Saturday, January 28, 2012

Awards 2011 - Baroque - Instrumental

"Venezia" - music of Rosenmüller, Legrenzi, Stradella
The Rare Fruits Council/Manfredo Kraemer

Here's some string sonatas from three composers who found themselves in Venice in the 1670s. As Catherine Moore explains in American Record Guide, "Their writing for strings drew on different traditions, advanced the evolution of string chamber music, and further cemented the violin's ascendant position as a solo and ensemble instrument". Of the disc itself she says "This is excellent in all ways", and you can rest assured that "Venezia" is not simply a history lesson. As Gary Higginson says on MusicWeb, "By its exemplary musicianship with often breath-taking virtuosity (listen especially to Stradella's Sinfonia XI), superb presentation, beautifully balanced sound-picture and sheer musical pleasure this is a disc for any lover of the baroque or of chamber music."

Telemann: Tafelmusik
Freiburger Barockorchester/Petra Müllejans, Gottfried von der Goltz
Harmonia Mundi

Rameau: Orchestral suites
Le Concert des Nations/Jordi Savall
Alia Vox

Jones: Sets of Lessons for the Harpsichord
Mitzi Meyerson

Biber: Rosary sonatas
Daniel Sepec; Hille Perl; Lee Santana; Michael Behringer

The Rare Fruits Council won this one on a technical decision over the Freiburgers. Their scores were the same - to three decimal places! I decided to go with the album that had the most 5s, which turned out to be "Venezia". So if you're gutted that Telemann didn't make the big time, well, tough luck. Take it up with the US Supreme Court. Meanwhile let us note a second appearance in this year's awards for Jordi Savall, as well as first appearances (ever!) for the labels Ambronay and Coviello.

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