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.
Italian composer and organist Bernardo Storace was the assistant music director of the senate in the city of Messina in the second half of the seventeenth century. Here, Jörg Halubek, a young organist who won the first prize in organ at the International Bach Competition in Leipzig in 2004, plays a selection from Storace’s variations on well-known dances and melodies of the time.
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.
Debussy's Études are really the only set that deserves to be put beside Chopin's. What makes them so special? Like his, they are truly "practice pieces," systematically exploring various aspects of keyboard technique. But at the same time, they are poetic works of art, full of fantasy, charm, and musical invention. Uchida's recording is almost universally regarded as the finest version of these works to appear in modern times. Her playing combines effortless virtuosity with pianistic precision, keeping the music's artistic and pedagogical tendencies in a state of exquisite tension. This disc also established Uchida's claim to be recognized as one of the most interesting and talented pianists now active. You need to hear it.