The music of the Eighteenth century features delicate textures and refinement as well as expressiveness and energy. This was the age of the smaller chamber orchestra, and Bach was one of the compositional geniuses of the century. In this recording, the award-winning Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, which specializes in authentic renditions on fine reproduction period instruments, performs four delightful Bach suites, including No. 1 in C, No. 2 in B Minor and Nos. 3 and 4 in D Major.
…The confirmation of Telemann’s remarkable musical and stylistic diversity which this album provides should make it popular with collectors.
La Resurrezione, composed in Rome in 1708, was Handel’s first oratorio on a sacred theme. The soloists take the roles of an Angel, Mary Magdalene, Mary Cleophas, St John and Lucifer, who are portrayed in vivid operatic terms with the help of a lavishly-scored orchestra. The distinguished Dutch keyboard-player and conductor Ton Koopman (b.1944) founded the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra in 1979. The group consists of internationally renowned baroque specialists. Conductor and orchestra are joined here by singers acknowledged as leading specialists in the baroque repertoire.
"…Koopman opts for solo strings in this, which is generally a good idea, and allows the two horns and oboe to sing out easily. Some listeners, however, may find the solo double-bass just a little too prominent – it has a quite percussive edge sometimes, which is not at all unpleasant, but a touch surprising nonetheless. (No slur on the excellent bass playing, more likely a problem for the recording team).This is an ideal issue for these hot summer nights; Eine Kleine Mozart to keep you cool with highly efficient musical air-conditioning." ~MusicwebInternational
Als die Bachforschung Mitte der 80er Jahre beweisen konnte, dass nicht Die Kunst der Fuge, sondern die Zusammenstellung der H-Moll-Messe Bach in seinen letzten Lebensjahren beschäftigt hat, rückte der theologische Aspekt im Schaffen Bachs, den man zwischenzeitlich als in den späten Leipziger Jahren zunehmend bedeutungslos sehen wollte, wieder ins Zentrum der Betrachtung. Freilich besteht die Messe zum größten Teil aus schon vorher in anderen Zusammenhängen komponierten Einzelteilen, aber sie erfuhren zum Zeitpunkt der Kompilation teilweise grundlegende Umgestaltung. Zumindest das "Et incarnatus est" ist jedoch eine sehr späte, möglicherweise sogar die letzte Komposition Bachs. Sie steht in der Messe neben dem "Crucifixus", der Kontrafaktur eines Satzes aus der frühen Kantate BWV 12: Frühe und späteste Schichten im Schaffen Bachs fügen sich völlig bruchlos aneinander.
Bach’s St. John Passion with a star-studded lineup of soprano Johennette Zomer, countertenor Andreas Scholl, tenor Mark Padmore, and bass Klaus Mertens, conducted by Ton Koopman, was bound to be—and indeed was—an enjoyable affair. A little over two years ago the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra performed the B-minor Mass with him, now they tackled the ‘smaller’ Passion…
By his twenties, Antonius "Ton" Koopman was already carving a musical niche for himself in which he would rise to become one of the world's most prominent performers in the early music movement. Koopman was born in the Dutch town of Zwolle in 1944. After what he describes as a "classical education," he went to Amsterdam to study organ (with Simon C. Jansen), harpsichord (with Gustav Leonhardt), and musicology. Koopman's musical interests from the outset centered upon the re-creation of older musics on their original instruments in a thoroughly researched historical performing style. He founded his first Baroque orchestra in 1966, followed by an exuberant career (40 years and counting) of mingled performance, conducting, and scholarship.
“First, Koopman’s harpsichord dances on its own; then string quartet, flute and bass viol join in the joyfully ingenious canons and fugues on the theme suggested by Frederick the Great of Prussia. The ornamentation is never fussy, while the recording is bright — bottled sunshine, that’s what this CD is.” The Times, 25th April 2009