COUPERIN:  Pi╦ces de Viole.  Concerts 3 and 11.
Mieneke van der Velden,  viola da gamba; Glen Wilson, harpsichord
CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS SA 18302 TT:  70:30 
(5 channel)

Apparently Couperin's music is extraordinarily difficult to perform; artists heard here are recognized as masters of the repertory. Mieneke van der Velden plays a 1617 viola da gamba as well as another instrument from 1768; Glen Wilson plays a contemporary harpsichord copied after a French instrument dating to the mid-18th century.  They produce a rich sound which doubtless will appeal strongly to those interested in this repertory.  On this recording they are larger than life, placed primarily in front of the listener but with much reflected sound as well.    It's an odd choice for multi-channel recording.

 

"The Coronation of King George II"
Choir of The King's Consort; The King's Consort; Robert King, cond.
HYPERION SACDA 67286 (2 CDs) TT: 100:47 (5.l channel)

Beautiful concept, perfectly executed. This CD recreates coronation ceremonies for King George II held in Westminster Abbey Oct. 4, 1727, featuring Handel's coronation anthems as well as music of Blow, Gibbons, Purcell, Tallis and many others, in sterling performances spaciously recorded with tasteful and appropriate directionality including distant trumpet fanfares, bell-ringers and processions moving about. Texts are provided - and the 2 CDs sell just about for the price of one.