European Archive

“Bergen Barokk: Suite Life” – Excerpts from var. suites composed by PHILIDOR, MARAIS, HOTTETERRE, CHEDEVILLE, COUPERIN – LAWO Classics

“Bergen Barokk: Suite Life” – Excerpts from var. suites composed by PHILIDOR, MARAIS, HOTTETERRE, CHEDEVILLE, COUPERIN – LAWO Classics

“Bergen Barokk: Suite Life” – Excerpts from var. suites composed by PHILIDOR, MARAIS, HOTTETERRE, CHEDEVILLE, COUPERIN – LAWO Classics multi-channel SACD LWC1096, 60:00 (10/14/16) ****1/2: European court music from the 17th century. The suites in this recording are taken from some of the many great music releases in Paris in the early 1700s. The releases, which were released “avec Privilege du Roy” (royal prerogative), reflecting ball, concerts, opera and ballet performances at the court and were well-received by a bourgeoisie filled with admiration for the luxurious lifestyles of the rich. Bergen Barokk was established in 1994 and is today among the leading early music ensembles. On this recording we hear Frode Thorsen on the recorder, Hans Knut Sveen on harpsichord, Thomas Boysen and Thor-Harald Johnsen on lute and guitar instruments and Markku Luolajan-Mikkola on viola da gamba. This is an attractive collection of court music, wonderfully played by the Bergen Barokk. It’s light music, very atmospheric. To my mind something to have on in the house rather than something I would sit in front of and engage in deep thoughts. The sound on the disc is very good. I listened to the 5.0 mix, and found the ensemble up front, […]

“The Travels of FROBERGER” – Music by FROBERGER and his contemporaries – Magdalena Hasibeder, harpsichords & organ – Raumklang (2 CDs)

“The Travels of FROBERGER” – Music by FROBERGER and his contemporaries – Magdalena Hasibeder, harpsichords & organ – Raumklang (2 CDs)

“The Travels of FROBERGER” – Music by FROBERGER and his contemporaries – Magdalena Hasibeder, harpsichords and organ – Raumklang (2 CDs) RK 3503, TT: 2:19:13 (6/17/16)  [Dist. by Naxos] *****: A magnificent set of keyboard music of Froberger & others. Johann Jacob Froberger’s 400th birthday has inspired a large number of brilliant recorded responses that have both individually and cumulatively brought an immensely influential musical force back into view. Froberger was born in Stuttgart in 1616 and died in 1667 in the service of a widowed Duchess in the House of Württemberg. He traveled extensively and wrote mainly for keyboard instruments and in many forms, so that his influence was felt across the breadth of the burgeoning international (I.e., European) classical music network. He used all the keyboard instruments common at that time; on this recording, the wonderfully expressive Magdalena Hasibeder plays Vienna’s oldest playable organ, built in 1642/43 by Johann Wöckherl and erected in the choir of the Franziskanerkirche. Hasibeder’s harpsichords are an anonymous Italian instrument from the mid-17th century and a two-manual model from Avignon built ca. 1680 and attributed to Claude Labréche, voiced with real quills, and strung in historical iron wire based upon studies of surviving […]

Phronesis – Parallax – Edition EDN

Phronesis – Parallax – Edition EDN

Jazz which covers food to fish, astronomy to harmonization. Phronesis – Parallax [TrackList follows] Edition EDN 1070 [Distr. by Harmonia mundi] 56:47 [4/8/16] ****: (Jasper Høiby – doublebass; Ivo Neame – piano; Anton Eger – drums) Pan-European trio Phronesis escalates an atmosphere of adventure, veered jazz and interplayed imagination on sixth album overall—and fourth for the Edition label. Danish bassist Jasper Høiby, British pianist Ivo Neame and Swedish drummer Anton Eger create undulating, modern jazz which is independent from traditional norms but remains approachable. The nine original tracks (three apiece penned by each member) were taped during a single day at London’s Abbey Road studio. The result is music of the moment. There is absorbing spontaneity, regardless if time might have gone into rehearsal or pre-planning. The hour-long presentation commences with two memorable cuts. Eger’s aptly driving “67000 MPH” has unpredictable thematic variations and expressive tempo changes. The fast-paced rhythmic alterations mirror the title, which refers to the speed the earth orbits the sun. The metrical back-and-forth between piano and drums offers a lesson in cadenced communication. Neame’s punningly-titled “OK Chorale” has a name inspired by the famous American Western shoot-out, but the music is far from cattle country. Chorales […]

“Fingergull – Schola Sanctae Sunnivae/ Anne Kleivset – 2L

“Fingergull – Schola Sanctae Sunnivae/ Anne Kleivset – 2L

A unique office adorned with some outstanding chant in fabulous sound. “Fingergull – In festo susceptionis sanguinis Domini” – Schola Sanctae Sunnivae/ Anne Kleivset – 2L multichannel SACD 2L 114, 78:17 [Distr. by Naxos] *****: Don’t be put off by the strange name of this disc—“Fingergull” is not some kind of weird bird, but instead the name of a golden ring, finger-gold, that contained a drop of Christ’s blood. You heard right—there are indeed extent relics in European Christendom, what’s left of it anyway, especially in Bruges, Belgium, of drops of Christ’s blood. There is some historical basis for this, as Joseph of Arimathea was said to have preserved the Precious Blood after he had washed the dead body of Christ. But with the heavy traffic of relics during the middle ages and during the time of the Crusades, it has become almost impossible to verify any of this. Bruges, as mentioned, continues to have an active yearly celebration in the Basilica of the Holy Blood, so despite some suggestions in the notes to this release to the contrary, this is still an active and very much living tradition. So what is this release about? Simple—the city of Nidaros, now […]

Louisiana Red – The Lowdown Back Porch Blues – Roulette Records (1963)/ Pure Pleasure Records (2013) – vinyl

Louisiana Red – The Lowdown Back Porch Blues – Roulette Records (1963)/ Pure Pleasure Records (2013) – vinyl

Louisiana Red – The Lowdown Back Porch Blues – Roulette Records (1963)/ Pure Pleasure Records (2013) PPAN R 25200, 34:01 re-mastered 180-gram vinyl ****: (Louisiana Red – guitars, vocals, harmonica; Karl Lynch – bass; Panama Francis – drums) The legacy of blues music is distinctly American in its origins. Most (if not all) of these artists were raised in the dimness of Southern prejudice with limited opportunities. Playing music was not financially viable. Consequently, labor-intensive jobs became a necessity for survival. To complicate matters, blues musicians were routinely shortchanged on royalties, often depending on European audiences (and ultimately British rock bands) to sustain their careers. Within this life of struggle, a plethora of iconic songs kept the idiom alive for the world to cherish. One of these artists is Louisiana Red. Formerly known as Iverson Minter, he survived a devastating childhood (Red’s mother died of pneumonia and his father was lynched by the Klu Klux Klan in Alabama) to make his mark on the blues scene. After a stint in the army he joined the legions of blues men who emigrated north to begin a new life. He briefly played with John Lee Hooker before getting an audition with Roulette […]