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Tekla Cunningham, Pacific MusicWorks & Stephen Stubbs - Stylus Phantasticus (2021)

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Tekla Cunningham, Pacific MusicWorks & Stephen Stubbs - Stylus Phantasticus (2021)

Tekla Cunningham, Pacific MusicWorks & Stephen Stubbs - Stylus Phantasticus (2021)
WEB FLAC (tracks) - 390 Mb | MP3 CBR 320 kbps - 174 Mb | Digital booklet | 01:14:38
Classical | Label: Reference Recordings

Reference Recordings proudly presents this unique album containing 11 works of early Baroque composers. They are performed by Pacific MusicWorks, founded by GRAMMY® Award winner Stephen Stubbs, Artistic Director. Artists on this album are featured soloist Tekla Cunningham, baroque violin; William Skeen, bass violin; Stephen Stubbs, baroque guitar and chitarrone; Maxine Eilander, baroque harp; and Henry Lebedinsky, organ and harpsichord. "Stylus Phantasticus" was produced by GRAMMY® award winner David Sabee, and recorded by GRAMMY® award winning engineers Dmitry Lipay, Aleksandr Lipay and Kory Kruckenberg.

Michael Chance, David Cordier, Tragicomedia - A Musicall Dreame: Music by Robert Jones, Tobias Hume, Giles Farnaby (1990)

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Michael Chance, David Cordier, Tragicomedia - A Musicall Dreame: Music by Robert Jones, Tobias Hume, Giles Farnaby (1990)

Michael Chance, David Cordier, Stephen Stubbs, Tragicomedia - A Musicall Dreame: Music by Robert Jones, Tobias Hume, Giles Farnaby (1990)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 230 Mb | Total time: 64:00 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Hyperion | # CDA66335 | Recorded: 1988

Sublime musical expression does not necessarily proceed from serene spirits whose philosophical loftiness leaves them unmoved by the push and shove of the marketplace. Prefaces to printed editions of music in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries seldom reveal much of the personality behind the writer's effusive urge to prostrate himself before the dedicatee and his invocations to the muses to make worthy his humble efforts. Robert Jones, Tobias Hume and John Dowland were exceptions in this regard and often used their printed prefaces as a platform for polemics, self-defence and bile. In so doing they illumine the contemporary pressures of public opinion and changing fashions, as well as highly individual — not to say curmudgeonly — natures.

Paul O’Dette, Stephen Stubbs, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra - Steffani: Niobe, Regina di Tebe (2015)

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Paul O’Dette, Stephen Stubbs, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra - Steffani: Niobe, Regina di Tebe (2015)

Paul O’Dette, Stephen Stubbs, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra - Steffani: Niobe, Regina di Tebe (2015)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 1,05 Gb | Total time: 79:03+68:57+75:44 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Erato | # 2564-634354 | Recorded: 2014

Betrayal, sorcery and one dazzling aria after the next…Ovid's Queen Niobe of Thebes, who turns to stone when her children are slain by the gods as punishment for her arrogance and pride, is the subject of this forgotten 1688 masterpiece. The Italian composer-priest Agostino Steffani languished in obscurity until the opera was rediscovered recently; the Boston Early Music Festival give its world-premiere studio recording with Karina Gauvin in the psychologically complex title role, and countertenor Phillipe Jaroussky singing 'powerfully and sweetly' (The New York Times) as Niobe's husband Anfione, driven to suicide in the face of family tragedy.

Paul O’Dette, Stephen Stubbs, Boston Early Music Festival - Michael-Richard de Lalande: Les Fontaines de Versailles (2020)

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Paul O’Dette, Stephen Stubbs, Boston Early Music Festival - Michael-Richard de Lalande: Les Fontaines de Versailles (2020)

Paul O’Dette, Stephen Stubbs, Boston Early Music Festival - Michael-Richard de Lalande: Les Fontaines de Versailles; Le Concert d’Esculape (2020)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 345 Mb | Total time: 72:55 | Scans included
Classical | Label: CPO | # 555 097-2 | Recorded: 2019

Michel-Richard de Lalande is regarded as one of the great composers of the French Baroque, and so it is not surprising that our prizewinning Boston Early Music Ensemble has now turned to him. Along with his many sacred works, Lalande also wrote for the various court occasions that required secular music. Les Fontaines de Versailles, the work occupying a central position on this CD, above all contributed to Lalande’s increasing popularity. It was performed on 5 April 1683, some weeks before Lalande was appointed to the coveted post of 'Sous-maître de Chapelle.' After the court had settled in Versailles with King Louis XIV in 1682, its musical microcosm also experienced a renewal.

Paul O'Dette, Stephen Stubbs, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra & Chorus - Jean-Baptiste Lully: Thésée (2007)

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Paul O'Dette, Stephen Stubbs, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra & Chorus - Jean-Baptiste Lully: Thésée (2007)

Paul O'Dette, Stephen Stubbs, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra & Chorus - Jean-Baptiste Lully: Thésée (2007)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 964 Mb | Total time: 173:18 | Scans included
Classical | Label: CPO | # 777 240-2 | Recorded: 2006

Jean-Baptiste Lully, born Giovanni Battista Lulli in Florence in 1632, moved to France early in his career. By the time he turned 30, he had been named music master to the royal family and elevated to the nobility. Italian opera, particularly the works of Cavalli, had become hugely popular in France, and Lully took up the task of creating a tradition of native French opera. In 1775, in collaboration with librettist Philippe Quinault, Lully produced Thésée, a "tragédie en musique," which marked a turning point in the synthesis of music, dramaturgy, and dance, and became the model for French opera for nearly a century, until the reforms of Gluck.

Paul O'Dette, Stephen Stubbs, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra - Christoph Graupner: Antiochus und Stratonica (2020)

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Paul O'Dette, Stephen Stubbs, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra - Christoph Graupner: Antiochus und Stratonica (2020)

Paul O'Dette, Stephen Stubbs, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra - Christoph Graupner: Antiochus und Stratonica (2020)
XLD | FLAC | Tracks (Cue & Log) ~ 0.99 Gb | Total time: 224:30 | Scans included
Classical | Label: CPO | 555 369-2 | Recorded: 2020

The prizewinning Boston Early Music Festival, joined by the choicest soloists, once again presents a spectacular Baroque opera discovery with Christoph Graupner’s Antiochus and Stratonica. Graupner composed the musical play L’Amore Ammalato, Die kranckende Liebe, oder: Antiochus und Stratonica during his time as the harpsichordist at the Gänsemarkt Opera in Hamburg. The core subject of the opera is the love of the Seleucid prince Antiochus for his stepmother Stratonica. This match brings with it highly dramatic moments as well as deeply sad ones inasmuch as Antiochus is supposed to have an incurable illness – but then at the end three old and new romantic couples appear on the stage and everything comes to a happy ending.

Suzie LeBlanc - Portrait: Handel (2006)

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Suzie LeBlanc - Portrait: Handel (2006)

Suzie LeBlanc - Portrait: Handel (2006)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 260 Mb | Total time: 55:24 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Atma Classique ‎| ACD22392 | Recorded: 2002, 2001, 2003

This compilation of Handel performances by soprano Suzie LeBlanc, drawn from three previously released recordings made between 2001 and 2003, serves as an excellent introduction to this fine singer and stands on its own as a thoughtfully programmed recital. The opening "Lascia ch'io pianga" from Rinaldo shows her clear voice and (thankfully) unaffected style, the emotion captured just right, the phrasing eloquent, the control giving no hint of effort. And this holds true throughout every selection, whether in the six-movement, recently discovered Gloria in excelsis Deo (her impassioned "Qui tollis" is a highlight) or in the more virtuosic rapid runs, lightning-quick turns, and subtle ornaments of "Da Tempeste" from Giulio Cesare.

Paul O'Dette & Stephen Stubbs, Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble - Johann Sebastiani: Matthaus Passion (2018)

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Paul O'Dette & Stephen Stubbs, Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble - Johann Sebastiani: Matthaus Passion (2018)

Paul O'Dette & Stephen Stubbs, Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble - Johann Sebastiani: Matthaus Passion (2018)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 300 Mb | Total time: 65:38 | Scans included
Classical | Label: CPO | 555 204-2 | Recorded: 2017

Johann Sebastiani's name no doubt will be familiar only to a few certified music experts. Born in Weimar in 1622, Sebastiani spent a good many years of his life in Konigsberg, where he arrived around 1650 and later was appointed court chapel master. He composed countless occasional works as well as a St. Matthew Passion (1672) – a welcome addition to CPO's picture of Lutheran church music and a work closing a gap in the history of Passion settings between Heinrich Schutz and Johann Sebastian Bach. Stephen Stubbs, Paul O'Dette, and their Boston Early Music Festival Chamber & Vocal Ensemble have fond memories of Bremen, where they have recorded in the radio broadcast hall on various occasions and produced Marc-Antoine Charpentier's Baroque opera La Descente d'Orphee aux Enfers, for which they won a Grammy Award in 2015. Their current release featuring Johann Sebastiani's St. Matthew Passion pays tribute to Konigsberg's music culture and to the composer who was one of its central representatives.

Stephen Stubbs, Maxine Eilander - Sonate al Pizzico (2004)

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Stephen Stubbs, Maxine Eilander - Sonate al Pizzico (2004)

Stephen Stubbs, Maxine Eilander - Sonate al Pizzico (2004)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 274 Mb | Total time: 60:55 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Atma | ACD22272 | Recorded: 2000, 2002

If you like attractive, expertly performed music for plucked strings, then these original compositions and arrangements of Italian renaissance works for chitarrone, chitarra spagnola (five-course Spanish guitar), and arpa doppia (double harp) will surely delight. Every work here is pleasant and tuneful–a few even aspire to greater musical heights. Frescobaldi's Partite Sopra Passacalgli, for example, benefits from Stephen Stubbs and Maxine Eilander's arrangement, which, while sacrificing a measure of the harpsichord's original edge, nonetheless heightens the chromaticism and texture of the evolving fugue.

Stephen Stubbs, Currende, Tragicomedia - Stefano Landi: La Morte d'Orfeo (1989)

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Stephen Stubbs, Currende, Tragicomedia - Stefano Landi: La Morte d'Orfeo (1989)

Stephen Stubbs, Currende, Tragicomedia - Stefano Landi: La Morte d'Orfeo (1989)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 450 Mb | Total time: 118:38 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Accent | ACC 30046 | Recorded: 1987

Stefano Landi (1587-1639) was a Roman by birth and career. He enjoyed the support of several powerful and culture-loving Roman families, for whom he composed numerous vocal pieces. Landi might well have been the personality who would make Rome the successor to Florence and Mantua as the commanding center for early experimentation in opera. Because of the fluctuating opposition of successive popes to theatrical performances, such was not to be, and it was Venice that would fill the vacuum. It was during an early period in Padua (his family’s home city), in about 1619, that Landi made his only venture into opera, composing La Morte d’Orfeo.

Stephen Stubbs, Paul O’Dette, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra - Handel: Almira (2020)

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Stephen Stubbs, Paul O’Dette, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra - Handel: Almira (2020)

Stephen Stubbs, Paul O’Dette, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra - Handel: Almira (2020)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 1.17 Gb | Total time: 241:55 | Scans included
Classical | Label: CPO | 555 205-2 | Recorded: 2018

The Boston Early Music Festival has recorded George Frideric Handel’s very first opera, Almira, Queen of Castile, with a superlatively sumptuous ensemble. For its previous recordings of Baroque operas this successful ensemble has won prizes such as the Grammy, the German Record Critics Annual Prize, and the Echo Klassik. The Hungarian soprano Emõke Baráth sings the role of Almira with a choice ensemble of singers, all of whom have performed in the world’s most renowned concert halls and opera houses. Handel’s Almira is based on a freely invented plot featuring fine entertainment in the form of love and marriage schemes among the nobility, infidelity and mistaken identities, and a happy ending brought about by a court servant’s negotiations. This work was presented at the Hamburg Opera House in 1705 about twenty times and with great success.

Stephen Stubbs, Teatro Lirico - Antonio Sartorio: L'Orfeo (1999)

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Stephen Stubbs, Teatro Lirico - Antonio Sartorio: L'Orfeo (1999)

Stephen Stubbs, Teatro Lirico - Antonio Sartorio: L'Orfeo (1999)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 652 Mb | Total time: 72:38+71:44 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Vanguard Classics | 99194 | Recorded: 1998

Born in Venice, Antonio Sartorio (1630-1680) composed 14 operas. He often made the long journey from Hanover, where he held the post of Maestro di Capella to the Duke of Brunswick, to compose and present new operas in his native city and recruit musicians for the German court. He is credited with introducing Italian opera to the Hanover court in 1672. Sartorio finally returned to Venice to be Maestro at St Mark’s where he composed sacred music, albeit not as much as the renowned Coffi might have been expected of him in that position.

Paul O'Dette, Stephen Stubbs, Boston Early Music Festival - Johann Georg Conradi: Ariadne (2005)

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Paul O'Dette, Stephen Stubbs, Boston Early Music Festival - Johann Georg Conradi: Ariadne (2005)

Paul O'Dette, Stephen Stubbs, Boston Early Music Festival - Johann Georg Conradi: Ariadne (2005)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 872 Mb | Total time: 175:44 | Scans included
Classical | Label: CPO | # 777073-2 | Recorded: 2004

This CPO issue of Johann Georg Conradi's 1691 opera Ariadne is based out of a revival of this obscure work produced in 2003 as part of the Boston Early Music Festival. One might be surprised to see the name of Conradi above the title of such a large opera set – has anybody really heard of this guy? What is up with this opera?
German Baroque opera has spent centuries in the shadows. At one time this entire historical genre was considered of only marginal value when held up to the shining example of George Frideric Handel. Closer examination of the topic reveals that this was one man's opinion, namely that of nineteenth century musicologist Friedrich Chrysander.

Paul O'Dette, Stephen Stubbs, Boston Early Music Festival Vocal & Chamber Ensemble - Charpentier: Acteon (2010)

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Paul O'Dette, Stephen Stubbs, Boston Early Music Festival Vocal & Chamber Ensemble - Charpentier: Acteon (2010)

Paul O'Dette, Stephen Stubbs, Boston Early Music Festival Vocal & Chamber Ensemble - Charpentier: Actéon (2010)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 383 Mb | Total time: 66:19 | Scans included
Classical | Label: CPO | # 777 613-2 | Recorded: 2009

Marc-Antoine Charpentier was neglected for centuries after his death, but by the late 20th century increased frequency of performances and recordings revealed him as one of the geniuses of the Baroque. He had a distinctive, individual voice and a gift for subtle emotional expression capable of evoking the most profound grief, as well as a loopy humor rarely associated with music of his era.

Paul O'Dette, Stephen Stubbs, Boston Early Music Festival Vocal & Chamber Ensemble - Handel: Acis and Galatea (2015)

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Paul O'Dette, Stephen Stubbs, Boston Early Music Festival Vocal & Chamber Ensemble - Handel: Acis and Galatea (2015)

Paul O'Dette, Stephen Stubbs, Boston Early Music Festival Vocal & Chamber Ensemble - Handel: Acis and Galatea (2015)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 707 Mb | Total time: 107:18 | Scans included
Classical | Label: CPO | # 777 877-2 | Recorded: 2013

Both Acis and Galatea and the cantata Sarei troppo felice heard here represent decisive turning points in Handel’s career. The Italian cantata came at the beginning of the one and half decades spent by Handel in the service of various patrons. Acis and Galatea marks the highpoint of this phase and therefore, like the cantata before it, clearly renders recognizable the musical means available to him in the private ensembles of his employers. Moreover, Acis and Galatea contains the musical and textual seeds of the English oratorio, which after 1742 completely supplanted opera compositions.