Arcadia: Paradise in Music

ambitus amb 96 842

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The description on the cover of this CD reads ‘Pastorales inspired by the Christian hope of salvation meet those which take their cue from the dreamlands of antiquity. A musical journey to the myth of Arcadia.’ In fact, the programme is a very effective selection of instrumental pastorals from the Baroque by Schmelzer, Domenico Scarlatti, Tartini and Biber generally attractively and imaginatively performed by the two violins, cello and harpsichord of NeoBarock. I had to focus on the high quality of the music and the excellent and idiomatic performances as I waded through the rather pretentious programme notes – best to sidestep these and just enjoy generally unfamiliar music in this loosely connected but enjoyable programme. The opening extended anonymous chorale fantasia on Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern for violin and continuo is a revelation, while the concluding contribution by Biber, a Pastorella for the same line-up, is predictably flamboyant.

D. James Ross

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