Andrea Zani – Divertimenti for Violin & Cello – Lena Neudauer, Martin Rummel (2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/88,2kHz]

Andrea Zani – Divertimenti for Violin & Cello – Lena Neudauer, Martin Rummel (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 01:26:30 minutes | 1,51 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: ProStudioMasters | Digital Booklet | © Capriccio
Recorded: 9-11 December 2014, 4tune Studio, Vienna, Austria

With great likelihood – at least as far as it can be said almost 300 years later – these twelve duos for violin and cello without accompanying continuo of 1734 are the earliest works with this instrumentation in which the violin and cello parts enjoy equal rights. The fact that Zani is largely forgotten today is probably due to the circumstance that his music has mainly been preserved in handwritten form and has hardly been accessible through recordings. Recently, the cello concertos (Capriccio CD C5145) and a few violin concertos have been re-discovered, but a large number of other treasures are still slumbering in different monastery and palace libraries throughout Europe. In these duos, we can experience the minimal form of chamber music with the maximal entertainment value. Andrea Zani is a composer whose name is worth noting and from whom it is to be hoped that many more treasures can be recovered.

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Johan Joachim Agrell – Orchestral Works – Aapo Hakkinen, Helsinki Baroque Orchestra (2010) [Official Digital Download 24bit/88,2kHz]

Johan Joachim Agrell – Orchestral Works – Aapo Hakkinen, Helsinki Baroque Orchestra (2010)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 01:16:39 minutes | 1,3 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Q0buz | Digital Booklet | © Aeolus
Recorded: IX/2008, Sellosali, Espoo

Johan Agrell was in many ways a traveler between the worlds: in Uppsala, the Swede’s great talent was recognized by the Hessian envoy, which resulted in Agrell being summoned to a court near Kassel in Germany. He later went as municipal chapel-master to Nuremberg.

Musically, Agrell was a brilliant Baroque composer in whose works many of the new early Classical trends were anticipated. This CD thus continues the series of AEOLUS releases that feature the orchestral music of this exciting period, a series that has already very successfully presented works by Fasch, Hertel, and Molter.
The Helsinki Baroque Orchestra is a shining star of Finland’s musical life. The young musicians around the harpsichordist Aapo Häkkinen appear year after year throughout Europe. Further releases on AEOLUS are in preparation.

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A Wondrous Mystery: Renaissance Choral Music for Christmas – Stile Antico (2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/88,2kHz]

A Wondrous Mystery: Renaissance Choral Music for Christmas – Stile Antico (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 01:12:51 minutes | 1,25 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Q0buz | Digital Booklet | © Harmonia Mundi
Recorded: February, 2015 at All Hallows’ Church, Gospel Oak, London.

Stile Antico’s 2015 release on Harmonia Mundi, A Wondrous Mystery, is a sublime collection of Renaissance choral music for Christmas, presented in a pleasant mix of familiar German carols and a mass, with tracks interspersed for the sake of variety. This makes sense in consideration of the group’s broad audience, which may know such popular hymns as Michael Praetorius’ Ein Kind geborn in Bethlehem and Es ist ein Ros entsprungen, or Johannes Eccard’s Übers Gebirg Maria geht and Vom Himmel hoch, yet be somewhat at a loss with the motet and Missa Pastores quidnam vidistis by Jacobus Clemens non Papa, a composer beloved by early music specialists but not exactly a household name for lay listeners. However, the a cappella performances are consistently beautiful and soothing throughout, and the quietly joyous mood of the music fits the album’s title perfectly. The 12-voice choir’s blend is well-balanced and transparent, and the ambience of All Hallow’s Church, Gospel Oak, London gives an ideal resonance for the group’s small size and close miking. –AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson

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Johann Sebastian Bach – Harpsichord Concertos, Vol. 1 – Aapo Hakkinen, Helsinki Baroque Orchestra (2012) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Johann Sebastian Bach – Harpsichord Concertos, Vol. 1 – Aapo Hakkinen, Helsinki Baroque Orchestra (2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:05:27 minutes | 1,28 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Q0buz | Digital Booklet | © Aeolus
Recorded: V/2010, Sellosali, Espoo. BWV 971: St Catherine’s Church, Karjaa

In 2012, too, there are prominent treasures to be found: Aapo Häkkinen plays Bach’s Concertos for solo harpsichord and strings – the crown jewels of the harpsichord and piano literature – on a 16’ harpsichord, that is to say, an instrument with an additional, very low sounding register. Although Bach probably used a similar harpsichord himself, this is the first recording of this cycle of works on an instrument of this kind built in a historical manner!

Vol. 2 will contain: BWV 1054, 1055, and 1057. The Helsinki Baroque Orchestra plays one on a part, and is obliged to the best Baroque traditions. As an “encore,” so to speak, the CD also contains Bach’s famous Italian Concerto for harpsichord solo – on the 16’ instrument, it is an amazing sonic experience!

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Johann Sebastian Bach – Harpsichord Concertos, Vol. 2 – Aapo Hakkinen, Helsinki Baroque Orchestra (2013) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Johann Sebastian Bach – Harpsichord Concertos, Vol. 2 – Aapo Hakkinen, Helsinki Baroque Orchestra (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:02:23 minutes | 1,17 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Q0buz | Digital Booklet | © Aeolus
Recorded: IX/2011, Church of the Holy Cross, Rauma. Fk 40: V/2010, St Catherine’s Church, Karjaa.

Aapo Häkkinen concludes the cycle of concertos for solo harpsichord and strings. Like in volume 1, he plays a 16’ harpsichord.

That is to say, an instrument with an additional, very low sounding register. Although Bach probably used a similar harpsichord himself, this is the first recording of this cycle of works on an instrument of this kind built in a historical manner! Häkkinen, harpsichordist and director of the ensemble, convinces not only by means of this sonority, but also though his musical powers of imagination and the precision of his articulation.

The Helsinki Baroque Orchestra plays one on a part, and is obliged to the best Baroque traditions. This time the CD contains as a “solo encore,” so to speak, the Fantasia BWV 906 as well as a Concerto for harpsichord solo by Bach’s son Wilhelm Friedemann.

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