Sunday, 13 December 2015

The Frans Brüggen Edition

Rating: 5/5


This is a simply fantastic box of great music.  Frans Brüggen stopped making solo recordings over 30 years ago and many of these discs date back to the early 1960s, but they still sound great for the most part.  Brüggen was a real pioneer of the recorder and a great musician.  His sound is a little less sharply defined and crisp that some later virtuosi like Michala Petri or Pamela Thorby, for example, but it's still a real pleasure to listen to, and his interpretations remain fresh and insightful.  (There are a few exceptions for me, notably the Bach and some of the Handel recordings here which do seem a little stodgy in comparison to some more recent interpretations.) 

Frans Brüggen is now best known as a distinguished conductor of 18th Century music, but this box is a reminder of what a very, very fine player he was, too.  I have given a contents summary of the 12 discs below.  The recorded sound and digital transfers are good and this is a treasure trove of lovely music and great playing.  Very warmly recommended.

CD 1: Telemann - Recorder sonatas and fantasias

CD 2: Italian Recorder sonatas: Francesco Barsanti, Diogenio Bigaglia, Nicolas Chédeville, Archangelo Corelli, Benedetto Marcello, and Francesco Veracini

CD 3: English recorder ensemble music - William Babell, William Byrd, Robert Carr, Anthony Holborne, George Jeffreys, Thomas Morley, Andrew Parcham, Johann Christoph Pepusch, Henry Purcell, Thomas Simpson, John Taverner, and Christopher Tye

CD 4: Early Baroque Recorder Music - Giovanni Paolo Cima, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Giovanni Battista Riccio, Samuel Scheidt, and Jacob van Eyck;

CD 5: Late Baroque Chamber Music - Johann Friedrich Fasch, Jean Baptiste Loeillet, Johann Mattheson, Johann Joachim Quantz, Alessandro Scarlatti, and Telemann;

CD 6: French recorder suites - Charles  Dieupart and Hotteterre;

CD 7: French Recorder sonatas - François Couperin, Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, Philibert de Lavigne, Louis-Antoine Dornel, and Anne Danican Philidor

CD 8: Vivaldi - Chamber concertos

CD 9: Handel - Recorder sonatas

CD 10: Telemann - Concertos and overtures

CD 11: Bach - Concertos and sonatas

CD 12: Recorder concertos and sonatas - Jacques-Christophe Naudot, Giuseppe Sammartini, Handel, Loeillet, and Telemann.

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