Yoshiko Ieki – Toccatas Vol. 1. (J.S.Bach) (2016)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Japanese harpsichordist, Yoshiki Ieki, studied harpsichord with Gustav Leonhardt at the Amsterdam Sweelinck Conservatory, where she graduated wirh a soloist diploma in 1981.

And on this album she played on a very old instrument from Johannes Ruckers, part of the legendary Ruckers family:

The Ruckers family (variants: Ruckaert, Ruckaerts, Rucqueer, Rueckers, Ruekaerts, Ruijkers, Rukkers, Rycardt) were harpsichord and virginal makers from the Southern Netherlands based in Antwerp in the 16th and 17th century. Their influence stretched well into the 18th century, and to the harpsichord revival of the 20th.

The Ruckers family contributed immeasurably to the harpsichord’s technical development, pioneering the addition of a second manual; the quality of their instruments is such that the name of Ruckers is as important to early keyboard instruments as that of Stradivarius is to the violin family. In the 18th century, Ruckers instruments were often modified by French makers in a process known as ravalement, to allow for an extended range and other additions.

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The Colmar harpsichord from 1624

Joannes Ruckers (variants: Ioannes, Hans, Jan) (15 January 1578 – 29 September 1642) was the first son of Hans Ruckers, and also became a harpsichord and organ maker. He lived his life in Antwerp. He and brother Andreas became partners in their father’s business upon his death, Joannes becoming sole owner in 1608. He joined the Guild of St Luke in 1611; his entry reads ‘Hans Rukers, sone, claversigmaker’; following this he engraved ‘IR’ into the rose of his instruments, rather than his father’s ‘HR’. He worked for the archdukes of the Netherlands in Brussels from 1616. His nephew Joannes Couchet joined his workshop around 1627, taking it over after his death. Around 35 of his instruments are in existence today. (by wikipedia)

And here´s a short biography of Yoshiko Ieki:

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This album was recorded at the Under Linden Museeum in Colmar/France … on an original harpsichord from 1624 !

And … the music is just brilliant … listen to this fascinating melodies and sounds of an old harpsichord ! Enjoy this trip … !

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Personnel:
Yoshiko Ieki (harpsichord)

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Tracklist:
01. Fantasia & Fugue in A Minor, BWV 904 / 8.45
02. Toccata in E Minor, BWV 914 / 8.21
03. Toccata in D Minor, BWV 913 / 13.21
04. Toccata in F-Sharp Minor, BWV 910 / 11-36
05. The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2:  Prelude & Fugue No. 14 in F-Sharp Minor, BWV 883 / 6.59
06. Toccata in G Major, BWV 916 / 9.12

Music composed by Johann Sebastian Bach

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Yoshiko Ieki

Hilary Hahn – Plays Bach (1997)

FrontCover1.jpgHilary Hahn (born November 27, 1979) is an American violinist. In her career, she has performed throughout the world both as a soloist with leading orchestras and conductors and as a recitalist. She also built a reputation as a champion of contemporary music. Several composers have written works especially for her, including concerti by Edgar Meyer and Jennifer Higdon and partitas by Antón García Abril.

Hahn was born in Lexington, Virginia on November 27, 1979. She began playing the violin one month before her fourth birthday in the Suzuki Program of Baltimore’s Peabody Institute. She participated in a Suzuki class for a year. Between 1985 and early 1990 Hahn studied in Baltimore under Klara Berkovich. In 1990, at ten, Hahn was admitted to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where she became a student of Jascha Brodsky. Hahn studied with Brodsky for seven years and learned the études of Kreutzer, Ševčík, Gaviniès, Rode, and the Paganini Caprices. She learned twenty-eight violin concertos, as well as recital programs, chamber works, and assorted showpieces.

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In 1991, at the age of eleven, Hahn made her major orchestral debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.[4] Soon thereafter, Hahn debuted with the Philadelphia Orchestra,[5] Cleveland Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic. Hahn made her international debut in 1994 performing the Bernstein Serenade in Hungary with Ivan Fisher and the Budapest Festival Orchestra. Her German debut came in 1995 with a performance of the Beethoven Violin Concerto with Lorin Maazel and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. The concert was broadcast in Europe. A year later, Hahn debuted at Carnegie Hall in New York City as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. In a 1999 interview with Strings Magazine, Hahn cited people influential to her development as a musician and a student, including David Zinman, the conductor of the Baltimore Symphony and Hahn’s mentor since she was ten, and Lorin Maazel, with whose Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra she performed in Europe.

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By sixteen, Hahn had completed the Curtis Institute’s university requirements, but elected to remain for several years to pursue elective courses, until her graduation in May 1999 with a Bachelor of Music degree.[3] During this time she coached violin with Jaime Laredo, and studied chamber music with Felix Galimir and Gary Graffman.[1] She appeared on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, in February 2000, discussing her early experiences with the violin and performing a solo and a duet.[9] In a December 2001 interview on PBS, Hahn stated that of all musical disciplines, she is most interested in performance. (by wikipedia)

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Hahn began recording in 1996 …

… and here´s her debut album:

I do not know what Bach expected or envisioned in a performance of these pieces. But it is awfully hard to imagine him not appreciating this recording. Yes, I do grant what several people have said about Milstein’s Chaconne (in particular) being deeper in emotion, etc., but the pure, plain beauty of the sound produced by Hahn and recorded so cleanly by more modern technology (and evidently in a remarkably resonant space) has it own inherent value. It makes me focus on the genius of Bach’s very notes themselves, especially in the opening E major Partita. And if you listen carefully, I don’t see how anyone could characterize this performance as lacking in creativity – the dynamic range is fantastic, and along with the pacing seems to me to represent a real thoughtfulness about each phrase. I also find that the relatively relaxed tempi add to this effect of simplicity, purity, and beauty, and allow the composer, rather than the virtuosity of the performer, to take center stage. A great recording, in a different, not inferior, sense, when compared to the Old Classics. (David F. Jackson)

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This recording must be heard to be believed.
Having listened to unacommpanied Bach for 45 years, I had long despaired of hearing it in tune, with love and precision.
I despair no longer.
Hilary Hahn is a treasure, who can can become the Michael Jordan of the violin.
We are privileged to share time with her on this planet. (Robert S. Eisenberg)

In other words: brilliant … and she was just 17 years old !

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Personnel:
Hilary Hahn (violin)

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Tracklist:

Partita No. 3 In E Major, BWV 1006:
01. I. Preludio 3:34
02. II. Loure 4:47
03. III. Gavotte En Rondeau 3:16
04. IV. Menuet I 1:53
05. V. Menuet II 3:04
06. VI. Bourrée 1:39
07. VII. Gigue 1:53

Partita No. 2 In D Minor, BWV 1004:
08. I. Allemande 5:13
09. II. Courante 2:09
10. III. Sarabande 4:44
11. IV. Gigue 3:23
12. V. Ciaccona 17:47

Sonata No. 3 In C Major, BWV 1005:
13. I. Adagio 4:55
14. II. Fuga 11:45
15. III. Largo 3:57
16. IV. Allegro Assai 4:38

Music composed by Johann Sebastian Bach

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Gergley Sarközy – Bach Suites For Lute & Harpsichord (1985)

LPFrontCover1.jpgGergely Sárközy is a Hungarian musician who plays guitar, lute, lute-harpsichord, viola bastarda, and organ. He has produced numerous recordings and has helped in the creation of animated film soundtracks including that of A nyár szemei (“The Eyes of Summer”) for which he won an Award for Best Sound Engineering together with Nikolai Ivanov Neikov at the 4th Kecskemét Animation Film Festival (by wikipedia)

Gergely Sárközy is a master of several instruments and an amateur instrument maker. He studied composition at a specialized secondary school of music and graduated from the Cello Department of the Academy of Music with a diploma for viola da gamba and cello.

Gergely Sárközy has featured on several recordings, playing medieval troubadour music with his ensemble “Fraternitas Musicorum”, Baroque chamber music, and as a member of “Camerata Hungarica”, Renaissance music. He also contributed to the records of the Bálint Bakfark Lute Trio and the Kalaka Ensemble, and performed four of Bach’s lute works on his first performer’s record, released in 1981.

His main instruments are the harpsichord, organ, cello, viola da gamba, rebec, various types of lute, koboz, classical and flamenco guitar, psaltery, bagpipe, gemshorn, Jew’s harp, xylophone and other percussion instruments. He considers that a complex variety of activities, styles and instruments results in useful cross-fertilizations that assist him in his work.

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This isn’t your average Bach recording. The lute harpsichord uses gut strings rather than wire, it has a 16 ft 2×8 and 1×4. You might thus find the sound “dull” in comparison to standard stringing. The playing is exquisite.  It is beautifully played although some might say that the embellishment obscures the lines of the lute suites. Not me. (Joseph Alfano)

Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March, 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist of the Baroque Period. His music is revered for its intellectual depth, technical command, and artistic beauty.

The lautenwerck (also spelled lautenwerk), or lute-harpsichord (lute-clavier), was a European keyboard instrument of the Baroque period. It was similar to a harpsichord, but with gut rather than metal strings, producing a mellow tone; one of Bach’s favorite keyboard instruments, which is now almost impossible to hear on record. It’s truly wonderful, with a deep, rich and resonant sound. No wonder Bach had one custom-built to his own specifications. He owned two of the instruments at the time of his death, but no specimens have survived to the present day. It was revived in the 20th century and two of its most prominent performers are the early music specialists Gergely Sárközy and Robert Hill.

This is indeed a very unique piece of music … Enjoy it !

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Personnel:
Gergley Sarközy (harpsichord, lute, lute-harpsichord)

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Tracklist:

Suite In E Minor:
01. Praeludio – Passagio – Presto 2.37
02. Allemande 2.54
03. Courante 3.02
04. Sarabande 5.19
05. Bourree 1.51
06. Gigue] 2.45

Choral Preludes From The Kirnberg Collection. ” Wer nur den lieben Gott lasst walten”:
07. BWV 690 (B) 2.03
08. BWV 691 1.51
09. BWV 690 (A) 2.07

Suite In C Minor:
10. Prelude 3.34
11. Fuga 10.55
12. Sarabande 4.27
13. Gigue 3.45
14. Double 2.10

Music composed by Johann Sebastian Bach

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The Lute-Harpsichord was  one of Bach’s favourite keyboard instruments
which is now almost impossible to hear on record.
It’s a truly wonderful instrument with a deep, rich and resonant sound.
No wonder Bach had one custom-built to his own specifications.

Academy Of St. Martin In The Fields – Bach – Orchestral Suites BMV 1066 & 1069 (1986)

FrontCover1.jpgThe four orchestral suites (called ouvertures by their author), BWV 1066–1069 are four suites by Johann Sebastian Bach. The name ouverture refers only in part to the opening movement in the style of the French overture, in which a majestic opening section in relatively slow dotted-note rhythm in duple meter is followed by a fast fugal section, then rounded off with a short recapitulation of the opening music. More broadly, the term was used in Baroque Germany for a suite of dance-pieces in French Baroque style preceded by such an ouverture. This genre was extremely popular in Germany during Bach’s day, and he showed far less interest in it than was usual: Robin Stowell writes that “Telemann’s 135 surviving examples [represent] only a fraction of those he is known to have written”; Christoph Graupner left 85; and Johann Friedrich Fasch left almost 100. Bach did write several other ouverture (suites) for solo instruments, notably the Cello Suite no. 5, BWV 1011, which also exists in the autograph Lute Suite in G minor, BWV 995, the Keyboard Partita no. 4 in D, BWV 828, and the Overture in the French style, BWV 831 for keyboard. The two keyboard works are among the few Bach published, and he prepared the lute suite for a “Monsieur Schouster,” presumably for a fee, so all three may attest to the form’s popularity.

Scholars believe that Bach did not conceive of the four orchestral suites as a set (in the way he conceived of the Brandenburg Concertos), since the sources are various, as detailed below.

The Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis catalogue includes a fifth suite, BWV 1070 in G minor. However, this work is highly unlikely to have been composed by J. S. Bach (by wikipedia)

And here are two of the four suites, performed by the Academy Of St. Martin In The Fields:

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields (ASMF) is an English chamber orchestra, based in London.

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John Churchill, then Master of Music at the London church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, and Neville Marriner (later Sir Neville) founded the orchestra as “The Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields”, a small, conductorless string group. The ASMF gave its first concert on 13 November 1959, in the church after which it was named. In 1988, the orchestra dropped the hyphens from its full name.

The initial performances as a string orchestra at St Martin-in-the-Fields played a key role in the revival of baroque performances in England. The orchestra has since expanded to include winds. It remains flexible in size, changing its make-up to suit its repertoire, which ranges from the Baroque to contemporary works.

Neville Marriner continued to perform obbligatos and concertino solos with the orchestra until 1969, and led the orchestra on recordings until the autumn of 1970, when he switched to conducting from the podium from directing the orchestra from the leader’s desk. Marriner held the title of Life President until his death in 2016. On recordings, besides Marriner, Iona Brown and Kenneth Sillito have led the orchestra, among others.

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In1993 the Academy of St Martin in the Fields became the first – and to date, only – orchestra to be awarded The Queen’s Award for Export Achievement.[1]

Since 2000, Murray Perahia has held the title of Principal Guest Conductor of the orchestra, and has made commercial recordings with the orchestra as pianist and conductor.

In May 2011, the orchestra announced the appointment of Joshua Bell as its new Music Director, the second person to hold the title in the orchestra’s history, effective September 2011, with an initial contract of 3 years. In July 2017, the ASMF announced the extension of Bell’s contract through 2020, an additional three years from his previous contract extension.

Both suites were conducted by Neville Marriner:

Sir Neville Marriner and The Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields (or “Marriner and the Academy” as they became affectionately known) led the way in the stereo recording of lighter, more transparent and, quite simply, better played performances of Baroque and, later, Classical repertoire. This happy combination of circumstances provided a whole generation of music lovers with recordings which to this day have stood the test of time. It is hard to imagine a record collection anywhere in the world unblessed by Marriner and his Academy.

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Neville himself was the ideal recording artist, first leading from the violin, and later when the group enlarged, as conductor. He had himself “sprung up though the orchestra as one of the team” but remained always unpretentious and self-deprecating. But this was allied to a drive and passion that ensured standards were maintained at the highest level throughout, particularly in the recording studio. The result was that most professional orchestral musicians aspired to be in his orchestra. (by deccaclassics.com)

Listen …  and discover and enjoy the brilliant musif of Johann Sebastian Bach !

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Personnel:
Academy Of St Martin-in-the-Fields coducted by Neville Marriner
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Barry Davis (oboe)
Edward Hobart (trumpet)
William Houghton (trumpet)
Celia Nicklin (oboe)
Michael Laird (trumpet)
Nicholas Kraemer (harpischord)
Susan Leadbetter (oboe)
Graham Sheen (bassoon)

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Tracklist:

Suite No. 1 in C major, BWV 1066:
01. Ouverture 6.20
02. II Courante 2.06
03. III Gavotte I & II 2:57
04. IV Forlane 1.59
05. V Menuet I & II 2.35
06. VI Bourrée I & II 2.33
07. VII Passepied I & II 2.21

Suite No. 4 in D major, BWV 1069:
08. Ouvertüre 8.59
09. Bourrée I & II 3.08
20 III Gavotte 2.12
21 IV Menuet I & II 3.06
22. Réjouissance 3.08

Musi composed by Johann Sebastian Bach

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Sir Neville Marriner (15 April 1924 – 2 October 2016)

Glenn Gould – Goldberg Variationen (Bach) (1955 / 2008)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Goldberg Variations, BWV 988, are a work written for harpsichord by Johann Sebastian Bach, consisting of an aria and a set of 30 variations. First published in 1741, the work is considered to be one of the most important examples of variation form. The Variations are named after Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, who may have been the first performer.

Bach: The Goldberg Variations is the 1955 debut album of Canadian classical pianist Glenn Gould. An interpretation of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations (BWV 988), the work launched Gould’s career as a renowned international pianist, and became one of the most well-known piano recordings. Sales were “astonishing” for a classical album: it was reported to have sold 40,000 copies by 1960, and had sold more than 100,000 by the time of Gould’s death in 1982. In 1981, a year before his death, Gould made a new recording of the Goldberg Variations, sales of which exceeded two million by 2000.Bach: The Goldberg Variations is the 1955 debut album of Canadian classical pianist Glenn Gould. An interpretation of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations (BWV 988), the work launched Gould’s career as a renowned international pianist, and became one of the most well-known piano recordings. Sales were “astonishing” for a classical album: it was reported to have sold 40,000 copies by 1960, and had sold more than 100,000 by the time of Gould’s death in 1982.In 1981, a year before his death, Gould made a new recording of the Goldberg Variations, sales of which exceeded two million by 2000.
TitelPageAt the time of the first album’s release, Bach’s Goldberg Variations—a set of 30 contrapuntal variations beginning and ending with an aria—were outside the standard piano repertoire, having been recorded on the instrument only a few times before, either on small labels or unreleased. The work was considered esoteric[4] and technically demanding, requiring awkward hand crossing at times when played on a piano (these passages would be played on two manuals on a harpsichord). Gould’s album both established the Goldberg Variations within the contemporary classical repertoire and made him an internationally famous pianist nearly “overnight”. First played in concert by Gould in 1954, the composition was a staple of Gould’s performances in the years following the recording.

The recordings were made in 1955 at Columbia Records 30th Street studio in Manhattan over four days between June 10 and June 16, a few weeks after Gould signed his contract. Columbia Masterworks Records, the company’s classical music division, released the album in January 1956. Bach: The Goldberg Variations became Columbia’s bestselling classical album and earned Gould an international reputation.

The album gained attention for Gould’s unique pianistic method, which incorporated a finger technique involving great clarity of articulation (a “detached staccatissimo”), even at great speed, and little sustaining pedal. Gould’s piano teacher, Alberto Guerrero, had encouraged Gould to practice “finger tapping”, which required very slowly tapping the fingers of the playing hand with the free hand. According to Guerrero, tapping taught the pianist an economy of muscle movement that would enable precision at high speeds. Gould “tapped” each Goldberg variation before recording it, which took about 32 hours.

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The extreme tempi of the 1955 performance made for a short record, as did Gould’s decision not to play many of the repeats (each Goldberg variation consists of two parts, traditionally played in an A–A–B–B format). The length of a performance of the Goldberg Variations can therefore vary drastically: Gould’s 1955 recording is 38 minutes 34 seconds long, while his reconsidered, slower 1981 version (see below) is 51:18. By way of contrast, fellow Canadian Angela Hewitt’s 1999 record is 78:32. (by wikipedia)

Glenn Gould’s first recording for Columbia from 1955, The Goldberg Variations is still considered one of the ten most significant and successful classical recordings of all time !

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Original front + back cover

Personnel:
Gelnn Gould (piano)

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Tracklist:
01. Aria 1.55
02. Variatio 1. a 1 Clav. 0.44
03. Variatio 2. a 1 Clav. 0.35
04. Variatio 3. Canone all’Unisono. a 1 Clav. 0.54
05. Variatio 4. a 1 Clav. 0.29
06. Variatio 5. a 1 ô vero 2 Clav. 0.36
07. Variatio 6. Canone alla Seconda. a 1 Clav. 0.32
08. Variatio 7. a 1 ô vero 2 Clav. al tempo di Giga 1.06
09. Variatio 8. a 2 Clav. 0.45
10. Variatio 9. Canone alla Terza. a 1 Clav. 0.37
11. Variatio 10. Fughetta. a 1 Clav. 0.41
12. Variatio 11. a 2 Clav. 0.52
13. Variatio 12 a 1 Clav. Canone alla Quarta in moto contrario 0.55
14. Variatio 13. a 2 Clav. 2.09
15. Variatio 14. a 2 Clav. 0.57
16. Variatio 15. Canone alla Quinta. a 1 Clav.: Andante 2.14
17. Variatio 16. Ouverture. a 1 Clav. 1.16
18. Variatio 17. a 2 Clav. 0.53
19. Variatio 18. Canone alla Sesta. a 1 Clav. 0.45
20. Variatio 19. a 1 Clav. 0.42
21. Variatio 20. a 2 Clav. 0.45
22. Variatio 21. Canone alla Settima 1.42
23. Variatio 22. a 1 Clav. alla breve 0.42
24. Variatio 23. a 2 Clav. 0.53
25. Variatio 24. Canone all’Ottava. a 1 Clav. 0.56
26. Variatio 25. a 2 Clav. adagio [The Black Pearl] 6.27
27. Variatio 26. a 2 Clav. 0.51
28. Variatio 27. Canone alla Nona. a 2 Clav. 0.48
29. Variatio 28. a 2 Clav. 1.10
30. Variatio 29. a 1 ô vero 2 Clav. 0.59
31. Variatio 30. a 1 Clav. Quodlibet 0.46
32. Aria da capo 2.12

Music written by Johann Sebastian Bach

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Gerald Garcia – Camerata Cassovia – Peter Breiner ‎– Baroque Guitar Favourites (1993)

FrontCover1“Baroque Guitar Favourites”: Arrangements for Guitar of Music by Antonio Vivaldi (Trio Sonatas RV 82 and RV 85; Lute Concerto RV 93; Violin Concerto RV 277) and by Johann Sebastian Bach (Harpsichord Concerto BWV 1052). All arrangements by Gerald Garcia. Performed by Gerald Garcia, guitar, and members of the Camerata Cassovia, directed by Peter Breiner. Recorded at the House of Arts in Kosice, Slovakia, in June 1990. Music notes by Gerald Garcia (not, as stated on the cover, by Keith Anderson). Released in 1992 as Naxos 8.550274. Total playing time: 75’23”.

Over the last 20 years, the Naxos label has done a great deal to obtain its reputation as one of the leading classical guitar labels. Its very first guitarist was Gerald Garcia, who was not slow to show the way forward by extending the rather limited guitar repertoire by making arrangements of pieces originally written for other instruments. This is what he has done here, too: None of the music on this disc was written for guitar, it is all arranged by Garcia himself, who plays a modern guitar and definitely not a baroque instrument. This rather makes the title of the disc a misnomer: no baroque guitar, no guitar music at all in the original, and certainly no guitar favourites as these arrangements were only made shortly before the disc was recorded! It would have been more to the point to entitle the whole: “Baroque Favourites arranged for Modern Guitar”, but I suppose the marketing strategists wouldn’t have liked that very much!

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What we do get to hear here is some very pleasant, tuneful, harmonic baroque melodies in which the part of the main soloist (lute, violin, harpsichord) is replaced by Garcia’s skilful and tasteful guitar-playing which is, in its turn, put very much in the forefront by the engineer. For the concertos, the necessary accompaniment is by the Camerata Cassovia, a chamber ensemble taken from members of the Slovak State Philharmonic of Kosice in Eastern Slovakia; the higher string parts sound quite acceptable, while I found the lower strings (the “basso continuo”) to be rather dull and uninspired. For the Bach, this continuo includes a harpsichord, providing a sonic background that does not let the listener forget that it is an arrangement of a harpsichord concerto that he is listening to. The Vivaldi trio sonatas were originally for violin, lute and continuo, and they are here played with the guitar as a suitable replacement for the lute, but with a viola d’amore in place of the violin, a decision which not only subordinates the string playing to the guitar, but which also sounds quite pleasing. Unfortunately, the strictures on the basso continuo apply here, too: Pavol Gimcik, cello, and Maria Lickova, modern harpsichord, provide nothing more than the absolutely necessary accompanying chords, so that it is definitely better to concentrate on Gerald Garcia’s delightful guitar playing.

Peter Breiner

This is definitely music that you can listen to for hours on end in the background. If you are not worried about historical authenticity and love the sound of the classical guitar, and if you are prepared to accept the rather lame continuo accompaniment, you will find this disc most enjoyable. Vivaldi’s and Bach’s music is so optimistic and so harmonically rich that it can bear any number of such arrangements. (by Leslie Richford)

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Personnel:
Gerald Garcia (guitar)
Pavol Gimcik (cello)
Maria Licková (harpsichord)
Karol Petroczi (viola d’amore)
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Camerata Cassovia conducted by Peter Breiner

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Tracklist:

Antonio Vivaldi: Violin Concerto in E Minor, RV 277, “Il Favorito”:
01. I. Allegro 5.22
02. II. Andante 5.56
03. III. Allegro 5.22

Antonio Vivaldi: Trio Sonata in C Major, RV 82:
04. I. Allegro non molto 4.05
05. II. Larghetto – Lento 4.13
06. III. Allegro 2.33

Antonio Vivaldi: Trio Sonata in G Minor, RV 85:
07. I. Andante molto 4.14
08. II. Larghetto 2.40
09. III. Allegro 2.19

Antonio Vivaldi: Lute Concerto in D Major, RV 93:
10. I. Allegro giusto 3.45
11. II. Largo 4.38
12. III. Allegro 2.31

Johann Sebastian Bach: Harpsichord Concerto in D Minor, BWV 1052:
13. I. Allegro 9.14
14. II. Adagio 8.21
15. III. Allegro 10.10

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Maurice André – Concertos pour trompette (1987)

FrontCover1At the height of his career, the name of Maurice André, who has died at the age of 78, was synonymous with the trumpet. Not only was he largely responsible for establishing the trumpet as a popular solo instrument, but he also dominated the scene in the 1960s and 70s with a punishing schedule of concerts (an average of 180 a year) and more than 300 recordings, many made on his trademark piccolo trumpet.

As the winner of a prestigious international competition in Munich in 1963, he was sought out by the conductor Karl Richter, who needed a player with star quality for the taxing trumpet parts of such works as Bach’s B Minor Mass. Other notable conductors with whom André worked at this time included Karl Böhm, Karl Münchinger and Herbert von Karajan. He made an immensely successful recording with Karajan of a transcribed concerto by Vivaldi.

MauriceAndré01It was the lack of repertoire for the trumpet that persuaded André to make arrangements of works for violin, oboe and other instruments. He played them on the piccolo trumpet, an instrument designed to deliver the higher range with facility, and proceeded to stun audiences with a winning combination of technical brilliance and sweetness of tone.

André was a big man, with bushy eyebrows and fleshy fingers. Often the tiny instrument seemed to disappear from view beneath his hands. But he was a huge inspiration to generations of trumpeters, not least his pupils at the Paris Conservatoire, where he taught from 1967 to 1978. He continued to tour after that, first with his brother Raymond, also a trumpeter, and later with his children Nicolas and Béatrice (trumpeter and oboist respectively).

MauriceAndré02His farewell concert took place in 2008 in St Nazaire Cathedral, Béziers, in southern France, by which time André was officially in retirement. He had moved to a hilltop villa in the Basque country, where he developed his talents as a woodcarver and painter, but continued to practise the trumpet for four or five hours a day.
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Born in Alès, France, at the foot of the Cévennes mountains, André was the son of a coalminer who was also an amateur trumpet player. His father presented the 12-year-old André with a cornet and was so impressed by the boy’s potential that he sent him to study with a friend of his, Léon Barthélémy, a former student at the Paris Conservatoire.

Having taught André for four years, Barthélémy urged his father to send the boy, who had in the meantime followed his father down the mine, to study at the Conservatoire. Since the family could not afford the fees, André joined a military band, enabling him to secure a free place there. He studied with Raymond Sabarich, receiving first prize for both cornet and trumpet after his first and second years of study.

MauriceAndré03His early orchestral posts were with the Lamoureux Orchestra (1953-60), the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra (1953-62) and the Opéra-Comique (1962-67), but his success in the Munich competition effectively launched his career as a soloist. He had in fact been invited to sit on the jury of the competition, but decided to participate himself. It was at this time that he met and married his wife, Liliane, who supported him loyally as manager and companion on his tours, not least in the early years when his career was slow to take off.

André’s eventual success was founded on a solid technique, superb breath control and seemingly inexhaustible stamina, attributed by him to his years in the coalmine: “I built myself up when working in the mine at 14 years old, when I was moving 17 tons of coal a day,” he once said.

Certainly the technique was formidable. Playing a three-valve Selmer instrument (a fourth valve was added by the manufacturer in 1967 in collaboration with André to extend the register downwards), he effortlessly negotiated the stratospheric pitch range for which the Baroque repertoire was notorious. In the virtuoso faster movements, his tone sparkled brilliantly; in the slow movements it was creamy and seductive. As Karajan once opined: “He’s undoubtedly the best trumpet player, but he’s not from our world.”
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MauriceAndré05Since the 1970s, Baroque performance practice has developed considerably, with more variety of phrasing and articulation. Both soloist and orchestral accompaniments on many of André’s recordings now sound inflexible, with dirge-like tempi for slow movements. But at the time, this style of playing was thrillingly new and original. It was his lesser-known predecessor Adolf Scherbaum who introduced the piccolo trumpet and its repertoire, but André who brought it global popularity.

Though André was far from a devotee of contemporary music, the sound of which, he said, reminded him of the coalmine, he did have music written for him by several composers including André Jolivet, Henri Tomasi, Boris Blacher, Antoine Tisné and Jean Langlais. A biography, Maurice André: Une Trompette pour la Renommée (A Trumpet for Fame, 2003), was written by his student Guy Touvron, and his memoirs were published under the title Le Soleil Doit Pouvoir Briller pour Tout le Monde (The Sun Has to Shine for Everybody, 2007).

This is a sampler with some of his finest recordings … he was a master of the trumpet !

MauriceAndré06Personnel:
Maurice André (trumpet)
+
Orchestre de Chambre Franz Liszt (CD 1: 01 . 03., 17. + 18.)
Maxence Larrieu (flute)
Janos Rolla (violin)
Bernhard Schenkel (oboe)

Orchestre de Chambre de Wurtemberg conducted by Jörg Faerber (CD 1: 04. – 08.; CD 2: 04. – 09., 16. + 19.)

Academy of St.Martin-in-the-fields conducted by Neville Marriner (CD 1: 09. – 16.; CD 2: 10. – 12.)
Bernard Soustrot (trumpet)

London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jesus Lopez-Cobos (CD 1: 19. – 21.; CD: 2: 13. – 15.)

Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Muti (CD 2: 01. – 03.)

BackCover1Tracklist:

CD 1:

Johann Sebastian Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F major, BWV 1047:    
01. Allegro 5.21
02. Andante 3.53
03. Allegro assai 3.00

George Frederick Händel: Water Piece, suite for trumpet, strings & continuo in D major, HWV 341:
04. Overture 1.50
05. Gigue. Allegro 1.45
06. Air 2.01
07. Bourrée 1.06
08. Marche 1.31

Georg Philipp Telemann: Concerto for trumpet, 2 oboes, strings & continuo in D major, TWV 53:D2
09. Allegro
10. Grave 0.47
11. Arie 3.52
12. Grave 0.32
13. Vivace 2.23

Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel: Concerto for trumpet in D major:
14. Allegro 3.01
15. Andante 2.52
16. Allegro 2.42

Michael Haydn: Trumpet Concerto in D major, MH 104:
17. Adagio
18. Allegro 3.12

Franz Joseph Hadyn: Trumpet Concerto in E flat major, H. 7e/1:
19. Allegro 6.53
20. Andante 4.09
21. Allegro 4.57

CD 2:

Giuseppe Torelli; Sinfonia for trumpet, strings & continuo in D major (“Trumpet Concerto”)
01. Allegro 2.30
02. Adagio – Presto – Adagio 3.01
03. Allegro 1.48

Tomaso Albinoni: Concerto à cinque, for oboe, 2 violins, viola, cello & continuo No. 2 in D
04. minor, Op. 9/2:
04.. Allegro e non presto
05. Adagio 5.30
06. Allegro

Giuseppe Tartini: Trumpet Concerto in D major, D. 53 (arrangement of Violin Concerto in E major):
07. Allegro
08. Andante 2.49
09. Allegro grazioso 3.15

Antonio Vivaldi: Double Trumpet Concerto for 2 trumpets, strings & continuo in C major, RV 537:
10. Allegro
11. Largo 1.03
12. Allegro 3.21

Benedetto Marcello: Oboe Concerto in C minor, SF. 799 (attributed to A. Marcello)
13. Allegro moderato 4.05
14. Adagio 5.00
15. Allegro 3.26

Domenico Cimarosa: Trumpet Concerto in C major:
16. Introduction. Larghetto 3.20
17. Allegro 2.56
18. Siciliana 2.44
19. Allegro giusto 2.30

CD1A* (CD 1)
** (CD 1)

* (CD 2 + artwork)
** (CD 2 + artwork)

 

MauriceAndré04Maurice André,  born 21 May 1933; died 25 February 2012