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Image Complete Piano Sonatas (9CD)
For many collectors in the 1960s, the budget priced Vox Turnabout LPs of the Beethoven Sonatas and Concertos were a revelation, and introduced an amazing young talent to the public.

Alfred Brendel was born in 1931 in Wiesenberg, and won the Concorso Busoni in 1949. He studied with Edwin Fischer, Paul Baumgartner and Edward Steuermann. The Vox Beethoven recordings won the Grand Prix du Disque in 1965, and were praised by critics world-wide.

These early recordings illustrate clearly all the characteristics that would become a hallmark of Brendel’s playing. A refusal to fall back on ‘flashy’ bravura, and the intellectual rigour he brings to the Beethoven sonatas marked him out even in these early recordings as one of the very great pianists of the 20th century. Brendel retired from the musical scene in 2009 at the height of his powers, leaving a recorded legacy without parallel in the music of Beethoven, Mozart and Schubert.

kr 215 (kr 359)
Image 8CD-BOX: The Complete Orchestral Music
The only edition of the orchestral works by Respighi, now available in a 8CD set!Respighi is one of the foremost Italian composers of the first half of the 20th century. His fame rests on his Roman Trilogy, the scenic depiction of the Italian capital, its festivals, its pines and its fountains. His other works however are equally remarkable, and show an symphonist pur sang, with a rich and innovative orchestration and feeling for colour and atmosphere, inspired by the long musical heritage of his country (influences of Gregorian Chant, renaissance songs and dances, Rossini's musical pranks).Excellent performances by the Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma, conducted by Francesco la Vecchia, who did inestimable work recording neglected Italian symphonists like Dallapiccola, Malipiero and Ghedini. "conducted with obvious affection, the playing has engaging spirit and grace" (Gramophone). A real bargain at budget price!

kr 179 (kr 299)
Image Mozart Operas (12 CD)
Complete for the first time, the critically acclaimed Mozart opera recordings made by a leading light of ‘period’ performance. The scion of a Dutch family deeply involved in the historically informed performance movement for the past 70 years, Sigiswald Kuijken made his name as a violinist. The combination of scholarly diligence, performing flair and unwavering determination – ‘I’ve always been fanatical about doing things the way they were done in their day,’ as he remarked in an interview – produced recordings of solo, chamber and concerted Bach as deeply considered as they were imbued with rhythmic vitality. In 1972 he gathered like-minded friends and colleagues to form La Petite Bande as a recording ensemble; led from the first desk by Kuijken himself, the ensemble quickly gained renown through performances and tours, and their repertoire evolved naturally over time until they began a project to record Mozart’s major operas in 1992 with Don Giovanni (completing it 12 years later with Die Zauberflöte). Kuijken’s approach was characteristically definitive: ‘These pieces are immortal, they don’t need arranging. If you sayyou’re playing Don Giovanni and it’s a piece of modern theatre with music by Mozart, it’s not the same piece.’ Thus he made no apologies for casting singers who were often young, and more experienced in early-music idioms than in treading the boards of the world’s great opera houses; or for putting them in stagings which Mozart and da Ponte would have recognised. At the same time, Kuijken always sought to uncover the spiritual dimension of music that explores the farthest reaches of human emotion. ‘There is something strange that Bach shares with Mozart,’ he said. ‘It appears that their music has a deeper source. I know it’s a romantic idea to say that, but I’m not ashamed to do so and in fact I feel it increasingly.’ Critics responded warmly from the beginning to this ‘informed Romanticism’, which was caught on the wing in live recordings. The booklet to this set contains detailed synopses of each opera. ‘Everything ticks like fine-tuned clockwork and there is abundant energy throughout… I hear none of that horrid glassy tone that so often betokens the “original instrument” approach. But otherwise the overall sound has the brightness and airiness that differentiates period performance (at its most pleasing to the untutored ear) from twentieth-century symphonism.’ (Fanfare, Mar/Apr 1994, Così). ‘Interpretations of Mozart's 18th-century music should place an emphasis on gracefulness and elegance. Sigiswald Kuijken’s conducting obviously shares that view.’ (Fanfare, May/June 2003, Figaro). ‘This overlooked 2004 recording has a lot going for it… Kuijken’s leadership is fleet and comic, the period instruments are well and expressively played, the recording itself is vivid and bright. The singers are the lightest on CD.’ (Classics Today) This 12CD set brings together Mozart’s greatest mature operas: Cosí Fan Tutte, Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni and Die Zauberflöte. The performances are conducted by Sigiswald Kuijken, pioneer and veteran of the Historically Informed Performance Practice and a passionate and committed musician. The orchestra is La Petite Bande and the soloists include such celebrities as Monica Groop, Huub Claessens, Nancy Argenta, Christina Högman, Soile Isokoski, Harry van de Kamp, Per Vollestad, Stephan Genz, Suzie LeBlanc and many more. Complete libretti of the operas are available on the Brilliant Classics Website.

kr 275 (kr 459)
Image 17CD-BOX: Complete Edition
This 17CD set is the third Chopin Edition by Brilliant Classics, an all?time favourite of one of the most popular and universally loved composers of all times. The piano works of the Polish master touch the heart chords of every listener and music lover around the world, they speak the universal language of beauty, melancholy, tenderness and passion.This third Edition is also the best: it contains no less than 7 new recordings and several new licensed recordings. New recordings are: Etudes (Alessandro Deljavan, one of the most extraordinary performances ever recorded), Waltzes (Alessandro Deljavan), Piano Sonatas 2 & 3, Preludes, Ballades, Impromptus (Wolfram Schmitt?Leonardy, wonderfully idiomatic, 'Fanciful, illuminating, stimulating and compelling' Classics today), Mazurkas (Rem Urasin). The piano concertos are played by Ewa Kupiec, the other works for piano and orchestra by Abbey Simon. The Nocturnes are played by Earl Wild ('silvery, deeply felt'), the Scherzi by Ivan Moravec, one of the best Chopin recordings by the Czech master.An important and high quality set, not to be missed at bargain price!

kr 317 (kr 529)
Image Complete Chamber Music
A rare treat: instrumental chamber music by Henry Purcell. In spite of his past and present international fame too little attention has been paid to this part of his oeuvre. This collection offers a great variety: from ‘the Staircase overture’ to voluntaries for organ.

Henry Purcell’s present fame is mainly based on some dramatic works – Dido and Aeneas -, his anthems and numerous songs. In his relatively short life he managed to compose in every genre usual at the time. Well hidden among a vast amount of vocal music lies a relatively small collection of chamber music pieces.

Together with Handel, Henry Purcell was and is England’s most important baroque composer. He was also an organist and as such left behind remarkable little for his instrument. Pieter-Jan Belder - the keyboard player who also recorded the complete Scarlatti sonatas - combined this with Purcell’s varied music for harpsichord, which includes eight suites. Here, together with, his ensemble Musica Amphion, he also performs the bulk of Purcell’s chamber music: listen and enjoy.

kr 173 (kr 289)
Image 7CD-BOX: Waves
Jeroen Van Veen, piano

Ludovico Einaudi may well become the "Satie of the 21-st century". His minimalist, deceptively simple piano works reach a massive audience well beyond the strict boundaries of traditional classical music. CDs with his music break sales records, the hypnotic calmness of his works being the perfect recipe against modern world's stress and fatigue.

Einaudi's piano works fit in logically with Jeroen van Veen's survey of Minimalist Piano Music, and this 7-CD set is the most substantial collection available at present.

kr 173 (kr 289)
Image Complete String Quartets (7 CD)
Diogenes Quartet

Since 2012, the German ensemble Diogenes Quartet have devoted themselves to recording all of Schubert’s music for string quartet. Already released as individual volumes to high acclaim, they are now available to purchase together, setting Schubert’s later masterpieces alongside his earlier works and revealing the genius he was at such a young age. Additionally, the quartet have worked with Christian Starke, an expert in Schubert’s music, who has sensitively completed two of the composer’s fragments, allowing the listener to appreciate fully the astonishing potential these short pieces contain.

While the four late quartets have always been considered shining examples of Schubert’s mastery of the genre, his earlier works for string quartet – written as a young teenager – have at times been overlooked in the past. They were clearly intended for a familiar, domestic setting rather than the concert hall, and the Diogenes Quartet’s sensitive rendition draws the listener in, recreating the intimate setting and drawing out the sense of lyricism already present in Schubert’s lines.

The Quartet were highly praised by Fanfare for their ‘immaculate execution’, complemented by ‘genuine emotional engagement and real feeling for Schubert’s unique modes and moods of musical expression’ in Volume 2, with the reviewer Jerry Dubins stating that once complete, this recording of Schubert’s string quartets would be the one to have. This quality boxset certainly attests to that claim.

Recorded in Munich, Germany, 2012-2015

Extensive liner notes by Christian Starke

kr 173 (kr 289)
Image Piano Music Vol. 2 (7 CD)
A cornucopia of catchy melodies and hypnotic music from the king of minimalist piano. Jeroen van Veen has won international success with albums of Satie, Part, Glass and Riley. These are only some of the most significant composers whose work he has recorded for Brilliant Classics in building a library on record of minimalist piano music. Simplicity, repetition and appealing melody are the qualities shared by all the composers who subscribe to this aesthetic, and they underlie van Veen’s own compositions. Although subtitled Volume 2, this is the third album to focus exclusively on the pianist as composer. Books 1 and 2 of his Minimal Piano Preludes were reissued on a 2CD set (BC95383) in 2016, and won high praise from MusicWeb International: ‘Both spectacular and simple, these pieces all have bags of content and an underlying surge of joy in creation and performance that is irresistible.’ Further preludes feature in a 5CD box of his piano music (BC9454) and this sequel takes us up to Minimal Prelude No.60, a ‘tango for organ’. ‘All my music is about time and space,’ says van Veen in a booklet essay. ‘The duration of music is an essential part of the concept in my music. The concept of music, specifically my minimal oriented music, only can exist in time. The slow progression, building of the material, the motifs and the search for new sounds is audible in this new box.’ All the works featured here were composed between 2010 and 2018. Continuum (CD1) is a concertante work for piano and flute octet. Incanto (CD2) is another CD-length piece, entirely composed in an unusual 11/8 time signature. Ripalmania (CD3) is written for six pianos, a scoring which creates an entrancing effect. In Velvet Piano (CD6) van Veen explores the timbral possibilities of pianos prepared with objects after the style of John Cage, though without the American composer’s aim of disconcerting the listener. The final disc is a celebration of minimalist jazz, in which the border between composition and improvisation almost vanishes. Jeroen van Veen about his own piano music: “All my music is about time and space. The duration of music is an essential part of the concept in my music. Time goes by so quickly in these modern times that it has become an exclusive privilege to people. The concept of music, specifically my minimal oriented music, only can exist in time. The slow progression, the building of the material, the motifs and the search for new sounds is audible in this new box”. This set contains music ranging from one piano, two pianos, piano and keyboards, organ, up till 6 pianos. Jeroen van Veen established himself as “The leading exponent of minimalism today” (Fanfare), “Jeroen van Veen has been a powerhouse in the piano world” (Musicweb). His numerous recordings for Brilliant Classics include works by Glass, Reich, Ten Holt, Part, Satie, Tiersen, Einaudi, Preisner and many others.

kr 173 (kr 289)
Image Minimal Piano Collection Volume XXI-XXVIII (8 CD)
Who is the true father of Minimalism? When the movement originated in the early 1960s, it sprang up organically – some composers played by the rules (even if they were rules of their own invention), while others experimented freely, unaware or unconcerned about how music 'should' be composed. One of those young mavericks was Dennis Johnson, who has now faded into almost complete obscurity after he gave up his musical ambitions for a career in mathematics. But his 1959 composition November can be considered one of the first, if not the first, properly minimalist work. It later went on to inspire La Monte Young (Johnson's class mate at UCLA) to write his prolific Well-Tuned Piano. Complete recordings are few and far between, and this new recording by Jeroen van Veen is the perfect introduction for anyone looking to get back to the roots of Minimalism. Jeroen van Veen is one of the Netherlands' most prominent recording artists. This collection of Minimal Piano Music follows two previous successful albums, available on Brilliant Classics (BC8551 and BC9171). The last album provided a snapshot into the extensive scene of minimalist music today; this one takes us back to how it all began. Featuring several famous pieces from the original minimalist canon – including Philip Glass's Music in Contrary Motion and Terry Riley's Keyboard Studies – there are hours of beautifully relaxing and inspiring music here to enjoy. This 8CD set bring the listener back to the roots of Minimalism, all works were written in the seventies of the 20th century, a time when the new aesthetics and perception of music, sound, repetition and time experience were creating a new chapter in music history. The longest piece is the 5 hour “November” by Dennis Johnson, a work in which the player is free to build the intervals and chords according to his own timing and spacing. The other composers in this set are Philip Glass, Tom Johnson, Peter Garland, Terry Riley, Harold Budd and La Monte Young. Recorded in his own studio by the most important protagonist of Minimalism today, Dutch pianist Jeroen van Veen. Van Veen has a myriad of recordings to his name, notably the multi CD boxes Minimal Piano Collection 1 and 2, complete Satie, Einaudi, Tiersen, Jacob ter Veldhuis, Simeon ten Holt and many more. Van Veen wrote his own personal and illuminating liner notes for this set.

kr 179 (kr 299)
Image Complete Piano Music (8CD)
The history of Scriabin’s piano music is like a condensed history of piano music, for his style changed perhaps more than any other composer during his life. It has been said that young Scriabin kept Chopin’s music under his pillow, and the early Preludes and Mazurkas certainly breathe the same heightened air of ardour and yearning. His journey from the traditional tonal harmony of these Chopinesque beginnings to his atonal ‘Mystic chord’ (based on fourths) is, however, a masterfully smooth one, best appreciated when taking the sum of his work into account. Born in 1947, long resident in London as a professor at the Royal College of Music, Dmitri Alexeev entered the Moscow Conservatory at six years of age. A string of EMI recordings in the 80s established his reputation worldwide, but they included scant representation of one of his most ardent passions, the music of Scriabin, beyond the concertante Prometheus conducted by Riccardo Muti. Alexeev’s touch emulates the contemporary accounts of Scriabin’s own playing, which did not rely on power because of his slight build. Rather, he ‘captivated the listener through his ability to enhance his sound with an extraordinary range and gradation of color…his fingers seemingly plucked the sound from the piano keys…as if his hands flew over the keyboard barely touching it.’ Made between 2008 and 2019 in London and in the purpose-built Music Room at Champs Hill, home to many superlative modern chamber-music albums, these recordings won broad critical acclaim on their original publication. Their reissue at super-budget price makes an obvious first port of call for any listener looking to immerse themselves in the rich, heady world of Scriabin’s piano writing.

kr 179 (kr 299)
Image Complete Piano Music (8CD)
The piano dominated Rachmaninoff’s creative thinking from the start. Even his four early piano pieces of 1887 reveal the extraordinary sense of kinship he felt with the instrument. However, these enchanting early offerings were outclassed by his first piece to evoke the brooding passion that would remain a powerful force in his music for decades to come: the Prelude in C sharp minor. This became one of five Morceaux de fantaisie which attracted the praise of Tchaikovsky, and the composer, while often suffering painful bouts of self-doubt, was rarely unable to turn out the kind of salon pieces that enjoyed a ready audience. However, he soon had higher ambitions in mind, emulating Chopin (and before him) Bach by composing the sequence of Op.23 Preludes in the early years of the 20th century, and following it with two sonatas which demanded the prodigious technique that almost he alone of contemporary performers could marshal. The Op 32 Preludes date from a Schumann-esque 18-day burst of creativity, but they distil Rachmaninoff’s pianistic imagination at its most diverse, completing the cycle. His compositional voice is darker and still more introspective in the sequences of Etudes-tableaux, which forsake the free and lyrical vein of his earlier music for a disciplined austerity that would reach a climax in his large-scale Symphonic Dances and The Bells, though finding a more fantastical outlet in the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Thus the set presents a guide to the life and the voice of one of Russia’s most dominant and individual musical voices. Compiled from recordings made during the last ten years, it features young artists such as Lukas Geniušas and Zlata Chochieva who have gone on to achieve deserved fame as mature artists.

kr 179 (kr 299)
Image Complete Piano Music (9 CD)
Jeroen van Veen, piano

This set contains the complete music for piano by Erik Satie, including the works for 4 hands.

Satie’s piano music became immensely popular in the 70’s of the last century, when pianists like Reinbert de Leeuw and Aldo Ciccolini took it out of the realm of “serious classical music”. Especially the Gymnopédies and Gnossiennes became “Music for the Millons” and adorned many amateur’s piano stand.

This set proves however that there is much more than the Gymnopédies. Satie created a whole world of revolutionary aesthetics, mixing the serious with the absurd, the sense and the nonsense, the surreal and the banal. He had immense influence on composers after him, including Cage, Stravinsky and the Minimalists like Glass, Nyman and others.

Pianist Jeroen van Veen, the Champion of Minimalism, is the ideal interpreter of Satie, his playing, quasi-naïve, is hypnotic, entering another sound and time dimension.

Excellent liner notes by a musicologist and the artist himself.

kr 215 (kr 359)
Image The Collection (9CD)
Arvo Pärt (born 1935) is without doubt one of the best-known and -loved composers of today. His highly personal style, influenced by Gregorian Chant, is based on slowly shifting patterns, tintinnabuli (little bells), creating a meditative and hallucinatory effect, a visionary world of spiritual contemplation. Pärt’s sacred choral works enjoy a huge popularity with both the traditional classical audience as well as an open-minded new generation. This substantial collection brings together Pärt’s best-known and loved works, both instrumental and vocal: Spiegel im Spiegel, Für Alina, Tabula Rasa, Fratres, Magnificat, Berliner Messe, St. John Passion, as well as organ works and the complete piano works. Excellent performances by Le Nuove Musiche/Krijn Koetsveld, Leeds Cathedral Choir, Ulster Orchestra, Jeroen van Veen and many others. The booklet contains extensive liner notes on the composer and his works.

kr 215 (kr 359)
Image Corelli Edition
It may seem surprising: can 10 discs really contain all of Arcangelo Corelli's output? They can, and do, but the surprise is merited, for the influence and reputation of these works far outstrips their quantity (and how often can one say that of a Barock composer!). On display here is the apogee of Barock form as displayed in the genres of Solo Sonatas, Trio Sonatas and Concerti Grossi, full of sparkling virtuosity and an intimate knowledge and love of the violin and its potential as a solo instrument.

The influence was felt most immediately in Rome, where he was based for his adult life, but publication of these collections soon earned him a name across Europe, as much as his prowess as a solo violinist did; for this was the golden age of the composer as creator, when composition went hand in hand with performance. Of course there is plenty more music Corelli composed which hasn't survived, or at least not on manuscripts with his name on them, for Corelli as an impresario frequently staged oratorios to which he would have contributed sinfonias and instrumental numbers.

What survives is never less than highly polished; often bold, and continually inventive, as is more than evident in these performances from a welcome and uniform perspective by a leading Dutch period-instrument ensemble. And it's unique; there is no other Corelli box on the market, nor has such a project ever been attempted before or since.

kr 227 (kr 379)
Image Complete String Quartets (10 CD)
Given their infrequent appearances on concert programmes, Dvorák’s string quartets have done rather well in the recorded catalogues. There are several recordings of the complete cycle of 16 works, which span the composer’s career. A couple have been made by native ensembles from the composer’s Czech homeland but also a couple more by central-European ensembles such as the Stamitz Quartet, who since their foundation in 1985 have been known as leading interpreters of Czech repertoire. The approach of the Stamitz Quartet is quite different from either the Panocha or Prague ensembles, noted David Hurwitz in Classics Today: ‘more relaxed, less rhythmically charged, and gracious in an old-world sort of way… The group also gives unusual stature to the somewhat formally scattered early works, particularly the monstrous Third Quartet, which at 72 minutes has to be just about the all-time longest string quartet that ostensibly observes the rules of classical form.’ Taken as a whole, the quartets chart the evolution of Dvorák’s style, from his interest in Wagnerian music in the years prior to 1870 – in the String Quartet in D major – to the folk-infused works of his later life, such as the String Quartet in G major Op.106, and show the influence of his time in the United States, with the String Quartet in F Op.96 'American'. If the only Dvorák quartet that you’re familiar with is the ‘American’, then this set will provide an embarkation point for what should prove an immensely fruitful musical journey. The late quartets in particular are shaped by the oscillations between varied weather and song that sit at the heart of the three late symphonies. According to the Taipei Times, this set is ‘a feast for a lifetime. They’re gorgeously warm and evocative recordings, and no one could possibly go wrong in choosing them...this remains an astonishing bargain.’ This reissue includes full programme notes on each work.

kr 227 (kr 379)
Image Ave Maria: Marian Hymns (10 CD)
Mary the Blessed Virgin, mother of Christ, has been an object of devotion in music as well as buildings, words and images since the early stirrings of the Christian church in the first and second centuries AD. The music in this box begins with the chants written down by monks during the papacy of Pope Gregory II, and for centuries these supple, joyful chants were passed on from generation to generation of Christians in worship and adoration. With the development of polyphony in the 11th century, these Marian devotions took on further richness. Settings of the Ave Maria and other Marian prayers gradually flower and grow further from the original tree of Gregorian chant. This process is outlined in the box like a piece of slow- motion photography, moving from Guillaume de Machaut through to the Dutch polyphonists of the 15th and 16th centuries such as Ockeghem, Obrecht and Nicolas Gombert, but the vernacular traditions of Marian devotion in Italy and Spain are also represented with excerpts from the Laudario di Cortona and Llibre vermell de Montserrat. The edicts of the Council of Trent in 1566 commanded that sacred music communicate the text clearly above all considerations of aesthetic refinement, and composers across Europe accordingly wrote with greater transparency, less counterpoint and more declamation. Nevertheless, the new style inspired masterpieces such as the Ave Maris Stella of Monteverdi and Gesualdo’s Ave, dulcissima Maria. With instruments increasingly joining voices in sacred music, Marian hymns adopted a concertato style, and the boundaries between the altar and the stage of the new opera houses became increasingly blurred. Settings of prayers such as the Salve Regina settings by Vivaldi and Pergolesi became multi-movement pieces, like a vocal concerto or dance suite, demanding vocal virtuosity from singers practiced in soloistic repertoire.

kr 227 (kr 379)
Image The Complete Symphonies
kr 251 (kr 419)
Image Complete Orchestral Works (11 CD)
The Dussek bandwagon rolls on, and collectors of this revelatory series will not hesitate to pick up the penultimate volume, which continues to shed light on this Czech contemporary of Beethoven by playing his most dazzlingly varied music on the kind of instruments he wrote it for. With volume 7 we have reached a pair of opus numbers which offer typical contrasts within Dussek’s idiom. The pair of Op.47 sonatas belong to the genre of the ‘Sonate facile’ – easy sonatas, uncomplicated technically and musically, much like Beethoven’s Op.49, published three years later. The finale of Op.47 No.1 is a ‘Rondo à la Militaire’ which became a famous hit of the period. Indeed, this was a time whenDussek reached the zenith of his fame as performer and composer, with his works and playing conquering the entire continent from England to Russia, and the Op.47 Sonatas were first published in London, despite the composer having fled the capital in disgrace, leaving behind serious debts and a failing marriage. The great Sonata Op.64, ‘Le Retour à Paris’, is, by contrast, one of Dussek’s most expansive and ambitious works. Composed following his return to the French capital in 1807 after the death of his patron, Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, it is not so much a programmatic sonata as an evocation of Dussek’s feelings on his return to the city which he had left just before the French Revolution in 1789. After the bittersweet impressions of the city irrevocably changed by the Revolution and Napoleon’s ascent in the first two movements, a feeling of despair and attempts of reconciliation with fate can be heard in the Scherzo, giving way to the new happy and carefree way of life in the witty final rondo. Zvi Meniker is a Russian-born Israeli harpsichordist, organist, fortepianist and conductor, now a professor at the Hochschule für Musik in Hannover. He has made a speciality of studying, teaching and performing the piano music of early Romantics such as Mendelssohn, Chopin and indeed Dussek. The continuation of an exciting new project: the recording of the complete piano sonatas by Dussek! Johann Ladislaus Dussek (1760-1812) was born in rural Bohemia. He led a restless life, travelling Europe as a keyboard virtuoso and settling in several European capitals, notably Paris and London, where he became a fashionable pianist and teacher. Dussek’s style is rich, harmonically expressive and pianistically challenging, Classicism on the brink of Early Romanticism. This new recording contains the two sonatas Op.47, works published in London and in the style of the “Sonata Facile”, pleasant works aimed for the aspiring amateur. Also included is the grand sonata Op.64, one of the most substantial and complicated sonatas, called “Retour a Paris”, presenting the impressions of the composer after his return to the French capital in 1807. Zvi Meniker, born in Moscow but raised in Israel, had lessons with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Malcolm Bilson. As a soloists he played with important Early Music groups like Concerto Köln, Il Gardellino and Musica Antiqua Köln.

kr 251 (kr 419)
Image Canto Ostinato XL (12CD)
Simeon ten Holt's unmistakable minimalist style is the driving force behind Canto Ostinato, one of the composer's most famous works. Canto Ostinato is the best-loved Dutch piano composition of the 20th century, with its mesmerising melodies never failing to soothe the mind.

The instruments and number of performers for the piece are unspecified; written 'for keyboard instruments', the work has been recorded many times with piano, but this unique set brings together 12 arrangements of the work - for piano, as well as for organ, marimba and synthesizer. With a variety of recording venues ranging from throughout The Netherlands to Canada, this compilation is a must-have addition to any classical music collection.

Jeroen van Veen is a leading light in modern piano performance, as well as a successful composer. Chairman of the Simeon ten Holt Foundation, he has won critical acclaim with ensembles such as The International Piano Quartet, DJ Piano and Jeroen van Veen & Friends.

kr 275 (kr 459)
Image The Complete London Manuscript (12CD)
Almost an exact contemporary of Bach, Silvius Leopold Weiss (16871750) was renowned in his day as one of the most proficient lutenists in Europe. Born in Grottkau, now part of Poland, he soon established himself in the service of Prince Elector of Saxony August the Strong, based in Dresden, where he eventually became the highest paid musician of the court. Over his lifetime he composed over 200 sonatas, and, remarkably, many of them remain conserved and unplayed to this day. The manuscripts can be found in various libraries scattered across Europe, and the London Manuscript, held in the British Library since 1877, contains a staggering 26 solo sonatas as well as other individual and ensemble works with flute. The sonatas are not like the typical Classical sonatas that would appear in Mozarts time; they are structured more like a Baroque suite, normally comprising six individual movements, lively gigues and courantes as well as allemandes and slow sarabandes. Although Weisss lute music has been compared to that of J.S. Bach, there is a wealth of originality here that is not always found in Bachs works, due to Weisss deep understanding of the instrument. Weiss utilised unusually sophisticated harmonies, particularly in the later works, where he frequently employed diminished seventh chords and bold enharmonic changes. His ensemble works for flute and lute add a striking new voice, leading to lively interplay between the two instruments.

kr 275 (kr 459)
Image Complete Madrigals (12 CD)
A project 10 years in the making, now issued complete for the first time: a landmark in Monteverdi performance. The Dutch musician Krijn Koetsveld has often conducted Bach, and he was founder-director of The Netherlands Bach Ensemble. However, it is the name of Claudio Monteverdi with which he is indelibly associated: he first encountered the composer’s music in 1972, and describes it as ‘love at first sight, which never passed’. This relationship matured over time into the foundation of a soloistic vocal group, Le Nuove Musiche, with the technical skills, the scholarly understanding and the musical sensitivities to do justice to the highly intimate, sophisticated genre of Renaissance madrigal, of which the nine books by Monteverdi represent its summit and fullest flowering. Recording all nine books, and several other mini-dramas and vocal chamber works which fall within the genre but outside the books themselves, began in 2004 and was only completed in 2018. Koetsveld contributes a lively and authoritative introduction to the whole project in the booklet. He remarks: ‘Nine books of madrigals, all of them unique, contributing to the transition from the Renaissance to the baroque, a musical history in sound.’ As the series has been released, its importance has been widely recognised in the critical press. In 2017, Fanfare observed: ‘Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda is representative of Koetsveld’s approach. The harmonic outline of the continuo is restrained and precise, the tutti playing of the strings articulated clearly. Both instrumental and concerted textures are so transparent one could take dictation to the recording. In a luminous performance as the narrator, Falco van Loon is focused and crystalline; Wendy Roobol is a clean, nimble Clorinda. Arnout Lems is the most dramatic of the soloists, voicing Tancredi in a rich but gentle baritone.’ More from Fanfare: ‘Decidedly expert performances [make Koetsveld’s Monteverdi an] eminently valuable reference recording.’ ‘The budget price cannot be overlooked, but it is not a measure of the exceptional value of Koetsveld’s accomplishment.’

kr 275 (kr 459)
Image French Piano Concertos (12 CD)
This gorgeous set is dedicated to piano concertante works from the pens of French composers – infinitely varied compositions that nevertheless each bear the unmistakeable flavour of their native idiom. The French piano concerto was a late arrival on the European stage, and even then many French composers would opt to combine piano and orchestra outside the confines of strict concerto form. This 12-CD set homes in on the genre’s heyday – the century or so spanning Saint-Saëns’s pioneering First Piano Concerto (1858) to Françaix’s nostalgic Concerto for 2 Pianos (1965) – along with two precursors: a two-movement Concerto in F (1792) by the ‘French Mozart’ Boieldieu and the early Concerti da camera Op.10 (1832–38) by the maverick genius Alkan. The set begins with the five piano concertos that traverse Saint-Saëns’s career, along with concertante pieces he composed in the 1880s during a 20-year hiatus between his Fourth (1875) and Fifth (1896). The ’80s were fertile for Saint-Saëns’s contemporary Franck, as well, who returned to the piano after decades focusing on the organ and on choral music to create such piano concertante masterworks as Les Djinns and the Variations symphoniques. The latter work was an influence on Claude Debussy’s Fantaisie, in terms of the roles assigned to the orchestra and solo piano and the work’s structure, and like Franck before him, Debussy would disown this youthful work to move in a new direction – surprising given the warm reception enjoyed today by the early works of both composers. The influence of Saint-Saëns and Franck would extend to several of Debussy’s contemporaries, as well. Some would rebel against concerto form – Gabriel Fauré with his episodic Ballade Op.19, Cécile Chaminade with her single-movement Concertstück Op.40 and Vincent D’Indy with his three-movement Symphony on a French Mountain Air –?while others would embrace it – the Concerto in C minor Op.12 of Gabriel Pierné emulating Saint-Saëns’s Second yet foreshadowing Rachmaninov, and the epic Concerto in F minor by Édouard Lalo harking back to Liszt. Jules Massenet’s Concerto in E flat, begun in his early twenties, but only finished at the turn of the century after his many successful operas, arrived too late for the shifting tastes of the time, which had turned their back on romantic virtuosity in favour of the impressionistic and neo-classical. The group known as ‘Les Six’ (The Six) represented the next generation of French composers exploring these new directions in the wake of the First World War. Three of their number figure on this set: Francis Poulenc and the charm and wit of his Concertos for one and for two Pianos, Germaine Tailleferre and the impressionistic orientalism of her Ballade, and the prolific Darius Milhaud who contributes no less than five piano concertos and four other concertante pieces. Their younger colleague Jean Françaix was among the many great names to have studied with seminal French composition teacher Nadia Boulanger. She is represented here by her forward-looking 1912 Fantaisie, while her student Françaix, like Poulenc, offers Concertos for one (1936) and for two (1965) pianos, the former dedicated to his teacher and the latter looking back to Poulenc. Albert Roussel and Reynaldo Hahn, though older than the members of ‘Les Six’, would only come to write piano concertos in their 50s, well into the inter-war period. Hahn’s concerto is featured here in a very special remastered historic recording from 1937, with the composer at the podium and the renowned Brazilian pianist Magda Tagliaferro as soloist. Maurice Ravel likewise came late to the piano concerto, but then wrote two simultaneously, one for piano two hands and one for the left hand alone, on commissions from Serge Koussevitzky and Paul Wittgenstein, respectively. Both were given their premieres within a few weeks of each other in 1932. As a worthy successor to the highly successful set of Russian Piano Concertos (BC95520) Brilliant Classics is happy to issue this set of French Piano Concertos on 12 CD’s. Beginning with the (Early) Romantic concertos by Boieldieu and Alkan, and ending with concertos by Françaix and Milhaud they represent everything which is quintessentially French: a lightness of touch, charming, witty, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, colourful and bubbling with brilliant virtuosity. Played by excellent pianists such as Magda Tagliaferro, Romain Descharmes, Gabriel Tacchino, Francois-Joël Thiollier, Michael Korstick, Florian Uhlig and Klára Würtz. The booklet contains a newly written essay by David Moncur.

kr 275 (kr 459)
Image Complete Sonatas (12 CD)
In 1790, one musical dictionary described Leopold Kozeluch as ‘without question the living composer most loved by young or old’; his works displayed 'liveliness and grace, the noblest melody combined with the purest harmony, and of the most pleasing organization blended with rhythm and modulation.’ His music may have been eclipsed by the legacies of the towering figures Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven since his death in 1818, but performers such as Jenny Soonjin Kim are leading a Kozeluch revival which should see the reputation of this Bohemian-born master rise once more. Having completed his studies in Prague, including lessons with Dussek, he made his name in Vienna as a teacher and successful publisher as well as composer. Though he composed in all the major genres, the best of him is to be found in the keyboard sonatas gathered here. He was regarded as a pioneer of writing for the fortepiano rather than the harpsichord, and he won particular praise from the influential writer Charles Burney: ‘[Kozeluch’s] style is more easy than that of Emanuel Bach, Haydn or Mozart; it is natural, graceful and flowing, without imitating any great model, as almost all his contemporaries have done. His modulation is natural and pleasing, and what critics of the old school would allow to be warrantable. His rhythm is well phrased, his accents well placed, and harmony pure.’ Jenny Soonjin Kim recorded this series between 2013 and 2018 at the Kresge Chapel in Claremont Graduate University, where she oversees the teaching programme for piano and fortepiano studies. Sylvia Berry (Early Music America 21, no. 4, Winter 2015) wrote of the second Kozeluch volume: ‘Kim’s playing is crystalline and lyrical, with exquisitely sensitive phrasing. She is an assured virtuoso who interprets Kozeluch’s music beautifully.’

kr 275 (kr 459)
Image Alkan Edition (13 CD)
Reclusive and eccentric, the French pianist– composer Charles-Valentin Alkan was also undoubtedly one of the greatest pianists who ever lived, and a composer who, like his friend and fellowvirtuoso Liszt, pushed the boundaries of what his instrument, and human pianism, could achieve. Again like Liszt, he composed music that was not merely flashy and difficult to play – it tapped a deep comprehension of music history and theory, a flair for the lyrical and the dramatic and of course a vast imagination. Tackling these formidable pieces are eight pianists and one organist, along with the Trio Alkan piano trio and the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto under Roberto Fores-Veses, on recordings dating from 1989–2017. Alkan’s great cycles for the piano — the Études in all the minor keys (Vincenzo Maltempo), in all the major keys (Mark Viner), the Preludes in every key (Laurent Martin) – feature along side other large-scale works like the Grandes Études for hands separate and together (Alessandro Deljavan) and the Nocturnes (Alan Weiss, Costantino Mastroprimiano), as well as characterful miniatures like the Chants and Les Mois (Stanley Hoogland). Organist Kevin Bowyer demonstrates that Alkan was as much an organ prodigy as anything else, with performances of the Prieres and Little Plainchant Preludes, as well as music for Alkan’s beloved pedal-piano transcribed for the organ.

kr 275 (kr 459)
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