Label: Hyperion - XM 792 • Format: Vinyl LP • Country: UK • Genre: Classical • Style: Baroque
These are beautifully executed performances of some rare Christmas music that were quite new to me, though the genre obviously wasn't. I was weaned on a fabulous LP by the AAM Festive Suite In A Major - Northwest Chamber Orchestra Seattle - Baroque Christmas Music L'Oiseau Lyre containing similarly beautiful music and these works only served to generate nostalgic reminders of the unique spirit of Christmas.
The only quibble is the short timing although at the rock bottom Helios price, you can't really complain. Telemann's 'Festive Suite' is a jolly delightful work with a wonderful Overture and Gavotte.
There is also Burns Like A Star - Stone Fury - Burns Like A Star to enjoy in the traditional Passepied as well as the short but romping Gigue.
Purcell's music is also highly stimulating and these short interludes from 'Behold I bring you glad tidings' shows the devout aspirations that the young composer could turn out for any occasion. I was not familiar with Giuseppe Valentini but his 'Sinfonia a tre' is permeated with typical Vivaldian energy although Francis and his Seattle players are rather heavy-handed in their approach.
The Torelli piece is duplicated on that ubiquitous AAM CD I mentioned earlier and although that has the benefit of period instruments, I was rather enthused by the refreshing style that Francis brought to this beautiful piece. Another composer who was virtually unknown to me was Gaetano Maria Schiassi whose lovely Sinfonia Pastorale makes an ideal pastoral ending to this wonderful disc.
My only quibble is the short timing but when such wonderful music is on offer, small becomes indeed beautiful! Reviewer Gerald Fenech Performance: Sound:. Reviewer Gerald Fenech Performance: Sound: Reviews from previous months Reviews carry sales links but you can also purchase from:.
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