I love music.

I write about the music I like and have purchased for the benefit of better understanding it and sharing my preferences with others.

Sonate pro tabula

Celebratory music by Biber and his contemporaries: Sonata pro tabula, Musica Antiqua Köln. Sonata Pro Tabula MAK is joined on this disc by the Flanders Recorder Quartet... but is that the focus? Seemingly not, trumpet music is what we get the most of, Biber's "a due" or his introductions "for two" trumpets. I don't care for their placement on the CD, nor for their musical quality. They belong, I think, in recreation-CDs such as Paul McCreesh's that use them in context. With that said, MAK plays with extraordinary precision and passion. This is perhaps no better exemplified than in the Johann Pezel sonata, track 16 for strings. Full force, with tempo and energy in playing. The best word for this style is intensity, one that was likewise present in their live concert in Los Angeles in November, 2006 sans Goebel. The main Biber work, his Sonata Pro Tabula in C is less convincing than other works on the recording. The Italians, represented by Bertali and Valentini offer some variation in the playing style, my favorite being the Valentini Sonata Pro Tabula on track 2. Like the Schmelzer, these composers manage to combine the color of the lowly recorder with ensemble strings. Most of the music on the CD, including these tracks, is simple fare. Goebel's ensemble plays with such importance and penache in each track. They certainly elevate otherwise bland music. An excellent recording, but not of the most excellent music.

Biber: Sonate tam Aris Quam Aulis Servientes

Bach: Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248