LABELS: Dabringhaus und Grimm
WORKS: Works by Handel, Sammartini, Boyce, Geminiani, Porpora, Babell & Valentine
PERFORMER: Musica Alta Ripa
CATALOGUE NO: MDG 309 0779-2
The Hanover-oriented instrumental ensemble Musica Alta Ripa is not well known in the UK. It should be, since its enterprising discography – which includes forays into the music of Bach and two of his most gifted pupils, Goldberg and Müthel – provides evidence of a spirited and accomplished group of musicians.
Londoner’s Taste is a varied programme of pieces by composers, Babell, Boyce and Valentine, are home-grown products, while three others, Handel, Geminiani and Giuseppe Sammartini, ‘thought to be the finest performer on the hautboy [oboe] in Europe’, made England their home. Porpora’s four-year stay in England lasted as long as the fortunes of the opera company which he directed in rivalry to that of Handel.
The pieces have been well chosen, with a thought for effective programming. Three of them feature a recorder, played with taste and requisite virtuosity by Danya Segal. These qualities are also present in violinist Anne Röhrig’s delightful account of Geminiani’s Variations on a Subject of an English Tune, in which she is sensitively partnered by cellist Albert Brüggen with harpsichordist Bernward Lohr; but the loveliest work here is perhaps the 11th of Boyce’s 12 trios for two violins and continuo. The tender character of its Affetuoso is especially well captured. Nicholas Anderson