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Overturen: Overtures From the Hamburg Opera [Import]

Berlin Akademie für Alte Musik Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 32 Songs, 2007 $8.99  
Audio CD, Import, 2005 --  

Product Details

  • Performer: Berlin Akademie für Alte Musik
  • Audio CD (May 10, 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi s.a.
  • ASIN: B0007KT0PE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,911 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I. Overture
2. II. Menuet
3. III. Ballet-Entre
4. IV. Gigue
5. V. Staccato
6. VI. Ballet I
7. VII. Ballet II
8. VIII. Gigue
9. I. Overture
10. II. Air Gavotte
11. III./IV. Air Menuet I/II
12. V. Air Bourree
13. VI. Air Courante
14. VII. Air Entree
15. VIII. Air Gavotte
16. IX. Air Traquenard
17. X. Air Lentement
18. Le Ridicule Prince Jodelet
19. I. Overture
20. II. Chaconne
See all 32 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

This CD of unusual music is vastly entertaining. With the exception of Handel, who is represented by a suite of dances from his first opera, Almira, the composers whose music is played here are obscure or downright unknown. Johann Christian Schieferdecker's Chaconne is elegance itself; a composer named Erlebach proves himself full of fun in a sprightly dance; Reinhard Keiser's Ridicule Prince Jodelet has a type of energy--and is played with such verve (as are all the selections here)--that it will make you smile. All of these pieces are dispatched with great rhythmic dynamism and the players of the Akademie fur Alte Musik sound as if they're having great fun. So will you--and it's all so new! --Robert Levine

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Knocked my socks off May 17, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I wasn't expecting this kind of reaction at all. I thought, here's another nice little release from ever adventurous Harmonia Mundi dedicated to little known music by even lesser known composers of the Hamburg musical establishment; lovely, but, ultimately, forgettable. Wrong, wrong, wrong. True that, with the exception of Handel and, to a lesser degree, Keiser, these composers won't ring any bells in the minds of even the more knowledgeable classical music lover, but that is of little importance here. On every level, this disc pleases. The music is wonderful in all respects, with catchy melodies, counterpoint, orchestration and abounding with fresh and clever ideas. Akademie fur Alte Musick Berlin's playing is wholly committed and they imbue these works with a sense of musical relevance and merriment that is both admirable and downright infectious and if that weren't enough, the vibrancy and warmth of the recording just bathes the music in splendid colors. Everything sparkles like multifaceted jewels caught in a flood of lights. This release is a MUST HAVE for any lover of baroque music and if what is featured on this disc is any indication of the level artistry common at the Hamburg Opera, I, for one, say bring on the other composers, because these are genuine treats.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh Sounds from the Eighteenth Century December 13, 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Here is the perfect antidote to the ho-hum-not-another-unknown-Baroque-composer blues. If you like Baroque music but think you may have heard it all, then give a listen to this CD from Alte Musik Berlin. The music is elegant, attractive, colorful, and a host of other desirable adjectives. With the exception of the Sinfonia to Reinhard Keiser's "Le Ridicule Prince Jodelet," which, to match its subject matter, is wacky, with lots of unpredictable stops and starts and a couple of pretty but irrelevant appearances of the famous melody known as La Folia di Spagna. It's in the same vein as Haydn's equally wacky Symphony No. 60, "Il distratto."

However, the other adjectives apply in spades to the gallant Suite from "Ludovicus Pius" by Schurmann and the stately dances from "Almira," written by the well-known G. F. Handel as a twenty-year-old, while he was working briefly at the Hamburg Opera. This was just prior to departing for his important musical apprenticeship in Italy and long before he ever set foot in England.

In a slightly older style and influenced by French models, chiefly Lully, P. H. Erlebach's Ouverture no. 4 is more unbuttoned than much of Lully's music. Or maybe that is just thanks to the unbuttoned, indeed robust playing of Alte Musik Berlin, who throw themselves into this music as if it had been written for them. Though numbering only nineteen, these musicians make a big, rich sound at least as reproduced by the Harmonia Mundi engineers working in a Berlin studio. There is no studio dryness to the sound but a fine sense of space and stereo spread, as well as fine presence to the percussion played in show-stealing fashion by Micahel Metzler.

This recording has won much praise from the critics, and I can see why. It is a success on every score.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All Smiles September 4, 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I heard a review of this album on National Public Radio, with samples of the content, that was intriguing enough to make me buy it. Good decision. I got the album yesterday and played it on my car stereo on an hour-long trip. I was smiling all the way down to road.

Although these works, and all but one of the composers (a 20 year-old Handel) are obscure, the musicianship on this album is superb. If the work had been played as competently in their heyday, they may not have become so unknown.

Buy it and see.
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