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Mr. Bach at Vauxhall Gardens

Mr. Bach at Vauxhall Gardens


Bach, J C:

Vauxhall Songs (complete)

Scarlatti, A:

Cantata 'Clori mia, Clori bella'

The soprano Jennifer Vyvyan was taught at the Royal Academy of Music in London by Roy Henderson, coach of Kathleen Ferrier. With Henderson’s help she formed a secure technique, and quickly won acclaim for both operatic and oratorio roles in a wide variety of repertoire. Best known now as a singer favoured by Benjamin Britten, Vyvyan was also a leading figure in the revival of Baroque repertory: a celebrated interpreter of Purcell, Rameau, Bach and Handel who starred in landmark 1950s/60s reappraisals of the Handel operas at Sadlers Wells, Covent Garden and elsewhere.

Both the fluency and the brilliance of her voice are on display in songs by Johann Christian Bach and cantatas by Alessandro Scarlatti. J.C. Bach was writing for the open-air concerts at Vauxhall Gardens in London from which the original album and this reissue take their title. The Vauxhall songs are mellifluous, imbued with easy charm and written for accompaniment on keyboard: a part taken on this 1956 album by Thurston Dart, who as a scholar, conductor and virtuosic instrumentalist played a still more significant role in the early music revival in postwar Britain.

Dart is the soloist in J.C. Bach’s F major keyboard concerto Op. 7 No. 2. The Italianate allure of the concerto is shared by six canzonettas in which he accompanies Vyvyan and Elsie Morison. In turn the canzonettas make a stylistic link back to a pair of pastoral cantatas by Scarlatti recorded the following year, full of disporting nymphs and lovelorn shepherds. ‘Beautifully matched […] in intelligence as well as vocal colour’ was Gramophone’s verdict (December 1957) on the pairing of Vyvyan and Morison in these miniature unstaged operas. To which one could add an impassioned intensity – not least in their penultimate duet ‘Ah’ fato beato!’ – and dramatic flair that confirm both sopranos as true stage animals.

“These two cantatas are exquisitely beautiful music, sensuous and civilized … We’re fortunate in having two such beautifully matched sopranos as Elsie Morison and Jennifer Vyvyan … It’s a long time since I have heard such consummately seductive singing.” Gramophone Magazine, December 1957 (Scarlatti)

“These duets are not only lovely songs, but they are most beautifully sung by Jennifer Vyvyan and Elsie Morison. The Vauxhall songs are also lovely and also well sung … This is indeed a record of outstanding quality in every way, and I strongly recommend it.” Gramophone Magazine, November 1956 (J.C. Bach)

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Australian Eloquence - ELQ4825387



Scheduled for release on 29 September 2017. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Bach, J S: Orchestral Suites Nos. 1-4, BWV1066-1069

Bach, J S: Orchestral Suites Nos. 1-4, BWV1066-1069

Hubert Barwahser (solo flute Suite No. 2)

Concertgebouworkest, Eduard van Beinum

There was a time – at least until 1960 – when Bach’s ensemble music was a familiar sight on the concert programs of symphonic orchestras. The musicians of an ensemble such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam understood this music, and how to distinguish it from Mozart or Mahler or Stravinsky, but concerns of historical authenticity took pieces such as the Orchestral Suites away from them, and only in the last decade or so have they made a partial return, now that certain basic principles of style have been relearnt, and dogmatic attitudes abandoned. During his time as music director of the Concertgebouw, Riccardo Chailly observed that the orchestra had not been ‘let loose’ on this music since the time of Eduard van Beinum.

Going back to Van Beinum’s Bach is a refreshing experience. Without the lightning-fast tempi of many modern versions, or the expansive climaxes and Romantic slides of his predecessor at the Concertgebouw, Willem Mengelberg, he directs sprightly and affectionate accounts of the Orchestral Suites. The famous ‘Air’ from the Third Suite is as tender as the trumpet-led Overture to open the Fourth is majestic.

In the dance movements of the suites, especially the flute-led Second, van Beinum’s reputation as a collaborative musician is upheld by pacing that unfolds naturally and balancing that gives the wind soloists their deserved prominence, backed by a softly luxurious if now unfashionable carpet of string sound. These Philips mono recordings were made relatively late in van Beinum’s career, during June 1955 and April 1956. They were reissued some years ago within a larger box of the conductor’s work, now unavailable: this is the first time they have been made available on a single CD, which plays for over 82 minutes.

Such rhythmically buoyant and uplifting performances are complemented by several other Eloquence reissues dedicated to the work of van Beinum, including a September 2017 disc of Handel (ELQ4825557) and previous releases of Haydn (ELQ4768483), Mozart concertos and symphonies (ELQ4825525) and Berlioz (ELQ4825569).

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Australian Eloquence - ELQ4825495



Scheduled for release on 29 September 2017. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Clarke, Handel/Harty, JC Bach: Orchestral Works

Clarke, Handel/Harty, JC Bach: Orchestral Works

This unique collection, newly remastered from original Philips recordings, documents the work of Dutch conductor Eduard van Beinum in Baroque and Rococo repertoire. Thanks to his celebrated recordings of Romantic composers – many of them reissued on previous Eloquence releases – such as Berlioz (ELQ4825569), Brahms (ELQ4429788) and Bruckner (ELQ4807068), the conductor has a solid reputation as a classically unfussy, clear-sighted guide through the formal intricacies of large-scale symphonies. His score-driven approach and highly tuned ear for orchestral colour also made him a renowned conductor of Russians such as Tchaikovsky (ELQ4804849) and Rimsky-Korsakov as well as English composers including Elgar (ELQ4804249) and Britten (ELQ4802337).

In fact these virtues stand him in fine stead for the Fireworks and Water Music of Handel, as some of the most extrovert large-ensemble works from the Baroque era. Eloquence has already issued Van Beinum’s 1958 Philips recording of the complete Water Music with the Concertgebouw Orchestra (461 3362). This set presents a suite from the Water Music compiled and re-orchestrated by the English conductor Sir Hamilton Harty, recorded for Decca with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The conducting matches Harty’s arrangement in grand style, with a warm legato string sound. Originally coupled with Mozart’s ‘Haffner’ Symphony on the reverse side, the recordings were described in Gramophone (November 1950) ‘well-disciplined and energetic readings’.

The Fireworks Music, also for Decca and in Harty’s arrangement, dates from two years later, in sessions with the Concertgebouw that also included the Trumpet Voluntary of Jeremiah Clarke. Van Beinum had a particular way with such brief showpieces (see also the Eloquence anthology of Concertgebouw Lollipops, ELQ4825650); in 1956, when the 25th anniversary of his first appearance with the orchestra was celebrated, the Concertgebouw played the Trumpet Voluntary once more.

That same year, van Beinum added the Symphony Op. 18 No. 4 by Johann Christian Bach to his repertoire; he had already performed No. 2 from the set which had in previous years been associated with his predecessor as the orchestra’s Music Director, Willem Mengelberg. Van Beinum’s recording is quite different, though no less imposing. What makes these performances still very attractive, even after six decades, is the great musical joy that they express. The outer movements shine with an incandescent vitality. The tuttis are powerful and sonorous, thanks to the deep and rich sound for which the Concertgebouw Orchestra had become so famous. These J.C. Bach recordings are among the last made by Van Beinum. Six months later, on 13 April 1959, he died while rehearsing Brahms with the Concertgebouw.

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Australian Eloquence - ELQ4825557



Scheduled for release on 29 September 2017. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Purcell: The Fairy Queen, Z629

Purcell: The Fairy Queen, Z629

Thomas Hemsley (Drunken Poet, Coridon, Hymen), Jennifer Vyvyan (First Fairy, Mystery, Second Woman ), Elsie Morison (Second Fairy, Night, Chinese Woman, Spring, First Woman, Juno), Peter Pears (Phoebus, Autumn, First Chinese Man ), John Whitworth (Second Chinese Man, Secrecy, Summer ), Trevor Anthony (Sleep, Winter ) & Peter Boggis (Mopsa)

The St. Anthony Singers & The Boyd Neel Orchestra, Anthony Lewis

Made during February 1957 in the West Hampstead studios of Decca, this was the first-ever complete recording of The Fairy Queen. Suites and individual dances from Purcell’s masque had been played and recorded by chamber and even symphonic ensembles, and songs such as ‘One Charming Night’ were popular with both English singers and audiences, but Purcell’s music was still principally encountered in liturgical contexts, where his anthems and occasionally odes were given solemn and stately performances.

The wit and inventiveness of Purcell as a dramatic composer had been overlooked by the musical public at large, therefore, until Anthony Lewis took on the ambitious task of preparing this recording. He did so as honorary secretary of the Purcell Society, and as a professor of music at the University of Birmingham: both positions which allowed him to explore music of the early Baroque from a practical as well as a scholarly perspective.

The scale of the challenge was outlined by Lewis in the booklet accompanying this new remastering. The complete score comprises 50 separate numbers, deploying a large ensemble of voices and instruments with astonishing freshness and variety to match the quickly changing moods of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. However, Lewis was able to prepare the recording in conjunction with a staged performance in Birmingham at the University’s Barber Institute. This featured several of the same soloists, and the cast is a distinguished one, thoroughly coached by Lewis in principals of Purcellian style while vocally distinctive in their own right.

Reviews at the time recognised the special value of this first Fairy Queen: most of all for the many delights to be savoured in Purcell’s score, but also for the lively conducting of Lewis, the crisp playing of the Boyd Neel Orchestra and the sure and graceful contributions of the soloists. In the English-speaking world, the recording had the field to itself for decades. Benjamin Britten recorded his edition of the masque in 1972: omitting several numbers from Purcell’s original, and carrying over from this ‘original’ cast not only Peter Pears but also Jennifer Vyvyan, who had in the intervening years become a firm favourite at Aldeburgh (this recording is due for reissue in 2018).

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Australian Eloquence - ELQ4827449

(CD - 2 discs)


Scheduled for release on 29 September 2017. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Stravinsky & Poulenc: Choral Works

Stravinsky & Poulenc: Choral Works


Quatre motets pour un temps de pénitence


Symphony of Psalms

Philip Jones Ensemble

Canticum Sacrum

Philip Jones Ensemble


Nicholas Jones (treble), Andrew Giles (alto), Philip Cave (tenor), Arthur Lindley (tenor), Peter Herron (bass)

London Sinfonietta

The Argo LP of the Symphony of Psalms and Canticum Sacrum caused a stir when it was first issued in 1975. All previous recordings had used female voices for the upper parts, but Stravinsky specifically asks for children’s voices in the Symphony, and his old-fashioned score markings in the Canticum Sacrum suggest that he had the same, penetrating timbre in mind.

Separated by a quarter of a century, the works themselves could otherwise hardly sound more different from each other: the Symphony a neoclassical piece scored for a relatively conventional orchestra (though deployed in often astonishingly unconventional, hieratic ways); Canticum Sacrum written in Stravinsky’s personal adoption of twelve-tone technique for two soloists, a choir and a wind-heavy ensemble omitting violins and cellos but including an organ in tribute to the city of Venice, and more specifically to the Basilica of San Marco.

This Christ Church recording of the Mass had appeared less controversially in 1973 on another Argo LP, coupled with the four Penitential Motets of Poulenc. Preston had become Organist and Choirmaster at Christ Church just three years earlier, at the remarkably young age of 32, yet the results already paid testament to his gifts as a choir trainer. The punchy attack of the trebles in the Mass is quite alien to the English cathedral tradition to which the choir belonged but entirely appropriate for Stravinsky: there is a fierce and fearless intensity to their singing that carries over into the Poulenc motets. This particular coupling was first issued in 1991 but has long been unavailable.

“This record is quite an ear-opener … Lucky Christ Church to have a choir, and a choirmaster, like this.” Gramophone Magazine, October 1975 (Symphony, Canticum sacrum)

“The unearthly, white tone of the boys is entirely appropriate, the pacing vibrant [Symphony] … This performance [Canticum Sacrum] fully achieves its Byzantine combination of richness and austerity.” Musical Times, August 1976

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Australian Eloquence - ELQ4828099



Scheduled for release on 29 September 2017. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

The Telemann Files

The Telemann Files


Fantasias (12) for solo flute, TWV 40:2-13

Jasmine Choi (flute)

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Austrian Gramophone - AG0001



(also available to download from $10.00)

Scheduled for release on 29 September 2017. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available. (Available now to download.)



Bach, J C F:

Rondo Allegretto: Sonata, F.X/2

Bach, J S:

Partita No. 5 in G major, BWV829: Prelude and Rondo

Trio in G minor, BWV584

Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor, BWV1067: Badinerie


Für Elise (Bagatelle in A minor, WoO59)

Bagatelles (11), Op. 119


Prelude Op. 45 in C sharp minor (No. 25)

Étude Op. 25 No. 2 in F minor

Nocturne No. 20 in C sharp minor, Op. post.


Le Coucou


Clair de Lune (from Suite Bergamasque)


Orfeo ed Euridice: Mélodie


Melody, Op. 38, No. 3 in C major

Lyric Pieces Op. 38: No. 8 - Waltz

Poetic Tone-Picture, Op. 3 No. 5


Minuet in G Minor, HWV 434/4


Fantasia in D minor, K397

Andante and Variations in G for Piano Duet, K501


A Ground in Gamut in G major, Z 645



Scarlatti, D:

Keyboard Sonata K11 in C minor

Keyboard Sonata K430 in D major

Keyboard Sonata K67 in F sharp minor

Keyboard Sonata K20 in E major

Keyboard Sonata K141 in D minor


Prelude, Op. 9 No. 1 in C sharp minor for the left hand


The Seasons, Op. 37b: October ('Autumn Song')


Ave Maria

Iwona Karasinska-Schlair (piano)

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Austrian Gramophone - AG0002

(CD - 2 discs)


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Scheduled for release on 29 September 2017. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available. (Available now to download.)

Female Composers: Pieces for Violin and Piano

Female Composers: Pieces for Violin and Piano


Romanze, Op. 35

Boulanger, L:

Morceaux (2) for violin & piano


Capriccio, Op.18

Andantino, Op. 31 No. 1

Romanza, Op. 31 No. 2

Rondeau, Op. 97

Mayer, E:

Notturno, Op. 46




Romance, Op. 22

Elegie, Op. 34

Schumann, Clara:

Romances (3), Op. 22


Melodie, Op. 13 No. 1

Elegy, Op. 13 No. 3

Setareh Najfar-Nahvi (violin) & Theresia Schumacher (piano)

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Austrian Gramophone - AG0004



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Clara: Ragna Schirmer

Clara: Ragna Schirmer


Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58

Schumann, Clara:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 7

Ragna Schirmer (piano)

Staatskapelle Halle, Ariane Matiakh

Famous pianist Ragna Schirmer celebrates the composer and pianist Clara Schumann – Ragna is the “Clara” - specialist in general.

Schumann‘s Piano Concerto is combined with Beethoven‘s Fourth Piano Concerto.

The French conductor Ariane Matiakh is performing with the Staatskapelle Halle.

“Ragna’s intensive engagement with Clara gave me the feeling at times that Clara herself was sitting at the piano,” says the French conductor Ariane Matiakh with great enthusiasm following the recording of this CD.

2019 will be the 200th birthday of Clara Schumann, big stories (TV, Print, Online) about the composer featuring Ragna Schirmer,

The present recording combines Clara Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor op. 7 with the Piano Concerto no. 4 in G major by Ludwig van Beethoven, which Clara Schumann played in more than 50 concerts.

To make this live recording, Ragna Schirmer invited the conductor Ariane Matiakh to the place she has chosen to live, Halle an der Saale. “She has the ability to coax the tenderest tones from the orchestra while storing up expressive power and vast energy for the evening’s dramatic moments,” writes Ragna Schirmer.

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Berlin Classics - 0300928BC



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Hindemith & Schoenberg: String Trios

Hindemith & Schoenberg: String Trios


String Trio No. 1, Op. 34

String Trio No. 2


String Trio, Op. 45

Following their acclaimed recordings of the works for string trio by Mozart and Beethoven, Trio Zimmermann make a great leap in time. Arnold Schoenberg and Paul Hindemith were both at the avant-garde epicentre of the 1910s and 1920s, but their future paths could hardly have been more different. Whereas Schoenberg would go on to have a decisive influence on twentieth-century modernism with his dodecaphonic music and the Second Viennese School, Paul Hindemith gradually renounced his rebellious early music, eventually becoming something of an anachronistic loner.

The relatively early String Trio No. 1 (1924) already betrays the composer's interest in the forms and textures of baroque music. It opens with a flittering Toccata, going on to offer a contrapuntal web in its slow movement and ends with a double fugue. The contrapuntal textures are present also in the Second String Trio, but the neotonal language and general atmosphere point forward to later, large-scale works such as Mathis der Mahler.

In 1933, the year Hindemith composed his second trio, the political developments in Germany caused Arnold Schoenberg to leave Europe for the U.S.A. (Hindemith would follow in 1940.) It took him considerable time before he found his feet in this new environment and continuing financial and professional worries probably contributed to a serious heart attack that struck him down in August 1946. The String Trio, Op. 45, begun shortly before the heart attack and completed a month after it, is the disturbing expression of this extreme near-death experience. It also presents one of the greatest challenges in the entire string repertoire – in fact Schoenberg considered easing the technical difficulties by expanding the trio into a quintet.

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BIS - BIS2207


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