Every year at this time, I create a list of suggestions for holiday gift giving. Starting November 25th 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!
Johann Sebastian Bach – 6 Unaccompanied Cello Suites
Yo-Yo Ma – cello
Johann Sebastian Bach’s 6 unaccompanied cello suites are the “holy grail” for all serious cellists. They are technically demanding and musically complex and intricate. This is cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s third recording of Bach’s cello suites; all three recordings are masterful, and this fresh approach is a welcome and highly appealing addition to your collection.
THE CELTIC LUTE
Turlough O’Carolan, Traditional Irish, Traditional Scottish – lute solos
Ronn McFarlane – lute
Sono Luminus DSL-92225
Ronn McFarlane is one of the world’s foremost lute players. He plays his own thoughtful arrangements of these lovely Irish and Scottish solos. It’s charming, lilting and intimate.
VIVALDI - LE QUATTRO STAGIONI
Rachel Podger – violin, Brecon Baroque
Channel Classics 40318
As a baroque music expert, violinist Rachel Podger approaches Antonio Vivaldi’s Concertos with confidence and flair. She collaborates with her colleagues in Brecon Baroque to perform Vivaldi’s beloved Four Seasons concertos, as well as three other Vivaldi concertos: Concerto RV270 IL RIPOSO PER IL S.S. NATALE, Concerto RV271 L’AMOROSO and Concerto RV208 IL GROSSO MOGUL.
JOHANN GOTTLIEB JANITSCH REDISCOVERIES FROM THE SARA LEVY COLLECTION
Sonatas by Janitsch
Tempesta di Mare
Chandos CHAN 0820
Johann Gottlieb Janitsch was one of the top musicians who worked for King Frederick of Prussia. Although much of the German composer’s music was lost during World War II, some of his music survived and was preserved thanks to a woman named Sara Levy, a harpsichordist who had an extensive collection of baroque era music. Tempesta di Mare Chamber Players plays Janitsch’s music from Sara Levy’s archives.
TERPSICHORE – APOTHEOSE DE LA DANSE BAROQUE
Music by Jean-Féry Rebel and Georg Philipp Telemann
Le Concert des Nations, Jordi Savall
Alia Vox 9929
Dance is a significant part of the baroque repertory, and French baroque dance music is especially charming and cheery. This November 2018 release features happy and upbeat music that is just a bit off the beaten track.
HEINRICH BIBER THE MYSTERY SONATAS
Christina Day Martinson – violin, Boston Baroque, Martin Pearlman
Christina Day Martinson is concertmaster of the period instrument group BOSTON BAROQUE, which is led by Martin Pearlman. Their recent recording of Heinrich Biber’s 15 Sonatas on the Mysteries of the Rosary was a “spiritual journey” for Christina Day Martinson that yielded a satisfying listening experience.
NO HOLDS BARRED
Sonatas & Chamber Music by Antonio Bertali, Heinrich Biber, Johann Heinrich Schmelzer, and Johann Hermann Schein
NO HOLDS BARRED is Chatham Baroque’s recording of music written in the so-called “fantastic style” which was an improvisational and virtuosic style of music-making. These are spirited performances of interesting yet less well-known baroque music.
TOMAS LUIS DE VICTORIA - TENEBRAE RESPONSORIE
Sacred music by Tomas Luis de Victoria
Harmonia Mundi HMM 902272
The British vocal group Stile Antico sings music by 16th century Spanish composer TOMAS LUIS DE VICTORIA – his music for the Christian observance of holy week. Beautiful, ethereal and uplifting.
Concertos by Bach + Glass
Simone Dinnerstein – piano, A Far Cry
Orange Mountain Music 0127
Pianist Simone Dinnerstein has a special affinity for Johann Sebastian Bach’s music – hearing the genius in the way the composer deviates from the expected, and is expressive and soulful in unusual ways. This recording juxtaposes Bach’s Keyboard Concerto #7 with a concerto by contemporary composer Philip Glass written especially for her. The Boston area group A FAR CRY is also featured.
JS BACH: THE SONATAS FOR VIOLIN AND HARPSICHORD
Sonatas for violin and harpsichord
Rachel Barton Pine – violin, Jory Vinikour – harpsichord
Cedille CDR 90000 177
Violinist Rachel Barton Pine and harpsichordist Jory Vinikour enjoy international careers as soloists, chamber musicians, and ensemble collaborators. They recently teamed up to record Johann Sebastian Bach’s Sonatas for violin and Harpsichord, and the warmth of their personal friendship shines through in these fine performances.