Faustina Bordoni was one half of Handel’s so-called ‘Rival Queens’ for just under three seasons (172628), and in 1730 she married Hasse in Venice – so Vivica Genaux’s recital of arias for Faustina by Handel and Hasse is such an obviously sensible idea that it’s amazing it hasn’t been done before. Quantz praised Faustina’s immaculate articulation and excellent trills – and Genaux lives up to that vocal artistry brilliantly with the copious trills and arching melodic phrases in the long but lovely ‘Piange quel fonte’ from Hasse’s Numa Pompilio.
Four discs of key recordings by the most revered classical guitarist of our time, many debuting on CD! Disc one, "Concertos," features works by Rodrigo, Ponce and Boccherini. Discs two and three, "Works for Solo Guitar," include Seis Pavanas Milan; Granada Albeniz; Praeludium & Allegro De Murcia, and more. And disc four collects Segovia's celebrated arrangements of works by J.S. Bach. Over five hours of gorgeous guitar mastery!
The second of three volumes devoted to Andrés Isasi’s complete string quartets is again performed by the composer’s foremost champions, the Isasi Quartet, who premièred all the works on this recording. String Quartet No 4 in D major reveals his vibrant and imaginative use of textures and his affiliations with the music of Dvořák. Though unfinished, the 1921 String Quartet No 3 in E minor fuses melodic richness and serenity. Each of the three smaller pieces shows contrast and warmth, not least the beautifully eloquent Prelude in A major.
Andrés Isasi’s youthful promise can be heard in the easy romance of his Grieg and Dvořák influenced String Quartet No 0. This falls outside the numbered sequence of his quartets but retained the composer’s affection and was never withdrawn from circulation. Given its première performance by the Isasi Quartet in 2010, the substantial String Quartet No 2 is more symphonic in manner, and Isasi re-used movements in orchestral works such as the Suite No 2. This is the first of three volumes of Isasi’s complete string quartets.