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Chamber Music - Released January 27, 2015 | Pan Classics

Booklet
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Opera - Released October 7, 2014 | Pan Classics

Booklet
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Classical - Released April 1, 2014 | Pan Classics

Booklet
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Classical - Released March 4, 2014 | Pan Classics

Booklet
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Classical - Released March 5, 2013 | Pan Classics

Booklet
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Chamber Music - Released January 29, 2013 | Pan Classics

Booklet
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Classical - Released October 2, 2012 | Pan Classics

Booklet
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Oratorios (secular) - Released September 4, 2012 | Pan Classics

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
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Classical - Released April 3, 2012 | Pan Classics

Booklet
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Classical - Released March 6, 2012 | Pan Classics

Booklet
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Classical - Released February 7, 2012 | Pan Classics

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released October 6, 2011 | Pan Classics

Booklet
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Classical - Released October 4, 2011 | Pan Classics

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released July 5, 2011 | Pan Classics

Booklet
Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber wrote violin music in an experimental style he shared with a few other German and Austrian composers of the late 17th century, oriented toward dramatic surprises, striking effects, and unusual pictorial devices rather than toward sheer difficulty. Quasi-contrapuntal passages and multiple-stopping of the violin are comparatively rare, but rapid runs ending unexpectedly on the seventh scale degree or some other unstable location are common in the 1681 set of sonatas recorded here. The eight individual sonatas in the set consist of dances, variations, and untitled movements with as many as eight short sections in contrasting tempos; it is in these that violinist Gunar Letzbor gets to show his technical chops, using a copy of a period violin. Hearing these pieces back to back, certainly not how they were intended to be performed, is of more interest to Biber enthusiasts than to the general listener, but the best is saved for last: the eighth sonata has an ingeniously written "trio sonata" texture with two violin parts that are playable by a single violinist. Better still is the Sonata "Representativa," with the varying continuo instruments of Ars Antiqua Austria deployed to produce entertaining depictions of a hen, a frog, a cat, a nightingale, and so forth. In its way this is as daring as Biber's Rosary Sonatas, which remains better known than any of the music on this album. Letzbor's performances were originally issued in 1994, which still didn't join an abundance of recordings of this music, making a sensible place to go for those initially attracted to Biber by the Rosary Sonatas. © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 13, 2010 | Pan Classics

Booklet
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Quartets - Released October 5, 2009 | Pan Classics

Booklet
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Full Operas - Released June 28, 2007 | Pan Classics

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 10 de Classica-Répertoire - 4 étoiles Classica
Francesco Cavalli (1602-1676) was a worthy successor to Monteverdi on the Venetian musical scene, and while his operas may not sustain the level of exalted musical inspiration and psychological depth of Monteverdi's, they come close enough to fully deserve the recognition they are beginning to receive. Like Monteverdi, Cavalli was a master dramatist, and his operas bristle with theatrical energy and vivid musical characterizations. L'Ormindo (1644), the first of his operas to be rediscovered (by Raymond Leppard, who conducted it at Glyndebourne in 1967), was written just two years after L'incoronazione di Poppea, and shares some of its attributes, most notably a remarkably expressive use of recitative, intriguing characters, and a dramatically arresting intermingling of comic and serious elements. The plot, unlike Monteverdi's clear and compact narrative, involves the complexity of mistaken identities, convoluted relationships, and improbable resolutions that would come to characterize later Baroque opera. The characters, however, are emotionally believable, for the most part, and are dramatically engaging, making it easier to overlook the absurdity of the plot. L'Ormindo receives a splendid performance by the French ensemble Les Paladins, conducted by Jérôme Correas. Correas' flexibility allows the singers to deliver the recitatives with convincing naturalism, but he never lets the musical momentum sag. There's not a weak link among the large cast, all of whom negotiate the early Baroque idiom as if it were second nature, and with persuasive dramatic vigor. The singers sound like a tight comedic troupe, and their interactions have a wonderful spontaneity. Pan's acoustic is clean and resonant, with excellent, natural-sounding balance. The performance would make an excellent introduction to the neglected world of early Baroque opera, and to Cavalli's genius as a dramatic composer. © TiVo
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Classical - Released March 26, 2007 | Pan Classics

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Chamber Music - Released November 19, 2001 | Pan Classics

Distinctions Recommandé par Répertoire
In a time when national affiliation was necessarily written in stone, Henricus Albicastro was a genuine multi-national. Born in Bavaria to Swiss parents, Albicastro was what was then called a dilettante, not an unfocused dabbler but a musician whose day job was in another field, and in Albicastro's case that living was made astride a horse; he was a captain of the cavalry in the Dutch Republican Army in the War of the Spanish Succession. He also served as an orchestra leader at the University of Leiden in the 1680s, and as such, he is identified as "Viennensis Musicus adcademiae" in contemporary documents, suggesting his musical education occurred in Vienna. A tendency toward the use of oddball harmonic devices and especially florid violin writing indicates possible contact with the school of Biber and Muffat, but that element is miniscule compared to the influence of Arcangelo Corelli and the Italian model. Nevertheless, there are ways in which these concerti do not behave typically; there is an emphasis on tutti writing, and solo passages are sparingly used. Pan Classics' Henrico Albicastro: 12 concerti a Quattro Op. 7 is the first opus of Albicastro recorded complete and the first substantive program of Albicastro to appear on disc since 1990. It features two combined groups, Collegium Marianum and Collegium 1704, led by harpsichordist Václav Luks and featuring violin soloist Riccardo Masahide Minasi; both ensembles hail from Prague. This recording, in fact, was made in the Rudolfinum in Prague, but in 2000; it did not come out on Pan until 2007. Seven years is a heck of a long time for anything to sit in the can, so long that since then Minasi has left Collegium 1704 and joined Il Giardino Armonico. Admittedly, it is a good, though not great recording; the combined ensembles lack cohesion. Allegros tend to be a little wilted and underpowered; slow movements fare better. However, quite a bit of Albicastro's music is highly extraordinary; witness the fall sequences in the finale of the Concerto I in F, the proto-minimalistic texture of the movement marked Tremolo, Spiccato, Adagio in the Concerto III in C, and the sweet, pop-like harmonies in the oboe-driven Adagio of Concerto IV in C minor. Therefore, there is reason to want to seek out Pan Classics' Henrico Albicastro: 12 concerti a Quattro, Op. 7, especially if Baroque instrumental music is one's bag; hopefully this won't be the last we hear from the musical Cavalier of Leiden. © TiVo