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Corelli/ Handel/Bach and others: Christmas Concertos
01 Oct 2000
Originally recorded in 2000
Dalintober Hall, Glasgow
Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow
Total Time - 77:19
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Concerto grosso in G minor, Op. 6 No. 8 'Christmas Concerto'
Vivace - Grave -
Adagio - Allegro - Adagio -
Pastorale ad libitum - Largo
Pavane No. 4
Sinfonia in G major, RV149
Allegro molto -
GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL
Sinfonia 'Arrival of the Queen of Sheba'
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
Air from Suite No. 3 in D major
Canon in D major
JOHANN CHRISTOPH PEPUSCH
Kammersinfonie in D minor
This is an essential Christmas disc featuring some spirited and festive concertos.
Along with Corelli’s ‘Christmas Concerto’, this disc includes popular classics such as Pachelbel’s Canon in D and Handel’s Arrival of the Queen of Sheba coupled with some more unusual works by Farina, Ferrabosco and Pepusch. It makes a perfect Christmas gift.
It is performed by early music group Cantilena and conducted by Adrian Shepherd.
This disc is available at budget price.
Arcangelo Corelli was a violin virtuoso of wide renown in his lifetime whose work brought music for strings to a new peak of style at a time when it had recently won independence from vocal music. Carlo Farina began his career at the court of Mantua and subsequently worked in Dresden where he published five books of pieces like his Pavane in A minor.
Alfonso Ferrabosco was born in England of Italian descent. He held several teaching and court appointments and published books of ‘Lessons’ for viols from which this Pavane is taken. Erasmus Widman was a versatile and prolific composer who also won fame as a poet and held musical posts in several German states. Besides a quantity of church music he wrote songs and short instrumental pieces.
‘Sinfonia’ was the Italian name for an operatic overture, but Vivaldi wrote some independent works with this label. The Sinfonia in G major, RV149, is virtually a concerto without solo instruments. The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba is the best-known part of Handel’s oratorio Solomon. Handel called it Sinfonia and it introduces the third part of the oratorio.
The second movement of Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3, transposed, became the popular Air on the G string. The original is set higher and Bach avoids use of the G string.
The organist and composer Johann Pachelbel was born in Nuremberg and among his close friends counted JS Bach’s father, and his keyboard works certainly influenced Johann Sebastian. The famous Canon is in fact both a canon and a set of variations.
Born in Berlin, Pepusch became a musician at the Prussian court at the age of fourteen. By 1698 he had moved to Holland, and two years later he settled in London where, among other posts, he took charge at the Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre, and it was he who arranged the music for John Gay’s The Beggars Opera.
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