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Classical - Released May 21, 2021 | Flora

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The Lyra in Love: this chiaroscuro program declines the feelings of love in all their diversity, from jubilation to despair, from hope to renunciation, through the intervention of the greatest composers of the 17th century, such as Giovanni Sances, Barbara Strozzi, Luigi Rossi or Tarquinio Merula. When Claudio Monteverdi invented the "recitar cantando" (from the text comes the music) at the beginning of the 1600s, many composers followed his lead and signed with him this new style, the "seconda prattica", which they combined the perfection of modern music with the ancient style (or "prima prattica"), characterized by a strict observance of the rules of counterpoint, as taught in the middle of the previous century. For the first time, the madrigals also feature a basso continuo, marking the transition from the old style to the new Baroque "stile concertato". "On the Lyra in Love", a translation of the first line of Tarquinio Merula's piece, Su la cetra amorosa, is the title and the linch pin of this program, illustrating the great variety of amorous feelings that Orpheus expresses on his lyre, to the point of moving wild animals and inanimate beings. It is also combined with this passion for the 17th century repertoire in which the voice and the instruments can dialogue in perfect harmony, blend together in a common colour, or compete in virtuosity to express all the richness of this music. The greatest Italian composers of the17th century considered the cornett and the sackbut as the instruments most able to imitate the voice. First of all thanks to the timbre and the tessitura (the cornett for the high voices, the sackbut for the low voices), then thanks to the combined action of the tongue and the breath which allows the instrumentalist to articulate the sounds in order to give the illusion of speech. We have selected in this program the works which appear to us to be the most representative of this school, without however occulting the virtuoso aspect of vocal and instrumental writing. © Flora
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Classical - Released February 26, 2021 | Flora

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Buxtehude’s Opus 1 and Opus 2 Sonatas for violin, viola da gamba and harpsichord belie the composer’s common image as austere and sober. They instead delight the listener with what Johann Mattheson, writing in 1739, called their « unfamilar progressions, hidden ornamentation, and ingenious colourations ». It comes as no surprise to learn that the Sonatas were a great success when they were first published in Germany in the 1690s, in the midst of the fashion for the "stylus fantasticus" (described by Athanasius Kircher in 1650 as “…especially suited to instruments. It is the most free and unrestrained method of composing, it is bound to nothing, neither to any words nor to a melodic subject. It was instituted to display genius, and to teach the hidden design of harmony and the ingenious composition of harmonic phrases and fugues"). These Sonatas are undoubtedly challenging, which is no doubt why there have been so few complete recordings. For their fourth album, the founding trio of Les Timbres – Yoko Kawakubo, Myriam Rignol, and Julien Wolfs – take up the challenge with brio, joyously returning to their roots in Baroque chamber music to uncover all the intricacies of these very special works. © Flora
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Classical - Released October 23, 2020 | Flora

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Classical - Released November 22, 2019 | Flora

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Classical - Released June 21, 2019 | Flora

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Classical - Released September 21, 2018 | Flora

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Classical - Released June 22, 2018 | Flora

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Classical - Released April 20, 2018 | Flora

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Classical - Released October 20, 2017 | Flora

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Classical - Released May 26, 2017 | Flora

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Classical - Released April 1, 2016 | Flora

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Classical - Released November 20, 2015 | Flora

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Classical - Released April 3, 2015 | Flora

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Classical - Released November 17, 2014 | Flora

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Classical - Released May 20, 2014 | 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
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Classical - Released November 9, 2012 | Flora

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Fusions of jazz and Baroque music are almost commonplace, and brass ensembles both historical and modern have essayed mainstream jazz. This release from French ensemble Les Sacqueboutiers (The Sackbut Players), however, may be unique. It is not a Renaissance treatment of jazz, but a jazz treatment of Renaissance music, and it is quite ingeniously done. Les Sacqueboutiers draw on keyboard and brass (sackbut, cornet, harpsichord, percussion) ensemble pieces from Italy and Spain in the late 16th century. Some of these are polyphonic songs or works of the ricercar type (the ancestor of the fugue). The four pieces called Recercata by Diego Ortiz are all of the same type, but Les Sacqueboutiers treat every one of them differently. A jazz ensemble with drums may alternate with the source material, improvising on its basic pitch collection, or may (in whole or in part) accompany that source material, and the parts of the puzzle can be put together in several different ways. This is facilitated by the overlap between the two groups: both contain brass instruments (trumpet and trombone in the jazz group), each has a keyboard (harpsichord and organ for the early instruments, piano for the jazz group), and each has its own percussion. As the program proceeds, a second type of piece comes to the fore: ground-bass pieces such as the Passacaille and Ciaccona of Andrea Falconiero. These repeated patterns are so suggestive of jazz treatment that you can forget you're listening to a unique fusion and just become immersed in the flow of creativity that effortlessly spans four centuries of time. An original and supremely musical experiment and an essential purchase for anyone interested in fusions between jazz and classical music. © TiVo
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Classical - Released July 10, 2012 | Flora

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The title of this album, Fay ce que vouldras (Do what thou willst), is taken from the 1532 novel La vie de Gargantua et de Pantagruel by François Rabelais, and the recording features readings from the book interspersed with vocal and instrumental music of the period by composers like Josquin Desprez, Claude Lejeune, Clément Janequin, Orlande de Lassus, and Claudin de Sermisy. This is an album that should be highly entertaining for fans of these composers and anyone who enjoys music that's quirky or sometimes just plain strange. The spoken texts, in Middle French, are delivered with such gusto and panache by Vincent Bouchot that they should engage even listeners who don't understand a word of what is being said. (The CD comes with a gorgeous, lavishly produced book in French that includes no translations.) The performances by the wind ensemble Les Sacqueboutiers and the male vocal group Ensemble Clément Janequin are ebullient and polished. This is rowdy secular music and the performers sound like they are having the time of their lives with its high spirits and occasional loopiness. The music's oddness peaks in the second part of Janequin's chanson, La chasse, in its depiction of a pack of dogs, barking, howling, and yelping. The music itself is riotously unconventional -- Janequin obviously had a wicked sense of humor -- and the singers' very free rendering of the hounds' gnof, gnof, tronc, tronc, plif, plof is hilarious. The sound is immaculate and detailed. © TiVo
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Classical - Released April 25, 2012 | Flora

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Classical - Released November 12, 2010 | Flora

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