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  • Reviews Conversazioni 1
    a practitioner as well as a patron writing librettos for operas and cantatas for composers such as Alessandro Scarlatti Ottoboni collected artworks and promising composers with equal avarice and lived well beyond his very considerable means His tastes in other directions were also far from ascetic the booklet notes for this disc tell us that he was reported to have sired over 60 children and to have decorated his bedroom with paintings of his mistresses posing as saints The programme is a refreshing mix of chamber cantatas and solo keyboard works It is instructive to hear harpsichord pieces of Domenico Scarlatti and Handel alongside each other in light of their mutual respect and even some stylistic influence on each other I also find Scarlatti sonatas easier to absorb when heard in small doses rather than en bloc as is usually the case Harpsichordist Julian Perkins is a very congenial performer who conveys an air of effortless virtuosity to this handful of well chosen works He plays two rich but contrasting instruments which are both modern copies of Italian instruments one from around 1600 and the other after Grimaldi c 1700 Handel s cantatas owed a great deal to Domenico s hated father Alessandro as do those of his contemporaries Albinoni and Caldara So again it is clever programming to hear similar works on similar themes by each of these composers The Sounds Baroque ensemble which Perkins directs takes some small liberties with the scoring in one or two works to suit its make up of flute oboe cello lute and harpsichord These admirably are acknowledged in the notes and are probably consistent with the liberty contemporary performers would have allowed themselves All the cantatas are fine examples of the Arcadian style in which the loves and losses of shepherds and shepherdesses are depicted with graceful sometimes slightly ironic charm and ingratiating melodies Perkins again shows great quality here and he is very ably partnered by lutenist Andrew Maginley and cellist Jonathan Byers who soars in Handel s continuo only Vedendo Amor The pastoral qualities of the Baroque oboe and transverse flute are well suited here and the various composers often give them delicious melodies and harmonies Oboist Joel Raymond plays an instrument he made himself modelled on a Thomas Stanesby instrument from around 1720 It has a wonderfully warm tone and Raymond s sensitive phrasing and gift for apt ornamentation are very impressive The two woodwinds blend beautifully in Caldara s Clori mia bella Clori Of course a CD consisting largely of solo cantatas will stand or fall by the quality of the soloist Happily English countertenor Andrew Radley is a fine singer and vocal dramatist he uses the voice with great intelligence and stylistic awareness including some really delightful embellishment I was very impressed with him and indeed with the whole ensemble I look forward eagerly eagerly to the promised Conversazioni II International Record Review beautifully illustrated Handel s Vedendo amor does have a clear Italian period provenance Andrew

    Original URL path: http://www.soundsbaroque.com/reviews-Conversazioni-1.html (2016-02-14)
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  • performer's perspective
    It is always a pleasure to trawl through the catalogues of libraries looking for interesting music and Julian and I have spent many a happy hour in the British Library doing just that It may be conjecture that many of the pieces we ve chosen were performed at an Ottoboni conversazione but they are certainly representative of the many shifting stylistic trends in the composition of cantatas at this time Some of the works chosen are better known than others both Handel cantatas have been recorded several times but all are testament to the incredible musical goings on of those composers who worked in or passed through Rome Why make a recording Useful as it is in terms of projecting one s work and one s name a little further afield while making a musical contribution to posterity the joy of making this disc was primarily in getting to spend time with the music and my fellow musicians As an opera singer the band is so often on the other side of the footlights met once or twice at a Sitzprobe before disappearing into the pit for stage rehearsals To be able to see and hear my friends clearly and

    Original URL path: http://www.soundsbaroque.com/perspective.html (2016-02-14)
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  • reviews
    a practitioner as well as a patron writing librettos for operas and cantatas for composers such as Alessandro Scarlatti Ottoboni collected artworks and promising composers with equal avarice and lived well beyond his very considerable means His tastes in other directions were also far from ascetic the booklet notes for this disc tell us that he was reported to have sired over 60 children and to have decorated his bedroom with paintings of his mistresses posing as saints The programme is a refreshing mix of chamber cantatas and solo keyboard works It is instructive to hear harpsichord pieces of Domenico Scarlatti and Handel alongside each other in light of their mutual respect and even some stylistic influence on each other I also find Scarlatti sonatas easier to absorb when heard in small doses rather than en bloc as is usually the case Harpsichordist Julian Perkins is a very congenial performer who conveys an air of effortless virtuosity to this handful of well chosen works He plays two rich but contrasting instruments which are both modern copies of Italian instruments one from around 1600 and the other after Grimaldi c 1700 Handel s cantatas owed a great deal to Domenico s hated father Alessandro as do those of his contemporaries Albinoni and Caldara So again it is clever programming to hear similar works on similar themes by each of these composers The Sounds Baroque ensemble which Perkins directs takes some small liberties with the scoring in one or two works to suit its make up of flute oboe cello lute and harpsichord These admirably are acknowledged in the notes and are probably consistent with the liberty contemporary performers would have allowed themselves All the cantatas are fine examples of the Arcadian style in which the loves and losses of shepherds and shepherdesses are depicted with graceful sometimes slightly ironic charm and ingratiating melodies Perkins again shows great quality here and he is very ably partnered by lutenist Andrew Maginley and cellist Jonathan Byers who soars in Handel s continuo only Vedendo Amor The pastoral qualities of the Baroque oboe and transverse flute are well suited here and the various composers often give them delicious melodies and harmonies Oboist Joel Raymond plays an instrument he made himself modelled on a Thomas Stanesby instrument from around 1720 It has a wonderfully warm tone and Raymond s sensitive phrasing and gift for apt ornamentation are very impressive The two woodwinds blend beautifully in Caldara s Clori mia bella Clori Of course a CD consisting largely of solo cantatas will stand or fall by the quality of the soloist Happily English countertenor Andrew Radley is a fine singer and vocal dramatist he uses the voice with great intelligence and stylistic awareness including some really delightful embellishment I was very impressed with him and indeed with the whole ensemble I look forward eagerly eagerly to the promised Conversazioni II International Record Review beautifully illustrated Handel s Vedendo amor does have a clear Italian period provenance Andrew

    Original URL path: http://www.soundsbaroque.com/reviews.html (2016-02-14)
    Open archived version from archive



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