He was born in 's-Graveland, North Holland and studied organ and harpsichord from 1947 to 1950 with Eduard Müller at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel. In 1950, he made his debut as a harpsichordist in Vienna, where he studied musicology. He was professor of harpsichord at the Academy of Music from 1952 to 1955 and at the Amsterdam Conservatory from 1954. He was also a church organist.wiki
If you cannot imagine what Bach's five great motets would sound like as chamber music, this disc by La Petite Bande will provide an answer: they sound fabulous. With eight singers, five string players, and four wind players plus continuo, La Petite Bande's performances sound absolutely clear – even in the densest textures, every line is ideally balanced – incredibly colorful – the combinations of voices, strings, winds, and organ seem endlessly subtle – and, best of all, unbelievably expressive. Everyone's a soloist and every line is a melody, thereby making Bach's music seem more personal and intimate than usual. Of course, part of the reason for this is that most recordings of the motets, whether a cappella or accompanied, are arguably too big and heavy. With four or more singers on a part, this kind of weightiness is virtually inevitable – but with two singers to a part, the performances can be as expressive as the music director will allow. And with music director Sigiswald Kuijken also being the first violinist, the performances are supremely expressive.
…I greet this stunning performance as the way to hear this masterpiece. ~ J.F. Weber, Fanfare
The death of Georg Philipp Telemann in 1767 paved the way for his godson, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach to take up the position of Director of Music in Hamburg. Prior to that C P E Bach had been working for Frederick the Second of Prussia in Berlin but longed for a greater musical freedom and stylistic flexibility that working in Hamburg would offer him. This included the composition of three oratorios, including the one presented here. C P E Bach worked on The Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus in collaboration with the librettist Karl Wilhelm Ramler from 1781, and in 1787 it was published by Breitkopf. A letter from the composer to his publisher subsequently revealed he considered it to be one of his greatest masterpieces—a reflection agreed upon by audiences at the time, and succeeding generations of composers, including Haydn and Beethoven who both drew inspiration from it.
Give each instrument what suits it best, thus is the player content and you well entertained.’ In these pieces, unenticingly called ‘Methodical Sonatas’, Telemann is as good as his word. These are delightful works, full of humour, very skilfully written and never dull. There are two sets of six sonatas each. All are played on a Baroque flute, though certain keys suggest a violin, with fluency and impeccable taste by Barthold Kuijken. His tone is alluring and his ornamentation, mainly based on Telemann’s own suggestions, faultlessly executed. A programme for performers and listeners alike. Outstanding.
This recording, by two generations of musicians from the Kuijken family (Veronica, Sigiswald, Sara and Wieland Kuijken), along with Sigiswald's wife Marleen Thiers, was made with so-called 'modern' instruments. Although their name is generally linked with 'period performance practice', listeners should not expect or seek a deliberate, specific 'historic' tendency in this recording.
'When all is said and done, Kuijken and Hyperion have given us perhaps the most fully satisfying recording yet of the work—one not likely to be challenged for some time'(American Record Guide)
This is one of only two complete recordings of Telemann's Paris Quartets available as a single set, and is much superior to the old Bruggen set. The Kuijkens are all very stylish and engaging performers, and they play these works very well.
Telemann wrote a lot of very good chamber music, but these quartets show him at his best. They are full of wonderful melodies, and some amazing rhythmic quirks. If Telemann had not been so prolific, these works would be considered absolute masterpieces on the order of the Brandenburg Concertos of Bach. They are that good.