June 2015

Steffani: Niobe, Regina di Tebe

This is a recording of the recent Covent Garden production, directed by Lukas Hemleb. With an excellent team of soloists and the fine Balthasar-Neumann-Ensemble, under Thomas Hengelbrock’s reliable baton, this ought to have been a winner. [...]

Bach in Montecassino

There is an interesting back-story to this CD of Bach organ music played on a one-manual North Italian organ. The pieces come from Bach pieces collected by two 18th century scholars, Friedrich Wilhelm Rust and Padre Martini. [...]

Handel: Israel in Egypt

One shouldn’t compare recordings of different works by different artists, even if the composer is the same. However, having just listened to FestspielOrchester Göttingen’s live recording of Joshua, I was deep into the world of Handel oratorio and thus expectant of a similarly absorbing oral experience thanks to this recording of Israel in Egypt. [...]

Bach & Entourage

This latest fruit (and a rich one at that) of the collaboration of two of the stars of the younger generation focuses on music for solo violin by Johann Sebastian Bach and his colleagues and pupils. [...]

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber: Requiem in f…

I've played organ for the F-minor Requiem nearly as many times as Monteverdi's 1610 Vespers, though mostly (in both cases) for workshops or small-scale concerts. I reckon this and the 23-part Mass are significant works, whereas the 53-part Mass (my parts have 57) is a bit boring, since the rich texture doesn't produce enough beyond that. [...]
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