An extraordinary enterprise … As an experience of the sounds and styles of French organ culture this boxed set, it seems to me, is indispensable … the body of music is mostly, here, not created but simply made alive by the apt choice of instruments … it is a resource to which to return with delight.
Gossec made an important contribution to the development of French symphonic music and played a central role in Parisian musical life for almost three-quarters of a century. The opera 'Le Triomphe de la République' was composed in 1793 folowing the French Revolution and wonderfully demonstrates the musical movement that France experienced following the change in political climate. Music was recognized as a medium for the diffusion of new ideas and 'Le Triomphe de la République' was a case in point. It was written in the wake of popular enthusiasm at the news of the army's victory at the battle of Vlamy in 1792 against the anti-French troops led by the Duke of Brunswick. It features folk music and popular dances of the day reflecting a kind of life quite distinct from that of intellectual, aristocratic society. This is an opera that can be seen as redefining music for the new age; the awareness that new relationships were being formed within society as a whole is expressed stylistically by multi-levelled metaphors, and also by the interaction of different kinds of sound. I Barocchisti have a worldwide reputation for reviving vocal and instrumental works of the Baroque period and have earned worldwide success with live performances and recordings. Swiss conductor Diego Fasolis has received glowing reviews for his previous releases with this ensemble.
Recorded between 1972 and 1976, The Golden Age of French Organ Music is one of the most comprehensive anthologies ever dedicated to the instrument. On it Andre Isoir surveys music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a period in which the French organ school matured in the service of the Roman Catholic Church.
To create a sense of the Venetian liturgical celebrations attendant on the birth of Louis XIV in 1638, Benjamin Chénier and the Galilei Consort have constructed a sumptuous performance from various works composed by Giovanni Gabrieli, Giovanni Rovetta, Giovanni Antonio Rigatti, Claudio Monteverdi, and Giovanni Bassano. Rovetta had been chosen by Louis XIII to assemble the singers and instrumentalists, and his Kyrie, Gloria, and Credo from the Messa e Salmi Concertati form the core of this historical simulation, which is completed by a Sanctus and Agnus Dei by Rigatti, and various instrumental pieces and motets.
During the 1750s Niccolo Piccinni was one of the most popular opera composers at the major houses in Rome and Naples - but of the more than one hundred works he wrote for stage, most have fallen into oblivion. His greatest enduring success was the buffo opera La Cecchina, which enjoyed its premiere performance in Rome in 1760. The libretto was written by the Venetian poet Carlo Goldoni, based on the Samuel Richardson novel Pamela published in 1740. Piccinni's opera was pioneering in terms of style and helped establish his fame far beyond Italy's borders. Although the composer stayed true to the traditional form, he replaced the caricaturing and parodying depiction of the characters with an affectionate, sensitive and very human interpretation.