Various Artists – Concerti Grossi – The Joy Of Baroque (1997)

FrontCover1.jpgA new kind of orchestral composition, the concerto, appeared in the last two decades of the 17th century, and became the most important type of Baroque orchestral music after 1700. The concerto was the synthesis in purely instrumental music of four fundamental Baroque practices: the concertato principle; the texture of a firm bass and florid treble; musical organization based on the major-minor key system; and the building of a long work out of separate autonomous movements.

The concerto grosso is probably the most important type of baroque concerto, characterized by the use of a small group of solo instruments, called “concertino” or “principale”, against the full orchestra, called “concerto”, “tutti” or “ripieni.” The concertino usually consists of two violins and continuo (the same ensemble that constitutes the Baroque trio sonatas). The ripieni are a small string orchestra, later occasionally including wind instruments (trumpets, oboes, flutes, horns).

“Concerto grosso” originally signified the “large consort,” that is, the orchestra, as opposed to the “concertino” or “little consort,” the group of solo instruments. Later, the term “concerto grosso” was applied to the composition which used these opposed groups.

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The practice of contrasting solo instruments against full orchestra had been introduced into Baroque music long before the concerto as such made its appearance. A predecessor of the concerto was the sinfonia or sonata for one or two solo trumpets with string orchestra, which was cultivated especially at Venice and Bologna. Various elements of the concerto also may be found in the Venetian opera overtures, which were occasionally played outside the opera house as independent instrumental sonatas.

The circumstances under which orchestral church music was presented were often such Giuseppe Sammartinias to encourage the concerto style. The church of San Petronio in Bologna, for instance, maintained a small orchestra of expert instrumentalists; when large numbers of extra players were brought in for special occasions, the contrast between the modest technique of the outsiders and the accomplished virtuosity of the regular performers strongly suggested writing that could take advantage of the situation by providing an appropriately different kind of music for each group within the framework of a single composition — easy parts for the ripieno, more difficult parts for the soloists when heard alone.

Concertos, like sonatas and sinfonias, were played in church as “overtures” before Mass or at certain moments in the ceremony.

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The earliest known examples of the concerto grosso principle occur in two “Sinfonie a piu instrumenti” by A. Stradella (1653-1713). Some concerti grossi by Corelli, although published much later, would seem to be of a date close to Stradella’s, because they show the patchwork structure of the earlier canzona with quick changes of a considerable number of short “movements.”

Georg Friedrich Händel

The typical Allegro movement of the concerto was established primarily by Torelli. Each begins with a complete exposition of the theme by the full orchestra; alternating with solo/concertino episodes, the material of the tutti exposition recurs once or twice, slightly modified and in different keys; the movement is rounded off and brought to a close with a final tonic tutti practically identical with the opening one.

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A tutti which recurs in this way in a concerto is called ritornello; this structure is typical for all first and last movements of late Baroque concertos. The form is something like that of the rondeau, with the important exception that in a concerto all the ritornellos except the first and last are in different keys. The concerto therefore combines the principle of recurrence with the equally important principle of key relationships.

Typical traits that mark the mature concerto form of the Baroque are: 1) the fast-slow-fast sequence of movements (allegro-adagio-allegro); 2) the ritornello form; and 3) virtuoso flights of the soloists. An occasional adagio introductory movement might precede the first Allegro movement. Generally, except in the case of Vivaldi, the fast movements are based on the fugal principle. A typical pattern of key-related cadences in an Allegro movement might be: tonic; dominant; tonic; relative minor or major or other related key; subdominant or dominant; and finally, tonic. (by lcsproductions.net)

And here´s a real fine collection of classic Contero Grossi … enjoy this delightful music of the 17th century …

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Personnel:
London Festival Orchestra conducted by Ross Pople (01. – 04. + 13. – 15.)
Hamburg Solist conducted by Emil Klein (05 . – 09.)
Cis Collegium Mozarteum Salzburg conducted by Jürgen Geise (16. – 22.)

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Tracklist:

Arcangelo Corelli: Concerto Grosso Op. 6 No.1.:
01. Largo – Allegro 2.33
02. Largo – Allegro 2.32
03. Largo – Allegro 4.54
04. Largo – Allegro 20.6

Georg Friedrich Händel: Concerto Grosso Op. 6 No. 1:
05. Tempo giusto 1.35
06. Allegro 2.24
07. Adagio 2.51
08. Allegro 3.09
09. Allegro 1.36

Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto Grosso in D minor Op. 3 No. 11:
10. Allegro – Adagio – Allegro 4.22
11. Largo 2.10
12. Allegro 2.46

Giuseppe Sammartini: Concert Grosso Op. 5 No. 6:
13. Spirituoso – Allegro – Spirituoso – Adagio 4.15
14. Rondo – Allegro moderato e graziosa 5.28
15. Pastorale – Andante sostenuto 5.14

Pietro Antonio Locatelli: Concero in F minor:
16. Largo 0.35
17. Grave 1.31
18. Vivace 1.24
19. Grave 2.02
20. Largo andante 3.49
21. Andante 2.29
22. Pastorale – andante 3.58

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Europa Galante – I Concerti Dell’ Addio (Antonio Vivaldi) (The Farewell Concertos) (2015)

Maquetación 1Vivaldi concerto discs appear on these pages every month it seems. Rarely do I give them a second glance, let alone a first listen. That doesn’t mean I don’t like the music; quite the contrary, in fact. When this appeared on the New Releases list, I grabbed it with all speed. For me, no one does Vivaldi like Fabio Biondi and his band.

In January 2002, whilst on holiday in the UK, I attended a concert of theirs in the Christopher Wren-designed Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford. There is no doubt that it could have been a tiddlywinks competition and still been wonderful because of the venue. However, despite the uncomfortable hard seats and the foggy weather bringing on an asthma attack for my wife sitting next to me, this was perhaps the most memorable classical concert I have attended. The Four Seasons were transformed from pleasant background music into high drama: it was as though the summer storm was inside the theatre, such was their playing.

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I bought their Opus 111 recording of the Four Seasons as soon as possible afterwards, and just about everything that they released on Virgin Classics subsequently, Vivaldi or otherwise. I soon found that almost nothing of their work beyond the Red Priest worked anywhere near as well, Boccherini being perhaps the only exception. The Corelli concertos were disappointing, and the Mozart violin concertos a failure. After the demise of Virgin Classics, there was a Telemann release on the Agogique label: again, underwhelming. Now on Glossa, they return to Vivaldi, and the wondrous verve is back.

These six concertos are from a collection held currently in Brno in the Czech Republic, purchased in June 1741 from the composer by Count Vinciguerra Collalto. The “Farewell” in the title refers to the fact that Vivaldi was within six weeks of death, alone and unappreciated in a Vienna preoccupied with the death of an emperor the previous year. As with essentially all his compositions, precise dates are not known, but Biondi in his intelligent booklet article suggests that they show clear signs of being written late in Vivaldi’s career.

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Biondi’s detractors criticise his overuse of abrupt tempo changes, and there is no doubt that some composers suffer from such treatment. However, Vivaldi’s music seems to me to revel in the drama that Biondi creates. One criticism that I have of so many period instrument Baroque performances is that everything is fast, even the slow movements. That is never the case with Europa Galante. I can happily report that these concertos show the group back at their very best. Everything that makes their Vivaldi dazzle and wow is here, but there is also a restraint in places, totally apposite, which I believe is a consequence of the style of these late works.

The recording is very clear, though a little close at times, so that we hear Biondi’s intake of breath. I have already noted the quality of the booklet article, and it is a well-filled disc. I can only celebrate that Biondi and Europa Galante have returned to their natural habitat, and if you have had reservations about them in the past, please give them another try here in works that you are unlikely to know well or at all. (by David Barker)

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Personnel:

Europa Galante (Orchestra) conducted by Fabio Biondi:

Alessandro Andriani (cello)
Nicola Barbieri (violone)
Isabella Bison (violin)
Fabio Biondi (violin)
Rossella Borsoni (violin)
Elin Gabrielsson (violin)
Luca Giardini (violin)
Simone Laghi (viola)
Stefano Marcocchi (viola)
Carla Marotta (violin)
Giangiacomo Pinardi (lute)
Perikli Pite (cello)
Paola Poncet (harpsichord)
Andrea Rognoni (violin)

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Tracklist:

Violin Concerto In B Minor, RV 390:
01. Andante Molto 1.02
02. Allegro Non Molto 5.16
03. Largetto 2.37
04. Allegro 3.41

Violin Concerto In E Minor, RV 273:
05. Allegro Non Molto 4.21
06. Largo 3.42
07. Allegro 3.43

Violin Concerto In B Flat Major, RV 371:
08. Allagro Ma Poco 5.00
09. Largo 4.35
10. Allegro 3.57

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Violin Concerto In C Major, RV 189:
11. Larghetto 0.31
12. Allegro Non Molto e Pianissimo 5.01
13. Largo 6.05
14. Allegro Molto 4.15

Violin Concerto In B Flat Major RV 367:
15. Allegro Ma Poco Poco 6.01
16. Andante Ma Poco 3.21
17. Allegro 3.54

Violin Concerto In F Major, RV 286 (Per la Solemnità di San Lorenzo):
18. Largo Molto e Spiccato 0.29
19. Allegro Moderato) 4.46
20. Largo 2.55
21. Allegro Non Molto 4.44

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János Rolla (Liszt Ferenc Kamarazenekar Orchestra) – The Four Seasons (Vivaldi) (1987)

FrontCover1.JPGThe Four Seasons (Italian: Le quattro stagioni) is a group of four violin concerti by Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi, each of which gives musical expression to a season of the year. They were written around 1721 and were published in 1725 in Amsterdam, together with eight additional violin concerti, as Il cimento dell’armonia e dell’inventione (“The Contest Between Harmony and Invention”).

The Four Seasons is the best known of Vivaldi’s works. Though three of the concerti are wholly original, the first, “Spring”, borrows motifs from a Sinfonia in the first act of Vivaldi’s contemporaneous opera Il Giustino. The inspiration for the concertos was probably the countryside around Mantua, where Vivaldi was living at the time. They were a revolution in musical conception: in them Vivaldi represented flowing creeks, singing birds (of different species, each specifically characterized), a shepherd and his barking dog, buzzing flies, storms, drunken dancers, hunting parties from both the hunters’ and the prey’s point of view, frozen landscapes, and warm winter fires.

Unusually for the period, Vivaldi published the concerti with accompanying sonnets (possibly written by the composer himself) that elucidated what it was in the spirit of each season that his music was intended to evoke. The concerti therefore stand as one of the earliest and most detailed examples of what would come to be called program music—i.e., music with a narrative element. Vivaldi took great pains to relate his music to the texts of the poems, translating the poetic lines themselves directly into the music on the

OriginalTitelPage.jpgpage. For example, in the middle section of the Spring concerto, where the goatherd sleeps, his barking dog can be heard in the viola section. The music is elsewhere similarly evocative of other natural sounds. Vivaldi separated each concerto into three movements (fast–slow–fast), and, likewise, each linked sonnet into three sections.

There is some debate as to whether the four concertos were written to accompany four sonnets or vice versa. Though it is not known who wrote the accompanying sonnets, the theory that Vivaldi wrote them is supported by the fact that each sonnet is broken into three sections, each neatly corresponding to a movement in the concerto. Regardless of the sonnets’ authorship, The Four Seasons can be classified as program music, instrumental music intended to evoke something extra-musical and an art form which Vivaldi was determined to prove sophisticated enough to be taken seriously.

In addition to these sonnets, Vivaldi provided instructions such as “The barking dog” (in the second movement of “Spring”), “Languor caused by the heat” (in the first movement of “Summer”), and “the drunkards have fallen asleep” (in the second movement of “Autumn”). (by wikipedia)

The Four Seasons are one of the most important compositions of all time and her we can hear a real great version byRolla János, a Hungarian violinist and conductor. He was very popular in his country and if you listen to this masterpiece of music, you will know why.

And the beautfiful pictures on the  frontcover was taken from the Flemish Calendar.

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Personnel:
László Czidra (strings)
Mária Frank (cello)
Rolla János (violin)
Zsuzsa Pertis (harpsichord, organ)
László Som (bass)
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Liszt Ferenc Kamarazenekar Orchestra conducted by Rolla János

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Tracklist:

Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, RV 269, “La primavera” (Spring):
01. Allegro 3.20
02. Largo 2.26
03. Allegro  4.11

Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 8, RV 315, “L’estate” (Summer):
04. Allegro Non Molto
05. Adagio 2.04
06. Presto  2.38

Concerto No. 3 in F major, Op. 8, RV 293, “L’autunno” (Autumn):
07. Allegro 5.03
08. Adagio Molto 2.04
09. Allegro 3.18

Concerto No. 4 in F minor, Op. 8, RV 297, “L’inverno” (Winter):
10. Allegro Non Molto 3.23
11. Largo 2.13
12. Allegro 2.52

Music composed by Antonio Vivaldi

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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!

Gerald Garcia

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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Heinz Holliger + I Musicia – Albinoni, Marcello & Vivaldi – Oboe Concertos (2012)

FrontCover1Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni (8 June 1671 – 17 January 1751) was an Italian Baroque composer. While famous in his day as an opera composer, he is mainly remembered today for his instrumental music, such as the concerti.

Born in Venice, Republic of Venice, to Antonio Albinoni, a wealthy paper merchant in Venice, he studied violin and singing. Relatively little is known about his life, especially considering his contemporary stature as a composer, and the comparatively well-documented period in which he lived. In 1694 he dedicated his Opus 1 to the fellow-Venetian, Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni (grand-nephew of Pope Alexander VIII); Ottoboni was an important patron in Rome of other composers, such as Arcangelo Corelli. His first opera, Zenobia, regina de Palmireni, was produced in Venice in 1694. Albinoni was possibly employed in 1700 as a violinist to Charles IV, Duke of Mantua, to whom he dedicated his Opus 2 collection of instrumental pieces. In 1701 he wrote his hugely popular suites Opus 3, and dedicated that collection to Cosimo III de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany.

In 1705, he was married; Antonino Biffi, the maestro di cappella of San Marco was a witness, and evidently was a friend of Albinoni. Albinoni seems to have no other connection with that primary musical establishment in Venice, however, and achieved his early fame as an opera composer at many cities in Italy, including Venice, Genoa, Bologna, Mantua, Udine, Piacenza, and Naples. During this time he was also composing instrumental music in abundance: prior to 1705, he mostly wrote trio sonatas and violin concertos, but between then and 1719 he wrote solo sonatas and concertos for oboe.

AlbinoniUnlike most composers of his time, he appears never to have sought a post at either a church or noble court, but then he was a man of independent means and had the option to compose music independently. In 1722, Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria, to whom Albinoni had dedicated a set of twelve concertos, invited him to direct two of his operas in Munich.

Around 1740, a collection of Albinoni’s violin sonatas was published in France as a posthumous work, and scholars long presumed that meant that Albinoni had died by that time. However, it appears he lived on in Venice in obscurity; a record from the parish of San Barnaba indicates Tomaso Albinoni died in Venice in 1751, of diabetes mellitus.

Most of his operatic works have been lost, largely because they were not published during his lifetime. However, nine collections of instrumental works were published. These were met with considerable success and consequent reprints. He is therefore known more as a composer of instrumental music (99 sonatas, 59 concerti and 9 sinfonia) today. In his lifetime these works were compared favourably with those of Corelli and Vivaldi. His nine collections published in Italy, Amsterdam and London were either dedicated to or sponsored by an impressive list of southern European nobility. Albinoni wrote at least fifty operas of which twenty-eight were produced in Venice between 1723 and 1740. Albinoni himself claimed 81 operas (naming his second-to-last opera, in the libretto, as his 80th). In spite of his enormous operatic output, today he is most noted for his instrumental music, especially his oboe concerti. He is the first Italian known to employ the oboe as a solo instrument in concerti (c. 1715, in his 12 concerti a cinque, op. 7) and publish such works, although earlier concerti featuring solo oboe were probably written by German composers such as Telemann or Händel. In Italy, Alessandro Marcello published his well known oboe concerto in D minor a little later, in 1717. Albinoni also employed the instrument often in his chamber works.

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His instrumental music attracted great attention from Johann Sebastian Bach, who wrote at least two fugues on Albinoni’s themes (Fugue in A major on a theme by Tomaso Albinoni, BWV 950, Fugue in B minor on a theme by Tomaso Albinoni, BWV 951) and frequently used his basses for harmony exercises for his pupils. Part of Albinoni’s work was lost in World War II with the destruction of the Dresden State Library. As a result, little is known of his life and music after the mid-1720s.

The famous “Adagio in G minor” for violin, strings and organ, the subject of many modern recordings, is by some thought to be a musical hoax composed by Remo Giazotto. However, a discovery by musicologist Muska Mangano, Giazotto’s last assistant before his death, brought up new findings. Among Giazotto’s papers, she discovered a modern but independent manuscript transcription of the figured bass portion and six fragmentary bars of the first violin, “bearing in the top right-hand corner a stamp stating unequivocally the Dresden provenance of the original from which it was taken”. This provides support for Giazotto’s account that he did base his composition on a source. (by wikipedia)

The oboe on these recordings was played by Heinz Holliger:

Heinz Robert Holliger (born 21 May 1939) is a Swiss oboist, composer and conductor.

Holliger was born in Langenthal, Switzerland, and began his musical education at the conservatories of Bern and Basel. He studied composition with Sándor Veress and Pierre Boulez. Holliger took first prize for oboe in the International Competition in Geneva in 1959.

He has become one of the world’s most celebrated oboists, and many composers (including Olivier Messiaen, Luciano Berio, Elliott Carter, Frank Martin, Hans Werner Henze, Witold Lutosławski, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Krzysztof Penderecki, and Isang Yun) have written works for him. He began teaching at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg, Germany in 1966.

In 1972 Holliger, Maurice Bourgue (fr) (oboe), Klaus Thunemann (bassoon), and Christiane Jaccottet (continuo) et al. recorded the Six Trio Sonatas for Oboe and Bassoon by Jan Dismas Zelenka. This recording is credited for the “Zelenka Renaissance”.

Holliger has also composed many works in a variety of media. Many of his works have been recorded for the ECM label.

Heinz Holliger

Invited by Walter Fink, he was the 17th composer featured in the annual Komponistenporträt of the Rheingau Musik Festival in 2007 in chamber music and a symphonic concert that he conducted himself, including works of Claude Debussy and Robert Schumann along with his Lieder after Georg Trakl and Gesänge der Frühe on words of Schumann and Friedrich Hölderlin.

On the occasion of Paul Sacher’s 70th birthday, Holliger was one of twelve composer-friends of his who were asked by Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich to write compositions for cello solo using his name spelt out in German names for musical notes on the theme (eS, A, C, H, E, Re); Holliger contributed a Chaconne for Violoncello Solo. The compositions were partially presented in Zurich on 2 May 1976. The whole “eSACHERe” project was (for the first time in complete performance) performed by Czech cellist František Brikcius in May 2011 in Prague. (by wikipedia).

And he was accomponied ny the legendary I Musici ensemble:

I Musici (pronounced [iˈmuːzitʃi]), also known as I Musici di Roma, is an Italian chamber orchestra from Rome formed in 1951. They are well known for their interpretations of Baroque and other works, particularly Antonio Vivaldi and Tomaso Albinoni.

Among their engagements, the original Chamber Orchestra completed acclaimed tours of Southern Africa 1956, and again in 1967, with a few replacement performers

In the 1970s, I Musici recorded the first classical music video and, later, the group was the first to record a compact disc for the Philips label.

One of their founding members and first violin, Felix Ayo, is still active as of 2012. (by wikipedia)

This is a reference album of the baroque oboe, with additional works by Alessandro Marcello and Antonio Vivaldi: What a unique sound … Another chance to discover the magic of this music !

 

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I Musici during the Sixties

Personnel:
Maurice Bourgue (oboe)
Maria Teresa Garatti (harpsichord)
Heinz Holliger (oboe)
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Tracklist:

Tomaso Albinoni: Concerto a 5 in D minor, Op.9, No.2 for Oboe, Strings, and Continuo:
01. Allegro e non presto 4.08
02. Adagio 5.22
03. Allegro 2.52

Tomaso Albinoni: Concerto a 5 in F, Op.9, No.3 for 2 Oboes, Strings, and Continuo:
04. Allegro 4.55
05. Adagio 3.09
06. Allegro 3.50

Alessandro Marcello: Oboe Concerto in D minor:
07. Andante e spiccato 3.32
08. Adagio 4.23
09. Presto 3.45

Tomaso Albinoni: Concerto a 5 in G minor, Op.9, No.8 for Oboe, Strings, and Continuo:
10. Allegro 4.24
11. Adagio 2.39
12. Allegro 4.03

Tomaso Albinoni: Concerto a 5 in C, Op.9, No.9 for 2 Oboes, Strings, and Continuo:
13. Allegro 4.08
14. Adagio 3.18
15. Allegro 3.42

Antonio Vivaldi: Oboe Concerto in C, R.446:
16. Allegro 3.15
17. Adagio 3.36
18. Allegro 2.01

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Antonio Vivaldi – Violin Concertos for Anna Maria (Mariana Sirbu) (2012)

FrontCover1With the number of Vivaldi concerto recordings flooding the market, what is a starter CD-buyer to do? How can he or she make a choice? Perhaps if a reviewer has any function at all, it is to steer the prospective purchaser in the right direction. If you like period instruments, the new disc with Giorgio Sasso might be a candidate for an ideal one-CD Vivaldi choice. The Roman group plays brilliantly, and the selection of works for string orchestra is superb, with two emotional pieces, a Sinfonia in G minor and a Sonata in E flat, Al S Sepulchro (At Christ’s Tomb/Burial). The other disc, on modern instruments (but very crisply played), is a series of six works composed for Vivaldi’s star pupil at the Pietà, Anna Maria, who performed on violin, viola d’amore, cello, lute, theorbo, mandolin and harpsichord. These are delightful violin concertos, admirably played by Mariana Sirbu and I Musici, one of the pioneers of the Vivaldi revival. (by HC Robbins Landon)

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Personnel:
Mariana Sirbu (violin)
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I Musici

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Tracklist:

Concerto In D Minor For Violin, Strings And Continuo Rv 248
01. 1. Allegro 5.02
02. 2. Largo-Presto 3.29
03. 3. Allegro Ma Non Molto3.48
Concerto In D For Violin, Strings And Continuo Rv 229
04. 1. Allegro 4.00
05. 2. Largo 3.17
06. 3. Allegro 2.56
Concerto In B Flat For Violin, Strings And Continuo Rv 363
07. 1. Allegro 2.56
08. 2. Largo 2.42
09. 3. Allegro 2.55
Concerto In E Flat For Violin, Strings And Continuo Rv 260
10. 1. Allegro 4.01
11. 2. Adagio 3.35
12. 3. Allegro 4.17
Concerto In E Flat For Violin, Strings And Continuo Rv 349
13. 1. Allegro 5.07
14. 2. Largo 3.13
15. 3. Allegro Ma Poco 3.56
Concerto In E Flat For Violin, Strings And Continuo  Rv 267
16. 1. Allegro 3.36
17. 2. Largo 2.53
18. 3. Allegro Ma Poco 2.56

Composed by Antonio Vivaldi

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Nigel Kennedy + Berliner Philharmoniker – Vivaldi (2003)

FrontCover1Not content with having produced one wildly successful recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in 1989, Nigel Kennedy, irrepressible enfant terrible of the violin world, apparently decided it was time for another version to display the new insights and ideas he had gained during those years. And indeed the differences are far-reaching and fundamental. The old version was relatively conventional, faithful to the score in text and spirit, with moderate tempi and no exaggerations. The new version’s motto might be “everything to excess”: tempi, tempo changes, dynamics. The sound effects are realistic to nature, but unnatural to string instruments, and there is a lot of scratching in the loud, vigorous sections. Perhaps in a nod to baroque practice, there are swells on the long notes, crescendos and decrescendos on ascending and descending lines, unvibrated passage, and long pauses before final notes.

NigelKennedyThis is the first of a multi-disc collaboration between Kennedy and the musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic, called “The Vivaldi Project,” and it is interesting that these famously tradition-conscious, staid players seem quite comfortable with his iconoclastic approach. Phrasing, articulation, and spirit are remarkably unanimous; the balance is fine with very strong cellos and basses. In the two double concertos–one famous, one unknown, both delightful–whose fast movements are taken at break-neck speed, the concertmaster matches Kennedy in verve and virtuosity, no mean feat. In spite of all his excesses, Kennedy’s playing is superb; his technique is brilliant, his tone has a beguiling, aching sweetness. He is in his element in the improvisations; indeed they sometimes take on a life of their own. The most convincing, satisfying parts are the slow movements: played with unspoiled simplicity, deep expressiveness, and repose, they speak straight to the heart. Here, one feels, is where the real Kennedy comes out. (by Edith Eisler)

Booklet01A

Nigel Kennedy, if you didn’t know it already, has done more for Vivaldi than any other musician alive – according to these sleeve notes, that is. Here he continues his intrepid crusade by recording the Four Seasons for a second time, now with the Berlin Philharmonic, and issued on CD and DVD. Kennedy’s performance is perfectly decent and musical – all that designer stubble and estuary English can’t disguise the high-class violinist he is – but it is unremarkable, with only a few eccentric tempo changes to distinguish it from any one of a number of modern-instrument performances of the past 30 years. The two-violin concertos with which the Four Seasons are framed are marginally more interesting, seem more spontaneous, perhaps because Kennedy hasn’t been playing them ad nauseam for the past 10 years. (The Guardian)

VivaldiPersonnel:
Nigel Kennedy (violin)
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Berliner Philharmoniker
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Bogumila Gizbert-Studnicka (harpsichord)
Olaf Maninger (cello)
Daniel Stabrawa (violin)
Taro Takeuchi (lute)

Booklet10ATracklist:

Concerto For 2 Violins, Strings & Continuo In A Minor, Op.3 No.8, RV522     9.36
01. Allegro 2.54
02. Larghetto E Spirituoso 4.11
03. Allegro  2.31

Il Cimento Dell’Armonia E Dell’Inventione, Op.8 Nos.1-4: Le Quattro Stagioni La Primavera, RV269     9.36
04. Allegro  3.05
05. Largo 2.30
06. Allegro 4.01

L’Estate, RV315     10.21
07. Allegro Non Molto – Allegro – (Allegro Non Molto) 5.16
08. Adagio 2.26
09. Presto 2.39

L’Autunno, RV293     8.33
10. Allegro – Larghetto – Allegro Assai 2.08
11. Adagio Molto 2.52
12. Allegro 3.33

L’Inverno, RV297     8.06
13. Allegro Non Molto 3.02
14. Largo 1.39
15. Allegro – Lento – (Allegro) 3.25

Concerto For 2 Violins In D Major, RV511     12:07
16. Allegro Molto – Adagio – Allegro 4.37
17. Largo 3.52
18. Allegro 3.38

Composed by Antonio Vivaldi

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