After decades during which the unaccompanied violin sonatas and partitas of Bach stood alone, regarded by all but specialists as rather freakish musical occurrences, recent years have seen a growth of interest in the virtuoso violin repertory of the Baroque. Composers like Biber, Pisendel, and Tartini have all shown up with increasing frequency on concert programs and recordings.
It's hard to believe this CD was done with only a violin, viola da gama and harpsichord. This is polyphonic music at its finest. It does tribute to Buxtehude, who preceded Bach. The ensemble is perfect - the instruments complement each other. When they go from slow to fast, it is remarkable to hear the contrast. These are expert musicians with a complete mastery of their instruments. They use loud-soft as easily as any masters of the Baroque. The result is joyous, lively and entertaining.
These two discs contain Leclair's 12 sonatas for two unaccompanied violins en duo. He produced them in two sets of six, the earlier one, Op. 3, dating from 1730, the later one from 1747-9. Barely a handful have previously been recorded, so these new issues make an important addition to the baroque catalogue. Leclair more than any of his French contemporaries implemented the technical developments in violin playing which were taking place in Italy in the hands of the post-Corelli generation.
The violin was perhaps the most popular instrument of the 17th century. It turns up in nearly every Baroque instrumental genre, including the solo sonata, the concerto, and the immensely popular trio sonata (for two violins, often complimented by harpsichord, organ, or theorbo). Much less common, but equally compelling, are pieces for three violins with some sort of plucked or strummed accompaniment.
This previously unreleased 3LP was recorded live at Earls Court, London on the 30th June and 1st July, 1978 by Tony Visconti. It was mixed by David and David Richards at Mountain Studios, Montreux from 17th – 22nd January, 1979.
This black vinyl 45 rpm 12” single features the first appearance of the full length demo of ‘Let’s Dance’, previously released in an edited form through digital download and streaming services for David’s birthday on 8th January this year. The full length version clocks in at 7.34, compared the edit which is 5.19 in length. Both versions were mixed by Nile Rodgers (original co-producer of the demo with David) in December of last year. The demo is backed by the live version of ‘Let’s Dance’, which was recorded live at Pacific National Exhibition Coliseum in Vancouver on 12th September 1983 and mixed by Bob Clearmountain. This version can be seen on the Serious Moonlight concert film, and was also previously available on the reverse of the Australian David Bowie Is exhibition as an exclusive yellow vinyl 7” single. The sleeve of the 12” single is a colour variation of the original Let’s Dance single cover.
A Sea Without Memory is David Helpling’s first ever solo ambient guitar album. The music, created live using only electric guitar and a series of custom programmed effects processors, is the culmination of the signature ambient guitar sound he has been refining throughout his entire career. A Sea Without Memory is a sharing, a story in watercolor told through the deep and textured hues of ambient guitar. Melancholy, shimmering and wondrous, this experience is not a journey, but rather an unfolding of events that approach, surround, then move beyond the listener, delivering a constant flow of dreamlike moments that slowly dissolve into the next wave of sound. Be still in the space, and let A Sea Without Memory slowly color your world.