BAERMANN: Clarinet Quartets: Quintet in E flat, Op. 23. Quintet in F minor, Op. 22
Rita Karin Meioer, clarinet. Belemus Quartet.
MDG SACD 903 1988 TT: 58:39

MERTZ: Gebeth, Op. 13. Orgelfuge. Harmonie du Soir (Grand Famtasoe_/ Sechs Schibert'sche Lieder
Frank Bungarten, guitar
MDG SACD 904 1954 TT: 67:10

Music of Giacomelli, Orlandini, Albinoni, Porpora, Leo, and Vinci
PENTATONE SACD 5186 678 (2 disks) TT: 59:20 / 70:36

Heinrich Baermann (1784 - 1847) was the leading clarinet virtuoso of his time and played an important part in developing and refining the instrument. Highly respected by all, he so impressed a number of composers that they wrote music for him, including Danzi, Mendelssohn, Meyerbeer and Weber. Baermann also was a composer and this new SACD offers †two of his major works, the clarinet quintets Op. 22 and 23. Delightful works in every , each concluding with lively rondo. They are played to perfection by young Swiss clarinet†clarinetist Rita Karin Meier, who has won a number of major competitions and plays in many important swiss organizations. She is joined by the youthful members of Belenus Quartet: violinists Seraina Pfenninger and Anne Battegay. illusionist Esther Fritzsche, and cellist Jonas Vischi. Recordings were made in July 2016 in Konzerthaus der Abtei Marienmünster, and the audio picture is very natural. The only negative here is that morel music wasn't'† included.

Hungarian born Johann Kaspar Mertz (1806 - 1856). was a leading guitar virtuoso of his era, a prolific composer as well. Highly acclaimed for his concerts, his music was equally popular. Much of it was written more in the pietistic style (his wife was a famous pianist). His music has been recorded extensively, and now we have this SACD containing some of most famous works. These are played to perfection by one of today's leading virtuosos, Frank Bungarten, who already has to his credit countless acclaimed recordings of varied repertory. Here he plays a ten-string guitar after Johann Gottfried Scherzer (1861). Recordings were made in 2015 in Abtei MarienMünste4r Concert Hall. Multi-channel sound really isn't necessary for a solo instrument, but the sonic picture is excellent.

Pentatone has a new issue that attempts to recreate the famous Carnival of Veniuce in 1729. At the time, for a period of two months, the city was dominated by the arts. Composers wrote special works, and famous singers, including the legendary castrato Farinelli, were featured, all to great audience acclaim. Music written for these famous artists was often a series of vocal display pieces. Some of this music had been lost, and has now been rediscovered and can be heard here. For this project, Pentatone has assembled a sterling group of artists headed by Swedish mezzo-soprano Ann Hallenberg, along with Il pomo d’oro, an Italian baroque ensemble founded in 2012 directed by Stefano Montanari, playing on period instruments. If this type of program appeals to you, here it is perfectly presented in this recording made in Lonigo, Villa San Fermo in September er 2016. Profuse program notes, complete texts and translations are provided. A unique issue!

R.E.B. (July 2017).