Ensemble Marsyas’ recording of Johann Fasch’s finest chamber music demonstrates why the man and his music were so appreciated in his own lifetime. Founding member Peter Whelan and ‘the queen of the recorder’ (BBC Radio 3) Pamela Thorby are the soloists challenged with meeting the virtuoso demands of this engaging music. The four-movement Quartet in B-flat Major for recorder, oboe, violin and continuo is among one of Fasch’s most popular works; full of catchy tunes and contrapuntal ingenuity in equal measure, virtuosity is demanded from all concerned.
This very attractive release from Channel Classics features the terrific British period instrument ensemble Florilegium in performances of three Vivaldi concertos and two sacred vocal works. The group plays without a conductor and the players' shapely unanimity of phrasing and nuanced expressiveness give the performances the character of chamber music. It sidesteps the metric squareness that can plague performances of Vivaldi and let the music breathe and surge organically. The strings have the slight tartness of Baroque instruments and the overall sound of the orchestra has an appealing burnished sheen. This is relatively obscure repertoire and includes a flute concerto that was only discovered in 2010 and is recorded here for the first time, played beautifully by Ashley Solomon, the artistic director of Florilegium.
This is the last CD of the Frans Brüggen Edition. It contains a very rare interpretation of the Concerto in E minor of Telemann with "The Chamber Orchestra of Amsterdam" conducted by André Rieu in 1962.