Notes & Reviews:
DAS ALTE WERK was inaugurated in 1958 with the release of 7" discs of Gregorian chant and music by the medieval French composer Guillaume de Machaut, quickly gaining a reputation for historically informed, high-quality recordings. There soon followed LPs of harpsichord sonatas by Scarlatti, concerti grossi by Handel and partitas for solo violin by Bach. The signing of Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Gustav Leonhardt, Frans Brüggen and Jaap Schröder ushered in a new era. The rediscovery of the authentic sound of period instruments, scholarly research into original sources and the obvious delight the label's pioneering young artists had in their music-making combined to offer the listener new and fascinating musical experiences. As the field of the early music revival shed light on forgotten masterpieces and new paths were explored, DAS ALTE WERK rapidly became the touchstone by which other labels were judged, not least for Harnoncourt and Leonhardt's epoch-making complete series of Bach's sacred cantatas. This selection of 4 bestsellers – all previously discontinued – is reissued with the original iconic cover art. All of them have a new UPC. In addition, 3 milestone recordings have been gathered in the new 4CD box: Music at the Habsburg and Mannheim Courts. Others to follow soon.