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Music for the Eyes. Masques and Fancies

Concerto Scirocco

Classical - To be released February 18, 2022 | Arcana

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Il gioco della cieca. Madrigali, Canzoni & Villanelle per cantare, et sonare

Concerto di Margherita

Classical - To be released February 4, 2022 | Arcana

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Mozart: The Milanese Quartets - Lodi Quartet

VenEthos Ensemble

Classical - To be released January 28, 2022 | Arcana

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Morricone: Cinema Suites for Violin and Orchestra

Marco Serino

Classical - Released January 14, 2022 | Arcana

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For twenty years Marco Serino was Ennio Morricone’s violinist, the soloist on his film soundtracks and on world tours where they were reworked for the concert hall. In January 2020, after what proved to be his last public concert, at the Italian Senate in Rome, Morricone finished the transcription of this magnificent and unpublished collection, which recasts the themes of his most famous scores in suites transcribed for violin and orchestra. The work was carried out in close collaboration with Marco Serino and dedicated to him as a fruit of the artistic partnership between the two men. The collection alternates between pieces already performed in concert and others that are heard in this version for the first time. A year and a half after the composer’s death, this extraordinary document, a testimony to friendship and professional esteem, now becomes a recording project with the collaboration of Andrea Morricone, the composer’s son, who conducts the Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano and Trento. © Alpha Classics
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Méditation. Les quatre saisons du luth

Simone Vallerotonda

Classical - Released January 7, 2022 | Arcana

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On his second solo album for Arcana after "L’ Ultimo romano", Simone Vallerotonda explores the metaphysical and sensual world of seventeenth-century French lute music. The result is "Méditation" : four suites in four different keys, each associated with a season and with one of the four ‘humours’ (melancholic/autumn, sanguine/spring, phlegmatic/winter, choleric/summer) that were said to characterise human beings in their temperament and physical traits. An anatomy of the human soul, passing from the rarefied and reflective atmosphere of Charles Mouton’s Prélude non mesuré through Jacques Gallot’s dizzying Rondeaux, Valentin Strobel’s skipping, exotic Canaries, the eulogies of Robert de Visée’s Tombeaux, where the notes resonate like prayers and tears for the deceased, to the bizarre, asymmetrical Courantes of Dubut le Père. A journey at the conclusion of which we find human beings described in their different and contrasting passions by means of music – music whose colours, though centuries old, portray them with extraordinary modernity. © Arcana
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Dufay: L'alta bellezza

Alta Bellezza

Classical - Released November 12, 2021 | Arcana

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In this debut release, the ensemble Alta Bellezza traces the footsteps of 15th century composer Guillaume Dufay through Italy, Savoy and his Burgundian homeland. Considered the most illustrious composer of his generation, Dufay was employed by several popes, and by noble families including the Malatesta, the Este and the court of Savoy while maintaining close ties to the court of the Burgundian duke Philip the Good, renowned in its day as the finest court in Europe. Alta Bellezza brings Dufay’s music to vibrant life on wind instruments of his day such as shawms, slide trumpets and bagpipes - the standard instrumental ensemble of the 15th century. This formation, known today as the “Alta Capella”, projected elegance, pomp and splendor at courts and in cities throughout Europe. Alongside refined renditions of chansons by Dufay and his contemporaries Binchois and Vide, the trio graces the 21st century with music from the Brussels Basse Danse manuscript in their own distinctive arrangements, rooted in improvisatory practices of the era. © Arcana
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Stradella: Amare e fingere

Ensemble Mare Nostrum

Classical - Released November 5, 2021 | Arcana

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The discovery of the inventory of an extraordinary collection of music from the late seventeenth century has made it possible to track down a previously unknown work by Stradella, Amare e fingere, performed in Siena in 1676. Love, jealousy, dissimulation, false identities, intrigue, festive celebrations and duels form the ingredients of this opera, whose libretto, probably attributable to Giovanni Filippo Apolloni, is inspired by a Spanish comedy of the time. The action, set in a fairytale "Arabian countryside", is triggered by love affairs between characters who appear to be of different rank, and which are therefore prohibited by social conventions. In a crescendo of tension, the plot is resolved in the final scene, when the true identities of the characters, all of royal rank, are revealed, leading to the classic happy ending. Along with Doriclea, also recently rediscovered, Amare e fingere, the seventh recording of the "Stradella Project", sheds new light on its composer’s Roman operatic output. © Arcana
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Rasi: La cetra di sette corde

Riccardo Pisani

Classical - Released October 15, 2021 | Arcana

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The first monographic recording entirely dedicated to Francesco Rasi is released for the 400th anniversary of his death (30 November 1621). The first interpreter of Monteverdi’s Orfeo, an astonishing tenor and poet with a life studded with triumphs, constant travels, debts and murders, this native of Arezzo was fought over by all the courts of Italy and Europe. The pieces, on texts by Petrarch, Guarini, Chiabrera and Rasi himself – including ten world premieres – are taken from the Vaghezze di musica (1608) and the Madrigali (1610). Tenor soloist Riccardo Pisani explores their extraordinary poetic and musical power, in a kaleidoscope of affects divided into seven "strings of the lyre". He is accompanied by the Ensemble Arte Musica, directed by harpsichordist Francesco Cera. The two artists have been collaborating for years on rediscovering the Italian vocal repertory of the seventeenth century, as witnessed by the recent success of their set of Frescobaldi recordings, released on Arcana. © Arcana
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Rossini: Petite messe solennelle

Giulio Prandi

Classical - Released October 8, 2021 | Arcana

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This is the third recording to represent Giulio Prandi’s interpretative research on the great Italian choral repertory, after the special and successful releases of works by Jommelli and Pergolesi, cornerstones of the golden age of the Neapolitan school. Faced with the challenge posed by Rossini’s essential masterpiece, Prandi has chosen an original and courageous path, following deep reflection. The new critical edition of the Rossini Foundation of Pesaro is used here for the first time for a recording; three rare instruments roughly contemporary with the work – pianos by  rard and Pleyel, a D bain harmonium – have been selected to ensure an authentic, vital, luminous sound, guaranteed by the artistry of the keyboardist and professor at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis Francesco Corti; four illustrious soloists have been engaged: Sandrine Piau, José Maria Lo Monaco, Edgardo Rocha and Christian Senn. © Arcana
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Swithun!

Dialogos

Classical - Released September 17, 2021 | Arcana

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Open the door onto one of the best-kept secrets of medieval music… It is the music from the Winchester Troper, one of the earliest, and most stunning sources of medieval polyphonic music, written in the first decades of the eleventh century, more than two centuries before the manuscripts of Notre-Dame polyphony. Without the existence of this repertory, our vision of music history would have been entirely different, and much poorer. Ensemble Dialogos offers a musical creation, placing the polyphonic music of tenth- and eleventh-century Winchester in a dialogue with virtuosic improvisations, while telling the story of a man haunted by visionary and terrifying dreams, as he tries to escape from three raging naked Furies, and finally finds salvation through Saint Swithun, a medieval Anglo-Saxon Superman. As you prepare to discover an unknown musical repertory from medieval England, you will be drawn into a stunning story about demons, dreams and miraculous healing, wondering whether the music you are listening to is archaic or incredibly modern. © Arcana
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Bach: Sei suonate à cembalo certato è violoncello piccolo solo

Mario Brunello

Classical - Released September 10, 2021 | Arcana

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After mastering the Sonatas and Partitas, Mario Brunello continues his trilogy devoted to reinterpreting Bach’s violin masterpieces on the violoncello piccolo. In this second volume he tackles the other great collection, the Sei Suonate a cembalo certato e violino solo (Six sonatas for concertato harpsichord and solo violin). Conceived in three parts, like sonatas for two treble instruments and continuo, these famous pieces appear transfigured here in a kaleidoscope of colours in which the violoncello piccolo intertwines with the keyboard, alternately harpsichord and organ, and with the bass doubled in turn by viola da gamba and cello – an accompaniment specifically suggested by one of the surviving copies of the sonatas. "A reinterpretation with an amber hue, in search of the intimate and human characteristics that are revealed almost unexpectedly in the slow movements and the expressiveness of the fugato themes in the fast movements, where Bach shows unparalleled virtuosity in distributing the voices". © Arcana
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Giosquino: Josquin Desprez in Italia

Odhecaton

Classical - Released August 20, 2021 | Arcana

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During the sixteenth century in Italy, the motto "i galli cantano" (the Gauls are singing) circulated, acknowledging the supremacy of the Franco-Flemish "transalpine" musicians who were summoned to the peninsula to serve princes and prelates in the techniques of composing and performing vocal polyphony. Josquin Desprez, "Giosquino" to the Italians, was the emblematic figure: in addition to France, he was in the service of Cardinal Ascanio Sforza in both Milan and Rome (1484, 1498) and of the papal (1489-95) and Este chapels (1503-4). On the fifth centenary of the composer’s death (1521), the Odhecaton ensemble proposes to retrace Josquin’s Italian itinerary with the Missa Hercules dux Ferrariæ, composed for the Duke of Ferrara Ercole I d’Este, and a selection of motets commissioned by Italian patrons. The contribution of The Gesualdo Six in the more solemn pieces brings the vocal ensemble to twentytwo singers, a number that is close to the forces of the Rome and Ferrara chapels and yields new sonic results in our quest to recreate how polyphony sounded in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. © Alpha Classics
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Fux: Dafne in lauro

Zefiro

Classical - Released June 25, 2021 | Arcana

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Appena chiudo gli occhi: Cantatas for Solo Voice with Violin

Giuseppina Bridelli

Classical - Released May 28, 2021 | Arcana

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Rigatti: Vespro della Beata Vergine

i Disinvolti

Classical - Released April 23, 2021 | Arcana

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Forqueray Unchained

André Lislevand

Classical - Released April 2, 2021 | Arcana

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Officina Romana: A Wonder Lab at the Dawn of the 18th Century

Paolo Zanzu

Classical - Released March 19, 2021 | Arcana

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Following the success of his solo recordings, Paolo Zanzu returns at the head of his ensemble Le Stagioni with "Officina Romana", featuring the countertenor Carlo Vistoli. In the early eighteenth century, Rome was one of the great music capitals of Europe. In the space of a few years, Corelli, Handel, Alessandro and Domenico Scarlatti, Caldara, Cesarini and many others crossed paths there, surrounded by painters, sculptors, poets and philosophers who were among the great names of the age. The fruit of long reflection and research, "Officina Romana" crystallises this unique moment in the history of music by recreating an idealised musical evening, a conversazione, a sort of liberal meeting of lofty minds in the palace of a Roman cardinal, with a programme mingling vocal and instrumental music in both orchestral and chamber formation. This programme highlights the creative genius, the "estro" of the time, its musical and technical inventiveness, combining famous pieces with previously unrecorded ones. The Cristofori fortepiano also makes an appearance here: Cardinal Ottoboni owned one. © Arcana
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Santiago de Murcia: Entre dos almas

Stefano Maiorana

Classical - Released February 26, 2021 | Arcana

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The heterogeneous output of Santiago de Murcia, one of the key figures in the Baroque guitar repertory, includes a number of transcriptions from the Op. 5 of Arcangelo Corelli, the famous collection of "sonatas with violin and string bass or harpsichord" published in Rome in 1700. The diffusion of Corelli’s works in Spain, and in particular in Madrid, suggests how highly the Italian style was valued at the court of Philip V, where Santiago taught Queen Maria Luisa of Savoy between 1704 and 1706. This gave rise to the idea of investigating the relationship between the Spanish and Italian styles in de Murcia’s guitar music. Pieces such as the fandango, jacaras and canarios, here presented in original arrangements that attempt to achieve a synthesis between historical research and creativity, are coupled with two Corelli Sonatas and a set of original or anonymous variations on the Follie italianas. The result is a stimulating kaleidoscope of sonorities in which different aesthetics and instrumental techniques dialogue, contrast and blend together. After his CD "Intavolatura", devoted to the solo theorbo music of Kapsberger ("hypnotisant" - Le Devoir; "terrific" - American Record Guide; "outstanding" - Lute News), Stefano Maiorana turns his attention to the Baroque guitar, investigating its unique sound and its ability to adapt to different languages and styles. © Arcana
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Schütz: Musicalische Exequien - 17th C. German funeral music

Voces Suaves

Classical - Released February 12, 2021 | Arcana

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Johann Hermann Schein, Sebastian Knüpfer, Johann Schelle, Andreas Gleich, Johann Georg Ebeling, Johannes Kessel, Johann Rosenmüller – all names that are unlikely to be familiar to you, unless you happen to be especially knowledgeable on the subject of early German Baroque composers. Yet all enjoyed esteemed reputations in their day, and three of them – Schein, Knüpfer and Schelle – were actually predecessors of Johann Sebastian Bach in the lofty role of Leipzig ThomasKantor. Then even less familiar to most listeners will be the music these men composed for funeral services, because when each service's music was created specifically for that one event, and reflected the tastes and choices of the deceased person it honoured, it didn't make sense to publish it for wider performance. Consequently, the first thing to point about about this programme of seventeenth century German funeral music from Basel-based vocal ensemble Voces Suaves under Johannes Strobl, is the feast of unknown repertoire presented around its central performance of Schütz's Musikalische Exequien; because while Schütz was so proud of this structurally and texturally ambitious 1636 work for the funeral of Henry II, Count of Reuss-Gera, that he published it at his own expense that very year, the surrounding motets from his above-mentioned contemporaries have been transcribed specifically for this recording, direct from the original sources, with much of it recorded for the very first time. The performances themselves have more than done this rare repertoire justice, too: beautifully lucid textures both in the choral singing and the sensitive accompanying from violone, theorbo and organ; bright, clear-toned vocal tones, with a particularly exquisitely light and pure upper-register soprano sound on show in motets such as Gleich's Selig sind die Toten; crisp articulation and sombre, heartfelt expression of the texts overall. Add the fact that the back catalogue isn't bursting with previous recordings even of the Schütz, and this album is very welcome indeed. © Charlotte Gardner/Qobuz
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Around Mozart. A Journey Through the Golden Age of the Oboe Quartet

Quartetto Bernardini

Classical - Released January 29, 2021 | Arcana

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With its debut recording, the Bernardini Quartet takes us on a journey into the golden age of its formation, consisting of oboe, violin, viola and cello. The programme consists of a selection of exemplary pieces written between 1780 and 1818 by composers of different nationalities who are united by their diversity. Alongside Alfredo and Cecilia Bernardini, father and daughter, respectively oboist/director and first violin of the Ensemble Zefiro, the members are the German violist Simone Jandl and the Dutch cellist Marcus van den Munckhof. The programme begins with one of the earliest quartets for these forces, by Johann Christian Bach; continues with Mozart’s Quartet KV370/360b, a milestone of the genre, followed by a romance with variations by the French composer Charles Bochsa, a substantial four-movement quartet by the cellist Dotzauer and a delightful little quartet by Alessandro Rolla, violinist and conductor of La Scala, Milan; and ends with a meditative perpetual canon by the Bohemian Georg Druschetzky, based on a famous Lutheran chorale. In this recording, Alfredo Bernardini used five different period oboes. © Arcana