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Les voyages de l'Amour

Ensemble Meridiana

Chamber Music - Released June 3, 2016 | Chandos

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For its 2016 release on Chaconne, Chandos' early music line, Ensemble Meridiana has chosen the theme of love, and selected several Baroque pieces that flirt with the subject by Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, Jean-Fery Rebel, and Michel Corrette. The ensemble plays period instruments and brings considerable knowledge of authentic Baroque practices and styles to its performances, but Les Voyages de l'Amour is far from a dry, scholarly presentation, because the players infuse the performances with great enthusiasm and deliver the music with vivid colors and delightful virtuosity. The Simphonie pour l'arivée des Génies Elémentaires is the only excerpt from Boismortier's opera-ballet, Les Voyages de l'Amour, but it opens the program with high energy and prepares the way for other vibrant chamber pieces. Rebel's Les caractères de la danse is a comparable tour de force of Baroque dance forms and sonorities, though the Sonate Sixième for violin, viola da gamba, and harpsichord is a somewhat sober piece in a formal and abstract vein. But the playfulness and bright instrumentation of Boismortier's Premier ballet de Village en trio, Op. 52 restores the program's buoyant mood, and the subsequent Sonate III, Op. 14, the Concerto à cinq parties, Op. 37, and the Sonate IV, Op. 37 offer a variety of instrumental combinations that refresh the ear. The Concerto comique VI, Op. 8, "Le Plaisir des Dames" by Corrette is a vigorous romp that allows the ensemble to show off its skills, and brings the album to a rousing finish. © TiVo
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Hasse, C.P.E. Bach & Hertel: Cello Concertos

Alexander Rudin

Classical - Released June 3, 2016 | Chandos

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Comédie et tragédie, Vol. 2

Tempesta di mare

Classical - Released March 25, 2016 | Chandos

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Sweelinck: Works for Keyboard, Vol. 3

Robert Woolley

Classical - Released February 26, 2016 | Chandos

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Harmonische Freude: Works for Baroque Oboe, Trumpet & Chamber Organ

Austral Harmony

Classical - Released July 31, 2015 | Chandos

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Smith & Handel

Julian Perkins

Classical - Released May 26, 2015 | Chandos

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Italians in London!

Simon Standage

Classical - Released April 28, 2015 | Chandos

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J.S. Bach: 6 Trio Sonatas (Arr. R. Stone for Chamber Ensemble)

Tempesta di mare

Classical - Released June 3, 2014 | Chandos

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Bach: "Italian" Concerto, "French" Overture & Other Works for Harpsichord

Steven Devine

Classical - Released May 6, 2014 | Chandos

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Mancini: Solos for a Flute

Gwyn Roberts

Classical - Released April 1, 2014 | Chandos

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Hummel & Schubert: Piano Quintets

The Music Collection

Chamber Music - Released January 7, 2014 | Chandos

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Transcriptions de Concertos de Vivaldi

Sophie Yates

Classical - Released May 7, 2013 | Chandos

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The Unknown Purcell

Hazel Brooks

Classical - Released December 26, 2012 | Chandos

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My Beloved Spake

Andrew Nethsingha

Sacred Vocal Music - Released November 6, 2012 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica - Hi-Res Audio
The Anglican anthem is an elaborate, often festive polyphonic form roughly comparable to the motet from Continental countries. With strong liturgical connections, the anthem of the late 17th century tends to contain conservative elements, and so it is with this collection of anthems by Henry Purcell and his slightly older contemporary, Pelham Humfrey (1647-1674, meaning that he died at an even younger age than Purcell did). In Purcell there are such elements as the striking half-step dissonances in Remember not, Lord, our offences, Z. 50 (track 1). The two works by Humfrey include up-to-date dramatic solo writing combined with choral polyphony that harks back to the 16th century. It's an appealing and unusual combination from a rarely heard composer, and the presence of the two Humfrey works is the main attraction of this release. The booklet seems to concede as much with its heading of "Humfrey/Purcell: Anthems," even though the vast majority of the music is by Purcell. When it comes to Purcell, you can do better. The sound, usually a Chandos strong point, is unaccountably muddy, and good luck even to native English speakers in understanding the texts of these works, where text is important. The soloists, especially bass Neal Davies in the beautifully dark O Lord my God of Humfrey, are engaging, but the boys' Choir of St. John's College, Cambridge, is a bit uncertain in higher registers and seems somehow overmatched by the music. Worthwhile for those with an interest in English music of the 17th century, for the performances of the unusual Humfrey pieces are also the strongest on the album. © TiVo
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Œuvres orchestrales (Volume 3)

Tempesta di mare

Classical - Released September 4, 2012 | Chandos

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Byrd : The Great Service

Musica Contexta

Classical - Released June 5, 2012 | Chandos

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This is an unusual recording of William Byrd's choral music for several reasons. First, it involves the Great Service, an Anglican work (nobody's first choice with the Catholic Byrd), and an amorphous and not terribly often recorded one at that. Second, the singers of Musica Contexta perform with a hypothesized period English pronunciation that may well be authentic but takes a bit of getting used to. The Service is filled out with organ versions of Byrd motets in an attempt to give it not its original form, but at least something of the flow it would have had in performance. And most unusual of all is the intrusion of instruments, in the form of the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, into the pristine world of Renaissance. This rests, as annotator Simon Ravens admits, on largely circumstantial musicology: the three cathedrals where manuscripts of the Great Service exist had cornetts and sackbuts in their collections, and the Chapel Royal would certainly have had them at its disposal. The work has been performed with organ accompaniment, but probably never with the Renaissance wind group heard here, which divides itself effectively into loud and soft subgroups. The recording in no way definitively solves the problem of how this work is to be performed, but it's defensible and well worth hearing for Byrd's admirers. The musical effect will largely depend on how you hear the music itself: did Byrd sign on emotionally to the Anglican service, or was he going through the motions? If the former, the instruments will underscore a grand manner in his music that was unique for his era. The engineering at London's St. John's Church is attractive, but it tends to overwhelm the texts, which are going to be hard enough in this reading for even native English speakers to understand. © TiVo
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Alceste

Christian Curnyn

Classical - Released April 30, 2012 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
Handel wrote incidental music for only one play, Tobias Smollett's Alceste, and it was never produced, so the composer, characteristically, recycled most of its major numbers. In this recording, Christian Curnyn and the Early Opera Company deliver a distinguished account of the rarely performed or recorded complete score. Written in 1750, late in Handel's career, it is clearly the work of the composer at the height of his powers, and many of its numbers deserve broader exposure. The soprano aria "Gentle Morpheus" is easily among the loveliest the composer ever wrote, and Lucy Crowe sings it with ravishing sensuality. Crowe's luminous singing in her three arias is one of the highlights of the album. Tenor Benjamin Hulett, whose part is given the bulk of the solos, performs with agility and lightness. Baritone Andrew Foster-Williams seems less than fully at ease with the coloratura of his single aria. The orchestral playing is crisply precise and exceptionally nimble, and the chorus sings with clarity and high spirits. © TiVo
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The Autograph Scores

Simon Standage

Symphonic Music - Released March 26, 2012 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
The "Autograph Scores" concept of this album tells the potential buyer little about the music; it denotes the fact that these pieces are among the sole works of Telemann that survive in his own handwriting. This shows how canny Telemann was as a businessman; he published so much of his music that he had little to do with such sentimentalities as preserving his autograph scores. What truly links these pieces together, and what makes them attractive, is their status as late works; Telemann wrote them in 1766, a year before his death at age 86. Unlike Bach, whose music was already considered anachronistic by the time of his death, Telemann stayed remarkably well acquainted with the latest trends. These graceful, variegated ensemble pieces are in the French style, but very much the French style of the mid-century. They are suites of dances, but the dance rhythm has somehow ceased to be the focus of the music; the texture is broken up, and when a solo instrument emerges from the small group it engages not in the terraced dynamics of the Baroque but in the melodic dialogues of what would become known as the Classical style. Whether you'll enjoy these performances has much to do with your general attitude toward the style of veteran English historical-performance violinist and conductor Simon Standage, whose silvery, restrained sound is little changed from his days with the Academy of Ancient Music. Telemann somehow seems to call for a more rhythmically bumptious style. But there's no denying that the strings of Collegium Musicum 90 have a perfectly delicate touch. Sample the second movement of the Concert en Ouverture, TWV 55:7 (track 13), and you'll have a good idea of how you'll feel about the whole. The best reason to obtain this recording may be the fact that Telemann's late music is underrepresented on recordings, and it is very interesting indeed. © TiVo
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Messe du Couronnement

Susan Gritton

Sacred Vocal Music - Released February 20, 2012 | Chandos

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7 Sonates, op.2

The Purcell Quartet

Chamber Music - Released January 30, 2012 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio