Much of Bach’s organ music was written during the earlier part of his career, culminating in the period he spent as court organist at Weimar. Among many well-known compositions we may single out the Dorian Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 538, the Toccata, Adagio and Fugue, BWV 564, Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542, Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582, Prelude and Fugue “St Anne”, BWV 552 (in which the fugue theme resembles the well-known English hymn of that name), Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565, and the Toccata and Fugue in F, BWV 540. Chorale preludes are compositions for organ that consist of short variations on simple hymn tunes for all seasons of the church year. Better-known melodies used include the Christmas In dulci jubilo, BWV 608, Puer natus in Bethlehem, BWV 603, the Holy Week Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 625, and the Easter Christ ist erstanden, BWV 627, as well as the moving Durch Adam’s Fall ist ganz verderbt, BWV 637, and the familiar Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645, and Nun danket alle Gott, BWV 657.
Between 1999 and 2006, the legendary baroque music specialist Ton Koopman brought together a stunning array of singers to record the complete cantatas of J.S. Bach alongside his own Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir. Released originally mostly in 3-CD sets, this wonderful cycle is available in its entirety. The 67 separate CDs have now been gathered together in a box with a booklet that includes a complete tracklisting and information about each recording.
Spanish and Portuguese organs are celebrated for their excellent trumpets (en chamade), but their splendid flutes, prestants, cornets, and reeds are less widely known. From the second half of the 17th century, organists in Spain and Portugal delighted in recreating the sounds of the battlefield on their instruments. The batalha has a simple harmonic structure; its interest lies principally in the stirring rhythm.
If only for his melodic genius, Handel would have been forever acknowledged as one of history's greatest composers. These delightful sonatas for recorder provide abundant evidence to support that claim, and Marion Verbruggen's warm, resonant recorder and brilliant flute prove the perfect partners for bringing these rarely heard pieces to life.
La Resurrezione, composed in Rome in 1708, was Handel’s first oratorio on a sacred theme. The soloists take the roles of an Angel, Mary Magdalene, Mary Cleophas, St John and Lucifer, who are portrayed in vivid operatic terms with the help of a lavishly-scored orchestra. The distinguished Dutch keyboard-player and conductor Ton Koopman (b.1944) founded the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra in 1979. The group consists of internationally renowned baroque specialists. Conductor and orchestra are joined here by singers acknowledged as leading specialists in the baroque repertoire.
Audio quality of this German Archiv recording is noticeably pleasant to the ear. Louder parts do not have the accompanying outbursts of digital junk noise typically present in many digital recordings; it's just pure sweet music. Archiv did this one right. Recommended for the high audio quality. Every piece is a masterpiece played with verve and energy.
This beautiful recording, once long out-of-print, is now remastered in high definition multi-channel hybrid SACD, and is the first album made by Jordi Savall for the Astrée label, now reissued on Alia Vox. With this rare 1975 disc, Savall confirmed François Couperin as a master composer for viola da gamba with affinities to the previous masters of French music. On the recording Mr. Savall plays an authentic 7-string bass viol, anonymously constructed in 17th century France. He is joined by musicians Ton Koopman playing a Gilbert des Ruisseaux harpsichord built in the late 17th century and Ariane Maurette playing a Barak Norman bass viol constructed in London in 1697. Couperin’s music for these colorful instruments is marvelous, contemplative and beguiling. The highly collectible album, a must-have of the Savall oeuvre, is now available again and features a very informative booklet.
Als die Bachforschung Mitte der 80er Jahre beweisen konnte, dass nicht Die Kunst der Fuge, sondern die Zusammenstellung der H-Moll-Messe Bach in seinen letzten Lebensjahren beschäftigt hat, rückte der theologische Aspekt im Schaffen Bachs, den man zwischenzeitlich als in den späten Leipziger Jahren zunehmend bedeutungslos sehen wollte, wieder ins Zentrum der Betrachtung. Freilich besteht die Messe zum größten Teil aus schon vorher in anderen Zusammenhängen komponierten Einzelteilen, aber sie erfuhren zum Zeitpunkt der Kompilation teilweise grundlegende Umgestaltung. Zumindest das "Et incarnatus est" ist jedoch eine sehr späte, möglicherweise sogar die letzte Komposition Bachs. Sie steht in der Messe neben dem "Crucifixus", der Kontrafaktur eines Satzes aus der frühen Kantate BWV 12: Frühe und späteste Schichten im Schaffen Bachs fügen sich völlig bruchlos aneinander.