Antonio Caldara is one of those composers from Italy whose career brought him to Vienna, where he composed and performed mainly oratorios. He started his career in Venice where he was born in 1670 and where he studied with Giovanni Legrenzi. Being an accomplished cellist he was probably a member of the orchestras of the opera houses in Venice. In the 1690's he published two collections of trio sonatas, which are following the example of Corelli. His first opus, published in Venice in 1693, was again published by Roger in Amsterdam in 1698, a sign of their popularity. The chaconne which concludes his collection of 12 trio sonatas opus 2, could be interpreted as a tribute to Corelli, who also concludes his opus 2 with a chaconne.
Some things just get better with time. Red wine and self-confidence, for instance, or Matt Bianco. The legendary British group, named after an imaginary Sixties superspy in the Eighties, is adored around the world for hits like "Half A Minute", "Get Out Of Your Lazy Bed", "Whose Side Are You On?", or "Yeh Yeh". For their fifteenth album "Gravity", front-man, vocalist and songwriter Mark Reilly recruited a superb new band featuring Swedish sax- and flute-star Magnus Lindgren and a large chunk of Jamie Cullum's group. Their mission: reviving and modernizing Matt Bianco's Bossa- and Jazz-roots, while keeping the easy going swing of former successes, built around the singularly recognizable Dry-Martini-voice of Mark Reilly. The result is an energetic, yet relaxed collection of ten original songs, with enough gravity to please their most sophisticated admirers and plenty of new fans, who might have been bitten by the Jazz-bug via a Gregory Porter or Jamie Cullum.
Best known as a superior and advanced cool-toned trumpeter, Tom Harrell shows throughout this consistently brilliant set that he has also developed into an excellent composer and a particularly talented arranger. All ten songs and arrangements are his, and the music both swings and is quite original. Harrell doubles on flügelhorn and utilizes a wide variety of interesting musicians, including clarinetist Greg Tardy (who plays beautifully on the opening "Petals Danse"), acoustic guitarist Romero Lumbambo (heard on the more Brazilian-oriented numbers), the great free bop tenor Dewey Redman, pianist Danilo Perez, electric guitarist Mike Stern, tenorman David Sanchez, and several strings (including Regina Carter) among others.
The ensemble LA GIOIA ARMONICA was founded by Austrian dulcimer-player Margit Übellacker and German organist and singer Jürgen Banholzer. One of the ensemble's objectives is to explore the baroque repertoire for dulcimer, in particular in connection with the legendary pantaleon. The size of the group varies from dulcimer-organ duet to large chamber-music settings. Th e musicians are all specialised in historically-informed performance practices, and combine broad experience drawn from their involvement in various international ensembles. La Gioia Armonica's debut CD – Cantate, Sonate ed Arie, dedicated to music of Antonio Caldara – was also released by Ramée, and gained various awards, among which the Pizzicato Supersonic Award, Goldberg 5 Stars, and the Prelude Classical Award 2006 for best debut CD. Since then, the ensemble has been invited to perform in Germany and abroad, including at the Halle Händelfestspiele, the Dordrecht Bach Festival, the Middle-Germany Heinrich Schütz Days, the Bottrop Organ Plus Festival, and the Bad Homburg Fugato organ festival.