Incomparably joyous and sparkling, these six pieces can claim to be both the greatest of baroque instrumental works and, with the possible exception of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" concertos, the most popular. Composers in the baroque era (roughly 1600-1750) prioritized a musical skill called counterpoint, the practice of combining independent instrumental or vocal lines into a complex whole. Johann Sebastian Bach had no rivals (and surely never will) in this art, giving every section of the orchestra something rewarding — and fun — to do. He built structures of grandeur and irresistible energy. Each of these concertos are scored for a different combination; if you'd like a taste, try the first movement of the Concerto no. 2, in which four bright-toned soloists (violin, flute, oboe and trumpet) dance festively around the accompanying string orchestra, or the fleet finale of the Concerto no. 3, a whirlwind showpiece for strings alone.
By Jayson Greene on 11.03.09 in Reviews
The English pianist Imogen Cooper is slowly distinguishing herself as the great Schubert interpreter of our time. Her attention to the natural pacing and phrasing of Schubert's music draws out all of its richly songf...
By Jayson Greene on 06.21.08 in Reviews
When Lorraine Hunt Lieberson died, the classical music world mourned as if Earth's mother spirit had perished. People wrote to their newspapers, telling stories of weeping at their cubicles while they listened on hea...
By Gavin Borchert on 06.20.06 in Reviews
This disc shows the two sides of composer Richard Strauss. In the Symphonia domestica (1903) and Eine Alpensinfonie (An Alpine Symphony, 1915), he capped the tradition of German romanticism with two of the grandest and m...
By Justin Davidson on 01.16.15 in Features
She is no longer the goofy but serious alien girl with the long flowing hair; instead she’s a sage.