Month: November 2018

2018 Holiday Gift List

Sunday Baroque gift list

 

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!

 


Six EvolutionsSIX EVOLUTIONS
Johann Sebastian Bach – 6 Unaccompanied Cello Suites
Yo-Yo Ma – cello
Sony 54652

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 LuteTHE 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 StagioniVIVALDI - LE QUATTRO STAGIONI
Vivaldi Concertos
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.


Rediscoveries from the Sara Levy CollectionJOHANN 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.


TerpsichoreTERPSICHORE – 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.


Mystery SonatasHEINRICH BIBER THE MYSTERY SONATAS
Christina Day Martinson – violin, Boston Baroque, Martin Pearlman
LINN CKD501

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 BarredNO HOLDS BARRED
Sonatas & Chamber Music by Antonio Bertali, Heinrich Biber, Johann Heinrich Schmelzer, and Johann Hermann Schein
Chatham Baroque
CB-03
 
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.


TENEBRAE RESPONSORIETOMAS LUIS DE VICTORIA - TENEBRAE RESPONSORIE
Sacred music by Tomas Luis de Victoria
Stile Antico
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.


CirclesCIRCLES
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.


THE SONATAS FOR VIOLIN HARPSICHORDJS 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.


 

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Thank you! Danke! Gracias! Köszönöm!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays! It’s not the food (since I’m not especially fond of turkey), it’s the overall spirit of the occasion. I love that we set aside time to get together with others and acknowledge the good things in our lives.

My parents hosted the family Thanksgiving gatherings when I was growing up, and those meals typically included an extended guest list of friends, too. The conversations were interesting and lively, and they provided a great example of hospitality in my formative years.  I have continued that tradition of an extended guest list, and it may be my favorite part of the holiday. Last year our Thanksgiving table included family from all over the United States, as well as local friends and colleagues, and visitors from India. It was especially fun to treat the Indian guests to their first- ever Thanksgiving meal — cranberry sauce! pumpkin pie!

This year, we will have another international group gathered around our table to share a meal and acknowledge our gratitude. The guest list includes a new colleague from Mexico, a dear friend who grew up in the UK, and our beloved 16 year old exchange student who was born in Hungary, but whose family now lives in Vienna. We look forward to the rich and interesting conversation that we know will ensue, and the connections that will be made across cultures and generations.

I hope you have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, and I hope you have the opportunity to be with others to share that feeling of community and gratitude. Thank YOU for loving music, and for listening!