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By Matthias Havinga and Seldom Sene. By Samuel Scheidt (1587-1654), Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), and Antonio Bertali (1605-1669). Classical. CD. Brilliant Classics #BRI96181. Published by Brilliant Classics (NX.BRI96181).
Item Number: NX.BRI96181
As the forerunner of the piano and violin concertos, the concerto grosso is all about give and take. Not only one against many but also one, two or three musicians conversing with each other and with a larger ensemble in a genre that celebrates intimacy, diversity and virtuosity. The form inspired collections of instrumental masterpieces by the greatest names of the Baroque era, and it's an ideal environment for the relaxed mastery of Seldom Sene. Ever since the ensemble's debut release in 2014 (Taracea, 94871), it has continued to fulfill imaginative recording projects with the same 'commitment, technical versatility, unanimity of ensemble and near-immaculate tuning on display' (Gramophone) in that first album. In their booklet notes, Stephanie Brandt of Seldom Sene and Matthias Havinga explain that the challenge of arranging this repertoire was to create a wide variety of sound colors through the intelligent use of different types of recorders and the stops of harpsichord and organ. The Sixth Brandenburg Concerto of Bach is an obvious candidate for Seldom Sene's performance, having originally been written for a similarly homogeneous ensemble of lower strings. In Handel's lovely Organ Concerto Op.4 No.1 Havinga retains the solo part while the recorder quintet plays the role of orchestra and basso continuo. The roles are reversed in Vivaldi's Concerto Grosso Op.3 No.10, where the harpsichord accompanies the recorders' flights of fancy. There is also an originally scored rarity: the Sonata for five winds and organ by the Italian-born Viennese court composer Antonio Bertali.