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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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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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Rameau 1764 - 2014 Boxset

Soloists
Les Arts Florissants
William Christie

Rameau 1764 - 2014 Boxset

Les Indes Galantes
Castor & Pollux
Pièces de clavecin
Actes de Ballet

250 years after his death, Jean-Philippe Rameau continues to fascinate the musical scene the world over, as is shown by the number of new productions of his operas scheduled for 2014 and beyond. But the Dijon-born composer also owes some of his current popularity to the passionate advocacy of William Christie. This sumptuous box set collects all the Rameau recordings he made for harmonia mundi in the 1980s and 1990s. Its selection ofopéra-ballet, tragédie lyrique and harpsichord pieces highlights the multiple facets of an eminently classical œuvre, masterfully interpreted by this American-born musician who has become the foremost interpreter of 17th- and 18th-century French music. A must!

 

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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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