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Highlight of the Month

Mozart String Quartets K428, 465, 387

Highlight of the Month

Cuarteto Casals

The sincerest form of flattery. When he dedicated a set of six quartets to Haydn in 1785, Mozart was acknowledging the latter’s supremacy in this difficult genre, admitting that they had cost him ‘a long and laborious study’. But the effort was worthwhile: inspired by the older composer’s masterpieces, Mozart did more than just imitate him; he integrated Haydn’s innovations into his own style, thereby producing a new milestone of Viennese Classicism.

 

Recording Review

 

“They launch into every movement with tremendous relish, on such a tide of rich, deep string tone that they could be playing Brahms or Dvořák, and it comes with equally full-blooded, expressive inflections."
The Guardian - 4 September 2014

 

Cuarteto Casals will perform this repertoire at the Wigmore Hall on 20th & 21st September.


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Méditations

Céline Moinet, Sarah Christ

Méditations

Some of the most famous scenes in the Romantic opera repertoire, revisited by two outstanding soloists, in an unusual instrumental combination (oboe and harp) that is nevertheless perfectly in keeping with the opera house. Alongside the evergreen ‘Meditation’ from 'Thaïs', Céline Moinet and Sarah Christ have assembled a multitude of composers and works to produce a programme that is sheer enchantment.

 

“a superlative recording. Céline Moinet is clearly one of the finest oboists in the world; this disc is of such consistent musical and technical quality as to hold the attention throughout…an astonishingly successful release on all counts.”
Robert Matthew-Walker, IRR OUTSTANDING, International Record Review, July/August 2012

 

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Marie et Marion

Anonymous 4

Marie et Marion

EDITOR'S CHOICE - GRAMOPHONE (MAY 2014)


Renowned for their unearthly vocal blend and virtuosic ensemble singing, the four women of Anonymous 4 combine historical scholarship with contemporary performance intuition to create their magical sound. On their 1994 album Love’s Illusion, the extraordinary quartet brought 13th century motets of courtly love from the Montpellier Codex to the top of the classical charts – spending 29 weeks on the Billboard Top 200. Twenty years later, they return to the source – this time exploring songs with texts that juxtapose desire for the earthly lady Marion and adoration of the heavenly Virgin Mary.

 

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Mahler

Bernard Fink

Mahler

Lieder

Can one really grasp the whole of Mahler’s symphonic output without knowing his songs? Not only do they extensively influence the first four symphonies (sometimes referred to as the ‘Wunderhorn symphonies’), they also encapsulate the fundamental principles of his reading of the world. On this recording, the superb mezzo-soprano Bernarda Fink explores Mahler's song cycles from three different angles. It includes the traditional lieder format with piano, songs with orchestral accompaniment and Arnold Schoenberg's illuminating chamber transcription of the Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen.

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