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Baroque Christmas Capriccio: C5217

Baroque Christmas Rarities includes lesser-known treasures of baroque Christmas music by J.S. Bach’s talented sons, Telemann, Buxtehude, and others. Most of them were commissioned works for the feast and includes very different styles: from festive cantatas, moody motets to chamber musically solo songs.

Rachel Barton Pine

Selections by violinist Rachel Barton Pine newly added to the playlists of several of our radio stations from her new album VIOLIN LULLABIES from Cedille Records. Pine and her sensitive pianist, Matthew Hagle, include several famous lullabies, including those by Brahms, Schubert, Faure and Gershwin (“Summertime”). Others may come as a surprise: the “Berceuse Écossaise (Scottish Lullaby)” by Ludwig Schwab is a delightful Scottish accent; Oror (Lullaby), by a young Alan Hovhannes is colored with Eastern exoticism; and the lullaby from Stravinsky’s Firebird may not soothe a child to sleep, but it’s certainly enthralling on its own terms. The album’s dramatic centerpiece may be William Grant Still’s Mother and Child, full of sweep and drama. Excellent liner notes complete the package.
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Mahan Esfahani

Born in Tehran, Esfahani grew up in the United States. While at Stanford University, Esfahani studied musicology and came most seriously under the influence of the American scholar George Houle. Later, he continued his harpsichord studies with the Australian harpsichordist Peter Watchorn in Boston and with the Italian organist Lorenzo Ghielmi in Milan, He and completed his studies with the Czech harpsichordist Zuzana Růžičková. Unlike the mainstream of harpsichordists concertising today he has largely diverged from the school of Gustav Leonhardt, though he does cite him as an important spiritual influence.  WIKIPEDIA 
Harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani contrasts and connects the keyboard works of William Byrd, Bach and Ligeti in this concert recital recorded at London’s Wigmore Hall,’ begins Kate Bolton in her review of this recording in the August issue of BBC Music Magazine. She goes on to say: ‘He brings intelligence and grace to the Ricecars and a canon from Bach’s Music Offering, their contrapuntal lines spun with limpid clarity,’ awarding the disc five stars for both the performance and recording quality. JS Bach composed his Musical Offering as a tribute to Frederick the Great after paying him a visit in 1747. While there, the monarch challenged Bach to improvise three- and six-part fugues at the keyboard, a challenge he met with improvised three-part fugues and a six-part one on a theme the king had previously composed. Several weeks later Bach completed his Musical Offering, a set of pieces on this ‘Royal Theme’.

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Joel Fan

Pianist Joel Fan is one of the most dynamic and accomplished musicians performing before the public today! He is consistently acclaimed for his recitals, recordings, and appearances with orchestras throughout the world. His concerts attract a wide range of audiences, as he has eagerly embraced traditional piano literature as well as an eclectic range of repertoire, including new music commissioned especially for him, world music, and his own transcriptions. Joel Fan is recognized for his work with cellist Yo-Yo Ma as a member of the Silk Road Ensemble, with performances at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. This release follows two outstanding solo albums on Reference Recordings: RR-106 World Keys and RR-119 West of the Sun. This CD is Northwest Sinfonietta’s first release with Reference Recordings, and to quote them: they are “thrilled and honored with their collaboration with long-time partner and phenomenal pianist Joel Fan.” Fan was born in the United States to parents from Taiwan. He began studying piano seriously at the Juilliard School and has received both a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University and a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the Peabody Institute. His performing career began with the New York Philharmonic at the age of 11 after having won the Philharmonic's Young People's Concert Auditions. He has since made appearances internationally in recital and with orchestras such as the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, New Symphony Orchestra of Bulgaria, Santa Fe Pro Musica, and Singapore Symphony Orchestra.

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Judicaël Perroy

Born in Paris in 1973, Judicaël Perroy began his guitar studies at the Paris Academy of Music at the age of seven and from eleven to fifteen his main studies were with Raymond Gratien. An acknowledged prodigy by the age of eleven, he won numerous prizes culminating with his triumph in October 1997 at the Guitar Foundation of America International Solo Competition, earning him the winner’s tour of the Americas, with over sixty concerts and masterclasses. He is in great demand as a teacher and adjudicator at numerous international festivals. His students continue to win top prizes in regional, national and international competitions worldwide while he tours extensively throughout the world along with his appearances in duo (Paris Guitar Duo) with the French guitarist Jeremy Jouve since 2003. He has made a number of recordings while teaching at the National Academy of Aulnaysous-Bois and has been appointed to a teaching position at the Pôle Supérieur of Lille starting in September 2011. It was Francisco Tárrega, composer and guitarist, who first transcribed Bach’s music for his own instrument, offering colour, tonal variety and clarity in an exploration of counterpoint. Tristan Manoukian’s transcription of the Partita No. 2 honours the precedent in its virtuosic and expressive writing. It is possible that the Suite and the Prelude, Fugue and Allegro were originally conceived for the so-called “lute-harpsichord”, a keyboard strung with gut that sounded like a lute. Bach’s version of Vivaldi’s Violin Concerto transforms and refashions it, and the guitar transcription is perfectly suited to convey the richness of its invention. Prizewinning guitarist Judicaël Perroy is one of the most exciting talents to have emerged in years.

 

Roberto Moronn Pérez


Following his successful debut album of Spanish composers, Roberto Moronn Pérez performs selected works from the "Andrés Segovia Archive", this time showcasing the French composers. The genesis for this unique project is a collection of pieces recovered in May 2001 at Segovia's home in Spain. These pieces were dedicated to Segovia or commissioned by him, involving composers from eight countries. They were subsequently published as "The Segovia Archive Series" by Edizione Musicale Bèrben. Guitarist Roberto Moronn Pérez researched these newly recovered works and found some pieces that had never been recorded, and those that had were handicapped by poor visibility in the marketplace and limited distribution. This realization sparked the thought that here was an opportunity: a series of recordings organized around the nationalities of the composers in the Segovia Archive.

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Robert Smith

Robert Smith is an English viola da gambist and baroque cellist. In 2012 he won the Bach-Abel Viola da Gamba Competition in Köthen, taking the First Prize, Audience Prize and Special Prize. His performance of a heavy-metal transcription of a Metallica song was especially noted. more

Baroque Bass