Since the very dawn of the compact disc era, Ralph Kirkpatrick's seminal recordings of Domenico Scarlatti have mainly been conspicuous only by their absence from the active catalog. It's hard be sure just why, as all along listeners and reviewers alike have been requesting their return. Kirkpatrick's Bach has been reissued here and there, along with some oddities, including a live, all twentieth century recital Kirkpatrick performed in 1961, released on Music and Arts. But of the Scarlatti, nothing - how could the man who put the "K." in Scarlatti go neglected; were not his performances once considered the acme in Scarlatti played on the harpsichord?
Pieter-Jan Belder has made over 100 recordings, including the complete Telemann Tafelmusik for Brilliant Classics, and this set is part of his project to record all of Rameau’s keyboard music. On this 3CD set are Rameau’s great sets of pieces for keyboard – Pièces de Clavecin en Concerts of 1741, the Pièces de Clavecin of 1705 and 1724, and the Nouvelle Suites de Pièces de Clavecin of 1726. In the centuries that have passed since his death in 1764, he has been consistently praised by composers such as Debussy (‘A composer I cannot recommend strongly enough is Rameau’ he wrote in 1903), Hindemith, Tartini, D’Indy, and Gluck – what a variety! All wrote of their indebtedness to him, and acknowledged his influence.
A noteworthy fact: Marais, in his five books of Pièces de viole, published only two suites for two viols and continuo. Aside from the two suites for three viols (Book IV), all the other pieces are intended for the solo instrument with accompaniment of harpsichord, theorbo or a second viol in different combinations.
Georg Philipp Telemann was one of the most prolific composers of all time. A contemporary of Bach (and in his time even more famous) he composed in all existing genres, his music excelling in craftsmanship, originality and freshness. Telemann wrote an immense oeuvre for keyboard (he was a virtuoso on the instrument himself). This 5‐CD set contains an abundance of smaller pieces: fugues, overtures, suites and partitas. No matter how short or “small” the piece, the music shines with Telemann’s particular wit and brilliance, the stamp of a true genius.
Janos Starker was one of the 20th century's best cellists, known for his warmth and expression, as well as a thorough knowledge of the instrument. On these historic recordings, Starker delivers Bach’s six suites for solo cello and sonatas with technical expertise and authenticity. Accompanied by pianist György Sebök, this re-release is captured with the pristine sound associated with the Mercury Living Presence series.
Dietrich Buxtehude (c.1637–1707) spent his career working as an organist in churches, but was also a prolific composer of secular instrumental music and wrote far more for harpsichord than most composers of his era. Buxtehude’s position in Lübeck and fame as an organist brought him into contact with many of the greatest musicians of his day, and his style demonstrates the variety of musical influences that he was exposed to, particularly from German and Italian repertoire, which he combined to create a unique personal style.
Hailed for his “revelatory” account of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier (The New York Times), Richard Egarr turns to one of the least known collections for solo harpsichord. This complete recording of the solo oeuvre of Louis Couperin (c.1626-1661) revels in his full harmonic and contrapuntal textures, marked by a poignant use of dissonance – music that entrances the ear!