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Baroque Adventure: The Quest For Arundo Donax

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - EJ Johnson
In the tradition of classics-for-kids favorites Peter and the Wolf and Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, Tafelmusik's Baroque Adventure: The Quest for Arundo Donax aims to draw children in to the world of Baroque music through an entertaining story with a musical hook. It's an imaginative project from Tafelmusik (Canada's foremost early-music ensemble) and author Alison Mackay (also a Tafelmusik member) that succeeds in the double task of securing the attention of both kids and parents. The setting is England in 1704: Edward Purcell and his sister Frances, orphaned children of the composer Henry Purcell, have been sent on a mission by Queen Anne to find Arundo donax,...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - EJ Johnson
In the tradition of classics-for-kids favorites Peter and the Wolf and Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, Tafelmusik's Baroque Adventure: The Quest for Arundo Donax aims to draw children in to the world of Baroque music through an entertaining story with a musical hook. It's an imaginative project from Tafelmusik (Canada's foremost early-music ensemble) and author Alison Mackay (also a Tafelmusik member) that succeeds in the double task of securing the attention of both kids and parents. The setting is England in 1704: Edward Purcell and his sister Frances, orphaned children of the composer Henry Purcell, have been sent on a mission by Queen Anne to find Arundo donax, a French plant essential for making oboe and bassoon reeds. England, at war with France, is fast running out of its supply, and the nation's orchestras will soon be silenced unless the two can manage to resolve the predicament. They endure a storm-tossed sea voyage; arrive in Venice and meet Vivaldi (but not before encountering a hooligan gondolier); pass over the Alps (while running into further perils); and travel to Versailles and the glittering court of Louis XIV. Along the way they sample the varied musical styles of the era, a kind of grand tour of the Baroque, with performances from Tafelmusik woven seamlessly into the plot. Part suspenseful yarn, part backdoor music lesson, the set comes in an elaborate fold-out package that includes a second disc with the story narrated in French and a third bonus CD called "Baroque Delights," filled with more performances from Tafelmusik. It is recommended as being suitable for children ages 6-12, although adult kids-at-heart will get caught up in this adventure, too.
All Music Guide - James Manheim
Tafelmusik, Canada's leading Baroque orchestra, gets points for sheer ambition with this unusual children's release: it attempts to do nothing less than give the field of classical children's music a Baroque-era entry to match such favorites as "A Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" and "Peter and the Wolf." The album contains a spoken story, with musical interjections performed by Tafelmusik illustrating references to music that occur in the tale. The story is called "The Quest for Arundo Donax," Arundo Donax being a bamboo-like material crucial for the manufacture of oboe and bassoon reeds. In 1704, when this story takes place, it is in short supply in England due to a military conflict with France over the lands that were to become the nation of Canada. Two musically talented youngsters, Frances and Edward, are sent to infiltrate the musical world of the French court and obtain some of the Arundo Donax. Their travels take them from England through Venice, and finally to the court at Versailles for a suspense-filled denouement. Baroque Adventure: The Quest of Arundo Donax was conceived and written by Alison Mackay, a Tafelmusik violinist and bassist who has worked on the group's educational programs. Although it will take a musically precocious child to pick up on what will be an unfamiliar world for most youngsters, the album does fulfill a prime requirement for a children's release: it is reasonably entertaining for parents as well. Quite a variety of music, from Purcell to Vivaldi to Hotteterre, is woven into the story, which takes shape as an interesting musical twist on young-adult novels that unfold in actual historical settings. Everything is packaged in a big box with three CDs one in English, one in French, and one containing "Baroque delights" for those whose interest has presumably been awakened by the tale, handsome old maps, and notes explaining the historical bases for this remarkable project.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/15/2005
  • Label: Analekta
  • UPC: 774204983222
  • Catalog Number: 298323
  • Sales rank: 168,014

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–80 The Quest for Arundo Donax (La quête de l'arundo donax) - Jean-Joseph Mouret & Alison Mackay (101:23)
Disc 2
Disc 3
  1. 1 Don Quichotte der Löwenritter, serenata (comic opera) in 3 acts, TWV 21:32: Son attaque des moulins à vent - Georg Philipp Telemann & Mario Labbe (1:46)
  2. 2 Alcina, opera, HWV 34: Aria "Tornami a vagheggiar" (Morgana) - George Frideric Handel & Mario Labbe (4:26)
  3. 3 Agrippina, opera, HWV 6: Aria "Se giunge un dispetto" (Poppea) - George Frideric Handel & Mario Labbe (3:24)
  4. 4–5 Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068 - Johann Sebastian Bach & Mario Labbe (8:17)
  5. 5 Cantata No. 211, "Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht," (Coffee Cantata), BWV 211 (BC G48): Aria "Heute noch" (Leschen) - Johann Sebastian Bach & Nils Brown (3:17)
  6. 6 Cantata No. 211, "Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht," (Coffee Cantata), BWV 211 (BC G48): Trio "Die Katze lässt das Mausennicht" - Johann Sebastian Bach & Nils Brown (6:37)
  7. 7 Cantata No. 211, "Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht," (Coffee Cantata), BWV 211 (BC G48): Aria "Hat man nicht mit seinen Kindern" (Schlendri - Johann Sebastian Bach & Mario Labbe (4:47)
  8. 8 Concerto for oboe, strings & continuo in D minor, SF. 935: Adagio - Alessandro Marcello & John Abberger (3:43)
  9. 9 Concerto for oboe, strings & continuo in D minor, SF. 935: Presto - Alessandro Marcello & John Abberger (3:52)
  10. 10 Overture: Alster Echo, for 4 horns, 2 oboes, bassoon, strings & continuo in F major, TWV 55:F11: Ouverture - Georg Philipp Telemann & Mario Labbe (5:29)
  11. 11 Stabat Mater, hymn for voice, strings & continuo in F minor, RV 621: Quis est Homo (Largo) - Antonio Vivaldi & Mario Labbe (3:29)
  12. 12 Salve Regina, motet for soprano, strings & continuo in A major: Salve Regina - Domenico Scarlatti & Mario Labbe (0:59)
  13. 13 Salve Regina, motet for soprano, strings & continuo in A major: Amen - Domenico Scarlatti & Mario Labbe (2:14)
  14. 14 Double Violin Concerto, for 2 violins, strings & continuo in A minor ("L'estro armonico" No. 8), Op. 3/8, RV 522: Allegro (Mouvement 1) - Antonio Vivaldi & Mario Labbe (3:22)
  15. 15 Double Violin Concerto, for 2 violins, strings & continuo in A minor ("L'estro armonico" No. 8), Op. 3/8, RV 522: Allegro (Mouvement 3) - Antonio Vivaldi & Mario Labbe (3:19)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra Primary Artist
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