sabato 19 luglio 2014

G.Torelli - Concerti Grossi, Op.8

23 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - 109 RAR Mb


Concerto Grosso Op.8, No.12 D-dur
Concerto Grosso Op.8, No.9 e-moll
Concerto Grosso Op.8, No.2 a-moll
Concerto Grosso Op.8, No.6 «Pastorale», g-moll
Concerto Grosso Op.8, No.3 E-dur
Concerto Grosso Op.8, No.8 c-moll

I Musici
dir. Mariana Sirbu

Concerto a 4 violini, a-moll

Musica Antiqua Koln
dir. Reinhard Goebel

Passo di pena in pena

tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 124 Mb

This is the first solo recording of the alto Flavio Ferri-Benedetti and the ensemble Il Profondo. The latter is basically a basso continuo ensemble and obviously mostly cooperates with instrumentalists and singers. For this recording it has been extended by three string players.

It is not so easy to put together a programme for a debut recording. If only mainstream repertoire is chosen, the debutants are up to stiff competition from more seasoned interpreters. Some music lovers may ignore such a recording as they already have the music in other interpretations in their collection. On the other hand, a programme with music by composers hardly anyone knows will probably not get much attention. And that is what is vital for a first recording of performers who are in the early stages of their career.

The programme of this disc is well balanced. It includes a cantata which is a kind of 'evergreen' of baroque vocal music. Vivaldi's cantata Amor hai vinto is frequently performed by male and female altos all over the world, and exists in various recordings. This gives the opportunity to compare the interpretation with existing recordings and to find out where the artists stand in the early music scene. On the other hand we get music by composers who are not unknown quantities - and that certainly goes for Alessandro Scarlatti - but who are represented with pieces which are certainly not familiar. According to the liner-notes the cantata by Porpora is even recorded here for the first time. The trio sonata by Locatelli sheds light on a part of his oeuvre which is lesser known, as he is most famous for his concertos and sonatas for solo violin. Lastly, the character of the cantatas is such that various aspects of the art of singing in the baroque era, and therefore different sides of the soloist's skills, come to the fore. The cantatas by Vivaldi and Porpora are the most virtuosic, Bononcini's cantata is of a mostly lyrical character, whereas Scarlatti's Ombre tacite e sole is the most dramatic.

In a lengthy essay in the booklet José Carlos Cabello describes the historical and social context in which such music was performed. We are talking here about meetings organized by the rich and famous acting as patrons of the arts, and of literature and music in particular. "The organization of these meetings was, for the most powerful circles, the perfect chance to shine more than 'the others', and those who could afford it, did not hesitate to incur in large expenses to ensure the presence of great poets, famous actors and, of course, the best 'music professors' and singers available". It was quite common practice that "the best poets improvised verses that great composers put into music on the go, and excellent singers premiered them just a few hours later in interpretations marked by an extraordinary eloquence that such a unique, creative effervescence favoured". This could well explain that most cantatas were scored for solo voice - mostly soprano - and basso continuo. Often there was just no time to compose and copy parts for melody instruments. The cantatas on this disc are remarkable for the inclusion of parts for strings.

Ombre tacite e sole by Alessandro Scarlatti is even more remarkable since the strings not only participate in the arias, but also in the recitatives. It comprises two pairs of recitative and aria; both recitatives are accompanied, and the first is introduced by a short sinfonia. The scoring points out the dramatic character of this cantata which is very close to opera. The second aria abruptly ends on the a closing note by voice and instruments; there is no ritornello. Other tools which Scarlatti uses to express the text are sudden pauses and daring harmonic progressions. According to Carbello Scarlatti has added a number of indications, for instance in regard to dynamics.

This cantata is quite a challenge for performers and here they can show what they are made of. The interpretation is impressive and is an indication of what is to come. Flavio Ferri-Benedetti has a beautiful voice which he uses intelligently and effectively at the service of text expression. He shows a strong sensitivity towards the text: words and phrases are singled out through the colouring of the voice, dynamic contrast and ornamentation, all according to the affetti which need to be conveyed. His voice can sound sweet and fluent, but also sharp, angry and agitated. The instrumental ensemble displays the same amount of dramatic flair, which comes especially to the fore in the accompanied recitatives. The trials and tribulations of the protagonist in this cantata are perfectly communicated.

Whereas cantatas by Scarlatti are quite popular and regularly performed, the oeuvre of Giovanni Bononcini is hardly explored as yet. There is every reason to change that: he was highly respected in his time and was particularly admired for his melodic inventiveness. Ecco, Dorinda, il giorno is a fine specimen of his style. It begins with a preludio in two contrasting sections (andante and allegro) which is followed by three pairs of recitative and aria. The first aria is a supreme example of Bononcini's melodic skills and Ferri-Benedetti sings it very nicely. His vocal agility is demonstrated in the second aria. Here he also makes use of his chest register which is quite effective. There is no pause between the last recitative and the following accompagnato, another sign of the good sense of drama of the performers.

Every book on music history and many liner-notes mention Porpora, the most famous singing teacher of his time; among his pupils were castrati such as Farinelli and Caffarelli. As a composer he is about to be discovered judging by the number of recordings which have been released in recent years. Since I greatly admire his music I was happy to see one of his cantatas being selected for this programme. It is a beautiful piece with two arias embracing an accompanied recitative. It shows a mixture of the galant Neapolitan idiom and a considerable amount of vocal virtuosity. Ferri-Benedetti masters it impressively, and the whole performance of the first aria has a nice gentle swing. I notice with satisfaction that he resists the temptation to sing the top notes with full power as happens too often. The words "sospiri" (sigh) and "deliri" (rave) are coloured differently.

Vivaldi's cantata Amor hai vinto may be one of the most famous creations of the Venetian master, but this recording has a surprise for us. The second recitative has been preserved in two versions, one secco, the other accompagnato. The second is chosen here. The first aria is taken at quite a brisk tempo. It is beautifully done, but is this an andante? The sea seems a bit rougher here than in other performances. Ferri-Benedetti closes the da capo with a foray to the bottom of his chest register. I can't figure out the reason for that. The vocal acrobatics of the last aria are admirable. In the da capo Ferri-Benedetti probably takes a bit too much freedom in his ornamentation. However, the performance of this cantata as a whole is exciting.

In the middle of the programme is the Sonata a 3 in f minor, op. 8, 9 by Locatelli. As I indicated this is from a part of the composer's oeuvre which is less well-known, but fully deserves attention. The expression of the slow movements comes off very well, thanks to the effective dynamic shading and the perfect intonation. The whole sonata is played with much passion and flair, and the ensemble confirms the positive impression it has made in the cantatas.

I have gone into some detail in this review because I have heard here various things which I consider as indispensable in this kind of repertoire, and which I sorely miss in many recordings.
Firstly, Flavio Ferri-Benedetti acts as a true narrator in the recitatives and puts the text in the centre. He does so by obeying to the metrical flexibility which was expected from interpreters. His delivery is excellent; every word is understandable which is not common in recordings of cantatas and operas.
Secondly, one of the positive features of these performances is the treatment of dynamics. There is a clear dynamic shading and a differentiation between good and bad notes. The stressed syllables and notes are marked through dynamic accentuation, even in case of a swift tempo. As a result the rhythmic pulse is also clearly exposed.
Thirdly, there is a modern trend to exaggerate in regard to ornamentation. In the da capo’s complete lines are virtually rewritten in such a way that the original is almost unrecognizable. These performers have avoided that. They add quite a lot of ornaments, but always in a tasteful way.
Lastly, this disc shows that it is perfectly possible to deliver expressive and theatrical performances of baroque music without an incessant and obtrusive vibrato. Obviously Ferri-Benedetti makes use of vibrato, but then as an ornament, not as a way of singing.

This production is rounded off by an exemplary booklet with an informative essay and interesting personal notes by Ferri-Benedetti.

From whatever angle you look at it: this is an exceptionally fine disc by exceptional artists. We shall hear more from them in the years to come, that's for sure.

Johan van Veen, 4 February 2013


Giovanni BONONCINI (1670-1747): Ecco, Dorinda, il giorno
Pietro Antonio LOCATELLI (1695-1764): Sonata a 3 in f minor, op. 8,9
Nicola Antonio PORPORA (1686-1768): Venticel che tra le frondi
Alessandro SCARLATTI (1660-1725): Ombre tacite e sole
Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741): Amor hai vinto (RV 683)

Flavio Ferri Benedetti, countertenor

Ensemble Il Profondo

Eva Saladin (violin), Sonoko Asabuki (violin),
German Echeverri (viola), Amelie Chemin (violoncello),
Josias Rodriguez Gandara (archlute), Daniele Caminiti (theorbo),
Johannes Keller (harpsichord)

venerdì 18 luglio 2014

Domenico Scarlatti: Complete Keyboard Works

34 CD - MP3 192 Kbps - 35 RAR 2.7Gb

Uploaded - Filefactory

In 1985, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the birth of Scarlatti, French radio broadcast a weekly series of Scarlatti Sonatas played by harpsichordist Scott Ross. By the end of the series Ross had recorded, for the first time, the entire set of the 555 Scarlatti's sonatas. A monumental undertaking, Ross recorded 2 sonatas a day over 15 months, and the result was 34 compact discs packed with these miniature masterpieces, many of which had never been recorded before.

Scott Ross was American-born but lived most of his life in France and Canada. He was already well known for his complete recordings of Rameau's Pièces de Clavecin, and Pièces de Clavecin of Couperin.

But by far his most ambitious project was his recording of all 555 Scarlatti Sonatas, received to much acclaim. He died in 1989 from AIDS, and this set serves as his greatest legacy. Scott Ross elevated the Sonatas from mere musical exercises to one of the great body of works for the keyboard.

Within these 555 Sonatas lies an almost limitless variety of rhythmic and thematic variation. Pick any single Sonata and you are guaranteed of a delight and more than likely a surprise or two as well. Surprises in the form of unusual key shifts, keyboard virtuosity or unexpected dissonances.

The fact they they all follow the baroque binary form (A-B-A) makes their variety even more striking. Dancelike and cheerful, or contemplative and moody, each of Scarlatti's Sonatas is individual and as a body of work, they are deceptively profound.

Domenico Scarlatti had an odd life. The favourite son of the respected operatic composer Alessandro Scarlatti, Domenico was groomed to follow in his father's footsteps. His early works, operas and cantatas, are forgetable.

In 1719 he moved to Portugal to teach the Infanta Maria Barbara, later to become Queen of Spain. Here is where his own style of music flourished, away from the shackles of his domineering father. It was for the Queen that he composed his Sonatas, Italian in style, but heavily laced with the Spanish rhythms of his adopted country. He never returned to his homeland Italy.


1. Kk 1-19 (CD1)
2. Kk 20-30 (CD2)
3. Kk 31-48 (CD3)
4. Kk 49-66 (CD4)
5. Kk 67-80, 82-87, 92, 93 (CD5)
6. Kk 94-112 (CD6)
7. Kk 113-125 (CD7)
8. Kk 126-139 (CD8)
9. Kk 140-155 (CD9)
10. Kk 156-172 (CD10)
11. Kk 173-188 (CD11)
12. Kk 189-203 (CD12)
13. Kk 204a-216 (CD13)
14. Kk 217-229 (CD14)
15. Kk 230-243 (CD15)
16. Kk 244-257 (CD16)
17. Kk 258-267 (CD17)
18. Kk 268-286 (CD18)
19. Kk 289-301 (CD19)
20. Kk 302-317 (CD20)
21. Kk 318-327, 329-338 (CD 21)
22. Kk 339-355 (CD22)
23. Kk 356-371 (CD 23)
24. Kk 372-391 (CD24)
25. Kk 392-409 (CD25)
26. Kk 410-427 (CD26)
27. Kk 428-448(CD27)
28. Kk 449-467 (CD28)
29. Kk 468-484 (CD29)
30. Kk 485-500 (CD30)
31. Kk 501-519 (CD31)
32. Kk 520-539 (CD32)
33. Kk 540-555 (CD33)
34. Kk 81, 88-91, 287, 288, 328 (CD34)

Scott Ross (harpsichord)

[In disc no. 34]:
Scott Ross (harpsichord, organ)
with (passim)
Monica Huggett (violin)
Christophe Coin (violoncello)
Michel Henry (oboe)
Marc Vallon (bassoon)

Emanuel Siprutini - 6 Solos for Violoncello Op.7

18 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 104 Mb

Nornar - Uploaded - Filefactory

The son of a Dutch Jew, Siprutini is known to have traveled in Italy and Spain. Leopold Mozart, father of the great composer, met him in London in 1764 and mentioned him as a great virtuoso on the cello. He also tried to convert him to Catholicism, but although Siprutini had by this time abandoned Jewish observances there is no evidence that he ever left Judaism. He dedicated his Six Solos for a Violoncello (1775?) to the English Jewish communal leader, Moses Franks (1719–89). At a later date Siprutini lived in Belgium as a wine-merchant. (Other news here)


Sonata No.1 in D major
Sonata No.2 in F major
Sonata No.3 in A major
Sonata No.4 in G major
Sonata No.5 in C major
Sonata No.6 in B flat major

Balázs Maté (Cello)Lucia Krommer (Cello)
György Janszó (Double Bass)
Istvan Györi (Guitar)
Miklós Spányi (Harpsichord & Organ)

giovedì 17 luglio 2014

Nicola Antonio Porpora - Passio

9 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 110 Mb

Nicola Antonio Porpora (1686-1768) was a celebrated composer and singing teacher, his ability to set the Italian language to music was internationally acknowledged during his lifetime. In a career that spanned almost seventy years Porpora worked mainly in Naples, Rome, Venice, London, Dresden and Vienna. As a singing teacher he created stars such as Farinelli, Caffarelli and Porporino. Much of his compositional output is of exceptional quality. He made his chief contribution in the vocal realm, having written many worthwhile secular and sacred operas, oratorios, serenatas, and cantatas, as well as various lamentations and duets.The six vocal pieces on Latin text - Sei duetti latini sulla passione di nostro signore Gesù Cristo (1754) - were dedicated to the Electoral Prince of Saxony for private devotional use ("to be sung on Lent Fridays in the Chapel of His Most Serene Highness"). The songs fit perfectly into the definition of the genre of the Italian Chamber Duet (Italienische Kammerduette), with the only peculiarity of presenting a Latin text. Written as da capo arias for two voices and continuo, at this time the Italian Chamber Duets are usually intended as the refined genre par excellence. The collection can be read as a kind of presentation of Porpora's abilities, his taste and his inventiveness.


Duetto 1: Crimen Adae quantum constat
Duetto 2: Rigate lacrimis
Duetto 3: Mortis causa tu fuisti
Fuga 5
Duetto 4: In hoc vexillo Crucis
Duetto 5: Tamquam agnus immolatur
Duetto 6: Ab imo pectore
Fuga 6 Diatonico Enarmonico Cromatico
Nicola Porpora
Miserere di Anonimo Italiano

Stile Galante
dir. Stefano Aresi

Pachelbel - Vespers

41 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - 110 RAR Mb

For those who know Pachelbel only through the Canon, this disc will be revelatory. The music, unearthed and edited by Kah-Ming Ng, comes from a manuscript now in the Bodleian Library. It's not a complete Vespers setting, but includes five settings of the Ingressus and two Magnificats, all composed for a rich-textured ensemble of voices, strings and continuo. The influence of Monteverdi is evident in the music's contrasts of scoring and of mood, and in the sheer delight Pachelbel takes in writing virtuoso passage work. But there's also some counterpoint that looks forward to Bach. Each piece is beautifully served by the ensemble.


1.Ingressus in C minor [originally in D minor] P92
2.Magnificat in C major [orig. E-flat major] P250
3.Johann Krieger (1652 - 1735) - Sonata - 5 in A minor
4.Ingressus in E minor [G minor] P96
5.Ingressus in G major [A major] P97
6.Ingressus in G minor [A minor] P98
7.Johann Caspar Kerll (1627 - 1693) - Sonata - 5 in G minor
8.Magnificat in F major [G major] P253
9.Ingressus in B-flat major [C major] P88

The King's Singers
Charivari Agreable
dir. Kah-Ming Ng

mercoledì 16 luglio 2014

G.Gabrieli - Sonate e Canzoni

18 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 118 Mb

Giovanni Gabrieli's magnificent works for two or more "choirs" of brass instruments playing in dialogue are perennial favorites of brass ensembles--modern symphonic brass players as well as early instrument specialists. Yet Gabrieli was a renowned organist as well, and his instrumentalists at San Marco in Venice often played from the organ lofts. Unfortunately, modern performances of Gabrieli's instrumental music often de-emphasize the instrument (using only modest chamber organs) or forgo it altogether. This is in part because the two famously sweet-sounding organs Gabrieli played in San Marco have long since disappeared; luckily, a pair of organs from the period have survived at the Basilica of San Petronio in Bologna. Concerto Palatino, the prince of Renaissance brass ensembles, has made this recording at San Petronio so as to restore the organ to its rightful place in Gabrieli's ensemble music. The Basilica's organs are indeed sweet-sounding, yet with a surprising range of color--from gentle flutelike tone and nasal reeds to (in a couple of double-choir brass sonatas played on the two organs) a timbre very like the antique brass instruments. The recorded sound is excellent: close enough to keep Gabrieli's intricate writing clear while capturing the Basilica's famous reverberance. Concerto Palatino's playing here doesn't quite catch fire the way it can when they play with a conductor (such as Konrad Junghänel or Andrew Parrott), but it is immaculate, sensitive, and elegant. --Matthew Westphal


1. Canzon Septimi Toni
2. Canzon V
3. Canzon Primi Toni
4. Canzon noni Toni
5. Canzon VIII
6. Canzon X
7. Ricercar Del Primo Tono
8. Canzon Duodecimi Toni
9. Canzon Seconda
10. Canzon In Echo Duodecimi Toni
11. Canzon Septimi Toni
12. Canzon VI
13. Canzon Duodecimi Toni
14. Canzon XI
15. Son Octavi Toni
16. Canzon XII
17. Canzon XIV
18. Canzon XVI

Liuwe Tamminga, organ
Jan-Willem Jansen, organ
Charles Toet, trombone

Concerto Palatino
dir. Bruce Dickey

La Rocque'n'Roll

26 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 120 Mb

Its cute title may mislead, but La Rocque 'n' Roll is neither a crossover album nor an anachronistic popularization of French Renaissance music. The Baltimore Consort brings vitality to its performances, and a little roughness at times, yet it does not use commercial gimmicks for the purpose of enticing new listeners. Conversely, the ensemble avoids sounding unduly chaste, that other pitfall of early music performance. Without pretensions toward authenticity, but with absolute confidence in their scholarship and skills, the musicians play the music honestly and openly, and with a virtuosity that seems effortless. Mary Anne Ballard, Mark Cudek, Larry Lipkis, and Chris Norman change off from their primary instruments to improvise on a wide array of viols, flutes, recorders, reeds, and guitars, while Ronn McFarlane plays three lutes chosen for their different timbres. Sometimes controversial for her theatricality, soprano Custer LaRue is subtle in her performances here, tastefully characterizing the chansons only when their texts call for it. Most often, her voice is full and affecting, and her pronunciation of Middle French is excellent. Highlights of this disc include the lively dances by Michael Praetorius, Ballard's charming viol solo in Giovanni Bassani's Ung Gai Bergiere, and Jehan Planson's Une nimphe jolie, where LaRue's singing is most enchanting.


1 - J'ai vû le loup - French Traditional
2 - Has tu poiint veu - Adrian Le Roy
3 - Branle double - Michael Praetorius
4 - Branle de Montirande - Michael Praetorius
5 - Bransle de la torche - Michael Praetorius
6 - Mignonne, allons voir si la rose - Jehan Chardavoine
7 - Divisions on Frais et Gaillard - Giovanni Bassano
8 - Une m'avoit promis - Adrian Le Roy
9 - La Volte - Michael Praetorius
10 - Mes pas semez - Adrian Le Roy
11 - Gaillarde d'escosse - Pierre Phalèse
12 - Laroque galliarde - Pierre Phalèse
13 - Alemande de Liège - Pierre Phalèse
14 - Ma bergère, ma lumière - Jehan Planson
15 - Estans assis - Louis Bourgeois
16 - Prelude - Pierre Attaingnant
17 - Tant que vivrait en eage florissant - Claudin de Sermisy
18 - Ung Gai Bergier for recorder & continuo - Giovanni Bassano
19 - O Madame, pers-je mon tems - Pierre Certon
20 - J'ay le rebours - Adrian Le Roy
21 - Branles de Village - Robert Ballard
22 - Une jeune fillette - Jehan Chardavoine
23 - Le jeune fillette, for lute - Daniel Bacheler
24 - Une jeune fillette - Eustache du Caurroy
25 - Une nimphe jolie - Jehan Planson
26 - Jean de Nivelle - Jacques Mangeant

The Baltimore Consort

martedì 15 luglio 2014

G. Sammartini - Sonaten fur Blockfloten

24 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 93 Mb


Sonata for recorder & continuo in G minor
Sonata for recorder & continuo in F major
Concerto for harpsichord No. 3 in D minor
(arranged by Thomas Billington from Op. 7/3)
Sonata for recorder & continuo in B flat major
Sonata No. 3 in A minor for cello & continuo, Op. 1
Sinfonia in G major for recorder & continuo
Concerto for recorder & continuo in F major (Parma No. 9)

Ensemble Mediolanum

Sabine Ambos (Blockflöte)
Wiebke Weidanz (Harpsichord)
Felix Koch (Cello)

J.M.Leclair - The Complete Flute Sonatas

2 CD - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 197 Mb


Sonata in E minor, Op. 2, No. 1
Sonata in C major, Op. 1, No. 2
Sonata in C major, Op. 2, No. 3
Sonata in G major, Op. 2, No. 5
Sonata in E minor, Op. 1, No. 6
Sonata in B minor, Op. 2, No. 11
Sonata in D major, Op. 2, No. 8
Sonata in E minor, Op. 9, No. 2
Sonata in G major, Op. 9, No. 7

Barthold Kuijken, flute
Robert Kohnen, harpsichord
Wieland Kuijken, gamba

lunedì 14 luglio 2014

Telemann - Hamburger Admiralitatsmusik

2 CD - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 180 Mb

For a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Admiralty, the agency controlling the maritime and mercantile affairs of the Free City of Hamburg, a great festivity was held in April of 1723. Both before and after a commemorative banquet, new musical works of the city's official composer, Georg Philipp Telemann were performed. One of these, for after the meal, was a Serenade or large cantata to words of the distinguished local poet Michael Richey, known today as the Hamburg Admiralty Music. Performed before the meal was an orchestral Suite in C called Hamburg Ebb and Flow (or, more sensibly, The Tides of Hamburg), also known nowadays as Telemann's Wasser-Music. It has been one of Telemann's most popular works on record, perhaps partly because of the title, which reminds people of Handel's Water Music.


Overture in C
Hamburger Admiralitatsmusik


Mieke Van der Sluis (Soprano)
Graham Pushee (Tenor)
Rufus Müller (Tenor)
Klaus Mertens (Bass)
David Thomas (Bass)
Michael Schopper (Bass)

Alsfelder Vokalensemble
Barockorchester Bremen
dir. Wolfgang Helbrich

domenica 13 luglio 2014

Tartini - The Devil's Sonata and other works

26 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 111 Mb

This is one of the craziest classical CDs you will ever hear, but the madness is inspired. Andrew Manze, following a suggestion in one of Tartini's letters, gets rid of the published accompaniment and plays these pieces on the solo violin. In the other three works he takes plenty of liberties, but in the famous Devil's Trill Sonata he embellishes, improvises, departs from the text and comes back again. The verbal description sounds like my idea of a nightmare, but the execution is so inspired that this is one of the most compelling Baroque performances ever. Whether it is "authentic" or not, I have no idea, and Manze probably doesn't either. But this is a recording you will remember. --

Leslie Gerber


La Sonata del Diavolo in G minor
Theme and variation from "L'arte del arco"
Sonata in A minor
Pastorale for violin in scordatura

Andrew Manze, violin