The dynamic ensemble Brecon Baroque was founded in 2007 by violinist and director Rachel Podger as resident ensemble at her annual Brecon Baroque Festival.The international line-up consists of some of the leading lights in the period-instrument world,such as cellist Alison McGillivray,flautist Katy Bircher,oboist Alexandra Bellamy and violist Jane Rogers,as well as some of Rachel's former students who now occupy leading positions in many of Europe's finest ensembles:violinists Bojan Cicic and Johannes Pramsohler.
An expert in the field of Baroque violin, Rachel Podger is back from the studio with another Bach album. This time, accompanied by the Brecon Baroque ensemble, she's focusing on some of Bach's double and triple concertos - BWV 1043 for Two Violins, BWV 1044 for Harpsichord, Flute and Violin, BWV for Violin and Oboe, and the Concerto for Three Violins, BWV 1064.
Lisa Batiashvili presents a fine selection in chamber and orchestral music of popular, but also newly recorded Bach pieces. This includes the first ever recording of Bach’s famous aria “Erbarme Dich, mein Gott” in a transcription for violin, oboe and orchestra on Deutsche Grammophon. First ever recording of C. Ph. E. Bach’s Trio Sonata in b flat minor for violin, flute and BC on Deutsche Grammophon. For this Lisa teams up with the world’s famous flutist from Berliner Philharmoniker, Emmanuel Pahud. For one of the real hits on that CD, the double concerto for violin and oboe BWV 1060, Lisa collaborates with her husband, the oboist Francois Leleux. An interpretation from the heart!
In the Bach Double Concerto, Sitkovetsky is joined by his uncle Dmitry, and it's fascinating to hear how well matched they are - Alexander (playing the prime part, I assume) having a more refined and slightly brighter sound. Theirs is a stylish performance, too, featuring long lines, flowing tempi and nimble orchestral playing. In fact, despite the awkward name, the New European Strings Chamber Orchestra are a tight-knit band with a handsomely warm sound. Recorded in the Henry Wood Hall, London, in 2002, when Alexander was not yet 20, this disc offers further evidence of a career that could (and should) be spectacular. -- [8/2004]
Les Noces is a screaming, shrieking, flat-out masterpiece. Leonard Bernstein himself has referred to it as Stravinsky's greatest work, and listening to this incendiary performance, it's awfully hard to disagree. Scored for voices, four pianos, and percussion, the work provided the inspiration for the entire career of Orff (of Carmina Burana fame), but it's so much better as sheer music than anything Orff wrote. And what a cast! The pianists for this performance include Martha Argerich, Krystian Zimerman, Cyprien Katsaris, and Homero Francesch, four certified virtuoso performers, while the singers of the English Bach Festival Chorus really cover themselves with glory in both works. A stunner.