July 2015

Louis XIV: Les musiques du roi-soleil

This is a re-packaging of recordings from 2013, 2004 and 2001 respectively. The note (Eng/Fre) gives a good general background to the music though says little about specifics and the texts/translations must be downloaded from Alpha. [...]

Gombert: Motets

The quirkily named Beauty Farm draws its membership from a number of top continental ensembles and sounds beautifully blended with accurate intonation. If the recorded sound gave an initial impression of claustrophobia, by no means inappropriate for Gombert, I soon warmed to it. [...]

Praetorius

This is a fine recording of some little-known music. The Praetorius of the title is actually the trinity of Michael, of Dresden, and the unrelated Heironymus and his son Jacob, of Hamburg (the latter a first for me.) [...]

C. P. E. Bach: Zweyte Fortsetzung: Sonatas 4–6

In this, volume 29 of the BIS complete C.P.E. Bach keyboard series, Miklós Spányi makes a strong case for the clavichord, both in his playing and in the useful sleeve notes. He gets a wide range of dynamics and articulation, and the recording quality is excellent, picking up every nuance. [...]

Purcell: Dido & Aeneas

‘Dido-on-Sea’? Or ‘Dido and Aeneas go to the Circus’? Whatever construct is put on this conception it will hardly be sufficient to convey just how bizarre it is. Where to start? Well, as is not uncommon in these benighted days, the stage directions are largely ignored. [...]

Vinci: Catone in Utica

First given in Rome at the Teatro delle Dame in January 1728, Catone in Utica was the first collaboration between Leonardo Vinci and Metastasio. In accordance with the Papal decree forbidding women on the Roman opera stage, it was given with an all-male cast, a format followed in this first recording, with countertenors taking the female parts. [...]
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