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Don Quichotte in Hamburg (2005)

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Don Quichotte in Hamburg (2005)

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Georg Philipp Telemann 
"Burlesque de Quixotte", Ouverture in G, TWV 55:G10:
	1	1. Ouverture 			
	2	2. Le Reveil de Quixotte 			
	3	3. Son Attaque des Moulins ŕ Vent 			
	4	4. Les Soupirs amoureux aprčs le Princesse Dul 			
	5	5. Sanche Panche berné 			
	6	6. Le Galope de Rosinante & Celui d'Ane de San 			
	7	7. Le Couché de Quixotte 

Johann Mattheson 
"Die geheimen Begebenheiten Henrico IV. Konigs von Castilien und Leon", Ouverture in F
	8	1. Ouverture 			
	9	2. Loure 			
	10	3. Entreé des Soldats 			
	11	4. Minuetta 			
	12	5. Menuet pour les Masques 			
	13	6. Gavotte alternativement 			
	14	7. Rittornello 			
	15	8. Gigue Espagnole 

Georg Philipp Telemann
"La Querelleuse" , Ouverture in G for strings & continuo in G major, TWV 55:G8:
	16	1. Ouverture 			
	17	2. Rondeau 			
	18	3. Les Combattans 			
	19	4. Passetemps 			
	20	5. Badinerie 			
	21	6. Menuet I & Menuet II 

Francesco Bartolomeo Conti
"Don Chisciotte in Sierra Morena", Ouverture in C.
Ballo de ''Pagarellieri''		
	22	1. Entrée (spiritoso, e staccato) 			
	23	2. Minuet primo & Minuet secondo 			
	24	3. Aria (leggiero) 			
	25	4. Aria (presto) 			
	26	5. Aria (adagio) 			
	27	6. Aria (tempo di Gavotta) 			
	28	7. Aria (andante) 			
	29	1. Bourée 			
	30	2. Marche 			
	31	3. Guigue 			
	32	4. La folia spaniola 			
	33	5. Guigue 			
	34	6. Chaconne 			

Elbipolis Barockorchester Hamburg
Jurgen Gross, Violine I
Michael Metzler , Percussion

 

I have discussed elsewhere the migration of the French orchestral suite to Germany, as well as noting the most gifted advocates of the genre, its structure, and its peculiarities. All that need be said here is that this CD contains four suites by three composers who chose to follow in the musical footsteps of Jean-Baptiste Lully and are therefore members of a group that is collectively known as Les Lullistes

Telemann, Mattheson, and Conti are associated with opera in the Hanseatic city of Hamburg at the height of the Baroque era and with the exception of the two overtures by Telemann, the remaining music is drawn from operas by Johann Mattheson and Conti. The only previous recording of Francesco B. Conti's music that I know is the cantata Languet anima mea that graced a 2002 Hänssler release of music owned by Bach. This disc appears to have been deleted, and can probably only be located in resale shops or on various Internet sites specializing in used CDs. However, the Conti cantata also appears on a recent release from Universal Classics (Archiv 000468902) featuring Magdalena Kozena .

Elbipolis is a young Hamburg-based German string ensemble that takes its name from a satirical novel by Christian Hunold. Elbipolis simply means 'City on the Elbe.' The ensemble' with the exception of the continuo group' performs one to a part. Here, they are augmented where required by a recorder and discreet percussion. While they are not the first to visit Telemann's 'Burlesque de Quixote,' Elbipolis tenders performances with refreshing vitality, making the music sound entirely novel, even to the ears of this auditor who owns four other recordings of this suite. In addition to the hallmarks of the period-instrument movement (improvised ornamentation and the like), Elbipolis seeks and finds the mock drama in each of the composers' works, presenting it with an appropriate tongue-in-cheek approach, but one that is never tossed off lightly. These are spirited performances, full of humor, grace, and joie de vivre . From first note to last, the music is proffered in a style and manner that makes this recording one of the best to land on my desk this year.

The notes by Jörg Jacobi are also exceptional and highly original; they completely eschew the facts concerning the lives and careers of the composers. Rather, they are a fabricated 'conversation' between Don Quichotte and Sancho Panza, and Messrs Telemann, Mattheson, and Conti! Of course Don Quichotte and his sidekick never visited Hamburg, and if they had, it would have been well before the time of these composers; nonetheless, the page is entertaining, enjoyable, and a welcome change from the material that we normally encounter.

Finally, why is Telemann's 'La querelleuse' included on a disc that is otherwise the domain of Cervantes's errant knight? If you know Cervantes, you'll catch on immediately; if not, you'll have to read the annotations to find out. ---FANFARE: Michael Carter, arkivmusic.com

 

A high-concept disc if ever there was one, Don Quichotte in Hamburg has as its conceit the fanciful notion that the Knight of the Rueful Countenance and his faithful squire Sancho Panza visited the free imperial city of Hamburg and spent a night listening to music intended to recount their adventures. Everything from the repertoire to the performances to the liner notes is centered on this conceit and, like so many other high-concept discs, it could easily have succumbed to terminal cuteness. That it doesn't is due entirely to the marvelously spirited and immensely entertaining performances of the Elbipolis Barockorchester Hamburg. A seven-member chamber orchestra augmented here with a guest percussionist and a recorder player, the tone is bright, the articulation is crisp, the tempos are brisk, the intonation is right on the money, and the ensemble is deep in the pocket and the music sounds light, witty, warm, and even a little sexy. The repertoire is wonderfully well-chosen -- two overtures by Georg Philipp Telemann plus one by Johann Mattheson and a suite from an opera by Francesco Bartolomeo Conti -- all of them more or less on the subject of the mad nobleman and noble madman from La Mancha. The sound is transparent and the liner notes are laugh-out-loud hilarious. Don Quichotte in Hamburg is a high-concept disc to be sure, but it is also a completely successful high-concept disc. ---James Leonard, Rovi

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