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Classical - Released January 27, 2012 | Winter & Winter

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Classical - Released September 20, 2013 | Winter & Winter

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released November 19, 2010 | Winter & Winter

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
Three brothers named Zapico -- Aarón, Pablo, and Daniel -- are part of the early music group Forma Antiqua (or, Antiqva); they appear here by themselves in a program of "Iberian-Italian" Baroque dance music, a genre whose influence stretched as far north as mid-Germany. The listener who samples this disc and wonders whether Baroque keyboard pieces ever actually had this much oomph can be assured that the recording falls purely into the not-even-speculative realm of using musical scores purely as a stimulus for further creative activity; keyboard music was something of a realm unto itself in the 17th century, and the booming guitar-and-theorbo arrangements heard here are purely the invention of the players. Indeed, they offer no justification other than that of wanting to play the music together. This said, the disc has the considerable virtue of reminding the listener that all of the patterns -- the fandangos, ciaccona, giga, folía, and so on heard here -- that made their way into Baroque music as ground basses were originally dances. The accompaniments devised by the Zapicos perhaps go beyond the intensity Baroque audiences would have recognized as appropriate (or perhaps they don't). But they're a great deal of fun, and they go together with the exciting group of releases that's defining the secular repertory exemplified by such composers as Santiago de Murcia, a repertory whose echoes have come down to the present day in both old and new worlds. Not "authentic," but if you don't tap your feet to a piece like Murcia's Folías gallegas (track 12), you'd better check for a pulse. © TiVo
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Classical - Released August 28, 2020 | Winter & Winter

Hi-Res Booklet
Vincente Baset, a composer from Madrid born in 1719, wrote music that sounds like Antonio Vivaldi’s compositions the first time you hear it. But if you listen more closely, you notice all the eccentric touches and harmonies. This is a world premiere of eleven symphonies (Oberturas y Sinfonias) unearthed by Aarón Zapico and the amazing Forma Antiqva ensemble.Vincente Baset’s typically baroque music is full of theatrical effects, interruptions, and at times incongruities. It requires a great deal of imagination and at the same time it gives the performers free rein. Not much is known about this composer, though he must have been hot-headed. There are criminal charges against him in his hometown of Valencia, where he was involved in a brawl. He was found with his head bandaged, his shirt splattered with blood and covered with mud following a sword fight. As both a violinist and composer, he was a member of the Royal Orchestra during the great festivities organised for the court by Farinelli. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released April 7, 2018 | Winter & Winter

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Chamber Music - Released October 9, 2009 | Winter & Winter

For its debut album on Winter & Winter, the five-member ensemble Forma Antiqva, made up of harpsichord and plucked and bowed strings, presents an attractive program of vocal and instrumental music by Handel, the vocal works written early in his career, and the instrumental pieces from his mature period. The five Italian cantatas, as the title of the album suggests, deal with love, either happy or frustrated. They are delightfully lyrical and dramatic works, and the intimacy of the small ensemble makes them even more emotionally urgent and fresh-sounding. Male alto Xavier Sabata has a somewhat white sound, but his voice is full and expressive, and he has the technique to dispatch the music's virtuoso demands with apparent effortlessness. He has an especially velvety legato that makes the most of Handel's warm melismatic melodies, such as the first aria from Nel dolce tempo. Harpsichordist Aarón Zapico, who created the imaginative realizations, also leads the ensemble, which derives an especially rich and colorful sound from the varied instruments employed. The playing matches Sabata's singing in its spontaneity and liveliness. The instrumentalists are capable of producing a conventionally refined sound, but they are also willing and able to dig in and play with a gritty earthiness when appropriate. The cantatas are separated by four instrumental works, Zapico's skillful arrangements of a variety of pieces ranging from the familiar Organ Concerto in B flat major No. 6/4 to a keyboard suite and violin sonata. The sound is clean and clear, but not especially spacious. The diversity of works and the exceptional singing and playing make this a release that should be of strong interest to fans of Handel, and particularly to fans of countertenors. © TiVo
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Classical - Released February 5, 2016 | Winter & Winter

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Classical - Released December 26, 2007 | Arsis Aclass