La Nuova Musica
Arias by Handel, Bononcini & Ariosti
Radio 3 In Tune interview (approx. 1hr in)
Founded in 1719 as the first opera company in the English-speaking world, the Royal Academy of Music commissioned and premièred some of the finest 18th-century operas, including Handel’s Giulio Cesare. On this exciting album, renowned American countertenor Lawrence Zazzo is joined by La Nuova Musica and David Bates for a snapshot of the Academy’s hits circa 1725 featuring arias by Handel, Ariosti and Bononcini.
While Dvorák’s Symphony No.6is clearly inspired by the Symphony No.2 of his friend and champion Johannes Brahms, its middle movements are more in the Slavonic tradition. The Suite Op.98b, written when Dvorák was director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York, is an exotic patchwork of Amerindian and Afro-American music – with a pronounced Bohemian accent. In these superb performances by the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester led by James Gaffigan, both the charm and folkloric character of these works are clearly in evidence.
“Gaffigan's tempo in the first movement of the Symphony is on the fast side, but this imparts a strong sense of direction...Gaffigan's performance of the American Suite is as delightful as the music; melody is well to the fore with no sense of this unpretentious music being patronised.”
BBC Music Magazine, Oct 2014
When Leopold of Anhalt-Cöthen died in 1728, his former Kapellmeister had not forgotten the five brilliant years he had spent in the prince’s service. He wrote a cantata dedicated to his memory based on the music of two major works of the mid 1720s - the Trauer-Ode and the St. Matthew Passion. Although the score to the Köthener Trauermusik is lost, the wordbook and other sources of information have now made it possible to create a performing edition. In his first recording for harmonia mundi, Raphaël Pichon leads the ensemble Pygmalion in a rediscovery of this little-known work.
Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
This disc is an invitation to explore one of the great attractions of Venice in the Baroque era, the famous ospedali. Among the residents of the Pietà was a girl named ‘Pellegrina,’ for whom Vivaldi wrote many of his oboe concertos. Accompanied by her colleagues of the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, oboist Xenia Löffler not only breathes new life into a selection of concertos by the ‘Red Priest’ – but also several by his emulators, among them a composer of today, no less fervent in his admiration: Uri Rom.view