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.

London Baroque - Stravaganza Napoletane

#alttext# Awhile back, I admired the catalog London Baroque was building with BIS, and I picked up this recording featuring Italian works featuring a collaboration with recorder player Dan Laurin. Composers represented include Francesco Mancini, Corelli, Domenico Sarri, Alessandro Scarlatti, Domenico Gallo, and John Ravenscroft. Some of these characters (and their works) are familiar to me from an earlier release by Il Giardino Armonico on Teldec, which was a true groundbreaking recording. This recording lacks the immediate sound of the IGA recording (closely miked, and so well done), and instead captures the musicians in a far more resonant space. It's not a complaint, just a comparison. The work by Sarri is on both discs, and while the two works before this one on the recording came across a tad dry (the Mancini work, especially, for solo recorder and continuo), the upper voices in London Baroque have both bounce and play to their style, contributing a lightness that's welcome and refreshing. Laurin by comparison is a dry player compared to Giovanni Antonini. I am far more appreciative of the light style offered here by London Baroque and Mr. Laurin in the Scarlatti "concerto," also present on the IGA recording. This is good music, and both style and tempo are apropos to the music. In the end, I can't help but compare this recording to the one by IGA. If you didn't have the older disc, then I'd say forget it and get this one... but if you've already been spoiled, IGA does a better job at the pieces found on both discs. Their playing is far more mannered, we might say the players have more "attitude." London Baroque isn't lacking style, but... they play things a little less dramatically. While there's good music on this disc, after owning it a year, I don't find myself often returning to it. Their release of Bach's trio sonatas on BIS is a stronger release. That said, if this music and its composers are new to you, you might enjoy its novelty. And that's not saying bad things about LB. I've seen them live in concert and enjoyed their string playing immensely.

Opera Prima

The Assads in Richmond