2 SACD hybrid
✓ in stock
18 May 2012
"Absolutely listen to it!"hifi & records, 01-3-2013
Al Ayre Español was founded in 1988 by Eduardo López Banzo, in an effort to challenge the pervading clichés that often surrounded the performance of Spanish baroque music at that time. The name of the ensemble was inspired by the title of a guitar fugue by the Aragonese composer Gaspar Sanz. The fact that Al Ayre Español has not settled for becoming a specialised early music ensemble, but chosen instead to create a musical philosophy „al ayre español“ (à la espagnole), has allowed the project to be flexible enough to adapt itself to different formats.
With 30 years of appearances in the top festivals and theaters in Europe, 14 years as a resident orchestra at the Auditorio de Zaragoza, 18 CD recordings, national and international awards (2004 Premio Nacional de Música, among others) and distinctions, as well as a relentless schedule of international performances and events for the coming seasons, there is no doubt that the group from Aragon is one of the most prominent ensembles in Spain.
Throughout those thirty years Al Ayre Español has performed at the most prestigious concert halls: Amsterdam‘s Concertgebouw, Vienna‘s Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Düsseldorf‘s Tonhalle, Berlin‘s Konzerthaus and Philharmonie, the Théatre des Champs Elysées and the Cité de la Musique in Paris, Madrid‘s Teatro Real and Auditorio Nacional, Barcelona‘s Palau de la Musica Catalana and Gran Teatre del Liceu, Hamburg‘s Leiszhalle, Washington‘s Library of Congress, the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, Metz‘s Arsenal, Lisbon‘s Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Bilbao‘s Palacio Euskalduna, Rome‘s Teatro Olimpico, etc.
Al Ayre Español has also been invited to some of the most important festivals: Baden Baden Easter Festival, Bachfestspiele Leipzig, Oude Muziek Utrecht, Internationale Festtage Alter Musik Stuttgart, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Dresdner Musikfestpiele, Festival d‘Ambronay, Handel Festspiele Halle, Oslo Church Music Festival, Praga Spring Festival, Monteverdi Festival (Cremona), Festival en el Camino de Santiago, Festival de Santander, Quincena Musical de San Sebastián, Hong Kong Arts Festival, etc.
Al Ayre Español’s recordings have been produced by labels such as Almaviva, Fidelio, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Harmonia Mundi France, Naïve-Ambroisie and Challenge Records.
Al Ayre Español is sponsored by Industrias Químicas del Ebro and the Ministry of Culture of Spain, and maintains a residence agreement with the Auditorio de Zaragoza. The ensemble has been Zaragoza’s ambassador since 2011.
Georg Frideric Handel was a composer from the Baroque period. Handel wrote primarily music-dramatic works: 42 operas, 29 oratorios, more than 120 cantatas, trios and duets, which comes to a total amount of almost 2000 arias! Furthermore, he composed English, Italian and Latin sacred music, serenades and odes. Among his instrumental music are several organ concertos, concerti grossi, overtures, oboe sonatas and violinsonates, along with many solo works for harpsichord and organ.
Together with Johann Sebastian Bach, who was born in the same year (1685), Handel is viewed as one of the greatest composers of his time. He was extremely prolific and wrote in total more than 610 works, many of which are still performed today.
Compared to his contemporaries Bach, Telemann and Scarlatti, Handel was by far the most cosmopolitan. When Handel was a child, his father, who was a surgeon at the court of Saxe-Weissenfels, imagined a juridical career for him. But his musical talents did not go unnoticed at the court, which forced the father to let him study music. In Hamburg, Handel befriended Mattheson. Together they visited Buxtehude, the greatest organ player of his time, in 1703 (two years before Bach did). At that time, Handel was already an excellent musician, but it wasn't until his stay in Italy - the land of opera - that his talents and skills truly started to flourish. Back in Germany, he received a position at the court of Hannover, where the noblemen had a connection to the British throne. Thanks to these connections, Handel decided to move to London, after which a puzzling history of intrigues and political games started. For example, it is unclear what the exact political message of his famous Water Music is, which was composed for a boat ride on the river Thames by King George. Initially, Handel focused on Italian opera during his stay in London, but from the 1730s onwards he started composing English spoken oratorios, with the celebrated Messiah at its peak.
Absolutely listen to it!
hifi & records, 01-3-2013
As fresh and exciting a recording as you would expect from Al Ayre Espanol. A must-have recording.
Early Music Review, 01-10-2012
A please to listen to
Tom Tijdschrift oude muziek , 03-3-2012