Articles by EMR2015

Bach: Musical Offering

This recording – despite its relative brevity – left me exhausted; there is nothing tiring about the playing, which is absolutely first rate, but the music is just so intellectually demanding, or at least I allowed it to be so, teasing my brain with all its ingenuity! [...]

The Hunt is Up

Ross Duffin's Shakespeare's Songbook is quoted as the main source, though the scorings and adaptations are occasionally a bit odd. The main singer has an English accent that is a bit variable [...]

Bach: Violin Concertos BWV 1041–1043 & 1050R

If your initial reaction (like mine, I confess) was, "oh no, not another recording of these concertos!", time to dispel fears of being anything other than captivated by a series of interpretations that are as finely nuanced without the slightest hint of micro-management as you are ever likely to hear. [...]

Rolle: Jauchzet dem Herrn alle Welt – 31 motets

Though nowadays considered a secondary figure in the history of music, Johann Heinrich Rolle was actually much more so in his own day. His oratorios were very widely disseminated and performed (even enjoying the relative luxury of being printed in vocal score format) and it is not difficult to see why [...]

Vivaldi: L’Estro Armonico

Any new recording of L'Estro Armonico is most welcome! There simply is not a weak piece among the 12 concertos for one, two or four violins, with or without obbligato cello and continuo – truly, it is a virtuosic display of Vivaldi's talent, both as composer and as performer; [...]

Coronation Music for Charles II

This is a triumph of style over substance. It must have seemed a good idea to put together a programme reconstructing the coronation of Charles II in Westminster Abbey on 23 April 1661, packaging it with the glamorous painting of the enthroned king in his coronation robes. But someone needs to have done their homework properly [...]

Telemann: Festive Cantatas

The three works here (all in world modern premiere recordings) come from the cycle that Telemann published for 1748–49, the so-called "Engel-Jahrgang" to texts by Erdmann Neumeister, all following a five-movement pattern: chorus, aria, recitative, aria and chorus/chorale. [...]

Colonna: L’Assalone: oratorio per 5 voci

Assalone was one of no fewer than four oratorios which were performed at the Modena court of Francesco II d'Este in 1684 – Colonna's setting of the story of Judith was among the others. Francesco Lora (who edited the music) writes an illuminating note, not only on the work in question but also about the political importance of oratorio performances in Modena. [...]
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