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Classical - Released August 1, 2020 | Universal Music Australia Pty. Ltd.

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Classical - Released September 13, 2019 | Universal Music Australia Pty. Ltd.

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Symphonic Music - Released August 16, 2019 | Decca

Handel orchestral favourites from the 1950s in a winning combination of old-school polish and unaffected stylistic refinement.With this and several other albums, Eloquence celebrates the art of Thurston Dart, the harpsichordist, conductor and editor who played a leading role in the early-music revival in postwar Britain. After his death in 1971 at the age of just 49, his fellow harpsichordist Igor Kipnis paid fulsome tribute to ‘a man of many parts’, whose 1954 volume on The Interpretation of Music had attained testamentary authority among his fellow musicians, matched by the skill, style and flourish of his many recordings: ‘He was the ideal musicologist-performer.’ Kipnis singled out this 1959 L’Oiseau-Lyre recording of the Water Music as a classic. Alongside the legendary winds-only account of the Fireworks Music led by Sir Charles Mackerras it was chosen by Stereo Review in 1964 as a defining album in a general introduction to Baroque culture: ‘I cannot think of two other Baroque recordings that I could recommend more unreservedly.’ Dart and his colleague Brian Priestman attempted to reassemble the whole of the Water Music as it had first been heard, on a fine summer’s evening in 1717, played on barges sailing down the Thames. The LP format had necessitated the omission of some repeats in the music, but that ‘the orchestration on this disc is Handel’s throughout – he was one of the most skilful orchestrators of the 18th century, and may be presumed to have understood what he was doing’. The couplings are drawn from a pair of Decca albums: overtures directed by Boyd Neel (in 1954) and George Szell (in 1961) with a chaste restraint and lively rhythmic precision that complements the extrovert fantasy of Dart’s performing instincts. Added are two of the Mozart Epistle Sonatas recorded in 1956. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)
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Chamber Music - Released August 16, 2019 | Decca

Two L’Oiseau-Lyre albums of English brass music from the 17th and 18th centuries – The Royal Brass Music of King James I and English Baroque Trumpet Concertos – newly compiled and remastered and issued on CD for the first time. With this and several other albums issued in 2019, Eloquence celebrates the art of Thurston Dart, the harpsichordist, conductor and editor who played a leading role in the early-music revival in postwar Britain. After his death in 1971 at the age of just 49, his fellow harpsichordist Igor Kipnis paid fulsome tribute to ‘a man of many parts’, whose 1954 volume on The Interpretation of Music had attained testamentary authority among his fellow musicians, matched by the skill, style and flourish of his many recordings: ‘He was the ideal musicologist-performer.’ In 1960 Dart convened and directed a six-strong ensemble of trumpets and trombones to record a sequence of music written for performance at the court of King James I by a twenty-piece band of sackbuts and cornetts known as the Royal Wind Music. Part-books of their repertoire were edited and in some cases reconstructed by Dart and his colleague Trevor Jones, and the result is a splendid compilation of dances and fanfares by members of the king’s musical retinue including the violist and lutenist ‘Giovanni Coprario’ who, born in London in 1570 as John Cooper, changed his name in the early seventeenth century, doubtless to add foreign lustre to his reputation. Dart’s ad hoc ensemble was led by the legendary French trumpeter Maurice André who, four years previously, had taken centre-stage to record one of the first concerto albums in his long and distinguished career. The headline name in this trio of ‘English Baroque Trumpet Concertos’ is Jeremiah Clarke, whose successful career came to an abrupt and tragic end in his early 30s with his suicide in 1707. The nine movements of his Suite in D major for trumpet, strings and winds were also reconstructed for this recording, and they include the Trumpet Voluntary (sometimes known as the Prince of Denmark’s March) to which countless brides have walked down the aisle. The names of Richard Mudge and Capel Bond are far less known than they deserve to be: musicians of the English Midlands, they each left hardly more than a single collection of six concertos. In these examples edited by Gerald Finzi, they nonetheless demonstrate high craftsmanship in the Italian style and a fine awareness of the then-modern, ‘galant’ mode. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)
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Classical - Released September 12, 2011 | Past Classics

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Classical - Released April 24, 2018 | Editions Audiovisuel Beulah

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Classical - Released August 14, 2020 | Universal Music Australia Pty. Ltd.

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Chamber Music - Released September 13, 2019 | Decca

Three L’Oiseau-Lyre albums of chamber music by Couperin, newly remastered and compiled together for the first time, including material new to CD.During the past half-century, Francois Couperin ‘the Great’ has indeed come to be regarded among the great European composers. Where once he was dismissed with faint praise as the confector of trifles to amuse the Sun-King and his court, we now see him more in the round, balancing devotional psalms with bitingly observant galleries of men and women from high and low stations, as keenly interested in the view from his Parisian window as the glitter of Versailles. Dart and his colleagues recorded the pair of ‘Suites de violes’ in 1957, the scores having only been rediscovered around 40 years previously, but they were enthusiastically promoted by the musicologist Wilfred Mellers, who declared them to stand as a highlight of Couperin’s chamber music. This album supports the contention of H. C. Robbins Landon, writing about Les Nations in 1973: ‘Unlike many musicologists, who are poor performers, Dart was a wizard at any keyboard. He was also an excellent director, as the present records attest’. Landon singles out his immaculately crisp rhythmic sense for special praise, as well as his scholarly attention to ornamentation, without which the French Baroque idiom soon dies. Couperin’s cosmopolitan nature is nowhere more evident than in the four-volume collection of Les Nations, published in 1726 but composed during the previous 35 years. French and Italian styles mingle freely in these suites for trio-sonata ensemble. Made in London and 1958 and 1962, this was their first complete recording, and it was welcomed by critics as displaying all the facets of Couperin’s masterly contrapuntal writing with easy authority, and in an ensemble of two violins accompanied by a continuo of harpsichord and viola da gamba that would have been familiar to Couperin himself. In a 1965 interview, the director of L’Oiseau-Lyre was proud to point out that Dart and Marriner had spent two years editing the score of Les Nations for this recording. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)
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Classical - Released June 14, 2011 | Editions Audiovisuel Beulah