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Classical - Released January 17, 2006 | Naxos

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Ballets - Released May 4, 1998 | Naxos

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Masses, Passions, Requiems - Released November 9, 2003 | Naxos

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Symphonic Music - Released May 16, 2006 | Naxos

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Sacred Oratorios - Released May 27, 2008 | Naxos

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Recorded at 2008 Grand River Baroque Festival and utilizing the Aradia Ensemble -- a group consisting of an orchestra of 27 players and a choir of 28 singers -- this performance is light but powerful, and lyrical but dramatic. Kevin Mallon favors quicker tempos but still builds to immense climaxes in the concluding choirs. Though predominantly a virtuoso choral work, the oratorio is also inherently dramatic, and Mallon keeps his eye on that aspect throughout. The seven plagues of Egypt depicted in Part Two are particularly effective. And though the climaxes are immense, Mallon still gives space for the soloists drawn from the chorus to show off their talents in the airs and recitatives. Tenor Bud Roach and soprano Jennie Such are particularly effective in their pair of airs in Part Three. Mallon's performance may not rank as high as such classic recordings as the buoyant Gardiner and the monumental Cleobury. By itself, however, Mallon and the Aradia Ensemble's Israel in Egypt is perfectly acceptable. Naxos' live digital sound is very bright and very atmospheric, but not very vivid. © TiVo
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released May 16, 2006 | Naxos

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Classical - Released November 6, 2015 | Naxos

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Symphonic Music - Released December 11, 2007 | Naxos

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Full Operas - Released January 27, 2008 | Naxos

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Sacred Vocal Music - Released October 17, 2004 | Naxos

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Symphonic Music - Released October 28, 2008 | Naxos

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Theatre Music - Released March 25, 2008 | Naxos

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Masses, Passions, Requiems - Released September 14, 1999 | Naxos

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Violin Concertos - Released August 1, 2004 | Naxos

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Symphonic Music - Released January 30, 2007 | Naxos

Booklet
These symphonies by Bohemian composer Wenzel Pichl (he translated Die Zauberflöte into Czech at one point) stand out from the common run of early Classical-era compositions and indeed from the works featured on other Naxos-label releases in this vein. In the context of the 1760s symphony, Pichl's are ambitious and imposing works. Despite the titles drawn from Greek mythology, their programmatic content ranges from moderate (the Symphony in E major, "Clio") to near zero (the Symphony in D major, "Diana" -- which, as Allan Badley points out in his informative booklet notes, lacks even such obvious devices as hunting horns). The opening movement of the Symphony in C major addressed to Calliope, the muse of heroic poetry, is weighty enough to be appropriate for its subject, but it is more interesting for the very large musical spaces its opening few minutes define. The most programmatic piece is the "Clio" symphony, which has a fugue for a slow movement and an unusual opening with pizzicato that seems to be a very early example of an attempt to evoke a delicate, vanished scene. Pichl handles a comparatively large orchestra (trumpets, oboes, bassoon, horns, and tympani all make appearances) deftly, and he has a way with a high-energy finale that will please any listener in these clean yet enthusiastic renderings by the Toronto Chamber Orchestra and its Irish-Canadian conductor, Kevin Mallon. Badley points out the stylistic affinities between Pichl and Dittersdorf, who were good friends, and it's true that Dittersdorf also (later on, interestingly) wrote a group of symphonies with antique inspiration. Pichl's rhythmically free minuets, however, could easily be mistaken for Haydn's of the same period -- and Haydn, like Dittersdorf, championed Pichl's works. Strongly recommended for devotees of Viennese classicism, and a very pleasant, variegated hour of orchestral music for anyone else. © TiVo
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Masses, Passions, Requiems - Released October 30, 2002 | Naxos

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Symphonic Music - Released January 1, 2000 | Naxos

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Symphonic Music - Released July 25, 2006 | Naxos

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Full Operas - Released April 27, 2010 | Naxos

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After the success of The Beggar's Opera in 1728, composer Johann Christoph Pepusch and librettist John Gay followed it the next year with a sequel, Polly. Initially suppressed for political reasons, the work didn't reach the stage until 1777, with an entirely renovated score by Samuel Arnold and an updated libretto by George Coleman the Elder. In spite of its title, Polly: An Opera, the work is far more like an operetta than an opera, with considerable spoken dialogue interspersed with brief airs and dances. The vast majority are shorter than two minutes (the CD has 50 tracks!) so in this presentation of the music alone, the result is inevitably choppy, and doesn't give the listener much of a sense of what the whole ballad opera was like, or how the music related to the action. It's all attractive, perky, and witty, if not particularly profound or memorable, at least in part because each piece comes and goes so quickly. This world-premiere recording by the Toronto-based Aradia Ensemble, led by Kevin Mallon, features a company of young, fresh-voiced singers of varying degrees of distinction. In general, the women are stronger, particularly Gillian Grossman, Laura Albino, Loralie Kirkpatrick, Marion Newman, and Eve Rachel McLeod. Among the men, the only stand-out is bass Matthew Grosfeld, and what a stand-out he is; every track on which he sings leaps out and demands attention. Though he was quite young when this recording was made, Grosfeld's voice is exceptionally well-developed: large, warm, secure, commanding, and resonant. This is a singer to watch out for. The sound is clean and nicely defined. The recording should be of special interest to fans of The Beggar's Opera, who here will find out the ending of the story that was left somewhat open-ended in the earlier work. © TiVo
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Symphonic Music - Released October 28, 2008 | Naxos

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