This six-CD box set brings together four major concerto sets composed including the most famous Il Cimento dell'Armonia e l'Invenzione awarded pride of place.
The eminently reliable Academy of Ancient Music play their period instruments with consummate zest under their charismatic conductor Christopher Hogwood and these sets date back to the early digital cum late analogue days when the fabled 'L'Oiseau-Lyre' label still produced those lavishly packaged boxes with their distinctive white covers and the wonderful paintings.
The lean sound of the small ensemble enables you to clearly hear countless details that are obscured on even the best modern orchestra recordings. Steven Lubin's performances, and the different instruments he uses, are carefully attuned to the qualities of each individual concerto. His performances are triumphs of insight and expressiveness, and Hogwood makes sure the orchestra stays with him in every detail. My only major complaint about this set is that the wasted space on the third disc, which contains only the Emperor Concerto, should have been used for more Beethoven.
She has performed with musicians such as Heinz Holliger, Pinchas Zukerman, James Galway, Salvatore Accardo, Maurice Andrè, Keith Jarrett, Christopher Hogwood and Claudio Abbado, and appeared as soloist with many of the worlds major Chamber Orchestras and Symphony Orchestras.
Antonín Leopold Dvořák (English pronunciation: /ˈdvɒrʒɑːk/ DVOR-zhahk or /ˈdvɒrʒæk/ DVOR-zhak; Czech: [ˈantoɲiːn ˈlɛopolt ˈdvor̝aːk]; September 8, 1841 – May 1, 1904) was a Czech composer of Romantic music, who employed the idioms and melodies of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia. His works include operas, symphonic, choral and chamber music. His best-known works include his New World Symphony, the Slavonic Dances, "American" String Quartet, and Cello Concerto in B minor.
In addition to volumes and volumes of church and chamber music, the astonishingly prolific Georg Philipp Telemann wrote a great many concertos–the most engaging of which are those for two or more solo instruments, often in interesting combinations. It must be said that many of these concertos are a bit lightweight, but they are lively and diverting–and Christopher Hogwood and the baroque-instrument specialists of the Academy of Ancient Music give them accomplished, persuasive performances. Among the tasty confections here are a vigorous concerto for three trumpets; a double concerto for recorder and transverse flute–in the 18th-century context, the old-fashioned and the newfangled side by side; and the "Concerto polonois" for string orchestra without soloists, based on rustic dance music Telemann heard in Poland as a young man. Then there's the gorgeous concerto for flute, oboe d'amore, and viola d'amore (the last two being lower-pitched versions of the oboe and viola): in the hands of Stephen Preston, Clare Shanks, and Monica Huggett, respectively, Telemann's music for these aptly named instruments brings to mind waking up on a bright sunny morning with your true love in your arms. – Matthew Westphal (Amazon)
The emotional content, lyricism and direct appeal of Gavin Bryars’s music are unique, reflecting a contemporary composer’s absorption and transformation of several centuries of musical craftsmanship in order to reflect his, and our, own epoch. Originally written for harpsichord, After Handel’s Vesper is a strong illustration of Bryars’s post-minimal interests in early music repertoire. Ramble on Cortona, derived from 13th-century music, makes expressive use of the piano’s resonant qualities, while in the highly-coloured, almost impressionistic The Solway Canal, landscapes pass by as if in a dream.