Friday, July 29, 2016

Rodrigo, Joaquin. "The Rodrigo Collection". CD 10. Solo Piano Works II. Second rerun.

New acquisition.
Bought in September 2014.
Second rerun
Label: Brilliant.
Box with 21 cd's.
Recording dates: Not mentioned.
Recording venue: Auditorium of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain.
Recording engineer: Jonathan Stokes.
Running time: 72:17.

Works performed:


Serenata Espanola.
Cuatro Estampas Andaluzas.
Cinco Piezas del Siglo XVI.
Cuatro Piezas para Piano.
Preludio al Gallo Mananeros.
Zarabanda Lejana.
Bagatela.
Air de Ballet sur le nom d'une Jeune Fille.
Deux Berceuses.
Tres Danzas de España..
Pastoral.

Performed by:

Marta Zabaleta, Piano.

The whole CD is a source of joy, because Marta Zabaleta is is a very good performer, who makes listening a perfect experience. Rodrigo Piano works are beautiful as it is, but what is assembled here belongs to his very best efforts.

Let me just pick out a few that had quite a effect on me. To start with the gorgeous Cinco Piezas del Siglo XVI, were Rodrigo took melodies from Antonio de Cabezon, Luys de Milan, and Alonso Mudarra, as a starting point, and how well he scored it, really a treat for your ears. Also de Cuatro Estampas Andaluzas, are a class in itself. Highly atmospheric pieces with a breath that opens up so many impressions, that listening once is really not enough. There is so much to discover here, like in the Cuatro Piezas Para Piano, virtuosic gems that sparkle under the hands of Zabaleta. I never heard piano works by Rodrigo, my bad, for it is remarkable. Fortunately I corrected this by acquiring this box issued by Brilliant records, for a giveaway price really. The recording is excellent.





Handel, George Frideric. (1685-1759) Complete Harpsichord Music. CD 2.

New acquisition.
Bought in January 2016.
Second listen.
Label: Brilliant.
CD 2 from 8.
Recording dates: April/May 2015.
Recording venue: Abbazia di Santa Maria delle Carceri d'este, Padua, Italy.
Recording engineer: Fabio Framba.
Running time: 78:59.
Classical relevance: Well worth acquiring.

Works performed:

Too many to write down.

Works performed by:

Roberto Loreggian, Harpsichord.
Instrument used:
Frezzato Di Mattia, Este, Padua 2014.
Flemish instrument after J. Ruckers, "Grand ravalement", Antwerp 1612.
Italian instrument after G.B. Giusti.
Tuning A=415 Hz, Vallotti temperament.

Like the first CD I can only repeat my praise of these works and performances. It is not top shelf Handel, but good enough to listen to. And for the price it's actually a no-brainer purchase. The quality of Loreggians playing is such that it makes it even easier to acquire it.. The sound is excellent, and the instruments used do full justice to the music of Handel.




Thursday, July 28, 2016

Fux, Johann Joseph. (1660-1741) Concentus musico instrumentalis. Baroque Chamber music at the Viennese Court.

New acquisition.
Bought in July 2015.
First listen.
Label: Oehms.
Original release date: 2006.
Recording dates: May 2004.
Recording venue: WAR Studio Wien, Austria.
Recording engineers: Elisabeth & Wolfgang Reithofer.
Running time: 60:20.
Classical relevance: A fine addition to the Fux catalogue in my collection.

Works performed:
Overture à 4 from Concentus MI, No VI
Overture à 4 from Concentus MI, No. III.
Canzon à 3.
Parthia trio.
Partita à 3.
Synfonia à 3.

Works performed by:
Clemencic Consort, Rene Clemencic, on authentic instruments.

Certainly a surprise to see this ensemble on Oehms. A well known name from my past. I have quite a few CD'S in my collection in which this ensemble plays a role.  Fux is always a welcome guest in my house, so I was quite curious after this recording. It is well recorded to start with, and the music is up to expectations. It is warm and committed playing, a bit stiff in the loins, and a little playfulness would not be amiss, but on the whole this is a fine addition to my collection. Fux music is always inventive and never boring and the Clemencic Consort makes sure that attention does not wander. Most of the concerti on this disc I had not heard before, but I am glad I finally did. All of the instrumentalists are soloists and this you will hear. The colour and balance plus the close attention to felicitous details is to be applauded. A very good buy I would say, I only paid 2,99€ for this disc, so a no brainer.







Rodrigo, Joaquin. (1901-1999) Piano Works. CD 9 from the Complete Rodrigo Edition on the label Brilliant.

New acquisition.
Bought in September 2014.
Second listen.
Label: Brilliant.
Box with 21 cd's.
Price 19,95 euros.
Recording dates:  Not mentioned.
Recording venue: Auditorium of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain.
Recording engineer: Jonathan Stokes.
Running time: 70:36.

Works performed:

Piano works.
Tres Evocaciones.
Danza de la amapola
Sonada de Adios.
A l'Ombre de Torre Bermeja.
Preludio de Anoranza.
Suite Para Piano.
Canción y Danza.
Sonatas de Castilla con Toccata a modo de Pregon.
El Album de Cecillia.

Performed by:

Albert Guinovart.

 I am very pleased with this CD filled with solo piano works, played by Albert Guinovart, an unknown musician to me. He is a sensitive performer, playing the music in an impressionistic/expressionistic style, and so pulls the music to a level on which a sense of the sublime will unblossom, and the famed tonal colours for which Rodrigo is known, emerge as a bunch of water goblins out of calm water. Contemplative music at times, a very calm string of musical beads, tinkling in the soft breeze.

Well recorded it is.
******************************************
(As a sidenote: I found the previous CD 8 to be faulty, and I've got a replacement, only to detect that it had the same defect. It will play, but with sounds joining the music, which is certainly not in the score. I will not bother the firm who sold me this because it's clear that it is in all the pressings. Brilliant confirmed the trouble with this CD, but are unable to change this. I got the offer to return the complete box. But of course I did not do that.





Handel, George Frideric. (1685-1759) Complete Harpsichord Music. CD 1. Second rerun.

New acquisition.
Bought in January 2016.
Second rerun.
Label: Brilliant.
CD1 from 8.
Recording dates: April/May 2015.
Recording venue: Abbazia di Santa Maria delle Carceri d'este, Padua, Italy.
Recording engineer: Fabio Framba.
Running time: 77:21.
Classical relevance: Essential.

Works performed:

Suite in C, HWV 443.
Partita in G, HWV 450.
Prelude in D minor, HWV 563.
Prelude and Capriccio in G, HWV 571.
Suite in G minor, HWV 453.
Preludio in D minor, HWV 564.
Allegro in C, HWV 472.
Chaconne in F, HWV 485.
Suite in D minor, HWV 448.

Performed by:

Roberto Loreggian.
Instrument:
Flemish harpsichord by Frezzato Di Mattia, Padua, Italy 2014, after Johannes Ruckers "Grand ravalement" , Antwerp 1612.
Tuning: A=415 Hz, Valotti temperament.

This is a pleasant surprise, new recordings by Roberto Loreggian, and added somewhat older recordings by Michael Borgstede. Every one of them up to standard, a fine collection of admittingly not Handel's best works, but a lot of fun and wonderful surprises despite their provenance and the intent of their composition. They never outstay their welcome, and afford many hours of wonderful listening moments. The first Volume (1720) was carefully edited and corrected by Handel, and so is better construed than the second book which was never corrected by Handel, because he lost interest in the instrument and the costly ordeal to get it all right, so he let this second edition pass in silence, thus this volume carried a lot of mistakes, really bad pieces, and incoherent fragments of compositions. It is not clear to me, how far the corrections went, by any of the performers, and if the mistakes were taken out of the performing edition. Booklet is not quite clear I am afraid.

Anyways the first CD is in my ears one of great joy, just sample the genius of Handel in the Prelude, track 14.1, HWV 571. I played it several times, and just marvelled at the construction of it. Several moments in other pieces too peaked my interest. Loreggian is a marvelous musician, and he makes a definitive case of these pieces, overwhelming in their creativity and fine tuning of all details. The recording is more than excellent, and the Ruckers copy a marvel in sound.
8 cd's for less than 20 euros is in my book a no brainer.
Recommended.





Herzogenberg, Heinrich. (1843-1900) Chamber works.

New acquisition.
Bought in July 2016.
First listen.
Label: CPO
Originally released in 2009.
Recording dates: December 2005 & January 2008.
Recording venue: Kammermusikstudio SWR Stuttgart, Germany.
Recording engineers: Burkhard Pitzer-Landeck & Roland Winger.
Running time: 56:22.
Classical relevance: For Herzogenberg admirers, essential, for all others it may well be of interest.

Works performed: 

Piano Quartet, opus 17 in C major.
String Quartet, opus 63 in F major.

Performed by:
Minguet Quartett.
Oliver Triendl, Piano.

You know right from the start that these two works written by Heinrich von Herzogenberg belong to the best he ever wrote. They are of a considerable quality not often encountered and a great compliment for this man's unbounded talent. Might he have lived longer, there is no end to what as a composer he would be able to have done.  And for that matter also his wife, Elisabeth von Herzogenberg who was at least as talented as her husband. She died also too young! Both compositions on this disc are full blooded romantic works, with all the passion and deeply felt emotions conceivable. It is so well written, contrapunt is amazing, the creative genius out of which springs like the gulfs of a waterfall, one bright idea after another, keeps amazing me. Such music makes him a true connoisseur of outstanding musical food for mind and body. For me he ranks alongside Brahms, and is worthy of a shared place. None of the music would have worked if we did not have such good performances. An ensemble that plays with passion and unquenchable fire, giving full emotional due to the notes. All is perfect. The sound does full credit to the music.
Firmly recommended.




Forqueray, Jean Baptiste & Antoine. (1699-1782) Pieces de Viole avec la basse continuë.

New acquisition.
Bought in July 2016.
First listen.
Originally released in 1995.
Label: Glossa Cabinet.
Digipack with 2 CD'S.
CD 2.
Recording dates: February 1994 and April 1995.
Recording venue: Montevarchi di Arezzo, Italy.
Recording engineers: Luciano Contini and Valter Neri.
Running time: 71:06.
Classical relevance: Reference recording.

Works performed:
Suites 3 & 4.

Performed by:
Paolo Pandolfo, Guido Balestracci, Viola da Gamba.
Rolf Lislevand, Eduardo Egüez, Theorbo &  Baroque Guitars.
Guido Morini, Harpsichord.

This is a well presented recording of Jean Baptiste Forqueray's Gamba sonatas. so much so that they strike me as one of the best interpretations on the market. I heard them before of course, but was never convinced by what I heard so far. Now I am. I think Pandolfo and Balestracci are on the top of their game, and together they make these works a joy to hear.  Another virtuoso of his time, Marin Marais delivers the same quality, be it that were Forqueray is all virtuoso, Marais is more of an elegant character and quieter. With him you relax, but Forqueray makes you sit up.
Virtuosity and a fine sense of dynamics and shadings, makes this a prime choice in my opinion. The sound is natural and involves you in the music right at the start until the end. Fascinating stuff. The booklet is an example of lucid writing.
Recommended.







Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Schumann, Robert. (1810-1856) & Thieriot, Ferdinand. (1838-1919) Piano Quartets. First recordings.

Third rerun of a fine disc. My first review tells all really, and there is little I would like to add, perhaps only that this recording gave me as much and even more pleasure as the first time.
Recommended.

First review of Schumann/Thieriot...



Heinsius, Michael Ernst. (1710-1764) & Lentz, Nicolaas. (1720?-1782) Sinfonies, and Harpsichord Concertos.

Truly a great recording on the BIS label, of composers not often encountered, in fact not at all. Even though they were Dutch, I as a Dutchman did not know them. They emerged out of total obscurity, and what emerged is not much in terms of music, for most of it written by them is lost, but then they did not write much anyway. Both composers are good, in fact very good, so I am truly sorry there is not more music by their hands. The ensemble Van Wassenaer, is to my ears an group of dedicated and expertly playing individuals. Also never heard of them, but you can count them to be a top ensemble in the authentic world.
Follow the link to the first review and production details.

First review of the Heinsius/Lentz disc



Marx, Joseph. (1882-1964) Chamber works.

Marx belongs to my unknown and obscure department, but who is for me a first rate composer. The Trio Phantasie is a very good example of that. His music sounds kind of timeless, and takes you in a warm romantic embrace. Third rerun.
Follow the link below for the first review and all production details.

First review of Marx's Trio Fantasy



Taneyev, Sergey Ivanovich. (1856-1915) Complete String Quartets, Volume 4.

Third rerun of Volume 4. I am a great admirer of the Naxos recordings and this ensemble. They bring Taneyev's SQ to life in a very special way.
Follow the link below for the first review and production details.

First review of Taneyev's SQ, Volume 4.



Carolus Maximus. Music in the life of Charles V.

Second rerun.
Carolus Maximus by Pomerium is a virtual highlight in my collection. I have said before that I consider this choir one of the best I have heard so far in my life. Every one og their recordings is a winner for me, simply because the choir balance is perfect. I am flabbergasted why this choir does not get more exposure, and why they are not the envy of every record company. As it is I only encountered them in the beginning of this year when the label Glassando, now defunct alas, dumped the discs for a very low price. I do hope they will find a new label to record in the way they did. I feel like I landed in heaven with this ensemble.
Recommended.
Follow the link below with the first review and all production details.

First review of Carolus Maximus







Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Organ at European Courts.

Definetively one of my top acquisitions this year. Francesco Cera reached for the stars, and made a fantastic recording. It is all I want to find in this repertoire, and played on a organ that makes me even more elated.
Follow the link below for the first review and production details.

First review of The Organ at European Courts. Top recommendation



Enescu, George. Schnittke, Alfred. Strauss, Richard.. Works for Violin and Piano.

The second rerun of this NCA disc. A well put together program, that works in all quarters. Both the Enescu and Schnittke are almost symbiotic, and the Strauss is a fine dessert.
Follow the link below for the first review and production details.

First review of this disc, Enescu, Schnittke, Strauss.



Musica Vaticana. Music from the Vatican manuscripts (1503-1534)

Third rerun of this fine disc. Pomerium is a choir that is high on my list. The  sound they create is all important. All voices have a distinct audible character on their own, yet they blend as one voice together . As if a bunch of angles are gathered to praise the spiritual path. Very impressive.

Follow the link below for the first review and all production details.

First review of Musica Vaticana. 



Sunday, July 24, 2016

Herzogenberg, Heinrich von. (1843-1900) Chamber music.

New acquisition.
Bought in July 2016.
First listen.
Label: CPO.
First released in 2008.
Recording dates: January 2005.
Recording venue: Kammermusikstudio SWR Stuttgart, Germany.
Recording engineer: Burkhard Pitzer-Landeck.
Running time: 51:16.
Classical relevance: As being an Herzogen admirer essential, and for those that like good chamber music also a treat.

Works performed:
Quintet, opus 43 for Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon, and piano.
Trio opus 61 for Oboe, Horn and piano.

Performed by:
Orsolino Quintett.
Oliver Triendl, Piano.

Slowly but surely I get all chamber music, and orchestral music together from this talented genius. I refrain from buying vocal works, or choir compositions, of which he wrote quite a bit.
On this CD a Quintett and Trio; works with a high quality level, happy works, when increasing health brought back the enjoyment in composing. This you can hear in the last movement of the Quintett, such a jubilant confirmation of life, easily my favourite movement. The giocoso designates the character, it's full of joy and brilliant writing. So many details in the work that delight and surprise. I think one of his best compositions.
The Trio opus 61 goes on in the same vein, with an almost pastoral first movement and a clear statement towards the intent of the work. As in opus 43 there is a lot of superb writing for all instruments, especially in this first movement, the way Oboe and Horn plus piano communicate with each other, almost a chattering session on a warm sunny afternoon in the midst of summer with butterflies darting through the garden and fighting for a place on the flowers. The happy ride continues until the end. Fine sound, and an perfect performance.







Janitsch, Johann Gottlieb. (1708-1763) Sonata da Chiesa e da Camera.

New acquisition.
Bought in July 2016.
First listen.
Label: CPO.
Originally released in 2014.
Recording dates: December 2010.
Recording venue: Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal Köln, Germany.
Recording engineer: Hans Martin Renz.
Running time: 73:03.
Classical relevance: A must have disc, no doubt about it.

Works performed:
In F major, for Oboe, 2 Violins & bc.
In E flat major, for Oboe, Violin & bc.
In F major, for Oboe, Violin, Viola & bc.
In D major for Viola and Harpsichord.
In D minor for 2 Violins & bc.
In G minor for Oboe, Violin & bc.

Performed by:
Epoca Barocca on authentic instruments.

Truly a gem which I missed somehow when it was originally released. This music is truly of a high level. A composer I saw in the Austrian baroque box done by Letzbor, but I forgot which work he recorded. Anyway encountering such a fine performance of these sonatas is a treat. For it is a fact that Epoca Barocca is one of the best ensembles from Germany, and I have certainly a dozen or more recordings from them. Such as the music is presented on this disc I never heard it before, a novelty so to say. He was know as a fine contrapuntalist, and as a consequence his String Quartets were praised for this. Very little is know about his life, and we only know of his existence through the Berlin music publicist Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg who in 1754 wrote a few facts down about him. The booklet is a paragon of understandability. Not often we get that from CPO. Almost always dry exercises which puts my attention quickly down the drain. Not so with this disc.
He was a well respected composer, and why this is you will clearly hear in the Sonatas da Chiesa e da Camera. All concertos come with a different instrumentation. He gets that way the maximum of effect, and it keeps you firmly at attention. Such beautiful melodies, and perfect performances. A lucid and detailed recording it is. Recommended.






Forqueray, Antoine. (1672-1745) Pieces de Viole.

New acquisition.
Bought in July 2016.
First listen.
Originally released in 1995.
Label: Glossa Cabinet.
Digipack with 2 CD'S.
CD 1.
Recording dates: February 1994 and April 1995.
Recording venue: Montevarchi di Arezzo, Italy.
Recording engineers: Luciano Contini and Valter Neri.
Running time: 75:30.
Classical relevance: Reference recording.

Works performed:
Suites 1-3.

Performed by:
Paolo Pandolfo, Guido Balestracci, Viola da Gamba.
Rolf Lislevand, Eduardo Egüez, Theorbo &  Baroque Guitars.
Guido Morini, Harpsichord.

This is a well presented recording of Forqueray's Gamba sonatas. so much so that they strike me as one of the best interpretations on the market. I heard them before of course, but was never convinced by what I heard so far. Now I am. I think Pandolfo and Balestracci are on the top of their game, and together they make these works a joy to hear.  Another virtuoso of his time, Marin Marais delivers the same quality, be it that were Forqueray is all virtuoso, Marais is more of an elegant character and quieter. With him you relax, but Forqueray makes you sit up.
Virtuosity and a fine sense of dynamics and shadings, makes this a prime choice in my opinion. The sound is natural and involves you in the music right at the start until the end. Fascinating stuff. The booklet is an example of lucid writing, and has an interesting story to tell about Forqueray as a private character. One wonders that he had time at all to write such fine work.....considering.
Recommended.






Saturday, July 23, 2016

Fesca, Alexander Ernst. (1820-1849) Piano trios No. 2 & 5.

New acquisition.
Bought in July 2016.
First listen.
Originally released in 2014.
Label: CPO
Recording dates: June 2012.
Recording venue: Kammermusikstudio SWR Stuttgart, Germany.
Recording engineer: Friedemann Trumpp.
Running time: 64:54.
Classical relevance: A worthwhile addition to your collection.

Works performed:
Piano Trio No. 2, opus 12 in E minor& No. 5, opus 46 in B minor.

Performed by:
Trio Paian.

And yes, another composer that I knew by name, but whose music was unheard by me, which today is rectified by this recording that dropped in my mailbox today, or rather someone called at my door to deliver a huge parcel, with more  CD'S.
Anyways Fesca was an unlucky fellow, he died at the age of 29 succumbed to tuberculosis, and therefore never fully developed  his talent, be it that these piano trios make you hear the ultimate promise of what might have become a fine composer. His father before him was a well known and respected composer, Friedrich Ernst Fesca (1789-1826) who died also young of the same disease.
He was of course a contemporary of Mendelssohn, Schumann and Brahmsian composers alive then. This old sod of a Robert Schumann thought that it was quite normal to burn down a composer who was still struggling to make his way into musical society by writing a very silly and stupid piece in this flimsy excuse of a magazine called "Neue zeitschrift für Musik". Without ever seeing the score, he said that it where all butterfly melodies for the ladies, which is all very pleasing but only for a little while. Butterfly nature indeed, and what the deuce is wrong with that? Schumann was not able to write butterflies in his music! Music for the mediocre is another horse on which Schumann rides prominently in this piece, as if he is the definition of what is mediocre and what not?!  Well he goes on in that vein for some time, but he must have been in a very somber mood, for he was dead wrong in his assessment, me saying this of course means that I am mediocre. Well let it be that then, better as to miss these wonderful piano trios. For a 20 year old composer these are near perfect in a romantic context.
So what to expect...O, dear yes, an abundance of melodies, tumbling over each other like a whole bunch of butterflies, and in pretty colours mind, just to please the ladies.....and this guy. Deeply romantic, passionate as is befitting of his time, and well written to boot. Period!
It's overflowing with a myriad of creatively written details, just one surprise after another, and cleverly done, mind you. So,.... was this temporarily demented reviewer wrong in his amateurish review? Of course he was! It would be, like me writing a review about a new model from Porsche, without ever driven in it, and damn it to kingdom come. 
This music will please the mediocre and the not so mediocre, in fact it will move many a heart. And rightly so, Fesca deserves to be heard and appreciated, I know I do.
The performance and sound are top notch. Yes I recommend it!



Charpentier, Marc Antoine. (1643-1704) pour un Reposoir/to an Aumbry.

The Fourth rerun of this disc, and I would like to hear it many times after this, but another large pile of CD'S is waiting already. This is one of the discs that made my life brighter. It is such a privilege to hear such music in such fine performances. I cannot praise this CD enough, its a gem in my collection and absolutely in my top ten of best acquisitions.
Please follow the link below for the first review and production details.

First review of Charpentier, pour un Reposoir... 



Schickhardt, Johann Christian. (c.1682-1762) 6 Concerts a 4 Flutes et BC

In the third rerun modus, and every bit as good as I remembered it. A disc well worth acquiring.
Please follow the link below for the first review.

First review of Schickhardt Concerti for Flutes



Factor Orbis. Sacred Vocal Music of the Renaissance.

Another release from my favourite choir Singerpur, and one that is really very close to my heart. I imagine myself that this is how it must have sounded when composed. Werther that is so or not, it takes me back to it's time on a spiritual wagon, and fills my soul with happiness about so much beauty. Recommended. Third rerun.
Please follow the link below for the first review and all production details.

First review of Factor Orbis.




L'Orgue au Nouveau Monde

This is an CD that won me over instantly. The Organ is fantastic, the performance most satisfying, the sound excellent, and the choice of music, a stroke of genius. A disc which I recommend with some urgency. Get it, as long as it is available, which will not be long anymore.
Please follow the link for the first review and all production details.

First review of L'Orgue au nouveau Monde.




Friday, July 22, 2016

Buxtehude and his circle......

You never know how much time you have for playing yet another CD, but in fact I have some time left to devote myself to this fine CD released on the DaCapo label, and which for a change I bought for full price. On the basis of the samples I felt that was warranted, and I am glad to say I was not disappointed at all. The Theatre of Voices under Paul Hillier deliver pristine interpretations by composers of divers plumage.  They all sit comfortably in this circle I might add. I can not imagine that anyone would be displeased with the result.
Recommended.
Please follow the link below for the first review and the production details.

First review of Buxtehude and his Circle....





Erich, Daniel. Druckenmüller, Christoph Wolfgang. Saxer, Wilhelm Dietrich. Gallus, Iacobus Handl. Haydn, Joseph.

The first rerun of today, is a disc which I enjoy immensely. Three fairly unknown composers, bundled together. It's all they composed, or what is known of them. Fits on one CD. Brilliant had a not so bright idea to release a twofar with the Druckenmüller compositions in repeat and adding some other unknown composers. Not such a wise decision, for I will not purchase that set just because of this. They do that more often I noticed. 
Anyways the three composers on this disc wrote fine organ music, for my enjoyment is still at a high peak and will remain so. Despite some criticism I had about Tomadin as an organist, this performance is quite good, and the Schnitger organ in Zwolle is awesome in every respect. Tres cool. :)
Third rerun.

> Be aware of the fact that the timings in the Saxer works are not correct<


Follow the link below for the first review and all details of this recording.

First review of this Organ disc.




Another disc with my favourite choir, Singerpur in the third rerun. The internal balance in this ensemble is a balm for my ear. The thorough control of dynamism, tempi, and the extraordinary talent of all singers to balance the loudness of their voices into a perfect blend, keeps astonishing me no end. I consider this a reference recording and a prime example how to perform Renaissance music. Third rerun.
Follow the link below for the first review and all details of this recording.

First review of the Gallus disc.






What also came as a pleasant surprise were Alessandro Stradella's String sinfonias, on the label Brilliant, an assembly of concerti put together especially for this disc. We get a good performance by the Ensemble Arte Musica led by a coryfee in the authentic world, Francesco Cera. Artistically he gets all right, so these are well balanced concertos. The recording is made at a rather high level, so take that into account before you turn up the volume too much. But it's highly detailed, walk through the desks so to say. Recommended, especially if you collected more of his music on the same label. You get a good deal in artistic terms on them all.
Follow the link for the first review and all recording details.

First review of Stradella's String Sinfonias.







In the beginning of 2016 I bought rather a lot of Ligia discs in a very attractive sale. Thereby had the chance to acquaint myself with new artists and music alike. Nothing unknown about the Organ concertos by Joseph Haydn though. As I said in my first review these performances are reference material for me. It's not likely I will find better interpretations as the present one.
Please follow the link below for the first review and all production details.

First review of the Haydn Organ Concertos and all production details. 





Thursday, July 21, 2016

Praetorius, Hieronymus & Jacob junior. Graun, Johann Gottlieb.

Still some time to listen to a fantastic organ disc with music by Father and Son Praetorius. It is one of the Joseph Kelemen recordings I bought some time ago. I consider him one of my favourite organists. I admire his consistency in executing the music on offer, and his own special genius added to all what he plays. Third rerun already, I can safely recommend this recording to all organ music lovers.
Follow the link to the first review and all details about this recording.

First review of the Praetorius disc. 





Another  CD from NCA. A rarity that happen to come my way very cheaply, and of which I had no expectations, other than it might surprise me in a good way, which it actually did. Johann Gottlieb Graun's music is very well represented by this unknown ensemble from Germany. Their excellence in performing, the variety in concerti recorded on this CD, and the good sound delivered by Maria Suschke a coryfee in the recording business. Graun is a versatile composer and on this CD many combinations are recorded. Not for nothing is he one of my favourite composers of that time.
Recommended.  Third rerun.
Follow the link for the first review and all recording details.

First review of Graun's Sinfonias and Flute music.






Pez, Johann Christoph. Pepusch, Johann Christoph.Bach, CPE. Bach, J.S. Muffat. Zipoli. Kerll. Froberger.

I keep in the rerun mode this week. Most of them third reruns. I must make place for many newcomers. There is an unending stream of new composers, and of course new recordings, of repertoire which is doubled or tripled up in my collection with a reason.
Today I start with two Ramee discs with very interesting music, in spectacular good performances. It did not get enough airings on classical forums or any other place on the internet, which they rightly deserve due to artistic excellence in performance and music.
The first composer on my list is:

Johann Christoph Pez...(1664-1716) who knows him? I did not! But this recording opened my ears wide. It has all the ingredients to make this disc stand out, but sadly enough quality is not always recognized. Let me have another go in recommending it.
Follow the link below with the first review and all details of the recording.

First review of Pez's Overtures and Concerti 






The second Ramee disc is by the composer Johann Christoph Pepusch, (1667-1752) He is somewhat better known to me and others. He pops up on a regular basis in reviews of other composers I read. This man writes beautiful music! But despite the obvious quality of the music, this recording passed me unnoticed when released. Sure enough I am glad that I finally caught up with it when there was a special sale of Ramee discs. The Concertos and Overtures on this disc gets my highest marks. The artistic merit, the spectacular fine performance, coupled to almost a State of the Art sound, makes this a catch any time. So also for this disc my classical friends, another try in recommending this disc. Sampled it and you will be sold!

And as a side note the director of this ensemble, Robert Rawson, kindly drew my attention to a new release of Pepusch music,  Venus and Adonis, a masque, to be released at the end of August. Looking forward to it. 
                                                           *********
Follow the link below with the first review and all details of this recording.

First review of Pepusch's Concertos and Overtures.







Another fine example of the diversity in Organ music must be the Oehms disc with music by:
J.S Bach, Georg Muffat, Johann Kaspar Kerll, Domenico Zipoli, Johann Jacob Froberger. The beautiful Ahrend organ, and the sensitive playing of Heidrun Hensel, albeit a bit tame in places, gives the music that extra thrill. As an extra we get a excellent performance throughout, and what a joy to hear Zipoli played in such an appropriate way. Wish she had recorded his complete organ work. Good sound and heartily recommended, surely a must for discerning organ music lovers.
Follow the link below with the first review and all details of this recording.

First review of this Organ disc.






What was also a surprise was this NCA disc with 3 Sonatas for Harpsichord and Violin by CPE Bach. I must admit that I did not know them at all, and was surprised by the quality of the compositions. Especially when it is performed as it is. Authentic instruments in perfect concord with each other. I love the melodic invention and the drive behind them. Also a neglected disc and well worth recommending to those that appreciate such music.
Follow the link below, for the first review and all details of this recording.

First review of CPE Bach's, 3 Sonatas.




Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Herzogenberg, Heinrich and Elisabeth. Lasso, Orlando di. Music from Spain's Golden Age. Cannabich, Christian

Today again a couple of reruns, which I always do in the heat of the summer, to clear my shelves a little, to make room for new acquisitions, although I seem to have trouble taking my leave from the Piano music of the Herzogenberg's. But I have to, so today the last disc No. 3.
Fourth rerun.
Please follow the link to the first review, and all details regarding this recording.
First review of CD 3.




Singerpur, performing works by Orlando di Lasso is a treat any time of day. It is known that I consider this choir one of the best in Western Europe. Their performances gives you a complete new insight into well known composers. Certainly one of my favourites.
Please follow the link to the first review and all details regarding this recording.
First review of this disc.




Another disc that came as a surprise must certainly be, "Music from Spain's Golden Age". Such a variety of arranged music tastefully done, and with an historic basis. It's my third rerun of this disc, and I also have a hard time letting this one slip into the cellar of my collection. One never knows when it is visited again.......
Please follow the link below to the first review, and all details of this recording.
First review of Music from Spain's Golden Age.




Another instalment from Chandos series, Contemporaries of Mozart. Christian Cannabich is a composer that has some impact in the many surprising felicities of his music. It will not rock your house, but will bring many a time a smile on your face. And  that's worth something too, ain't it?
Please follow the link below to the first review and all details of this recording.
First review of the Symphonies of Christian Cannabich




Tuesday, July 19, 2016

On top of today I found some very good bargains . So I ordered them.

I found some stuff for a good price. Any comments regarding those recordings.













Guillaume de Machaut-The Fitzwilliam Virginal book- John Bull-Sergej Tanejew- Melanie Bonis- and Heinrich and Elisabeth von Herzogenberg.

Today primarily reruns. The hot weather doesn't allow much more. I had a pretty varied diet today. A few of my favourite CD'S that I bought this year.

The first one is the Messe de Nostre Dame, high on my list for the unconventional approach Graindelavoix is giving us, of Machaut's  beautiful composition.
Follow the link below for all the details and first review.

First review




 The second twofar full with chamber music by Sergej Tanejew is another recording that has a place of honour with me, for interpretation and the heavenly compositions.
Follow the link below for all details and first review.

First review





The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, Volume 4 with music by Giles Farnaby and John Bull is a treasure too. In fact all previous 3 volumes are more then excellent, and well worth exploring. It is always a pleasure to return to the works of John Bull.
Follow the link below for all details and first review.

First review




For me Melanie Bonis is one of the best female composers I ever heard, and I closed her forever in my heart. Laurent Martin gives us a extraordinary fine performance of her piano works. Her music is deeply ingrained in my soul. A desert Island disc no doubt.
Follow the link below for all details and first review.

First review





Another box that will be forever in my memory and which I already played four complete times, is haunting me in a positive way. Heinrich but also Elisabeth von Herzogenberg. Heinrich compositions are dominating this box, but Elisabeth makes up for that, with only 8 pieces, but more than a match for Heinrich's compositions and in some ways even more revealing in its expression. I have played CD 1 and 2 from this set. An absolute recommendation.
Please follow both links below for all details and first reviews.

Review CD 1
Review CD 2






Koechlin, Charles. (1867-1950) Piano Works Volume I. ....des Jardins enchantés.

New acquisition. Bought in June 2017. First listen: 27-6-2017. Label: Hanssler Classics. Recording dates: December 2007. Recording venu...