This recording is our debut as solo-ensemble and we have found the perfect match in the stunning mezzo-soprano Tuva Semmingsen. This is the first of 6 recordings with BaS on the label BIS (- so the BaS-bus will appear on BIS again soon.) The recording presents musical snapshots of early 18th century London. It unveils a portrait of the chameleon Handel, emerging in the panache of his early Italian-styled Amadigi, reaching maturity in the ‘English operatic’ Hercules and arriving finally in the perennial melodic grace of Theodora, his penultimate oratorio. Extracts from these works are interspersed with instrumental works by Handel’s Italian contemporaries, exposing the legacy of the great master Corelli.
Magical music, trailing deep roots. The listener is at first struck by the power of Amina Alaoui’s voice, soaring above Jon Balke’s remarkable compositions for baroque ensemble – with soloists drawn from jazz, scattered improvisational traditions, and the world of early music. Behind this remarkable musical integration is a web of philosophical, historical, and literary interconnections, as Balke and Alaoui set texts from Sufi poets, Christian mystics, troubadours and more and – inspired by the tolerant and creative spirit of medieval Al-Andalus – ponder what was lost to the bonfires of the Inquisition.
Setting new standards in transcultural music, Siwan shows what can be made today when artists of the most divergent background pool their energies.
I Fagiolini’s Monteverdi series continues with another fascinating and faultlessly executed programme of scherzi and accompanied and unaccompanied madrigals from 1605-1638.
The range of effects is startling: from the dazed idée fixe of “T’amo, mia vita!” (1605) to the bouyant ground bass of “Zefiro torna” (1632), here brilliantly animated by chitarrone, harp and harpsichord. Most exciting, however, is the group’s reading of “Ballo delle Ingrate” and Barokksolistene’s sullen dance for the damned.