Veracini: Adriano in Siria

Adriano in Siria was the first of three operas written by the virtuoso violinist Francesco Maria Veracini for Handel’s London rivals, the Opera of the Nobility. It was first performed at the King’s Theatre on 26 February 1735, subsequently running to an impressive 20 performances. [...]

Janitsch: Sonate da Chiesa e da Camera

Where previous releases of discs devoted to Janitsch's gorgeous chamber music have concentrated on quartets that highlight winds, the emphasis here is slightly on the string family, and divides the programme equally between quartets and the less often heard trios (one of which is taken one step further by having one of the treble lines played by the harpsichordist's right hand). [...]

Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki: [Church music]

Don't be put off by the snappy title and marvellous marketing! This is a gorgeous recording of some really lovely music – you will not be alone if you have never heard of the composer; he lived 1665–1734 and was head of music in the Wawel Cathedral in Krakow for the last 36 years of his life. [...]

Rameau: Pièces pour clavecin

I must say I find quite extraordinary the note’s suggestion that Rameau’s solo harpsichord pieces are ‘somewhat neglected’, especially after this last year. Be that as it may, Bertrand Cuiller here sets about rectifying any such neglect with a will and no little vigour. [...]

A painted tale

The young American tenor Nicholas Phan has rightly attracted praise for his performances of Britten, with whose music he identifies. It is very noticeable that he has welcomed on board many elements of Pears’ style, notably the latter’s use (particularly in his later years) of acciaccatura – launching up to a higher note from the lower one, like a mini trampoline in front of a vaulting horse. [...]

Flow my tears: Songs for lute, viol and voice

This is a recording of a concert from July 2013; this time it’s lute songs, which Davies sings beautifully and intelligently, as ever. I’m not going to bang on about countertenors and downward- transposed lute songs, and whether or not this a historical practice, yet again. [...]

Cavalieri: Rappresentatione di Anima & di Corpo

What price progress in the early music world? This new version of Emilio de Cavalieri’s seminal sacred opera falls both as to concept and performance a million miles short of Andrew Parrott’s 1988 recording of the 1589 Florentine intermedi. That famous entertainment was, of course, organised by Cavalieri, who also contributed music to it. [...]
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