Elegant sweet sound
J. TIMMERMAN | Lawson, NSW Australia | 06/15/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Following the delectable String Symphonies Vol.1 comes an equally delectable Vol.2, with one sinfonia by Johann Stamitz (1717-1757) and three by Franz Xaver Richter (1709-1789). Where Vol.1 covered works from 1740-1750, this one covers the period 1750-1755.
The music derives from the Mannheim Court, the most influential European court of the 18th century, with its Fine Mannheim Court Orchestra which pioneered the symphony. The inspiration for this new musical form came from the Italian or Germanic Concerto Grosso, orchestrated forms of sonatas, and operatic overtures. Each has just three movements, fast-slow-fast.
While the various movements have moderately contrasting moods, ranging from tender to fiery, the music overall is graceful, refined, delicate and overtly melodious, a kind of "lounge music" of the day.
The recording was made in a church in the Hague, Netherlands, so the acoustic is enormous. While this has the effect of reducing inner detail, it also enhances the lightness of the music, giving it something of a dream-like quality. The end result is very attractive indeed.
The New Dutch Academy is a fine new ensemble, founded in 2002, which has established itself on the period music scene very quickly. Like many such ensembles, it aims to combine research with performance. It is led by talented Australian viola player Simon Murphy."