”Division-Musick“ is a term used by Christopher Simpson during the 17th century to describe a typically English improvisatory style of diminution. Musicians generally used short bass melodies called grounds as the basis for intricate and virtuoso diminutions, beginning with simple and slow melodies over a bass melody, and ending with very fast and virtuosic diminutions after a varying number of repetitions of the melody. Both singers and instrumentalists practiced this art of diminution, but the preferred instrument for divisions was the so-called ”division viol“. This CD aims to give some audible insight into English virtuosity in the Baroque era.
La Guitarra Española is the second solo album from William Carter. This recording explores the fascinating music of Spanish guitar legend Santiago de Murcia who successfully fused the popular and art music of the early 1700s.
…While his works are often extraordinarily difficult, their virtuosity rises out of a desire to express rather than amaze; here a lightening quick leap of the bow to portray the fury of a princess scorned; there a fiendishly painful trill to mimic diabolical laughter. It is this intense pictorial inward gaze which seems at least as strong as his desire to create ‘brave sport' that sets him somewhat apart from his colleagues…
Tenor Scott Hamilton hit the scene on the 70s, playing in the classic style of Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins. In 1977, he recorded his debut album for Concord Records, with whom he would have a long recording career. Hamilton formed his own quintet in the early 1980s and developed a style that was very much his own. Backed by Rossano Sportiello on piano, Hassan Shakur on bass and Chuck Riggs on drums, this set from Smalls Live is one of Hamilton's best.
"…Many excellent recordings of this monumental work cater for different tastes and priorities. Some have more consistent line-ups of soloists, equally impressive choirs (of varying sizes) and comparably strong artistic direction. Although an excellent one voice-per-part version is nothing new, Butt's insightful direction and scholarship, integrated with the Dunedin's extremely accomplished instrumental playing and consort singing, amount to an enthralling and revelatory collective interpretation of the Mass in B minor - perhaps the most probing since Andrew Parrott's explosive 1985 version" ~Grammophone
This wonderful new recording of the St Matthew Passion is the first to adopt Bach's final revisions to the score as performed in 1742. Most casual listeners may not be able to identify the departure in scoring from the most commonly performed 1736 version: which amounts to the replacement of organ with harpsichord in the second orchestra, and an additional viola da gamba in a recitative and aria. However, where this recording really stands out is in the size of the vocal forces. A total of eight singers are employed, therefore providing just four voices for each of the two choirs. This arrangement clearly has potential disadvantages for those of us raised on the full chorus monumental direction from the likes of Richter and Klemperer…
…I found this recording improved in power and nuance on each repeated hearing. With sets of the nocturnes available from such great figures as Rubinstein and Arrau, it may seem presumptuous to recommend a set by someone with the comparatively low profile of François Chaplin. Yet I think I honestly can say that I rarely have enjoyed these pieces so much, while the sound engineering is something to rejoice in. Clearly we need to hear more from François Chaplin, so compelling is his artistry.