on 17 August 2007
What a treat for any lover of Baroque chamber music, to dip into this boxed set and pull out something to suit your fancy. For fans of Il Giardino Armonico's flamboyant flourishes and exuberant expressiveness, it's like having all your birthdays at once, being presented with this great Warner Classics 11 CD set. My own feeling is that this "free" approach to Baroque music is at its best when applied to the theatrical music of disc 8 or the seventeenth century Italian music on disc 1. The showmanship and playfulness is an absolute joy in many of those pieces. I'm less satisfied with the interpretations of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, (on discs 10 and 11), which require a different approach, I feel. I like my Bach to be a little more measured and subtle, I suppose. It has no need of the Il Giardino Armonico treatment. On the whole, though, I do love this set and wouldn't be without it.
on 31 August 2009
This box set holds a prominent position in my collection. A more liberated version of baroque masterpieces seen from a quite different, less strict perspective, without playing losing any vituosity, contrariwise. The use of older renaiscance musical instruments creates a perfect effect and atmosphere. I am excited of the improvisations proving the virtuosity of the musicians. The music of 17th century and theatrical music were revelation to me. I have listened to vivaldi's four seasons - and vivaldi in general - as never before. I totally recommend this set both to baroque enthusiasts and music lovers as a baroque introduction.
on 26 November 2015
Will be years before I properly assess this 10-disc boxset, but Il Giardino were the people who opened my world to period-instrument delivery of the appropriate-period music, having listened to their ( charity shop-bought) rendering of the 'Brandenbergs'. When I was 17, I was astonished to hear the madrigallian wonders of the 1970's rock group, Genesis:like nothing I'd previously known. That was 1975. In 2005, I heard Il Giardino, and for the 2nd time in my life, my musical world Turned. I cannot envisage considering this boxset anything less than a treasure***
on 5 October 2015
I'm not an assiduous collector of the Baroque period,by any means...usually,if it comes in a box set with other,romantic or classical period material,I enjoy it,but don't usually seek it out(Fournier's Bach being an exception),but seeing this,at a price I thought very reasonable,I plunged.Lucky me,the pool was full of delightful works.Believe it or not,I have no Four Seasons on CD,and I a voracious collector of music for years...and this is a great version.Bright.lively,the whole set of 11 discs crackles with exuberance,a joy to listen to,a welcome change from my usual diet of Classial/Romantic music.Money well spent,I bow to my own perspicacity.