Monday, December 7, 2009

Biber - Battalia a 10, Requiem a 15 - Jordi Savall, Le Concert des Nations

Biber - Battalia a 10, Requiem a 15 -
Jordi Savall, Le Concert des Nations

Baroque | Eac, flac, cue | log, cover | 1 CD, 262 MB
December 10, 2002 | Alia Vox | RapidShare

For anyone with an interest in Biber and familiarity with the quality of Jordi Savall's approach to recording, this Cd is a must.

The Battalia à 10 is played with great style and charm here. I like the use of two theorbos and a harpsichord and organ on the continuo lines. I have several recordings of this work. Savall's approach is a little more polite than Goebel's and a little more atmospheric than Philip Pickett's quite raw sound. I like all of them. Savall's is, perhaps, the most beautiful recording, even though it doesn't take advantage of the musical effects Biber suggests with as much relish as Goebel or Pickett.

The A Major Requiem à 15 in Concerto is a favourite of mine and the only other recording I've ever heard is Ton Koopman's with his Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir on ERATO. I've loved Koopman's recording ever since I bought it, shortly after it was released in the 1990s. It was coupled with the magnificent Vesperæ à 32 voci. I was eager to hear another recording of this little known work. Only two requiems by Biber have survived, this one, in A major and the F minor Requiem. Both are masterpieces and each takes a different approach. The A Major work features trumpets, trombones, timpani, oboes (perhaps added later?), dulcian [fagotto], strings and, of course, basso continuo. The F minor work uses strings, two dulcians, three trombones, and multiple organs and is a much more sombre and darker work.

Savall's recording was made in Salzburg Cathedral and takes advantage of four of the organs in there. The sound is beautiful and splendid and, indeed, moving. We are transported to a beautiful world without pain - a glimpse of Heaven, in fact. The opening Marcia Funebre gives one the opportunity to wind and brass of Le Concert des Nations in the Salsburg Cathedral space. What a sound! It is worth buying the disc for the March alone. The Requiem in Concerto which follows is a beautiful and radiant work - full of hope for the afterlife and great grace and beauty.

CD Content

# Battalia, for 3 violins, 4 violas, 2 violini & keyboard in D major, C. 61
with Le Concert des Nations
Conducted by Jordi Savall

# Requiem à 15, for solo voices, chorus, orchestra & continuo, C. 7
with Antoine Ladrette, Pablo Valetti, Isabel Serrano, Sergi Casademunt, Angelo Bartoletti, Xavier Diaz, Le Concert des Nations, Eunice Moreira Brandao, La Capella Reial de Catalunya
Conducted by Jordi Savall

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