For nearly 150 years Bach’s ever-popular Concerto in D minor for harpsichord (BWV 1052) has been regarded as a transcription of a much earlier violin concerto. Numerous published reconstructions of this ‘lost original’ have appeared, as well as many modern recordings. However, previous violin reconstructions have proved unsatisfactory from both a musicological and a violinistic standpoint, and some leading scholars have even doubted that the violin was the original solo instrument. This latest reconstruction by late-Baroque specialist and violinist Fabrizio Ammetto, based on careful comparison of five surviving sources and close attention to the idiomatic solo writing (including full-length versions of the cadenzas for the outer movements), convincingly reaffirms the work’s status as a genuine violin concerto. The editor has added figured bass to the score for those who prefer to improvise a keyboard continuo, and the separate parts include a specimen cembalo realization. Read more
Joseph Bodin de Boismortier’s Op. 20 sonatas for solo violin and basso continuo (1727) are the least known of all his sets of sonatas for one or more violins and accompaniment. These very fine works are written for a largely domestic and amateur market and are much more accessible technically than similar works published by the composer’s compatriots, all of whom were professional violinists (there is no evidence that Boismortier himself played the instrument). Even if his solo writing can be considered conservative, the sonatas are not devoid of technically challenging passages, and musically they are often far superior to those of his peers. Revealing the unmistakable influence of Corelli’s Op. 5 sonatas, they resourcefully combine sonata da camera dance forms with more ‘serious’ movements of the sonata da chiesa, including several in moto perpetuo style. With the appearance of this modern edition, it is hoped that these sonatas will at last gain the recognition they undoubtedly deserve. Read more
Jeremy Arden’s three Inventions — ‘Ahava’, ‘Pavane’ and ‘Farewell’ — were written in response to the 2020 pandemic. Locked down at home with no work but wishing to make music, he decided to create pieces he could play alone. The Hebrew word Ahava means ‘abounding love’ but also refers to an ancient Jewish mode, whose usage may be seen to connect a whole universe of music, from the song of the cantor to klezmer and jazz. The second piece celebrates the marvellously named Boddhisatva Wonder Sound, who appears in the Buddhist Lotus Sutra to remind us that all human beings, whatever their social status, have a Buddha nature. The final piece is dedicated to Jeremy’s good friend the composer Dimitri Smirnov, who was among those carried off by the Covid virus. Read more
Composer:Jeremy Arden Publication date: September 2020 Instruments: Piano solo Format: playing score Duration:c.15' Pages: v/19 ISMN: 979 0 708185 14 7 Code:HH504.SOL Price: £12.50 More information
“What impresses me most with this collection is the way in which the composer is able to introduce so much character to each of these highly accessible pieces,but without adding unnecessary complexity in the process.
I can highly recommend ‘Animal Jazz’ as a thoroughly charming collection of jazzy pieces, and suspect my own younger students are going to love it!” Read Andrew Eales's review in Pianodao
Den lille danserinnen (‘The Little Ballerina’) evokes a charming, gracious, light-footed dancer, while Nocturne makes the piano sing in the romantic tradition. Both these delightful short pieces would be ideal encores!
In these two short piano pieces, Italian composer Adriano Cirillo (b.1951) has sought to capture in music the elusive qualities of nostalgia and melancholy that Charles Baudelaire designated as "Spleen" in his legendary late 19th-century collection of poems Les Fleurs du mal.
"Cirillo certainly has an acute gift for spinning a melodic line; here the main tune weaves its way beautifully through the delicious harmonic twists that underpin it, and will surely delight and melt the hearts of listeners everywhere."