The revival of Spanish music of the Baroque period continues moving forward into the Classical era with this premiere recording of sonatas for "violin y bajo" – violin and bass – by Juan de Ledesma. The sonatas were rediscovered only in the late 1980s, and they're very elegantly presented here in a package adorned by a reproduction of a marvelous French fan of the period. There isn't anything of earthshaking importance among the five sonatas on the disc, but they're attractive pieces with some challenges for the violinist, and both players of the instruments and those with collections of Spanish music will find the release of interest. The booklet notes by violinist Blai Justo (in English, French, and German, with Spanish and Catalan additionally available online) point to Corelli's influence, but also note the presence of the galant style of the period, and it is the latter sound, with its atmosphere of charm and its relaxed procession of contrasting two-measure phrases, that predominates. The players do well to avoid a harpsichord accompaniment, using either a combination of cello and guitar or one or the other instrument alone.
In 2015 the Berliner Philharmoniker dedicated an evening of their renowned Easter Festival in Baden-Baden to one of the most famous and beloved of German composers, Ludwig van Beethoven. Together with Bernard Haitink, a universally acclaimed authority on the works of that composer, they performed Beethoven’s exquisite expression of nature, his Symphony No. 6, the “Pastoral”. They were joined for Beethoven’s Violin Concerto by Isabelle Faust, whose interpretation of the work has enjoyed widespread acclaim.