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Ultimate Baroque: The Essential Masterpieces

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
Five discs -- five conductors -- four orchestras -- nine composers -- 28 works: Decca's collection Ultimate Baroque is as one might imagine a mixed bag. The best of the set is I Musici's sweet and fresh 1996 recording of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons," with Mariana Sirbu as the lighter-than-air and younger-than-springtime soloist and Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields' stately yet sprightly 1971 recording of Bach's four "Suites for orchestra," and Raymond Leppard and the English Chamber Orchestra's robust and rambunctious 1970 and 1972 recordings of Handel's "Water Music" suites and "Music for the Royal Fireworks." Less successful are Karl Münchinger ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
Five discs -- five conductors -- four orchestras -- nine composers -- 28 works: Decca's collection Ultimate Baroque is as one might imagine a mixed bag. The best of the set is I Musici's sweet and fresh 1996 recording of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons," with Mariana Sirbu as the lighter-than-air and younger-than-springtime soloist and Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields' stately yet sprightly 1971 recording of Bach's four "Suites for orchestra," and Raymond Leppard and the English Chamber Orchestra's robust and rambunctious 1970 and 1972 recordings of Handel's "Water Music" suites and "Music for the Royal Fireworks." Less successful are Karl Münchinger and the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester's 1967 and 1978 recordings of a variety of eighteenth century hits. Too often, the Stuttgart's strings are weak; the long lines of the Pachelbel "Canon" and Bach's "Air on the G string" sag and the winds waver; the pair of flutes in Bach's "Sheep May Safely Graze" are simpering; and more often than not, Münchinger's interpretations tend toward the sentimental. The tone of his Boccherini "Minuet" and his Hoffstetter née, Haydn "Serenade" is close to saccharine. More successful is Eduardo Fernández's 1985 and 1987 recordings of guitar concertos by Vivaldi and Giuliani plus a guitar sonata by Paganini. Accompanied by the alert George Malcolm leading a perhaps too comfortable English Chamber, Fernández is a brilliant player whose performances are compromised by the bright but shallow early digital sound. In short, Ultimate Baroque is a good but not great way to become familiar with a wide swathe of Baroque music.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/14/2006
  • Label: Decca
  • UPC: 028947580737
  • Catalog Number: 000766102
  • Sales rank: 150,570

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–12 The Four Seasons (Il quattro stagione), concertos (4) for violin, strings & continuo ("Il cimento" Nos. 1-4) , Op. 8/1 - 4 - Antonio Vivaldi & I Musici (42:17)
  2. 13–15 Violin Concerto, for violin, strings & continuo in E flat major ("La tempesta di mare"; "Il cimento" No. 5), Op.8/5, RV 253 - Antonio Vivaldi & I Musici (9:01)
  3. 16–18 Violin Concerto, for violin, strings & continuo in C major ("Il piacere"; "Il Cimento" No. 6), Op. 8/6, RV 180 - Antonio Vivaldi & I Musici (8:32)
Disc 2
  1. 1–2 Canon and gigue, for 3 violins & continuo in D major, T. 337 - Johann Pachelbel & Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra (4:34)
  2. 2 Adagio, for violin, strings & organ in G minor, T. Mi 26 (composed by Remo Giazotto; not by Albinoni) - Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra & Tomaso Albinoni (7:19)
  3. 3 Cantata No. 147, "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben," BWV 147 (BC A174): Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring - Johann Sebastian Bach & Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra (3:02)
  4. 4 Cantata No. 208, "Was mir behagt," (Hunt Cantata), BWV 208 (BC G1, G3): Sheep May Safely Graze - Johann Sebastian Bach & Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra (4:32)
  5. 5 Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068: Air on the G String - Johann Sebastian Bach & Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra (3:49)
  6. 6 Fantasia and Fugue, for organ in G minor ("Great"), BWV 542 (BC J42, 57, 67): Fugue - Johann Sebastian Bach & Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra (4:59)
  7. 7 Minuets (2) for 2 oboes, 2 horns & strings, G. 502 (doubtful): Minuet in E major - Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra & Luigi Boccherini (2:51)
  8. 8 Work(s): Serenade - Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra & Roman Hoffstetter (3:58)
  9. 9 Work(s): Musette: Larghetto - Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra & George Frideric Handel (6:52)
  10. 10 Solomon, oratorio, HWV 67 - Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra & George Frideric Handel (3:14)
  11. 12–14 Organ Concerto in F major, Op.4/4, HWV 292 - Ulrich Bremsteller & George Frideric Handel (15:28)
  12. 13 Berenice, Regina d'Egitto, opera, HWV 38: Overture - Ulrich Bremsteller & George Frideric Handel (7:07)
Disc 3
  1. 1–5 Music for the Royal Fireworks, for orchestra, HWV 351 - English Chamber Orchestra & George Frideric Handel (22:01)
  2. 6–13 Water Music Suite No.1 for orchestra in F major, HWV 348 - George Frideric Handel (29:03)
  3. 14–17 Water Music Suite No.3 for orchestra in G major, HWV 350 - George Frideric Handel (10:39)
  4. 18–22 Water Music Suite No.2 for orchestra in D major, HWV 349 - George Frideric Handel (9:01)
Disc 4
  1. 1–7 Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C major, BWV 1066 - Johann Sebastian Bach & Neville Marriner (20:06)
  2. 8–13 Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor, BWV 1067 - Johann Sebastian Bach & Neville Marriner (19:42)
  3. 9 Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068: I. Ouverture - Johann Sebastian Bach & Neville Marriner (6:36)
  4. 10 Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068: II. Air - Johann Sebastian Bach & Neville Marriner (5:11)
  5. 11 Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068: III. Gavotte I - II - Johann Sebastian Bach & Neville Marriner (3:45)
  6. 12 Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068: IV. Bourrée & Gigue - Johann Sebastian Bach & Neville Marriner (4:20)
  7. 18–22 Orchestral Suite No. 4 in D major, BWV 1069 - Johann Sebastian Bach & Neville Marriner (17:56)
Disc 5
  1. 1–3 Guitar Concerto No. 1 in A major, Op. 30 (versions for guitar & orch; gt. & string quartet) - English Chamber Orchestra & Mauro Giuliani (22:38)
  2. 4–6 Lute (Chamber) Concerto, for lute (or guitar), 2 violins & continuo in D major, RV 93 - English Chamber Orchestra & Antonio Vivaldi (11:10)
  3. 7–9 Double Concerto, for viola d'amore & lute, strings & continuo in D minor, RV 540 - Antonio Vivaldi & Norbert Blum (13:39)
  4. 10–12 Guitar Concerto, for guitar, strings & continuo in A major (arranged from Trio Sonata in C major, RV 82) - English Chamber Orchestra & Antonio Vivaldi (10:09)
  5. 13–15 Grand Sonata, for guitar & violin in A major, Op. 35, MS 3 - Niccolò Paganini & English Chamber Orchestra (6:28)
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