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Chamber Music - Released July 31, 2015 | Glossa

Booklet
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Chamber Music - Released July 31, 2015 | Glossa

Booklet
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Chamber Music - Released July 31, 2015 | Glossa

Booklet
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Classical - Released July 31, 2015 | Glossa

Booklet
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Classical - Released July 31, 2015 | Glossa

Booklet
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Chamber Music - Released March 31, 2015 | Glossa

Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
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Secular Vocal Music - Released March 31, 2015 | Glossa

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Concertos - Released March 31, 2015 | Glossa

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Symphonies - Released March 31, 2015 | Glossa

Once controversial and the subject of much debate for scholars and lay listeners alike, period performance practice (also known as historically informed practice) has been increasingly accepted by audiences, so a recording of Ludwig van Beethoven's symphonies played on original instruments and interpreted in authentic 18th century style is no longer a stumbling block. Indeed, just seeing the names of Frans Brüggen and the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century will give many people an immediate impression of what to expect: Classical music played by a small and lean orchestra, with glossy strings and distinctive woodwinds and brass, brisk tempos, repeats scrupulously taken, and all of the composer's intentions closely observed. Yet even with this easy predictability and the extreme familiarity of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C minor and the Symphony No. 6 in F major, "Pastoral," these performances are actually quite fresh and exciting, thanks to Brüggen's engagement with his musicians and their responsiveness. The music they make is spontaneous and vigorous, and far from any misconception of period performances being the work of antiquarians, they play with as much passion and brilliance as any modern orchestra could. These live performances were recorded in Rotterdam in 2011, and the reproduction is exceptional for standard CD. Highly recommended. © TiVo
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Symphonies - Released March 31, 2015 | Glossa

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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released July 1, 2014 | Glossa

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Classical - Released July 1, 2014 | Glossa

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Secular Vocal Music - Released July 1, 2014 | Glossa

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Chamber Music - Released July 1, 2014 | Glossa

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Chamber Music - Released April 1, 2014 | Glossa

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Classical - Released April 1, 2014 | Glossa

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Chamber Music - Released April 1, 2014 | Glossa

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Classical - Released September 6, 2011 | Glossa

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
This 1991 recording unusually featured a pair of small Italian groups, Labyrinto and Ensemble Aurora, performing together and separately in ensemble sonatas of various sizes by Austrian composer and violinist Johann Heinrich Schmelzer. It's hard to pick out one group from the other, and indeed, the packaging does not indicate to which group each of the eight individual players belongs. The sonatas are all in the typical style of mid-17th-century Italy, with alternating short sections of contrasting tempo and rhythm that may bring to mind the contrast between light and dark in Baroque painting. The consistent, rather tinkly sound of the string group and the sameness of the musical form may make for a long haul for listeners without a particular interest in instrumental music of the period (these sonatas are drawn from sets published in 1659 and 1662); they would never have been performed back to back in sets like this. But the album, which was reissued by Glossa in 2011, can be recommended to fans of Baroque instrumental music. Schmelzer, a generation before Biber, was a less wildly original composer, but the same imaginative treatment of Italian models is audible in these works. Sample the Pastorale sonata a tre (track 5) with its unexpected treatments of its initial 6/8 material for one instance. The harpsichord and organ continuo of keyboardist Guido Morini was notable for its lively, active quality in 1991, and it still sounds good two decades later. The attractive still-life drawing on the cover of the Glossa version is another point in its favor, as is the fact that recordings of Schmelzer remain scarce. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released September 6, 2011 | Glossa

Booklet
Spain's Glossa label has reissued a variety of older recordings with attractive zoological artwork that will make the new versions attractive to many buyers. This collection of Handel's instrumental sonatas from the multinational chamber enesemble Arcadia was originally released in 1992 and remains worth hearing in its 2011 version. The booklet notes recount the complex history of the Handel collections known as Op. 1 and Op. 2, with one Sonata for violin and continuo in A major, HWV 364 (tracks 13-16), that is generally agreed not to be by Handel at all, although it's a reasonable imitation. This might have been noted in the track list somewhere. In general, though, these are fine performances of Handel's small-group sonatas in the Italian style. Recorder player Christoph Ehrsam and violinist Maica Brandão are competent historical-instrument players, but the real attraction here is the flexible, highly musical continuo group under the direction of harpsichordist and group leader Attilio Cremonesi. His genuinely improvisatory keyboard work, backed by shifting configurations of lute and viola da gamba, seems like not just harmonic support for the soloist but like a full partner in the music-making; for all the advances in historical performance, this remains rare in Baroque chamber music. Recommended for any Handel collection or for anyone enamored of the lively world of the Baroque instrumental sonata. © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 6, 2011 | Glossa

Booklet

The collection

Glossa in the magazine