In recent years, Emmanuelle HaÔm has achieved prominence at the helm of several baroque operas, including Monteverdiís LíOrfeo and Handelís Rodelinda and Giulio Cesare.
Although Jacobus Vaet, Antonius Galli and Pieter Maessens are little-known composers today, this impressive recording featuring their music, the debut recording by the ensemble Cinquecento, may serve as a cautionary reminder that modern familiarity is often the fruit of circumstance and not necessarily a reliable measure of artistic achievement.
The festal days of Christmas, New Yearís, St. Stephen and St. Thomas Becket are rich in musical celebration, and this recording from the Orlando Consort brings together a wide range of organa, motets, chansons, and carols to remind us of that fact.
With this recording of songs by Henry & William Lawes, musical brothers who flourished in Caroline England, countertenor Robin Blaze with lutenist Elizabeth Kenny continue their exploration of early English song for Hyperion, and the results are stunning.
The title of this recording ìJoy: the Laments of Gilles Binchoisî introduces a seeming contradiction, one that plays on a contemporaneous description of the composer as “pÈre de joyeusetË”óthe father of joyóin tension with an affinity for melancholy in his works.
This installment of John Eliot Gardinerís impressive Bach Cantata Pilgrimage comes from close to the end of his millennial Wanderjahr, presenting cantatas for Christmas week.
William Byrdís affinity for the Latin motet found various outlets.
The large number of recordings of Bachís Mass in B minor predispose one to look for distinctions between them.
In 1851 during his first season as music director in D¸sseldorf, Robert Schumann presented a performance of Bachís St. John Passion, and unsurprisingly adapted the score both to nineteenth-century taste and nineteenth-century practicalities.
The centrality of dance at the French court helped bring grace, order, and political allegory into the characteristic prominence they enjoyed during the reigns of Louis XIV and Louis XV; theatre presentations of all stripes were infused with choreographic diversions.