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Highlight of the Month

BRAHMS Choral Works

Highlight of the Month

Cappella Amsterdam
Daniel Reuss

 

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Daniel Reuss leads the Cappella Amsterdam in a programme of Brahms' lesser known but equally beautiful choral works.

The famous
German Requiem must not be allowed to overshadow the wide variety of choral music Brahms wrote throughout his career. Daniel Reuss and his Cappella Amsterdam are our expert guides in a programme that takes in sacred a cappella motets by turns austere (opp.74 and 110) and resplendent (op.109), secular quartets with piano (opp.92 and 112), and songs for six-part unaccompanied chorus (op.104). The crowning glory is a dramatic masterpiece for chorus and four-hand piano, the Song of Destiny after Hölderlin.

 

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Beethoven

Jean-Guihen Queyras
Alexander Melnikov

Beethoven

Complete Works for Cello & Piano

 

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****

“fascinating, polished performances … a valuable set for admirers both of Queyras and Melnikov, and of Beethoven.”

Geoffrey Norris – The Telegraph, 25th September 2014

 

This collection of the complete works for cello and piano by Beethoven featuring cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras and pianist Alexander Melnikov includes works that offer a taste of each of the composer’s three stylistic periods. The first sonata and the delightful variations on themes by Handel and Mozart represent his ‘early’ period style, whereas the Op.69 sonata typifies the ‘middle’ period. The two sublime sonatas of Op.102 herald the unprecedented stylistic freedom of the composer’s final decade.

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Bach

Pygmalion
Raphaël Pichon

Bach

Köthener Trauermusik

 

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When Leopold of Anhalt-Cöthen died in 1728, his former Kapellmeister had not forgotten the five brilliant years he had spent in the prince’s service. He wrote a cantata dedicated to his memory based on the music of two major works of the mid 1720s - the Trauer-Ode and the St. Matthew Passion. Although the score to the Köthener Trauermusik is lost, the wordbook and other sources of information have now made it possible to create a performing edition. In his first recording for harmonia mundi, Raphaël Pichon leads the ensemble Pygmalion in a rediscovery of this little-known work.

 

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Couperin

Amandine Beyer
Gli incogniti

Couperin

Apothéoses

 

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The ensemble Gli incogniti, led by Amandine Beyer, makes their harmonia mundi début with this album of chamber music by François Couperin. When he published his twin Apothéoses in memory of two great masters of music in 1724-25, Couperin was asserting his desire to promote a meeting of the French and Italian styles – from a very Gallic point of view, naturally. But, far from blindly imitating his idols, Couperin takes inspiration from these styles and arrives at a blend that takes the best from both.

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