Monday, November 7, 2016

Froberger, Johann Jacob. (1616-1667) Complete Music for Harpsichord and Organ. Volume V.

New acquisition.
Bought in October 2016.
First listen: 6-11-2016.
Label: Brilliant.
CD 5 of 16.
Recording dates: May 2014 & March 2016.
Recording venue: Saletta Acustica "Eric James"Pove del Grappa, Vicenza (Harpsichord)
Badia Fiorentina, Florence, Italy.
Recording engineer: Alessandro Simonetto.
Running time: 58:34.
Classical relevance: Essential.

Works performed:
Libro Quarto 1656.
Quarta parte cont'd
Libro di capricci e ricercate c. 1658.

Performed by:
Simone Stella.

Instruments used:
Harpsichord: William Horn, after Ioannes Ruckers (1638)
Organ: Onofrio Zeffirini da Cortona (1558).

Well this is remarkably well done. If ever you need one CD to convince you of Stella's excellence in this Froberger set, Volume V it is. First of all the sound is nothing short of fantastic. I never heard a Ruckers Harpsichord so sensually recorded as the copy by William Horn. The dark hue and warm timbre is a lust for your ear and the instrument stands proportionally in the picture. It is quite a treat to hear such a instrument in this way. The Organ is also an intimate affair, every pipe is clearly audible and the recording retains all detail, lets it go when needed and a colourful image hits your ears. You will be very much aware of the fact that this organ is build in 1558, and that makes it rather special.
As to the performance: I like Stella's relaxed approach. Contemplative, never in a rush, harvesting all the details, and gains authority in abundance. Stella has Froberger in his mind and hands and the synergy is perfect. Some may think he is a tad to deliberate and so it is, but the result is nothing short of aural bliss. I cannot stress enough that I think this set a milestone in the Froberger literature and highly recommendable. There is no need with him to say or talk about how it should be, or what performance practice is right, his performance is 100% right.
That's my two cents anyway. Do as you like!




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