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Early Music

Classical Editor: Rob Barnett                               Founder Len Mullenger

Discover Music of the Baroque Era
135pp. book included
NAXOS 8.558160-61 [78:28 + 79:34] [2:38:02]


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Disc 1

01. Concerto grosso in B minor, Op. 6 No. 12: III. Larghetto, e piano - Variation   03:42  
Capella Istropolitana/Jozef Kopelman
02. Violin Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001: I. Adagio    03:23  
Lucy van Dael, violin
03. Sonata in D minor, K. 120: Allegrissimo    04:07  
Laurence Cummings, harpsichord
04. Cantata, BWV 51: Aria, Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen    04:34  
Ingrid Kertesi, soprano
Failoni Chamber Orchestra, Budapest/Matyas Antal
05. Miserere mei    10:10  
Oxford Camerata/Jeremy Summerly
06. Sonata pian' e forte, alla quarta bassa, a 8    05:04  
London Symphony Brass/Eric Crees
07. Vespers of the Blessed Virgin: Domine ad adiuvandum    02:04  
Scholars Baroque Ensemble
08. Variations on Mein junges Leben hat ein End    06:17  
James David Christie, organ
09. La, la, la, je ne l'ose dire    02:03  
Lena Hellstrom-Farnlof, soprano
Bourrasque Ensemble/Westra Aros Pipers/Bertil Farnlof
10. Der 100. Psalm, SWV 36, "Jauchzet dem Herren, alle Welt"    05:02  
Oxford Camerata/Jeremy Summerly
11. Royal Consort in D major for two theorbos: Ecco    02:54  
Jacob Heringman, theorbo / David Miller, theorbo
Rose Consort of Viols
12. Cantata, Oh di Betlemme altera poverta: Aria, L'Autor d'ogni mio bene    03:54  
Maya Boog, soprano
Cologne Chamber Orchestra/Helmut Muller-Bruhl
13. Sonata in D major a 8 viole con una tromba: I. Allegro    01:24  
Jurgen Schuster, trumpet
Cologne Chamber Orchestra/Helmut Muller-Bruhl
14. Membra Jesu nostri, Part III. Ad manus: Quid sunt plagae istae    01:57  
Radio Svizzera Italiana Choir
Accademia Instrumentale Italiana/Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca/Diego Fasolis
15. Toccata in C major    02:20  
Wolfgang Rubsam, organ
16. Benedictus: I. Benedictus    04:07  
Le Concert Spirituel/Herve Niquet
17. Noel: Un flambeau, Janette, Isabelle!    03:19  
Tracy Smith Bessette, soprano/Christine Stelmacovich, alto
Aradia Ensemble/Kevin Mallon
18. Hear my prayer, O Lord    02:46  
Oxford Camerata/Jeremy Summerly
19. Dido and Aeneas: When I am laid in earth (Dido's Lament)    03:43  
Kym Amps, soprano
Scholars Baroque Ensemble
20. Concerto Grosso in G minor, Op. 6 No. 8, "Christmas Concerto": II. Pastorale    03:53  
Cologne Chamber Orchestra/Helmut Muller-Bruhl
Disc 2

01. Flute Concerto in D major, Op.10, No. 3 (RV 428), "Il gardellino": I. Allegro    03:47  
Bela Drahos, flute
Nicolaus Esterhazy Sinfonia
02. Beatus vir, RV 597: Beatus vir qui timet Dominum    02:58  
Oxford Schola Cantorum
Northern Chamber Orchestra/Nicholas Ward
03. Keyboard Sonata in E major, K. 380    05:02  
Balazs Szokolay, piano
04. Keyboard Sonata in D major, K. 96    04:31  
Balazs Szokolay, piano
05. Prelude and Fugue in G major, BWV 550    08:07  
Wolfgang Rubsam, organ
06. Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, BWV 1047: III. Allegro assai    02:38  
Cologne Chamber Orchestra/Helmut Muller-Bruhl
07. The Well-tempered Clavier, Book 1: Prelude and Fugue in G minor, BWV 861    03:25  
Jeno Jando, piano
08. Weichet nur, betrubte Schatten, BWV 202, "Wedding Cantata": Aria, Sich uben im Lieben    04:49  
Friederike Wagner, soprano
Capella Istropolitana/Christian Brembeck
09. St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: Chorus, Wir setzen uns mit Tranen nieder    06:30  
Hungarian Festival Choir
Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra/Geza Oberfrank
10. Harpsichord Concerto in F minor, BWV 1056: II. Largo    02:52  
Harald Hoeren, harpsichord
Cologne Chamber Orchestra/Helmut Muller-Bruhl
11. Overture (Suite) in D major, TWV 55 D15: Rejouissance    02:20  
Cologne Chamber Orchestra/Helmut Muller-Bruhl
12. Premier Ordre: Les Sentiments    03:43  
Laurence Cummings, harpsichord
13. Premier Ordre: La Manon    01:24  
Laurence Cummings, harpsichord
14. Abaris ou Les Boreades (Suite and Dances): Gavotte pour les Fleurs et les Zephirs    03:39  
Capella Savaria
Mary Terey-Smith, conductor
15. Pieces de clavecin: Mussette en rondeau from Suite in E minor-major    03:06  
Gilbert Rowland, harpsichord
16. Pieces de clavecin: Tambourin from Suite in E minor-major    01:07  
Gilbert Rowland, harpsichord
17. Rinaldo: Aria, Lascia ch'io pianga (Almirena)    04:33  
Ingrid Kertesi, soprano
Camerata Budapest/Laszlo Kovacs
18. Acis and Galatea: Aria: O ruddier than the cherry (Polyphemus)    04:38  
David van Asch, bass
Scholars Baroque Ensemble
19. Harpsichord Suite No. 7 in G minor, HWV 432: Passacaille    03:01  
Laurence Cummings, harpsichord
20. Messiah: Chorus, For unto us a child is born    04:02  
Scholars Baroque Ensemble
21. Concerto grosso in D minor, Op. 6, No. 10: VI. Allegro moderato    01:40  
Capella Istropolitana/Jozef Kopelman
No recording dates and venues given.


One of the important features of "The Naxos Wonder", besides their successful way of making important music available at very affordable prices, is their achievements in the field of education. The present offering is a brilliant example: two CDs with more than 2Ĺ hours of music and a very substantial booklet (approx 140 pages) costing fractionally more than half the price of a full price disc from one of the "big" companies. In the book we get a very well written 85 page essay by Clive Unger-Hamilton who manages to squeeze in an enormous amount of information and after reading it even the novice will have good knowledge of the music of the baroque era. Moreover there is a very interesting timeline, covering music, history, arts and architecture and literature and so placing musical achievements in relief to the cultural world at large. Did you for instance know that in 1632, when Monteverdi wrote his Scherzi musicali, King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden (and his troops) won victories for the Protestant powers at Lützen (that he also was killed at that battle goes unnoticed however), and that Van Dyck was appointed portrait painter to Charles I of England? And that a lot of cultural celebrities were born that year: Lully, Vermeer, Sir Christopher Wren, Locke and Spinoza. There is also a list of suggestions for further listening, referring of course to the very comprehensive Naxos catalogue. Add to this an alphabetical list of baroque composers, a map of Europe with important music centres and composers associated with these centres and a very useful glossary. All together this is extremely well done. There are of course references in the text to the tracks on the discs, often pointing to certain characteristics to listen for. It could have been even more pedagogical to have an even deeper analysis, along the lines that the now defunct Classic CD magazine used to have for their covermount discs (... listen to the trumpets introducing the counter theme at 2:12 ...) but that would have meant another 30 pages in the already thick book.

When it comes to the music, also compiled by Clive Unger-Hamilton, it has been well chosen to represent the many different facets of the era. Some of it is of course well known but he has avoided some of the pieces that are to be found on nearly all compilations of baroque music. This means that there is no Toccata and fugue in D minor, there is no Four Seasons and there is no Hallelujah Chorus, pieces which almost everybody already has. Most of the tracks are fairly short but there are also some of considerable length, Allegriís Miserere for instance, with a celestial uncredited boy treble soloist (it is a boy, isnít it?) Over all the quality of the singing and playing is high and there is no need to go into details, although I am very happy to find my long-standing favourite soprano, Ingrid Kertesi, featuring in two items. There is no discernible consistency in the choice of baroque performance praxis, which means that harpsichord pieces are sometimes played on the authentic instrument but sometimes on modern grands. We also hear the chorus from St Matthew-Passion performed by the large Hungarian Festival Chorus and full-size symphony orchestra while For unto us a child is born from Messiah is presented by The Scholars Baroque Ensemble with only eight voices. But this also serves as a reminder that there is seldom only one way of performing baroque music.

Apart from the educational aspect the discs work very well on their own, just for an evening with mixed baroque music or, why not, for a musical quiz with some friends.

You have done it again, Naxos!

Göran Forsling

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