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Chamber Music - Released October 5, 2018 | BIS

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Classical - Released June 24, 2008 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released July 10, 2007 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released November 1, 2003 | BIS

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Chamber Music - Released March 26, 2013 | BIS

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Classical - Released April 1, 2005 | BIS

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Chamber Music - Released August 7, 2012 | BIS

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This release is part of a series from the veteran historical-instrument group London Baroque, covering the trio sonata (a work for two solo parts, here voilins, and harmonic continuo) in different specific countries at different times. The material is thus a mixed bag in terms of sheer quality, but there's a great deal to be gained from this approach. Here, after an opening example from the locus classicus of the French trio sonata in the 18th century, François Couperin's collection Les Nations of 1726, London Baroque offers four more works from composers ranging from only moderately known (Jean-Marie Leclair, Joseph Boismortier) to completely unknown (Charles Dollé and Jean-Pierre Guignon, who was actually an Italian named Giovanni Pietro Ghignone). The small piece by Boismortier, very much in the vein of his domestic pieces for recorder, is attractive, and the work by Leclair is novel with its substantial slow movement for two violins alone. None of these works will rewrite the history of the trio sonata, but together they add to our knowledge of the French scene and are even of interest to the casual listener wanting an answer to the question "What were all those French people listening to while they were looking at those frilly paintings by Fragonard and Watteau of aristocrats happily frolicking in the outdoors?" Following Couperin's dictum of a merger of French and Italian styles, the French trio sonata became more and more Italian in shape, but it retained its French propensity for glittery decoration. The London Baroque executes all the ornaments crisply and does a beautiful job catching the dashes of harmonic color in the Couperin. BIS' sound is a weak point here; it at least has the virtue of being clear, but the severe environment of Hampshire's St. Martin's church is far removed from the spaces in which this music originally lived. © TiVo
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Classical - Released July 1, 2002 | BIS

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Classical - Released December 24, 2009 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released August 24, 2010 | BIS

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The London Baroque's traversal of the Baroque trio sonata across its various developments over time and into diverse national styles enters somewhat arcane territory here with a program of English trio sonatas of the 18th century. The program is chronological, at least by publication (the Op. 5 set of trio sonatas by Handel, though published in 1759, was assembled from earlier music from a variety of genres), and the pieces represented run from one of the first English examples of the trio sonata to Classical-style music in which the harpsichord continuo is almost superfluous. The chief point of interest here is the presence of some little-recorded composers: the second tier of Charles Avison, William Boyce, Carl Abel, and Thomas Arne, and the still rarer John Ravenscroft and Thomas Erskine, the sixth Earl of Kelly in Scotland. Ravenscroft was an Englishman who traveled to Italy at the end of the 17th century, probably studied with Corelli, and produced a facsimile of his style competent enough that 40 years later a collection of his sonatas was published as Corelli's Opus 7. What is more surprising is to hear the Corelli style persist long after that, through Avison's Trio Sonata in D minor, Op. 1/1, Boyce's Trio Sonata in D major, Op. 1/5, and even Thomas Arne's Trio Sonata in G major, Op. 3/2, of 1757, although the last movement of that work does lighten up a bit. The Abel and Erskine pieces not only show the influence of the galant style but display an uneasy tension between the fetching melodic lines and the implacable footsteps of the continuo. The two Handel sonatas far outclass the rest of the music on the album, and the performances of these -- hear violinists Ingrid Seifert and Richard Gwilt as they give slashing emphasis to the harmonic anchor points of the contrapuntal passages -- may be worth the price of admission. The rest offers not unpleasant but rarely memorable music, mostly in the Corelli style. BIS' engineering is not up to its usual high standard here; Sweden's Länna Church is a chilly, washed-out sound environment completely at odds with the upholstered middle-class surroundings for which the music was intended. Certainly of interest to specialists, but less so than other discs in the London Baroque series for general listeners. Notes are in English, German, and French. © TiVo
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Classical - Released May 28, 2013 | BIS

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Chamber Music - Released December 22, 2008 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released November 6, 2012 | BIS

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This release is part of an eight-disc series by the small historical-instrument ensemble London Baroque, covering the entire history of the trio sonata in four countries (Italy, Germany, France, and England) over two centuries (17th and 18th). The series is more aimed at those with a strong interest in Baroque instrumental music than at general listeners, but several of them have been attractive for anyone, and this album falls into that group. It might well have come first in a chronological series, for it includes the very first works that might be called trio sonatas, the Sonata a tre of Giovanni Cima, published in 1610, and the Sonata a tre secuondo tono, from 1621. These works were published in vocal collections, and they are for all intents and purposes Monteverdi-style opera numbers played on violins. But what you get as the program develops is a capsule history of instrumental music in the whole 17th century, as the pieces cohere into larger chunks and finally, in the piece by Giovanni Legrenzi, into individual movements. Parallel with this development was one that also continued through the entire Baroque: variations over a bass pattern or gorund. Pieces like Il Marcquetta by Giovanni Antonio Pandolfi (1669) or Giovanni Batista Vitali's Ciaconna (1682) are a far cry from Corelli's or Bach's variation pieces, but to hear them as an outgrowth of the earlier operatic style gives one a sense for the entire line of development. The music is enjoyable enough on its own terms, and London Baroque, led by violinists Ingrid Seifert and Richard Gwilt, has a feel for the rhetorical figures in the works of these mostly unknown composers. Recommended as usual with London Baroque for serious Baroque fans. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 31, 2001 | BIS

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Classical - Released December 22, 2008 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released October 17, 1994 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released January 15, 2008 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released December 22, 2008 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released January 1, 1988 | harmonia mundi