Month: November 2017

2017 Holiday Gift List

Sunday Baroque gift list

 

Every year at this time, I create a list of suggestions for holiday gift giving. Starting November 19th and continuing through December, you can audition some of my recommendations from the annual Sunday Baroque Holiday Gift List.  All of us at Sunday Baroque wish you and yours a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season filled with laughter, peace and an abundance of good music!

 


 

A FANCY: FANTASY ON ENGLISH AIRS & TUNESA Fancy

Harmonia Mundi 902296

Le Caravanésrail, Rachel Redmond – soprano

Period instrument ensemble Le Caravansérail plays a lovely collection of English baroque music by composers including Matthew Locke, Christopher Gibbons, Louis Grabu, John Blow and Henry Purcell. It’s an appealing collection of charming instrumentals as well as sassy theatre songs, sung by soprano Rachel Redmond.

 

 

BACH TRIOSBach Trios

Nonesuch 558933

Yo-Yo Ma – cello, Chris Thile – mandolin, Edgar Meyer – bass

Three extraordinary musicians join forces to play music by Johann Sebastian Bach in an unusual combination of instruments. Many (but not all) of the selections are familiar favorites, and the result is satisfying and beautiful. This is one of my personal favorite recordings of 2017!

 

 

BACH SUITES FOR CELLOThomas Demenga - Bach Suites for Cello

ECM New Series 2530/31

Thomas Demenga – cello

The renowned cellist tackles the “Holy Grail” of the cello repertory for the second time. This is a lovely recording by a skilled and thoughtful musician. You can even hear my recent conversation with Thomas Demenga about this recording of Bach’s Suites, the cello he used to play them, and his approach to music making in general. It’s archived at SundayBaroque.org in the “interviews” section.

 

 

CONCERTOS OF JOSEF GURETZKYConcertos of Josef Guretzky

Chaconne CHAN 0816

The Harmonious Society of Tickle-Fiddle Gentlemen

The whimsical name of this ensemble alone should make you want to buy this CD! But if that’s not enough, it’s well worth it for these joyful, expert performances of appealing music by a not-very-well-known 18th century Czech composer. It’s a perfect CD for anyone looking to broaden their horizons!

 

 

DANIEL HOPE FOR SEASONSDaniel Hope For Seasons

Deutsche Grammophon 4796922

Daniel Hope – violin, Zurich Chamber Orchestra

Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Concertos are the cornerstone of this fine recording, which also includes music Daniel Hope considers seasonal in its own ways. Other composers on this imaginative, thematic cd include Johann Sebastian Bach, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann, and Kurt Weill. The violinist’s signature is his polished artistry, imaginative programming and sophisticated collaborations with other top musicians.

 

 

GRANDISSIMA GRAVITARachel Podger - Grandissima Gravita

Channel Classics CCSSA39217

Rachel Podger – violin, Brecon Baroque

Four world-class musicians collaborate on violin sonatas by Antonio Vivaldi, Francesco Maria Veracini, Giuseppe Tartini and Johann Georg Pisendel. Violinist Rachel Podger, cellist Alison McGillivray, theorbo player Daniele Caminiti, and harpsichordist Marcin Świątkiewicz give a joyful performance of some lovely chamber music.

 

 

REBELLES BAROQUESArion - Rebelles Baroque

Early Music EMCCD7777

Claire Guimond – flute, Alexa Raine-Wright – flute, Jean-Louis Blouin – viola, Arion Baroque Orchestra

The period instrument group Arion plays spirited music by two composers from the later years of the baroque era – Georg Philipp Telemann and Johann Joaquim Quantz. Both men pursued music against their parents’ wishes for them, and both proved their families wrong by becoming accomplished musical innovators.

 

 

DOMENICO SCARLATTIAngela Hewitt - Domenico Scarlatti Sonatas

Hyperion CDA68184

Angela Hewitt – piano

This is the second of pianist Angela Hewitt’s two (so far) volumes of Sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti. I am impressed that she is not merely plowing through Scarlatti’s Sonatas in order, like some monumental task to be completed. Instead she chose Sonatas she personally loves – it is evident in her playing, and makes for a delightful listening experience.

 

 

TELEMANN: CONCERTI PER MOLTI STROMENTIAngela Hewitt - Domenico Scarlatti Sonatas

Harmonia Mundi HMM902261

Akademie Fur Alte Musik Berlin

One of the world’s top period instrument ensembles takes on Concertos for multiple instruments by one of the most prolific composers of all time, Georg Philipp Telemann. What makes this recording extra special is that some of the featured instruments are off the beaten path, such as calchedon (a type of lute), hammer dulcimer and mandolin, in addition to more familiar instruments including oboes, horns and violins.

 

World Kindness Day

Today is (apparently) World Kindness Day. I was alerted to this by a kind friend, and in looking up the observance I learned it was established on November 13, 1997 by a consortium of humanitarian groups. They wanted to encourage people to do something kind, whether it’s donating time, money or goods to a worthy organization or person, or committing an act of kindness — large or small — for a friend or stranger.

I LOVE the idea of World Kindness Day, and the idea of kindness has been looming large in my consciousness, especially lately. In the last few days alone I have been the recipient of kind words from Sunday Baroque listeners telling me how much they enjoy the music on the program. I experienced the kindness of two extraordinarily talented musician friends who shared their artistry with an enthusiastic audience to benefit a local public radio station, AND extended the kindness of letting me perform with them. I also witnessed the kindness of a group of people — including several strangers — spending hours helping a friend search for a beloved missing pet.

Being kind is simple and inexpensive, and yet quite valuable. It benefits the recipient as well as the giver of the kindness, and it benefits society.  So I’m on a mission today to seek out ways to commit random acts of kindness, and I invite you to join me. Do something kind, witness an act of kindness, or accept an act of kindness and pass it along. Thanks for YOUR kindness!