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  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


Maurice Steger - Recorder Music Compilation
A Jacobean Masque (Four pieces from the collection of Sir Nicolas le Strange c.1624);
John HILTON (1599-1673) Fantasie in G minor
Henry PURCELL (1659-95) A New Ground;
Robert CARR (d.1686) An Italian Ground;
Anon Divisions on a Ground
Marco UCCELLINI (1603-1680) Aria Sopra "La Bergamasca";
Francesco MANCINI (1672-1737) Sonata IV in A minor;
Giovanni MEALLI (fl.c.1660) Sonata 1 "La Bernabera";
Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Concerto in F major RV 434 and Concerto in A minor RV 108;
G.P. TELEMANN (1681-1767) Sonatina in C minor; Fantasia in A major for solo recorder.
Variously taken from CD 50-9407; CD 50-9614; CD 50-2112; CD 50-9809
Maurice Steger Naoki Kitaya harpsichord/organ/Virginal
The Musicians of I Barocchisti
Rec. various
CLAVES CD 50-2208 [74.29]
CD available for post-free online mail-order or you may download individual tracks. For some labels you can download the entire CD with a single click and make HUGE savings. The price you see is the price you pay! The full booklet notes are available on-line.

NOTE • Click on the button and you can buy the disc or read the booklet details • You can also access each track which you may then sample or down load. • Further Information.


 

As can be seen from the above adumbration, this is a compilation CD in Claves’ ‘Portrait’ series, and features a top recorder player from Switzerland. Maurice Steger who is a pupil of, amongst others, the Dutch early music expert and also recorder player Kees Boeke. Steger is well known on the continent indeed I have heard him play with Musica Antiqua of Cologne in Germany but he is practically unknown elsewhere. Perhaps this disc will start to redress the balance.

The first thing to say is that this is a very enjoyable disc with contrasted pieces both in style and in instrumentation, and with works from Italy, Germany and England dating from the late Renaissance to the late baroque there is always something to cater for several different tastes. So for example the disc opens with four English masque pieces for mixed consort which includes some delightful lute playing, from the early 17th Century, then we hear some divisions on a ground by Carr for recorder, lute, bass viol and continuo and moves on to a concerto in F major by Vivaldi with some elegant string playing.

Not only is Steger’s playing nothing less than outstanding in tone, phrasing and sheer musicality, but also the accompaniments are tasteful and beautifully conceived be they lute, harpsichord, a small mixed consort or string orchestra. Not only that but we also have a work for solo recorder which gives Steger a chance to demonstrate his own expressive qualities and fluid approach to tempi and phrasing. In addition to all of this the recording captures the music marvellously and the recorder although always up-front, as it were, is kindly balanced within the ensemble occupying a position within its orbit.

Three particular tracks that are well worth sampling are: the lively 12/8 finale of Vivaldi’s A minor Concerto for some wonderful ensemble and continuo organ work and carefully graded dynamics, John Hilton’s Fantaisie in G minor for its sheer exuberance and virtuosity and for expressive and dextrous playing Telemann’s brief, unaccompanied Fantasie.

So, I would strongly advise anyone who enjoys baroque music to search out this disc, or better still search out Steger’s other listed recordings and if they are as good as this then there is much to revel in.


Gary Higginson


 


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FREE SOUND SAMPLES
(minimum 30 secs)


A Jacobean Masque
CDTnº2 - R. JOHNSON
A Jacobean Masque
CDTnº3 - G. COPERARIO
A Jacobean Masque
CDTnº4 - G. FARNABY
A Jacobean Masque
CDTnº5 - R. CARR
An Italian Ground
CDTnº6 - A. VIVALDI
Concerto in F Major, RV 434
CDTnº7 - A. VIVALDI
Concerto in F Major, RV 434
CDTnº8 - A. VIVALDI
Concerto in F Major, RV 434
CDTnº9 - J. HILTON
Fantasie in G Minor
CDTnº10 - G.P. TELEMANN
Sonatina in C Minor
CDTnº11 - G.P. TELEMANN
Sonatina in C Minor
CDTnº12 - G.P. TELEMANN
Sonatina in C Minor
CDTnº13 - G.P. TELEMANN
Sonatina in C Minor
CDTnº14 - M. UCCELLINI
Aria Sopra 'La Bergamasca'
CDTnº15 - F. MANCINI
Sonata IV in A Minor
CDTnº16 - F. MANCINI
Sonata IV in A Minor
CDTnº17 - F. MANCINI
Sonata IV in A Minor
CDTnº18 - F. MANCINI
Sonata IV in A Minor
CDTnº19 - ANON
A Division on a Ground
CDTnº20 - A. VIVALDI
Concerto in A Minor, RV 108
CDTnº21 - A. VIVALDI
Concerto in A Minor, RV 108
CDTnº22 - A. VIVALDI
Concerto in A Minor, RV 108
CDTnº23 - G.P. TELEMANN
Fantasia 1 in A Major
CDTnº24 - G.P. TELEMANN
Fantasia 1 in A Major
CDTnº25 - G. A. P. MEALLI
Sonata 1 'La Bernabea'
CDTnº26 - H. PURCELL
A New Ground




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