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Italy versus France
The Bach Players: Nicolette Moonen (violin, narration, artistic director); Rachel Isserlis (violin, violetta); Foskien Kooistra (viola); Rachel Stott (tenor viola); Kinga Gáborjáni (basse de violon, viola da gamba); Silas Wollston (harpsichord) & Jakob Lindberg (theorbo)
In this vivid new recording, the Bach Players turn their attention to some of the musical currents that surrounded Bach.
Italian or French? Jean Baptiste Lully and Arcangelo Corelli were the champions of these two musical styles – and the main subjects of the many attempts to establish which was the better style. Or could the two styles be united? This programme paints a musical picture of the 17th -century in Europe, through the music of Corelli, Lully, and their contemporaries. Chief among the reconcilers was the organist and composer Georg Muffat. German but of Scottish ancestry, it was he who introduced both styles to Germany. Also included are Rebel’s homage to Lully and Couperin’s to Corelli.
The 20-page booklet includes an essay on this music by the composer Hugh Wood and photos from the recording session. The CD and booklet are held in a packet made of card and without plastic. The Bach Players’ last CD, Nun komm! French overtures by German composers, was received with universal enthusiasm. It was given an International Record Review ‘Outstanding’ award and made a Radio 3 CD Review ‘Disc of the Week’.
“This is the most enjoyable programme of seventeenth-century chamber music I have heard in a long time...The recording manages to capture the strings in gutty rather than silvery detail so we relax and enjoy the music without suffering from steel-string fatigue. Altogether, this is a wonderfully diplomatic programme which brings out the best in everyone - French, Italian, German and performers alike.” International Record Review, May 2011
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Handel: Water Music
It’s easy to imagine the well-documented first performance of Handel’s Water Music, played by at least 50 musicians on a barge floating down the Thames for a royal procession. But what was the score’s first incarnation? After all, Baroque composers would shamelessly beg, borrow and steal from their own music, whatever it took to make a few extra bob.
Enter the Brook Street Band, a young baroque chamber ensemble whose core make-up is two violins, harpsichord and cello. Upon learning of a chamber version of the Water Music in an Oxford University library, apparently penned by Handel himself, the group applied 18th century practices and adapted the music for their own forces, adding an oboe doubling on recorder. The resulting world premier recording recreates how Handel’s popular music may have been enjoyed by 18th century folk in the privacy of their own home.
This is the debut recording by The Brook Street Band, award winning specialists in eighteenth century repertoire who take their name from the London street where George Frideric Handel lived and composed for most of his working life. They complete their CD with trio sonatas by Corelli, Geminiani, Handel and Leclair.
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