Out of obscurity from 18th century Bohemia
Douglas C. Miller MD | Columbia, MO USA | 10/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of a 3 disc set all with the same title, featuring works of Bohemian composers within the Austrian Empire from the late Baroque on into, and mostly of, the Classical period. A few of these composers have become better known and recorded in the last 20 years, but most remain obscure except among those who seek out the works of supposedly unknown 18th century composers. It has become fashionable to claim these composers as "Bohemian" or "Czech" but they lived and worked in the musical milieu of greater Austria and knew and were known to the better known masters of that time and place. Stamitz ("Stamic") is best known for his long tenure in Mannheim, for example. The works here are all high quality, fully the equal of their contemporaries such as Bach's sons, Arne, Boyce, et alia. They may not be Haydn or Mozart, but sometimes that isn't such an easy distinction either, particularly those great masters' earlier works. I highly recommend these to anyone with an 18th century musical sensibility or an interest in the musical history of the 18th century. Just don't expect too much "baroque"."
Superb recording of relatively unknown works at great price!
Andrew Baumann | Chicago | 07/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are four CDs in the "Baroque Bohemia & Beyond" series, and I cannot recommend them highly enough. The performances are spirited and professional, the recordings clear and vivid. The series presents symphonies and concertos by a variety of Bohemian composers, all contemporaries of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven: Benda, Barta, Brixi, Dussek, Kozeluch, Linek, Reicha, Richter, Stamitz, Vanhal, and Wranicky. The "Beyond" in "Baroque Bohemia & Beyond" may refer to some of the composers' being Classical and early Romantic, not strictly Baroque. I think these may all be premier recordings! The performances seem to be historically informed although I cannot tell if the instruments are period or modern (the horns sound period to me, the oboes modern). I personally prefer period instruments, and I am very satisfied. At this price, you should buy the whole set!"