This remarkable release, comprising two CDs and a book of 270 pages with information in Spanish, English, German, Italian, Catalan, Arabic, and Hebrew, is a veritable history lesson in music, poetry, and literature about Spain, as well as Christopher Columbus and his voyages and times. The title of the set, Lost Paradises, refers to the cessation of the period during which all three traditions - Jewish, Muslim and Christian - worked together to create greatness. The music, pre-baroque and sounding very exotic indeed, is exquisitely performed, sometimes by itself and sometimes in conjunction with the reading of a text. The Moorish and Sephardic music is particularly colorful, but the more familiar, "early" music is just as ravishing. With repertoire both sacred and profane, featuring dances and dirges, Savall, in his notes, is attempting to make us pay heed to the past so that we may form our futures: This isn't as pedantic as it sounds, but it is certainly more than an afternoon of great music listening. What a stunning gift this would make - either to yourself or others.
Founded in 1991 by Christophe Rousset, Les Talens Lyriques are now internationally recognised for their excellence in the Baroque repertoire and their latest recordings in the genre, for Aparté, have earned them international acclaim. After the huge success of 'Bellérophon', they now present Lully's 'Phaéton', recorded at the Salle Pleyel in Paris in October 2012. The critics commented on the admirable clarity and precision of the performance, the perfection of the choruses, sung with veracity by the Namur Chamber Choir, and an ideal cast.
This reissue box collects the entire cycle of Mozart keyboard sonatas, plus single-movement works, recorded by Austrian pianist Paul Badura-Skoda on a 1790 Schantz fortepiano that he himself owns. The six CDs included were originally recorded between 1978 and 1990 for a group of related French labels; the budget-price reissue on Naïve is a bit atypical for that label, which has specialized in innovative and lavishly designed full-priced releases. Online retail presentations may not make clear that they are fortepiano recordings, recordings made on a keyboard instrument probably very much like one Mozart would have played himself.