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Stabat Mater (Alessandrini, Concerto Italiano)
Stabat Mater (Alessandrini, Concerto Italiano)
Price: £14.77

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'No greater happiness in this world', 12 Dec. 2012
The comment of the 18th century Charles de Brosses (quoted in the title to this review) about Italian music in general could equally apply to this CD in particular. Utilizing a pared-down Concerto Italiano, with one instrument to each part, and directing from the organ, Rinaldo Alessandrini gives a sublime account of these two works, written for the Cavalieri della Vergine dei Dolori in Naples. Of the two, the Pergolesi is the more familiar. Often in other recordings given a casually jaunty performance, more operatic than ecclesiastical, here, thanks to well-chosen tempi and tight orchestral playing, it achieves an ideal balance between the contemplative and the uplifting. The effect is magical - as, too, is the performance of the Scarlatti setting, in many respects no less operatic than the Pergolesi, and equally rich in melody. Of course, much of the success of this CD is down to the two singers, the sublime Gemma Bertagnolli and the quite remarkable Sara Mingardo - listen to 'Fac ut portem Christi mortem' from the Pergolesi setting to marvel at her vocal range and extraordinary control. Impressive in the solo sections, they shine in the duets, where the tone of each voice complements the other quite brilliantly. All in all, then, in a crowded field, this CD is a very strong contender to become your recording of choice.


Allegri - Miserere; Motets
Allegri - Miserere; Motets
Price: £10.44

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gloria in Excelsis Deo, 11 Dec. 2012
Containing two versions of Allegri's celebrated Miserere, this disc is both a revelation and a joy. The standard 'take', familiar from recordings by (among others) The Sixteen and The Tallis Scholars, comes at the end of the programme - and how well it is sung. Limpid and pellucid in the upper registers, firm and magisterial in the lower. And those much admired high notes are spine tingling! Yet it is the earlier version, a reconstruction of how the Miserere may have been performed shortly after Allegri's death, which is, if anything, even more stunning. Here the choir, much freer, much more inventive in their ornamentation, create such a mood of sublime otherworldiness, that, in comparison, the more familiar setting is in danger of sounding positively terrestrial. The two Misereres are joined by three motets and a mass, perhaps less immediately beguiling but nonetheless fine works. A Sei Voci (there are, in fact, nine singers - plus an organist in one of the motets) perform ravishingly, and such is the quality of the recording that you will believe them to be in the room with you - or you, perhaps, to be with them in heaven.


La Musique des Lumières / Music of the Enlightenment - Limited Edition 30 CD set
La Musique des Lumières / Music of the Enlightenment - Limited Edition 30 CD set
Price: £38.73

171 of 174 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner!, 10 Oct. 2011
Following on from earlier box set releases, this new collection from Harmonia Mundi is another winner!

Previous reviewers have listed the contents of CDs in previous collections. I have personally found this very useful, so I hope the following will be of help if you are considering buying this set. You won't regret it!

CD 1 French Harpsichord Music: Couperin (a) vingt-cinquieme ordre; (b) vingt-sixieme ordre; (c) sixieme ordre (Christophe Rousset, harpsichord). Rameau (a) premiere concert; (b) cinquieme concert (Christophe Rousset, Ryo Terakado, Kaori Uemura

CD 2 The twilight of lamentation: Campra, Requiem (Choeur et Orchestre de la Chapelle Royale, Herreweghe). Pergolesi: Stabat Mater (Anna Prohaska, Bernarda Fink, Akademie fur Alte Musik, Berlin)

CD 3-4 Oratorio: Handel, Solomon (Sarah Connolly, Susan Girton, Carolyn Sampson, Mark Padmore, David Wilson-Johnson, RIAS Kammerchor, Daniel Reuss)

CD 5 The apotheosis of the Baroque concerto: Vivaldi, The Four Seasons (Midori Seiler, Akademie fur Alte Musik, Berlin, Clemens-Maria Neszbaumer); Telemann, Violin Concerto 'The Frogs' (Midori Seiler, Akademie fur Alte Musik, Berlin, Stephan Mai); Bach, Brandengurg Concerto no 6 (Academy of Ancient Music, Richard Egarr); Handel, Organ Concerto Op 4 no 3 (Academy of Ancient Music, Richard Egarr)

CD 6 The conquest of Europe: Tartini (a) Concerto Grosso no. 5; (b) Concerto for violin and orchestra 'a Lunardo Venier' (Enrico Gatti, Ensemble 415, Chiara Banchini). Monn: Concerto for violincello harpsichord and string orchestra (Jean-Guihen Queyras, Freiburger Barockorchester, Petra Mullejans); CPE Bach: Harpsichord Concerto no 5 (Andreas Staier, Freiburger Barockorchester, Petra Mullejans); JC Bach: Concerto for harpsichord, two violins and violincello Op 7 no 5 (London Baroque, Lars-Ulrik Mortensen, Ingrid Seifert, Charles Medlam)

CD 7 From Paris to Vienna: Haydn, Violin Concerto No 1 (Freiburger Barockorchester, Gottfried von der Goltz); Mozart: (a) Concerto K107 no 2 (London Baroque, Lars-Ulrik Mortensen, Ingrid Seifert, Richard Gwilt, Charles Medlam b) Sinfonia Concertante K297-b (Suzanne Kaiser, Ann-Kathrin Bruggemann, Javier Zafra, Erwin Wieringa, Freiburger Barockorchester, Gottfried von der Goltz); Pleyel: Cello Concerto Ben. 106 (Ivan Monighetti, Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin, Stephan Mai)

CD8 The Classical concerto: Mozart: Piano Concerto no 21 K467 (Samerata Salzburg, Stefan Vladar); Beethoven: Piano Concerto no. 2 (Paul Lewis, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Jiri Belohlavek)

CD9 Symphony: Sammartini (a) Sinfonia in D major JC14 (b) Sinfonia in G major (JC30 Ensemble 415, Banchini); WF Bach: Sinfonie in F major Falck 67 (Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin, Stephan Mai); CPE Bach: Orechester-Sinfonie no 1 Wq 183/1 (English Concert, Manze); JC Bach: Symphony in G minor Op 6 no 6 (Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin, Stephan Mai); Boccherini: Symphony 'La casa del Diavolo' (Ensemble 415, Banchini)

CD10 Orchestral performance: Haydn (a) Symphony No 6 'Le Matin'; (b) Symphony No 7 'Le Midi' (Freiburger Barokorchester, Mullejans); Mozart: Symphony No 31 'Paris' (Freiburger Barokorchester, von der Goltz)

CD11 The monuments of Classicism: Haydn: Symphony No 92 'Oxford'; Mozart: Symphone No 41 'Jupiter' (Freiburger Barokorchester, Jacobs)

CD12 The 'Ninth': Beethoven, Symphony No. 9 (La Chapelle Royale, Collegium Vocale, Orchestre des Champs-Elysees, Herreweghe)

CD13-15 The ast glories of the tragedie lyrique: Rameau: Castor et Pollux (Les Arts Florrisants, Christie)

CD 16-17 Gluck's reform: Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice (RIAS Kammerchor, Freiburger Barokorchester, Jacobs)

CD18-20 The spirit of the people: Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro (Collegium Vocale Ghent, Concerto Koln, Jacobs)

CD21 The Baroque trio sonata: Vivaldi: Sonata in C minor Rv 53; Telemann: Sonata in A minor TWV 41:a3 (Paul Goodwin, Nigel North, Susan Sheppard, John Toll); JS Bach Sonata Sopr'il Soggetto Reale (Janet See, John Holloway, Jaap ter Linden; Davitt Moroney); CPE BAch: Sonata in F Major Wq 154; JCF Bach: Sonata in A major F.VII/2 (London Baroque, Ingrid Seifert, Richard Gwilt, Charles Medlam, Richard Egarr); Schobert: Sonata in F major Op XVI no 4 (Chiara Banchini, Veronique Mejean, Philipp Bosbach, Luciano Sgrizzi)

CD22 From the sonata to the Classical trio: Kuhnau (a) Sonata Terza; 9B0 Sonata Quinta; (c) Sonata Settima (John Butt); Mondonville: Pieces de clavecin avec voix et violin (Nelson, Ritchie Christie); Mozart: (a) Sonata in F major K 376; (b) Sonata in G major K 379 (Banchini, Vesselinova)

CD23 The keyboard trio: Haydn: Trio in C major no 43 (Hobarth, Coin, Cohen); Mozart: Trio in G major K 496 (The Mozartean Players, Richie, Lutzke, Lubin); Beethoven, Trio in C minor Op 1 no 3 (Sepec, Queyras, Staier)

CD 24 The great piano sonatas: Haydn: (a) Sonata in C minor no. 33; Sonata in D major no. 39; Sonata in C major no. 60; Sonata in E flat major no. 62 (Planes)

CD 25 The great piano sonatas: Mozart: (a) Sonata in E flat major K 282; Sonata in C major K 330; Sonata in F major K 332; Sonata in C minor K 457 (Staier)

CD 26 The great piano sonatas: Beethoven: Sonata in F minor no 1 Op 2 no 1; Sonata in D minor no 17 'The Tempest'; Sonata in E flat major no 21 'Waldstein' (Lewis)

CD 27 The birth of the quartet: Telemann: Sonata prima in A major (Freiburger BarokConsort); Mozart: String Quartet in C major no 4 K 157; Haydn: String Quartet in
C major op 33/3 'The Bird' (Jerusalem Quartet); Stamitz: Oboe Quartet in D major Op 8 (Goodwin, Terzetto, McDonald, Rogers, Gough)

CD 28 The great Classical quartets: Mozart: String Quartet in B flat major no 17 K 458; Haydn: String Quartet in D minor Op 76 no 2 (Jerusalem Quartet); Beethoven: String Quartet in B flat major Op 18 no 6 (Tokyo String Quartet)

CD 29 The 'Late Quartets': Beethoven: String Quartet in B flat major no 13 op 130; String Quartet in F major op 16 no 135 (Tokyo String Quartet)

CD30 Sung Texts (Oratorio & Operas)
Comment Comments (10) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 6, 2015 1:21 PM GMT


Harmonia Mundi 50 Years : 50 Milestones of Western Music Boxset (COMPLETE AND UNCUT)
Harmonia Mundi 50 Years : 50 Milestones of Western Music Boxset (COMPLETE AND UNCUT)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Extraordinary Musical Offering, 19 Feb. 2008
This collection is a box of delights. From the spine-tingling antiquities of Byzantine chant to the modern edginess of Shostakovich, Janácek and Bartók, by way of the familiar and the less well-known, the set does nothing less than present the listener with a compelling and beautiful journey through more than seven centuries of Western music. Other reviewers have picked out individual highlights, so suffice to say here that performances and recordings are of a consistently high standard, while special mention must be made of the presentation box, complete with CD of libretti and words, and a stunning book interweaving notes on the music with the story of Harmonia Mundi. Buy it!


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