Hille Perl is widely regarded as one of the leading viola da gambists in the world. Because of the prominence of her instrument in the Baroque era, her repertory is rich in works from that period, with the names, J.S. Bach, Telemann, Marin Marais, Sainte-Colombe, and other 17th and 18th century composers headlining her concert programs and recordings. Perl also plays the treble viol, the seven-string bass viol, Baroque guitar, Lirone, and Xarana.
For fans of the classical mandolin, here is a disc of the best works for the instrument by Antonio Vivaldi, the best friend the mandolin ever had. And for the rest of the world, here is a disc of colorful Baroque concertos by Antonio Vivaldi, the best friend the Baroque concerto ever had. After all, Vivaldi may have been the mandolin's best friend, but even he could only compose so many mandolin concertos.
Georg Philipp Telemann based his compositions on several texts by Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock. Most well-known (at least theoretically) are his settings of parts of the first and the tenth song of the Messiah, which were created in the 1750s and were presented in 1759 in the Hamburg Drillhaus a larger public. Telemann was thus the first to validly transform parts of this famous epic into a musical form. It is quite likely that Telemann and Klopstock met in person, especially since Telemann showed great interest in the latest literary trends up to the very last age. For Telemann, it would have been a challenge to try a poetry written in strict hexameters, which was so completely different from the usual cantata texts. So there are no recitatives and arias, but only a great through-composed form. This is absolutely unique for this time, and once again you are amazed at the genius of the late Telemann! Veronika Winter, Marion Eckstein, Jan Kobow and Klaus Mertens are our soloists, the Telemannische Collegium Michaelstein plays under the direction of Ludger Rémy.
Never judge a CD by its cover; nothing about this album's tacky artwork nor the scanty information on its back will prepare the listener for the truly delectable contents inside. The refined period performances of Vivaldi's chamber concertos by the fabulous L'Astrée ensemble make this album a delightful experience, and despite Opus 111's questionable packaging, the label deserves high marks for providing exquisite sound quality and for devoting serious attention to a worthy project.
Italian master Baldassare Galuppi's catalog is so heavy with opera, sacred vocal works, and solo harpsichord pieces that it tends to dwarf his tiny output of purely instrumental music, a good deal of which awaits proper documentation. The odd-numbered set of seven Concerti a Quattro recorded here by Genoa-based newcomers Ensemble Il Falcone on the Italian Dynamic label originate not with a published set, but a set of manuscript parts in the Biblioteca Estense in Modena. The first printed editions of these concerti came out in the early '60s, and a few have been recorded as separate items, with L'Offerta Musicale being the first to release a recording of the whole set for Tactus in 2000. According to Dynamic, neither of the two published editions was pressed into use here; the music is played from the original manuscript parts. Ensemble Il Falcone also uses "original instruments," but we are not told anything about them, a pity, as the instruments definitely have a distinctive sound.
Get ready for the shock of the new , or, in this case, the old. This disc of Beethoven concertos by keyboardist Arthur Schoonderwoerd has a highly unusual sound, even by the standards of the historical-performance movement. Performances of the Beethoven concertos in period style are rarer than those of the sonatas, which are themselves rarer than those of music by Mozart and Haydn. This is partly because the whole issue is more problematical with Beethoven, who was clearly striving toward larger dimensions.
This disc, covering Beethoven's first two piano concertos, is the last of a series of three Beethoven concerto discs by historical pianist Arthur Schoonderwoerd, playing an 1800 Walter fortepiano and accompanied by the small ensemble Cristofori. The ensemble basically involves one instrument per part. The other booklets contain more elaborate justifications for this procedure, but here the only evidence given involves the cover pages of the original publications of the concertos, which refer to the instruments in the singular.
Italian historical-performance specialist violinist Frederico Guglielmo has led several different ensembles and offered various interpretive styles, as violinist and as conductor, in his approach to the violin music of the Baroque in Italy and beyond. His take on Handel's Water Music is brisk and rhythmic, but this collection of orchestral and solo violin music by the virtuoso Francesco Maria Veracini, whom the historian Charles Burney described as "capo pazzo," or crazy in the head, is a good deal quieter and more circumspect, with a small, violin-heavy ensemble that allows the wind parts to show through in the two orchestral overtures included.