Monday, December 20, 2010

Bach JS - Harpsichord Concertos - Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Ton Koopman

 


 

 

 

 

Review:

Ton Koopman (born 2nd October 1944 in Zwolle, Netherlands) is a conductor, organist and harpsichordist.

Koopman had a "classical education" and then studied the organ (with Simon C. Jansen), harpsichord (with Gustav Leonhardt) and musicology in Amsterdam. He specialized in Baroque music and received the Prix d'Excellence for both organ and harpsichord. Ton Koopman 

In 1979 Koopman founded the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and the Amsterdam Baroque Choir in 1992 (now combined as the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir). Koopman concentrates on Baroque music, especially that of Bach, and is a leading figure in the authentic performance movement. While a number of early-music conductors have ventured into newer music, Koopman has not. He has said, "I draw the line at Mozart’s death" (1791). One exception is his recording of the Concert ChampĂȘtre of Francis Poulenc, written in 1928.

Among Koopman's most ambitious projects was the recording of the complete cycle of all of Bach's cantatas, a project completed in 2005. Koopman has received many prizes for his recordings. In 2005 he has commenced Dieterich Buxtehude – Opera Omnia, a project to record the complete works of Dieterich Buxtehude. As of March 2010, eleven volumes have been released. He was elected president of the "International Dieterich Buxtehude Society" in 2004.

Koopman's extensive discography includes the complete Bach cantatas and organ works, St Matthew Passion (twice) and St John Passion, Mass in B minor, Christmas Oratorio, a recording of his own reconstruction of the lost St Mark Passion, concertos and harpsichord works by Bach, Mozart's Coronation Mass and Vespers, Requiem, a cycle of Mozart symphonies, Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, Handel's Messiah and Organ Concertos, et al.

Besides his work with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir, he is in frequent demand as guest conductor and as harpsichordist and organist. Some of his organ interpretations have drawn criticism for their overuse of ornamentation. His aim is always to achieve authenticity in performance, using exact copies of historical instruments from the time of the composer.

In April 2003 he was knighted in the Netherlands, receiving the Order of the Netherlands Lion. He is professor at The Royal Conservatory of The Hague.--Wikipedia

 

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