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Provides an introduction to the music of the seventeenth century with details on the lives of the composers and musicians and includes more than forty music tracks.
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Unger-Hamilton's survey of Baroque music includes 41 musical selections from such well-known composers as Bach, Handel, and Vivaldi. To an American ear, Sebastian Comberti's British accent and somewhat Waspish voice sound ultra-precise, but his expressiveness and seemingly genuine interest in the material keep him likable and engaging. His French, Italian, and German accents are excellent. His pacing is lively, perhaps a shade quick at times, given the amount of detail covered. The program's audio format makes the musical examples immediately available; the performances are uniformly good. Some selections are identified only afterward, which can be frustrating, but all, with their performers, are listed in an accompanying booklet. This program is instruction at its best--informative and enjoyable. W.M. © AudioFile 2009, Portland, MaineReview:
With 40 tracks illustrating the glory of baroque music, and a narration as lively as Vivaldi's Spring, this is a delight. As well as providing details of composers' lives, this 2-CD set brings home what it must have been like to hear the music when it was first performed. - Rachel Redford, The Observer The annus mirabilis of baroque music is 1685, the year in which its three greatest composers and performers - J.S. Bach, George Frederick Handel and Domenico Scarlatti - were all born. This comprehensive guide is packed with historical facts and riveting anecdotes (but for the silver button on his coat which deflected his opponent's sword, Handel might have been killed in a duel aged 19). Reader Sebastian Comberti is a professional cellist and clearly knows what he's talking about. Best of all, the text is punctuated with glorious bursts of famous and less well-known sonatas, cantatas, partitas, fugues, concertos and oratorios. Why have I never heard the wonderful aria Leave Me to WeepA" from Handel's opera Rinaldo before? A must for every serious music lover, baroque or otherwise. - Sue Arnold, The Guardian The perusal of an improving book being one of Jeeves's customary leisure pursuits, the dignified manservant would probably have enjoyed Clive Unger-Hamilton's Discover Music of the Baroque Era which combines 40 glorious music tracks with a lively and informative explanation of why the period (roughly 1600 to 1750, the year J.S. Bach died) can stake an unbeatable claim to be music's golden age. The first operas were written and performed, and the concerto, sonata and cantata were developed with vitality and brilliance. It is a cultural geography lesson, too, as the Italian peninsula's musical dominance (with Monteverdi at the pinnacle) is overtaken by superstars from the German states, with the prolific genius of Bach dominating. Enjoy the words, which mix musicology with insights into the musicians' private lives, then sit back and revel in the music. - Karen Robinson, The Sunday Times This wonderful audiobook will delight music lovers and will serve as an excellent introduction to the Baroque era for those with no background at all. The bulk of the recording is made up of performances of either entire musical works or entire movements from concertos and symphonies. The amount of text is just right to explain and introduce each piece of music. Unger-Hamilton has the musical background to produce this work and in Comberti, born in London of Italian/German parents and himself a professional musician, the listener will find a the perfect narrator. His pronunciations of the several languages required (French, Italian, German) are impeccable and his knowledge and love for music are apparent. Comberti is a cellist and performs in recitals and with chamber music groups. He founded the Cello Classics recording label which has won international acclaim for its innovative programming. A booklet provides a listing of all the pieces played as well as performers. - Sue Rosenzweig, SoundCommentary.com
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Book Description Naxos AudioBooks, 2009. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M962634959X