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Naïve Baroque Re-issues

In UK, NewNote has acquired distribution of the prestigious Naïve Baroque Series catalogue, which has built up a reputation, recently especially associated with the brilliant interpretations of Rinaldo Alessandrini and his Concerto Italiano.  A group of these will be released on 20 August and several will be assessed by Musical Pointers reviewers in due course. PGW 

See details and cover images of fifteen of them on Crochet’s website.

On Naïve’s presentation

How do you package a re-issue? Many record companies pay tribute to the original – Helios discs re-work the artwork of their Hyperion parents, DG Originals provide a photo of the cover of, well… the original LP. Some CD transfers (Decca, Sony) are even made to look like LPs, with retro styling.

Naïve has come up with the simplest (and best?) idea of all – to take the original discs and simply issue them inside new cardboard wrappers. Apart from brand identity, this is a necessity – in many countries distributors require the number to be on the spine – though you have to make sure in this case he disc is filed the right way round.

I don’t follow the vicissitudes of different record labels abroad with the same ease as those soap opera-like changes are available for home-based companies, but Naïve are now responsible for Opus 111 as well as having been for some time the new name for Auvidis. (the name was originally used for Auvidis mid-price, and must, I suppose, have been chosen in its Schillerian meaning (Naïve vs Sentimental)) In any case, this means that Naïve can now count in its catalogue not only the highly regarded Auvidis performers (Jordi Savall and Hesperion XX, Accentus, Francois Frederic Guy and so on) but also Opus 111’s eclectic collection, which includes not only Alessandrini but also Griogry Sokolov. To become their new UK distributors is a feather in New Note's cap.

Ying Chang


Reviews of specific discs:

Jesuit music written in China
Vivaldi concertos and cantatas
Handel's first oratorio
Pergolesi and A Scarlatti Stabat Mater

ntier and Allegri

Two of the CDs, given by voices and organ only, are relatively austere in contrast with those listed above involving star soloists and Alessandrini’s Concerto Italiano.

Charpentier’s mass and motets are sung by the ladies of Saint-Cyr, pure voices which do not suggest operatic training, mostly in duos or trios, punctuated by short passages on the organ, the latter likely to be the focus of the sacred programme for most non-specialist listeners. It is a remarkable instrument , one of several around which the Jeux d’Orgues en Yvelines’ Festival is organized, to promote the wealth and diversity of the district’s organ heritage.  Dating from the mid-18th C., incorporating  material from 1667, and meticulously restored 1972-94, it is an instrument to be proud of, with decidedly individual  personality, well displayed by Michel Chapuis in 1996 at this festival which draws enthusiasts from far and wide.

The music is calm and reassuring as to the eternal verities, a peaceful experience if you allow the acoustic of the church at Houdan to envelop you. Fully documented as one expects from this source, there are photos of the ancient console and of the bellows behind.

Far more familiar is the key work on the Allegri disc, with the professional group A sei voci, with Dominique Ferran at the organ of the Priory of Vivoin.

It is bookended by two versions of the ubiquitous Miserere, more often heard as a showpiece for a choir’s best boy sopranos; there are many recordings, a notable one by the young Roy Goodman [http://www.crotchet.co.uk/4663732.html].  Here the top line is taken by, presumably, Ruth Holton, the ten singers directed by Bernard Fabre-Garrus.  The novelty
is that the Miserere is also to be heard in a version with elaborate baroque ornamentaton.

With a Mass setting and several motets, it gives us a broader view of this composer than known to many of us, and it is duly recommendable.

Peter Grahame Woolf