Pre-Baroque & Baroque
The seductively charming sound of the Baroque-era viola d’amore takes center stage in this new, all-Vivaldi recording with Billboard classical chart-topping violinist Rachel Barton Pine and the veteran Chicago-based period instrument ensemble Ars Antigua, making its Cedille label debut.
Trio Settecento, the “superlative Chicago-based early music ensemble” (Gramophone) presents Italian Baroque composer Francesco Maria Veracini’s monumental Opus 2 Sonate Accademiche for violin and continuo. It’s a cosmopolitan collection of 12 sonatas of breathtaking scope and pan-European influences — a set of sonatas unlike any other of the era.
Violinist Jennifer Koh’s Bach & Beyond Part 2 is the newest installment in a three-CD
cycle based on her groundbreaking, multiyear recital series of the same name. Koh, “a
masterly Bach interpreter and a champion of contemporary repertory” (The New York
Times), performs J. S. Bach’s landmark violin Sonatas and Partitas alongside 20th and 21st
century solo violin works they’ve inspired, including new commissions.
British-born Baroque violinist and conductor Garry Clarke and his Baroque Band, Chicago’s period-instrument orchestra, highlight unfamiliar and thoroughly enjoyable orchestral overtures by 18th-century English composer Maurice Greene, who is otherwise best-remembered for his choral music.
Renowned violinists Jennifer Koh and her distinguished mentor Jaime Laredo illuminate captivating connections between student and teacher, and composers across the centuries, in Two x Four, an album of four double-violin concertos, performed with the Curtis 20/21 Ensemble conducted by Vinay Parameswaran.
The sublime early-instrument ensemble Trio Settecento (1700s Trio) has taken listeners on an unprecedented country-by-country Grand Tour of the European Baroque through a series of four recordings, issued individually between 2007 and 2012. Each album provides an in-depth exploration of the musical styles of a single country — Italy, Germany, France, England. Now, the entire critically acclaimed series is available as a specially priced boxed set offering all four CDs for the price of two.
Trio Settecento, the "superlative Chicago-based early music ensemble" (Gramophone) completes its geographical grand tour of the European Baroque with An English Fancy, its highly anticipated survey of English Baroque chamber works. It's the final leg of a musical journey that has delighted record collectors and critics alike. Previous installments include An Italian Sojourn, A German Bouquet, and A French Soirée.
American violinist Jennifer Koh's Bach & Beyond Part 1 is the first in a three-part CD series based on her groundbreaking, multi-season "Bach and Beyond" recital series, now underway in North America and overseas. With these inventive programs, Koh, "a virtuoso with quirky and wonderful ideas" (San Francisco Chronicle), sets out to illuminate connections between J.S. Bach's sonatas and partitas for solo violin and 20th- and 21st-century works, including pieces commissioned expressly for Koh and her Bach and Beyond project.
A French Soirée is the newest installment in Trio Settecento’s acclaimed, country-by-country grand tour of the European Baroque on Cedille Records. The new CD is a companion to the period-instrument ensemble’s An Italian Sojourn and A German Bouquet.
Chicago’s "stylish and exciting period-instrument group" (Chicago Tribune), Baroque Band presents works by Bohemian-Austrian composer Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber.
Chicago-based period-instrument ensemble Trio Settecento (1700s Trio) performs a colorful cluster of Baroque sonatas on A German Bouquet, the second in a planned series of four CDs illustrating the character and complexion of the era's music as it developed in various regions of Europe.
Trio Settecento brings fresh insights to music from the Age of Enlightenment through its passionate, authoritative, and distinctive interpretations.
"Pine brings to [Biber’s Passacaglia] a gentleness and occasional brilliance, teasing out its long, mournful lines, which so often threaten to fade into nothingness. Westhoff’s Suite, by contrast, is quite a jolly affair, a four-movement set, all of it eminently danceable. Pine is alive to its springing rhythms and attractive melodies, and takes its multiple-stopping challenges in her stride… Pine plays [Pisendel’s Sonata] with astonishing clarity and articulation. Bach works bracket the disc and she performs them with mature authority and a sure touch for drawing out and shaping contrapuntal lines. The final Chaconne is wonderfully shaped and fluent. This is a fascinating CD, with Pine consistently drawing great things from her 1770 Nicola Gagliano violin." - The Strad
Bach's Chaconne for Solo Violin, the bedazzling finale to his Partita No. 2 in D minor, has awed audiences and fellow composers for nearly three centuries. Brahms called Bach's ingenuous meditation on a simple harmonic progression "one of the most wonderful, incomprehensible pieces of music . . . a whole world of the deepest thoughts and the most powerful feelings."
Experience a side of Handel that's rarely heard these days: exquisitely refined vocal and instrumental chamber music, including three cantatas from his early years in Italy. On The Virtuoso Handel, you'll encounter the type of intimate music making that small, privileged audiences of discerning connoisseurs enjoyed during Handel's sojourn in Rome from 1706 to 1709.
The movie that sparked interest in French baroque music, 1991's Tous les matins du monde, centered on viol virtuoso Marin Marais and his teacher Sainte-Colombe. But music in the age of Louis XIV actually revolved around the formidable composer and impresario Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687), the dominant star in the Sun King's musical galaxy.
Scarlatti on Fortepiano sheds new light on Domenico Scarlatti's keyboard sonatas and the early piano, or "fortepiano," of the composer's own time. The fortepiano, available to Scarlatti (1685-1757) in the royal palaces of Spain, was part of his sonic world. Yet the many Scarlatti sonata recordings on the market typically employ harpsichord or modern piano.
On Instrument of the Devil, gifted young violinist Rachel Barton Pine displays her technical prowess and the instrument's emotional range in an unusual, virtuosic program that, in her words, offers listeners something other than "the usual potpourri of encores."
Handel's violin sonatas, familiar to violinists and chamber audiences, have been inexplicably neglected on disc. These intimate, inviting sonatas show the seldom-heard side of Handel's genius. The violin sonatas span Handel's long career, from the early, Corelli-inspired G Major Sonata, HWV358 (c. 1706-8) to the exciting Sonata in D major (c. 1750). On the CD, the works are sequenced for a pleasing progression of key relationships and mood changes.
Padre Antonio Soler's six quintets for harpsichord and string quartet are post-Baroque masterstrokes, blending Baroque and early Classical styles with a savory seasoning of Spanish folk music.
When people think of Vivaldi, they think of concertos, which represent only about half of his nearly 800 compositions. Vocal music? Mostly forgotten. Vivaldi recordings, though voluminous, comprise many predictable collections of similar works -- flute concertos, violin concerto, and so forth.
Harpsichord CDs typically serve up a heaping portion of a composer's closely related works. On this CD, however, Chicago's David Schrader presents a platter of four differently-seasoned Bach compositions. The disc opens with the lyrical Italian Concerto in F Major, BWV 971. In the program notes, Schrader describes this piece as "the apotheosis of Bach's many transcriptions from the works of many Italian composers."
Captivating and quirky, the quintets for keyboard and strings of Spanish composer Padre Antonio Soler were rare, even in the heyday of LP recordings. Now they are available for the first time on compact disc.
A major portion of JS Bach's organ masterpieces -- his complete Fantasies, Fantasies & Fugues, and isolated Fugues -- is contained on this CD. "The fantasies on this recording represent a wide range of composition, from the very freely composed to works that are obviously contrapuntal," writes Schrader in the liner notes.
The Rembrandt Chamber Players perform 20th-century works for Baroque ensemble and harpsichord on their debut recording with Cedille Records. They perform four exemplary works from different genres of the modern harpsichord repertoire, including two by living American composers.