Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

"Music, both vocall and instrumental, so good, so delectable, so rare, so admirable, so super excellent, that it did even ravish and stupifie all those strangers that never heard the like." - Thomas Coryat, after hearing 3 hours of music at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice, 1608.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A fun hour of pleasant music

Way back in 1998 Michael Schneider and La Stagione Frankfurt recorded Carl Friedrich Abel's op. 10 Symphonies of 1771 for CPO, and now they're back for more, with the 1769 Op. 7 set, due to be released on April 7, 2017. The op. 10 symphonies are the epitome of the galant style, with infectious rhythms and pleasing surprises; you get more of the same with op. 7. The real difference is that everyone's understanding of what Historically Informed Performance means for mid- to late-18th century music has evolved in the past couple of decades. There's a new freedom here, a freshness and energy that wasn't there to the same degree in the past. Sure, there's more than a bit of the generic about this music, but it's a sound I happen to like. Themes and passages have a way of repeating, perhaps more so in op. 7 than in the more personal and individualized symphonies of op. 10. But this is a fun hour of pleasant music.

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