The box contains all of the Bach recordings made by Christopher Hogwoood and the Academy of Ancient Music for the L'Oiseau Lyre label on Decca. The whole set is compact and takes up little room on a storage shelf. The spine measures just two and a quarter inches thick. The box is a clam shell box. Each album is contained in a card sleeve. And the front of each sleeve has the same picture as the outer box. The back of each sleeve has the information about the album content. The recordings are on period instruments and the sound is excellent.
This collection represents the full range of Vivaldi recordings Christopher made with the AAM, and includes L'Estro Armonico Op.3, La Stravaganza Op.4, and the violin concertos Opp. 6, 8, 9, 11, and 12; solo concertos for flute (op. 10), oboe, bassoon, and cello; and various concerti grossi. Also featured are the complete cello sonatas, along with the cantatas "Amor, hai vinto" and "Nulla in mundo pax sincera", and sacred vocal works Stabat Mater, Nisi Dominus and the enduringly popular Gloria.
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.
Following his attractive performance of six of Vivaldi's cello sonatas, Christophe Coin has recorded six of the composer's 24 or so concertos for the instrument. Five of these, Michael Talbot tells us in an interesting accompanying note, probably belong to the 1720s while the sixth, the Concerto in G minor (RV416), is evidently a much earlier work. Coin has chosen, if I may use the expression somewhat out of its usual context, six of the best and plays them with virtuosity and an affecting awareness of their lyrical content. That quality, furthermore, is not confined to slow movements but occurs frequently in solo passages of faster ones, too. It would be difficult to single out any one work among the six for particular praise. My own favourite has long been the happily spirited Concerto in G major (RV413) with which Coin ends his programme. Strongly recommended. (Gramophone Magazine)
The Academy of Ancient Music does a wonderfully and good performance playing the pieces by Vivaldi one seldom hears and they are precious and surprising heart-touching compositions in the inimicable style of the enthusiastic Antonio. Good purchase of 6 CDs!
Disque passé plutôt inaperçu et qui régalera les vivaldiens. Comme, d'ailleurs, tout ce que font les Arte dell'Arco (et leurs deux solistes Guglielmo).On y retrouve la veine "parodique" du maître, ce qui veut dire qu'il n'hésite pas à recycler parfois ce qu'il a déjà utilisé dans une autre oeuvre (ici, on dira sur un mouvement, tiens! les 4 saisons). Son grand admirateur, un certain Jean-Sébastien Bach (non, ce n'est pas un musicien techno), retiendra la leçon (tel thème de cantate repris dans la Messe en si, par exemple)…
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.
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)