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Johann Mattheson: Harmony's Monument, The 12 Suites of 1714, Colin Booth, harpsichord cembalo - [SBCD-208] $16.98

Johann Mattheson: Harmony's Monument 12 Suites of 1714

2-CDs for the Price of One

Colin Booth plays two harpsichords he built, both of two manuals. The smaller one is brass-strung and based on the simple one-manual instrument built by Christian Vater of Hannover in 1738 (collected in the German National Museum, Nuremburg); the larger is a copy of the iron-strung harpsichord of 1681 by Antoine Vaudry, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Hamburg-born Johann Mattheson (1681-1764) was a friend of Handel, opera singer, composer, secretary to the English ambassador to Hamburg, prolific writer of books on music, and well assimilated in society. Few of his compositions were published, and many of his music manuscripts were destroyed in World War II; but the twelve suites subtitled Harmony's Monument were published in England and Germany in 1714. The 12 suites comprise a total of 69 pieces and about 2-1/2 hours of music. Thus, they are recorded here as a 2-CD set:

CD One
Suite no. 1 in D minor
Suite no. 2 in A major
Suite no. 3 in D major
Suite no. 4 in G minor
Suite no. 5 in C minor
Suite no. 6 in E flat major

CD Two
Suite no. 7 in B flat major
Suite no. 8 in D minor
Suite no. 9 in G minor
Suite no. 10 in E minor
Suite no. 11 in C major
Suite no. 12 in F minor

Writes Richard Maunder in Early Music Review:
The music is original, tuneful, and inventive; it says much for its quality that each of the twelve suites uses fresh ideas and is clearly differentiated from the others… The suites should certainly be better known.

Writes Brian Wilson in MusicWeb International:
Every recording that I have heard from Colin Booth has been enlightening. His recordings of William Croft (SBCD991) and Peter Phillips (The English Exile, SBCD992) showed what I was missing in thinking of certain composers solely in terms of their vocal and choral output and the present recording has shown me how wrong I was to think of Johann Mattheson as a rather boring musical theorist . . .

Writes John Erskine for the British Harpsichord Society:

Colin Booth seems to possess the happy knack of being neither enslaved nor intimidated by any particular style: he simply plays well… . a ravishing sound…  there is much in this recording that is beautiful - both in content and performance …. a performance one wants to hear again as soon as the track has finished playing.

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