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K&K for the New Year

Ulrich Herkenhoff The Art of Pan
Concert for Pan Flute and Organ

South American Christmas choral-music from the baroque era,
performed by Grupo Canto Coral Buenos Aires
(Chamber Choir and Baroque-orchestra)

Renaissance works of Johannes Ockeghem and Estonian sacred folk songs
Conductor: Margo Kõlar

This seasonal offering received provides a good opportunity to introduce readers who don't know K&K to a unique presence on the internet - a fine specialist German label which has given us great pleasure over the years.

Their releases are all enticingly illustrated in the full insert booklets, which carry information and photos. Most are recordings of live concerts, many of them given in the beautiful Maulbronn Monastery, an UNESCO world heritage site in Baden-Wuerttemberg.

If you Google search "K&K" within Musical Pointers, you will find eight reviews of these special productions, all recorded to the highest standard.

The panpipe is a seductive instrument and this German artist was inspired to take it up by hearing a Rumanian virtuoso as a boy. This recital ranges through Bach, Telemann & Mozart via Cesar Franck to Bartok and a Rumanian Doina. Quite delightful.

The south American disc is predictably lively and attractive with rhythmic vitality that you might expect. The musical aspects of colonial Latin America are not well known; an important cultural symbiosis extends through to the end of the 18th century and, in some regions, it lasts up to the early 19th century along with the wars of independence. With this disc the notes, unusually, come only in German. But do not be daunted; track listing, explanatory notes and texts in three languages are on line at a click together with substantial mp3 sound samples to enjoy and whet the musical appetite.

Johannes Ockeghem (1417-1497) has for long been a favourite early composer of ours, mainly through the explorations of The Clerks' Group (e.g. http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2000/july00/ockehhem2.htm) and this CD has been reviewed previously at http://musicalpointers.co.uk/reviews/cddvd/OckeghemnEstonian_sacred.htm
It is difficult to perform and, so we are told, "Ockeghem‘s works make such unusual demands that their performance is considered a test of courage"...

For something definitely different to bring in the New Year each of these discs is highly recommendable. And do indulge yourselves by surfing K&K's website and sampling what they have to offer, a feast for the eyes and the ears !

Peter Grahame Woolf

Two More for 2010

K&K's first offerings this year are two fine live concerts of baroque music given by the Wolfgang Bauer Consort, one a mixed programme
the other of Telemann.

Bauer is a magnificent trumpeter, and his instrument is featured in both programmes. The recordings capture the ambience of the Maulbronn Monastery and as usual there are splendid photos on the KKL website.

Both are highly recommendable; isn't it time now for K&K to venture into DVDs?