The Muses Restor’d

Brecon Baroque, Rachel Podger

20,9934,49
(8 press reviews)

Exclusively Available in Stereo and 5 Channel Surround Sound DSD 256, DSD 128 & DSD 64 plus Stereo DSD 512 at NativeDSD!

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One of 2024’s Best Classical Albums 

Exclusively Available in Stereo and 5 Channel Surround Sound DSD 256, DSD 128 & DSD 64 plus Stereo DSD 512 at NativeDSD!

Award-winning Baroque violinist Rachel Podger takes the resurgence of the Arts in England post-1660 as the compelling inspiration for her new album, The Muses Restor’d . Geoff Brown from The Times has called this album one of The Best Classical Albums of 2024.

Adopting its title as its theme, Rachel and her vivacious Brecon Baroque take the listener on a journey of captivating violin-led chamber music from Jacobean to Early Georgian England. Ranging from the gentle intimacy of consort idioms to the full-blown instrumental virtuosity of the evolving Baroque period, this album uncovers little known glories of English instrumental music and its influences.

This refined and intimately chiseled chamber music celebrates a rich tradition where the violin joins a plethora of keyboards, lutes, viol and continuo cello reinstating these sonatas, fantasies, suites, grounds and popular tunes to the mainstream of English cultural life of the time. Together with four musicians from Brecon Baroque, Rachel Podger performs works by Handel, Lawes, Blow, Locke, Purcell, Schop, Jenkins, Baltzar and Jones.

Rachel Podger plays a violin made in Genoa in 1739 by Pesarinius and bow by René Groppe. Rachel
Podger is grateful for the loan of a short Baroque violin bow by Philip Brown from The Royal Academy of
Music, which she used in some of the works on this recording.

“This oeuvre provides a deeply satisfying kaleidoscope of musical expression over a century of British musical life.”
– Rachel Podger


Rachel Podger, Violin
Brecon Baroque

Tracklist

Please note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
1.
Handel - Sonata in D - Affetuoson Eb - Allegro con Brio
03:15
2.
Handel - Sonata in D - Allegro
02:45
3.
Handel - Sonata in D - Largo
01:58
4.
Handel - Sonata in D - Allegro
02:25
5.
Lawes - Sonata no. 8 - Fantazia
06:06
6.
Lawes - Sonata no. 8 - 'La Goutte'Alman
04:13
7.
Lawes - Sonata no. 8 - Gailliard
02:09
8.
Blow - Ground in G minor
03:19
9.
Locke - Little Consort in two parts - Fantazie
01:21
10.
Locke - Little Consort in two parts - Pavan
03:36
11.
Locke - Little Consort in two parts - Ayre
01:45
12.
Locke - Little Consort in two parts - Courante
01:04
13.
Locke - Little Consort in two parts - Saraband
00:27
14.
Locke - Little Consort in two parts - Ayre
01:52
15.
Locke - Little Consort in two parts - Courante
01:03
16.
Locke - Little Consort in two parts - Saraband
01:20
17.
Purcell - Sonata in G minor - Adagio Allegro Largo Vivace
07:02
18.
Schop - Lachrimae
03:57
19.
Jenkins - Fantasia Suite - Fantasia
05:09
20.
Jenkins - Fantasia Suite - Air
04:00
21.
Jenkins - Fantasia Suite - Courante
02:01
22.
Baltzar - Prelude from The Division Violin
03:13
23.
Barsanti - 'Lochaber' ffrom A Collection of Old Scots Tunes
01:21
24.
Purcell - Lilli Bullero - A New Irish Tune
01:18
25.
Oswald - allowa House from A Curious Collection of Scots Tunes
01:26
26.
Geminiani - A Treatise of Good Taste - Auld Bob Morrice
03:15
27.
Jones - Chamber Airs - Preludio: Largo
02:37
28.
Jones - Chamber Airs - Allegro
03:29
29.
Jones - Chamber Airs - Giga: Allegro
02:08

Total time: 01:19:34

Additional information

Label

SKU

46324

Qualities

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Channels

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Artists

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Composers

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Genres

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Analog to Digital Converter

Horus, Merging Technologies at DSD 256

Cables

Van den Hul 3T cables (exclusive use)

Mastering Engineer

Jared Sacks

Microphones

Brüel & Kjær 4006, Schoeps

Original Recording Format

Pre Amps

Rens Heijnis, Custom Design

Producer

Jonathan Freeman-Attwood

Recording Engineer

Jared Sacks

Recording Location

The Church of St. John the Evangelist, Upper Norwood, London in November 2023

Speakers

Grimm LS1

Release DateMay 24, 2024

Press reviews

The Times

The British goddess of the gut-stringed violin (…)

(…) Podger’s playing lacks nothing in expressivity. The Jenkins and Locke prove wonderfully bouncy, and the album’s selection of adapted folk tunes couldn’t be more charming if they tried. Above all, Podger and her Brecon colleagues radiate infectious delight in the music they perform.

Gramophone

… this exploration of post-1660 English music and its influences from Rachel Podger plays out as a veritable cornucopia of musical shapes and languages. Also as a very intimate offering, given this is a body of repertoire which, for all its variety, rarely expands beyond three parts – meaning Podger is joined by just four of her Brecon Baroque colleagues: Reiko Ichise (six-string bass viol), Felix Knecht (violoncello), Elizabeth Kenny (archlute, theorbo, lutes, Baroque guitar) and Marcin Świątkiewicz (harpsichord, organ).

Presto

violin-first works are of course flawlessly performed and often thrilling, the most fascinating music on the album remains the intimate ‘chamber polyphony’ of the three great consort composers, and the beautiful folksong adaptations.

de Volksrant

Music that explores and surprises (…)  the first movement of the sonata with which Podger opens the album is beautiful : a delicate, pensive Affettuoso that bridges the centuries with ease.

Opus Klassiek

This listening feast is also a journey through decidedly captivating, violin-led chamber music, in which the transition from the elegant intimacy of the consort idiom to the more exuberant instrumental brilliance of the Baroque can also unfold in a beautifully stylised way. The sophistication that is evident in these interpretations does not stand in the way of the expressive sparkle for a second, nor does there be a moment in which the musician’s character fades in the slightest. Jared Sacks captured this great game sublimely. A gem of an album!

Rondo Magazin (DE)

Rachel Podger shows how exquisitely one can sing on an Italian violin from 1738 in the opening sonata in D major by Handel from Halle. The finale, however, belongs to a giga by a certain Richard Jones, bursting with vitality and virtuosity. It is easy to imagine that this piece would have caused a great deal of amazement and great atmosphere even in the pubs of yesteryear

Opus Klassiek

I have yet to come across an album from violinist Rachel Podger that disappoints, which in itself is quite special. It is also special that she has been closely associated with the Channel Classics label for many years.

Her choice of repertoire is also special, often with the prospect of a fascinating listening adventure. Podger has founded an ensemble that plays on ‘authentic’ (usually replicas) instruments – Brecon Baroque.

On Podger’s latest album, The Muses Restor’d, the star is English and Scottish music from the seventeenth century, with a few excursions into the eighteenth century. What is particularly striking is that most (instrumental) music from that period is predominantly limited to no more than three parts. Although there are exceptions, such as the earlier consort suites by Jenkins and Lawes, with the addition of the harpsichord.

This listening party is also a journey through truly fascinating chamber music led by the violin, in which the transition from the elegant intimacy of the consort idiom to the more exuberant instrumental brilliance of the Baroque can unfold in a beautifully stylized manner. The refinement evident in these performances does not hinder the expressive sparkle for a second, nor does there appear to be a moment in which the musicianship character fades in the slightest.

Jared Sacks captured this great game again sublimely. A gem of an album!

The Times 5 out of 5

One of The Best Classical Albums of 2024

There’s a novel feature about the latest album by Rachel Podger, the British goddess of the gut-stringed violin, supported by a quartet from her period instrument band, Brecon Baroque.

The repertoire remains centered on the 17th and 18th century, but after more than 30 releases she has finally put mainland Europe aside and turned to the wonderful instrumental output of the British Isles.

A sonata by that famous German visitor Handel may start us off, but the heart of the matter lies in English consort suites by three quirky genre masters (William Lawes, Matthew Locke, John Jenkins), with the adventurous and relatively unknown Richard Jones thrown in for good measure.

Podger’s playing lacks nothing in expressivity. The Jenkins and Locke prove wonderfully bouncy, and the album’s selection of adapted folk tunes couldn’t be more charming if they tried.

Above all, Podger and her Brecon colleagues radiate infectious delight in the music they perform.

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