New Release April 12th

Restless and troubled

The year 1939. Alarmed by the imminent outbreak of war, Benjamin Britten composes a violin concerto of rare intensity, raw and at the same time highly personal. The upheavals of that time find a haunting echo in his music, a key aspect of this work for Isabelle Faust, who enlisted the help of Jakub Hrůša and the Bavarian Radio Orchestra for this major recording event: an absolute, albeit misunderstood, masterpiece that is in desperate need of rediscovery!

After her acclaimed recordings of music by Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Bartók, and Berg, the violinist has partnered with Alexander Melnikov (piano) and her brother Boris Faust (viola) as they invite us to discover some beguiling examples of Britten’s chamber music.

DIAPASON D’OR ARTE

New Release April 5th

A Life in Music

Paul Agnew and Les Arts Florissants embark on an ambitious and highly intriguing new project! Rather than approaching Bach’s output as being set in stone, an imposing monument for the ages, they invite us to accompany him on his life’s journey decade by decade, as fellow travellers observing his progress along the way. In this first instalment, we follow Bach the young ‘rock star’ making conquests from Arnstadt to Mühlhausen.

Each volume in the series will also feature a cantata by one of Bach’s most notable contemporaries (here, a work by Johann Kuhnau). A unique opportunity to better understand the imprint of Bach’s time on his music and to hear what made his voice, always so personal and so original, stand out.

Classical Album of the Week / THE TIMES *****

New release: 29 March 2024

Resplendent Handel!

The Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and the RIAS Kammerchor, under the incisive and nuanced direction of Justin Doyle, bring us a dazzling reading of three early masterpieces of Handel’s sacred music. An album that has already garnered a TTTT rating from Télérama!

It was in Rome, where he resided between 1707 and 1710, that the young musical genius composed these dazzling psalm settings. Highlighting this composer’s masterful blend of profound spirituality and vibrant theatricality, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and the RIAS Kammerchor, along with the luminous Carolyn Sampson in the Laudate pueri, deliver a wonderfully fresh listening experience.

New Release March 22th

Symphonic C.P.E. Bach

With this scintillating new album, featuring works from C.P.E. Bach’s years in Berlin alongside those composed later in Hamburg, the musicians of the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin round off their complete cycle of all the symphonies by Johann Sebastian’s inspired son.

The high point of a recording project begun over two decades ago, this final instalment offers the quintessence of his art, revealing the full originality of this unjustly neglected music, whose freedom and inventiveness paved the way for Haydn and Mozart.

New Release March 15th

Royal Couperin!

Pierre Gallon and Matthieu Boutineau invite us to discover François Couperin’s Concerts Royaux in a version for two harpsichords—a rare combination, yet one that was especially dear to the court composer to the Sun King.

In a reading at once brilliant and moving, the two performers join forces to bring out all the poetry, tenderness, gaiety, and inexhaustible invention of this astonishing collection. This journey into a world at the juncture of the waning Grand Siècle and the dawning age of the Enlightenment marks Pierre Gallon’s first solo project for harmonia mundi.

New Release March 8th

“Love potion” turned into nectar.

In this programme of Wagner opera scenes transcribed for piano solo – but taking full advantage of the instrument’s sumptuous sonority – Nikolai Lugansky highlights the astonishing dramatic and emotional impact of each excerpt. An impressive panorama of the essentials of the composer’s output!

Traversing through some of the most poignant moments in the Ring cycle, Tristan und Isolde, and Parsifal, Lugansky the virtuoso poet of the keyboard honours the profoundly human dimension of Wagner’s iconic legacy, which encompasses love, betrayal, sacrifice, and the quest for the absolute…

New Release February 23th

Three gems of musical neoclassicism

Ranging from the Italy of the “commedia dell’arte” depicted in Stravinsky’s Pulcinella to the picaresque Spain evoked in Falla’s Harpsichord Concerto and chamber opera (El retablo de maese Pedro), this exhilarating programme takes us on a delightful journey into musical neoclassicism!

Pablo Heras-Casado and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra explore the colourful and multifaceted world of Stravinsky’s and Falla’s music of the 1920s. Among the attractions is Benjamin Alard’s use of a sumptuous Pleyel harpsichord dating from that period and of the type which Wanda Landowska played at the Falla premieres.

New Release February 16th

Vivaldi, all life long!

Théotime Langlois de Swarte and Le Consort invite us to follow the thread that runs through representative instrumental compositions of the ‘red-haired priest.’ Starting with the earliest concertos he wrote in Venice and ending with his final works composed in Vienna, follow their fanciful itinerary that illustrates the myriad facets of Antonio Vivaldi.

Whether it is the music for which he is now beloved (such as the initial version of the ‘Summer’ Concerto from The Four Seasons) or his previously unrecorded compositions (including sonatas, sinfonias, and concertos), Vivaldi never ceased to innovate within established genres, musical forms, and timbres. A portrait of the composer who holds special significance for Théotime Langlois de Swarte, this double album has already joined a bevy of the most streamed classical releases and garnered both a Choc de Classica and a Trophée Radio Classique award!

New Release 2 February 2024

A hymn to love

With his Turangalîla-Symphonie, French composer Olivier Messiaen produced one of the most spectacular orchestral scores created in the twentieth century. Gustavo Gimeno and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) bring us a powerful and poetic reading of this towering work, available in Dolby Atmos. His featured soloists are Marc-André Hamelin (piano) and Nathalie Forget (ondes Martenot).

A whole world in itself, the Symphony takes its inspiration from the medieval legend of Tristan and Yseult, as well as from the culture and classical music of India. The score indicates solo parts for a piano and for the ondes Martenot—both instruments that the composer deploys in concerto-like manner. More than a half century after the TSO’s GRAMMY-nominated first recording of the same piece led by Seiji Ozawa, for this new version the Orchestra and Gustavo Gimeno have called on virtuoso soloists who are expert performers of the work, with the end result that is nothing short of a major recording event.

New Release January 26th 2024

A wizard of the viola

With his latest album, Timothy Ridout shines a light on the legacy of Lionel Tertis (1876-1975), one of the greatest masters of the viola in recent times. Come along on a musical journey of discovery, featuring some of the most inspired showpieces for the instrument – including works originally intended or transcribed for it.

Still little known to the public at large, Lionel Tertis was instrumental in the modern-day renaissance of the viola. Accompanied by James Baillieu and Frank Dupree on the piano, the young British prodigy Timothy Ridout here invites us to explore the many facets of this striking repertoire, along with some key works by Tertis himself, by his contemporaries, and his students.

New Release January 19th

A world beyond

Adam Laloum takes us on a journey into the deepest core of Schubert’s most nakedly human universe. Through an explorations of the sorrows and the joys of the works created on the threshold of the world beyond, he lets the music speak to each of us like few other artists can.

His earlier Schubert recording (D. 894 and D. 958) left no doubt that Laloum is one of the most impressive Schubertians of his generation. With the composer’s Moments musicaux and the Sonata in A major —a kind of musical testament—he plunges us into a sonic world in which the heartbreaking beauty of each harmony evokes the yearning of a wounded and lonely heart, filled with worry, but also with hope. A vehement reading, with a visionary point of view!

New Release January 12th

In praise of variation

Cédric Tiberghien continues his fascinating traversal of Beethoven’s piano variations. This second volume contains such nuggets as the phenomenal set of 32 Variations in C minor, alongside other sparkling examples of the genre in which the composer revels in varying and transforming popular opera arias of his day… Spectacular artistry on display!

As part of his project, the first volume of which juxtaposes Beethoven’s variation cycles with those of Mozart and Schumann, Cédric Tiberghien now invites us not only to discover often neglected gems by Bonn’s native son but also to turn our attention to a later evolution of the variation form in the works of notable American composers. An exploration that informs as it delights.

 

 

Latest New Releases

Music for Easter

Among the notable concerts of sacred music heard during the Easter period, first and foremost we must mention Raphaël Pichon and the Ensemble Pygmalion performing J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor in Bordeaux, Aix-en-Provence and Versailles! There is more Bach courtesy of the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin (the Saint John Passion, in France and Germany) and the Freiburger Barockorchester (the Saint Matthew Passion, in Spain, Hungary, Switzerland, and as far afield as South Korea). Sébastien Daucé and the Ensemble Correspondances performed Bach cantatas with Lucile Richardot at Versailles and will now turn to French music (Charpentier, Campra…) in their concerts throughout France and Europe.

On recordings, Paul Agnew and Les Arts Florissants inaugurate their series devoted to the finest Bach cantatas: “J.S. Bach: A Life in Music” that follows the composer’s evolution through his various posts and appointments. The first volume is perfectly timed for Easter, with the celebrated cantata Christ lag in Todesbanden, recorded alongside Benjamin Alard (available 5 April). Handel’s psalm settings are featured on the new album from the Akademie für Alte Musik and RIAS Kammerchor Berlin, led by Justin Doyle and joined by Carolyn Sampson – available on 29 March.

If you want to become an expert on the music composed for the Easter season, look no further than our rubric Easter, where you will find plenty of albums to remind us how inspiring the subject has been for composers across the ages!

And don’t forget our Gems of Sacred Music playlist, which is simply unmissable.

A feast for the ears!

TTTT in Télérama

In recent weeks, a shower of superlatives has followed the release of Théotime Langlois de Swarte’s latest recording at the head of Le Consort. After garnering a Choc in Classica, a Concerto Choice in BBC Music Magazine, and the Trophée Radio Classique, his Vivaldi album Concerti per una vita was greeted with the following praise by Sophie Bourdais in Télérama: “Ideas that proliferate, character that evolves, moods that constantly change: we go from exuberance to introspection, from joy to melancholy, in a matter of seconds. Vivaldi may start with the same ingredients, but he does so in the manner of a great chef, who knows how to combine them to produce varied tastes (…) Vivaldi at his best, served up by a formidable violinist who is particularly well partnered. The great Venetian century in all its nuances.”

Congratulations are due to the entire team gathered around Théotime Langlois de Swarte, Le Consort, and Olivier Fourés on the occasion of this undeniable triumph, which has not gone unnoticed by the music-buying public: already nearly 3 million streams have been logged since the album’s release!

Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2023: Timothy Ridout, a star of the viola!

 

His latest album, featuring Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto in Lionel Tertis’s transcription for viola, paired with Ernest Bloch’s Suite for Viola and Orchestra, won the “Concerto Award” at the 2023 Gramophone Classical Music Awards held on Wednesday, October 4, in London.

Recognition that is well deserved, judging by this young British violist’s “magisterial performance” that elevates a score that has long been the sole province of cellists…

Partnered by Martyn Brabbins leading the storied BBC Symphony Orchestra, Timothy Ridout proves to be a compelling champion of his instrument, delivering (to quote Gramophone again) “a luminous reading.”

A big round of congratulations to the performers, as well as to the recording team, whose vivid sound capture was also noted.

Upcoming albums, projects, life of the label…

cover 902472.73

Bach / Alard: Complete Works for Keyboard

“The Happy Years”

Following Benjamin Alard’s highly acclaimed recording of harpsichord works by Manuel de Falla (with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado), here is volume 9 of his long-term project initiated seven years ago. The multifaceted programme is devoted to Bach’s prodigious output during the “happy years” he spent in Köthen (1717-1723): the English Suites, Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, and Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, all of which Benjamin Alard performs on the three-manual Hass harpsichord (1740) that is unique in the world.

Alard’s recording of Book One of the Well-Tempered Clavier was enthusiastically welcomed by the press in 2022 (Diapason d’Or, Gramophone’s Editor’s Choice, and more).

VOL. 9, “KÖTHEN, 1717-1723 THE HAPPY YEARS”

AVAILABLE 3 MAY 2024

J.S. BACH | B. ALARD

J.S. Bach, a life in music

Paul Agnew and Les Arts Florissants set out to recapture the composer’s sound world.

In their new series of recordings, Paul Agnew and Les Arts Florissants invite us to explore J.S. Bach’s creative itinerary through the decades and cities in which he was active. The first instalment introduces us to a young master who remained faithful to the North German tradition of the sacred concerto, but already displayed an intensely personal invention.

J.S. BACH, A LIFE IN MUSIC, vol. 1 / Available 5 April 2024

Stradivari collection offers a miraculous return to life…

When incomparable instruments that are centuries old leave their storage and come alive under the fingers of today’s finest performers!

Over the past few years, harmonia mundi has established a close partnership with the Museum of Music housed at the Paris Philharmonie. Under the umbrella of the Stradivari collection, outstanding performers are invited to discover and play on the museum’s priceless instruments, lovingly restored and maintained by a team of curators and conservators. Each release in the series is conceived as an encounter between the instrument and the performer, featuring the repertoire perfectly suited to both. This partnership has already borne exceptional fruit, as you may sample for yourself here or by visiting the Paris Philharmonie’s website.

NEXT RELEASE AVAILABLE AUGUST 2024:
Gabriel Fauré, Nocturnes and Barcarolles  

A new partnership

harmonia mundi welcomes the HANSON QUARTET.

Formed in 2013 in Paris, the Hanson Quartet has forged a distinct identity by embracing a wide spectrum of musical horizons, notably focussing on the Viennese masters of the quartet genre, while maintaining the imprint of the French school of chamber music playing. Boasting a keen curiosity and a number of international awards, including at the Geneva Competition, the Hanson Quartet is supported by the Singer-Polignac Foundation and the Banque Populaire Foundation and has performed around the world. For their harmonia mundi debut, its members will be joined by their fellow Frenchman Adam Laloum in Robert Schumann’s Piano Quartet Op. 44, paired with his three String Quartets of Op. 41. Not to be missed!

SCHUMANN / STRING QUARTETS OP. 41, PIANO QUARTET OP. 44
AVAILABLE IN MAY 2024

Pygmalion in the studio…

Recording the Mozart Requiem.

Fall of 2023 was notable for a recording that holds special import for the performers, for harmonia mundi… and for all Raphaël Pichon fans, without a doubt. Four years after taking part in Romeo Castellucci’s acclaimed staging of the Requiem at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, the musicians of Pygmalion were keen to capture their reading of Mozart’s unfinished masterpiece in the studio. This endeavor, which is both collective and very personal, leans on our own perception of death and our environment, paradoxically allowing the score to regain a universality that transcends styles, eras, and genres.

REQUIEM – forthcoming release (VINYL | CD | BLU-RAY DISC)
J.S. BACH | B. ALARD

Just in time for Spring 🌱

Discover harmonia mundi’s forthcoming releases!

Among the most notable titles being released this Spring are Couperin’s Concerts Royaux to introduce the brilliant harpsichordist Pierre Gallon (partnered by Matthieu Boutineau) to the label, plus Wagner transcriptions performed by Nikolai Lugansky, a major Britten release featuring Isabelle Faust and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Dutilleux works performed by Jean-Guihen Queyras and the Luxembourg Philharmonic, as well as our first contribution to mark the centenary of Gabriel Fauré’s death: his greatest vocal cycles (Mirages, La Bonne Chanson, L’Horizon Chimérique) performed by Stéphane Degout and Alain Planès.

If you wish to learn more, click here!

PROMS : Requiem de Mozart / Pygmalion

Forthcoming albums

Discover the harmonia mundi releases for the first half of 2024!

Among the highlights of the coming months: Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie—a monumental work that is all too rarely heard—here in the expert hands of Gustavo Gimeno at the helm of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (an exclusive new partnership); a selection of Vivaldi concertos—“Concerti per una vita”—in Théotime Langlois de Swarte’s eagerly awaited new recording at the head of Le Consort; Couperin’s Concerts Royaux to introduce the brilliant harpsichordist Pierre Gallon (partnered by Matthieu Boutineau) to the label; as well as Wagner transcriptions performed by Nikolai Lugansky, Britten works featuring Isabelle Faust, Dutilleux with Jean-Guihen Queyras, and a period-instrument reading of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream that is bound to become a new benchmark.

Explore our release schedule here!

J.S. BACH | B. ALARD

A new partnership

Harmonia mundi welcomes the four-hand piano duo of PAVEL KOLESNIKOV and SAMSON TSOY!

Praised for the “electrifying intimacy” of their playing (The Guardian), the pianists will make their piano-duo debut at Carnegie Hall on February 13, followed soon after by their first recording for harmonia mundi. Prior to that, they can also be heard at the Konzerthaus in Berlin, at De Doelen in Rotterdam, and at Wigmore Hall in London. Both artists enjoy flourishing solo careers, and Pavel can already boast an impressive discography as a soloist (Hyperion). With performances ranging from La Roque d’Anthéron to projects choreographed by Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, it is their highly nuanced approach that the duo Kolesnikov-Tsoy bring to works by Franz Schubert and Leonid Desyatnikov. We can hardly wait!

SCHUBERT: Divertissement à la hongroise, D.818 and Fantasie in F minor, D.940
DESYATNIKOV: Trompe-l’œil (world premiere recording)
Available in June 2024
J.S. BACH | B. ALARD

Jean-Guihen Queyras

returns with a suite treat!

Following several years of worldwide touring with Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker’s Rosas dance company, Jean-Guihen Queyras returned to the recording studio to deliver a second reading of J.S. Bach’s Suites for Solo Cello. Sixteen years after his first, unforgettable recording of these same suites, the cellist felt compelled to revisit this inexhaustible musical source, which was also the subject of his recent book, Bach: Les Suites en partage (conversations avec Emmanuel Reibel). Album release scheduled for fall 2024.

J.S. BACH | B. ALARD

The Bach cycle continues

Benjamin Alard has just finished recording the Goldberg Variations, performed on the prodigious three-manual Hass harpsichord!

The artist returns to this one-of-a-kind instrument some 12 months following the release of his recording of Book One of The Well-Tempered Clavier, enthusiastically received by the critics (Diapason d’or, Gramophone magazine’s Editor’s Choice, etc.). Future volumes are also in the process of being recorded, each of them performed on one of several extraordinary instruments…

Forthcoming releases:

VOL. 9: KÖTHEN, THE YEARS OF happiness

VOL. 10: CLAVIERÜBUNG, VOLUMES I AND II

VOL. 11: THE MUSIC LIBRARY OF ANNA MAGDALENA

J.S Bach - B. Alard

Dolby Atmos sound

is present on many new releases and re-releases by harmonia mundi..

No less than 18 new releases are announced in Dolby Atmos format on the label in 2024. Find the complete list of releases in this format in our Topics.

J.S. BACH | B. ALARD

Current playlists

Discover the latest harmonia mundi playlists on your favorite platform.

All the playlists All the playlists

A passion for excellence 1958.

Now 65, the label cultivates an insolent youth. Exploring new repertoires, broadening our horizons, developing young talent and constantly striving for excellence: this is harmonia mundi’s motto. We are demanding, passionate and proud of our independence. This is our story…

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