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Thread: HIP Artists and Ensembles

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    Default HIP Artists and Ensembles

    My collection at the moment completely consists of standard Romantic/post-Romantic orchestras/instruments, even for classical and earlier works, but I'm interested in getting more acquainted with historically informed performances.

    At the moment, I'm interested in hearing about the most highly regarded conductors and orchestras in this area so that I can browse by ensemble, as I'm not necessarily looking for a particular piece (though, by default, I think I'll explore some HIP Mozart first). Bear in mind that I'm not that interested in HIPerformances of solo keyboard works - I don't think I'm ready to abandon the sound of the modern piano quite yet!

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    In HIP Mozart, Rene Jacobs' recordings of the operas are basically the go-to recordings. I'm also particularly fond of John Eliot Gardiner's Mozart 39 and 41 with the English Baroque Soloists (they're great in basically anything).

    Apart from Mozart, the English Baroque Soloists and the Bach Collegium Japan are the two I always listen to. They're both just wonderful.

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    Senior Member Aksel's Avatar
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    How far back are you going? I have some HIP music in my collection, mostly Baroque which I find very good indeed. Mostly opera, though. And some Vivaldi concerti.
    But if you're looking towards HIP opera as well, I do recommend René Jacobs' recent recording of Die Zauberflöte. A really interesting recording and with some very sexy brass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aksel View Post
    How far back are you going?
    I'll start off in the classical period, but I'm happy going back towards renaissance music as well.

    Also, with an initial browse, I noticed a disc of John Eliot Gardiner with some Beethoven and Brahms - is it safe to assume that each individual recording with the same orchestra uses appropriate forces for each individual composer, or is it a one-size-for-all type affair?

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    Senior Member Webernite's Avatar
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    As I mentioned in another thread, I like Tafelmusik for HIP Beethoven (at least as far as the symphonies are concerned). And you should definitely take a look at Gardiner's HIP Brahms, which has received considerable attention recently.

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    Junior Member petrarch's Avatar
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    For starters, check the labels Alpha Productions, Ricercare, L'Oiseau-Lyre and Archiv for a good cross section of HIP recordings and ensembles.

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    Senior Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webernite View Post
    And you should definitely take a look at Gardiner's HIP Brahms, which has received considerable attention recently.
    I bought those recordings last year. Amazed by how light Gardiner made the heavy Brahm-sian orchestral sound appear and much less bombastic in doing so, compared with other recordings I have listened to on modern, heavy vibrato big bands.

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    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
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    John Eliot Gardiner, the English Baroque Soloists and the Monteverdi Choir
    René Jacobs
    William Christie and Les Arts Florissants
    Marc Minkowski Les Musiciens du Louvre
    La Venexiana
    Paul McCreesh and Gabrieli Consort
    Harry Christophers and the Sixteen
    Emmanuelle Haim
    Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra
    Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante
    Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
    Andrew Manze and Academy of Ancient Music
    The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
    Christopher Hogwood and The Academy of Ancient Music
    Rinaldo Alessandrini and Concerto Italiano
    Jordi Savall and Hesperion XXI or Les Concert Des Nations
    Martin Pearlman and the Baltimore Baroque
    Andrew Parrott and Taverner Consort
    Anthony Rooley and the Consort of Musicke
    Musica Antiqua Köln

    Seriously... there are just so many...

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    Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur.

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    Jordi Savall - anything by Jordi Savall. That is a good start.

    Suzuki and Bach Collegium Japan for anything Bach.

    Rene Jacobs. His Mozart operas are incredible, but don't forget his Haydn oratorios. I haven't yet heard his recording of the Creation, but his recording of the Seasons is incredible.

    Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert do a wonderful job with Haydn's symphonies.

    I quite enjoy Jos van Immerseel and Anima Eterna's recordings of Mozart's 40th and 41st symphonies, and the Beethoven symphonies are also nice, but I do prefer Vanska.

    I know you are a big Brahms fan, so I would recommend Gardiner's recordings of the German Requiem and the Symphonies of Brahms. The symphonies are now my favorite recordings, but I still prefer Klemperer for the requiem.

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    Junior Member 1648's Avatar
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    Jacobs has great singers and carries them well, though he's rather incompetent as an orchestral conductor (though not as thoroughly awful in Mozart as Minkowski), his written-out ornamentations are icky as well.

    I second Suzuki in Bach and Pinnock in Haydn; Hogwood made great recordings of major Mozart concerti with Robert Levin and Anthony Halstead respectively. Andrea Staier's Mozart piano concerto recordings with Concerto Köln and the Freiburger Barockorchester (my personal favorite among HIP orchestras, their sound is not as overbred and suave as that of the major English orchestras) are among the best ever as well.

    Herreweghe is great when he doesn't over-soften things, Harnoncourt is frequently riveting when he doesn't interpret the score to pieces. I also admire various recordings by Kujiken, Junghänel, Brüggen and Leonhardt
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    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
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    Jacobs has great singers and carries them well, though he's rather incompetent as an orchestral conductor (though not as thoroughly awful in Mozart as Minkowski), his written-out ornamentations are icky as well.

    Of course it is to be fully understood that the terms "incompetent" and "thoroughly awful" mean nothing more in this context than that 1648 personally doesn't like them or prefers the interpretations of others. In other words... the criticism itself is "incompetent and thoroughly awful". By the way... I personally find that Rene Jacobs has done a stellar job on Mozart's operas and Minkowski's interpretation of Mozart's 40th and 41st is incredibly muscular and thrilling.

    As for Suzuki... I'm still not sold on him. Too cold and passionless stark for me. I prefer Gardiner or Koopman.

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    Senior Member DrMike's Avatar
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    Ooh, I almost forgot, try some of CPE Bach's works - early classical. Andrew Manze has some wonderful recordings on Harmonia Mundi.

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    Junior Member 1648's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StlukesguildOhio View Post
    Of course it is to be fully understood that the terms "incompetent" and "thoroughly awful" mean nothing more in this context than that 1648 personally doesn't like them or prefers the interpretations of others. In other words... the criticism itself is "incompetent and thoroughly awful". By the way... I personally find that Rene Jacobs has done a stellar job on Mozart's operas and Minkowski's interpretation of Mozart's 40th and 41st is incredibly muscular and thrilling.
    I've seen Jacobs in rehearsal and performance a few times in the course of the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music, I know musicians from the Academy of Ancient Music Berlin as well as Concerto Köln; while good conducting technique isn't exactly common among HIP conductors his is particularly indecipherable and unpopular - you'd think he's hanging up laundry rather than keeping time. Furthermore his ridiculous, showy tempi and arbitrary accents obscure a lot of rhythmic and structural detail - but hey, who cares about the score, if it's zippy, heavily ornamented and played on period instruments (more or less) it must be authentic, right?

    Minkowski's conducting technique (or lack thereof) is similarly well-known, he knows his way around stuff like Rameau or Händel, but when faced with music of greater rhythmic and dynamic differentiation like Brahms (the rehearsals and performance of his first piano concerto with Hélène Grimaud are infamous to this day) or even Mozart he's rather helpless and has to rely on the self-organization of the musicians. Upon being confronted about a particularly ridiculous tempo choice (he himself couldn't keep up with it) by a concertmaster Minkowski angrily left the rehearsal and demanded an official apology from the orchestra - he isn't merely incompetent as an orchestral leader, he's even proud of it.

    But then again... it does come down to taste, doesn't it?
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    Senior Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1648 View Post

    I second Suzuki in Bach and Pinnock in Haydn; Hogwood made great recordings of major Mozart concerti with Robert Levin and Anthony Halstead respectively. Andrea Staier's Mozart piano concerto recordings with Concerto Köln and the Freiburger Barockorchester (my personal favorite among HIP orchestras, their sound is not as overbred and suave as that of the major English orchestras) are among the best ever as well.
    There is definitely very stylish playing from the English groups you mentioned. Hogwood appears to be one of my favourites when it comes to bringing out the elegance of the Classical idiom. I have the incomplete Mozart piano concerti recording you referred to with Robert Levin; the first to actually improvise the cadences even from take-to-take of each recording session.

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