Quotes:

 

The Nordic Baroque Band spiller fantastisk. Ved nytårskoncerten i Sct. Catharinæ Kirke, Ribe, formåede de i den grad at rive publikum med sig. De leger med musikken på en måde, hvor man får fornemmelsen af, at noderne kun er vejledende og musikken skabes i nuet. De er professionelle og yderst sammenspillede, og så har de det godt sammen, hvilket bidrager til, at publikum oplever koncerten på et højt plan, uden at der skabes distance til dem.

 

Undervejs i koncerten blev musikken kort præsenteret på en måde, hvor man blev levende oplyst og uden at det blev langtrukkent. Samtidig er det måske den eneste koncert jeg har oplevet, hvor hele programmet var ukendt for publikum, men hvor musikernes indlevelse og præsentation af musikken gjorde, at det ikke betød det fjerneste.

 

Jeg skal helt sikkert have besøg af

The Nordic Baroque Band igen, og jeg kan på det varmeste anbefale dem til andre arrangører.

 

Benjamin Friis Nielsen

Organist v. Sct. Catharinæ Kirke

Ribe

 

Biber Sonata VI a 5; Vierdanck Capriccio for 3 violins; Schein Padouana a 5; Campion What if a day;* Telemann Concerto in G major, TWV 40:201; Largo e staccato; Canons mélodieux; Sonata 1 in G major: Allegro, Adagio; Sonata a 3 in D minor, TWV 12:dL: Allegro; Zelenka Lamento 1 zum Gründonnerstag No. 1;* Monteverdi Lamento della Ninfa; Ippolito? Canzona sopra susanna; Schütz Herre, nu låter du din tjänare fara hädan i frid;* Meder Der Polnische Pracher 1. Preludio; Wilche Battaglia; Martin Sérénade: ‘Allez par vos lendres accens Chaconne; Albrici Sonata a 5

*Patrik Sandin (bariton); The Nordic Baroque Band

Ictus IMP 1820 (66 minutter)

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Here’s a pick-and-mix recital programme of Baroque music that can hardly be faulted on musical grounds, but which is let down by stupid presentation. The Nordic Baroque Band – six young Swedish and Danish musicians, with a Swedish singer as guest – has chosen music from all over Europe (and all across the Baroque, too, as it happens) for this recording: the Bohemian-Austrian Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1611–1701); Germans Johann Vierdanck (c. 1605–46), Johann Hermann Schein  (1586-1630), Georg Philipp Telemann (1681–1745), Heinrich Schütz (1585–1672), Johann Valentin Meder (1649–1719) and the little known Cyracus Wilche (1620–67); the Englishman Thomas Campion (1567–1620); the Bohemian Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679–1745); the Italians Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1613), Vincenco Albrici (1631–96) and – one assumes – Ippolito (1550–1609), whose dates seems to be more secure than his name; and one Jean Martin (1650-1710) , whom I presume to be French. I have to presume, because the booklet tells us absolutely nothing about the music or the men who made it; none of the sung texts is given, either. Instead presents the musicians of the Nordic Baroque Band pulling faces at the camera, with the list of silly facts about each one. Is this supposed to appeal to a wider audience, or a younger one? Alas, I can’t claim myself to be young any more, but I know I would have been insulted to be treated like this! Perhaps it’s just another example of clumsy Swedish humour. Whatever the childish logic behind it, it contrasts starkly with the thrilling professionalism of the playing: the faster tracks here sparkle with life and energy, and the slower ones are unassertively moving. Another black mark against the release is the recording: the musicians are indeed captured in bright clean sound (in the Ersta kyrkan, Stockholm), but the producer-engineer, Bertil Alving, hasn’t filtered out the rumble of the city, and the background noise begins to become intrusive after a while. Even so, I have to confess that the musicianship on display here is so exciting, the performances so fiery and spirited, that I enjoyed this recording enormously, warts and all, and have returned to it often and with unalloyed pleasure. The Nordic Baroque Band does need a better designer, though, and let’s have something more about the music next time: I would have loved to have an explanation of the weird chromatic passage in Cyracus Wilche’s Battaglia, for example. And they’ve failed to notice that the last track – an exquisite little song accompanied by pizzicato strings and recorder – is missing from the tracklisting; I wonder what it was.

 

Klassiskmusikk.com 5/6

© The Nordic Baroque Band/ Photos: Kristoffer Juel Poulsen & Jonas Jakobsson