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Leclair: Concerti per violino

Leila Schayegh

Classical - Released January 21, 2022 | Glossa

Hi-Res Booklet
It’s almost impossible not to be fascinated by the life and music of Jean-Marie Leclair (1697-1764), such are its colourful contradictions. A career that began as a dancer but which ultimately saw him become one of France’s greatest violinist-composers, famed for not only for his breathtakingly virtuosic technique but also for the exquisite sweetness and good taste of his playing – hence the much-documented 1739 concert showdown in Amsterdam between him and the Italian virtuoso Locatelli, declared a draw after Locatelli played like the devil and Leclair like an angel. Then in the 1740s his abandonment of the violin for an unsuccessful career as an opera composer, followed in time by a move to lodgings in one of Paris’s dodgier areas, and finally being stabbed to death outside his own front door in a murder case that has never been solved. For this concertos programme, warmly recorded in Basel’s Martinskirche, Leila Schayegh and La Cetra Barockorchester Basel have chosen numbers 4 and 5 from each of Leclair’s two sets of violin concertos, the Op. 7 first of which dates from that aforementioned Amsterdam adventure, and the Op. 10 second from the early 1740s. The first thing worth pointing out is the project’s period-instrument decisions, because the ensemble strings are using the lighter baroque bows with clipped-in frogs (rather than screw-type), and also gut strings – because although silver-wound gut appeared in the 1700s, even by the 1740s it would still have been prohibitively expensive for most musicians. Plus, they’re tuned at A=408 Hz, i.e. even lower than the Baroque standard of 415 Hz. This goal here has been to reflect the variety of pitch in France at the time, which could range from as low as 390 Hz to above today’s standard 440 Hz. Also to create a darker, slightly rougher orchestral sound onto which the solo violins with their screw-type bows – Schayegh as principal soloist and Christoph Rudolf on second – can provide subtle colouristic and timbral contrast. And all of that has been achieved, because there’s a gorgeously soft, velvety darkness to the overall ensemble sound, while equally being incredibly light of tread, while the soloists are sounding especially sweet and bright on top. The pleasure continues with the musicians’ palpable awareness of Leclair’s dance roots and overall elegance. Rhythms are crisp and springing, articulation unfailingly neat, and when Leclair was known for disliking runaway speeds, the tempi here are all correspondingly dignified, typified by the steady grace Op. 10 No. 5 in E minor’s concluding Allegro. “Grace” is likewise the operative word for all the solo work. Just listen to the sweet-voiced, easy legato lyricism with which Schayegh meets the succession of virtuoso techniques thrown at her in the impishly sunny major-keyed section of Op. 7 No. 5’s concluding Allegro assai; or, to return to Op. 10 No. 5, her endless double-stops, bariolage and leaps in its opening Allegro ma poco. Perhaps the greatest achievement, though, is the fact that all of this neatly articulated tastefulness has, from one and all, been achieved without for one single second sounding bland or coolly academic. Instead, it verily brims with life, colour and joy. © Charlotte Gardner/Qobuz
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The Hidden Reunion

Orchestra Of The 18th Century

Classical - Released November 19, 2021 | Glossa

Hi-Res Booklet
Putting in the spotlight two of the orchestra’s long-term soloists, Rainer Zipperling on viola da gamba and Michael Schmidt-Casdorff on flute, this new recording presents Telemann and Bach in the unique light provided by the late Frans Brüggen’s orchestra: exquisite sound, supreme phrasing, sublime poetry throughout. In two recording periods, in May and August 2021, the ensemble has put together a fine program that will entirely satisfy the many fans and serve as a reminder of what the big-scale version of the orchestra was and will soon be again be. Anna Enquist, one of the Netherlands’ most famous and prestigious writers, provides a beautiful essay for the booklet that describes all the developments of the orchestra over the last year and a half, leading to this very special come together. © Glossa
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The Josquin Songbook

Maria Cristina Kiehr

Classical - Released November 19, 2021 | Glossa

Booklet
The vihuelist Ariel Abramovich teams up with the legendary soprano María Cristina Kiehr and the rising star, tenor Jonatan Alvarado, in producing a very special view on Josquin Desprez, with transcriptions of some of the composer’s most significant works. Their procedure follows the tradition of the 16th-century authors that built up the vihuela repertoire (Fuenllana, Narváez, Pisador, etc.), often based on adaptations of the great polyphonic works of their time, in a unique approach that puts Josquin in an Iberian light. Finely recorded in Spain’s Tui Cathedral and containing a new essay by scholar John Griffiths, this production adds an exquisite jewel to the already rich treasure trove of Desprez recordings produced in 2021, the 5th centenary of his death, by various great labels – not the least Glossa’s two other contributions, by the ensembles Graindelavoix and Cantica Symphonia... © Glossa
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Josquin, the Undead: Laments, Deplorations & Dances of Death

Graindelavoix - Björn Schmelzer

Classical - Released October 1, 2021 | Glossa

Hi-Res Booklet
Björn Schmelzer and his ensemble provide their special vision in this Josquin Desprez anniversary. With the conviction that Josquin, during his late years, produced works in sight of his own death, Graindelavoix renders compositions included in Tielman Susato’s 1545 Antwerp print (Septiesme livre de chansons, published 24 years after the composer’s life ended). With an all-male vocal ensemble and a subtle instrumental accompaniment, Graindelavoix again goes beyond all standards and presents another ground-breaking interpretation of well-known repertoire. Added to Josquin’s compositions are three laments for his own death, written by Gombert, Vinders and Appenzeller. Gombert’s deploration Musae Jovis is one of his most breathtaking compositions, finishing with an exceptional dance à l’antique in which subterranean, terrestrial and heavenly elements indulge together praising the undead composer Josquin. © Glossa
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Songs & Poems

Dmitry Sinkovsky

Chamber Music - Released October 1, 2021 | Glossa

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Gasparini, Bacci & Others: Alto Arias

Filippo Mineccia

Classical - Released September 17, 2021 | Glossa

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Aci, Galatea e Polifemo, HWV 72 (Reconstr. R. Pe & F. Longo)

La Lira di Orfeo

Classical - Released September 17, 2021 | Glossa

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Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58 (Live)

Stanley Hoogland

Classical - Released September 17, 2021 | Glossa

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Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 19 (Live)

Stanley Hoogland

Classical - Released September 17, 2021 | Glossa

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Sonate per Viola da Gamba & basso continuo op. 5

Guido Balestracci

Classical - Released April 1, 1999 | Glossa

Booklet
Even during his lifetime Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713) was a classic whose music circulated throughout Europe, was performed, heard, copied and, of course, transcribed for other instruments. The Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris preserves a successful anonymous arrangement of the twelve Violin Sonatas, Op. 5 for viola da gamba and basso continuo, which in all probability was made in Germany on the basis of the original edition printed in Rome in 1700. Master gambist Guido Balestracci and his outstanding colleagues have used both the ornaments of an old Amsterdam edition and their own newly improvised ones for their recording. © Note1
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Sweelinck: The Complete Psalms

Gesualdo Consort Amsterdam

Classical - Released August 6, 2021 | Glossa

Booklet
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Mozart: Wind Concertos

Eric Hoeprich

Classical - Released August 6, 2021 | Glossa

Booklet
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart has been central to the orchestra’s musicmaking and the composer made many friends with wind players and wrote abundantly for them. In 1992, a program for a concert given by clarinetist Anton Stadler in Riga in March of 1794 was discovered, where he played the Mozart Clarinet Concerto. Amazingly, this programme includes an engraving of the special “Inventions Klarinette”, or basset clarinet, that Stadler had with him to play Mozart’s music. Up until this time, no one knew what the basset clarinet looked like, and it came as a shock to see a long instrument with a bulbous bell on the end. This recording with Eric Hoeprich as soloist was the first time the work appeared played on an instrument as Stadler possessed. Of the various wind instruments, it was the natural horn which proved to be the one most favoured by Mozart in his solo instrumental music. Four concertos and a plentiful quantity of chamber scores in which the horn plays the leading role testify to that. Without doubt all this derived from the friendship between the composer and Joseph Leutgeb, a virtuoso player almost 25 years his senior. Teunis van der Zwart, one of the world’s leading specialists on this instrument today, is the soloist of the Horn Concerto, K. 477. The program of the album is rounded off with the Oboe Concerto, K. 314 with Frank de Bruine as soloist. © Glossa
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Te Deum

Le Concert Spirituel

Classical - Released November 12, 2001 | Glossa

Booklet
A masterpiece of French music, Charpentiers Te Deum was a song of thanksgiving flourishing with the military fortunes of Louis XIV, King of France, who was leading his country in a protracted war. But, curiously, it was not the triumphant nature of the Te Deum that attracted Hervé Niquet – director of Le Concert Spirituel – to this piece. “I love the intimacy of Charpentier”, he says, something which can be found when you look at the performance history of Charpentier’s music in some of its original settings, such as the house of the Duchess of Guise or the Sainte Chapelle, where it is clear that detail, vocal and compositive virtuosity, rather than symphonic magnitude, were to the fore. Charpentier’s genius is such, however, that it perfectly express the grandeur and poetry indispensable for works like the Te Deum".
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Villancicos de Portugal

A Corte Musical

Classical - Released May 2, 2014 | Glossa

Booklet
In the 16th and 17th centuries, the city of Évora was one of the most important center of Portuguese polyphony. The so-called "Portuguese school" developed at the city's Gothic cathedral, from which many important musicians emerged who also worked in Spain and in the colonies of the New World. The cathedral archives, which contain numerous musical treasures, bear eloquent witness to this. Rogerio Gonçalves and A Corte Musical have recorded a selection of sacred and secular villancicos from this source on album. A colourful instrumental accompaniment, including Spanish harp and guitar, strings and percussion, forms the foundation on which the four singers present this stirring music. The villancico was originally a polyphonic Spanish song with a secular subject, but it was soon adopted into the Christian liturgy and frequently used on high feasts or other religious holidays. The Évora archives contain villancicos with Spanish but also with Portuguese texts, which is a rarity. The alternation between vocal and instrumental music and the contrast between secular and sacred works shows very well the cultural versatility, individuality and expressivity of Portuguese music of the (early) Baroque. © Note1
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Missa non sine quare

La Risonanza

Classical - Released August 6, 2021 | Glossa

Booklet
Johann Caspar Kerll (1627-1693) worked mainly in Vienna, during the 17th century. He was pupil of Carissimi and teacher of Pachelbel, thus belonging within the line of succession culminating in Johann Sebastian Bach, who much admired his music. Eighteen masses by Kerll have survived of which only one, the first, a 5-part Requiem, is written a cappella, in the so-called old style. All the others are written in stile concertato, that is, with soloists, one or more full choirs, various instruments (violins, violas, trombones) and continuo. The Missa non sine quare is the first of a collection of six masses published in Munich in 1689. In this mass, Kerll gives proof of his undeniable mastery of counterpoint and of contrapuntal blend. Both the solo and the tutti sections exhibit the use of superb, imitative counterpoint. Kerll’s melodic ingenuity, contrapuntal finesse and harmonic audacity were admired twenty years later by J. S. Bach. © Glossa
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Sesto libro de madrigali (1611)

Il Complesso Barocco

Classical - Released February 1, 2011 | Glossa

Booklet
The cruel double murder of his first wife and her lover made Don Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa (1566-1613), one of the most enigmatic figures in the history of music, whose work is almost obscured by the bloody drama of jealousy. The Sixth Book of Madrigals, published two years before his death, is, so to speak, the grand finale of a unique madrigal oeuvre to which the striking label of "mannerism" seems, for once, to be attached justifiably: the dissonances are in places almost painful, the word settings so colourful and varied in their imagery that there is an almost startling Modernity. The technical demand is so high that that so far only a few ensembles have dared to make a complete recording.

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