The popular Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment presents a fantastic and exuberantly played selection of Vivaldi. Named a ‘Choice' recording by Gramophone upon release, the OAE joyfully celebrate some of Vivaldi's finest instrumental writing. The soloists are drawn from within the distinguished ranks of the OAE including Anthony Robson (oboe), Andrew Clark (horn), Roger Montgomery (horn), David Watkin (cello), Lisa Beznosiuk (flute), Elizabeth Kenny (lute) and Catherine Mackintosh (viola). The concertos assembled on this disc afford the listener a glimpse of Vivaldi's originality, not only as a sensitive colourist and master of form, but also as a felicitous melodist whose harmonies and phraseology are charged with heady atmosphere. The dancing rhythms and distinctive characters of these concerti together with the variety of instrumental combinations and sparkling performances make this a fresh and constantly engaging listen.
Avant garde. Eccentric. A maniac. Wild and adventurous. Off the wall. Extraordinary. No marketing hyperbole - this is how the players of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment describe Carl Philip Emmanuel Bach and his music. One of the many children of JS Bach, CPE Bach always lived in his father’s shadow, and now is an almost unknown figure at least beyond the classical cogniscenti. How can such an unknown be considered a gamechanger? A listen to his music reveals just why – it constantly shifts, wrongfooting the listener when they least expect it with wild changes of direction and colour – it is bright, effervescent, and is a fascinating link between the music of his father (and the Baroque era) and Joseph Haydn (and the Classical era).
Admittedly my early experience of these works was formed by the great Arthur Grumiaux' modern instrument versions, not with the ( to my ears over-romantic ) Solistes Romandes, but an earlier (I think) more incisive performance with the English Chamber Orchestra, very hard to track down, which is wonderful…
By rc_rc (Yorkshire, UK)
The unprecedented expansion of music in the age of enlightenment
The eighteenth century is probably the most extraordinary period of transformation Europe has known since antiquity. Political upheavals kept pace with the innumerable inventions and discoveries of the age; every sector of the arts and of intellectual and material life was turned upside down.
The young violinist Alina Ibragimova is already established as an admired recording artist, standing alongside great artists of the past and present with her versions of Bach and Beethoven’s violin works. She appears on this latest release with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Vladimir Jurowski (in his Hyperion premiere) in a programme which includes a classic of the concerto repertoire: Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, Op 64.
Many classical music listeners will be familiar with the name Darius Milhaud, but how familiar are they with his output? The owner of a bold, individual style, Milhaud was active for much of the 20th century, a modernist who is counted among the group of composers known as Les Six (a term coined by the music critic Henri Collet in 1920) and who was much influenced by jazz, polytonality as well as the sounds of Brazil. Bringing together many of his orchestral works, some of which are conducted by the composer himself, this release is the perfect starting-point for those wishing to become acquainted with his art.