It seems like every disc has to have a gimmick these days: a title, a "concept", or some such, particularly Baroque music collections. This disc has one that's actually musical rather than programmatic, but more importantly, the selection of pieces is splendidly varied and expressively wide-ranging, and the performances are absolutely stunning. What makes them so special is that they remind us that authenticity and timbral beauty aren't mutually exclusive. The strings in particular have a rich, velvety timbre, particularly in the Corelli and the Telemann D major Suite, that's light-years from the desiccated rasping that so often passes for historically informed performance these days. Read more />
It's impossible to point to specific highlights; the music is all so delightfully done. The Rameau suite really dances. It's central storm is aptly pictorial, but also musical, and the two Tambourins close the program with joyous vigor. The Flauto Dolce in the concerto really does sound sweet, and not just breathy; and the two solo flutes in the Tafelmusik overture work harmoniously together to create a charming sonic tapestry. Savall opens the program with the Corelli, making us wish that he would record a complete set of the Op. 6 Concerti grossi. Pellucid engineering complements the performances perfectly, offering warmth without excessive resonance, and letting the players shine. Outstanding!