This CPO issue of Johann Georg Conradi's 1691 opera Ariadne is based out of a revival of this obscure work produced in 2003 as part of the Boston Early Music Festival. One might be surprised to see the name of Conradi above the title of such a large opera set – has anybody really heard of this guy? What is up with this opera?
German Baroque opera has spent centuries in the shadows. At one time this entire historical genre was considered of only marginal value when held up to the shining example of George Frideric Handel. Closer examination of the topic reveals that this was one man's opinion, namely that of nineteenth century musicologist Friedrich Chrysander.
Marc-Antoine Charpentier was neglected for centuries after his death, but by the late 20th century increased frequency of performances and recordings revealed him as one of the geniuses of the Baroque. He had a distinctive, individual voice and a gift for subtle emotional expression capable of evoking the most profound grief, as well as a loopy humor rarely associated with music of his era.
Dutch composers from the beginning of the Baroque period are introduced by modern Dutch classical musicians: Trio de l'Oustal & Lucia Swarts.
This 55-CD set chronicles the remarkable Archiv label, begun in 1947. Devoted mainly to early and Baroque music, the recordings presented here, in facsimiles of their original sleeves (a nice touch), cover the period from Gregorian chant to Beethoven’s Fifth and Sixth symphonies, played on period instruments. There are stops in between for a great deal of Bach, music of the Gothic era, the French Baroque (Mouret, Delalande, Rameau, etc), Gibbons, Handel (Alcina, La Resurrezione, Messiah, Italian cantatas), Telemann, Zelenka, Gabrieli, Desprez, Haydn, LeJeune, and plenty of the usual, as well as unusual, suspects. There’s also a final CD with selections of new releases (more Handel, Cavalli, Gesualdo, Vivaldi).
You may remember a film from the early 1970s called Henry VIII & his Six Wives, starring Keith Mitchell, Donald Pleasance, and Charlotte Rampling; it was notable for its score, which not only featured authentic music of the period (nearly unheard-of at the time), but also was, according to David Munrow, “the first historical film in which the music has been scored entirely for historical instruments.” Munrow also added a few numbers of his own to satisfy the needs of the movie, patterned after 16th-century style and form. Although these days such attention to authenticity is common, even expected, Munrow was one of the pioneers in bringing musicological research and the more immediate practicalities of really old, original instruments and stylistic practice to the level of popular culture. Of course, also in these early days was planted the impression that period instruments must necessarily be somewhat clunky and (to varying degrees) not quite ideally in tune–and in some cases, just plain annoyingly squawky and prone to obnoxious buzzing noises. While this generally fine issue from Testament offers many reminders of those times, when musicians were still finding their way in unfamiliar territory (and often using very user-unfriendly instruments), this release will prove mostly a delight for early music fans–and will be a real treat for those who own the original LPs from which these tracks were drawn.
You may remember a film from the early 1970s called Henry VIII & his Six Wives, starring Keith Mitchell, Donald Pleasance, and Charlotte Rampling; it was notable for its score, which not only featured authentic music of the period (nearly unheard-of at the time), but also was, according to David Munrow, “the first historical film in which the music has been scored entirely for historical instruments.
Ambrosian chant (also known as Milanese chant) is the liturgical plainchant repertory of the Ambrosian rite of the Roman Catholic Church, related to but distinct from Gregorian chant. It is primarily associated with the Archdiocese of Milan, and named after St. Ambrose much as Gregorian chant is named after Gregory the Great. It is the only surviving plainchant tradition besides the Gregorian to maintain the official sanction of the Roman Catholic Church.
Early Wailers, inna Doo Wop style. Raw shimmering vocal harmonies and searing leads with the focus on "Dem Wailing Wailers!!" as Rita Marley dubbed them in the beginning…
This album is a real rarity, not for the style of music nor its interpreters, the strange thing is that this music was produced especially for a film and not a vintage film! It was used to accompany the notable Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx (?). It was somewhat controversial the mixture of Renaissance music and the documentary about this cyclist in those times.
CPO follows its stellar releases of Conradi's Ariadne and Lully's Thésée by the Boston Early Music Festival with an equally extraordinary performance of Lully's Psyché. These are works that have had limited exposure and are known far better by reputation than by performances or recordings.