sabato 20 dicembre 2014

At The Sign of the Crumhorn

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 This disc offers an approach to performance that emphasizes the music’s popular context and secular function. In other words, the singing style is plain, somewhat earthy, and full of energy and a sort of naïve expressiveness. The instrumental pieces carry their own distinctive character, owing to the unique timbres of the instruments themselves–crumhorn, trombone, shawm, recorder, gamba, lute–and to the liveliness of the arrangements, which primarily are in the form of dances. The musical sources are the published collections of Tielman Susato, a noted 16th-century composer, performer, arranger, and music publisher. His extensive volumes contain excellent examples of Flemish vocal and instrumental music of the period from a variety of composers. As you might expect, the songs and dances come in all variety of performing configurations, and the members of the ensemble Convivium Musicum Gothenburgense excel at keeping the program moving and have good instincts for appealing instrumental and vocal groupings. Although for my taste their “unpolished” manner emerges a bit too prominently on some of the vocal selections, these are solid, savvy musicians who obviously are having fun with their material–just as the original performers undoubtedly did.


1. Hellinc - Come out all
2. Baston - Needles, needles
3. Susato - Den 3 Ronde + Den 4 Ronde + Les quatre Branles
4. anon - In sorrow must I die
5. anon - I carry in my heart
6. Souliaert - Be sure to drink in moderation
7. Appenzeller - A Venus creature
8. anon - How sorrowful is my heart
9. Hellinc - New Almanack
10. Susato - In the middle of May
11. Baston - A Guild has its wench
12. anon - My heart has secretly departed
13. Susato - My beloved's brown eyes
14. anon - Ye noble young spirits
15. Susato - Ronde 4-1-6
16. Susato - Fool's entr'acte
17. Clemens non Papa - Beautiful Venus
18. Susato - Hoboken Dance
19. Souliaert - I went out last night
20. Susato - Allemande 4-3-6
21. Susato - Gaillarde 1-2-3
22. Verbonnet - You are the most precious
23. Souliaert - Pain and sorrow + I mourn
24. Susato - O time so heartily full of melodies
25. anon - Now take note
26. anon - Here we come
27. anon - A girl came walking by I
28. anon - A girl came walking by II
29. Susato - Ronde 3-4

Convivium Musicum Gothenburgense

venerdì 19 dicembre 2014

J.D.Heinichen - Galant Court Music

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Heinichen becane a atudent at the St. Thomas School under Bach's predecessor, Kuhnau, and later teacher of Graupner. Heinichen continued in Leipzig to study law at the university there. In 1710 he visited Italy, where, in 1711, he produced an important book on the thoroughbass that was later revised as Der Generalbass in der Composition (1728). After six years in Italy, Heinichen worked briefly for Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cöthen (1717, the same year that Bach began his appointment in the same court). Heinichen soon became Kapellmeister to the Elector of Saxony and King of Poland in Dresden. Although he composed more than 150 sacred choral works, Heinichen is remembered today mainly for his contributions to music theory. 


Concerto a 7, G-Dur Seibel 214
Concerto g-moll, Seibel 237
Overture G-Dur, Seibel 206
Concerto A-Dur, Seibel 228
Concerto D-Dur, Seibel 224
Concerto G-Dur, Seibel 205

Il Fondamento
dir. Paul Dombrecht

giovedì 18 dicembre 2014

Roots of the Balkan

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The twelve members of Ensemble Renaissance perform these pieces with true authority and, to this listener, they are authentic to the last. The group utilises upfront fiddles and bagpipes in addition to more local/regional instruments (saz, kaval etc.). The dance tunes, with their unusual and shifting time signatures, are everything you might imagine had sparked the imagination and creative impulse of Bartók on his field excursions to research the folk music of this and adjacent areas. (continue HERE:)


Easter Serbia
01 - Igra i pesma 'Sitan biber' (Wedding dance & song)
02 - Nocna putnicka melodija (Night travel melody)
03 - Putnicka pesma 'Visoko drvo, lad nema' (Travel melody)
04 - Tri igre- Ostroljanka, Polomka, Cigancica (3 Dances)
Kossovo & Metochia
05 - 'Marijo, deli, bela kumrijo (Ah! Mary my Sweet Dove)
06 - 'Crna zemljo, sestro' (Black Earth my Sister)
07 - 'Oh, jabuko, zeleniko' (Hey You! Green Apple-Tree)
08 - 'Izvor voda izvirase' (Spring Water)
09 - 'Soko bira, gde ce naci mira'
10 - 'Oj, mori vrbo, zelena (Hey You! Green Willow)
11 - 'Svunoc mi sanak ne dodje'
12 - 'Kisa pada, trava raste' (Come the Rain, Grow the Grass)
13 - 'Gusta mi magla pandala' (The Dense Fog Came Down)
Central Serbia
14 - Cetiri igre- Stara setnja, Zavrzlama, Siljcici - Poljanka
15 - Tri igre- Cigancica, Stara cranjanka, Zavrzlama (3 Dances)
16 - Dve igre- Gajdica, Sareno oro (2 Dances)
17 - Sedam igara iz Levca (7 dances from Levach)
South Serbia
18 - Pesma 'Sadila moma lojze' (The Maidin Puts the Grepevine in)
19 - Kasapsko kolo (Buthcher's Wheel Dance)
20 - Skomraska igra (Jugglers' Play)
21 - Devojacko kolo (Maidens Wheel Dance)

Ensemble Renaissance

mercoledì 17 dicembre 2014

W.A.Mozart meets Mr.Hogwood

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L'Oiseau Lyre's Mozart: The Symphonies, performed by the Academy of Ancient Music under Christopher Hogwood, is the ne plus ultra of Mozart symphony sets. Many "complete" collections of this cycle omit Symphony No. 37 as the better part of it is composed not by Mozart but by Michael Haydn as the result of a backroom trade of compositions between the two old friends. Most do not address the Mozart symphonies that are considered doubtful or that fall outside the accepted canon of Numbers 1-41, and few more contain orchestral Mozart works related to his symphonic output but are technically not symphonies. Hogwood's set, however, contains everything of Mozart's symphonic or near-symphonic music -- excepting most opera overtures, dances, and divertimenti -- as was understood at the time of its release in 1997.

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This is an opera seria, the same kind of opera composed by Handel a half-century earlier and many others in the century before him. It was already very old-fashioned when Mozart took it up (on a royal commission, an offer he couldn't refuse), finishing it only a few months before his death. The unlikely plot inspired some of the greatest music Mozart ever composed--music that breathed new life into the rickety opera seria form. Christopher Hogwood has assembled a superb array of specialists to perform with his period-instrument orchestra and do this underappreciated opera musical and stylistic justice.Joe McLellan

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Christopher Hogwood has previously released recordings of music by Bach and Handel on the clavichord. Each of these is called "The Secret ..." because it represents private and personal music making in one's home. This wonderful disk presents music by Mozart, which is particularly nice because we associate his music so much with the piano (though his piano was vastly different than the usual iron framed, long ringing piano we play on today).

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These two serenades used to be practically unknown fifty years ago, except to specialists and the public at the Salzburg Festival: now they are among Mozartian favourites.

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Hogwood chooses to use the Maunder edition which substitutes key sections with pieces from other Mozart compositions in an effort to keep the composition as purely Mozart as possible. In doing so, he may have achieved to some degree a more "pure" Mozart authorship, but on the other hand the piece has lost it's overall musical structure and proportion and in this respect it is clearly less "Mozartian".

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“Mozart left unfinished the work that ought to have been the choral masterpiece of his early Viennese years but there's enough of it to make up nearly an hour's music – music that's sometimes sombre, sometimes florid, sometimes jubilant. Hogwood avoids any charge of emotional detachment in his steady and powerful opening Kyrie, monumental in feeling, dark in tone; and he brings ample energy to the big, bustling choruses of the Gloria – and its long closing fugue is finely sustained. The clarity and ring of the boys' voices serve him well in these numbers. There's a strong solo team, headed by the late Arleen Auger in radiant, glowing voice and, as usual, singing with refined taste; Lynne Dawson joins her in the duets, John Mark Ainsley too in the trio. But this is essentially a 'soprano mass' – Mozart wrote it, after all, with the voice of his new wife (and perhaps thoughts of the much superior one of her sister Aloysia) in his mind – and Auger, her voice happily stealing in for the first time in the lovely 'Christe', excels in the florid and expressive music of the 'Et incarnatus' (where Richard Maunder has supplied fuller string parts than usual, perhaps fuller than Mozart would have done had he finished the work). Hogwood directs with his usual spirit and clarity.”

Inserisci link
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Mozart's Horn Concertos, along with his earlier Symphonies and Violin Sonatas, Church Sonatas and the two Piano Quartets, are among his most underrated compositions, if not the most underrated.

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If you respond to Kirkby's elegant voice, which has the character almost of a boy soprano, you will love this album. This Exsultate Jubilate is a slight variant of the familiar staple. Oboes are replaced with flutes and the words are slightly altered, but these changes are minor. Kirkby's angelic soprano sails through the work with effortless skill and a beauty that will have you listening with rapt attention to every note. The three rarities included, the Ego interest and the two Reginas, are real gems, especially the charming Regina K. 108, which alone would be worth the price.

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CD 1 - - CD 2
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Christopher Hogwood and company score again with a rousing yet reverant telling of two of Mozart's less frequently heard choral works. The Coronation Mass is a thrill; crisply sung with refreshingly clear intonation and toning. The solo quartet features uniformly strong singers who zip and soar with Mozartian ease. It's been quite a while since I've heard as strong a quartet as this. This production of the Mass alone would place Mozart on a pedestal!
The production of the Vesperae Solennes is also majestic and exuberant. The Laudate Dominum is clearly the strongest of the movements; the soprano solo literally floats above what must be heaven itself.
The latin is not the vulgare pronounciation usually heard in choral readings - but that quibbling can be left to scholars. The rest of us can just hook up and enjoy.

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This CD is a successful coming-together of two of Mozart's best concerti, two brilliant soloists and some very good conducting.
More often than not, the Oboe Concerto in C is heard in its flute version - transposed to the key of D. This recording presents Mozart's original layout of the oboe concerto played with period instruments or accurate replicas. The bold stability of the key of C major suits the optimism of this concerto, composed in what many call Mozart's mid-period. Fresh yet mature, the language is extremely expressive. The contrast between the three movements goes to the heart of 18th-Century theory on dramatic contrasts - with the confident Allegro, the lyric Adagio and the bouncy Allegretto.
The Clarinet Concerto brings the listener to another mood - that of Mozart's more somber "third period." Compared to the oboe concerto, the tones are darker, the melodic phrases longer and the counterpoint between the solo and the orchestral voices more complex and pronounced.

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This lovely collection, recorded in 1988 and '89, finds Emma Kirkby at her mature best. The voice is still silvery and smallish, but it has the low notes, although they are certainly not as impressively dramatic as the top and middle ones are lustrous. This problem is most noticeable in "Ah, lo prevedi", a huge aria filled with pain and anger, where a type of darkness simply not available to Kirkby would be welcome. But hearing her whip through "Aer tranquillo" and bathing in her liquidy silver tone in the gorgeous "L'amero saro costante" (both from Il re pastore) is a true delight, and Stephen Lubin's translucent pianoforte goes ideally with Kirkby's sound in "Ch'io mi scordi di te". "Nehmt meinen Dank" features Kirkby in concert with flute, oboe, and bassoon, and it is here that we truly appreciate the contribution of Christopher Hogwood and his Academy: singer, conductor, and band think and perform as one.
Robert Levine,


Aer tranquillo e dì sereni (Il re pastore, K208)
L'amerò, sarò costante (Il re pastore, K208)
Voi avete un cor fedele (K217)
Ah, lo previdi (K272)
Ruhe sanft, mein holdes Leben (Zaide, K344)
Trostlos schluchzet Philomele (Zaide, K344
Nehmt meinen Dank, ihr holden Goenner! (K383)
Ch'io mi scordi di te (K505)

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The pianist Robert Levin is a man with a mission: "When improvisation regains its former position at the center of Classical music making, perhaps the gap between composer and performer, between old and new music, between vernacular and art music, and between Classical performer and audience will narrow." Levins growing number of collaborations with Christopher Hogwood's Academy of Ancient Music on the Mozart piano concertos brilliantly argues his case with clarity and conviction. Here, on the Piano Concertos No. 22 and No. 23, the sense of ensemble seems to have become even tighter and the element of improvisation more unexpected and, while always tasteful, more daring than in their previous recordings of the Mozart concertos. This is music making that is scrupulous and refined though never stuffy. Levin seems completely at home on the faithfully restored 1795 Anton Walter fortepiano. As always with Hogwoods recordings, the production quality is on a very high level, and the liner notes are ample and engagingly edifying. 

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This remarkable performance is all the more interesting for the presence of Mozart's own fortepiano. Its strong, clear tone is perfectly suited to the interpretation of Mozart, lending a magical aura to the proceedings.
Robert Levin's grace at the keyboard has earned him a worldwide reputation. His confident approach to Mozart's Piano Concertos Nos. 15 and 26, especially his improvised cadenzas, proves his merit. His skilled musicianship, paired with his unique instrument, make this album a novel experience.
Those familiar with recordings of these concertos made with contemporary instruments may be surprised by the difference period instruments make. The Academy of Ancient Music, led by conductor Christopher Hogwood, completes the effect with a full orchestra of instruments authentic to the era.
The heart of this recording is, of course, the music. The differing instruments highlight the core beauty of Mozart's work, shedding new light on his unwavering prominence as the world's favorite composer.

martedì 16 dicembre 2014

M.A.Charpentier - Musique de Theatre

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It's a beautiful recording of some of the best instrumental pieces written by Marc-Antoine Charpentier, a sacred choral music composer who tried his hand with music for Moliere's plays. Highly recommended.


Sonate à Huit H.548
Musique de Theatre pour Andromède H.504
Concert pour quatre parties de violes H.545
Musique de Theatre pour Circé H.496

London Baroque
dir. Charles Medlam

lunedì 15 dicembre 2014

Danze e musiche del Rinascimento Italiano (Vinyl rip)

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Giorgio Mainerio: Suite dal "Primo libro de balli":
1. Pass'e mezzo della paganina
2. Putta nera ballo furlano
3. Tedesca 1
4. Tedesca 2
5. La lavandara gagliarda
6. Ungaresca
(ob. bsn. perc.)7. Giovanni Gabrieli: Canzon a 7
8. Giovanni Gabrieli: Canzon a 5
9. Giovanni Gabrieli: Canzon a 6
(rec. vle. lut. spi)
10. Giovanni Gastoldi: Capriccio a due voci
11. Vincenzo Galilei: Capriccio a due voci
12. Giovanni Gastoldi: Capriccio a due voci
13. Alessandro Orologio: Intrada a 5
14. Alessandro Orologio: Intrada a 5
(ob. bsn. perc.)
15. Francesco Bendusi: Cortesa padana e frusta
16. Anonimo: Le forze d'Ercole e tripla
(cru. perc.)
17. Vincenzo Ruffo: Capriccio ''Dormendo un giorno'' (Verdelot)
18. Vincenzo Ruffo: Capriccio ''La gamba in basso e soprano''
(vle. bsn.)
19. Vincenzo Galilei: Contrappunto per due liuti
20. Johannes Matelart (da Francesco Canova da Milano): Fantasia per due liuti
21. Giovanni Bassano (da Luca Marenzio): Tirsi morir volea
(rec. lut.)
22. Sperindio Bartoldo: Petit fleur
23. Sperindio Bartoldo: Canzone francese

Ensemble Ricercare di Zurigo - dir.Michel Piguet
Michel Piguet, Richard Erig, Renate Hildebrand, Käte Wagner, Nils Ferber
(recorder, oboe, bassoon, crumhorn)
Anne van Royen, Anthony Bailes (lutes)
Jordi Savall, Adelheid Glatt (viole de gambe)
Martha Gmunder (spinet)
Dieter Dyk (percussions)

domenica 14 dicembre 2014

J.M.Molter - Orchestral & Chamber Music

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Music of the period between the High Baroque of Bach and Vivaldi and the High Classical music of Haydn and Mozart has lately been the focus of energetic exploration by historical-instrument ensembles. Italy was in the stylistic forefront of what became the symphony, but experiments in putting together what we know as the exquisitely balanced forms of the late eighteenth century occurred in various parts of Europe. This disc offers a fair sampling of the music of Johann Melchior Molter, a composer active in the German cities of Eisenach and Karlsruhe. There are two pieces titled "Ouverture," essentially French dance suites that are starting to show the influence of the symphony and replace some of the dances with Classical-sounding fast movements. There is one sonata for violin and one for transverse flute, each with continuo; these are technically athletic works. An oboe concerto, influenced by Vivaldi but containing some distinctive and forward-looking orchestral remarks in the middle of its oboe solos, is also included. This album is intended mostly for those with a special interest in music of the early Classical period, as evidenced by the astonishing first sentence of its liner notes: "You certainly know Johann Melchior Molter by name ...." Most of us have at best a vague awareness that he wrote some trumpet concertos that showed up on Maurice André anthologies and the like. The music is a mixed bag. These works, especially the twisty, difficult Violin Sonata, Op. 1/6, were rather challenging in their day, and they aren't likely to satisfy buyers in search of casual listening. On the other hand, the range of genres and forces included makes the disc quite useful for those interested in delving more deeply into German music of this era. The performances by Nova Stravaganza and their harpsichordist leader Siegbert Rampe are brisk and bracing. James Manheim


Ouverture MWV III/9
2 oboes, bassoon, 2 violins, viola & continuo
Sonata MWV XI/13
transverse flute & continuo
Concerto MWV VI/21
oboe concertato, 2 violins, viola & continuo
Sonata op. 1,6 MWV XI/6
violin & continuo
Ouverture MWV III-13
2 horns, 2 oboes, bassoon, 2 violins, viola & continuo

Nova Stravaganza
dir. Siegbert Rampe