April 2015

Handel in the Wind – The Messiah and Other Masterworks

Red Priest albums are always stylish, entertaining and controversial, and this one is no exception. It took me a little while to become accustomed to the sound world of Red Priest – recorder, violin, cello and harpsichord – as applied to Handel’s Messiah but I found I soon entered into it and really enjoyed their imaginative interpretations of such well-known music. [...]

Schubert’s Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession

The shocking impact on its first hearers of Schubert's Winterreise is well documented; his friends were 'dumb­founded' by the overwhel­ming power of the grief expressed in the 24 settings of Wilhelm Muller's poems. It is hugely popular today, but you have to prepare yourself for a performance [...]

The Musical Life of Joseph Martin Kraus…

As someone who has long enjoyed listening to Kraus's music, it has come as something of a disappointment that he seems to have been a rather unlikeable person. Most of the letters that comprise the first part of this volume are full of requests for money from his parents, and complaints about his lot in life; [...]

Music in the time of Velázquez

It is hard to believe that this sparkling recital was originally issued in 1993; the repertoire it explores, that of 17th-century Spanish secular music, remains relatively little known. Much of the vocal half of the disc is devoted to the theatre music of Juan Hidalgo, who was closely associated with the great dramatist Calderon. [...]

Schultzen: Recorder Sonatas & anonymous Viola da Gamba sonatas

This is the first recording of the six recorder sonatas by Schultzen which were published by Roger in Amsterdam and survive in a copy in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Although they appear in Roger’s 1737 catalogue they are known to have existed as early as 1704 and the identity of A. H. Schultzen, the composer named on the print, is somewhat mysterious. [...]

Guillemain: Sonates en quatuors

EMR will readers will surely be able call to mind Quantz’s advocacy of the quartet and his admiration for Telemann’s works in the genre. Well, here’s music that seriously rivals GPT and that’s a clause I never thought I’d type. [...]
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