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Pachelbel's Canon & Other Baroque Favorites

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Audio CD, January 11, 2005
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This recording focuses less on the music than on the performers: Andrew Parrott and the Taverner Consort, Choir and Players, which he founded 32 years ago. Under his direction, the group has achieved international acclaim and produced a large discography; this 2-CD set was compiled from its recordings of the 1980s and '90s, supplemented by a few numbers played by the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, also led by Parrott. The selections were clearly chosen to display the group to best advantage: its vocal and instrumental repertoire, technical polish, tonal beauty and balance, style, versatility, and expressiveness. The program has almost too much variety, consisting mostly of excerpts from longer works; indeed, four movements of Bach's D-major Suite are divided between the two discs. However, several concertos appear in their entirety and, in excellent performances, constitute the most substantial, musically rewarding parts of the set: Bach's Second Brandenburg Concerto, a Harp Concerto by Handel, a Flute Concerto by Vivaldi and the "Spring" and "Summer" Violin Concertos from his "Four Seasons." Other instrumental highlights include the famous Pachelbel Canon--really a set of increasingly ornate variations on a ground bass--a glorious-sounding Sonata for brass by Gabrieli and several arresting, beautiful pieces by Purcell. Some of the program's "favorites" are better known in a different guise, such as the Sinfonia from a Bach Cantata, which he adapted from the Prelude of his third Partita for unaccompanied violin. The instrumental tuning alternates between normal and low; the reason is not explained, but the difference in timbre and resonance is immediately apparent even if one does not know the work's original key. The choral selections, with and without instruments, are all wonderful. Appropriately, the program begins with the bright opening chorus of Vivaldi's Gloria and closes with the heart-breaking final one of Bach's St. John Passion. --Edith Eisler

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Gloria, for 3 solo voices, chorus, trumpet, oboe, violin (ad lib), 2 violas, 2 cellos, strings & continuo in D major, RV 589: I. Glor
  2. Canon and gigue, for 3 violins & continuo in D major, T. 337: Canon
  3. Canon and gigue, for 3 violins & continuo in D major, T. 337: Gigue
  4. Fantasia upon a ground, for 3 violins (or recorders) & continuo in D major /F major, Z. 731
  5. Abdelazer, or, the Moor's Revenge, incidental music, Z. 570: Rondeau
  6. Laetatus Sum (Psalm 121), for chorus, strings & continuo in F major, RV 607
  7. Violin Concerto, for violin, strings & continuo in E major ('La Primavera,' The Four Seasons; 'Il cimento' No. 1), Op.8/1, RV 269: I.
  8. Violin Concerto, for violin, strings & continuo in E major ('La Primavera,' The Four Seasons; 'Il cimento' No. 1), Op.8/1, RV 269: II
  9. Violin Concerto, for violin, strings & continuo in E major ('La Primavera,' The Four Seasons; 'Il cimento' No. 1), Op.8/1, RV 269: II
  10. Flute Concerto, for flute, strings & continuo in G minor ('La Notte'), Op. 10/2, RV 439: I. Largo
  11. Flute Concerto, for flute, strings & continuo in G minor ('La Notte'), Op. 10/2, RV 439: II. Presto (Fantasmi) / III. Largo
  12. Flute Concerto, for flute, strings & continuo in G minor ('La Notte'), Op. 10/2, RV 439: IV. Presto
  13. Flute Concerto, for flute, strings & continuo in G minor ('La Notte'), Op. 10/2, RV 439: V. Largo (Il sonno)
  14. Flute Concerto, for flute, strings & continuo in G minor ('La Notte'), Op. 10/2, RV 439: VI. Allegro
  15. Cantata No. 29, 'Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir,' BWV 29 (BC B8): Sinfonia (Presto)
  16. Cantata No. 147, 'Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben,' BWV 147 (BC A174): Choral. Jesus bleibet meine Freude
  17. Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068: Air
  18. Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor, BWV 1067: Menuet
  19. Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor, BWV 1067: Badinerie
  20. Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F major, BWV 1047: I. Allegro
  21. Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F major, BWV 1047: II. Andante
  22. Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F major, BWV 1047: III. Allegro assai
  23. Solomon, oratorio, HWV 67: Symphony. The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba
  24. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Sinfony. Grave - Allegro moderato
  25. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Hallelujah

Disc: 2

  1. Dixit Dominus, hymn for soloists, chorus & orchestra in G minor, HWV 232
  2. Sacrae Symphoniae: No. 6: Sonata pian e forte for 8 parts
  3. Miserere mei Deus (Psalm 51), motet for chorus
  4. Beatus Vir (I), motet for 6 voices, 2 violins, 3 violas/trombones and continuo (from Seva morale e spirituale), SV 268
  5. Harp Concerto in B flat major, Op.4/6, HWV 294: I. Andante allegro
  6. Harp Concerto in B flat major, Op.4/6, HWV 294: II. Larghetto
  7. Harp Concerto in B flat major, Op.4/6, HWV 294: III. Allegro moderato
  8. Violin Concerto, for violin, strings & continuo in G minor ('L'estate,' The Four Seasons; 'Il cimento' No. 2), Op. 8/2, RV 315: I. Al
  9. Violin Concerto, for violin, strings & continuo in G minor ('L'estate,' The Four Seasons; 'Il cimento' No. 2), Op. 8/2, RV 315: II. A
  10. Violin Concerto, for violin, strings & continuo in G minor ('L'estate,' The Four Seasons; 'Il cimento' No. 2), Op. 8/2, RV 315: III.
  11. Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary, march and canzona for orchestra, Z. 860: i. March
  12. Thou know'st, Lord (2nd setting), anthem for chorus, slidetrumpets & organ, Z. 58c
  13. Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary, march and canzona for orchestra, Z. 860: ii. Canzona
  14. Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068: Gavottes I & II
  15. Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068: Bourrée
  16. Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068: Gigue
  17. St. John Passion (Johannespassion), BWV 245 (BC D2): Chorus. Ruht wohl


Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 11, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • ASIN: B0006SSOPO
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #441,576 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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