Sony Classical is delighted to announce the reissue of its recordings by Tafelmusik, the celebrated period-instrument orchestra. Originally released between 1989 and 1998, they are all being issued together for the first time in a single Sony Classical box set of 47 CDs.
Founded in 1979, the Toronto-based ensemble “has built in its special field a reputation as solid as those of the New York or Berlin philharmonics”, declared The Washington Post. The New York Times summed up Tafelmusik¹s achievements, writing that “beyond its impeccable discipline and luminous textures, the group displays an expressive sensibility that transcends the instruments, whether strung with gut or wire”. Some of the Canadian ensemble¹s many awards are the 1996 Echo Klassik (Germany’s highest recording accolade) for “Best Orchestra of the Year” as well as Canada’s JUNO, “Recording of the Month” in BBC Music Magazine, Gramophone Award nomination and “Editor’s Choice, and France¹s Diapason d’Or and CHOC de Monde de La Musique.
Among the Baroque composers and works in this vast Sony Classical Tafelmusik collection are J.S. Bach (Fanfare: “This recording [of the Brandenburg Concertos] is easily the one I would recommend”) and his eldest and perhaps most gifted son, Wilhelm Friedemann (Gramophone: “Tafelmusik are the perfect ensemble to perform this music”); Handel¹s Concerti grossi op. 3 (Gramophone: “Where Tafelmusik comes out comfortably at the head of any league table is in the sheer virtuosity of its playing and the easy gracefulness of its phrasing”) and Water Music (BBC Music Magazine: “Subtle balance impeccable ensemble and Lamon’s sensitive musical direction”); and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (Penguin Guide: “Rosette” [highest accolade]; BBC Music Magazine: “In a hugely overcrowded field, Tafelmusik has come up with a winner”).
The Classical repertoire is represented by Beethoven piano concertos (BBC Music Magazine: “Outstanding instrumental playing [Fortepianist] Jos van Immerseel proves an apt and responsive partner”); Gluck ballet music (Fanfare: “its finest performance to date”); Haydn symphonies (Penguin Guide: “The Sony Tafelmusik recordings set new standards in this repertoire”; Classic CD: “[They were] born to play Haydn”) and masses (American Record Guide: “I would choose the [Bruno Weil Tafelmusik] series if I wanted only one recording of these masterpieces”); as well as the Mozart Requiem (ClassicsToday.com: [highest rating] “Vividly colorful playing naturalness and subtlety”, horn concertos (The Horn Call: “Several things set this recording above the competition”) and “Symphonies after Serenades” (Gramophone: “One of the most exhilarating new recordings I’ve heard for some time”).
There are also acclaimed recordings of Biber¹s violin partitas Harmonia artificioso-ariosa (Penguin Guide: “The airy sprightliness is very attractive”), music by Schmelzer (American Record Guide: “A must for those interested in early instrumental music”) and Geminiani¹s Concerti grossi (Gramophone: “Sparkling. Jeanne Lamon, the lead of Tafelmusik, gets it just right”), as well as Gazzaniga’s comic opera Don Giovanni (High Performance Review: “Superb”) premiered in Venice the same year (1787) as Mozart¹s in Prague and no less successful in its day plus much more.
This Tafelmusik box will be a required purchase for lovers of the Baroque and Classical repertoires, and fans of Canadian classical music!