“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
This beautiful recording, once long out-of-print, is now remastered in high definition multi-channel hybrid SACD, and is the first album made by Jordi Savall for the Astrée label, now reissued on Alia Vox. With this rare 1975 disc, Savall confirmed François Couperin as a master composer for viola da gamba with affinities to the previous masters of French music. On the recording Mr. Savall plays an authentic 7-string bass viol, anonymously constructed in 17th century France. He is joined by musicians Ton Koopman playing a Gilbert des Ruisseaux harpsichord built in the late 17th century and Ariane Maurette playing a Barak Norman bass viol constructed in London in 1697. Couperin’s music for these colorful instruments is marvelous, contemplative and beguiling. The highly collectible album, a must-have of the Savall oeuvre, is now available again and features a very informative booklet.
As a keyboardist, Ton Koopman has appeared on the most prestigious concert stages of five continents and has produced an extensive discography on Erato, Philips, Sony, Teldec, and other labels. He has concertized on many of the greatest historical organs throughout Europe. He plays harpsichord while leading the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir (both of which he also founded), in addition to giving regular guest performances with professional orchestras throughout the world. He has taught harpsichord at the Sweelinck conservatory, serves as a professor of harpsichord at the Hague's Royal Conservatory, and is an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in London. Koopman's first international prizes – a pair of Prix d'Excellence – came for his performances on organ and harpsichord.
…This set is highly recommended. The high quality sound is cool, vivid and well balanced. I just love the consistent purity and nobility of the playing which is marvellously assured and refined. There is never any Romantic wallowing and the performances are characterful but never overacted.
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.
Yo-Yo Ma Plays Cello Masterworks is an eight-CD box set of previously released material recorded in the 1980s and 1990s, and presumably so familiar to his fans that the package doesn't even come with a booklet. It really is a no-frills affair, right down to the thin cardboard sleeves that repeat the same photograph on the box, instead of offering original cover art. But the greatest disappointment is that only three of J.S. Bach's Six Cello Suites were included, so listeners seeking them should forego this budget package and find the complete suites, which Ma recorded twice.
Audio quality of this German Archiv recording is noticeably pleasant to the ear. Louder parts do not have the accompanying outbursts of digital junk noise typically present in many digital recordings; it's just pure sweet music. Archiv did this one right. Recommended for the high audio quality. Every piece is a masterpiece played with verve and energy.
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.