The release of Concerti Grossi Opus 6 marks the beginning of Linn and The Avison Ensemble’s commitment to record Corelli’s complete chamber music. Arcangelo Corelli was one of the shining geniuses of the baroque era and his twelve Concerti Grossi are considered among the very best of Italian baroque output. The twelve Concerti Grossi demonstrate an austere grandeur and a never-ending invention which is never routine.
As a genre, the concerto grosso is virtually unique in its ability to capture the verve and elegance of baroque music. Its most outstanding exponent was Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713), whose principal concerti grossi are brought together in the present release. Recorded in the magnificent antique Basilica di San Marco in Rome, whose Baroque style dates back to the restorations of the 17th and 18th centuries, this DVD recreates a wonderful historical atmosphere. Played by I Solisti Veneti under their founder and director Claudio Scimone, this DVD also provides for an unforgettable musical experience thanks to the performers’ eminence in this repertory. Having won numerous awards including a Grammy Award and a Grand Prix du Disque, the ensemble and its conductor are excellent authorities in the field of historically authentic performance practice. Their concert performances are entertaining events for their audiences and on this DVD, we can enjoy them with various colourful baroque concertos and sonatas for violin and for trumpet – indulging in the music’s dramatic contrasts.
This is one of the first classical CDs I bought, well before I new the difference between period and modern instruments, etc. Contrary to Stan Vernnoy's review two doors down, I beleive you should like the music for what it is, not the instruments it is played upon. Also, to my ears, Corelli's music sounds much better on the period instruments. The modern instruments sound too sweet and glossy to me. Not to say that period instruments would work for, say a Rachmaninov symphony! It'a all a matter of preference.
The re-master of a 1974 Decca Record recording is excellent in execution and style. Neveille Marriner and St. Martin-in-the-Fields perform in their typical excellent manner.
However, the recording over emphasize the soloist. I find this unfortunate, since the play between the opposing instruments is a little lost.
Harmonia Mundi's Geminiani: Concerti Grossi VII-XII (after Corelli, Op. 5) is a single disc excerpted from a larger set issued in 1999 including all of Geminiani's concerti based on models of Corelli. That set was, and is, something of an expensive proposition, but certainly a first-class choice for the music of Geminiani, for the way the Academy of Ancient Music sounds under the direction of Andrew Manze and as representative of late English Baroque music as a whole. This disc is a single-disc condensation drawn from the earlier set that comes, as an added bonus, with a thick catalog of Harmonia Mundi's active releases, and the asking price is modest.
The chamber orchestra Cappella Istropolitana was founded in 1983, taking its name from the Roman Istropolis, the city on the Danube that is the modern Bratislava, a name that had been perpetuated in the renowned Renaissance Universitas Istropolitana. The orchestra has appeared throughout the world and has won distinction in the recording, broadcasting and television studios, working often under distinguished conductors in a comprehensive repertoire; it has more than ninety CDs to its credit. In 1991 the City Council appointed the orchestra Chamber Orchestra of the City of Bratislava.
Richter actually made a full set of recordings for Handel's Concerti Grossi. The Munich Bach Orchestra, who almost played exclusively for Richter, maintained its essential baroque flur throughout all the pieces, under the impeccable conducting of Richter. The different string sections played as if they were in a chorus, each minute part played in fully melodious and engaging manner, while the ensemble as a whole displayed all the required congeniality and harmoniousness essential of the baroque style. The rhythms are enlivened while contrasts striking, and you will seldom find Handel's works played in such grand style as did Richter and the Munich Bach Orchestra here. (Amazon.com)
Handel's Concerti Grossi opus 6 must surely be ranked as some of the greatest orchestral music ever composed. Probably penned in or around 1739, the pieces were developed to serve as orchestral "interludes" for other operatic or oratorio performances. To listen to them, however, is to tempt us not believe that this could possibly be the case: the Concerti Grossi opus 6 works are without doubt among the pinnacle of Baroque composition. After listening to these, we are left with a distinct sadness that Handel did not turn his attention more to this genre, as his masterful treatment in the opus 6 shows us his true genius.
The concerto grosso form was popularized by Corelli, and Locatelli’s Op 1 is a marvellous example of the genre: its solid craftsmanship, imaginative textures and exciting virtuosity bringing it into the top rank. These works are ravishingly performed here by The Raglan Baroque Players, Nicholas Kraemer and soloist Elizabeth Wallfisch.
Sony Classical is delighted to announce the reissue of its recordings by Tafelmusik, the celebrated period instrument orchestra. Originally released between 1989 and 1998, they are all being issued together for the first time in a single Sony Classical box set of 47 CDs. Founded in 1979, the Toronto-based ensemble “has built in its special field a reputation as solid as those of the New York or Berlin philharmonics”, declared The Washington Post. The New York Times summed up Tafelmusik’s achievements, writing that “beyond its impeccable discipline and luminous textures, the group displays an expressive sensibility that transcends the instruments, whether strung with gut or wire”.