Two of the works on this CD follow the 4 movement Classical era format while the other two show the decided influence of the Italian overture. The Spanish royal court and wealthy noblemen imported a generation of Italian musicians including Domenico Scalatti, Gaetano Brunetti and Luigi Bocherini. These composers inspired the local talent, and this disc highlights the results.
Biber's 'Rosary Sonatas' for violin and basso continuo stand alone in the violin literature and in music history, offering a unique combination of programmatic material and the use of scordatura. The cycle consists of fifteen sonatas for violin and basso continuo, and a closing Passacaglia for solo violin, composed c.1687. Through the copper engravings inserted at the head of each sonata in the manuscript depicting key moments in the lives of Christ and the Virgin Mary, the music has become associated with the Catholic Mysteries of the Rosary.
„… the release of a special audiophile treat. It is not without reason that French critics have just awarded the choir the ‘Diapason d’or’ prize.“ (K Int’l)
…And, in fact, Elias has rarely been performed with greater respect for the original than it is here under the conductor Christoph Spering, who has recorded this “sacred opera” with his New Orchestra and the Chorus Musicus Köln in Essen’s Philharmonic Hall with the composer’s “dramatic ideal” fully in mind and heart. (…) The result was in fact an oratorio in opera form and a wealth of dramaturgical elements that absolutely enthralled the public. Fresh Interpretation Just as the composer would have wanted it, Christoph Spering has selected a full chorus and a magnificently dimensioned orchestra for this recording. The New Orchestra performs on historical instruments and in the two years since its founding has gained renown as an outstanding interpreter of the music of the romantic era. (…) Brisk tempos, sharp delineation, powerful expression, and interpretive freshness are the hallmarks of this new discovery for the MDG Live label.
BGKO is a stable band that regularly performs in Barcelona and all Europe. But more than that, it’s an ever growing family of professional musicians and singers that are often invited for guests appearances. As musicians and singers from Turkey, Slovenia, Switzerland, England, Russia, Serbia, India, France, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Iran and Israel gave their contribution to the never-ending story, the BGKO brought Klezmer, Gipsy and Balkan music to all generations of Barcelona. Nevertheless, the interaction became mutual and the city became a melting pot with so many different styles and cultures to embrace, so many ears to play for, and so many dancing feet to move.
“Del Ebro al Danubio” consists of 12 striking soundscapes that serve as a bridge between different cultures that BGKO was inspired by: Romanian, Russian and Serbian gypsy songs; purifying Hungarian, Transylvanian, Klezmer and Albanian dances; contemplative melodies of Lebanese Arabic-Catalan tradition, Jewish and Bosnian sevdah.