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Image Complete Symphonic Poems
kr 65 (kr 129)
Image Piano Music (4CD-box)
When we look past the extended meditations of the sonatas into the rest of Schubert’s piano music, we tend hardly to see beyond the Wanderer Fantasy and the Impromptus. This undervalues the composer’s contribution to the work for his instrument, as the Italian pianist Alberto Miodini reveals on an extensive exploration of the sometimes slighter and lighter but often just shorter works he composed through his all-too-short career. Perhaps the late Klavierstücke D946 are best known, and justly so, for their profound and ruminative contemplation, and Miodini’s fellow-countryman Paolo Bordoni did sterling work for the Waltzes in 1970s recordings that stand the test of time, but there are still tantalising fragments that are no less worth hearing for their frustratingly unfinished status – the ‘Unfinished’ Symphony was by no means the only musical project that Schubert filed in his creative bottom drawer, so fecund was his compositional imagination that he could hardly get the ideas out fast enough. As noted by Alfred Brendel, Schubert chose to interrupt a composition ‘when it was unsatisfying or no longer interesting’ – evidence of the composer’s vigorous pursuit of his own individual Sonata style. Among the complete works here are equally little-known variation sets on melodies by Hüttenbrenner and Diabelli – works full of characteristically Schubertian energy and motive power.

kr 75 (kr 149)
Image Russian Ballets (3 CD)
Towards the end of the 19th century, ballet was declining in popularity in Western Europe but acquired an increased significance in Russia. This was thanks in part to the music for dancing which had been part of native operas ever since Glinka founded a school and tradition with Ruslan and Ludmila and A Life for the Tsar. However, it was also due to a succession of gifted French choreographer such as Marius Petipa that the St Petersburg ballet flowered. Minkus, Delibes and Adam, among many others, were commissioned for scores by Petipa, but it was with Tchaikovsky that ballet music would alter radically, away from its incidental, accompanimental role and towards a symphonic status which is recognized by the ballets on this compilation being at least as famous for their music as their dancing. Petipa was responsible for commissioning the composer’s most familiar ballet – perhaps the best-loved ballet of all, The Nutcracker, on which the composer exercised all his mastery of timing and orchestration. Although Serge Diaghilev was the great innovator in commissioning and choreographing music for dancing at the turn of the last century, his example was ignored in Russia under Soviet rule. The great state companies in Leningrad and Moscow continued the 19th century tradition of full-evening ballets to which these examples by Prokofiev (Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella and the more rarely encountered Stone Flower) and Khachaturian (Spartacus and Gayaneh) belong. ‘Dancing,’ said the Danish choreographer August Bournonville, ‘is an expression of joy, a desire to respond to the rhythm of the music.’ That joy is amply illustrated by the suites from eight ballets in this compilation, which would make an invaluable introduction to the artform.

kr 65 (kr 129)
Image Complete Piano Trios & String Quartets (3 CD)
Matteo Fossi, piano
Quartetto Savinio

Robert Schumann came relatively late to composing chamber music, having composed his first 23 opus numbers exclusively for the piano. In his piano works he could give his boundless fantasy free reign, chamber music however demands a stricter and more disciplined structure, and this Schumann solved in his own unique way. His chamber music, while never losing its intimacy of expression and full flight of imagination, is rooted in strong, often classical frameworks, a perfect synthesis of form and content.

This set contains the 3 string quartets and the 3 piano trios, masterpieces in their genre, and still slightly undervalued by the general audiences.

The Italian string quartet Quartetto Savinio (“the only worthy heir of the Quartetto Italiano” l’Unità) is joined by pianist Matteo Fossi in performances of deep understanding and passion. They already recorded chamber music by Dvorak and Shostakovich for DECCA.

kr 65 (kr 129)
Image 6CD-BOX: Choral Works
Brahms's choral music ranges from the severe magnificence of the Fest- und Gedenk-sprüche to the ravishing opulence of the Op.17 Songs for female voices, horns and harp. Brahms conducted amateur choirs throughout his professional life, both as a useful source of income and because he enjoyed his contact with enthusiastic, amateur music-makers, not least the ladies in his various choirs. It also gave him a chance to explore music of former eras, by Bach, Schütz, Buxtehude and more, which Brahms considered a vital part of his musical heritage and which, practically speaking, he was bringing back to life in a culture that barely knew its own history. We may with some justice speak of Brahms the period-instrument pioneer.

These splendid modern performances come from a choir of a similar size to the one Brahms would have recognised, and are directed by the experienced choral trainer Nicol Matt.

Other information
- CD-ROM with notes and texts


kr 110 (kr 219)
Image 6CD-BOX: Complete Concerti Grossi
Ensemble Violini Capricciosi / Igor Ruhadze, solo violin & leader

Virtuosity, showy improvisation and stratospherically high violin playing are the characteristics of Baroque composer Pietro Antonio Locatelli's theatrical concerti grossi for soloists and ripieno. While concerti grossi from this time could usually be divided into two types, 'da camera' and 'da chiesa' - with the former containing more dance movements - Locatelli went down his own distinct path, creating a new model more like that of Torelli. His ripieno section was larger than the traditional accompanying group, and his slow movements contained drawn-out notes over which the first violinist or harpsichordist was free to improvise. Indeed, one harpsichord passage in Op.7 is so extraordinarily virtuosic that Locatelli labelled it 'ad libitum', presumably to avoid frightening the amateur musician.

The Concerto Grosso is a popular Baroque form, in which two instrumental groups complete against each other: a small group of soloists and the tutti of the orchestral group. It is the forerunner of the solo concerto form, which features only one solo instrument.

This set present the complete Concerti Grossi by Pietro Antonio Locatelli, modelled on the popular concerti grossi of his teacher Corelli. The writing, as might be expected from Locatelli the devil violinist, is highly virtuosic and brilliant, inventive in harmony and counterpoint, written to impress and entertain.


kr 110 (kr 219)
Image 5CD-BOX: Novecento Guitar Sonatas
A fascinating survey of 20th century sonatas written for solo guitar.Another great and original project of guitarist Cristiano Porqueddu, a point of Reference for the new generation of guitarists, bringing together a wide range of guitar sonatas by Baev, Biberian, Cavallone, Manén, Migot, Gilardino, Rózsa and Porqueddu himself. A journey through wildly differing styles, from Impressionism to Expressionism, from the simple to the complex, from the folkloristic and descriptive to absolute music.A most compelling collection placing the guitar on absolute par with other classical instruments something to be treated seriously, wrote Musicweb about Porqueddus collection of Novecento Preludes (BC 9292), and that applies also to this new set of sonatas, an important collection for scholars, guitarists and music lovers alike.Liner notes written by Cristiano Porqueddu.


kr 90 (kr 179)
Image Romantic Serenades for Strings (5 CD)
A generous and unique compilation of Romantic music for string orchestra, featuring both delightful rarities and renowned masterpieces of the genre. The term serenade originally signified a musical greeting, usually performed out of doors in the evening, to a beloved or a person of importance. Thus the qualities of affection and lightheartedness were established early in the history of the serenade, and they continued to be respected and exploited throughout the Romantic era. The outdoor serenade was naturally better suited to wind-instruments, with their greater volume and carrying power, but astring band was more appropriate for tender and amorous expressions. Alone of the Romantics, Dvorák composed an example of each, and his Serenade for Strings is notably more relaxed and longer-limbed. However, the high watermark for the string serenade in the late 19th century was set by Tchaikovsky, with a masterpiece that recalls the example of his beloved Mozart. With his neoclassical Holberg Suite, Grieg looked back further still, to the world of Baroque dances. Some of the most rewarding but least-known music in the box is also Scandinavian in origin: the two symphonically scaled Novelettes of Niels Gade. Yet more heartfelt is the early Serenade by Josef Suk, and this work from 1892 set the tone for the more impassioned works for string orchestra which would be written, still in a broadly Romantic vein, during the first half of the last century. They include the profound access to an earlier age evoked by Ralph Vaughan Williams in his Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, the sombre Trauermusik which Paul Hindemith composed overnight to mark the passing of King George V in 1936, and the darkly coloured, concerto-grosso-style Divertimento of Bartók from three years later. With their greater melodic generosity and cinematic sweep, the works by Ghedini and Rota bring the genre of serenade full circle, back to a world of straightforwardly appealing expression. This 5-CD set contains one of the most extensive selections of Serenades for String Orchestra, a warm bath of lush, vibrant and soothing music, utterly romantic, atmospheric and beguiling, like the buzzing of a summer afternoon. Included are the famous string serenades by Tchaikovsky and Dvorák, but also lesser known serenades by Suk, Kalinnikov, Gade, Janácek, Grieg, Elgar, Vaughan-Williams, Hindemith, Ghedini, Rota and Bartók. The booklet contains descriptions of each work in English.

kr 90 (kr 179)
Image The Song Of A Life, Vol. 1 (5 CD)
This release marks the beginning of an exciting new series: the complete songs by Paolo Tosti. Paolo Tosti worked in poverty as a music teacher till he met the influential composer Giovanni Sgambati, who became his mentor. He introduced Tosti to Princess Margherita of Savoy, who later became queen of Italy. She was impressed by him and appointed him as royal music teacher. In 1875 Tosti went to London where his fame spread, and he was made Singing Master of the Royal Family.Tosti is known for his vast quantity of light, expressive songs, which are characterized by natural, singable melodies of a charming and sweet sentiment. They became immensely popular and Tosti made a fortune with them. This new project, a huge enterprise, is produced by the Tosti Institute in Italy, presenting an impressive line of excellent Italian singers: Monica Bacelli, Valentina Mastrangelo, Maura Menghini, David Sotgiu, Nunzio Fazzini, Romina Casucci, and many more. Pianists include Marco Scolastra and Roberto Rupo. Complete sung texts are available on the Brilliant Classics website.

kr 90 (kr 179)
Image 5CD-BOX: Choral Classics from Cambridge
This set of 5 CDs showcases the celebrated choral music tradition that is at the heart of Cambridge's Clare College, King's College and St John's College. Featuring a collection of popular choral favourites from composers such as Mozart, Elgar, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Purcell, and an in-depth exploration of Renaissance lamentations, this set also features a recording of Evensong and Vespers at King's, evoking the college's tradition of daily choral singing.


kr 90 (kr 179)
Image Piano Music
Repetition of motifs within a composition is nothing new: Soler's Fandango, Bach's Chaconne and Pachelbel's Canon, to name just three examples, all make use of it. But for Dutch composer Jeroen van Veen it is the most important element - the essence, as it were - of music. Rooted in tonality, and subject to the interaction and choices of the performers, it can prove immensely powerful.

Indeed, it was on this premise that van Veen launched his compositional career with two volumes of 24 Minimal Preludes; this exciting 5-CD release contains follow-up pieces to those works, ones that reflect the composer's approach to music as the structuring of LEGO® bricks - the individual components that create variation within a composition. As well as Incanto - a series of compositions for two or more keyboards in which the music develops slowly, utilising techniques such as fluctuation of speed - the release also includes NLXL, a musical illustration of Holland's landscape patterns as seen from the air, based on a book of the same name by Dutch photographer Karel Tomeï. The work is created by way of a multitrack recording with a variety of keyboard instruments, with large segments versus smaller segments of The Netherlands' landscape expressed through longer and shorter note values.

The composer himself is the main performer here, assisted by Frank Steijens on the carillon and his wife for works requiring four hands or two pianos. Described as 'the leading exponent of minimalism in Holland today', van Veen's hypnotic, trance-inducing music makes for an experience unlike any other, transporting the listener to 'another place' through ever-changing soundscapes.


kr 90 (kr 179)
Image Complete Opera Transcriptions (5 CD)
Unrivalled on disc: the first-ever complete set of Romantic-era transcriptions made by the most dazzling virtuoso of his day. In the generation after Paganini, Antonio Bazzini (1818-1897) sustained a peerless reputation for flying fingerwork and astonishing feats of legerdemain on the violin. As both a virtuoso violinist and composer, he was a product of his time and place, working in a musical culture dominated by opera. His ‘Dance of the Goblins’ has long been a mainstay of the recital repertoire for violinists seeking to send their audiences on their way with gasps of astonishment, but his transcriptions are much more developed and extensive pieces. They rework not only some of the defining passages of 19th-century Italian opera, but many themes and arias that are now less familiar. Bazzini found in the operas of Bellini a particularly fruitful source of inspiration, writing no fewer than three separate fantasias on themes from La sonnambula through the course of his career, as well as pieces based on Norma, I puritani, La straniera, Beatrice di Tenda, Il pirata and (when he was just 16 years old) I Capuleti e i Montecchi: an astonishingly vivid and precocious piece of work, handled here with sovereign mastery by the young Romanian violinist Anca Vasile Caraman. Accompanied here by the Mantovan-born pianist Alessandro Trebeschi, Caraman is equally impressive in Bazzini’s extended, improvisatory reworkings of climactic moments in Lucia di Lammermoor and Anna Bolena by Donizetti. Having taken a cold attitude towards the young Verdi, Bazzini was later won over by the genius of La traviata, which resulted in a truly concerto-like fantasia as well as no less technically demanding fantasias on Attila and I masnadieri. In these works, as in the three fantasies on themes from Pacini’s Saffo, Bazzini emulates Franz Liszt in venturing far beyond literal fidelity to the notes, towards an expressive fidelity to the original dramas. Antonio Bazzini’s life spanned the greater part of the 19th century. In his early years he was a celebrated violin virtuoso, comparable with Paganini. His compositions from this time were vehicles to show off his incredible technical skills. His most famous work “Le Ronde des Lutins” (Dance of the Goblins) is still a popular encore for violinists. Bazzini’s later work, composed when he retired from the concert platform and became a teacher (among his many pupils count Puccini and Catalani!) and composer, he wrote works in a more classical vein. This 5CD set contains the complete transcriptions, paraphrases and fantasias which Bazzini wrote on themes from famous operas: well known arias from operas by Bellini, Verdi, Donizetti, Mazzucato, Pacini and Weber. The music is supremely melodious, imaginative, tasteful and (needless to say) of the highest virtuosity. Excellent performances of dazzling skill by Rumanian violinist Anca Vasile Caraman.

kr 90 (kr 179)
Image The Song of a Life, Vol. 2 (4 CD)
With this second volume of Tosti’s songs, Brilliant Classics takes listeners just half-way through a prodigious, career-long output, in which the key-notes are unfailingly memorable melody, lively charm and a gift for story-telling that rivals the very greatest song-writers past and present, from Schubert to Dylan. Many of his songs have never been recorded, so this set makes a unique contribution to the catalogue. The booklet contains an extensive introduction to the project by Francesco Sanvitale, the scholar who devised the project and in whose memory it is being gradually realised and published after his untimely death in 2014. There are a few French songs on Vol 2, reflecting Tosti’s great popularity in Paris, but most of the texts here are by Italian poets, mostly contemporaries such as D’Annunzio and Panzacchi. The discs work chronologically through the decade 1886-1895, during which time he was singing teacher to the English royal family. Perhaps in deference to his pupils, there are songs by the likes of Longfellow and Weatherly: the last disc concludes with his delicately wistful setting of In the Hush of the Night. The first volume on Brilliant Classics BC95201) of this extraordinary project won wide critical praise. ‘All the singers are careful over nuances,’ remarked MusicWeb International. ’Tosti’s songs have, through the years, been bawled out of recognition by leather-lunged tenors, and it is a blessing to hear so many beautiful pianissimos and diminuendos in this repertoire. The accompaniments are discreet and the recording is well-balanced and natural-sounding.’ This set will be an essential acquisition for all lovers of art-song. The booklet includes liner notes in English and Italian, the sung texts are available on the Brilliant Classics website. This is the second instalment of a huge enterprise, a world premiere: the recording of the complete songs by Tosti! Paolo Tosti (1846-1916) worked in poverty as a music teacher till he met the influential composer Giovanni Sgambati, who became his mentor. He introduced Tosti to Princess Margherita of Savoy, who became later queen of Italy. She was impressed by him and appointed him as royal music teacher. In 1875 Tosti went to London where his fame spread, and he was made Singing Master of the Royal family. Tosti is known for his vast quantity of light, expressive songs, which are characterised by natural, singable melodies of a charming and sweet sentiment. They became immensely popular and Tosti made a fortune with them. This new project is produced by the Tosti Institute in Italy, presenting an impressive line of excellent Italian singers: Monica Bacelli, Desirée Rancatore, Jurgita Adamonité, Piotr Lempa, Mark Milhofer, Benedetta Torre, Eugene Villanueva, the pianists include Marco Scolastra, Antonio Ballista, Luisa Prayer and Marco Moresco.

kr 75 (kr 149)
Image 4CD-BOX: Complete Organ Music, Vol. 4
Stefano Molardi, organ

AS RECOMMENDED BY BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE EDITOR OLIVER CONDY ON CD REVIEW

The fourth volume in Stefano Molardi's authoritative collection of J.S. Bach's organ works, this four CD release brings together some of the German composer's most famous music. Chief among these is the Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV565; with its unforgettable opening bars - doubled in the octave - flourished chromaticism, pauses and arpeggios on the diminished seventh, the piece has consistently drawn much critical attention. Some scholars have debated whether it was originally written for the violin, thanks to its astonishing virtuosity and use of parallel thirds and sixths, and others have questioned whether the composition was even penned by Bach himself.

Also included on this release are the 'Neumeister' chorales; assembled by Johann Gottfried Neumeister in the 18th century, the collection wasn't actually published until the 1980s, with the result that these little recorded preludes still have plenty of room for a new interpretation.

Most impressive of all is the range of styles Bach covers in his organ works; from the northern toccata style - which the composer began to utilise after a stay in Lübeck - a working of several intricate fugues finished with a toccata style coda, to the mid German Sangerhausen style, featuring unusually dissonant harmonisations. Stefano Molardi has chosen the Thielemann organ in Gräfenhain, Thuringia, especially for this release; dating from the 1720s and therefore from the time of the composer himself, its captures the spirit of the great composer's age, lending a certain authenticity to the performances and allowing for a vast range of styles both grand and intimate.

This 4th and last instalment of Bach's Complete Organ Works by Stefano Molardi contains some of the most famous organ works by the master: the iconic Toccata & Fugue in D minor BWV 565, the complete Neumeister Chorales, and suitably finishing with one of the most shattering and original organ works ever written: the monumental Passacaglia in C minor BWV 582.

The performances by Italian master organist Stefano Molardi have gained great international acclaim, most recently highly praised in BBC 3 CD Review. Playing on historical organs from the time of Bach (here on a magnificent 1720 Thielemann organ in Gräfenhain, Germany) he combines his scholarly historical knowledge with his deep understanding of the underlying human emotions of these eternal masterpieces.

The booklet contains excellent liner notes, as well as the full specifications of the organ used.


kr 75 (kr 149)
Image 4CD-BOX: Canto Ostinato
Canto Ostinato by Dutch composer Simeon ten Holt is becoming one of the most important, iconic, and most frequently performed piece of Minimal Music of our time.This particular performance is the longest ever, lasting more than 4 hours. It uses the rich recourses of 4 grand pianos and organ, creating near endless possibilities of variation.Performed by the Champion of Minimal Music Jeroen van Veen and his minimal friends, who already recorded very successfully for Brilliant Classics: Arvo Pärt, Ludovico Einaudi, Satie, and two 10CD sets with the Minimal Piano Music Collection.


kr 75 (kr 149)
Image Sacred Music (4 CD)
Dufay Ensemble

4 CD with sacred vocal music by a master of the Flemish School of Polyphonists, Jakobus Vaet (1529-1567).

Little is known about Vaet’s early years. We find him as Kapellmeister of the Hapsburg emperor Maximilian II in Vienna, where he was in high regard.

Vaet may be considered the link between Josquin Desprez and Palestrina. His polyphony, influenced by Clemens non Papa and Orlando di Lasso, is highly cultivated, and allows some daring dissonances. This substantial collection contains Masses, Motets, a Magnificat and a Requiem.

Excellent performances by the Dufay Ensemble, conducted by Eckehard Kiem, previously issued on the Ars Musici label, and awarded with several international prizes, among which a Diapason d’Or.

The booklet contains extensive liner notes and the original texts.

kr 75 (kr 149)
Image 4CD-BOX: Organ Music Vol. 2
With the second volume of this complete survey of the greatest organ music ever written, we reach the summit of Bachs output for his own instrument, the Clavierübung, a set of intricate chorale preludes structured as an organ mass and bookended by his grandest prelude and fugue, BWV552, with its magnificent French Overturestyle prelude and inexorably pressing fugue known as the St Anne toAnglophone listeners on account of the melodys superficial (and coincidental) similarity to a hymntune of the same name.But Molardi offers much more on this generous selection, which does not slavishly group works according to genre but offers satisfying juxtapositions of style and mood while concentrating on the mature Leipzig period from which derives Clavierübung III, and including more preludes and fugues of protoRomantic weight of expression, climaxing in the tragic energy of the B minor pair, BWV544, which is fully worthy of itscounterpart that ends the first part of the WellTempered Clavier. In between come more chorale preludes, mostly withdrawn and reflective in tone.Molardi plays two instruments of a size and colour that would have been wellknown to Bach himself, including a splendid Dresden instrument by the nonpareil of contemporary organbuilders, Gottfried Silbermann. With its modern recording techniques, imaginative programming, virtuosic playing and thoughtful booklet notes by Molardi himself, this cycle promises to be a definitive set of Bach organ works forour times.With the second volume of this complete survey of the greatest organ music ever written, we reach the summit of Bachs output for his own instrument, the Clavierübung, a set of intricate chorale preludes structured as an organ mass and bookended by his grandest prelude and fugue, BWV552, with its magnificent French Overturestyle prelude and inexorably pressing fugue known as the St Anne toAnglophone listeners on account of the melodys superficial (and coincidental) similarity to a hymntune of the same name.But Molardi offers much more on this generous selection, which does not slavishly group works according to genre but offers satisfying juxtapositions of style and mood while concentrating on the mature Leipzig period from which derives Clavierübung III, and including more preludes and fugues of protoRomantic weight of expression, climaxing in the tragic energy of the B minor pair, BWV544, which is fully worthy of itscounterpart that ends the first part of the WellTempered Clavier. In between come more chorale preludes, mostly withdrawn and reflective in tone.Molardi plays two instruments of a size and colour that would have been wellknown to Bach himself, including a splendid Dresden instrument by the nonpareil of contemporary organbuilders, Gottfried Silbermann. With its modern recording techniques, imaginative programming, virtuosic playing and thoughtful booklet notes by Molardi himself, this cycle promises to be a definitive set of Bach organ works forour times.With the second volume of this complete survey of the greatest organ music ever written, we reach the summit of Bachs output for his own instrument, the Clavierübung, a set of intricate chorale preludes structured as an organ mass and bookended by his grandest prelude and fugue, BWV552, with its magnificent French Overturestyle prelude and inexorably pressing fugue known as the St Anne toAnglophone listeners on account of the melodys superficial (and coincidental) similarity to a hymntune of the same name.But Molardi offers much more on this generous selection, which does not slavishly group works according to genre but offers satisfying juxtapositions of style and mood while concentrating on the mature Leipzig period from which derives Clavierübung III, and including more preludes and fugues of protoRomantic weight of expression, climaxing in the tragic energy of the B minor pair, BWV544, which is fully worthy of itscounterpart that ends the first part of the WellTempered Clavier. In between come more chorale preludes, mostly withdrawn and reflective in tone.Molardi plays two instruments of a size and colour that would have been wellknown to Bach himself, including a splendid Dresden instrument by the nonpareil of contemporary organbuilders, Gottfried Silbermann. With its modern recording techniques, imaginative programming, virtuosic playing and thoughtful booklet notes by Molardi himself, this cycle promises to be a definitive set of Bach organ works forour times.


kr 75 (kr 149)
Image Pièces de Viole, Book 5 (4CD-box)
It is surprising that so little is known about Marin Marais today, as he could be considered one of the most important French composers of the Baroque period. Born in 1656, the son of a shoemaker, Marais spent his entire life in Paris. His musical career began when he joined the choir of the Sainte-Chapelle, but when his voice broken he decided to learn the viol, studying with the renowned bass viol player Sainte-Colombe, who had a profound influence on the young Marais. Marais went on to enter the royal orchestra and the orchestra of the Académie Royale de musique, where he performed and studied composing under Jean-Baptiste Lully. He was hailed as the greatest bass viol player of his time, and is said to have played the viol 'like an angel'.

Marais's vast output for the viol (over 800 pieces!) is astonishingly varied, original and affecting - no other composer has written so many works of such high quality for the instrument. The fifth and final book of Pièces de viole showcases Marais's art at its most mature and sophisticated, and includes a wider range of musical forms and techniques than the previous four books. Although the fifth book contains many of the conventional dance forms that listeners would expect to hear in a Baroque suite, there are many remarkable descriptive pieces that justify the claim that Marais was the first composer of programme music. A particularly striking example is the 'Tableau de l'Opération de la Taille' from the final Suite: an extraordinarily detailed musical depiction of an operation to remove a gall stone that the composer underwent!

These captivating suites are brought to life in vivid performances by acclaimed chamber musicians and early music specialists Rainer Zipperling, Ghislaine Wauters and Pieter-Jan Belder.



kr 75 (kr 149)
Image 4CD-BOX: O Magnum Mysterium
Music in 14th century Europe was dominated by the composers working in the Low Countries, or what we now call The Netherlands and Belgium and Northern France. Dufay was born in Cambrai, but went to Italy in the 1420s to work in Bologna, and eventually became a member of the Papal choir before returning to Cambrai. Josquin Desprez was from Flanders, and moved to Milan in 1460, and like Dufay became a member of the Papal choir, before moving to Cambrai. He was one of the first composers to benefit from the printing of music and his reputation traveled far and wide as a result. His music is beautifully crafted, and he attempted to convey in music the inner meaning of the words -- one of the earliest instances of a composer exploring the expressive possibilities of text and music. Ockeghem was born in Dendermonde, and he traveled to Spain and throughout Flanders. His music, like Josquin's is superbly crafted, with intricate rhythmic sections, and a seamless flow of counterpoint.

These 4CDs contain major works by these great composers of the early Rennaissance, plus works by several of their contemporaries. A CD-ROM contains extensive notes and texts.

Other information:
- Recordings made in 1973-88
- CD-ROM with notes and texts


kr 75 (kr 149)
Image 4CD-BOX: Complete Keyboard Music
Manuel Tomadin, organ, fortepiano, harpsichord

This 4CD set contains the complete keyboard music by Domenico Alberti, a First Recording!

Domenico Alberti lived a short but very productive life, from 1710 to 1740. He was famous as a composer, cembalo player and singer (the world famous castrato Farinelli heard him sing, and recognised in him a fearful rival).

Alberti's claim to fame is his 'discovery' of the so-called Alberti-bass: the accompanying left hand chord broken in a certain way (like c-g-e-g etc). This figure forms the basis of the Viennese classical style, and was used by all composers of keyboard sonatas and sonatinas.

Alberti's Sonatas and Toccatas are in two movements, the first an allegro in free form, followed by a mellow andante in arioso style.

In order to achieve maximum variety, Manuel Tomadin performs these works on three instruments: an historic organ (1773 Francesco Dacci organ), a harpsichord and a fortepiano.

Manuel Tomadin has already recorded successfully for Brilliant Classics, notably the Leipziger Chorale by Bach (BC94456).


kr 75 (kr 149)
Image Laudario Di Cortona No. 91
Discovered around 140 years ago in the library archives of the small Tuscan town of Cortona, the Laudario di Cortona is a 13th-century manuscript containing 66 laude, or lauds: a type of vernacular song written for praise and worship. Unusually, around 46 of the lauds had been set to music, making this manuscript the oldest known collection of music written in the Italian vernacular. All the periods of the Christian calendar are represented, with lauds relating to the Nativity, Epiphany, Easter and Pentecost, showing the manuscripts continued importance throughout the year. The document originated in the Brotherhood of Santa Maria delle Laude, a group of monks devoted to Marian worship. Indeed, themes surrounding the Virgin Mary are present in many of the lauds; Ave Maria, gratïa plena (Hail Mary, full of grace), for example, or O Maria, domelia se fontana (O Mary, you are the fount of sacred learning).Performing these medieval works is the vocal ensemble Armoniosoincanto. Experienced interpreters of early music, their research has led them to offer an authentic performance of the Laudario, although they admit to some artistic license with the use of mainly female voices, which evocatively call to mind the spirit of Mary, the mother of God. They are supported by Anonima Frottolisti, a prominent vocal group on the early music scene, as well as several musicians playing on copies of authentic instruments; these include a hurdy-gurdy, a lute, a vielle (an early bowed instrument like a violin) and even a portative organ, a type of medieval organ with bellows that was designed to be carried. This is one of the few releases documenting the complete musical works of the Laudario di Cortona. Recorded in the church of the Monastero delle Suore Clarisse in Perugia, close to the manuscripts origins in nearby Arezzo, this rich and musically affective document offers a fascinating insight into the remarkable culture of medieval Italy.


kr 75 (kr 149)
Image Complete Organ Music, Vol. 1 (4CD-box)
Stefano Molardi is shaping his recorded survey of Bach's complete organ music as self-sufficient and musically satisfying recitals which, disc by disc, explore the diverse styles at the composer's disposal, the flexible usage to which he, the ultimate 'compleat musician', puts 'his' instrument through its paces, and the different liturgical demands which he was required to meet during the course of his career as he moved from church to court and back again. Grand Weimar- and Leipzig-composed preludes and fugues rub shoulders with intricate trio sonatas which he had initially conceived as chamber music, and between them nestle intimate chorales from his Cöthen days.

Accordingly, Molardi makes full use of the potential flexibility of his chosen Trost organ in the Stadtkirche 'Zur Gotteshilfe' in Waltershausen, deep in the provincial heart of Thuringia. This is Bach country, and although the organ has been periodically restored since it was finally inaugurated in 1755, almost 30 years after the work was begun, it retains the classic characteristics of its age and situation: a thorough restoration in 1998 returned the instrument to its original glory.

Born in Cremona, Molardi has undertaken a Renaissance career as not only organist but harpsichordist, conductor and scholar, not only at home in the rarified confines of early music but a virtuoso who has performed the complete organ works of Liszt and Franck and made an extraordinary recording of Verdi arranged for organ. These Bach discs are, perhaps appropriately, less overtly spectacular but no less imaginative in their rhythmic and coloristic response.



kr 75 (kr 149)
Image 3CD-BOX: Christmas Oratorio
A classic performance of Bachs Christmas Oratorio, featuring the superb voices of Arleen Augér, Peter Schreier, Annelies Burmeister, Theo Adam and the famous Dresdner Kreuzchor and Dresdner Philharmonie,conducted by Martin Flämig.The traditional performance style gives full due to the jubilant character and the deep feeling of wonder about the mystery of the Nativitas, here expressed by the unique voice of the much lamented Arleen Auger.From the rich archives of Berlin Classics.


kr 65 (kr 129)
Image 3CD-BOX: Complete Sonatas, Vol 6
Costantino Mastroprimiano, fortepiano

The final volume of Brilliant Classics' acclaimed Clementi series, this release is dedicated to the composer's last and most mature works for pianoforte: the Sonatas Opp. 40, 46 and 50, and the 12 Monferrinas Op.49.

The works embrace a period of around 20 years and were a major landmark within Clementi's output. Slow introductions abound, and although Opp. 40 and 50 were composed separately, it is highly likely that the latter was intended as a sequel to the former because of their shared stylistic detail. From Op.40 No.1's formal experimentation to the quasi-orchestral writing of Op.50 No.3, the compilation also includes various homages -- most notably Op.46, whose high level of virtuosity comprises a fitting tribute to the great pianist Friedrich Kalkbrenner.

Maestro Costantino Mastroprimiano is once again our guide, creating an absorbing programme that effectively encapsulates the achievements of Clementi's distinguished career. His consummate performances provide a fitting end to the series, one that confirms the Classical composer's status as among the greatest innovators of the keyboard.


kr 65 (kr 129)
Image 3CD-BOX: Novecento Guitar
Cristiano Porqueddu, guitar

This collection brings together guitar preludes by Asafiev and Ponce, and includes world premiere recordings of Badings's 12 Preludes, Sauget's 3 Preludes and Farkas's Exercitium Tonale. Despite their very different styles, these composers are all linked together by a single trait: none of them were guitarists.

Originally bemoaned by patron Andrés Segovia for their fiendish difficulty, Ponce's 24 Preludes begin the compilation. Cast in each of the major and minor keys, and arranged in a circle of fifths, they are followed by Asafiev's 12 Preludes -- which, written in a single day, were probably intended as a single piece. This is also true of Bading's ensuing 12 Preludes, as confirmed by the same harmonic progression with which the work begins and ends. From the use of contrasts that appear throughout the movements, as exemplified in the strong, primitive rhythms of 'Yaya', to the air of mystery and timelessness that pervades Sauguet's offering, the compilation continues its stylistic journey, ending with Farkas's Exercitium tonale of 1982 -- a work which hints at a composer unafraid to push the performer to their limits or to be unpredictable in his use of harmony and counterpoint.

Cristiano Porqueddu, described as 'a point of reference for the new generation of guitarists', graduated from the Lorenzo Perosi International Academy in Biella, Italy. With an extensive knowledge of the technique and interpretation of 19th- and 20th-century music, he has won numerous international awards and now sits on the jury of several major guitar competitions. This is Porqueddu's sixt recording for Brilliant Classics.

Recorded between October 2010 and March 2012.


kr 65 (kr 129)
Image Scarlatti: vol. IX
kr 65 (kr 129)
Image Palestrina
Hans Pfitzner's musical legend Palestrina was first performed during the height of the First World War, a period when sensitive minds such as Pfitzner's felt uneasy about the cultural scene of bourgeois society.Even then, when the headlong descent into Nazi tyranny was still a long way off, the composer saw himself as an artist representing an era that was rapidly drawing to its close. He therefore projected his own situation onto the historical personality of the 16th-century composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, who was credited with saving the art of contrapuntal church music during the Council of Trent.


kr 65 (kr 129)
Image 3CD-BOX: Organ Music Vol. 3
Here Stefano Molardi adds to his definitive survey of Bachs complete organ music an extensive assortment of chorale preludes, concertos after other composers and some of the largest works in the great composers sizeable organ repertoire.Rather than organising the music by collection, Molardi provides great variety in his recording by juxtaposing the delicacy of works like the Trio in D minor BWV583 with the imposing Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV538 and a selection of chorale preludes from the Orgelbüchlein (smallscale works, many under one minute in duration). The brilliant Pièce dorgue BWV572 and the Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C BWV564 show off Bachs compositional finesse in the French and Italian styles respectively. The fascinating Canonic Variations BWV769a (recorded here in the Leipzig manuscript version) were written as a kind of entrance exam for the highlyregarded Mizler society; Bach proves his ability in a rigorous mathematical structure which remains musically exciting. Molardi plays the Zacharias Hildebrandt organ of the St. Jacobikirche, Sangerhausen, which has a close affinity with Bachs organ music: the composer was friendly with Hildebrandt, who lived in Leipzig from 1734. The thrilling sound and variety of tonal colour offered by this instrument allows us to hear the music as closely as possible to how Bach himself might have known it.


kr 65 (kr 129)
Image Madrigals, Book VIII (3 CD)
Le Nuove Musiche, led by acclaimed director Krijn Koetsveld, continue with their exceptional series of Claudio Monteverdi’s complete madrigals. This time they turn their attention to Book VIII, the intriguingly entitled Madrigali guerrieri et amorosi ('Madrigals of Love and War'), published four years after Monteverdi's death. These two contrasting themes divide the book into two halves; first war, then love. There's more crossover than might be expected: the first half of warlike madrigals ends with the tragic Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, based on Torquato Tasso's poem which sees Tancredi fighting a disguised Clorinda, fatally injuring her before realising that it is a fair maiden rather than a male foe. Despite nearing the end of his life, Monteverdi still demonstrates his knack for innovation, experimenting freely with the genre of the madrigal in the new context of the basso continuo. Le Nuove Musiche’s approach to Monteverdi is an innovative one: to bring the past into the present, keeping alive the questions of the Renaissance that still permeate our musical landscape today, while seeking to maintain the highest standards of performance authenticity. Their release of Books V & VI garnered excellent reviews, including five stars in the French magazine Diapason. Claudio Monteverdi published his 8th book of madrigals in 1638, in a time when the opera as art form became steadily more popular. In order to add a theatrical character to his madrigals he named them “madrigali guerrieri e amorosi”, madrigals of war and love. They are indeed overtly dramatic in expression, in fact they may be called mini operas in its opposing characters, intense drama and programmatic writing. Highlights are the famous “Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda” (on text by Tasso) and the breathtakingly beautiful Lamento della Ninfa, one of the most moving laments ever written. The vocal ensemble Le Nuove Musiche consists of the elite of Dutch Early Music vocalists, led by eminent conductor and scholar Krijn Koetsveld. Their first Monteverdi recording, the Books 5 & 6 (BC93799) received excellent reviews in the international press, among which a “5 star” in the French Diapason. Liner notes by the conductor, complete song texts in the original language included in the booklet.

kr 65 (kr 129)
Image Michael Volle Sings Brahms (3 CD)
A new compilation of Lieder recordings by the distinguished German bass-baritone, now famed for his authoritative Wagner performances. ‘‘I’m very happy,’ remarks Michael Volle in a booklet interview accompanying this reissue, which gathers together the three albums of Brahms Lieder he made in the spring of 2007. ‘Normally if you listen to a recording you would like to redo it immediately, because you discover so many mistakes or things you would have done better. But this one, it’s OK. Recordings will not always make money or sell a lot of discs, but for an artist, they can be a wonderful memory of a certain period in your life.’ For Klassik.com, these recordings were deemed a ‘beautiful achievement’: especially in 'Es träumte mir' and 'Unbewegte laue Luft' Op.57 Nos. 3 and 8: as exciting as it is atmospheric, reaching a climax of subtly varied timbre in the Vier ernste Gesänge. Volle also scores highly in Die schöne Magelone.’ Volle is joined here by his brother Hartmut for the recitation of Tieck’s complementary prose text, which many recordings omit. Klassik.com also drew particular attention to the sympathetic partnership of Volle with the mezzo-soprano Stephanie Irányi and Volle, ‘perfectly co-ordinated’ in the Four Duets Op.28 and a selection from the Deutsche Volkslieder WoO33, from which Brahms took particular pleasure late in life. Volle’s ‘warm, sympathetic baritone’ (Gramophone) and personal conviction illuminate all the repertoire here, which is drawn from throughout the composer’s song-writing career. ‘When I sing Brahms,’ reflects Volle, ‘I feel the deep musicality and also humanity and maybe also unfulfilled love he was looking for. Like Schubert he puts his feelings in the music and it takes everything from me when I do it. For me he’s a really great Lieder composer.’ Michael Volle is as one of the leading baritones of today. He received the prestigious German Theatre Award “Faust” and was chosen “Singer of the Year” by the opera magazine “Opernwelt”. He studied with Josef Metternich and Rudolf Piernay. Michael Volle’s first engagements was with the opera houses of Mannheim, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Köln and Zürich. Later he became a member of the Munich State Opera. From then his fame rose internationally and he sang at the Paris Opera, La Monnaie in Brussels, the Salzburg Festspiele, the New York Metropolitan and the Bayreuth Festival. This 3-CD set presents the recordings of Brahms songs which Michael Volle made for Brilliant Classics in 2007. They include the complete songs Op. 57, songs from various opus numbers and the complete “Die schöne Magalone”, as well as Duette from the “49 deutsche Volkslieder”. The complete song texts are included in the booklet.

kr 65 (kr 129)
Image Complete Organ Works
Important historical recordings by the composer.

In his short life (1911-40) Jehan Alain composed some of the most fresh and original music for organ.The influences of composers such as Duruflé and Dutilleux mingle with Gregorian Chant and jazz and the exotic - the latter Alain discovered at the Colonial Exposition of 1931. Interestingly, many of the organ works were conceived for other forms - orchestra in the case of the Trois Dances, String Quintet for the Suite for Organ: Introduction and Variations for example. Many of the works started life as piano pieces, or for small chamber ensemble.

This 3CD set contains recordings made in the 1930s of the composer performing his Les Fetes de l'annee Israelite and Synagogue Music - fascinating historical documents.


kr 65 (kr 129)
Image The Complete Sonatas Vol. IV (3CD)
Muzio Clementi is one of the more fascinating contemporaries of Mozart. Adopted by an English nobleman Peter Beckford – his family agreed this arrangement as it would ensure that their son’s musical talents were nurtured, (an odd decision as the education he was receiving in Rome was among the best possible!) and he would be brought up as an English gentleman. So the young Clementi travelled from his native Rome to rural Dorset and a village called Stapleton. Beckford paid the family quarterly under 3 contracts until Clementi reached 21. In Dorset, he studied 8 hours a day Corelli, Scarlatti, Handel and Paradies, and got into the rhythm of a large country house, playing for guests, and instructing Beckwith’s daughters on the piano. The Beckwith library contained scores by J.S and C.P.E Bach, and these soon fascinated Clementi, exerting an influence on the sonatas on these discs.

kr 65 (kr 129)
Image 3CD-BOX: Harpsichord Music
D'Angle Bert's harpsichord music at the court of the Sun King Jean-Henri d Anglebert (1629-1691) lived and worked as a harpsichordist at the court of Louis XIV. As an important representative of the typical French style of the Ancien Régime constructed his virtuosic music artfully counterpoint and rich with elaborate decorations . This 3-CD box set of the Italian early music expert Francesco Cera contains d Angle Bert's complete oeuvre for harpsichord, the core of the four suites of the Pièces de clavecin (1689) and the transcriptions contained therein and Variations on overtures, dances and interludes from Lully's operas exists. These are some pieces handwritten obtained come. Cera, an outspoken expert on the French and Italian repertoire of the 17th and 18th century, earned in the past for his CDs much praise. In this production, he plays on a modern copy of a 1691 built by Vincent Tibaut harpsichord. The pictures were taken in May 2013 in the Palazzo Cagnano Italian Laureana Cilento; The booklet contains introductory notes to the works and a biography of the artist.


kr 65 (kr 129)
Image Rendez-Voux Royal (3 CD)
On this album of concertos and transcriptions ranging from the Baroque era to the present day, the Instrument of the Kings meets the Queen of Instruments. This newly recorded album has been compiled by Otto Sauter, one of the leading trumpet virtuosos of our time, who specialises in the piccolo trumpet. He describes it as a ‘fascinating challenge’ to a take concertos originally written by the outstanding composers of the Baroque era for the most prominent treble instruments of their day, the recorder and the violin. The album accordingly begins with a violin concerto by Vivaldi, with further transcriptions of violinistic showpieces by Corelli and Roberto Valentino. Works originally written for wind instruments include the famous Adagio composed by Marcello as part of his D minor Oboe Concerto, a sinfonia by Alessandro Scarlatti and a sonata by Telemann. The popular appeal of the compilation is enhanced by the inclusion of Albinoni’s Adagio, now in trumpet and organ guise, and a chaconne (not the ubiquitous Canon) by Pachelbel. The E flat Sonata for transverse flute by Bach is a particular high-point, complemented by two of his grandest works for solo organ, the D major Prelude and Fugue BWV532 with its spectacular closing pedal cadenza, and the Gothic splendour of the G minor Fantasy and Fugue. The E flat Concertino by Albrechtsberger is a thrilling example of late-Baroque trumpet writing, and the collection moves forward chronologically with the F minor Organ Sonata of Mendelssohn. The sonata is complemented on CD 3 by several world premiere recordings of pieces written for the distinctive combination of trumpet and organ. Appassionata is a Beethoven-inspired sonata by the Lithuanian composer Juraj Filas, and the Adagio by the same composer is a follow-up work commissioned by Otto Sauter. The Dutch composer and conductor Jan Koetsier likewise wrote his Echo Concerto for Sauter (and his teacher, Bo Nilsson), who gave the first performance in 1991. The collection comes full circle with Koetsier’s homage to the brilliance of Baroque trumpet writing, the Partita Op.4 ‘Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König’. An original and attractive program of works for trumpet and organ, a “royal” combination, in festive, jubilant and melodious works, both original and arranged. The featured composers are Vivaldi, Bruhns, J.S. Bach, Albinoni (Adagio!), Albrechtsberger, Valentino, Marcello (Adagio), Muffat, Scarlatti, Pachelbel (Canon), Telemann, Corelli, Mendelssohn, Koetsier. Played by two of the best instrumentalists of today: Otto Sauter, trumpet and Christian Schmitt, organ, a golden duo, masters of their instrument.

kr 65 (kr 129)
Image 3CD-BOX: Preussische Und Württembergische Sonaten
Pieter-Jan Belder - harpsichord and clavichord

Fifth son of Johann Sebastian Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel was in his time even more celebrated than his father. His style developed during his long lifetime (1714-1788), more and more abandoning the Baroque counterpoint. New ways of musical expression were found, called "Empfindsamkeit" and "Sturm und Drang", in which the human emotions are vividly expressed in quickly changing moods and daring harmonic shifts.

The famous Preussische und Württembergische Sonaten form a landmark of a style changing from Baroque to the Classical Era. Pieter-jan Belder has a special feeling for these quirky and capricious works, keeping form and content firmly together. His extensive discography for Brilliant Classics contains nearly all Bach works, the complete Scarlatti Sonatas, and the complete harpsichord works of Ramea.

The keyboard sonatas of C.P.E. Bach (1714-1788) bear the hallmarks of a composer who lived through a significant moment in musical history; the fifth child of J.S. Bach, not only was Carl Philipp Emanuel employed at the court of Frederick the Great - whose patronage and amateur music making remain legendary to this day - he composed his works during the transition from the Baroque to the Classical period. His keyboard sonatas, in particular, are musical landmarks that epitomise the style and values of an era. The Preussische and Württembergische Sonatas, collected together on this splendid new 3-disc set, exemplify C.P.E. Bach's celebrated style of composition, while revealing the impact of the period's stylistic influences. The Empfindsamkeit and Sturm und Drang movements, in particular, can be heard in the music's thrilling and unexpected changes of mood, emphasis on expression, daring approach to harmony and diminishing reliance on traditional counterpoint.

Although there are traces of the earlier style, brought to its perfection by Carl Philipp Emanuel's father, the Preussische and Württembergische sonatas demonstrate a determined shift towards a new style, prefiguring the Classical era. Given an expert performance by the awardwinning harpsichordist and clavichord player Pieter-Jan Belder, whose interpretations highlight the expressive qualities and shifting moods of the music, these sonatas give a compelling insight into the transition from the Baroque era to the Classical period, and into a composer who was at the forefront of the stylistic movements of his day.



kr 65 (kr 129)
Image Complete Sonatas Vol.II (3CD)
Muzio Clementi is one of the more fascinating contemporaries of Mozart. Adopted by an English nobleman Peter Beckford – his family agreed this arrangement as it would ensure that their son’s musical talents were nurtured, (an odd decision as the education he was receiving in Rome was among the best possible!) and he would be brought up as an English gentleman. So the young Clementi travelled from his native Rome to rural Dorset and a village called Stapleton. Beckford paid the family quarterly under 3 contracts until Clementi reached 21. In Dorset, he studied 8 hours a day Corelli, Scarlatti, Handel and Paradies, and got into the rhythm of a large country house, playing for guests, and instructing Beckwith’s daughters on the piano. The Beckwith library contained scores by J.S and C.P.E Bach, and these soon fascinated Clementi, exerting an influence on the sonatas on these discs.

kr 65 (kr 129)
Image Complete Organ Music (3 CD)
A previous Brilliant Classics release from the organist Sergio Militello (BC94483) offered an attractive taster course to the music of the most distinguished family in music history. Now, having recorded the complete organ works of both the family’s supreme craftsman and genius (BC95105), and a North-German predecessor Johann Kuhnau (BC95089), Stefano Molardi turns his attention to two earlier members of the Bach family who have inevitably been obscured by the shadow cast by Johann Sebastian. In fact as uncle to JS, Johann Christoph Bach exercised a significant influence over his musical education, as composer, organist and indeed organ-designer. Sacred vocal works such as the Requiem have been revived in recent times, but the scant surviving proportion of his keyboard music has received too little critical attention. They comprise a prelude and fugue, and three cycles of variations on chorales. The ‘free’ pieces reveal an inventive spirit, fantasy, a certain skill in handling counterpoint and the use of expressive devices which show him no less open than his nephew to the exuberant vitality of the Italian tradition represented by Frescobaldi and Monteverdi. Brother of Johann Christoph, Johann Michael was also father to the Maria Barbara who became Johann Sebastian’s first wife. He too worked in the town of Arnstadt where the 18-year-old Johann Sebastian took up his first post in what is now appropriately known as the ‘Bach Church’. Doubtless J.M. Bach’s production was no less industrious than his brother, if scarcely matching his nephew, but the only extant organ works are chorale settings – 24 of them – which elaborate flowing counterpoint over and around the familiar hymn melodies such as In dulci jubilo and Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ. On this release, Stefano Molardi plays a finely preserved instrument from 1732-37 by Franciscus Volckland in the Cruciskirche of Erfurt, just a quarter-hour’s car drive from Arnstadt. In considering the fourth volume of Molardi’s Bach survey (BC95005), Early Music Review took note of the Erfurt organ’s striking variety of tone colour, and praised his playing for its ‘considerable clarity’ and lack of histrionics, ‘without extremes of registration or tempi – just what you need for the purposes of study or reference.’ A FIRST RECORDING: the complete organ works by Johann Michael and Johann Christoph Bach! Johann Michael (1648-1694) and Johann Christoph (1642-1703) were brothers, and nephew of the great Johann Sebastian. The daughter of Johann Michael was Maria Barbara, the first wife of Johann Sebastian, and therefore mother of both Carl Philipp Emanuel and Wilhelm Friedemann Bach. The Bach dynasty held a long tradition of composers and performers. Both brothers were firmly rooted in the Central German organ school, with a strong emphasis on counterpoint, while also under the Italian influence of vocal melodies and fluent lines. The greatest part of both brother’s oeuvre consists of Choralvorspiele, while Johann Christoph wrote some substantial variation cycles. Played on the historic 1732 Volckland organ of the Cruciskirche in Erfurt, Germany, by Stefano Molardi, one of the foremost organists of Italy, whose Kuhnau recording for Brilliant Classics was longlisted for the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik.

kr 65 (kr 129)
Image 3CD-BOX: Complete Symphonies
"This is an unfailingly warm-hearted, fullblooded Brahmsian sound and seems to represent a genuine attempt at redirecting the modern symphony orchestra towards the sort of sound-mix Brahms himself is likely to have heard." (Christopher Howell, MusicWeb International)

Amongst the standard performances for this repertoire, here conducted by Jaap van Zweden, the current music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Great performances by 2 of the best Dutch orchestras, both were under his artistic leadership for years. This mainstream repertoire for all classical music lovers should be in your library anyhow.

A must-have for Brahms addicts.Van Zweden, with his famous string background shows his skills and brings us a very balanced performance.


kr 65 (kr 129)
Image Music for Violin and Piano (3CD)
An unrivalled collection of chamber music charting the course of the 20th century through the eclectic voices and eventful musical journey of an Italian-American composer. Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895–1968) may still be regarded primarily as a composer for guitar, best known through his working partnership with Andres Segovia, but Brilliant Classics has illuminated other sides to this prolific musician through first recordings and modern rediscoveries of his piano music (BC94811) and his songs, most notably his settings of Shakespeare (BC95548). Now the focus falls on his chamber music, with these new studio recordings of suites, sonatas, tone-poems and fantasies. From the piquant miniatures of the two Signorine Op.10 to the neoclassically economical Suite 508 Op.170, all the works here abound in the bitter-sweet harmonies and soaring melodic rapture which gave a distinctive flavour to Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s music throughout his long career. Song without words is another thread to his output, first encountered here in the Tre canti all’aria aperta from 1919. Tuscan folksong and medieval troubadour tradition are spiced with Bartokian harmony in a fresh and appealing combination. The writing for the string instruments is reliably extrovert and idiomatic, influenced by the music’s dedicatees and first performers such as Jascha Heifetz, Albert Spalding and Adila Fachiri, grandniece of Joseph Joachim. Notturno Adriatico is a tranquil, dream-like tone-picture with a tenuous hold on the repertoire, like the virtuoso flourish of Exotica: A Rhapsody of the South Seas. However, the extensive fantasy on themes from Donizetti’s La fille du regiment is a substantial rarity which deserves much wider currency. In the same tradition of the operatic fantasy is a paraphrase of Rossini’s ‘Largo al factotum’; like the two deft miniatures from a series of Greetings Cards Op.170, the paraphrase was issued in print, whereas most of the five-movement Donizetti fantasy remains unpublished. So does the Suite 508 for viola and piano, composed in 1960. With typical ingenuity, Castelnuovo-Tedesco works in the name of the different dedicatees to each of the seven movements, resulting in chromaticism on the verge of atonality at times, but reliably handled with verve and melodic prominence. Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco was one of the most successful and remarkable composers of the first half of the 20th century in Italy. His style is influenced by Neo-Classicism, vivid, brilliant, with the occasional odd dissonance, strongly rhythmical and full of catchy melodies. He fled Anti-semitism before WWO2, and settled in Hollywood where he successfully composed film music for more than 200 films. The prolific composer is best known for his numerous works for the guitar. He wrote however in many genres. This new recording presents his complete output for violin and piano: a Sonata quasi una Fantasia, a Suite and a variety of shorter pieces: evocative, dream-like and melancholy music alternates with exciting, rhythmically driven dances. A highly original, sophisticated voice, wonderfully performed by Mauro Tortorelli and Angela Meluso : “high standard, versatility and fine musicianship of Mauro Tortorelli..warmly recommended” is what Fanfare wrote about their recording of Milhaud (BC95449).

kr 65 (kr 129)
Image Le Nozze di Figaro
In a letter to his father on 13 October 1781, Mozart wrote, 'Why do Italian comic operas give such pleasure everywhere -- in spite of their miserable libretti...?' Because the music reigns supreme: when one listens to it all else is forgotten. Why an opera is sure of success when the plot is well worked out, the words written solely for the music and not shoved in here and there to suit some miserable rhyme... The best thing of all is when a good composer, who understands the stage and is talented enough to make sound suggestions, meets an able poet, that true phoenix.'Two years before he had met Lorenzo da Ponte, Mozart's frustration with the present condition of opera had reached boiling point. The collaboration between the two men produced three of the greatest operas in the repertoire -- Figaro, Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte. Adapting the second play in Beaumarchais' trilogy, da Ponte skilfully navigated a risky path through the plot that had lead to Emperor Joseph II (da Ponte had become court poet thanks to an introduction from Antonio Salieri) banning it. Themes of greedy aristocrats and officials lording it up over the common man who struggled to make ends meet was dangerous stuff when the French Revolution was being observed with horror by the crowned heads of Europe. Mindful of this, da Ponte produced a wonderful libretto, informing the Emperor of its revised 'non-offensive' content at every turn. Mozart was under no such constraints, and his wonderful score when set to da Ponte's words restores the daring satire and social commentary of the play in perhaps the most perfect opera ever composed. The premiere took place in Vienna in 1786.


kr 65 (kr 129)
Image Joyeux Noël: French Christmas Music (3 CD)
In the popular imagination, French Christmas music may now be almost wholly defined by Minuit, chrétiens and favourites such as Petit Papa Noël covered by Charles Aznavour and Johnny Hallyday, but the festive season was marked in the Baroque era with great merriment, principally through the genre of Noëls: sacred collections of secular songs, celebrating often vernacular aspects of the Nativity such as the Shepherds, especially by giving the occasion to compose in the always popular pastoral vein, in simple keys such as F major and in the lilting siciliano rhythm.

Many such Noëls may be enjoyed on this special collection of both choral and instrumental music, concentrating on the High Baroque era. Corrette, Dandrieu and Balbastre all wrote exuberant Noels for organ; Michel Corrette developed the idea further with narrative-led instrumental symphonies, which are collected complete on CD2 and performed by a historically informed ensemble. The collection begins with the Toronto-based Aradia Ensemble. They built their 1999 recording of Marc-Antoine Charpentier around his best-known work, the Messe de Minuit (Midnight Mass). The director Kevin Mallon gave it a specially Canadian flavour by interpolating a version of the French carol with a text in the tribal language of the Huron Indians. ‘Colourful performances,’ was the original verdict of Gramophone, on which ‘the soloists and chorus sing with consistent clarity.’ Operatically inclined singers will note the presence in the ensemble of Jane Archibald, who has since become known worldwide as a coloratura soprano of distinction, especially in the role of Zerbinetta in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos. The final disc of Joyeux Noël is an organ recital, moving through the ages from Dandrieu to the grandest examples of late-Romantic organ masses and Christmas pieces by Franck and Dubois. It’s a uniquely compilation, fully annotated, sure to bring a touch of distinction to a festive stocking.

kr 65 (kr 129)
Image Complete Music for Harpsichord and Organ (3 CD)
18 keyboard sonatas from a little-known yet individual voice in the rapidly developing era between Bach and Mozart: music on the cusp of revolution. Having recorded for Brilliant Classics the complete organ music of J.S. Bach (15CD, BC95105) and Kuhnau (BC95089, 3CD), the Italian organist and keyboard performer has turned his attention to the less-familiar output of Giovanni Benedetto Platti (1697-1763). As his dates might imply, Platti’s career and music bridged the evolution from Baroque to Classical idioms, much in the same manner as Bach’s son Carl Philipp Emanuel did, and with a comparable brilliance of invention. The influence of Italian Baroque masters such as Corelli, Vivaldi and Marcello is plain to hear in the the sprightly cast of his quick melodies and their working out over a solid ground bass. However, Platti was also acclaimed as a singing teacher, as well as being a renowned singer in his own right. Many passages in his sonatas are endowed with a native Italian lyricism of opera, though in fact Platti left Venice for Germany in 1722 and established himself at a royal court in Würzburg. Platti’s long career in Germany left its mark on his music in terms of harmonic and formal innovation: many movements in these sonatas take unpredictable detours into remote keys, and the slow movements such as the Larghetto aria of the Second are cast in a plaintive, melancholy mood that bears passing resemblance to the slow dances in the English Suites of Bach. This reconciliation of Venetian Baroque with nascent bel canto and German rationalism makes Platti’s sonatas an object example of the stile galante which is gaining ever more attention on record thanks to the rediscovery of many hitherto unheard works in the modern age. Stefano Molardi performs them on this album with three different instruments according to the character of each work: a German-model fretted clavichord, a harpsichord built on a 17th-century Italian model, and a 1713 organ by Giuseppe Bonatti, to be found in the Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of Valverde in the province of Brescia. Giovanni Benedetto Platti successfully bridged the worlds of the Baroque and Classicism. A remarkably versatile musician, performing as a keyboard player, cellist, oboist, violinist and singer, he wrote in a wide range of different genres and styles, in Venetian bel canto tradition, fusing baroque elements with the elegance and simplicity of the emerging Stile Galante. This new recording presents the complete recording of the 18 Sonatas for the keyboard. The type of instrument is not always indicated, they could be played on the harpsichord, spinet, clavichord or organ. Essential in the performing practice is the use of free improvisation and use of ornamentation, the use of the “affetti” and general expression of the human emotions. Played by Stefano Molardi on a 1713 historic Bonatti organ, and an Italian harpsichord made by Facchini, based on a 17th century model. Molardi is one of the foremost organist of Italy, specializing in Early Music. He already issued highly acclaimed CD’s for Brilliant Classics, the complete organ works by J.S. Bach, Kuhnau and Bach sons, receiving 5-star reviews and nominated for the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik.

kr 65 (kr 129)
Image 3CD-BOX: Complete Motets
kr 65 (kr 129)
Image Complete Sonatas Vol. III (3CD)
Muzio Clementi (1752-1832) was one of the most influential pianist composers of the late classical period. A friend of Beethoven, the teacher of John Field, and rival to Mozart as a piano virtuoso. He was also a publisher and a piano manufacturer. His upbringing was unconventional to say the least – his family ‘sold’ him to an English nobleman Peter Beckford, who took him to his country estate in Dorset where he received the education of a young Englishman, and taught music to the daughters of the Beckford family. Clementi eventually moved to London where he quickly made the acquaintance of Salomon, Dussek ,Cramer and Haydn and made his name as one of the foremost composers for the piano of his time. He was also closely associated with the technical development of the piano towards the grand pianos we are used to today in concert halls.

This is the third volume of Clementi's complete sonatas. Keyboard virtuoso Constantino Mastroprimiano tackles the sonatas Nos. 11, 12, 13 and 20.

kr 65 (kr 129)
Image 3CD-BOX: La Finta semplice
Stories of Mozart's precocious musical talent are well known, forming an integral part of our understanding of this legendary composer. However, while many listeners will be familiar with early works like the Pieces and Minuets for piano, surprisingly little attention has been paid to the charming opera buffa La finta semplice, composed by the 12-year-old Mozart in 1769 at the suggestion of Emperor Joseph II. The work gives an incomparable insight into Mozart's development as an operatic composer, and listeners of this splendid recording will be rewarded by the outstanding quality of the music and interpretation.

The libretto of La finta semplice spins a tale of love and deception centred around a crafty scheme concocted by Captain Fracasso, who must gain the approval of his host Don Cassandro before he can marry Giacinta, Cassandro's sister. To soften his host, Fracasso introduces him to his own sister, Rosina, the 'pretend simpleton' of the opera's title, and the plot follows a series of witty twists and turns, all given ample expression in the delightful score.

One of only a few recordings available, and one that has consistently drawn critical praise for the quality of its performances and interpretation, this addition to the Brilliant Classics Opera Collection will prove fascinating listening for any fans of Mozart's mature operas, the seeds of which are evident here. Full of light, elegant arias, skilfully-crafted ensembles and amusing comic numbers, this is an opera of character and instant melodic appeal, which demonstrates the young composer's remarkably assured understanding of how to use the orchestra to great dramatic effect.


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Image 12 Sonatas for Pianoforte (3CD)
Lodovico Giustini da Pistoia’s (1685-1743) set of 12 sonatas published in Florence in 1732 was a remarkably important event in the history of music. It is the first set of works composed specifically for the fortepiano, an instrument in the early stages of its development, and therefore these works can claim to being the ancestors of the piano sonatas by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Without these works that tested the new instrument being developed by Bartolemeo Christofori, the history of the modern piano might have been very different indeed. These sonatas, whilst nodding in the direction of Domenico Scarlatti and Archangelo Corelli in places, look forward to the new and exciting world of the stile galante. This set Christoforo many challenges, as the sonatas, with their varied dynamics, tested the new instrument to its limits.

kr 65 (kr 129)
Image Complete Piano Sonatas Vol. 1 (3 CD)
‘Not just another Hammerklavier recording’: this was Gramophone’s enthusiastic verdict on a recording made more than 15 years ago by Giovanni Bellucci, who now returns to Beethoven with a complete series, newly recorded, of the piano sonatas. In 2000 the reviewer noted that Bellucci was barely known to the wider concert-going public; no longer is that an issue, since his reputation precedes him thanks to this and other recordings. ‘The abundant vitality of feeling’ and ‘untrammelled freshness of feeling’ contributed towards an appreciation of Bellucci’s remarkable achievement, at a relatively tender age, in assimilating the mighty work so thoroughly, ‘yet to be able to play it in a way that is unburdened by a consciousness of that knowledge.’ Later Beethoven recordings were praised elsewhere along similar lines for their ‘exemplary control’, ‘beguiling lightness of touch’ and ‘masterful command of sonority’ (Musical Opinion): ‘Refreshing, occasionally idiosyncratic and unpredictable playing that further bolsters Bellucci's reputation as a pianist both deeply musical and fearlessly virtuosic.’ These previous releases concentrated on imaginative pairings of well-known sonatas with transcriptions and other works by Romantic composers unimaginable without Beethoven’s example. Now, in the complete cycle, he (quite properly) goes back to the beginning, presenting the sonatas in roughly chronological order, in so far as dates can be firmly established. CD1 contains the three sonatas Op.1; CD2 contains Op.7, the Op.49 pair and the Op.14 pair, and CD3 the trio of Op.10 sonatas before concluding with the ‘Pathétique’, Op.13. Further critical encomia are sure to follow: Brilliant Classics presents here another milestone in the long and eventful path of this music on record. The start of an exciting and prestigious series: the complete Beethoven piano sonatas played by Giovanni Bellucci! Giovanni Bellucci is one of the most interesting and extraordinary pianists of today. Described by Piero Rattalino as “a force of nature, vast and palpitating”, his playing is highly original, striving to recreate the original impact of the works he is playing: “he takes us back to the Golden Age of the Piano” wrote Le Monde. His recordings, notably with works by Liszt, were showered with prizes such as Diapason d’Or, Choc, Editor’s Choice, CD Maestro etc. Giovanni Bellucci embarks on this epic musical journey of recording the complete Beethoven Sonatas (and later the Beethoven/Liszt symphonies), a challenge that every pianist of world stature will face. His Beethoven is free, with a strong sense of rhetoric and improvisation, adhering nevertheless strictly to the score and its intentions. The result is fresh, exhilarating and illuminating, letting us marvel at the originality and genius of the music. Issued in 3-CD sets, the series starts chronologically with the Early Sonatas Op. 2, 7, 10, 13., 14 and 22.

kr 65 (kr 129)
Image 3CD-BOX: Complete Music for Saxophone
SAXOPHONES: David Brutti
FLUTE: Mario Caroli
PIANO: Filippo Farinelli
ORCHESTRA: Orchestra Città Aperta

Charles Koechlin, music theorist as well as composer, was a significant figure in the vibrant early 20th century whirl of Parisian culture. After studying under as Jules Massenet and Gabriel Fauré, the latter being an enormous influence on his music, Koechlin co-founded the Société musicale indépendante in 1909 and many years later became president of the Féderation Musicale Populaire. Starstruck by Hollywood, Koechlin often found inspiration in its legendary figures and dedicated many pieces to actresses such as Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow and Lilian Harvey.

Koechlin's compositional style contains elements of impressionism, and his developing interest in the saxophone can be closely linked to his enthusiasm for 1930s cinema. Twenty years later, the publication of his Traité de l'orchestration, in which he praised the saxophone for its sonority and agility, coincided with that of a set of 15 studies for the instrument. These studies, of varying length and character, feature in this collection, alongside works such as the Deux Sonatinas, Septuor pour instruments à Vent, and the celebrated Epitaphe pour Jean Harlow.

Formed in 2001 by David Brutti and Filippo Farinelli, the Duo Disecheis explores 20th-century and contemporary chamber music. Having performed at many prestigious festivals and venues throughout Europe, the duo has achieved enormous success in international competitions and has collaborated with composers such as Paolo Baioni, Stefano Trevisi and Dimitri Nicolau. Joining the duo on this recording is the Atem Saxophone Quartet, which has received critical acclaim for its performances at numerous chamber music and jazz festivals.


kr 65 (kr 129)
Image 3CD-BOX: Die Kunst der Fuge
kr 65 (kr 129)
Image Complete Piano Music (3 CD)
First recordings galore on a comprehensive survey of a major 20th-century Ukrainian composer. Born in Kiev in 1925, Igor Shamo studied with the elder statesman of modern Ukrainian art music, Boris Lyatoshinsky. Schumann, Mussorgsky and Rachmaninov were the giants of the past who seized the young Shamo’s attention, and traces of their impassioned, lyrically centred idioms may be discerned throughout the early works on CD1 of this new recording such as the Ukrainian Suite, Classical Suite and Shamo’s own take on Pictures at an Exhibition in his suite of Pictures by Russian Painters. The second CD is occupied by two more substantial cycles, of 12 Preludes from 1962 and six impressionistic Aquarelles from a decade later – both the appreciation and execution of painting was important to Shamo throughout his life. The final CD gathers up piano pieces throughout Shamo’s career, from the Marche fantastique, which so impressed the professors of the Kiev Conservatoire when the composer elected at the last minute to play it for his entrance exam, to three dances composed in 1972 and inspired by the folk culture of nearby Soviet republics, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan. A counterpoint to their uncomplicated charms may be found in the three Songs of Friendship from 1954, in which Shamo treats melodies from Poland, Romania and what was then Czechoslovakia. Though jazz and minimalist techniques periodically surface in Shamo’s music, it bears the stamp of its Soviet times in its generally sunny character and clearly laid-out forms – though the serenity of the Ninth Prelude is answered by the machine-gun-fire Tenth, and Bartók casts a shadow over this music almost as often as Prokofiev. Dmitri Tchesnokov is, like Shamo, a native of Kiev, born in 1982 and long resident in France, where he pursues a career as both composer and pianist, as well as founding a directing a well-established festival of contemporary piano music in Paris. Igor Shamo (1925-1982) was born in Kiev, Ukraine, where his composition teacher at the national Conservatory was the famous composer Boris Lyatoshinsky. Attached to his home land he declined an invitation to move to Moscow, and he stayed the rest of his life in his native Kiev, where he became a highly respected composer and teacher. Shamo wrote orchestral works, chamber music, songs and works for film and theatre. His piano works however form the core of his oeuvre. His musical language is tonal and based on classical principles (his favourite composer was J.S. Bach). The melodies have a strong narrative character, the harmonies are based on classical and popular modes, enriched by chromaticism and jazz. All his works are rooted in the rich folklore of his native country Ukraine, the moods alternating between melancholic sadness and gloom and dance-inspired frenzy. Dimitri Tchesnokov is an excellent pianist and an important composers himself as well. His works are increasingly noted, especially his haunting and mystical choral works. He wrote the extensive liner notes for this set himself, in English and French.

kr 110 (kr 219)
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