A Steal of a Deal – TAFELMUSIK


Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra: The Complete Sony Recordings. Originally released between 1989 and 1998, the recordings of the famed orchestra’s Baroque and Classical repertoire are all being issued together for the first time in a single Sony Classical box set of 47 CDs. The price of the set varied depending when and where it can be purchased. My purchase was through http://www.arkivmusic.com for $65 + exchange rate, shipping etc. It is also available from Amazon.ca for around $85+ taxes – shipping is free. That’s less than $2 a disc – a steal of a deal.

Tafelmusik? Who are they? As described in the liner notes of their recent Sony Boxed Set of recordings they are Canada’s award-winning period instrument orchestra that has become an internationally recognized ensemble. Lauded by Gramophone magazine “as one of the world’s top baroque orchestra’s.” Founded in 1979 by Kenneth Jeanne_group_2011Solway and Susan Graves, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra has flourished under the inspired leadership of Jeanne Lamon, who was the Music Director from 1981 to 2014. With its artist-focused mandate and commitment to excellence and innovation , Tafelmusik actively creates new context for the performance of baroque and classical music . The vitality of Tafelmusik’s vision clearly resonates with its audiences : the orchestra performs more than 50 concerts a year in Toronto for a passionate and dedicated following.

At the heart of the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra is a group of remarkably talented , enthusiastic and dynamic permanent members , each of whom is a specialist in historical practice. Their collaboration results in a delightful transparency , vitality and richness of sound , which has gathered acclaim around the world. The musicians participate on many levels , whether as core members, soloists, or contributors to exceptionally creative programming ideas that bring Tafelmusik concerts to life and make them fully relevent in a 21st-century context. Tafelmusik has become a major force on the international scene, with a rigorous touring schedule that sees the orchestra on the road for seven to twelve weeks each year. Regular tours in Canada the United States and Europe are complemented by ambitious tours to more distant destinations such as Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

An integral part of Tafelmusik’s success has been its critically acclaimed discography of over 80 baroque and classical albums, which have garnered many national and international awards. Tafelmusik’s long and celebrated collaboration with Opera Atelier has helped establish Toronto as an important North American centre for baroque and classical opera performance. Tafelmusik has also invested much energy in supporting the next generation of period performers though its artist training programming.


Track List
DISC 1-2: Bach: Six Brandenburg Concertos, BWV 1046-1051
DISC 3: Bach:  Concertos for Violin
DISC 4: W. F. Bach:  Sinfonias, Suite and  Concerto
DISC 5: Beethoven:  Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No.2 in B-flat major, Op.19 and No.1 in C major, Op.15
DISC 6: Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 3 & 4
DISC 7: Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat, Op. 73 “Emperor” & Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 61
DISC 8: Biber: Harmonia Artificioso – Ariosa
DISC 9: Boccherini: Cellokonzerte / Sinfonien
DISC 10:  Boccherini: Cello Concertos
DISC 11: Corelli: Concerti Grossi Op.6
DISC 12: Gazzaniga: Don Giovanni
DISC 13: Geminiani: Concerti Grossi
DISC 14-15: Gluck: Orfeo E  Euridice
DISC 16: Gluck: Don Juan; Semiramis
DISC 17: Handel: Six Concerti Grossi
DISC 18: Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks; Concerti a due cori
DISC 19: Handel: Water Music, Suite from Il Pastor Fido
DISC 20: Haydn: Symphonies Nos.41, 42 & 43
DISC 21: Haydn: Symphonies Nos.44, 51 & 52
DISC 22: Haydn: Symphonies Hob. I: 45, 46 & 47
DISC 23: Haydn: Symphonies Hob. I: 50, 64 & 65
DISC 24: Haydn: Paris Symphonies Hob. I: 82, 83 & 84
DISC 25: Haydn: Paris Symphonies Hob. I: 85, 86 & 87
DISC 26: Haydn:  Symphonies Hob. I: 88, 89 & 90
DISC 27: Haydn:  Paukenmesse; Salve Regina; Motetto “O coelitum beati”
DISC 28: Haydn: Missa Sancti Bernardi de Offida; Motets
DISC 29: Haydn: Theresa and Nelson Masses
DISC 30: Haydn: Missa “Sunt bona mixta malis”; Salve Regina; Ave Regina
DISC 31-32: Haydn: Die Schöpfung (The Creation)
DISC 33: Haydn/Kraft: Cellokonzerte
DISC 34-35: Mozart: 6 Symphonies after Serenades
DISC 36: Mozart: Overtures; Eine kleine Nachtmusik
DISC 37: Mozart: German Dances, K. 509; K. 536/567; K. 571; K. 586
DISC 38: Mozart: Rondo and Horn Concertos
DISC 39: Mozart: Requiem, K. 626
DISC 40: Purcell: Ayres for the Theatre
DISC 41: Schmelzer: Sonatas; Balletti Francesi; Ciaccona
DISC 42: Vivaldi: The Four Seasons; Sinfonia “Al Santo Sepolcro”; Concerto Op.3, No.10
DISC 43: Vivaldi: Concertos for Strings
DISC 44: Vivaldi Concerti
DISC 45: Zelenka: Missa Dei Filii/Litaniae Lauretanae
DISC 46: Stamitz, Richter, Haydn, Gluck: Flute Concertos

That is a lot of music. An even though I have had the collection for over six months I am still digesting its riches. Significant number of pieces are familiar (Bach’s Brandenberg Concertos, Haydn’s Symphonies and Cello Concertos, etc) but there is a significant number that are new to me. For instance, Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644-1704) Harmonia artificioso-ariosa is a wonderfully “wheezy piece” of baroque music that I really enjoy. If his name is unfamiliar to you check out his entry in Wikipedia. Because there is so much material in the collection it is a little unfair to pick out any particular recording for special mention. I am sure every listener will come to his or her own conclusion about their special choices. I can promise you that if the music of the baroque and classical eras are your special interest then this collection will not disappoint. The only down side is that at this price the collection undercuts even the most reasonably priced “live” concert.


PS. For a lucky few, Jeanne Lamond performed with a small chamber group in Christ the Servant Church in Cranbrook some 10+ years ago.


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