Höör Barock / Anna Paradiso / Dan Laurin TELEMANN - CORELLI - BACH

The new Swedish historical-instrument group Höör Barock (the name comes from that of a village in southern Sweden but also connotes the idea "hear Baroque") is a project of recorder virtuoso Dan Laurin, already noted as one of the world's top players on his instrument. Here, joined by second recorder Emilie Roos, he is able to shape his ensemble of ten players into a unit capable of keeping up with and pushing his blistering speeds. The program opens with a work that contains recorder parts but isn't a recorder concerto at all, and it's quite interesting: the Overture-Suite of Telemann entitled "Wassermusik," or Water Music, had origins entirely different from Handel's work (it seems to have been a kind of attempt to map some Greek myths onto Hamburg's landscape), but the overall effect is surprisingly similar. Höör Barock's reading of this work is a bit stiff, but the fun starts with the Corelli Concerto for two recorders and orchestra, Op. 6, No. 4: sample the zippy duo passagework in its third and fourth movements. The Bach Concerto for harpsichord, two recorders, strings, and continuo, BWV 1057, is an arrangement of the Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in F major, BWV 1049, and Höör Barock's performance here is likewise a masterpiece of close high-speed ensemble work. The Corelli Christmas Concerto, Op. 6, No. 8, loses a bit of lyricism, but in the main this recording announces a distinctive new Baroque group, nicely recorded. (James Manheim)

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