CD & Blu-ray disc
Sono Luminus proudly presents the first surround sound recording of Zelenka’s five Capriccios. The complex scores have been brought to life under the direction of conductor Daniel Abraham, who also crafted this new edition of the works.
This sonic masterpiece of the Baroque is presented using all period instruments including natural horn for the virtuosic horn lines. This album is presented in a 2-disc package with CD and stunning Blu-ray™ audio dics.
Little is know about Jan Dismas Zelenka’s life as a composer working in the Catholic Court of Dresden. No memoirs or letters from Zelenka survive and only a few documents regarding his personal life have been discovered. The study and hearing of Zelenka’s music is central to understand his contributions. Only recently have scholars begun to examine Zelenka’s rich output and his place within the extremely colorful and imaginative school of Dresden’s musical Baroque. Recent research shows Zelenka’s music as representative of a pinnacle of high Baroque art and as demonstrating exceptional compositional technique, brilliant melodic inventiveness, and a shear uniqueness of style. His instrumental works, in particular, may rival or comfortably sit alongside those of his better-known European contemporaries: Telemann; Rameau; Handel; and J. S. Bach. Recognized as one of North America’s premiere natural horn specialists, R. J. Kelley was recently hailed in the Horn Call (Journal of the International Horn Society) as performing “with virtuosity, precision, and a stylistic mastery that could be matched by few, surpassed by none.”
A member of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra since 1982, Kelley is a horn player of unusually broad musical scope, equally at home as soloist (Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, American Classical Orchestra, Santa Fe Pro Musica), chamber musician (Manhattan Brass, Smithsonian Chamber Players, Aspen Wind Quintet, Universal Piston), orchestral performer (New York Philharmonic, Orpheus, American Ballet Theater, Gotham Opera, Mostly Mozart), recording artist (Mozart Concerti on natural horn, Grammy-nominated Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde in the Schoenberg reduction), and educator (artist faculty, Julliard School of Music; guest teacher/lecturer: Yale University; Hartt School of Music; SUNY Stony Brook; Washington University; San Jose State University). The passagework for the horns, particularly for the principal player, is remarkable and stalwartly virtuosic. There are few examples in the literature (Baroque or beyond) that impose the same demands on the horn players. Even Bach’s well-known “Brandenburg” Concerto No. 1, while undeniably demanding, does not call for the dexterity, stamina, and extreme clarino playing that Capriccios require from the horns.
The Bach Sinfonia’s previous recordings on the Sono Luminus label have received high critical acclaim in all of the major domestic and international recording review venues including Gramophone, Fanfare, BBC Magazine, Early Music America, Choral Journal, American Record Guide, BBC Radio 3 and Audiophile Audition.