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Masses, Passions, Requiems - Released November 5, 2009 | Mirare

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Philippe Pierlot and the Ricercar Consort's 2006 recording of Bach's Magnificat brings back the glory days of historically informed performances, those halcyon days in the 1980s when musicians, empowered by scholarship and energized by virtuosity, were recording the Baroque repertoire with the zeal of the newly converted. Though Pierlot and his musicians are of a younger generation, they bring a missionary fervor to the music, a program of Bach's Magnificat, BWV 243, and Missa Brevis, BWV 235, interspersed with two well-chosen organ works, the Fuga sopra il Magnificat, BWV 733, and the Präludium und Fuga, BWV 541. Pierlot's textures are clean, his rhythms buoyant, his colors bright, and tempos brisk, but not rushed in the fast movements, and contemplative but not moribund in the slow movements. The Ricercar Consort plays with technical brilliance and manifest enthusiasm as an ensemble, and the violin and flute soloists deliver sparkling performances. But perhaps the best thing is the five vocal soloists and given that they also serve as the choir, their performances are even more remarkable. With clarion tones, gracious technique, and an effortless blend, they comport themselves with the ease and luster of the best jazz vocal groups, and the spirit they bring to their parts is infectious. Francis Jacob delivers forceful yet effervescent readings of the two organ works. Mirare's digital sound is as clear and as real as a blue sky. © TiVo
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released March 31, 2011 | Mirare

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Cantatas (sacred) - Released November 18, 2013 | Mirare

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Classical - Released March 11, 2013 | Mirare

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Classical - Released May 26, 2017 | Flora

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Classical - Released December 10, 2012 | Flora

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The graphics for this album, which include two really beautiful drawings of artichokes but no information about the music at all, tend to obscure the main attraction: the third piece included from the Suite in D minor for viols and continuo, published by Marin Marais in 1701, is the so-called "Couplets de Folies," a set of variations on the tune "La Follia." Nineteen minutes long in this performance, it may be the least-known of the monumental Baroque variation sets, and given its date it might have been a sort of French rejoinder to the variations on the same theme in Arcangelo Corelli's Violin Sonata Op. 5/12. Marais' 32 variations are purely French in quality, with the ornamentation subtly sneaking in around the corners of the melody rather than blazing forth and proclaiming itself, and even the rhythms of the song are made to conform to French dances. It is perilously difficult, and viol players Philippe Pierlot and Rainer Zipperling acquit themselves very well. Pierlot is a veteran of the ensembles of Jordi Savall, whose performances of Marais remain standard, and the small dances on this release reflect that heritage. But he adds enough to Savall's style -- in the big variation set tempos are tweaked and the final pages are really breathtaking -- to make the recording of interest to lovers of the French Baroque. And the artichokes, by Giovanna Garzoni (1600-1670), would make a nice centerpiece. © TiVo