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Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra – Baroque Favorites (2001)

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Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra – Baroque Favorites (2001)

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Disk One
TAFELMUSIK Baroque Orchestra
Jean Lamon, Music Director

1    HANDEL: Entrance of the Queen of Sheba from Solomon
2-3    PACHELBEL: Canon and Gigue

    HANDEL: Selections from Water Music, Suite No. 1, HWV 348
4    I. Overture
5    II. Adagio e staccato
6    VI. Air
7    VIII. Bourree
8    IX. Hornpipe
9    BACH: Air from Suite No. 3 in D

    PURCELL: Incidental music to Ablelazar, or The Moor’s Revenge
10    Rondeau
11    Air
12    Air
13    Jig
14    Hornpipe
15    Air
16    VIVALDI: Concerto op. 10 #2, La Notte

    TELEMANN: Suite from Tafelmusik, Book III
17    II. Bergerie
18    IV. Postillons
19    VI. Badinage

Disc Two
THE HELICON ENSEMBLE 
Albert Fuller, Music Director

    VIVALDI: Sinfonia in C, RV 116

1    I. Allegro molto
2    II. Larghetto
3    III. Allegro

    Trio Sonata in G minor
4    I. Preludio
5    II. Allemanda
6    III. Adagio
7    IV. Capriccio
8    V. Gavotta

    Concerto in E-flat, RV 515 for two violins
9    I. Allegro
10   II. Largo
11    III. Allegro

12    BACH: Prelude in C, WTC Book 1

    Trio Sonata in C, BWV 1037
13    I. Adagio
14   II. Alla breve
15    III. Largo
16    IV. Gigue

    Concerto in D minor, BWV 1043 for two violins
17    I. Vivace
18    II. Largo ma non tanto
19    III. Allegro

 

On "two CDs for the price of one," to celebrate its silver anniversary in the disc business, Reference Recordings has HDCD-remastered two marvelous analog releases from 1982 and 1986, respectively, newly packaged as "Baroque Favorites." Which many are. The earlier one, originally published as "Popular Masterworks of the Baroque" on RR-13, was recorded by Tafelmusik of Toronto under the direction of Jean Lamon. It includes Handel's ever-seductive Entrance of the Queen of Sheba from Solomon, plus selections from Suite No. 1" of Water Musick (jauntily played, bless Tafelmusik); a perky version of the Pachelbel Canon with its companion Gigue; incidental music by Purcell for Abdelazar, or The Moor's Revenge; Bach's Air on the G-String from Orchestral Suite No. 3; Vivaldi's "La notte" Concerto for recorder, bassoon and strings from Op. 10, and a Suite from Book III of Telemann's Tafelmusik. The remastering fairly glistens, while performances continue to be one and all captivating (that said, let it be noted, by one indifferent to much of the Baroque wallpaper rediscovered during the 20th century, and usually put off by "original instrument" ensembles).

The second disc (formerly RR-23, issued as "Bach/Vivaldi") stars Albert Fuller's superb Helicon Ensemble, recorded in the John Harms Center at Englewood, NJ, in music by the Red Priest of Venice and Bach der Vater. We have Vivaldi's Sinfonia in C (RV 116), G-minor Trio Sonata (RV 73, otherwise Op. 1/1), and E-flat Concerto for Two Violins (RV 515). From the sire of the Bach Dynasty, who admired (and cribbed from) Vivaldi, Mr. Fuller plays the C-major Prelude from Book I of Das wohltemperirte Klavier, while the rest of Helicon address themselves to the Trio Sonata in C (BWV 1037, although reputedly by his pupil Johann Gottlieb Goldberg), and the evergreen Concerto in D minor for Two Violins and Strings (BWV 1043).

Helicon inhabits (or inhabited in 1986) a rarified world with Tafelmusik, and their performances of more substantial music remain treasurable. "Professor" Keith Johnson's recordings have been digitally transferred by Paul Stubblebine and Producer J. Tamblyn Henderson, Jr. with maximal fidelity and no evidence of digital "glare" or other silicontagions. Total-timing for both discs is 1 hour, 44 minutes, and 6 seconds—a Mercedes-limo bargain given the musical contents, impeccable presentation, and sheer luxury of Ref/Rec's HDCD sound. Go buy, if you haven't the originals—or even if you have. ---classicalcdreview.com

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