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Chaconne Early Music

Chandos' early music label, using original or period instruments

In 1989 Chandos launched its early music label - Chaconne - which set out to present a cross section of early-music repertoire from Medieval to Classical, peformed on original or period instruments.

The recordings, which now number well over 100 titles, are of a consistently high standard in both performance and sound recording.

In terms of artistic direction, the Chaconne label has been able to offer mainstream composers such as J.S. Bach, Handel and Vivaldi as well as less-familiar composers including Leclair, Albinoni and Telemann. Chaconne recordings have a very international appeal above and beyond the many early-music enthusiasts here in the UK.

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Nordic Voices Sing Victoria

Nordic Voices Sing Victoria


Victoria:

Benedicta sit sancta Trinitas

Vexilla Regis

Vidi speciosam

Quem vidistis, pastores?

Salve Regina

O Domine Jesu Christe

Ardens est cor meum

Congratulamini mihi a 6

Nigra sum

Tu es Petrus

Vadam et circuibo civitatem


Nordic Voices

The Norwegian six-member a cappella group, Nordic Voices here presents the extraordinary polyphonic music of Tomas Luis de Victoria, a Spanish composer whose music has continued to move people for more than 400 years, crossing geographical, cultural, and even religious barriers. This surround-sound recording comes ten years after a "warm, consistent and moving" (BBC Music) album of Lamentations, which featured pieces by sixteenth-century composers, including Four Lessons by Victoria. Examples of the composer's exceptional output, characterized by a careful setting of the text and an ability to control texture by a constant grouping and regrouping of different voices, here meet the artistic resourcefulness, versatility, technical precision, and freshness of the young ensemble.

“This is perhaps Nordic Voices’ most satisfying recording to date…their very bright sound lends itself …readily to the selection of music on this new offering, which showcases Victoria at his most joyous. …the performances are as legible as one could wish.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2017

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Chandos Chaconne - CHSA0402

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Maestro Corelli’s Violins

Maestro Corelli’s Violins


Montanari:

Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 2

Concerto No. 6 in E flat major, Op. 1

Concerto No. 7 in E major, Op. 1

Mossi:

Concerto grosso in E minor, Op. 4, No. 11

Concerto in G minor Op. 4 No. 12

Valentini, Giuseppe:

Concerto in A minor, Op. 7, No. 11


The musical influence of the famous Arcangelo Corelli is witnessed in this set of recordings of unjustly neglected concertos by three of his pupils.

The variety of these works is captured by the period instruments of the critically acclaimed baroque ensemble Collegium Musicum 90 under the direction of its founder, Simon Standage, who is also soloist here.

The album reveals Corelli’s influence, from a style of execution that was of vital importance to the development of violin playing to a compositional manner that, in establishing the pre-eminence of the violin, proved central to the development of the modern genres of sonata and concerto. Under its exclusive contract with Chandos, Collegium Musicum 90 has made more than sixty CDs, forty of them with Simon Standage.

“Although not a note of Corelli’s music is heard, this release is enlightening regarding the development of Italian music from this time. The sound is very impressive and the superb acoustic gives warmth and naturalness to the strings, this is an immensely stylish presentation.” classicalsource.com, July 2017 *****

“Corelli demanded the highest standards of ensemble-playing just as director Simon Standage does here at the head of Collegium Musicum 90, whose brilliance and togetherness is a delight throughout the six string concertos on this disc” Early Music Today, June 2017 ****

“What Collegium Musicum 90 then bring to these works is ensemble-playing to relish: crisp, lucid textures, a feeling of absolute togetherness of thought and action, and a lovely combination of excitement and respect for the music. Simon Standage himself is equally on form, bringing a wonderfully clean, wiry sweetness to the solo violin lines. So a great offering, and regarding the Montanari a different and thoroughly worthwhile alternative to Ensemble Diderot’s own Montanari disc.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2017

“This is a highly enjoyable recording of some very fine concertos, and the playing is up to Simon Standage and Collegium Musicum 90's usual high standards. The sound is intimate and chamber-music orientated.” MusicWeb International, 29th June 2017

“These accounts are thoughtfully prepared, neat and tasteful. The well-balanced recording is crystal clear, its church acoustic adding plenty of bloom.” The Strad, July 2017

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Chandos Chaconne - CHAN0818

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Concertos of Josef Guretzky

Concertos of Josef Guretzky


Černohorský:

Fugue in A minor

Gurecký:

Cello Concerto in A minor

Cello Concerto in G major

Violin Concerto in D major

Cello Concerto in F major

Cello Concerto in D major


The Harmonious Society of Tickle-Fiddle Gentlemen

The Harmonious Society of Tickle-Fiddle Gentlemen takes its name from the original ensemble that gave London's first public concerts, from 1678, and which continued to meet well into the middle of the eighteenth century. The members of the group are leading figures on the period instrument scene in the UK and Europe, offering programmes that draw on recent and original research. They have been described on BBC Radio 3 as 'purveyors of exhilarating and uplifting music'. The baroque ensemble here commits to record unjustly neglected concertos by Josef Guretzky, rich in Italian-influenced virtuosity and dynamism, yet highly innovative in the contrast of rhythms and forms. The album features the premiere recording of four of Guretzky’s nine cello concertos as well as Guretzky’s only surviving Violin Concerto. They are complemented by a contemporaneous keyboard fugue by another Czech master of the baroque era, Bohuslav Matěj Černohorský.

“These performances of his concertos are every bit as frisky and fun as the music itself.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2017 ****

“This music certainly brings out good things in the Tickle-Fiddlers, who fully justify their name. There is real joy in the music-making. The ensemble-playing, under the artistic direction of Robert Rawson, is crisp and buoyant [and the soloists] wear their virtuosity lightly” Gramophone Magazine, February 2017

“These are lithe, athletic performances…the euphoniously named Harmonious Society of Tickle-Fiddle Gentlemen (apparently from a description of the musicians who gave London’s first public concerts) play one-to-a-part and clearly have fun…Robert Rawson’s booklet note is exemplary.” The Strad, April 2017

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Chandos Chaconne - CHAN0816

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The Pleasures of the Imagination

The Pleasures of the Imagination

English 18th-Century Music for the Harpsichord


Arne:

Sonata No. 3 in G

Bach, J C:

Harpsichord Sonata, Op. 17 No. 2 in C minor

Blow:

Dr Blow's Chacone in Faut

Clarke, Jeremiah:

Suite No. 2 in A major

Croft:

Suite in D minor

Greene, M:

Suite of Lessons in C

Jones, Richard:

Third Set of Lessons in B flat


Sophie Yates (harpsichord)

On this new album, our exclusive artist Sophie Yates focuses on English harpsichord music, after successful French and Spanish recordings and a highly praised Handel series, among much else.

As she explains: ‘With this anthology, I hope to give an overview of English keyboard music during the course of the eighteenth century. Two significant figures cast their long shadows over this period of music in England: the first of these is Henry Purcell, whose legacy dominated the beginning of the century; the second is George Frideric Handel, who embodies the idea of eighteenth-century English music for so many. However, this recital explores the work of the other English composers who, in their various ways, wove the fabric of the musical scene in London at a time when it was the most vibrant city in Europe.’

From the influence of Purcell in the opening pieces by his pupil John Blow to the distinctive harmonic language of the concluding Sonata by Johann Christian Bach, this recital spans a century of forgotten yet immensely diverse English music for the harpsichord.

“Although several of the composers here have occasionally been the subjects of dedicated recordings, it is nice to have a selection sampling across the range…as usual, Yates plays with precision and a winning sense of enjoyment and bounce. She makes less use of spread chords and rhythmic dislocation than many other harpsichordists do these days…providing crisp gains in clarity and presence” Gramophone Magazine, September 2016

“A splendid recital in every way.” MusicWeb International, October 2016

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Chandos Chaconne - CHAN0814

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Hasse, CPE Bach & Hertel: Cello Concertos

Hasse, CPE Bach & Hertel: Cello Concertos


Bach, C P E:

Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Wq. 170 (H432)

Hasse, J A:

Concerto for cello and strings in D

Hertel, J W:

Cello Concerto in A minor

Cello Concerto in A major


Alexander Rudin (cello & conductor)

Musica Viva (Moscow Chamber Orchestra)

This album presents three rarely performed or heard early German cello concertos, played by Alexander Rudin. The multi-prize winning soloist is also a well-established conductor, in his native Russia as well as worldwide, fulfilling both roles in this recording, his first on Chandos. He is joined by Musica Viva (the Moscow Chamber Orchestra), one of the most popular and loved chamber orchestras based in the Russian capital. The unique atmosphere of the orchestra’s concerts is but one of many attractions for the audience.

Without fuss or fanfare or unnecessary pathos the musicians present refined and unconventional musical programmes, in which acknowledged masterpieces rub shoulders with musical rarities. The cello concertos performed here are among the earliest by German composers. The works by Hertel and Bach show evidence of a characteristically North German sensitive, or even sentimental, style, while the four-movement concerto by Hasse has a more charming, galant texture.

“The performances across the whole disc are all quiet stunners. Pitched at 415Hz, the orchestra offer up an immaculate, gently assured, light-of-touch period sound that seems all the more impressive given that this is by no means even their predominant stomping ground…[Rudin] is refreshing for his unshowiness” Gramophone Magazine, August 2016

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Chandos Chaconne - CHAN0813

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Les Voyages de l’Amour

Les Voyages de l’Amour


Boismortier:

Les voyages de l'Amour, Op. 60: Entree des genies elementaires

Premier ballet, Op. 52

Sonata in D minor, Op. 14 No. 3

Concerto a 5 in C minor, Op. 37

Sonata a trois parties, Op. 37 No. 4

Corrette, M:

Concerto comique No. 6: 'Le Plaisir des Dames'

Rebel, J-F:

Les Caracteres de la Danse

Sixième Sonate


Ensemble Meridiana

Chandos is delighted to welcome on board the multiaward-winning Ensemble Meridiana. Established as one of Europe’s finest baroque ensembles, it is regularly invited to all the prestigious international early music festivals, on top of their touring activity worldwide.

In this programme of French delights we trace the voyage of Love through baroque France. The three composers presented on this album were active in different milieus of the French world of baroque music. They escort us to the sites of the action: the chamber music of Joseph Bodin de Boismortier takes us to the salons of the city, and his Ballet de Village transports us to the country. The Compositeur de la Chambre du Roi Jean-Féry Rebel invites us to the royal court. And finally Michel Corrette completes our story with the joys of earthly love in Le Plaisir des Dames and a wedding feast in the country!

“The overall impression of this music, and Corrette’s Concerto comique (1722) in particular, is consistent with light-hearted occasions such as the autumn and spring Paris fairs with which Corrette was associated” Gramophone Magazine, July 2016

“works of genius, full of lively, toe-tapping dance movements and ravishing airs.” Sunday Times, 3rd July 2016

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Chandos Chaconne - CHAN0812

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Comédie et Tragédie, Vol. 2

Comédie et Tragédie, Vol. 2


Charpentier, M-A:

Le Malade imaginaire: Suite

Leclair, J-M:

Suite from Scylla et Glaucus

Rameau:

Les Fêtes de Polymnie: Suite


This programme completes the Comédie et Tragédie project with Tempesta di Mare, and consists of suites made up of orchestral excerpts from three dramatic works of the French stage, spanning seventy-three years, all highlighting the importance of dance as a part of drama.

The comédie-ballet was the brainchild of the French comedic actor, singer, dancer, and playwright Molière. After ten years of collaborating with Lully, a Suite from whose Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme features in Volume 1, he turned to Charpentier. The outcome was Le Malade imaginaire whose fourth performance would prove Molière’s last, as he died on stage.

Scylla et Glaucus is the only stage work by Jean-Marie Leclair, the foremost violinist of his generation and a composer whose late opera shows the clarity of his orchestration and places its focal point on the strings, as one would expect.

Les Fêtes de Polymnie is contemporary with Leclair’s opera but more forward looking in its approach, and famous for the ingenuity of Rameau’s colourful orchestration, particularly obvious in the overture.

“[Tempesta di Mare] bring out the theatricality of this often lively, occasionally eccentric music.” Classical Ear, 5th May 2016 ****

“I particularly liked Tempesta di Mare's vigorous, spiky strings in [Leclair's] 'Air des silvains' and the 'Premier air de demons'…delightful music, delightfully played” Gramophone Magazine, April 2016

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Chandos Chaconne - CHAN0810

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Harmonische Freude

Harmonische Freude

Works for Baroque Oboe, Trumpet and Chamber Organ


Bach, J S:

Fantasia super 'Jesu, meine Freude', BWV713

Trio Sonata No. 3 in D minor, BWV527

Homilius:

Nun freut euch liebe Christen g'mein, HoWV X.17

Sonata for Oboe & b.c., HoWV XI.1

Kauffmann, G:

Chorale Prelude "Ach Gott von Himmel sieh darein"

Chorale Prelude "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern"

Krebs, J L:

Fantasia

Praeambulum supra 'Jesu, meine Freude'

Chorale Prelude 'Jesu, meine Freude'

Chorale Prelude: Nun freut euch liebe Christen gmein

Tag:

Nun danket alle Gott


Jane Downer (baroque oboe), Simon Desbruslais (slide trumpet)

Austral Harmony

Harmonische Freude features chamber music by Johann Sebastian Bach and his extended circle, played on historical instruments by Austral Harmony, an ensemble of Australian musicians who specialise in music of the 18th century. The group fosters a particular interest in the works of Johann Sebastian Bach, and presents innovatively designed programmes promoting less familiar repertoire. This is its first recording on Chandos.

Using the sustained tone of a small pipe organ alongside baroque oboe and trumpet, the musicians create an impression of intimacy and a pleasing variety of sonority. Inspiration comes from Georg Friedrich Kauffmann’s concept of having an oboist imitate an organ stop by playing from the organ loft. Bach employed Lutheran chorales exhaustively throughout his choral and organ works; his pupils Krebs and Homilius composed chorale adaptations which included oboe and trumpet in a solo role. Four different trumpets and an oboe d’amore lend expressivity to the various hymn tunes which are a focal point of the disc. The musical idiom of other associates and pupils of Bach reflects the progressive and predominantly melodic galant style which ushered in the musical ideals of the Classical era.

“Some instruments work better together than others and the oboe occasionally overpowers the organ. Nevertheless, beautifully, joyously performed, this is a thought-provoking disc I look forward to revisiting and sharing with friends.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2015

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Chandos Chaconne - CHAN0809

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Smith & Handel

Smith & Handel


Handel:

Overture in D major (Riccardo Primo), HWV456/5

arr. Handel

Smith, J C:

Six Suites of Lessons for the Harpsichord, Op. 3


Julian Perkins (harpsichord)

The internationally acclaimed harpsichordist and early classical music specialist Julian Perkins here presents the premiere recording of six Suites for harpsichord by Handel’s assistant, John Christopher Smith. The new release on Chaconne also features an arrangement by Handel of the overture to his opera Riccardo Primo.

Music assistants often have a poor press. Franz Süssmayr is known only for his controversial completion of Mozart’s Requiem, while Robert Craft is known largely for his role as Stravinsky’s assistant. As Handel’s amanuensis, John Christopher Smith has suffered a similar fate. Moreover, confusion has prevailed as to his identity. His father shared the same Christian names and was Handel’s original amanuensis. Thus the omens for Smith’s musical legacy were poor from the start. This project seeks to reappraise Smith the composer, whose prolific music bubbles over with brilliance, wit, and charm – not to mention an irresistible penchant for trills!

As a man of the theatre, Smith cultivated a style that evinces a comic interplay between the baroque and rococo; in his pieces, athletic hand crossings, unpredictable figurations, sudden shifts from major to minor keys, and sequences built over repeated left-hand chords vie with one another to create music that is both technically demanding and theatrical.

“His music occupies a strange sort of halfway territory between the late Baroque style and the progressive early Classical mould, and Julian Perkins captures the dichotomy of mid-18th-century England's Scarlattian obsession and the emerging rococo style in his judicious playing of Smith's Six Suites of Lessons for the Harpsichord...These playful lessons amply repay Perkins's curiosity.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2015

“these six suites reveal a strikingly individual and gifted composer, often reminiscent of Domenico Scarlatti. The exuberantly stylish Julian Perkins is just the man for the job and tellingly collides the work of master and servant with a Handel keyboard transcription at the start.” Sunday Times, 10th May 2015

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Chandos Chaconne - CHAN0807

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Comédie et Tragédie, Vol. 1

Comédie et Tragédie, Vol. 1

Orchestral music for the theatre


Lully:

Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme: Overture and Dances

Marais, M:

Suite from 'Alcyone'

Rebel, J-F:

Les Élémens


Tempesta di Mare & Philadelphia Baroque Orchestra

This is Volume 1 of Tempesta di Mare’s two disc project of late seventeenth century French instrumental music. ‘Suites’ of music were often compiled from stage works that were being performed at the time and presented in the form of instrumental excerpts and dances. These ‘Suites’ contain some of the most tuneful, appealing and striking music of the period with works by Lully, Marais, and Rebel. The tradition of presenting ‘Suites’ as a separate musical entity spread throughout Europe and of course continues to this day.

As a favoured associate of King Louis XIV, Jean-Baptiste Lully was commissioned to compose a comédie-ballet for the visit of the Turkish ambassador in 1669. He composed music for Molière’s play Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, which relates the story of Mr Jourdain who absurdly tries to rise above his middle-class background. He is led to believe that he is officially ennobled at a special Turkish ceremony, an occasion for music that uses colourful percussion and exotically flavoured melodies.

The other music on the disc was written by two students of Lully, both members of his orchestras: Marin Marais and Jean-Féry Rebel. While Marais’s Alcyone is a tragic opera (tragédie en musique), composed after Lully’s death, Les Élémens is a ballet, in which Rebel portrays each of the four elements during the chaotic, confusing creation of the world. Both works are among the most successful and appealing of their composers. Tempesta di Mare, the Philadelphia-based baroque music ensemble is presenting this project over two seasons which will comprise of workshops, concerts, broadcasts as well as the two CDs. The group was recently praised by Fanfare magazine for its ‘abundant energy, immaculate ensemble, impeccable intonation, and undeniable sense of purpose’.

“With a barrage of astringent chord clusters at the beginning of his ballet Les Élémens, Jean-Fery Rebel brings the soundworld of Ligeti kicking and screaming to 18th-century Paris...The Philadelphians are a disciplined, well-drilled bunch boasting some chirpy wind players, but the sheer flamboyant theatricality of the music doesn't always come across.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2015 ***

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Chandos Chaconne - CHAN0805

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