dda 21215 (2 CD set)
MUSICWEB 'RECORDING OF THE MONTH, November 2010
   
cd image

 

CHARLES AVISON: HARPSICHORD SONATAS, Op. 5 & 7
GARY COOPER (harpsichord),
PAVLO BEZNOSIUK and CAROLINE BALDING (violins), ROBIN MICHAEL (cello)

This set is the final release in the Avison Ensemble's complete recording of Avison's orchestral and chamber music, marvellous baroque works of inspiration which have been greeted with delight by customers and critics alike. Here we have the twelve harpsichord sonatas of opus 5 and opus 7 - a worthy culmination of a fine series.

Other CDs in our Avison series: 21210 21211 21213 21214

To buy all five volumes at a special low price find product no. MW5

CD DURATION:  CD1: 65.32 CD2: 46.36

AUDIO SAMPLE: Keyboard sonata op. 7 no. 1 - 1st movement (extract)





BUY IN THE UK:

£15.99


BUY IN THE USA:

$23.99


DIGITAL DOWNLOAD:




tracks:
Harpsichord Sonatas:
op. 5 no. 1 in G major
op. 5 no. 2 in C major
op. 5 no. 3 in B flat major
op. 5 no. 4 in E flat major
op. 5 no. 5 in G major
op. 5 no. 6 in A major
op. 7 no. 1 in G major
op. 7 no. 2 in G minor
op. 7 no. 3 in B flat major
op. 7 no. 4. in D minor
op. 7 no. 5 in A minor
op. 7 no. 6 in A major

review extracts: for full reviews click here
“I am thrilled beyond measure; not only are [these sonatas] fully professional, gloriously melodic pieces of great imagination, but they do not shy away from rhythmic complexities and extraordinary flair... superbly crafted melodic gems. We can be grateful to the Avison Ensemble for giving us this set, played with great authority. The sound is clear, very close, and detailed. Wonderful stuff!” – Steven Ritter (Audiophile Audition)
“Remarkable discs... remarkable as much for the glories of the music they contain as for the brilliance of the Avison Ensemble's playing and in particular Gary Cooper's delightful harpsichord virtuosity. A very welcome and refreshing release.” – Marc Rochester (International Record Review)

“[Avison's] standing as a composer is significantly higher than might be supposed. Fortunately recordings such as this have begun to show how adaptable, personable, imaginative and clever is his writing. Not only is Avison's writing broad-minded and full of thematic interest, but Gary Cooper and his eminent cohorts fully worthy of it; the combination is outstanding in every way. Recording quality (first class), performances and music come together in a wholly splendid way.” – Jonathan Woolf (MusicWeb) - MUSICWEB RECORDING OF THE MONTH

“Such a rich sound… affectionate performances… adding to our knowledge and appreciation of one of Northern England's unsung musical heroes.” - Andrew McGregor (BBC Radio 3 CD Review)

“These recordings reveal that [Avison's] music is of a consistently high level. [They] are still able to reach out and appeal to music-lovers today. That is even more the case when they are played with so much fire and passion. Gary Cooper plays the keyboard parts brilliantly, with technical perfection and artistic fervour. Exemplary booklets which provide the listener with all the necessary information. The recording leaves nothing to be desired. In short, this set offers almost two hours of first-rate musical entertainment.” – Johan van Veen (MusicWeb)
“[Avison's] provincial isolation may explain his considerable originality, exemplified in these two sets of six sonatas.” Performance ×××× Recording ×××× - George Pratt (BBC Music Magazine)
“A welcome pendant to the concerti grossi. The keyboard parts are virtuosic and relished by Gary Cooper. The modest string parts enrich the effect of the music.” – Peter Grahame Woolf (Musical Pointers)

“ [Avison's] puzzlingly neglected music is one of the great treasure troves of the baroque period. To describe the sound - every part is clear and present, performed with graceful passion, resulting in sound that is well-defined and quietly powerful. This excellent double CD … is highly recommended if you want to discover some wonderful music and hear proof that the sound does still matter.” - ‘Pliable' (Overgrownpath.com)

“My respect for the works of this Newcastle composer increases by leaps and bounds. His writing for the harpsichord is both brilliant and sensitive. First rate ensemble.” – Robert Anderson (Music & Vision)

“Avison… discovered a melodic-harmonic vein of charm . As to the performances by the Avison Ensemble, they are worthy of the music they play, being both suavely urbane and stylistically astute. Technically, there's nothing to challenge these musicians. Definitely recommended.” – Barry Brenesal (Fanfare)
“A lovingly played baroque master work, this is a sure bet for harpsichord lovers. This stuff has been so cool that you hate to see the series come to a conclusion.” – Chris Spector (MidWest Record)
“These musicians seem to have just the amicable rapport that Avison was looking for, and their performance comes off with joy and aplomb” – Katz (American Record Guide)