecin

Antonia Bembo

14. Air: Ha, que l'absence

15. Aria: Mi basta cosi

kr 55 (kr 79)
Image Piano Sonatas
Ludwig van Beethoven was just twenty years old when he first met Joseph Haydn, in 1790. Two years later, the young composer joined the Viennese master’s numerous pupils. But, weary of his teacher’s frequent absences and stung by his criticisms, he soon broke off his lessons, declaring bitterly some years later ‘I never learnt anything from Haydn’. It is this distance, this difference of style and ambition between Beethoven and his former teacher that are to be heard in this new recording by Olivier Cavé, the award-winning Swiss pianist who is a regular guest at the leading festivals. Whereas Haydn’s Sonata Hob.XVI:32 (1776) aims for a classical but vigorous style, Hob.XVI:48, composed only four years later, is more subdued and academic. Beethoven sought to break with this classicism, allowing himself greater expressive scope and replacing the traditional third-movement minuet with a scherzo in his Sonata no.2, a clear sign of his revolutionary spirit.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Calling the Muse
It’s a logbook, the one I’ve never really kept. My years of blues/rock and early music mingle here; the thousands of kilometres travelled with that theorbo of mine, the cities and the countryside, the railways, the skies, the scents, the lights; but above all, the music of the people. Partite variate sopra quest’aria francese detta l’alemana is a tablature by Piccinini of an aria also called La Monica. In North America in the late nineteenth century, railroad hoboes carved their vagabond pseudonym along the tracks, which they called their ‘moniker’ . . . Corrente VI sopra l’alemana, by the same composer, is the energetic counterpart to the noble and meditative allemande. Like a Belfry is taken from a dream... Rosemary Standley has set her words to the melody and sings them. J. H. Kapsberger’s Toccata nona is associated here with Perivoli Blue. Perivoli is a village in the south of the island of Corfu. Thanks Toumani expresses my fascination with Mandingo music. Bellerofonte Castaldi’s Arpeggiata a mio modo was one of my first challenges on the theorbo. Erik Satie’s Gnossienne no.1 arrived under my fingers without warning and made a place for itself here by fitting in so naturally that I couldn’t say no to it. This is the piece chosen by my photographer friend Richard Dumas (who did the booklet cover and portrait) to make the video clip of the album. With Kapsberger’s Bergamasca, a dance from Bergamo in Italy, the theorbo becomes a festive and agile instrument. Dans la chambre de mon theorbe. Over a passacaglia by J. H. Kapsberger, we hear the actor and author Jean-Luc Debattice reading a poem he dedicated to me. A Tea with Bach is an arrangement of the Minuet from Bach’s Cello Suite no.1. The Toccata Undicesima serves as the introduction to an improvisation: Vos luths. And invokes India. (from the article Carnet de route by Bruno Helstroffer)

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Chamber Music
Belcea Quartet
Nicolas Bone, 2nd violin
Antônio Meneses, 2nd cello

With a complete recording of the Beethoven quartets that caused a stir and enchanted concert halls everywhere, the Belcea Quartet is henceforth considered one of the finest quartets in the world. 'The principle characteristic of their playing is [...] intensity,' wrote BBC Music Magazine in 2013.

With this new recording, the Quartet tackles another summit of chamber music: the Second Viennese School. With their passion and technical abilities, this breathtaking music, which drastically changed the history of music, rings out in all its force and mystery.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Thousands of Miles
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. Lindsey and Trotignon also pay homage to three composers who, like Weill, all emigrated to the United States: Alma Mahler, Zemlinsky and Korngold. London-based American mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey joins Alpha Classics for several recordings over the coming years.

kr 111 (kr 159)
kr 69 (kr 99)
kr 55 (kr 79)
Image Venus & Adonis
kr 209 (kr 299)
Image Trio Sonatas
For the 300th anniversary of C. P. E. Bachs birth, Alpha proposes discovering the work of one of the Cantors sons from an original angle: that of the Alexis Kossenkos flute. In this boxed set, Alpha has brought together the complete Flute Concertos as well as the marvellous Trio Sonatas, masterpieces that allow for discovering Carl Philipp Emanuels close connection with the traverso, and also perceiving Alexis Kossenkos strong ties with this brilliant composer.Collection Black Box

kr 223 (kr 318)
Image Cello Sonatas Vol. 2
"‘Shortly after Luigi Boccherini’s death on 28 May 1805, two journalists in Leipzig and Paris agreed that he had been (for the former) “an excellent cellist capable of bewitching audiences with the incomparable sound and expressive melody of his instrument” and (for the latter) “a wonderful cellist. He especially charmed us with his incomparable sonority and the very expressive song of his instrument”. However, posterity in the nineteenth century was most unkind to him, allowing him to “survive” thanks to a Minuet chosen at random, transposed for and endlessly churned out by every possible instrument (and even the voice), a somewhat “doctored” concerto, and finally editions of a small batch of “sonatas for cello and piano” adorned with an improbable arsenal of technical and performance markings far removed from the Boccherinian spirit . . .’ Yves Gerard (from the booklet article) Bruno Cocset pays tribute to one of the precursors of the Golden Age of the cello by recording five sonatas (no.5 in G major, no.2 in C minor, no.1 in F major, no.13 in A major, no.12 in B flat major), based on the manuscripts of the extensive Noseda Collection of the Milan Conservatory. He is accompanied by his partners from Les Basses Reunies, Maude Gratton , Bertrand Cuiller (harpsichord), Emmanuel Jacques (cello continuo) and Richard Myron ."

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image New York
Here is the third release in the collaboration between the Ensemble Intercontemporain and Alpha. This time the musicians of the ensemble and their conductor Matthias Pintscher focus on American music: Intégrales by Edgar Varèse (1924), Music for Wind Instruments by John Cage (1938), Instruments I for six instruments by Morton Feldman (1974), Elliott Carter’s Concerto for clarinet and ensemble (1996), Steve Reich’s WTC 9/11 for string quartet (2009-10), Sean Shepherd’s Blur (2011), and David Fulmer’s Within his bending sickle’s compass come for solo horn and ensemble (2014-15). More than ninety years of creativity and musical profusion at the heart of the global city that the Ensemble Intercontemporain celebrates today. This double album is released to coincide with the fortieth anniversary of the EIC: forty years of discoveries and of promotion of contemporary music at the highest level of performance.

kr 132 (kr 189)
Image Polyphonies Jeune France
Ensemble Sequenza 9.3 / Catherine Simonpietri

1936: foundation of the group «Jeune France » created in a spirit of musical cohesion, quality and friendship. Whereas the conditions of life become more and more difficult, often mechanical and impersonal, the role of music is to bring to its lovers its spiritual violence and its generous reactions. In this context, four French composers belonging to diverse religious, ideological and philosophical tendencies decided to react against the prevailing neo-classicism: Olivier Messiaen, André Jolivet ,They united to propagate "live" music, which beats to the tune of spirituality and human life. Daniel-Lesur and Yves Baudrier. Three common features unite the works performed on this record: the theme of love, interpreted according to the personalities and sensitivities of the composers, the choice of texts emanating form very diverse sources (biblical or personal) and the use of onomatopoeias and finally the harmony produced by the organist and head of the Choir Marcel Couraud. 2008 will be the centenary of the births of Olivier Messiaen and Daniel-Lesur. On this occasion, Catherine Simonpietri and the vocal ensemble of soloists "Sequenza 9.3", whose achievements were awarded a Diapason d'or in 2006, have decided to honour the composers through this beautiful recording.

kr 118 (kr 169)
Image Il était une fois…
With the rise of Romanticism, the topics of opera changed from the mythological fantasy of Baroque operas to the fairytale fantasy which graced the French stage long before Romanticism reached other European nations. + Initiated by the Palazzetto Bru Zane, this project is built like a universal fairytale, inspired by Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Bluebeard, and others, as set to music by French composers of the Romantic period, alternating between famous composers such as Offenbach and Rossini and little known masters like Viardot, Silver, and Isouard. + This imaginary opera was conceived and transcribed by Alexandre Dratwicki for piano quartet and two singers- a soprano and a mezzo, the roles of which are performed here by Jodie Devos and Caroline Meng.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Solve et Coagula
This new recording pays tribute to an ill-known, mysterious figure of 18th-century Naples: Prince Raimondo di Sangro. A soldier, scientist, poet, alchemist and freemason, he bequeathed us a palace and a magnificent chapel, the site of a tragedy that was at the origin of the murder committed by the great composer Gesualdo.This chapel still houses artistic and scientific works both beautiful and mysterious, which serve as an initiatory itinerary for the visitor. The intuition of Guido Morini and Marco Beasley was to use this itinerary and make it the dramatic framework for a singular, innovative work that they have entitled Solve et Coagula, an alchemist maxim meaning Dissolve and congeal. A veritable dramma per musica, this work calls on different historical creative processes in order to let us discover a unique story, featuring the rhythm of tarantellas, ostinati and mysterious fugues...

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Entführung aus dem Serail (Die)
Jane Archibald (Konstanze), Norman Reinhardt (Belmonte), David Portillo (Pedrillo), Rachele Gilmore (Blonde), Mischa Schelomianski (Osmin), Christoph Quest (Pacha Selim)

Le Cercle de l’harmonie / Jérémie Rhorer

The conductor Jérémie Rhorer is today regarded as one of the finest interpreters of the music of Mozart in general and his operas in particular. After conducting Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in 2015, he performed it again at a memorable concert at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris in September of that year with his orchestra, Le Cercle de l’Harmonie. It is this exceptional event, captured in a live recording conveying all the dramatic intensity of the opera, that we present today.

‘In Die Entführung, Mozart presents a completely unprecedented vision of the singspiel, with highly developed ensembles and musical continuity at a time when contemporary spectators were expecting the standard alternation between spoken and sung sections’, says Jérémie Rhorer in the interview that accompanies the discs. That musical dramaturgy lies at the centre of this interpretation, which is served by an outstandingly homogeneous cast. This recording launches a series of recordings of concerts at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and a collaboration between Alpha Classics and Le Cercle de l’Harmonie, who will continue to place their excellence at the service of the great masterpieces of Mozart – and of other composers: watch this space!

kr 202 (kr 289)
Image Violin Sonatas
Two great interpreters, poets and lovers of the French repertory and chamber music join forces here: the violinist Tedi Papavrami and the pianist Nelson Goerner. They have chosen to devote this programme to the two violin sonatas of Gabriel Fauré and the Sonata of César Franck. It was in 1875 that Fauré composed his First Sonata for violin and piano, characterised by its originality and its formal design, which marked the start of a new era for French chamber music. In 1916, having continued to write for small ensembles all his life, he composed the Second Sonata, imbued with both heartfelt lyricism and complexity. Nine years after Fauré’s Sonata no.1, Franck – less prolific in the intimate chamber genre – composed his only sonata, now one of the most frequently played of all works for violin and piano.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Jeanne d'Arc au Bucher (DVD)
Jeanne d'Arc au Bucher, written by the Swiss composer Arthur Honegger in 1938, is a fascinating oratorio. The text by Paul Claudel is constructed like a flashback, in which Joan looks back over her life just before she dies.Marion Cotillard plays Joan with an intensity and sincerity that leap from the screen. The last moments of the martyr's life, illustrated by the evocative and innovative music of Honegger, resound like a heartrending cry. With an exceptional cast of performers, this live recording offers a gripping new version of one of the masterpieces of twentieth-century music.Cotillard will star in the U.S. premiere of this fully staged production June 11-13, 2015, with the New York Philharmonic. More information is available on the Lincoln Center website

kr 209 (kr 299)
Image Jeanne d'Arc au Bucher
Jeanne d'Arc au Bucher, written by the Swiss composer Arthur Honegger in 1938, is a fascinating oratorio. The text by Paul Claudel is constructed like a flashback, in which Joan looks back over her life just before she dies.Marion Cotillard plays Joan with an intensity and sincerity that leap from the screen. The last moments of the martyr's life, illustrated by the evocative and innovative music of Honegger, resound like a heartrending cry. With an exceptional cast of performers, this live recording offers a gripping new version of one of the masterpieces of twentieth-century music.Cotillard will star in the U.S. premiere of this fully staged production June 11-13, 2015, with the New York Philharmonic. More information is available on the Lincoln Center website.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image 6 Suites for Violoncello

kr 181 (kr 259)
Image Concerti Per Il Cembalo Obligato
Twelve years younger than Bach and Handel, Giovanni Benedetto Platti left us a collection of nine Concerti per il cembalo obligato which rank not only among the very early examples of composition for keyboard instrument and strings, but also and above all, the first specimens especially conceived for the fortepiano, the new instrument invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori.

Billiant soloist and regular keyboard player of Zefiro, Luca Guglielmi offers us, for the first time on period instruments three brilliant and foreseeing piano concertos, interspersed with the large scale Piano Sonata in C minor, a very widespread composition at the time, and the baroque Sonata for oboe, with a special appearence by Paolo Grazzi.

An ashtonishing piece of music from a composer who deserves to be recognized as one of the greatest of his time.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Sonate a violino solo e basso
At the beginning of the 18th century Italian instrumental music reached France and began to make its decisive impact. Michele Mascitti was a protagonist of this remarkable change. The young violinist moved from Naples to Paris where he spent most of his long life and managed to publish nine collections of instrumental music between 1704 and 1738. The extraordinary success and popularity of Mascitti’s works allowed him to live for many years as a free-lance musician and to be applauded and admired in the artistic circles of the French capital. His music brings us back to the fashionable and refined atmospheres of the Parisian aristocratic salons and to the galanterie so beautifully illustrated in the paintings of the time. The violin sonatas recorded for the first time in this CD blend the brilliant and passionate expressivity emanating from the Neapolitan legacy with the elegance and grace of the French instrumental tradition and offer an exquisite example of the new union of tastes.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Messa in re maggiore – Mottetto Dignas laudes reso
"New light on Pergolesi! This CD sheds light on a lesser-known aspect of the great Italian composer, offering two masterpieces in their first modern edition and first recording: the Mass in D major and the mottettone Dignas Laudes. Both editions are the outcome of recent musicological research carried out by the Centro Studi Pergolesi in Milan, and show a facet of Pergolesi – his energetic and solemn character – that complements and amplifies the dramatic and introspective moods of his most renowned sacred works. This Arcana release inaugurates a collaboration with the Ghislieri Choir & Consort and celebrates the fifteenth anniversary of the ensemble, which specialises in eighteenth-century sacred repertory and has already recorded works by Galuppi, Jommelli, Perez (Il Mattutino de’ Morti) and Handel (Handel in Rome 1707) for Sony-DHM. The soloists on this recording, conducted by Giulio Prandi, are the soprano Marlis Petersen, one of the leading sopranos on the international scene, and a quintet of young Italian singers who already perform in the most important and prestigious European venues."

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image La forza delle stelle
Following four successful recordings released on the Ricercar, Alpha and Arcana labels, Rome-based Andrea De Carlo and his Ensemble Mare Nostrum continue their exploration of the Roman repertoire and inaugurate here a new series of recordings, with its own distinctive artwork, devoted to the vast and multifaceted musical heritage of the Eternal City. Recorded in Nepi (province of Viterbo), where Alessandro Stradella was born, La forza delle stelle (The power of the stars) gives us an opportunity to sample some of the fruits of the fascinating collaboration between that exceptionally expressive Baroque composer and the Roman poet Sebastiano Baldini, under the patronage of the exiled Queen Christina of Sweden. The serenata that gives the album its title, based on a scenario by Christina, deals as was frequently the case at that time with the subject of love, and the power of the stars to aid or thwart it. The result is a pure delight! This world première recording is accompanied by authoritative liner notes by Carolyn Gianturco, the author of Alessandro Stradella (1639- 1682): His Life and Music (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1994).

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Missa Papae Marcelli
For the first time in recording history, Odhecaton has recreated as much as possible a hypothetical performance by the pontifical chapel at the time of Pope Marcellus II. With an ensemble of about twenty singers, Odhecaton comes close to the formation of the pontifical chapel which, between 1510 and 1585, numbered between twenty and thirty-six singers. Odhecaton excludes soprano and treble voices, extraneous to the pontifical chapel in the second half of the sixteenth century, and employs only adult male voices: basses, baritones, tenors and countertenors. Until now the discography of the Missa Papae Marcelli has been dominated by British ensembles and choirs, inclined to emphasize the balanced purity of the vocal lines, the ethereal side of Palestrina. Odhecaton instead highlights the Mediterranean qualities of his vocal style. The performance places the Missa Papae Marcelli in a liturgical context which emphasizes its original function, reconstructing a hypothetical liturgy (the Easter Mass) with music as it might have been celebrated at the Sistine Chapel.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Missa Defunctorum, Magnificat, Miserere, Salve Reg
This release is a discovery of Alessandro Scarlatti’s sacred music, which has been largely unknown until now, in which Renaissance tradition meets Baroque sensibility for a unique and compelling recording. At the core of Odhecaton’s latest offering is the Missa defunctorum for four voices and basso continuo. It is in this magnificent score- recorded for the first time using the critical edition of Luca Della Libera- that primarily contrapuntal writing gives way to Scarlatti’s stylistic choices of great expressivity and rhetorical force, such as in the case of the astonishing Lacrimosa. The Miserere is also recorded for the first time. Written for nine voices for the Sistine Chapel, the score follows Allegri’s model only outwardly; Scarlatti, in fact, moves steadily away from it through his harmonic originality, foral richness, and expressivity. The Magnificat displays a unique synthesis of the Palestrinian model and the expressive language of the eighteenth century. In this score, Scarlatti exploits the great wealth and variety of the Marian text, particularly in the relationship between words and the emotional and descriptive spheres.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Venecie Mundi Splendor
Marvels of Medieval Venice, Music for the Doges, 1330-1430

La Reverdie

Recorded in the bright acoustics of the Cenacolo of San Giorgio Maggiore Monastery in Venice, the new recording project of La Reverdie brings together, for the first time, musical compositions written approximately between 1330 and 1430 in honour of the Venetian Doges or for the city of Venice itself.

The title is borrowed from the text of one of the most famous motets composed by Johannes Ciconia on the occasion of the submission of the Comune of Padua to the Republic of Venice, which occurred in 1406. The project includes the nine ceremonial motets that, according to the latest research, were composed to commemorate political, diplomatic or devotional events as well the election of the Doge. The composers include Marchetto da Padova, Francesco Landini, Johannes Ciconia, Antoinius Romanus, Cristoforo de Monte and Hugo Lantins.

The choice to make use of a rich and varied ensemble, with ample participation of both singers and instrumentalists, is intended to properly render the extravagant and festive qualities of this repertoire, conceived for the most sumptuous state celebrations.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Arias for Nicolino
The violinist Chiara Zanisi works with the finest early music ensembles, notably the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra under Ton Koopman, with whom she has just finished a long tour performing the Six Brandenburg Concertos. She now devotes her first solo recording to Johann Sebastian Bach’s Six Sonatas for Harpsichord and Violin. Alongside her is Giulia Nuti, among the most brilliant harpsichordists and scholars in Italy, whose solo CD Les Sauvages: Harpsichords in pre-Revolutionary Paris (DHM) won a Diapason d’Or, among other awards. The kernel from which this project grew is their strongly shared idea that, in addition to great stylistic richness and invention, Bach’s music possesses an aura of magic and an almost divine form. Thus, in this valuable and elegant reading, it is clearly their intention to underline in the simplest way the grandeur of the writing. Even the choice of sound aesthetic, beautifully realised under the supervision of Fabio Framba, opts for the ‘real’ with a ‘pure’, ‘speaking’ sound, warm and full of harmonics. The attractions of this precious version of the Six Sonatas, played on a G. Gagliano violin of 1761 and a harpsichord by K. Hill, are enhanced by a bonus track: the Cantabile, un poco Adagio from the early version of Sonata VI in G major.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image 9CD-BOX: Complete Piano Sonatas
Paul Badura-Skoda, piano

For as long as he can remember Paul Badura-Skoda has always been intimately linked with Schubert's music. At a time when knowledge of the composer was still very sketchy, he scrutinized the princeps editions and manuscripts in order to track down errors and to establish Urtext versions which today are referential. But beyond that, he was able to complete certain movements that Schubert had left unfinished without however introducing music foreign to the composer. In the exhaustive essay which he was keen on writing for the present recording, we can read with profit, Sonata by Sonata, the nature of the work accomplished. The choice of period instruments responds to a quest for colours and sound ranges favouring a greater intimacy with the composer's music, permitted by the use of only those instruments which Schubert knew, which he used and for which he actually wrote his music.

kr 223 (kr 318)
Image Premier livre de sonates
With the participation of: Rinaldo Alessandrini, Pascal Monteilhet, Maurizio Naddeo A shadowy, unstable and misanthropic character, died mysteriously from a knife wound inflicted by an unknown assailant, Jean-Marie Leclair is the real creator of the French violin school and one of the greatest violinists of the Eighteenth Century. His prolific output, almost exclusively devoted to the violin, consists of a series of collections of sonatas published throughout his lifetime, in which stand out 48 sonatas for violin and bass (four volumes). The First Book of Sonatas for Solo Violin with Basso Continuo dates from 1723 and represents Leclair’s first publication. Four sonatas are performed here by Fabio Biondi, one of the most authoritative Baroque performers, joined by an all-star continuo group featuring Rinaldo Alessandrini, Pascal Monteilhet and Maurizio Naddeo.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Concerti per fagotto
Alberto Grazzi, Ensemble Zefiro

According to Greek mythology, Zefiro was the tender and kind God of the Western Wind. In 1989, the oboists Alfredo Bernardini and Paolo Grazzi, and the bassoonist Alberto Grazzi, members of the most outstanding baroque orchestras, founded Zefiro, a versatile music group specialising in the eighteenth-century repertoire that gives particular prominence to wind instruments. Since then, Zefiro has performed at many major worldwide festivals and recorded 20 Cds, including the complete works for wind ensemble of W. A. Mozart, all virtuosic sonatas of J.D. Zelenka (Astrée), and three instalments of the distinguished Vivaldi Edition on Naïve. After a long-term collaboration with Sony Classical/Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, this new Vivaldi recording marks the beginning of an exclusive partnership of the Italian ensemble with Arcana, which will result in a true Zefiro series, characterised by its own artwork, focused on new releases but whose task will also be to make their discography still available. Antonio Vivaldi was (and has remained) the most productive composer of concertos for solo bassoon. Thirty-nine concertos for solo bassoon, strings and basso continuo by him have survived. As a group, they are noteworthy for their high musical quality, their stylistic maturity and their depth of feeling, a property shared with Vivaldi's concertos for the cello. Vivaldi shows perfect understanding of the mercurial temperament of the instrument, which is able in an instant to move from the comic to the tragic, from the melancholy to the joyful. An active player on the early music scene for the last 25 years, Alberto Grazzi is presenting here seven concertos from the enormous corpus of the Venetian composer. This selection, with 4 concertos in major and 3 in minor keys, represents Alberto Grazzi's personal choice in showing the expressive qualities of the bassoon in Vivaldi's world. This work is the result of a Alberto Grazzi's long-term practise as a baroque player, here magnificently supported by the Ensemble Zefiro.

kr 104 (kr 149)
Image Nel Giardino di Partenope
Ten years after the success of the Neapolitan cello concertos, accompanied by the Ensemble 415 conducted by Chiara Banchini (Zig Zag Territoires), Gaetano Nasillo comes full circle with this collection of Neapolitan cello sonatas, a worthy sequel to the previous recording. Best known for its contributions to vocal music, Naples was also one of the birthplaces of the modern violoncello: the programme provides a fascinating overview of the Neapolitan repertoire for the instrument from its onset at the end of the 17th century to the second half of the 18th century. It offers a good balance between well-known composers of the Neapolitan School (Pergolesi, Porpora) and less familiar cellist-composers (Alborea, Lanzetti, Supriani, Pericoli) who established new standards in cello technique that would define the later cello repertoire through these cellists successes in France and England.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Dalmatica - Chants of the Adriatic
Josko Caleta & Katarina Livljanic

Behind the hundreds of islands and history of wars, the Croatian coastal region of Dalmatia hides endless musical treasures. In this powerful musical fresco, four female singers of Dialogos and six traditional cantors from Croatia explore the richness of Dalmatian musical traditions, at the boundaries of Roman Catholic and Byzantine worlds since the Middle Ages. Between rare gems from Latin manuscripts, and polyphonic Glagolitic chants from the coastal, insular and hinterland regions of Croatia, this recording reveals a tradition of the liturgical year going from Advent to Holy Week and invites us to discover this small country on the Adriatic Sea, with its rich and ancient musical roots born between the Western and Eastern Roman Empires.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Sei Suonate à Cembalo certato è Violino Solo, BWV
The violinist Chiara Zanisi works with the finest early music ensembles, notably the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra under Ton Koopman, with whom she has just finished a long tour performing the Six Brandenburg Concertos. She now devotes her first solo recording to Johann Sebastian Bach’s Six Sonatas for Harpsichord and Violin. Alongside her is Giulia Nuti, among the most brilliant harpsichordists and scholars in Italy, whose solo CD Les Sauvages: Harpsichords in pre-Revolutionary Paris (DHM) won a Diapason d’Or, among other awards. The kernel from which this project grew is their strongly shared idea that, in addition to great stylistic richness and invention, Bach’s music possesses an aura of magic and an almost divine form. Thus, in this valuable and elegant reading, it is clearly their intention to underline in the simplest way the grandeur of the writing. Even the choice of sound aesthetic, beautifully realised under the supervision of Fabio Framba, opts for the ‘real’ with a ‘pure’, ‘speaking’ sound, warm and full of harmonics. The attractions of this precious version of the Six Sonatas, played on a G. Gagliano violin of 1761 and a harpsichord by K. Hill, are enhanced by a bonus track: the Cantabile, un poco Adagio from the early version of Sonata VI in G major.

kr 132 (kr 189)
Image Sei partita à violino
When, in 1720, Bach assembled the series of Sonata and Partitas, he could rely on the experience of other composers in this genre. After the Six Partitas (1715) by Johann Joseph Vilsmayr, Gunar Letzbor pursues his exploration of the German repertoire for the unaccompanied violin before Bach with the Six Partitas by Johann Paul von Westhoff. Westhoff deserves a prominent place in the history of music: his Six Partitas are the earliest collection of suites for unaccompanied violin, printed in 1696. They were a likely inspiration for the Sonatas and Partitas of Bach who, during his first short stay in Weimar (summer of 1703), had the chance of meeting Westhoff who, in his later years, served at the Weimar court of Duke Johann Ernst of Saxe-Weimar. Liner notes by the authoritative Gregory Barnett and by Gunar Letzbor himself.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image The Night of Saint Nicholas: A Medieval Liturgy fo
Winter feasts like the Latin Saturnalia and the Germanic Yule, airborne gift-giving figures like the Norse Odinn Jolnir, the Slavic Ded Moroz, the Dutch Sinterklaas: from time immemorial December skies have been rather busy. Pagan patterns were readapted to Christianity – and a canonised bishop from fourth-century Asia Minor, Nikolaos, whose feast occurred near the winter solstice, merged with another bearded benefactor. Wotan’s hood and Nicholas’s mitre were mixed up, and by the nineteenth century Santa Claus was ready to don new red and white robes and to deliver toys on both sides of the Atlantic. The pieces on this recording (mainly from a thirteenth-century English manuscript) belong to the liturgy for the eve of the Feast of St Nicholas: they allude to his picturesque feats, such as the rescue of three needy maidens or the taming of a storm. Readings and additional songs come from the repertory associated with this widely popular saint, celebrated throughout the Middle Ages from Italy to Iceland. Originally released in 1998, this joint performance by La Reverdie and Cantori Gregoriani received enthusiastic reviews in several music magazines: ‘For those who want to enjoy some of the best liturgical singing this is highly recommended’ (Early Music, 1999).

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Sonate a violino e violone o cimbalo
The Italian Ensemble Aurora will celebrate their thirtieth anniversary in September of 2016. Since their very first concert in 1986, the ensemble has been particularly interested in the music of Arcangelo Corelli. It is only fitting that this is the music chosen to commemorate a long and successful career. + Previous recordings of Corelli’s music have garnered them critical acclaim as well as several international prizes. + Particularly notable on this recording is the inclusion of Corelli’s Sonatas Op. V. The perfect synergy of the ensemble represents a milestone recording which will be a model for many performers and listeners.

kr 202 (kr 289)
Image Ouvertures à 8
Zefiro Baroque Orchestra
Alfredo Bernardini

Recorded in the bright acoustics of the Teatro Bibiena in Mantua ("the most beautiful theatre in the world", according to Leopold Mozart), Zefiro's second release on the Arcana label is devoted to the colourful world of Telemann's Overtures (i.e. Suites). The three masterworks presented here highlight the unique quality of this versatile ensemble - formed by the oboists Alfredo Bernardini and Paolo Grazzi, and the bassoonist Alberto Grazzi - specialising in eighteenth-century works that give particular prominence to wind instruments.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Santa Editta
Ensemble Mare Nostrum / Andrea De Carlo

With this third installment of the Stradella Project, Andrea De Carlo and Ensemble Mare Nostrum continue the exploration of the oratorio output, following the recent rediscovery of San Giovanni Crisostomo.

An historical figure from the 10th century, Edith of Wilton was an English nun of noble birth, and legend has it that she refused the opportunity of taking the throne, causing the aversion of a faction of nobles.

The title role of Stradella’s oratorio, Edith is disputed between various allegorical characters: on the one hand Humiltà, pushing her to a chaste monastic life, on the other hand the mundane figures of Grandezza, Bellezza, Nobiltà and Senso, all inviting her to become Queen and enjoy the pleasures of life. In the end, Edith will ignore the strong arguments submitted by the latter in favour of the advice from an arrogant Humiltà, a sort of alter ego of the Queen who was not to be.

The Argentine soprano Verónica Cangemi offers us an emotional portrayal of the title role, surrounded by a distinguished cast, including Francesca Aspromonte as Nobility, Gabriella Martellacci as Greatness, Fernando Guimaraes as Beauty, Sergio Foresti as Sensuality, and Claudia Di Carlo as Humility.

As in previous installments, recording was made within the framework of the Alessandro Stradella International Festival in Nepi, the composer’s birthplace.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Li due Orfei
Angélique Mauillon
Marc Mauillon

Florence, 1600: Giulio Caccini and Jacopo Peri, two virtuoso singers and rival compo-sers. Striving to rediscover the expressive powers of ancient Greek tragedy, they re-volutionized the art of singing and created a new style, which eventually would give birth to opera. In reaction to Renaissance polyphony, these monodies were intended to be sung with the simple accompaniment of a plucked intsrument in order to express the full range of human passions. Peri and Caccini would often accompany them-selves but they would also perform with certain family members. Thus brother and sister in this duo follow most naurally a tradition passed on by those great musicians.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Cifras Imaginarias
A leading vihuela specialist, the Argentinian virtuoso Ariel Abramovich has already devoted two albums to the favourite instrument of the Iberian Renaissance, the first on Arcana (Esteban Daça, El Parnasso, A316, 2002) and the second on Carpe Diem (Diego Pisador, Si me llaman, 2009). For this third instalment he is joined by one of the world’s most respected and innovative solo lutenists, Jacob Heringman, for a vihuela duo project which is the result of years of research and performing. While there is a significant number of publications for two lutes from the sixteenth century, only one of the seven collections for vihuela de mano includes duets, and it is precisely that collection that was the main source of inspiration for this project. The performers, both highly experienced with intabulations of sixteenth-century music, decided to recreate an ‘imaginary’ book of vihuela duets, following the taste and practice of the ancient masters, who through a notation system of ‘numbers’ used to arrange works by the composers they listened to and played. Cifras Imaginarias is the poetic name they have given to an imaginary music collection of vihuela duos of the kind that might have been published in the mid-sixteenth century.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image San Giovanni Crisostomo
Ensemble Mare Nostrum / Andrea de Carlo

The reputation of 'San Giovanni Battista', by far Alessandro Stradella's best-known and most recorded work, has so far overshadowed the rest of his surviving oratorio output, amounting to a total of six works. Unlike the most representative masterwork, San Giovanni Crisostomo, here released for the first time, was conceived for more intimate resources and yet perfectly expresses the modernity of the oratorio genre as it appeared in the second half of the 17th century. Sacred and moral themes are combined with political, social, and sometimes erotic ones, and the subject, libretto and music interact on multiple levels with surprising boldness and freedom.

Stradella masterfully presents the eternal conflict between lust for power and the vanity of life through a wide variety of expressive solutions and the refined dramatic and psychological characterization of the two protagonists, Saint John Chrysostom and Eudosia.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Sonatas and Variations for the piano
The legendary Viennese pianist has issued a new recording (October 2008) of five piano masterworks by Joseph Haydn, on the occasion of the bicentenary of his death. Johann Schantz’s fortepiano from Badura-Skoda’s collection, which has been used for this recording, is the most appropriate instrument available today for interpreting Haydn’s music. In a letter to Marianne von Genzinger dated 4 July 1790, Haydn refers to Johann Schantz as “the best pianoforte maker”. The booklet contains notes (in four languages) by Badura-Skoda himself.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Alfabeto falso
After the success of ‘L’ultimo romano’, his album of music for archlute from the 1718 collection of the Roman composer Giovanni Zamboni, Simone Vallerotonda presents something totally new with his Baroque ‘power trio’ I Bassifondi: ‘Alfabeto falso’. Their debut album is devoted to Italian and Spanish music for guitar and theorbo from the first half of the seventeenth century. A little-known repertory, characterised by rhythmic oddities and harmonic extravagances that challenge those of contemporary jazz. Ordinary ‘alfabeto’ (alphabet) was the system used by guitarists of the period to mark chords: each letter corresponded to a single chord. But, in the ‘false alphabet’, those letters which were marked with a slash indicated chords containing dissonances, often very bold. The trio, comprising guitar/theorbo, percussion instruments and colachon, reconstructs an ensemble typical of the seventeenth century. Breathtaking rhythms, ‘dirty’ chords, improvisations and variations: these are the colours they seek to convey in their sound. The beauty and the challenge of this disc lie precisely in providing an interpretation that respects everything notated in the score, and in the choice of arrangements and timbres. This music sounds modern and perhaps slightly provocative to us, but all of it was written around 1640!

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Unwritten: From Violin to Harp
"J. S. Bach, Biber, Marini, Corelli: four leading figures of Baroque music that no one would associate with the harp. However, they worked in environments where there is ample evidence that harpists were active, and where a solo harp repertory certainly existed, even if it was never written down. This ambitious project starts out from that premise, and is the result of in-depth research into original sources. It suggests that the repertory for violin, an instrument that shares many idiomatic features with the harp, was long a source of inspiration for harpists. Hence, here some of the best-known and most virtuosic pieces for the violin have been arranged for harp, giving these compositions a new lease of life and shedding light on new and unexpected nuances and reflections. Flora Papadopoulos, after significant collaborations with ensembles such as Cappella Mediterranea/L. García Alarcón, Concerto Italiano/R. Alessandrini, Matheus/J-C Spinosi and Laboratorio ‘600/F. Pavan, now makes her first solo album. Exploring personal, highly experimental and empirical paths, she revives a fascinating musical practice that has been long lost."

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Le Coeur & l'Oreille - Manuscript Bauyn
The Bauyn Manuscript, a key collection of seventeenth century harpsichord and other music, displays the influence of various schools of composition on the writing and performance of the great clavecinistes of the mid- seventeenth century. The recording includes works of Chambonnières and Louis Couperin, displaying their different styles which led Le Gallois (1680) to write that "one touched the heart and the other touched the ear", as well as other contemporary composers such as Hardel and d'Anglebert. The Denis harpsichord of 1658 is the extraordinary protagonist of this recording, in which Giulia Nuti explores the expressive capacities of one of the earliest extant French double-manual harpsichords, displaying how instrumental refinement enables performance choices. The approach is that of Giulia Nuti's award-winning first solo recording of eighteenth -century French harpsichord music, Les Sauvages, recorded on the Taskin of 1788, which received a Diapason d'Or. Hearing this music through the voice of the Denis harpsichord accesses the sound world in which these pieces belong and should be understood.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Toccate d'intavolatura di cimbalo et organo
Rinaldo Alessandrini, harpsichord & organ

On the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the publication of Primo Libro di Toccate (1615), Arcana is proud to make this reference recording of Girolamo Frescobaldi's most popular work available again.

Here, Rinaldo Alessandrini shows to full advantage his well-known skills as keyboard virtuoso as well as his familiarity with the madrigal repertoire of the time, so important for a proper approach to this revolutionary book, whose basic elements are the affetti and where rhetoric became the interpretive key.

Two period Italian instruments are used here, making it possible to rediscover the colours appropriate to Frescobaldi's music: a harpsichord attributed to Celestini - the latest research apparently proves that it is not by this builder and that its construction dates from around 1650 - preserved in the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague; and the restored organ (c.1630), in the church of S Maria del Carmine in Brescia.

kr 202 (kr 289)
Image Figures of Harmony
Presented in a stylish 4-CD box set, here is a comprehensive recording of one of the most enigmatic manuscripts in the history of European music, preserved in the museum at the Chateau de Chantilly, France.'Anything that can be sung, can be written in music notation,' claimed an anonymous treatise on notation in the late fourteenth century. The harmonies thus 'captured' on parchment represent an apex in Western music, associated with the wealthiest courts in Christendom, called 'decadent' by some. Various elements of improvisation - avant-garde dissonance, astonishing rhythmic complexity, arching, lyrical melisma - meld into musical forms which test the boundaries of late Gothic sensibilities.Here are love songs for the End of the World: a time of deadly plague, devastating earthquakes, endless war, disintegrating religion, and the explosion of science and measurement.

kr 313 (kr 447)
Image Se Con Stille Frequenti
In the Baroque period, the duetto da camera, usually conceived for two equal voices and continuo, was an important form of vocal chamber music, of which innumerable examples are found in the works of composers associated with Venice, the leading protagonist in the history of this genre. Venetian Sara Mingardo is joined by a large group of young, talented solo female voices (Silva Frigato, Lea Desandre…) in this amazing project, where masterpieces by the leading composers of the time have been entrusted to the voices best suited to highlight the respective particular musical content. Included in this recording are several previously unpublished and unperformed works, which have been newly transcribed and edited by the harpsichordist Edward Smith. At the heart of the programme, Sara Mingardo leaves her colleagues for a moment to appear as soloist in Fuggi pur, o crudele by Francesco Lucio, a splendid and typical lamento recorded here for the first time and destined to become a big hit.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Water Musick; Wassermusik
Zefiro has already proved its strong affinity with Georg Philipp Telemann’s music, and the ensemble’s recording of his Ouvertures a 8 (Arcana A 371) was awarded a Gramophone Editor’s Choice. As Julie Anne Sadie pointed out, ‘the much-vaunted lean muscularity of the Ensemble Zefiro performances favours the wind instruments and, when joined with one-to-a-part strings, produces a freshly balanced sonority that alters our experience of these works’. The 250th anniversary of Telemann's death offers now a neat incentive to re-release this successful recording – originally issued on the Ambroisie label – on which his Wassermusik, generally referred to as Hamburg Ebb and Flow, is coupled with Handel’s more familiar aquatic suites. Both are occasional pieces composed within a few years of each other, the former written to celebrate the centenary of the Admiralty in Hamburg, and the latter for royal water parties on the Thames. Unlike Handel’s work, Telemann’s suite attempts to evoke images of water, aided by references in the titles to scenes and characters associated with the sea, and may therefore be considered as ‘programme music’.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Knights, Maids & Miracles - The Spring of Middle A
In August 1986 two pairs of young sisters (Claudia and Livia Caffagni, and Elisabetta and Ella de Mircovich) founded the ensemble La Reverdie. The name, derived from a poetic genre that celebrates the return of Spring, reveals perhaps the principal trait of a group that, for 30 years now, has captivated audiences and critics alike for the variety in its approach to the vast and varied musical repertoire of Middle Ages and early Renaissance. To mark this anniversary, Arcana has brought together in a single release all of the themed projects that, over the years, La Reverdie has devoted to various aspects of Medieval culture. From the image of femininity to courtly love, from the music in Medieval thought to the symbolism of light and darkness, each theme developed in this musical collection- an excellent introduction to Medieval music- explores specific repertoires from different points of view, either geographical or literary and philosophical. A journey of discovery that, by virtue of the issues addressed and the freshness of their approach, gives the listener the idea that music in Middle Ages is a fantastic kaleidoscope of sounds and words which reflect the spirit of the time. The history of Europe itself resounds in this anthology of music between 13th and 15th centuries; Latin and vernacular poetry, as well as monody and polyphony, voices and instruments feature a colorful and bright artistic landscape.

kr 244 (kr 349)
Image Lux in tenebris
One of the most talented singers of the new generation brings to light four gems for soprano and orchestra belonging to the great eighteenth -century tradition of Neapolitan sacred music.

The three composers are representative of as many generations of an industrious dynasty: Francesco Feo (1691-1761) was the uncle of Gennaro Manna (1715-79), who in turn was the uncle of Gaetano (1751-1804). Comparison between their scores allows us to observe the extraordinary development from the austerity of the late Baroque to the elegance of the galant style.

The Lamentations by the two Mannas were part of the liturgy of Holy Thursday (Officium tenebrarum), whereas Feo’s La sinderesi, a sorrowful meditation on sin and contrition, belongs to the form of the spiritual cantata and points to a private devotional environment. The short and bright Gloria by Gennaro Manna crowns the programme, symbolising the final achievement of a dimension of redemption and eternal salvation. All the pieces are characterised by the typically Neapolitan taste for purity of voice, with restrained virtuosity and radiant expressivity.

This is the third instalment of the new series devoted to Neapolitan music, in collaboration with the Neapolitan Centro di Musica Antica - Fondazione Pietà de’ Turchini.

kr 111 (kr 159)
Image Estro Poetico-Armonico