Sunday, December 31, 2017

Tartini, Giuseppe.(1692-1770) The Complete Violin Concertos. CD 8.

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: 2017.
First listen: 30-12-2017.
Label: Dynamic.
CD 8 from 29.
Recording dates: October 1998.
Venue: Villa Cordellina, Vincentia Italy.
Engineer:Marco Lincetto.
Time: 67:53.

Works on CD 8.
Violin Concertos:

Concerto in B flat major, Non sospirar, non piangere.
in F major/D minor/C major


L'Arte Dell 'Arco.

As my review of CD 7. It flows easily.
There is a tad too much echo in this recording.
Detailing is excellent though.





Thursday, December 28, 2017

Tartini, Giuseppe.(1692-1770) The Complete Violin Concertos. CD 7.

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: 2017.
First listen: 28-12-2017.
Label: Dynamic.
CD 7 from 29.
Recording dates: April 1998.
Venue: Villa Cordellina, Vincentia Italy.
Engineer:
Fabio Framba.
Time: 63:39.

Works on CD 7.

Violin Concertos:

In E minor, "Bagna le piume in Lete".
C major/F major/G major.


L'Arte Dell 'Arco.

The recordings at least are much better as the first 5 CD'S of this box. Overall the playing gets better, but the tempi are still middle of the road. Interpretative there is more to be had.  The violin playing, especially by Federico Guglielmo is pointier and the bowing has more expressive power in it. The BC has it moments too.



Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Tartini, Giuseppe.(1692-1770) The Complete Violin Concertos. CD 6.

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: 2017.
First listen: 26-12-2017.
Label: Dynamic.
CD 6 from 29.
Recording dates: October 1997.
Venue: Villa Cordellina, Vincentia Italy.
Engineer: Marco Lincetto.
Time: 73:55.

Works on CD 6.

Violin Concertos:
In D major "Il Crudel".
In G minor/G major/A minor.

L'Arte Dell 'Arco.

All is well played and better recorded with the new engineer. But it is still old fashioned playing with matching inert movements. The context is rather romantically inclined, and the authentic baroque elements are sadly missing, at least for me. Phrasing seems to be a tad better, but the bowing is not always as correct as it should be. Legato is applied as much as the instruments allow. Many a time the tone is wobbly to say the least. Overall the playing is a bit tighter.



Saturday, December 23, 2017

Haydn, Michael. (1737-1806) The Complete String Quintets. (Second Rerun)

From my collection.
Date of purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 14-12-2017.  (First review date)
Second listen: 23-12-2017.
Label: CPO.
2 CD'S.
Recording dates: December 2013.
Venue: Palais Kuenburg, Salzburg.
Engineer: Stephan Reh.
Time: 76:58 & 59:04.

Works on CD 1 & 2.
See heading.

Performed by:
Salzburger Haydn Quintett.


They are getting better after listening for the second time.



Friday, December 22, 2017

The Parisian Symphony. CD 6. Works by Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven.

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 22-12-2017.
Label: Ricercar.
CD 6 from 7.
Recording dates:  Between 2008-2014
Venue: Namur, Theatre Royal?
Engineer: Manuel Mohino.
Time: 56:22.

Works on CD 6:
Joseph Haydn, Misera noi, misera Patria, Hob XXIVa:7.
Jodie Devos, Soprano.

Concerto in E flat major, Hob. VIIe:1 for Keyed trumpet and Orchestra.
Jean François Madeuf, Keyed trumpet.

Ludwig van Beethoven. Symphony No. 2 in D major, opus 36.

Performed by:
Les Agrémens, Guy van Waas.

I was pleasantly surprised by the soprano Jodie Devos in a piece by Haydn with which this disc starts. Only natural vibrato, notes clear as a bell, and no overdramatizing of words or music. Even the top notes were more than acceptable. so there exists sopranos I like apart from my usual suspects. The music an sich was not really appealing to me, but I liked it nevertheless. The concerto for keyed trumpet was a first for me, for usually I avoid trumpet concertos. But Madeuf's playing is excellent and as riveting as I expected it to be. Neither a favourite piece for me, but a very pleasant listen.
I was really curious after the Beethoven, and I can say that this also was a surprise for me.
Tempi spot on, detailing absolute gorgeous, dynamics well chosen, and accents in all the places were they should be. Van Waas is direct and clear sighted and spacious in his approach. The performance is guided with a sure hand and a sense of inevitability, but also meticulous in observing tempo and dynamic markings. And it is just this attention to dynamic levels, that impressed me most. His unfailing accuracy and musicality without giving the impression of being self conscious or mannered is a huge plus in my books. Phrasing and balance also sound effortlessly natural. This interpretation goes straight into my list of favourite recordings of the second symphony.
The sound is superb.



Tartini, Giuseppe.(1692-1770) The Complete Violin Concertos. CD 4&5.

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: 2017.
First listen: 22-12-2017.
Label: Dynamic.
CD 4 & 5 from 29.
Recording dates: June 1997.
Venue: Villa Cordellina, Vincentia Italy.
Engineer: Pietro Mosetti Casaretto.
Time: 65:05 & 47:42.

Works on CD 4 & 5.
Violin Concertos No.1/2/3/4/5/6, opus 2.

L'Arte Dell 'Arco.

As I wrote in previous reviews of disc 1-3 I am in two minds about this project. While I applaud the project, I feel unmoved by what is on offer. True enough, the level of musicianship is exemplary, but in their technical approach,  there is often some inattention to the notes and the score as a whole. Three distinguished gentleman taking it leisurely and ornament at leisure. Tempi vary dynamics are applied without any logic, legato is everywhere, and a feeling of unease is shrouding my pleasure in this performance. Not happy with the recording results coupled with this unease makes me listen on a less conscious level. It is sweetly done, but not enough so to get an real idea of the music as such. I like what I hear, but would love to hear a better take on Tartini's music, although that is not likely to happen. 


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Telemann, Georg Philipp. (1681-1767) A Portrait. CD 7 & 8. Matthäus passion and other vocal works.

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 21-12-2017.
Label: Ricercar.
CD 7 & 8 from 8.
Recording dates: See below.
Venue: See below.
Engineer: Alle recordings on disc 7 & 8-Jérôme Lejeune.
Time: 73:03 & 66:06.

Works on CD 7, and partly on CD 8.

Matthäus passion.

Performed by:
Stéphane Van Dijck, Tenor.
Eric Frithjof, Bass.
Caroline Pelon, Soprano.
Vincent Darras, Countertenor.
Tobias Rapp, Tenor.

Chœur de Chambre de Namur.
Les Agrémens.
Wieland Kuijken, Conductor.

Recording dates: March 2002. Live recording.
Venue: Namur, Eglise Saint Loup, France.

CD 8:

Du aber Daniel, gehe hin, Trauerkantate.
(for soprano, alto, tenor, bass, violin, alto recorder, oboe, 2 bass viols & BC) [Cello, double bass, organ]

Performed by:
Ricercar Consort.
Greta De Reyghere, soprano.
James Bowman, countertenor.
Guy de Mey, tenor.
Max van Egmond.

Recording dates: March 1990.
Venue: Filosofisch theologisch college van de Sociëteit van Jezus, Heverlee, Belgium.

Harmonischer Gottesdienst. Voice and BC. (Violin, bass viol,& Organ-Harpsichord)

Performed by:
Ricercar consort.
Henri Ledroit, countertenor.

Recording dates: 1983.
Venue: Stavelot, ancienne abbaye.

The Matthäus passion is a real gem, with drama but also light footed. None of the heaviness of Johannes Sebastian Bach's version, yet it has enough impact to bring over the message. Especially when it is performed on such a high level, with excellent soloists. It is well recorded too. Apart from a really squeaky contribution of 5 seconds probably sung by the counter in extreme distress, all is well. In my humble opinion that should have been re-recorded. There is not much to tell really, it simply follows the path as we know the passion.
The Trauer cantata is also a piece of great beauty, with again fine soloists of old but in good voice, in a wonderful recording dating from 1990, in which Bowman shines as in the olden days, but also good singing by Greta de Reyghere, and the always reliable singers Guy de Mey and Max van Egmond. The consort follows faithfully to the intimacy of the voices. Fine recording.
The Harmonischer Gottesdienst which holds 3 cantatas, Ihr, deren leben mit banger finsternis umgeben,-Erwachet zum Kriegen,-Jauchzet frohlocket.
We could do much worse as with the voice of the countertenor Henri Ledroit. While I am very peculiar if it comes to a counter voice, Ledroit does admirably well in the 3 cantatas. It speaks for itself that I would rather have a mild and warm singing soprano, like Dorothee Mields, Emma Kirkby, to name a few, but that is wishful thinking.  Well sung then and recorded. The tempi are spot on, and Ledroit's expression is committed enough to make quite some impact.



The Heritage of Claudio Monteverdi. CD 7. Concerto Imperiale. Claudio & l'Impero. (Instrumental & Vocal)

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 21-12-2017.
Label: Ricarcar.
CD 7 from 7.
Recording dates: October 2000.
Venue: Bolland, Belgium, Eglise Saint Apollinaire.
Engineer: Jérôme Lejeune.
Time: 56:11.

Composers on disc 7:

Prime parte: A Ferdinando 2, imperatore.
G.B. Buonamente.
Dario Castello.
Giovanni Priuli.

Seconda parte A Ferdinando 3 del nome.
Marco Antonio Ferro.
Martino Pesenti.
Massimiliano Neri.
Claudio Monteverdi.

Performed by:
La Fenice, Jean Tubery.
with participation of:
Raphaëlle Kennedy & Laure Delcampa, Sopranos.
Jurgen Banholzer, Countertenor.
Hans Jörg Mammel & Hervé Lamy, Tenors.
Jean Claude Saragosse, Bass.

The last CD in the box really crowns this successful compilation of music in the periphery of Claudio Monteverdi, and tells me that there is still a lot out there worth to explore. The instrumental pieces for winds and brass are done in such a perfect fashion that it took my breath away several times. Tubery assembled the creme de la creme together of musicians from the authentic quarter. Thus the sound of them all together is velvety yet with enough bite to keep the interest awake. Perky spirit, charm and deftness of technique, to give some idea of how to swoon and sigh in admiration of the music. Each work is illuminated, revealing musical gems. So many subtle changes in colour and pinpoint articulation and expression. All is tremendously compelling to the ear, with a clarity of detail, that makes you wallow in rapture. An unfamiliar corner of repertory seldom heard, and therefore hugely important, for the quality of the music is magical. The is a lot of sensitive musicianship, which is necessary to make a success of the interpretation. And a success it is. I only wish there would have been more music as the mere 56:00 minutes. Sound is superb. For me this is the best CD in the set.


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Parisian Symphony box. CD 5. Haydn, Joseph. (1732-1809) Three Symphonies.

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 20-12-2017.
Recording dates:  Between 2008-2014.
Venue: Not mentioned.
Engineer: Manuel Mohino.
Time: 78:05.

Works on CD 5.
Symphony in C major, The Bear Hob.1:82.
In D major, Hob. 1:86.
In F sharp minor, Hob 1:45, Farewell.

Performed by:
Les Agrémens, Guy Van Waals.
On authentic instruments.

I have to admit that the performances by this orchestra plus conductor are much to my liking. If compared to Hogwood you get with Van Waals more flesh on the bones. It is also more passionate, and emotionally driven. Even the menuets are taken at a faster tempo and none of them is equal in tempo. The drive and sometime vehemence is very refreshing, and so powerful in expression. It is  thoughtfully moulded and you get a deeply committed reading, honestly communicative of its intent, and so free of self conscious monumentalism, sententiousness or melodramatics, that it is truly a refreshing performance. A firmly controlled atmosphere, tender phrasings, confident articulation, and well paced, it is all in the package. I really like this interpretation and the sound of this orchestra. Would they ever record all Haydn symphonies, I would surely acquire them.
Sound is superb.


The Heritage of Claudio Monteverdi. CD 6. Il Canzoniere, La Poesia di Francesco Petrarca nel Seicento..

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 20-12-2017.
Label: Ricercar.
CD 6 from 7.
Recording dates: November 1999.
Venue: Bolland, Belgium, Eglise Saint Apollinaire.
Engineer: Jérôme Lejeune.
Time: 59:31.

Works on CD 6:

First part:
Rime in vita di Madonna Laura.
Composers track 1-8.

Marco Gagliano.
Salomone Rossi.
Jacopo Peri.
Tarquinio Merula.
Sigismondo D'India.
Stefano Landi.
Giovanni Battista.
Martino Pesenti.

Second part:
Rime in morte di Madonna Laura.
Composers track 9-15.

Giovanni M. Trabacci.
Camillo Lambardi.
Nicolo Borboni.
Sigismondo D'India.
Marco da Gagliano.
Oratio Bassani.
Claudio Monteverdi.

Performed by:
La Fenice, Jean Tubéry. (Instrumental)
with participation of:
Maria Cristina Kiehr, Salomé Haller, Sopranos.
Stephan Van Dyck, Jan Van Elsacker, Tenors.
Pascal Bertin, Countertenor.
Stephan McLeod, Bass.

Yet another fine disc from this box, of which I can only say that it is perfect in every sense. The instrumental and vocal contributions could not be better to my ears. The recording is top notch.
And again a lot of composers I heard for the first time, which made me realize that there are many composers in the periphery of Monteverdi that deserve the label of in the same league. This box is so enjoyable because it explores all the sideways of Monteverdi's time, and that leads to wonderful musical discoveries. What a rich and colourful time it must have been! This is really a respectable volume of excellent compositions. A delicate collection too!  There are tantalizing hints of drama, love and dead. The first part are dynamic miniatures, the second part has quite a dramatic impact.
But the main thread is poetic beauty with some hints of spirituality. There is a lovely conversational interplay between instruments and voices, strictly truthful in its expression, which confirms the emotional intensity in all works. It is all flawless and impressive. This box I have enclosed in my heart.



Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Telemann, Georg Philipp. (1681-1767) A Portrait. CD 6. Quadri a violino, Flauto traversiere, viola da gamba e fondamento (1730)

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 18-12-2017.
Label: Ricercar.
CD 6 from 8.
Recording dates: September 1999 & January 1988.
Venue: Bolland, Eglise Saint Apollinaire & Stavelot, Ancienne Abbaye.
Engineer: Jérôme Lejeune.
Time: 76:16.

Works on CD 6.

Concerto secondo in D major.
Sonata prima in A major.
Premiere Suite in E minor.
Sonata seconda in G minor.
Concerto primo in G major.
Deuxieme Suite in B minor.

Performed by:
Ricercar Consort.

I was a little disappointed about disc 5, but the sixth in this set made things well again. Perfectly played and recorded these concerti are a balm to everyone's ears. Both Daniele Etienne and Patrick Beuckels on the traverso play with great gusto and pinpoint precision, aided by Bernard Foccroulle and Guy Penson on the harpsichord. I can safely say that you will be hard pressed to find better interpretations as the present ones. So by all means, if you need some of Telemann's work and are not a completist, this box will do perfectly well, and for those that have these concerti already, it's essential to have the Ricercar recordings too.



Love, revelry and the dance in Mediæval music. CD 7. The Masters of the Florentine Organetto.

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 19-12-2017.
Label: Ricercar.
CD 7 from 7.
Recording dates: February 1998.
Venue: Eglise Saint Jean l'Evangéliste de Beaufays, France. 
Engineer: Jérôme Lejeune.
Time: 54:47.

Composers on CD 7:
Lorenzo Masini.
after Gherardello da Firenze.
Francesco Landini.
After Francesco Landini.
Anonymous.


Performed by:
Millenarium.

Christophe Deslignes, Organetto.
Thierry Gomar, Percussion.

A delightful disc. The organetto couples well with percussion, and it must be said that Thierry Gomar is a very good percussionist.  There is no great variety in the melodies, so you have to get the fun primarily from the percussion. Not advisable to play the music in one go, for the organetto can tire the ear quite quickly. In the time of composition it was primarily played in the background.
But this is seldom recorded so it is rather a fun trip in getting to know this kind of music too.
Sound is good.





Love, revelry and the dance in Mediæval music. CD 6. LLibre Vermell. A reconstruction as it might have been performed.

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 19-12-2017.
Label: Ricercar.
CD 6 from 7.
Recording dates: July 2007.
Venue: Eglise Saint Apollinaire de Bolland.
Engineer: Philippe de Magnée.
Time: 79:34.

Works on CD 6:
See heading.

Performed by:
Millenarium.
Chœur de Chambre de Namur.
Psallentes.
Les Pastoureaux.
Conducted by: Christophe Deslignes.

The work and music as performed is a reconstruction from one book that survived the ravages by the Napoleonic barbarians who destroyed the complete library of the Abbey of Montserrat.  It's like the burning of the library in Alexandria. So much is lost, never to be replaced.  The result of the reconstruction of the LLibre Vermell is to my ears a successful one. Not terribly exciting or attention grabbing, but a worthwhile document to listen too in these excellent performances. It positively sounds very modern at times, and it certainly would not have sounded as beautiful in the Middle Ages as on this CD. Once in awhile a soprano waltzes by with a bit too much vibrato, but the total effect of the recording is a small miracle of musical surprises.
Sound is good.



Monday, December 18, 2017

Telemann, Georg Philipp. (1681-1767) A Portrait. CD 5. Works for Alto recorder and BC.

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 18-12-2017.
Label: Ricercar.
CD 5 from 7.
Recording dates: October 1996 & April 1988.
Venue: Bolland, Eglise Saint Apollinaire & Stavelot, Ancienne Abbaye.
Engineer: Jérôme Lejeune.
Time: 78:09.

Works on CD 5:
1) Sonata in C major, For Alto recorder and BC. (Bass viol & Harpsichord) Essercizii Musici.
2) Sonata VI in G major-transposed to B major for Voice flute & BC. (Bass viol, organ, archlute.
   (Methodische Sonaten)
3) Sonata in G major for Soprano recorder and BC, as 2.
4) Sonata in B major for 2 Alto recorders. (Der getreue musikmeister) 
5) Sonata in F major for Alto recorder and BC (Archlute & Organ) (Der getreue musikmeister) 
6) Sonata in D minor for Alto recorder and BC, as 1. Essercizii Musici.

Performed by:
La Pastorella.
Frederic de Roos, Patrick Denecker. Recorders



7) Sonata in C major for Alto recorder and BC (Bass viol & Organ) Der getreue musikmeister.
8) Sixieme Concert in A minor for Voice flute, Harpsichord & Cello. (VI Concerts & VI Suite.
9) Concerto in F major for Alto recorder , Horn and BC, as 1.

Performed by:
Ricercar Consort.
Frederic de Roos,  Recorder.

As much as I love the music I did not particularly warm towards these interpretations at all. Well played they are, there is no doubt about it, but I missed the involvement,  a found it to be a bit distanced even. It had its moments but they are far and wide between. What did not help was the frontal character of the recording in regards to the Recorders. Sharp sometimes, blowing with unnecessary force on the instruments and getting peak moments of sounds that could easily cause a migraine. Lejeune did not have his moment in October 1996. The 1988 recording by the Ricercar Consort is also very frontal but has less piping and is more rewarding in performance and sound.
I have better recordings and interpretations as the present ones. When you play it keep the volume down, then it gets acceptable.



The Heritage of Claudio Monteverdi. CD 5. Per il Santissimo Natale. (Vocal and instrumental Works)

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 18=12-2017.
Label: Ricercar.
CD 5 from 7.
Recording dates: March 1998.
Venue: Mormont, Belgium, Eglise Saint Michel.
Engineer: Jérôme Lejeune.
Time: 69:05.

Composers on this disc:
Ignazio Donati.
Maurizio Cazzati.
Claudio Monteverdi.
Adriano Banchieri.
Bernardo Storace.
Antonio Cifra.
Orazio Tarditi.
Giovanni Picchi.
Giuseppe Scarani.
Tarquino Merula.
Francesco Flamengo.
Girolamo Frescobaldi.
Giovanni A. Rigatti.

Performed by:
La Fenice, Jean Tubery.
with the participation of:
Maria Cristina Kiehr, Soprano.
Kathelijne Van Laethem, Mezzo.
John Elwes, Tenor.

Organ used: After Italian models of the 17th century.
Made by: Thomas Ster Francorchamps 1994.

In all respects a beautiful disc, well sung by all, and instrumental excellence to match. A complete and satisfying picture. Many of the composers were unknown to me, so this is an exciting journey through uncharted territory. Both Soprano and Mezzo fit well together and harmonize beautifully. John Elwes can be a bit overbearing but his expression tells the story. All pieces are sung with an exceptional combination of clarity and weight, that marks the total impression and balance between soloists and instrumental ensemble. The music is delivered with such unaffected simplicity and instinctive flow,... the heart of a programme that celebrates a lived musical culture as much as a historic document. As a whole this performance has an aesthetic directness that is very appealing to me.
The recording is top notch. 



Friday, December 15, 2017

Love, revelry and the dance in Mediæval music, CD 5. Danza, Instrumental music and virtuoso performance in the Middle Ages and today.

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 15-12-2017.
Label: Ricercar.
CD 5 from 7.
Recording dates: April 2007.
Venue: Eglise Notre-Dame de Centeilles, France.
Engineer: Jérôme Lejeune.
Time: 68:38.

Music on CD 5:
See heading.

Performed by:
Millenarium.

The music on this disc is well represented by this group. There is a real sense of improvisation and many colourful instruments to support that. It sounds authentic and perfect to my ears. Almost smooth and very assured. They are not encumbered by any external pressures it seems, for apart from the improvisatory music making it is also very relaxed.  They give every indication of enjoying the musical challenge. There is no limit to the colourful range of expression. in all they do. So very worthwhile to explore. Sound is state of the art.



The Parisian Symphony. CD 4.Miscellaneous works.

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 15-12-2017.
Label: Ricercar.
CD 4 from 7.
Recording dates: Between 2002-2007.
Venue: Not mentioned.
Engineer: Jérôme Lejeune.
Time: 71:20.

Works and composers on this disc:

1) Dieudonné Pascal Pieltain. (1754-1833)
     Troisième Concerto en si Bémol majeur, pour Violon et Orchestre.

2) Antoine Fredéric Gresnick. (1755-1799)
     Symphonie concertante en si Bémol majeur, pour Clarinette, basson et orchestre.

3) Ludwig August Lebrun. (1752-1790)
    Concerto en do majeur pour Hautbois et orchestre.

4) Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
     Symphonie B Dur, HOB 1:85 "La Reine".

Performed by:
Les Agrémens, Gut Van Waas.
Patrick Cohen Akenine, Violin.
Eric Hoeprich, Clarinet.
Benoit Laurent, Oboe.
Jane Gower, Bassoon.

Two composers on this disc were totally unknown to me, being Pieltain and Gresnick. Strange but true. I knew Lebrun but did not hear his Concert for Oboe and orchestra before. So all in all this was a discovery. For I liked both the Violin concerto of Pieltain and the Clarinet concerto by Gresnick. The musical content has a high quality of creativity, and are by no means second rate works. Lebrun's Oboe concerto is a jewel, detailed and melodious in expression. The Haydn was also a nice surprise, so totally different from say Hogwood ( a reference to me) but with its own distinctive validity. Very well shaped in form and expression, with familiar sounds coming out in a totally different guise as I was used to. The whole CD is an fine example of art that conceals art, with a formidable constructive and harmonic ingenuity. In all a pinpoint articulation and stylistically apt tonal gradations. Remarkable bursts of speed, yet the sound of the soloists remain deft and elegant. The orchestra has a cultured sound and provide easeful balm for difficult moments. A recording to match this perfection.




The Parisian Symphony. CD 3. "Gossec, Stamitz", Kraus. Grand Symphonies.

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 15-12-2017.
Label: Ricercar.
Recording dates: Between 2002-2007.
Venue: Unknown.
Engineer: Jérôme Lejeune.
Time 77:45.

Works and composers:
1) Francois Joseph Gossec. (1734-1829)
     Symphony opus 12 No. 1,3 & 5.

2) Johann Stamitz (1717-1757).
     Concert for Clarinet and Orchestra in B flat major.

3) Joseph Martin Kraus. (1756-1792)
     Symphony in D major.

Performed: by:
Les Agrémens, Guy Van Waas,  Clarinet and Conductor.

These performances are an excellent choice to learn about the music. Played on authentic instruments, the dynamics and phrasing causing the subsequent emerging of the fine colouring, is the raison d'etre to get this in your collection.  The detailing is absolute top notch, and the pureness of tone is something to relish. All three composers deliver highly contrasting works, bubbling with creative vitality, and Sturm und Drang, pushing the tempi to the limits. This orchestra gets the last ounce of grandeur and weight out of the works on this CD. There is an virility in these compositions, and plenty of swagger. Thrillingly precise, characterized by a real momentum and Schwung. Also clarity, control, and impeccable orchestral discipline.
Sound is forward but lucid, with plenty of depth and also air around the instruments.




The Heritage of Claudio Monteverdi, Castello, Dario. (?1621-?1658) CD 4 In Stil Moderno.

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 15-12-2017.
Label: Ricercar.
CD 4 from 7.
Recording dates: January 1995.
Venue: Boswell, Switzerland, Alte Kirche.
Engineer: Jérôme Lejeune.
Time: 54:02.

Concerti for diverse instruments.

Cornet, Mute cornet, Violin, Viola da Braccio, Violino, Violone, Trombone, Bassoon, Theorbo, Triple Harp, Chitarrone, Harpsichord, organ, regal.

Performed by:
La Fenice, Jean Tubery.

(There is no biographical information about Castello. Even his birth and death dates are unknown. It is thought he may possibly have died during the great plague of 1630; certainly, he published no new music after this date)

"Of his music, 29 separate compositions survive. Castello's music is inventive and technically challenging. Strictly worked polyphonic sections alternate with dramatic recitatives over basso continuo, in keeping with the title of the publications "in stil moderno"; however he also uses some of the older canzona technique, which uses short sections of highly contrasting texture, and active rather than lyrical melodic lines. Unusually for the time, Castello often specifies the instruments for each part, calling for cornettiviolinssackbuts (Baroque trombone) and dulcians. That these works were still being reprinted in the 1650s attests to Castello's influence". 

I am duly impressed by Dario Castello's music as well as the fine performance by the instrumentalists of La Fenice. Dario Castello's music is highly inventive and well thought out. It is grander in design, brisker in expression, and speaking of a musical intelligence beyond my expectations. There is lightness, transparency and a directness that yields marvelous poetic results. He builds up a musical architecture that is quite impressive. The music has an uncommon distinction, gallantry is even part of the total sum. There is a subtle textural interplay and expressive variety that appeals hugely to me. Its simple glorious music and well recorded too.



Thursday, December 14, 2017

Haydn, Michael. (1737-1806) The Complete String Quintets.

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 14-12-2017.
Label: CPO.
2 CD'S.
Recording dates: December 2013.
Venue: Palais Kuenburg, Salzburg.
Engineer: Stephan Reh.
Time: 76:58 & 59:04.

Works on CD 1 & 2.
See heading.

Performed by:
Salzburger Haydn Quintett.

It's a first these works from Michael Haydn for me. This music fits perfectly in it's time frame. Well constructed music, which does not make great demands on the listener. It flows easily, and is highly huggable. It has all the marks of  the Wienerische style. Waltzing it's way through time. The performance exudes confidence, revealing whatever there is in contrast and dynamics. No dazzling affair I am afraid, but very subtle at quiet dynamics. Reflective, wonderfully confiding in sweet melodies, and soulfulness. They carefully navigate through the music, perfectly articulated. Very fine afternoon music. The recording is perfect as is expected from Stephan Reh.



Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Telemann, Georg Philipp. (1681-1767) A Portrait. CD IV Miscellaneous concerti.

New acquisition.
Date of Purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 13-12-2017.
Label: Ricercar.
CD 4 from 7.
Recording dates: October 2009, August 2010, July 2013.
Venue: Centeilles, Eglise Notre Dame, Beaufays, Eglise Saint Jean l'Evangéliste, France.
Engineer: Jérôme Lejeune.
Time: 74:49.

Works on CD 4:
1) Marche composed for "Das Stück-Schiessen" of the Artillery for 3 Oboes, 2 Horns, Bassoon & Drums.
2) Overture a 5 in F major, for 2 Oboes, 2 Horns & Bassoon.
3) Menuet a deux Cornes de Chasse. ( Der Getreue Music Meister), for 2 Horns.
4) Concerto in F major for 2 Oboes, bassoon.
5) Air de Trompette, for Trumpet & BC, (Bassoon and Harpsichord) from Der Getreue Music Meister.
6) Concerto in D major, for Trumpet, 2 Oboes & BC as No. 5.

Performed by:
Ensemble Eolus.
For the marche, with participation of:
Philippe Canguilhem, Oboe, & Jean Chamboux, Drums.
Recorded July 2013.

7) Sonata in F minor for Bassoon and BC, (Cello and Harpsichord) from the "Getreue Music Meister".
8) Trio sonata in A minor for Oboe, Alto recorder and BC as 5.
9) Trio sonata in B major for Violin, bassoon and BC, (Harpsichord)

Performed by:
Syntagma Amici.
Recorded, August 2010

10) Partite in C minor for 3 Oboes, taille de Hautbois, 2 Bassoons, and BC as 9, Kleine Cammer music, Anonymous setting for Oboe ensemble.

Performed by:
Lingua France.
Recorded, October 2009.

This box turns out to be one of the best releases on CD of Telemann's works. In performance, interpretation and sound. There is virtual no slacking in the pace and quality of what is on offer, and musical integrity is high on the agenda of Ricercar. The musicians on the recordings are the creme de la creme in terms of authentic instruments, and their interpretation has great validity because of that aspect. Tempi throughout are well judged, and the artistic insight stays on the same high level as from the first 3 discs. In the music there is so much to enjoy, and so many details previous overheard that are now crystal clear delineated and finely segmented into highly approachable music, with the stamp and seal of authenticity. Their youthful elan is attractive in its expression, and distinguished as well. Sometimes fireworks ala Versailles, burst into the room like in the highly amusing "Marche composed for "Das Stück-Schiessen" of the Artillery for 3 Oboes, 2 Horns, Bassoon & Drums" or some melancholy strains in the slow movements.  Crisp articulation and an almost superior attention to details and dynamics is what you get.  The playfulness of the music as well as in the performance, works addictively and induces you to repeat many movements which is utterly convincing by its sheer creativity. The colouristic range of the music knows no bounds, and they charm you out of your socks in no time. Simply delightful.
Sound is superb.




Love, revelry and the dance in Mediæval music. CD 4. Carmina Burana, Officium Lusorum.

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 13-12-2017.
Label: Ricercar.
CD 4 from 7.
Recording dates: September 2005.
Venue: Eglise Saint Apollinaire de Bolland.
Sound: Philippe de Magnée.
Time: 77:04.

Works on CD 4:
See heading.

Performed by:
Millenarium. (The Jugglers)
Chœur de Chambre de Namur. (The Gollards)
Psallentes. (The Canons)
Chœur d'Enfants de l'école de musique de Forbach. (The Choirboys)

Quite a bit of spectacle, rough and unhewn. At times devastatingly beautiful, but also rawness that assaults the ear in more than one way. Do not look for sophisticated interpretations, for all the bad God allows is used to the full in this recording of the Carmina Burana. Some of the stuff I liked, but I also had moments of disgust. So it's a challenge and a tumultuous ride. All participants did their worse for the sake of the message I guess. So put on rags and do not wash yourself for a month, muddle around in dirt and try your vocals in this experiment. I am sure you will have feelings of disgust and joy at the same time. Sound is good.



The Heritage of Claudio Monteverdi, A portrait. CD 3. Marini, Biagio. (1594-1663) Moderne e curiose Inventioni.

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 13-12-2017.
Label: Ricercar.
Recording dates: July 1996.
Venue: Saint Michel en Thiérache, France, Eglise abbatiale.
Sound: Jérôme Lejeune.
Time: 54:31.

Works on CD 3:

Un Concerto a cása Soranzo.
Per la Cappella del Castello.
Lagrime di Davide sparse nel Miserere.

Performed by:
La Fenice, Jean Tubéry. 

With participation of:
Maria Cristina Kiehr, Soprano.
John Elwes, Tenor.
Ulrich Messthaler, Baritone.

CD 3 is a continuation of the excellence displayed from this boxed set of music. And there is a lot to explore in the trail of Claudio Monteverdi.  Refinement and elegant polished singing for instance. I have the tendency while listening to lift my eyes upwards to heaven and erase the darker thoughts from my soul.  The beautiful harmonies that come together in the music of Biagio Marini's music is grasping my soul out of the depths for salvation. The rapturous harmonic twists in the performance and its joyful exuberance peal like church bells to me. The wonderfully delicate almost fragile soaring soprano lines in the setting of "Grotto ombrose, madrigale in echo con Sinfonie" is a small miracle of magic. In short these compositions form a immaculate collection of gorgeous music that is both unrelentingly beautiful and fully captivating throughout.
Great sound too.



Telemann, Georg Philipp. (1681-1767) A Portrait. CD III Miscellaneous concerti.

New acquisition.
Date of Purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 13-12-2017.
Label: Ricercar.
CD 3 from 7.
Recording dates: April 1991 & November 2010.
Venue: Filosofisch theologisch college van de Sociëteit van Jezus, Heverlee, Belgium, & Beaufays, Eglise Saint Jean l'Evangéliste, France.
Engineer: Jérôme Lejeune.
Time: 78:52.

Works on CD 3:
Concert in A minor, for Alto recorder, Oboe and Violin, BC.
Trio Sonata in F major, for Alto recorder, bass viol and BC. (Essercizii Musici)
Trio Sonata in C minor for Alto recorder and Oboe, and BC.  (Essercizii Musici)
Trio Sonata in A minor, for Alto recorder and Violin and BC.  (Essercizii Musici)
Trio Sonata in F major for 2 Alto recorders and BC.
Trio Sonata in D minor for Alto recorder and treble viol and BC.
Quartet in F major for Alto recorder, oboe, violin and BC.

Performed by:
Ricercar Consort.

Fantasia quarta in B major for Oboe.
Sonata in B major for Oboe and BC.  (Essercizii Musici)

Performed by:
Lingua France.

Outstanding in every respect. Both ensembles locate the soul of each piece through the most sophisticated and subtle use of embellishments you'll ever hear. This music making results in a fluency which develops when one grows into the music and thoroughly ingests its musical language and the artistic freedoms Telemann allowed himself.  The cd is filled with a beautiful compilation of what Telemann wrote over the years of his long life. Sometimes it has an abundance of melancholy notes, and then the sheer force of happiness comes to the surface. But above all the easy grace with which this man is writing his compositions makes for an intrinsic experience that tells you that he was indeed a great man and composer. And in a sense I am inclined to say that it is through sheer talent and a force of personality, that conveyed to me that what you are hearing belongs to the realm of the greatest music ever written during this era.
Superlative artistry is central in what comes out of his genius, perfectly displayed in the music and also by great performances of both ensembles.  The interpretation is balanced and even tempered, yet has a intensely reflective grace. The sound is superb.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Love, revelry and the Dance in Mediæval music. CD 3. Carmina Burana, Tempus transit.

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 12-12-2017.
Label: Ricercar.
Recording dates:  April 2004.
Venue: Eglise Notre Dame de Centeilles, France.
Engineer: Jérôme Lejeune.
Time: 70:41.

Works on CD 3:
See heading.

Performed by:
Millenarium.

Sabine Lutzenberger, Voice and recorder.
Christophe Deslignes, Organetto.
Thierry Gomar, Percussions.
Philippe Malfeyt, Lute.
Baptiste Romain, Fiddle and Bagpipes.
Henri Tournier, Flutes.

It is a pleasant surprise that Millenarium replaced the soprano in this recording for she is truly a fine voice. She is German for a reason, for there are texts to be read, in this language, which is done perfectly.  Her voice has a restrained quality befitting the nature of the music, so there is a complete synergy between the text and the voice. The instrumentalists are supreme in what they do.
Those that are new to this music would do well to start here, for this is as original as it gets. It is a prime pleasure to hear ancient sounds.. Exquisite playing in which Sabine Lutzenberger is an gripping communicator, running a huge range of emotions and finding also a devastating stillness in the context of the music. It is really a celebration of the era in which it was composed, and this you hear. Suddenly sound and music exist in a single sonic continuum and its effect is exhilarating. The range of expression and responses between soloist and instrumentalists is striking. I think this disc will leave you bewildered in the best possible way, seduced by unfamiliar sounds. The recording is top notch.


The Heritage of Claudio Monteverdi. CD 2. Per la Settimana Santa.. (Vocal and instrumental works)

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 12-12-2017.
Label: Ricercar.
CD 2 from 7.
Recording dates: November 1995.
Venue: Mormont, Belgium, Eglise Saint Michel.
Engineer: Jérôme Lejeune.
Time: 71:44.

Composers on CD 2:
Alessandro Grandi.
Francesco Turini.
Giovanni Paolo Cima.
Giovanni Salvatore.
Francesco Capello.
Giovanni Felice Sances.
Biagio Marini.
Alessandro Piccinini.
Domenico Mazzocchi.
Adriano Banchieri.
Claudio Monteverdi.
Bonifazio Graziani.
Maurizio Cazzati.
Michel Angelo Grancini.

Performed by:
La Fenice, Jean Tubery.
with the participation of:
Maria Cristina Kiehr, Soprano.
John Elwes, Tenor.
Ulrich Messthaler, Baritone.

Organ used, after an Italian model of the 17th century, made by Thomas Ster Francorchamps. 1994.

This is an assembly of composers that guarantee 70 minutes of musical pleasure and this is exactly what you get. The soloists and orchestra are renown in their field so there are absolutely no quarrels to settle. The music has a distinctively fluid grace, highlighting almost every detail quite vividly. We get spellbinding contributions from all vocal soloist, but truth be told the walls of this church in which it was recorded is not complimenting the voices. The reverb comes back to you in a rather unforgiving hard way, robbing the voices of their much needed intimacy. The continuo parts are not suffering from this, so I guess the placing of the voices was not successful. What rather irks me is that Lejeune must have heard this, yet made no attempt to correct the issue.
However this minor drawback can be controlled by the volume button, at least when they are singing, but for the instrumental parts you need more volume. A bit out of balance. In that sense the music could have been warmer and more involving, but as it stands you have to accept the loss of some commitment. The clarity and depth of the recording is without question good. The music is absolutely sublime, no question about that.





Telemann, Georg Philipp. (1681-1767) A Portrait. CD II Miscellaneous concerti.

New acquisition.
Date of Purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 12-12-2017.
Label: Ricercar.
CD 2 from 7.
Recording dates: September 1999 & August 2010.
Venue: Bolland, Eglise Saint Apollinaire, France & Centeilles, Eglise Notre Dame, France.
Engineer: Jérôme Lejeune.
Time: 75:52.

Works on CD 2:
Quartet in G minor, for Oboe, violin, bass viol & BC.
Trio Sonata in A minor for Flute, bass viol & BC.
Trio Sonata in E minor for Oboe, flute & BC. (Musique de Table, Production II.
Trio Sonata in G minor for Violin, bass viol & BC. (Six sonates en trio)
Trio Sonata in D minor for Flute, Oboe, & BC. (Essercizii Musici)
Sonata in A minor for Oboe & BC. (Der Getreue Music-Meister)

Performed by:
Ricercar Consort.

Quartet in D minor for Bassoon. 2 Alto recorders, & BC, Cello and Harpsichord. (Musique de Table, Production II.
Trio in F major for Violin, Bassoon and BC. (Harpsichord) Six Sonates en Trio.

Performed by:
Syntagma Amici.

Absolute delightful performances. A fountain of fresh insights into familiar music. One cannot fault the skills of the performers, there is a lovingly oiled artistic synergy here, that breaks every rule in the book in terms of balance and phrasing. They simply lift it up much higher in detailing and projection as other performances I know.  The sheer sense of fantasy they bring into play is amazing and rewarding. They must have a powerful understanding of the music's structure, coupled to a superlative technical skill, and so reach  a much wider expressive picture of Telemann's music as I am used to. There are also visions of nocturnal stillness that gives such a rest to the music. This refinement coupled with a clean articulation makes me a positive addict to these interpretations.
Sound is superb too!



Love, Revelry and the Dance in Mediæl music. CD 2. Douce Amie, Trouvères Songs and Minstrels Dances.

New acquisition.
Date of Purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 12-12-2017.
Label: Ricercar.
CD 2 from 7.
Recording dates:  November 2001.
Venus: Église Notre Dame de Centeilles, France.
Engineer: Jérôme Lejeune.
Time: 63:55.

Composers on CD 2:
Thibaut de Champagne.
After Cantiga de Santa Maria 10.
Chastelain de Couci.
After Lambert Ferri.
Moniot d'Arras.
After Arnautz Daniel.
Blanche de Castille.
Gautier d'Épinal.
After Richard Cœur de Lion.
Gace Brulé.
Anonymous.

Performed:
Millenarium:
Carole Marras, Voice and Harp.
Christophe Deslignes, Organetto.
Thierry Gomar, Percussions.

With participation of:
Dominique Regef, Fiddle & Rebec.
Henri Tournier, Flutes.

As successful as the first disc in this series, with a few exceptions. Carole Marras the soprano on this disc, has a tendency of wailing the text out, with some irritations to the ear. Now we all do not know how this was performed so it is a personal choice, and were in the first disc she held herself in check, it did not work out quite that well in CD 2. Especially in the second track with a composition of Thibaut de Champagne, "Dame, ensinc est" it is a constant high pitched lament of almost 9:32, and also elsewhere on this disc, this might pose a problem to others as well. Luckily the instrumental parts are sublime, and even some of the singing too, but I think she has too much prominence, as in a composition of Blanche de Castille, "Amours, ou trop tart me sui pris".
But I liked the best part of this CD, which is well recorded, but Lejeune should have placed her further away from the microphones.


Monday, December 11, 2017

The Heritage of Claudio Monteverdi. CD I. Dialoghi Venetiani.

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 11-12-2017.
Label: Ricercar.
CD 1 from 7.
Recording dates: January 1995.
Venue:Boswill , Switzerland, Alte Kirche.
Engineer: Jérôme Lejeune.
Time: 61:53.

Instrumental works from:
Giuseppe Scarani.
Giovanni Picchi.
Biagio Marini.
Girolamo Kapsberger.
Francesco Cavalli.
Dario Castello.
Marco Uccellini.
Claudio Monteverdi.
Alessandro Piccinini.
Salomone Rossi.
Tarquinio Merula.

Performed by:
La Fenice, Jean Tubery.

Listen and be amazed! This is superb playing of the first order, and wonderful music to boot. Add to that a State of the Art recording and the picture is complete. There are excellent contributions from all musicians in La Fenice. Many of the composers I did not known or just from one piece or another in a collection I have. So this is doubly welcome. Sonatas Passamezzos, Bergamasco's , Passagaglios, Arias, Toccatas, Chiacconas, it's all there in huge quantities and quality.  Resourcefulness of scoring,  magnificent gestures, and plenty of colour, fastidious attention to detail, thus the music encompasses desire, love and yes also intimations of mortality. It has me in raptures anyway. Cleanly and gracefully executed in a most luscious way.




Telemann, Georg Philipp. (1681-1767) A Portrait. CD 1. Miscellaneous concerti.

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 11-12-2017.
Label: Ricercar.
CD 1 from 7.
Recording dates: February 1988.
Venue: Stavelor, ancienne abbaye, France.
Sound engineer: Jérôme Lejeune.
Time: 73:51.

Works on CD 1.

Concerto in A minor, for Alto recorder, bass viol, violin, viola and BC  ( cello, double bass, harpsichord).
Concerto in F major for  Alto recorder, bassoon, 2 violins, viola & BC (cello,  double bass, harpsichord)
Concerto in e minor for Alto recorder, flute, 2 violins, viola and BC (as above)
Suite in A minor, for Alto recorder, 2 violins, viola and BC (as above)


Performed by:
Frederic de Roos, Alto recorder.
Philippe Pierlot, Bass viol.
Marc Minkowski, Bassoon.
Patrick Beuckels, Flute.
Ricercar consort.

I knew all the concertos on this disc and I have diverse interpretation of them, but whatever you have this would be almost a necessary addition even if it is doubling up what you already have in excellent performances.
For Ricercar has assembled a body of musicians that bring true magic to the music. Masculine enough to make a permanent impression, fluid enough to make you melt, and such expert handling of the instruments that you almost forget that it is a recording.. Nothing is rushed, but neither is it drawn out into a standstill. It is simply perfect. Frederic de Roos is a deft musician on the Alto recorder, as is Marc Minkowski on the Bassoon. And a superb BC is adding the last detail to wonderful renderings of Telemann's genius. I enjoyed this so much.
Sound is almost State of the Art.




Love, Revelry and the Dance in Mediæval Music. CD 1, Troubadours Songs and jongleurs Dances..

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 11-12-2017.
Label: Ricercar.
CD 1 from 7.
Recording dates: November 2000.
Venue: Église Notre Dame de Centeilles, France.
Sound engineer: Jérôme Lejeune.
Time: 63:13.

Composers on this CD:
Anonymous.
Thibaut de Champagne.
Bernard de Ventadorn.
Gaucelm Faidit.
Berenguier de Palol.

Performed by:
Millenarium.

Carole Marras, Voice and Harp.
Christophe Deslignes, Organetto.
Thierry Gomar, Percussions.

The first CD is an absolute delight. The balance in this ensemble is near perfect, and the voice of Carole Marras fits nicely into this music. They aim as an ensemble to give a true representation of music of the Mediæval period, and for me they succeed admirably in this. None of the composers were known to me, at least I do not remember, but the music is pleasing for the ear. The vocal pieces have to do without the text, for apart for a synopsis of basic info, it is sadly missing. 
The recording is state of the art. I am looking forward to the rest of this calming music, especially fitting to the pre Christmas time.





Sunday, December 10, 2017

Tartini, Giuseppe. (1692-1770) The Complete Violin Concertos. CD 3.

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: October 2017.
First listen: 10-12-2017.
Label: Dynamic.
CD 3 from 29.
Recording dates: February 1996.
Venue: Villa Cerdonellina, Altavilla Vicentina, Italy.
Sound engineer: Pietro Mosetti Casaretto.
Time: 62:23.

Works on this CD:
Violin Concerto, opus 1.
No 9/10/11/12.

Performed by:
L'Arte dell "Arco.

After the complete Violin concertos by Viotti, also on the Dynamic label, I now continue with Tartini's violin concertos. Viotti did not make me happy, finding the interpretation and recording mediocre, I am in a lesser degree confronted with some annoying features in the present recordings.. The first is the sound engineer, who did not have at the time of the recording very good ears. Like in the Viotti concerti on which he also did the engineering, the tubby bass contribution and the somewhat frontal placing of the violin is identical. And although I appreciated the authentic instruments I found the tempi, especially the Largo's tedious and frankly old school, not really fitting in an authentic environment. The Violin playing is not always secure. And also too much legato at times. Sometimes it's rather rough and ready hewing and stressing the Violin. The finer details are missing, and the pressure on the strings as in the first movement of No 10 are disconcerting.  I am mildly pleased.


Friday, December 8, 2017

Viotti, Giovanni Battista (1755-1824) Complete Violin Concertos. CD 9 & 10.

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: September 2017.
First listen: 8-12-2017.-2017.
Label: Dynamic.
CD 9&10 from 10.
Recording dates: October 2002 & October 2004.
Venue: Sala S. Antonio, Perugia. Lissone (Milano) Italy.
Sound engineer: Pietro Mosetti Casaretto.
Total time: 78:15 & 53:26.

Works on this CD:
Violin concertos:
No. 22/24.28/29/21.


Performed by: 

Franco Mezzena, Violin & Conductor.
Symphonia Perusina & Orchestra da Camera Milano Classica.

I must say that the last 5 violin concertos on disc 9&10 had more flesh on their bones. The melodic input was much stronger and the movements were far better composed. I could for the first time keep my attention at the music and that was a first throughout this whole set. The recordings were  slightly better and the Milano orchestra sounded a tad more grown up. Let me be clear about one or two things. I think the music excellent but at times a bit boring, so listening in one go is not advisable, Franco Mezzena is a top notch violinist but his expression is too romantic by far. His bowing is impeccable. The recordings are sub standard, not good but neither bad. The production value is low, with better resources the outcome would have been much better. Take for example the orchestra that features prominently in all 10 recordings but two, the "Symphonia Perusina" and in two instances the "Viotti Chamber orchestra"  both are provincial musicians, were I could find not much merit apart from the fact that their playing was decent, no doubt influenced by the fact that a proper conductor was not employed, not even Luciano Borin could save the day on disc 1&2, so he was not an influence to be reckon with. The sum total is that I am glad to have Viotti's excellent violin concertos, but I wait for much better performances and recordings. A pity....


Viotti, Giovanni Battista (1755-1824) Complete Violin Concertos. CD 8.

New acquisition.
Date of purchase: September 2017.
First listen: 8-12-2017.-2017.
Label: Dynamic.
CD 8 from 10.
Recording dates: July 2000
Venue: Sala S. Antonio, Perugia. Italy.
Sound engineer: Pietro Mosetti Casaretto.
Total time: 72:44.

Works on this CD:
Violin concertos:
No. 25 in A major.
No. 26 in B flat major.
No. 10 in B flat major.

Performed by: 

Franco Mezzena, Violin & Conductor.
Symphonia Perusina.

Nice music and competent performances. But ultimately I think it would have been much better on authentic instruments, with a better orchestra or a conductor who would have a better command on the proceedings. The combined conductor soloist does not work.
The timpani sounds like being recorded in a bathtube. The overall sound is adequate.




Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Pejačević, Dora.(1885-1923) The Complete Piano Works. CD 1& 2. Fourth rerun.

From my collection.
Date of purchase: September 2017.
First listen CD 1: 19-10-2017.
Second listen: 10-11-2017.
Third listen: 15-11-2017.
First listen CD 2: 19-10-2017.
Second listen: 10-11-2017.
Third listen: 15-11-2017.
Fourth listen: 6-12-2017.
Label: CPO
CD 1 & 2.
Recording dates: June/July 2014.
Venue: SWR Stuttgart Kammermusikstudio, Germany.
Sound engineer: Burkhard Pfitzner-Landeck.
Total time CD 1: 78:22, CD 2: 78:22.

See first full reviews on 17-10-2017 and 19-10-2017.

Works on CD: 1

Blumenleben, opus 19.
Sonate opus 57.
Sechs fantasiestücke opus 17.
Blütenwirbel opus 45.
Zwei Nocturnes opus 50.
Vier Klavierstücke opus 32a. (Only three of them survived)
Impromptu opus 32b.
Valse de concert opus 21.
Erinnerung opus 24.
*
Works on CD: 2.

9 Walzer-Capricen opus 28.
Sonate opus 36 in B minor.
Berceuse opus 20 and opus 2.
Capriccio opus 47.
Zwei Klavierskizzen opus 44.
Zwei intermezzi opus 38.
Gondellied opus 4.
Chanson sans paroles opus 5& 10.
Menuett opus 7.
Impromptu opus 9a.
Trauermarsch opus 14.
Humoreske opus 54a.
Caprice opus 54b.

An absolute necessity to have in my book. Timeless and highly emphatic. 
She is my top female composer!


Locatelli, Pietro Antonio. (1695-1764) The Complete edition. CD 18-21. Second complete rerun.

CD 18:

Date of purchase: October 2016.
First listen: 4-10-2017.
Second listen: 5-12-2017.
Label: Brilliant.
CD 18 of 21.
Recording dates: June 2013 & January 2014.
Venue: Westvestkerk, Schiedam, The Netherlands.
Sound engineer: Peter Arts.
Total time: 50:42.


Works on CD 18:
Concerto Grosso opus 7.  No. 5-6 
Additional to the opus 7 concerti;
Sinfonia Funebre in F minor,
Composta per le esequie della sua Donna che si celebrarono in Roma.

Performed by:
Ensemble Capricciosi, Igor Ruhadze.
Performed on authentic instruments.

CD 19:

Date of purchase: October 2016.
First listen: 5-10-2017.
Second listen: 5-12-2017.
Label: Brilliant.
CD 19 of 21.
Recording dates: 1995.
Venue: Maria Minor & Waalse kerk,  Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Sound engineer: Jorn Mineur.
Total time: 58:33.

Works on CD 19:
Sonatas
Opus 2. 1-6.

No. 1 in C, for Flauto traverso, cello and Harpsichord.
No. 2 in D, for Flauto traverso, bassoon and Organ.
No. 3 in B flat for Flauto traverso, bassetto and Harpsichord.
No. 4 in G for Flauto traverso and organ.
No 5 in D for Flauto traverso, cello and Harpsichord.
No. 6 in G minor for Flauto traverso, bassoon and Organ.

Performed by:
Jed Wentz, traverso & Leader.
Musica ad Rhenum.

CD: 20:


Date of purchase: October 2016.
First listen: 9-10-2017.
Second listen: 6-12-2017.
Label: Brilliant.
CD 20 of 21.
Recording dates: 1995.
Venue: Maria Minor & Waalse kerk,  Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Sound engineer: Jorn Mineur.
Total time: 73:45

Works on CD 20:
Sonatas
Opus 2. 7-12

No. 7 in A for FlautoBassetto and Harpsichord.
No. 8 in F, for Flauto traverso, bassoon and Harpsichord.
No. 9 in E for Flauto traverso, and Organ.
No. 10 in G for Flauto traverso, Cello, and Harpsichord.
No 11 in D for Flauto traverso, Bassoon and Organ.
No. 12 in G 2 for Flauti traversi, Cello, Bassetto and Harpsichord.

Performed by:
Jed Wentz, traverso & Leader.
Musica ad Rhenum.

CD 21:

Date of purchase: October 2016.
First listen: 16-10-2017.
Second listen: 6-12-2017.
Label: Brilliant.
CD 21 of 21.
Recording dates: 1995.
Venue: Maria Minor & Waalse kerk,  Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Sound engineer: Jorn Mineur.
Total time: 62:48

Works on CD 21:
Trio Sonatas
Opus 5. 1-6.
No 1 & 4 for Flauto Traverso violin & BC.
No 2,3 & 5 for Flauti traversi & BC.
No 6 for Flauto traverso, Violin & double BC.

Performed by:
Jed Wentz, traverso & Leader.
Musica ad Rhenum.


Absolute marvelous set. I have been attentively listening in a detailed way, and my admiration even grew proportionate with every disc following. A second rerun and a well earned place in my collection.
See full reviews  on the first listening dates.



Sweelinck, Jan Pieterszoon. (1562-1621) Cantiones Sacrae, quinque vocum 1619, Canons and Motets.

From my collection. Date of purchase: December 2009. First listen: 19-10-2011. Second listen: 22-1-2018. Label: Glossa. Recording dates...