Thursday, 29 August 2019

Axel Wolf - Friends of the Lute

Rating: 5/5

A delight

This is a cracking disc. It’s a collection of Baroque lute pieces by three of the finest composers for the instrument, all excellently played.

The music itself is a delight. Bach, Weiss and Baron were all great composers for the lute and this forms a pleasingly varied collection of solo pieces and duets with recorder and with harpsichord, all of which work excellently here. This is due to the fine playing of the excellent musicians; Wolf is a very fine lutenist, I already love Dorothee Oberlinger’s work and the others are just as good. If I have a tiny criticism it is that Wolf slightly overdoes the rubato and emphatic phrasing occasionally, but that’s personal taste – overall it’s a pleasure from start to finish. It’s beautifully recorded and I can recommend this disc very warmly.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Kapsberger - Intavolatura di chitarrone - Nordberg

Rating: 5/5

A very fine recording

I like this disc very much. There are some great recordings of Kapsberger by giants of the instrument like Paul O’Dette and Jakob Lindberg; I think this stands well beside them.

Jonas Nordberg plays on a wonderful-sounding citarrone, giving Kapsberger’s music a real depth and resonance. He is a fine player with quite a refined, delicate approach which works extremely well much of the time, although there are moments when a little more oomph and attack might help – but that’s just a personal feeling, really. Overall, it’s an excellently played and beautiful-sounding disc of very fine early Baroque music, with the top-quality recording one expects from BIS. Very warmly recommended.

Friday, 16 August 2019

Hume - Spirit of Gambo - Kirkby, Pandolfo, Labyrinto

Rating: 5/5

Still an excellent recording

I like this disc very much. You don’t get much better than Emma Kirkby and Paolo Pandolfo in this repertoire, Hume’s music is interesting and engaging and it’s a pleasure all round. There are now some more recent and very fine recordings of Hume (both Jordi Savall’s and Suzanne Heinrich’s discs are favourites of mine) but this remains up there with them and is very warmly recommended.

Sunday, 11 August 2019

de Croes - La Sonate Égarée - Barrocotout

Rating: 5/5

Very enjoyable

This is a very good recording. I hadn’t come across de Croes before but tried this because I like Barrocotout’s work and I’m very glad I did.

The music is delightful. It doesn’t have the depth of Bach or Handel, of course, but it’s skilful, quite varied and very pleasing in its effect – it reminds me a little of Heinichen in its feel. It is given a real glow by Barrocotout who play with virtuosity, charm and an obvious affection for the music. The recorded sound by Linn is, as you would expect, superb and it’s an all-round pleasure to listen to.

Even though the music may not be of the very greatest, I think this disc deserves five stars because it’s just so enjoyable to listen to. Warmly recommended.