When this staging was presented in 1992, in various theatres, Gardiner decided to be his own director because he didn't trust any available alternative to be faithful to Da Ponte's and Mozart's original. In the circumstances his was a sensible decision because his deeply discerning stage interpretation perfectly seconds his own musically perceptive reading. His keen understanding of what this endlessly fascinating work is about is made plain in his absorbing essay in the booklet.
Nils Mönkemeyer takes Bach’s love of the viola as his starting point for a daring, inventive and colourful album. The viola is shown to be the cello’s equal in an elegantly shaped performance of the composer’s Suite No. 5—Mönkemeyer juxtaposes each movement with a hybrid viola and theorbo arrangement which, if not authentic, is nevertheless stunning. Elsewhere, French music is explored through a world premiere recording of an 18th-century Suite by Robert de Visée and a beautiful ensemble piece by the 17th-century Michel Lambert. An exquisite version of one of Bach’s chorale preludes “Nun Komm” finishes this album in style.
Though Bach’s set of six Sonatas and Partitas represents the pinnacle of writing for the solo violin, the Baroque repertoire was rich in compositions for the unaccompanied violin, much of which remains little explored. On this recording Augusta McKay Lodge, hailed as ‘the real thing, a true virtuoso’ (Seen and Heard), explores masters of the genre such as Biber, Locatelli and Pisendel but delves deeper to include the impassioned works of Nicola Matteis, the Franco-Italian warmth of Thomas Baltzar and a series of other long-overshadowed works by their contemporaries.