The Deutsche Schalmey has occupied a shadowy place in music history, not quite a shawm, not quite an oboe. This disk gives it a real existence, and presents it very pursuasively, with well played, idiomatic music. The sound is what you would expect with characteristics of the oboe and shawm mixed together.
In collaboration with the Opéra de Nice and with the Ensemble Baroque de Nice, Dynamic releases a Vivaldian rarity, Rosmira Fedele, first staged at Venice’s Teatro Sant’Angelo on 27th January 1738. Written on a libretto by Silvio Stampiglia, Rosmira Fedele is the last opera by Vivaldi that has come down to us. Written three years before the composer’s death, this work heralds the end of one of the most fertile theatrical careers in the history of music.
On the model of Dorilla in Tempe (1734) and Bajazet (1735), and unlike the compilations of fashionable arias which were mechanically produced, then, by many composers, Rosmira is a pastiche - a wide-spread practice in that day, and one which was considered artistically valid, according to Vivaldi’s own words; many parts, however, were written ex novo, with the Venetian composer keeping for himself the best passages of the opera, from a musical and dramatic point of view.
French harpsichordist Olivier Baumont has distinguished himself as a performer and scholar, specializing in French Baroque repertoire. He took up the harpsichord without learning piano first, sharing his family's love for French history of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He studied with Kenneth Gilbert and Huguette Dreyfus and worked with Gustav Leonhardt in his master classes in Cologne.
Five centuries, seven languages, and six singers with 35 years of remarkable experience inform this rare collection of choral music. In the world-renowned King's Singers resplendent voices, ancient and modern choral music comes to life with all the blazing immediacy and timeliness of the gospel of the nativity. With 25 pieces of music–ranging from familiar works such as "Coventry Carol" to the obscure Tchaikovsky piece "The Crown of Roses"–the King's Singers move through this hallowed and festive set with the vocal mastery that only three-and-a-half decades of accomplished work together is capable of creating. A number of contemporary carols written in the last century by composers such as John McCabe, Philip Lawson, John Rutter, and others are balanced by pieces by Bach and a host of traditional works. Lawson's "You Are the New Day," performed with a string quartet, stands out as one of the more notable performances. Like most of their music throughout Christmas, it reminds listeners that the art of music often interprets divine aspects gladly realized here on Earth.