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Richter: Grandes Symphonies Nos. 1-6

The hallmarks of Franz Xaver Richter’s mature style are already evident in the Six Grandes Symphonies published in 1744, several years before he joined the celebrated musical establishment at the Mannheim court. The fast movements possess a driving intensity which owes much of its power to the frequent employment of contrapuntal devices, while the slow movements are rich in expressive harmonies and unexpected melodic twists. These symphonies are the first of a set of twelve, originally published in Paris in two groups of six.

Italian Concertos

"The genius of the musician subjects the whole universe to his art … So if you wish to know if any spark of this consuming fire burns in you, then fly in haste to Naples and hear the masterpieces of Leo, Durante, Jomelli and Pergolesi.“ (Jean-Jacques Rosseau, 1767).

Beside some matserpieces of Antonio Vivaldi, these 2CD-Set includes rarities of neapolitanian composers, like Francesco Durante or Leonardo Leo. Compositions rediscovered and recorded by the musicians of CONCERTO KÖLN with worldwide appreciation and honour.

Elgar: Violin Concerto; Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending

"This is an absolutely stunning account of one the three greatest realizations for the violin . . . With Hahn in this recording, by contrast, everything is in equilibrium: there is vibrato, certainly, but it is kept within bounds, and seems always proportionate to the expressive content of the music. The soloist had me in her grip from her very first entry . . . Hahn's is the recording that I shall probably return to most often for the sheer joy of hearing Elgar's soul-stirring vision realized in all its depth and splendor." --Fanfare, May 2005

JS Bach: The Transcriptions of Concertos by Vivaldi

“Yates gives a lively, fluent account of these showy pieces, always keeping in mind the importance of textural transparency.” --BBC Music Magazine, October 2013 *****

“performances that outclass most of the catalogue competition...Her finely honed legato technique shines in slow movements...Yates's informative, well-written notes complement the stylish sensitivity of her harpsichord artistry” --Gramophone Magazine, August 2013


Mattheson: 12 Sonatas for flute, violin & continuo

Johannes Mattheson’s writings on musical taste and fashion are universally quoted by historians of the Baroque, yet his own music is very little known and even less recorded. The 12 sonatas of Der brauchbare Virtuoso are an ear-opener. They’re advertised as for flute or violin, a common sales technique. Most are in four movements – slow-fast-slow-fast – and they are very good indeed. Mattheson ardently advocated the primacy of melody, and his slow movements float beguilingly past the ear, sometimes delaying moments of repose with Corellian skill, elsewhere shaping phrases like the singing of a human voice.

Gluck: Trio Sonatas

Outstanding composers of vocal music are not always equally pre-eminent in the field of instrumental music, and vice versa. Handel and Mozart in the 18th century may have proved the gifted exceptions to this rule, but it would certainly be a mistake to mention Bach's name in the same breath, as most of his contemporaries considered his vocal works as paradigms of instrumentally conceived non-vocality. Indeed, Bach himself remarked to his childhood friend Georg Erdmann in the 1730s that his transition from Capellmeister to Kantor - i.e. from his Cöthen to his Leipzig job - was an indignity; perhaps we should consider this description as more than just an irrational self-assessment. 

Paganini: Caprices for solo violin, Op. 1 Nos. 1-24 (complete)

“Fischer plays these notorious finger-breakers as though they were amongst the most treasured pieces in the repertoire...she dons the various rhetorical disguises Paganini assumes...with engaging aplomb...Fischer's ability to impart a convincing emotional narrative to each piece is hard to overlook - it makes for compelling listening.” --BBC Music Magazine, November 2010 ****

“Her spot-on intonation and even tone-production throughout is a marvel...She sees each caprice not as a display vehicle but as representing a different mood...She succeeds admirably.” --Classic FM Magazine, November 2010 *****

Beethoven: The Symphonies

Recorded between 1972 and 1974 and released in time for Christmas in 1975, Georg Solti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's stereo cycle of Beethoven's symphonies was a classic in its time and remains so 30 years later in this splendidly remastered 2007 re-release. As was typical of the Solti/Chicago partnership, the performances here are big boned, heavy muscled, and very aggressive with highly dramatic conducting matched by hugely powerful playing. Though for some listeners, Solti and the Chicago's approach to the First and Second may be too massive and their way with the Fourth and Sixth too monumental, few would argue they aren't great performances of their kind. 

Scriabin: Vers La Flamme

Vladimir Ashkenazy has been a lifelong champion of the music of his compatriot Scriabin. For the composer’s anniversary year he has recorded a selection of works which span the entire output of Scriabin’s works for solo piano: an extraordinary musical journey from late-romanticism to the mystic modernism of his last works.

“Ashkenazy’s chronological trawl overlaps significantly with Garrick Ohlsson’s survey of Scriabin’s Poèmes...but Ashkenazy’s approach is quite different – more reflective and sometimes indulgent, very much viewing these pieces through the prism of Romanticism rather than that of modernism.” --The Guardian, 5th March 2015 ****

Tchaikovsky: Serenade & Bartók: Divertimento

“[Simovic] is one of the reasons why this is a disc well worth seeking out: an unusual coupling, but a highly successful one. Superb recorded sound helps to complete the package.” --MusicWeb International, 3rd December 2014

“the performance is…an enjoyable one, catching fire in the finale where the focus on gentle gradations of tone and timbre yields to the more earthy vivacity one might have expected from this source.” --International Record Review, January 2015