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Chamber Music - Released August 25, 2015 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica - Exceptional Sound Recording
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Chamber Music - Released September 24, 2013 | Zig-Zag Territoires

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released September 20, 2019 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
The history of coffee is fascinating! From the opening of the first establishments in Constantinople in the middle of the sixteenth century to the appearance and diffusion of the drink in Europe in the following century, coffee and coffee houses were highly fashionable. Two composers devoted a cantata to the topic. Gottfried Zimmermann opened his famous coffee house in Leipzig in 1715 and organised concerts there. Around 1735, Bach composed his famous cantata Schweigt still, plaudert nicht, which was probably performed there. It depicts the humorous dispute between a father and his daughter over her consumption of coffee. In Paris, Nicolas Bernier’s cantata Le Caffé (1664-1734) praised the beverage and its many virtues. The ‘Coffee Road’ Olivier Fortin has mapped out here makes a detour to London around 1660, where the composer Matthew Locke frequented the Turk’s Head Coffee House and promoted a string fantasia. Fortin has chosen to organise this album like a fasil, a ‘suite of pieces’ in traditional Ottoman music, with taqsims (improvisations) interspersed among the compositions and played on such instruments as the ney flute, the Arab violin and the yayli tanbur. © Alpha Classics
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Chamber Music - Released October 28, 2016 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Le Théâtre Musical de Telemann may not be the most obvious title for an album of Baroque chamber suites, but it should not be taken in the sense of a stage work. Instead, the program of this 2016 release from Alpha suggests a theater of the imagination, or musical depictions of national musical characteristics, in which Telemann took an avid interest. His "ouvertures," of which he likely composed around 600, were collections of lively pieces in a variety of styles, for the most part dance music and character studies. Ensemble Masques, a Canadian consort of strings and continuo led by harpsichordist Olivier Fortin, presents a program of three suites and one concerto, but the most picaresque are the Ouverture - Suite in B flat major, "Les Nations," with its exotic depictions of Turks, Swiss, Muscovites, and Portuguese, and the Ouverture - Suite in G major, "Burlesque de Quixotte," a rendering of scenes from Don Quixote. More abstract pieces are gathered in the Ouverture - Suite in A major, which includes an opening in the style of Lully, followed by a series of conventional dances, and the Concerto Polonois in G major, a four-movement work that, for all of its folk associations, can be construed as absolute music. All the performances are delivered in exquisite period style, with scintillating ornamentation and vibrant string sonorities that suggest the use of authentic Baroque instrumentation. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released March 26, 2013 | ATMA Classique

Hi-Res Booklet
Johann Rosenmüller was a German composer who fled to Venice after escaping arrest. He ended up at the Ospedale della Pietà, which later employed Vivaldi, and his later music is an attractive mixture of German fugues and shorter Italianate sonata movements. Even as progressive a composer as Telemann cited him as an influence, and these string sonatas, published in 1682, lie right at the point where the multi-sectional mid-Baroque sonata coalesced into the High Baroque sonata with three or four movements. His music would seem to merit more attention than it has gotten, and this recording from the Montreal group Ensemble Masques, with harpsichord and chamber organ accompaniment from their leader Olivier Fortin, is welcome. The sonatas are for groups of two to five stringed instruments with a harpsichord or organ continuo, in anywhere from three to seven movements. Even at the larger end of that range the music is compact and focused on a single affect, with dissonant homophonic passages making a nice strong contrast with the fugal or otherwise polyphonic fast passages. Ensemble Masques, despite the syrupy sound generated by the suburban Montreal church favored by ATMA's engineers, has the right dimensions and feel for the music. The textures created by the different-sized forces are nicely brought out by the players; with assistance from Fortin's switches between harpsichord and organ, the result is that the set of 12 sonatas turns out quite variegated and lively. The risk of tedium with complete sets that were never meant to be performed together is avoided, and the result is worth having for fans of the Baroque instrumental sonata. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released September 16, 2008 | Analekta

Hi-Res Booklet