This recording of Georg Muffat's monumental mass alongside church sonatas by his contemporaries creates a vivid impression of the imposing sacred music heard at leading Catholic courts during the High Baroque. The Abbey Church of Muri with its four galleries and its historical Bossart organs proves to be a performance venue with perfect acoustics for these polychoral works.
Produced by Quincy Jones, Dedication is the Jazz Village debut by piano prodigy Justin Kauflin. The album features twelve original compositions by Kauflin. His style embodies - without being derivative - the "quiet fire" lyricism of Bill Evans (whom Kauflin credits as his "biggest influence at age 14"), the nimble and mercurial qualities of Bud Powell, the genial melodiousness of Herbie Hancock and a bit of Dave Brubeck's gregarious percussiveness. Kauflin's side men on the album are Billy Williams on drums, Chris Smith on bass, Matt Stevens on guitar and Etan Haziza on nylon guitar. Kauflin is also the subject of the award-winning documentary Keep On Keepin' On, which chronicles his mentorship and friendship with the legendary musician and teacher Clark Terry. The film won Best New Documentary Director and the Heineken Audience Award at New York's prestigious Tribeca Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Boulder Film Festival.
When he published his two Apothéoses in memory of two great masters of music in 1724-25, François Couperin was asserting his desire to promote a meeting of the French and Italian styles – from a very Gallic point of view, naturally. The idea was to convince the French Muses that henceforth one could say sonade and cantade in their language – a strategy already pursued in the much earlier La Sultane and La Superbe. But, far from blindly imitating his idols, Couperin takes inspiration from their styles and adapts them to his own brio. The result is a delight for all to share with the musicians of Gli Incogniti and Amandine Beyer, whose first harmonia mundi recording this is.