Maurice André rightly earned the reputation of being one of the finest trumpet virtuosos from the 20th and 21st centuries. He made numerous concert appearances and recordings and inspired composers like Blacher, Jolivet, and Tomasi to write major works for his instrument.
Autumn 2013 marks Legrand's great return to the music scene: two concerts with Natalie Dessay at The Olympia in Paris (October 28th and 29th) followed by a tour through France and Europe, and also his first memoirs, Rien n'est grave dans les aigus, to be published by the Cherche-Midi Editeur. To tie in with these events, Universal Classics & Jazz France has undertaken the most ambitious, abundantly prolific and extravagant record-project ever devoted to Michel Legrand: a 15CD boxed-set which brings together every face and aspect of every domain on the Legrand continent; in other words, songs, jazz, original film-soundtracks, symphonic works, musicals…
A collection of the most famous and recognisable pieces of music from wedding services of British royalty. A souvenir album in celebration of wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Saturday, 19 May 2018.
These 25 tracks transport you to the heart of Baroque Venice. Vivaldi was a hugely prolific composer – enjoy a selection of his 500 concertos from the incomparable Four Seasons to La Stravaganza and La tempesta di mare as well as vocal and choral works from performers such as Daniel Hope, Magdalena Kozená, Avi Avital and Trevor Pinnock.
(Franz) Joseph Haydn was an Austrian composer of the Classical period. He was instrumental in the development of chamber music such as the piano trio. His contributions to musical form have earned him the epithets "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet". Haydn spent much of his career as a court musician for the wealthy Esterházy family at their remote estate. Until the later part of his life, this isolated him from other composers and trends in music so that he was, as he put it, "forced to become original".[n 3] Yet his music circulated widely, and for much of his career he was the most celebrated composer in Europe. He was a friend and mentor of Mozart, a teacher of Beethoven, and the older brother of composer Michael Haydn.
This stunning and generous collection belongs right at the top of the heap in its respective repertoire. The Debussy is still a comparative rarity in concert if not on disc, a remarkable fact given that it's wholly gorgeous from first note to last. Jean-Efflam Bavouzet's excellence as a Debussy pianist already has been acknowledged by just about everyone who has heard him, and needs no further advertisement here. The performance is outstanding, sensitive to every nuance, but also very French in its clear-eyed sensibility and understanding that focused rhythm and supple tempos prevent the music from turning excessively sentimental or blandly pretty. And in Tortelier, Bavouzet has a conductor who seconds him every step of the way. A similar sensibility informs these swift, razor-sharp, and utterly thrilling accounts of the two Ravel concertos. That for the left hand seldom has sounded so exciting, or in its jazzy central march section, so sinister. Listen to the bite that both soloist and orchestra bring to that descending scale theme, and notice the way Bavouzet shapes his cadenza so as to preserve the illusion of multiple parts played by multiple hands–all without slowing down at the tough passages. It's really an amazing performance by any standard. Even the dark opening, often merely murky on other recordings, has shape and urgency, the buildup to the initial entry of the piano creating incredible tension.
Even though Marc-André Hamelin is world-renowned for his astonishing virtuosity and a massive repertoire of the most demanding piano works, including those of Scriabin, Godowsky, and Sorabji, he has startled many with his sudden turn toward the placid domain of Classical music. First came his critically acclaimed recordings of Franz Joseph Haydn's keyboard sonatas, which were surprise best-sellers for Hyperion, and here he offers a double-CD of the piano sonatas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with a handful of short pieces to round out the discs. Since Hamelin's fine reputation precedes him, suffice it to say that these are among the most meticulously played and wittily interpreted renditions of these pieces ever recorded. Even though Mozart's sonatas are tamer than the showpieces of pianistic derring-do normally associated with Hamelin, they are endlessly fascinating for their skillfully crafted details, subtle phrases, and elegant expressions. Since the issue isn't how Hamelin manages all the notes, but instead how he shapes them into such entertaining and moving performances, there is much food for thought in this album, and anyone who attentively follows his playing will find a deeper appreciation of Mozart. Highly recommended.