From the Imperial Court
Music for the House of Hapsburg
"An ensemble of breathtaking freshness, vitality and balance"
- The New York Times
Whether they're performing at the BBC Proms or alongside Sting, the members of Stile Antico fuse rich expressivity with technical prowess that "never disappoints" (Guardian). These masterful interpreters of Renaissance choral present a program that captures triumphs and tragedies from the Imperial courts of the Hapsburgs. The remarkable Hapsburg dynasty, which at its peak ruled much of Europe and established the first truly global empire, is the inspiration for a fascinating and sumptuous journey through two centuries of Continental repertoire. Stile Antico focus first on the Emperor Maximilian, and then on the great Spanish rulers Charles V and Philip II, who gathered around them the finest Spanish and Flemish composer of their day. We encounter coronations, celebrations and funerals, and meet the Hapsburgs at play and at prayer, telling their story through repertoire ranging from Gombert's "Magnificat primi toni" to Lobo's exquisite expression of grief, and from the intricacies of Isaac to the exuberance of Morales. Across the generations, in times of peace, victory, and sorrow, the era's finest composers echoed the majesty of royal life with elegant and richly textured works.
La Nuova Musica
Arias by Handel, Bononcini & Ariosti
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.
This third volume of Andreas Staier’s series devoted to the piano music of Robert Schumann begins with his first published composition, the Abegg Variations, and ends with his very last work, posthumously published Geistervariationen. The road he traveled between the two works was a long one, yet this program also brings out the consistency of the poetic urge that gives Schumann’s music its matchless powers of evocation.
Choir of Clare College, Cambridge
Music for Christmas
Under the direction of Graham Ross, the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge and The Dmitri Ensemble celebrate the legacy of European and English carols in this Christmas program. Listeners will enjoy settings by Praetorius and Bach alongside later examples by Mendelssohn, Schoenberg, Britten and Tavener.