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Music of Old Cities and Royal Courts, ranging from Monteverdi, Vivaldi & Handel to Sartorio, Schein and Pisendel / Wunderlich, Karajan, Lorengar, Harnoncourt et al.

Notes & Reviews:

In the legendary series Reflexe - Stationen Europaischer Musik, EMI Germany published recordings of Early Music between 1972 and 1983, ranging from the Middle Ages to the Classical Era. Thus each recording in the series focused on a particular composer or group of works, or a particular place or period. The idea per se wasn't new: Producer Gerd Berg himself had already tried it out in the 1960's with the series Musik in alten Stadten und Residenzen (Music of old Cities and Royal Courts), which is now being re-released for the first time in a single box set. Here the focus is on individual music center at a particular time in their development in each case. Historic performing practice was still in its infancy when these recordings were made, between 1961 and 1967. Thus we find artist here for whom this repertoire must have been nothing short experimental at the time: The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra for example, or opera stars like Pilar Loregnar und Teresa Zylis-Gara. In addition, there are singers like Theo Altmeyer and the great Fritz Wunderlich - the latter, now a little-known fact, actually one of the first singers to be accompanied on original instruments. Producer Gerd Berg's decision to enlist the services of Nikolaus Harnoncourt and his Vienna Concentus Musicus in their early days speaks for his far-sightedness. The recordings in this are delightful documents of their time, not least because quite a few of the pieces heard on these discs are not otherwise available at the moment.


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