Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Francesco Geminiani, Arcangelo Corelli, Andrew Manze|
Geminiani: Concerti Grossi (after Corelli Op 5) /AAM * Manze
Francesco Geminiani (born 1687 in Lucca, Italy; died 1762 in Dublin), a pupil of Corelli and one of the greatest violinists of his day, wrote a lot of music for his instrument, as well as a treatise on playing it. He made ... more »
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Francesco Geminiani (born 1687 in Lucca, Italy; died 1762 in Dublin), a pupil of Corelli and one of the greatest violinists of his day, wrote a lot of music for his instrument, as well as a treatise on playing it. He made the orchestration of these 12 sonatas in tribute to his teacher, who would certainly have been proud if he had lived to hear them. Going far beyond mere arrangements, they seem to explore and reveal latent or unrealized intentions, adding sonorities and contrapuntal voices, enhancing character and expression. The most striking example is the famous "La Follia," where the usually hidden drama is suddenly released with a tumultuous virtuosity that foreshadows Liszt's orchestral version of Schubert's Wanderer Fantasy. The playing is stunning. Tuned a half-tone down, the strings have a lovely, pure, transparent sound that supports and surrounds the soloist with a warm shimmer; the long notes float, the fast movements are crisp and light, the rhythm and counterpoint are clear. Andrew Manze, who also writes informative, entertaining program notes, plays with spectacular virtuosity, a beautiful tone, and all-out expressive abandon and imagination, letting loose cascades of infinitely varied, inventive ornamentation. The second disc features the easier, more familiar sonatas, loved by all violin students, but transformed here into brilliant concertos. One of them is added to the first disc in Geminiani's ornamented version for violin and cello, while a cello sonata by Geminiani himself closes the program, perhaps a miscalculation, since the music is distinctly inferior to Corelli's. --Edith Eisler
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Excellent, beautifully done, great recording
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When an album is highly praised and recommended, I am normally skeptical. Like with new films, the critics tend to praise what isn't praiseworthy, making one wonder if good reviews aren't bought rather than earned through honest merit. This could not be so in this case -- as advertised, this album is superb. As the reviews overwhelmingly state, the presentation is really lovely -- Manze keeps the liveliness of the Concerto Grossi, upholding the spirit of the baroque, while also bringing an ethereal emotion to each piece. Dominant in the soundtrack are the violin counterposed with a subtle harpsichord, and in between the two instruments are the full range of the chamber orchestra. The sound is crisp and clear on this recording -- the louder you play it, the more dynamic and truly beautiful the music gets. Anyone fond of Baroque will find this a must-have album, while if you've never encountered Baroque composers, this is a good place to start, the presentation being really excellent and charming."
Amazing...and I don't even like Baroque music
Moses Alexander | Alabama, USA | 08/23/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I must echo the previous reviewer's statement that if you aren't a fan of baroque, that this is a good place to start. For the most part, I've never found baroque music appealing. I've always gone for Shostakovich, Ravel, Debussy, Prokofiev, Takemitsu, Dvorak, Arvo Part, John Tavener, Tan Dun, etc. I then heard Geminiani Concerto no. 12 "Follia" and nearly came undone. Violinist Andrew Manze is one of the most inspired violinists I've ever heard. His playing and leadership with the impeccable Academy of Ancient Music is awe-inspiring. The only reason I knew who Academy of Ancient Music was is because of their recent commissions by John Tavener. This disc is passionate when need be, subtle when called for and every thing else appropriate to the moment.Enough good can't be said about these two discs: strong music, strong playing, strong production/sound. Worth every penny...and that's saying a lot from a lover of 20th century music. Run, don't walk to get this."
Repleat with complexity and drama ... UNBELIEVABLE
LizGraphix | Los Angeles, CA | 10/29/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was driving back from Caramoor one Sunday when I heard a piece from this recording. That is when I decided to turn down a road I hadn't been don before just so I could listen to the whole thing. As soon as I got home I was on WQXRs playlist trying to determine what it was I had been listening to.You do not have to be a fan of the Baroque to appreciate this recording ... I don't think you even need to have an appreciation of classical music. And, if you love Vivaldi - you will truly fall for this.There is something very special about an entire orchestra playing on period instruments and hearing the music - not just note-for-note but, with the same sound it would have been head in when it was originally written. The Academy of Ancient Music is truly a treasure among orchestras worldwide."