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El-Khoury: Orages

El-Khoury: Orages

Espaces-Fragmentations, Poème nocturne, Le Chant d'amour


El-Khoury:

Espaces-Fragmentations

Poème nocturne

Le Chant d'amour

Orages


Ariane Douguet (soprano) & Vicens Prats (flute)

Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de France & Orchestre Colonne, Paavo Jarvi, Daniele Gatti, Eivind Gullberg Jensen & David Coleman

Bechara El-Khoury’s work often refers to his native Lebanon, and Orages (Storms) takes us back to youthful memories of nature’s chaotic moods, from flashes of lightning via sinister darkness to surreal and luminous calm. Espaces-Fragmentations reflects on time and ‘a strange journey into night,’ while Poeme nocturne marks the life of renowned French flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal. The lyrical post-Romantic style of Le Chant d’amour at times evokes the spirit of Richard Strauss. Bechara El-Khoury was born in Beirut in 1957 and started his musical studies in Lebanon, moving in 1979 to Paris to study with Pierre-Petit, then Director of the Ecole Normale de Musique. The televised gala concert of his works on December 9, 1983 at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris with the Orchestre Colonne conducted by Pierre Dervaux, to mark the centenary of the Lebanese-American philosopher and poet Khalil Gibran, proved ground-breaking in El-Khoury’s career. In 1987 he took French nationality. His works have been played by leading orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France, the Orchestre de Paris, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the NDR SinfonieorchesterHamburg, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, the European Chamber Orchestra, the Basler Kammerorchester and the Halle Orchestra, among others, with conductors including Pierre Dervaux, Daniel Harding, Martyn Brabbins, Kurt Masur, Jean-Claude Casadesus, Daniele Gatti, Paavo Jarvi and Jiri Belohlavek.

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Naxos - 8573617

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Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade & Capriccio espagnol

Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade & Capriccio espagnol

Stereo · Recorded In 1974, 1976 & 1977


Rimsky Korsakov:

Scheherazade, Op. 35

Capriccio espagnol, Op. 34


“Setting Rostropovich, an impetuously Slavonic musician if ever there was one, in front of such an unmistakably French orchestra as this produces an intriguing and most attractive blend of Russian fire and colour with Gallic elegance and sentiment,” wrote Gramophone. The relationship between the great cellist-conductor and the Orchestre de Paris achieves glorious expression in this programme of Russian orchestral showpieces.

Warner Classics Original Jacket Reissues - 2564640077

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Janacek: The Cunning Little Vixen

Janacek: The Cunning Little Vixen

Live from the Théâtre Musical de Paris – Châtelet, 1995


Thomas Allen (The Forester), Eva Jenis (The Vixen), Hannah Minutillo (The Fox), Libuše Márová (The Forester’s Wife/The Owl) & Ivan Kusnjer (Harašta, the Poacher)

Choeur du Chatelet & Orchestre de Paris, Charles Mackerras (conductor) & Nicholas Hytner (stage director)

This enchanting production by Nicholas Hytner, sung in the original Czech, is conducted by Charles Mackerras, a master of the best Janáček style. Through myriad shifts of scene, the episodic story is presented in brightly coloured sets and costumes of blissful innocence and simplicity, designed by Bob Crowley. Jean-Claude Gallotta’s choreography for the insects and animals and Jean Kalman’s lighting add to the nostalgically poetic effect of the whole. With Thomas Allen as the Forester, the cast includes Eva Jenis, Hannah Minutillo, Richard Novák and Ivan Kusnjer.

Sound Format: PCM Stereo

Picture Format: 16:9

Original Language: CZ

Subtitles: GB, DE, FR, ES

Blu-ray Disc 25 GB (Single Layer)

Resolution: 1080i High Definition (Upscale)

Running Time: 98 mins

FSK: 0

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Lalo, Bruch, Sarasate: Violin Concertos

Lalo, Bruch, Sarasate: Violin Concertos


Bruch:

Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26

Lalo:

Symphonie espagnole, Op. 21

Sarasate:

Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20


Renaud Capuçon exudes a youthful air, but, now firmly established as one of the world’s leading violinists, he celebrates his 40th birthday on January 27th 2016. This release of the best-known works of three composers – Edouard Lalo, Pablo de Sarasate and Max Bruch – marks this important personal occasion in a suitably festive fashion. Capuçon made the recordings with Paavo Järvi and the Orchestre de Paris at the orchestra’s new home, the French capital’s Philharmonie, which opened in early 2015 and was immediately hailed for its superb acoustics. The Bruch concerto became the first piece to be recorded there, in May 2015.

As it happens, Capuçon shares a birthday with Edouard Lalo, born in 1823 – and with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart too! Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole, first performed in Paris in 1874, inhabits the same Franco-Spanish musical world as Bizet’s Carmen, which received its premiere the following year. The piece also has a special connection with both Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen [Gypsy Airs] and Bruch’s Concerto No1, as Renaud Capuçon explains:

“These three works, first heard between 1868 and 1878, are among the most famous in the history of the violin, and there are links of friendship and respect between their three composers – Lalo, Sarasate and Bruch: Lalo dedicated his Symphonie espagnole to Sarasate [born in northern Spain and one of the most celebrated violinists of his time]. Bruch dedicated his Scottish Fantasy to Sarasate some years later, but it was the great Joseph Joachim who gave the first performance of Bruch’s Concerto No 1.”

All three pieces also have a special significance for Capuçon: “I first approached these works when I was 12 years old and studying at the Paris Conservatoire with Veda Reynolds [a celebrated American violin teacher]. I played the Bruch in my first competitions; the Lalo was the first piece I played to Gerard Poulet [Capuçon’s other teacher at the Paris Conservatoire] and the Sarasate featured in my first proper recital."

The personal nature of this album is further emphasised by Renaud Capuçon’s wish to dedicate it to the memories of two people who meant a great deal to him: the broadcaster Jacques Chancel, who died in December 2014, and his father-in-law Gratien Ferrari, who died in October 2015.

Capuçon’s credentials in this kind of Romantic music are made clear in reviews of past performances and recordings. When he played the Lalo in London in 2012, the Guardian praised him for capturing “the full measure of the seriousness behind its grace and wit. Capuçon played with virile agility and tremendous nobility of tone,” while The Times extolled a “gorgeous performance from violin soloist Renaud Capuçon, laidback in manner, but so nimble, so fiery.” The Bruch concerto – with its rhapsodic first movement and energetic, dancing finale is close in spirit to the Brahms Violin Concerto, composed in 1878 and also dedicated to Joseph Joachim. Capuçon’s recording of the Brahms was released in 2012. Reviewing the CD, the Telegraph wrote that: “Capuçon has an impressive grasp of the concerto’s expressive contours, using his technical arsenal with finesse and tracing the music’s breadth of line and its arching shapes while maintaining its inner momentum. The rhythmic punch and energy of the finale are echoed by the orchestra’s powerful attack and buoyancy ... This is altogether a remarkable disc.”

“[The Lalo] gets a by turns flamboyant and dreamy reading from Capuçon, whose keen tone and easy bravura recall the great Arthur Grumiaux’s famous recordings. If the Bruch concerto is a less obvious bedfellow, Jarvi and his orchestra accompany the soloist expansively” Sunday Times, 17th January 2016

“There are no rough edges in this take on Lalo's Symphonie espagnole…instead we have a performance full of charm and mischief that emphasises the work's optimism…Capuçon certainly doesn't lack flamboyance” Gramophone Magazine, March 2016

“Capuçon gives a committed reading, and isn't afraid to dig into the strings when it's apt. There's virtuosity in the faster movements and a real sense of the Spanish rhythmic character of the music…there's a similar engagement with idiom in the Sarasate…and Järvi and the orchestra provide eagle-eared support” BBC Music Magazine, May 2016 ****

Erato - 2564698276

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Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 3

Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 3


Rachmaninov:

Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 44

Caprice Bohémien, Op. 12

Symphonic Dances, Op. 45

The Rock - Fantasy for Orchestra, Op. 7

Vocalise, Op. 34 No. 14 - arrangement for orchestra


That theatrical thrill is captured in this 2-CD set of live recordings of works by Rachmaninoff, made in 2011 and 2013 at the Salle Pleyel, the Orchestre de Paris’s home until its move in early 2015 to the French capital’s new Philharmonie. To mark the inauguration of the spectacular new hall, Erato released an album of Järvi and the Orchestre de Paris in works by Henri Dutilleux, who died in 2013 (CD: 0825646242443). The French magazine Télérama described the recorded performance as “magnificent in its cohesion and sonic elegance”.

This set follows another Erato disc of Russian music conducted by Järvi; released in the spring, it was a programme of Shostakovich cantatas performed by the Estonian Concert Choir and Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (CD: 0825646166664). There was some controversy in the Baltic state, with its painful memories of the Soviet era, over the performance of works with a Stalinist agenda. By contrast, Rachmaninoff’s haunting Symphony No 3, written in 1936, is the work of a composer in exile (he had settled in Switzerland) and is filled with nostalgia for Russia. A subtler, more restrained work than the expansive Symphony No 2 – which was written nearly three decades earlier while Rachmaninoff was still living in his homeland – it comprises just three movements. It also ushers in the starker style of the composer’s late works, typified by Rachmaninoff’s final composition, the haunting Symphonic Dances, written in America in 1940. On these CDs, these two major works from the final decade of Rachmaninoff’s live are complemented by two pieces from the 1890s, the Caprice Bohémien and the symphonic poem Le Rocher, and by the celebrated Vocalise, originally conceived in 1915 for voice and piano and later arranged for orchestra by the composer.

Paavo Järvi, one of Gramophone’s nominees for Artist of the Year 2015, holds positions with three other orchestras, makes guest appearances with the world’s leading ensembles, and becomes Chief Conductor of Japan’s NHK Symphony Orchestra from the 2015/16 season. He feels, though, that the Orchestre de Paris has a very distinctive personality: “I’ve tried to analyse the reason why the woodwind, in particular, succeed in obtaining a colour that is simultaneously rich and transparent,” he says, “and I think this comes from the personality of each player. In other countries, the musicians are obsessed with producing a homogeneous sound. Here, they play together, of course, but, when it comes down to it, they also see themselves as soloists: that is the big difference.”

“Järvi is no speed merchant, and some might find his performance comparatively tame even if his technical control and formidable sense of logic are never in doubt…[but] I will certainly be revisiting the fine detailing of Järvi's individualistic Parisian winds, never indulged at the expense of forward momentum.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2015

Erato - 2564619579

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Lang Lang: The Vienna Album

Lang Lang: The Vienna Album


Beethoven:

Sonata for piano four hands in D major, Op. 6

with Christoph Eschenbach (piano)

Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15

Orchestre de Paris, Christoph Eschenbach

Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58

Orchestre de Paris, Christoph Eschenbach

Haydn:

Piano Sonata No. 60 in C major, Hob.XVI:50

Piano Sonata No. 46 in E major, Hob.XVI:31

Mozart:

Piano Sonata No. 10 in C major, K330

Schubert:

Fantasie in C major, D760 'Wanderer'


Lang Lang (piano)

"Virtuoso," "prodigy," "genius" - these are some of the words used to describe Lang Lang -- the most popular pianist on the planet.

This brand new 2CD collection presents Lang Lang at his best, performing core Viennese repertoire by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. It displays his enormous talent in both solo and concerto recordings and it serves as manifestation of his signature technique.

“His emotional instincts, married to his flawless piano technique, generate sounds of wonder.” (The Times on Beethoven Concertos).

“The hottest artist on the classical musical planet.” (New York Times)

DG - 4795440

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Dutilleux & Lutoslawski: Cello Concertos

Dutilleux & Lutoslawski: Cello Concertos


Dutilleux:

Tout un monde lointain (Concerto for cello and orchestra)

Serge Baudo

Lutosławski:

Cello Concerto

Witold Lutoslawski


Among Mstislav Rostropovich’s many achievements was his enrichment of the cello repertoire. His passion for the music of his own time encouraged composers to create many dozens of works for him to perform. The two concertos on this disc, by Henri Dutilleux (1916-2013) and Witold Lutosławski (1913-1994), are both modern classics, reflecting Rostropovich’s spirit as they push the boundaries of instrumental possibility while exciting and challenging the audience.

Warner Classics Original Jacket Reissues - 2564609019

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Verdi: Don Carlos (Five-act French version)

Verdi: Don Carlos (Five-act French version)


Roberto Alagna (Carlos), Karita Mattila (Elisabetta), Thomas Hampson (Posa), Jose van Dam (Filippo II), Waltraud Meier (Eboli)

Orchestre de Paris & Chœur du Théâtre du Châtelet, Antonio Pappano (conductor), Luc Bondy (director)

Directed for video by YVES ANDRÉ HUBERT

Executive Producer BEATRICE DUPONT

Set in 16th-century France and Spain, Don Carlos tells of the political and amorous rivalry between King Philip II and his son, Don Carlos, over Elisabeth de Valois. Boasting an international cast in one of Verdi’s most popular operas, Luc Bondy’s moving production is the original French version restored to five acts.

Recorded live at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, in March 1996 and re-mastered in high-definition from the original master tape.

Region-free NTSC (compatible with all modern PAL players)

Dolby Digital audio 5.0 surround & L-PCM stereo / 4:3

Subtitles: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish

“in virtually every respect, the Pappano DVD of the original French version is the one to have; there you sense the full value of Verdi’s original and preferable thoughts in an intelligent, finely sung and directed performance.” Gramophone Magazine

“Now only available on Blu-ray, this 1996 French-language version of the opera (Théâtre du Châtelet) captures Roberto Alagna in full bloom in his finest Verdi role, with Karita Mattila an elegant yet sensual Elisabetta and Waltraud Meier a coruscating but still supremely classy Eboli. Jose van Dam's Filippo has an unusual nobility and humanity, and Thomas Hampson's Posa (a role which he sang superbly only last year at Salzburg) is tremendously moving.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical

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Poulenc: Patricia Petibon

Poulenc: Patricia Petibon


Poulenc:

Gloria

Stabat mater

Litanies à la Vierge noire


Patricia Petibon (soprano)

Choeur de l'Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre de Paris, Paavo Järvi

Marking 50 years since the death of French composer Francis Poulenc, star soprano Patricia Petibon is the soloist in new recordings of his most rapturously beautiful sacred works; “Gloria” and “Stabat Mater”. Conductor Paavo Järvi also makes his DG recording debut, conducting the Orchestre de Paris and their renowned choir.

This major new release for Poulenc year brings together music of breathtaking beauty and originality, as well as Poulenc’s profoundly human spirituality. The album also features Poulenc’s passionate ‘Litanies à la Vierge noire’ (‘Litanies to the black Madonna’), written in response to the tragic death of a fellow composer – a work new to the DG catalogue and performed in the composer’s lesser-known arrangement with orchestral accompaniment. The album is released ahead of the December premiere of a high-profile new production of Poulenc’s famous sacred opera Dialogues des Carmélites at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, in which Patricia Petibon will debut the leading role of Blanche de La Force – an event which will focus the musical world on the memory of a French composer with a truly individual voice.

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

“Petibon brings an extra-terrestrial weightlessness to the 'Domine Deus'...and Järvi astutely manipulates Poulenc's distinctive instrumental timbres while sensitivitely cosseting his equally characteristic purple harmonies...a well-planned cross-section of Poulenc's religious music, admirably performed.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2013

“The performances by the Orchestre et Choeur de l’Orchestre de Paris under Paavo Järvi are superb: the upper voices are outstanding for their warmth and purity, and some occasional rawness in the tenors is the only small blot on a choral sound which manages to be sensuous but never sleazy, and incisive without ever sounding mannered.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 25th November 2013

Presto Disc of the Week

25th November 2013

DG - 4791497

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Fauré: Requiem

Fauré: Requiem

Live Recording


Fauré:

Pavane, Op. 50

Élégie in C minor, Op. 24

Éric Picard (cello)

Super flumina Babylonis, for mixed choir and orchestra

Cantique de Jean Racine, Op. 11

Requiem, Op. 48

Chen Reiss (soprano), Matthias Goerne (baritone) & Philippe Aïche (violin solo)


Choir of the Orchestre de Paris & Orchestre de Paris, Paavo Järvi

EuroArts sucessfull DVD Release now on Blu-ray!

Baritone Matthias Goerne, soprano Chen Reiss and cellist Eric Picard come together at Paris’s renowned Salle Pleyel for a concert of Fauré’s works for chorus and orchestra.

They are joined by the Orchestre de Paris under the baton of its new musical director, the GRAMMY Award-winning conductor Paavo Järvi. Central to the programme is Fauré’s profound and graceful Requiem, which is complemented by the Cantique de Jean Racine and the rarely performed psalm-setting Super flumina Babylonis, all beautifully sung by the Choeur de l’Orchestre de Paris, and imbued with a delicate intensity by Järvi.

With the expressive Élégie for cello and orchestra, this is a luxurious all-Fauré event.

Including a 15 mins Interview with Paavo Järvi as a bonus.

Picture format: 1080i 16:9

Sound formats: PCM Stereo, DD 5.1, DTS 5.1

Region code: all (worldwide)

Subtitles: Latin, German, English, French

Booklet notes: English, German, French

Running time: 87 mins (72 mins Performance & 15 mins Bonus)

“Reiss sings [the Pie Jesu] with feeling, and with audible words” BBC Music Magazine, May 2012 ***

“This is an appealing concert that cleverly mixes the familiar with the unfamiliar and includes a well-known piece in an unfamiliar guise...Jarvi keeps the music flowing along nicely...The violas and cellos are wonderfully expressive throughout...Isabelle Soulard's video direction is pleasingly unobtrusive.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2012

“the expert choir's native French vowel sounds are a joy in themselves, [and] Eric Picard gives a mesmerising account of the haunting cello Elegie...If that wasn't enough, there follows a performance of the Requiem with the sensational Chen Reiss and Matthias Goerne the equal of any I have heard live or on disc...Unmissable.” International Record Review, June 2012

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EuroArts - 2058874

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