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Baroque Sounds

By Richard Hill

The music synthesizer has come of age, but of which age, on this beautifully performed album.

British composer RICHARD HILL has demonstrated here that the music synthesizer is capable of both powerful and wonderfully sensitive interpretations of baroque music when in the right hands.

Hill's musical abilities are perfectly suited to the demands and potential of BAROQUE SOUNDS. Winner of a Foundation Open Scholarship to the Royal College of Music in 1961, he studied under eminent conductor Sir Adrian Boult, harpsichordist Millicent Silver, trombonist Morris Smith and composer Philip Cannon. As a gifted instrumentalist he became a founder member of the London Gabrieli Brass Ensemble whilst still at RCM and also played principal trombone with many of the UK's top symphony orchestras. He has great experience as a composer and conductor and particular knowledge of recording techniques through his work as a record producer in the fields of serious music, rock and jazz. See full biography.

What would Johann Sebastian Bach have made of the music synthesizer? This tantalising question lies behind the concept and the inspiration for BAROQUE SOUNDS and raises a central debating point. Are the performances on this album legitimate? They were created not by 'live' musicians and only partly by natural, real-time recording, but also by complex programming. On this album, the synthesizer's vast repertoire of musical colour creates new visions of great organ music, portrays the noble brass Coronation music of Charles II, re-creates the hauntingly beautiful slow movement of the Bach double violin concerto and the delights of the rarely performed Viviani trumpet sonata, as well as illuminating other gems of the baroque period. BAROQUE SOUNDS features some of the greatest and best loved works of Johann Sebastian Bach [1685-1750] and complements them with rarely heard performances of the works of lesser known composers of the period from Germany, France, Italy and England.

Richard actually played trombone on the legendary LGBE 1965 Pye/Nonesuch 'King James 1 Royal Brass Music' live album. This was one of the very first brass ensemble albums and it included both the Gabrieli Sonata Pian'e forte and the Charles II Coronation music. To include those same pieces on this music synthesizer recording is a bold choice, as Hill knew he had to match the naturally produced performance standards of those live musicians, of which he was one, with these contemporary, synthesized performances. That musical standard became the benchmark for the recording of BAROQUE SOUNDS, as is perfectly demonstrated by these colourful, natural and musically sensitive interpretations of this exciting and beautiful historic repertoire.

Album Repertoire >>

Here are some free samples from Baroque Sounds:

Opening of Fugue in D minor from Toccata & Fugue in D minor by JS Bach. 100 seconds MP3 sample (788k)

Adagio from Sonata Seconda per Trombetta Sola - Giovanni Viviani 100 seconds MP3 sample. (783k)

2nd Movement from Concerto for two violins in D minor - JS Bach 100 seconds MP3 sample (792k)

Sonata VI Pian'e Forte a8 - Giovanni Gabrieli 100 seconds MP3 sample (793k)

Courante from Music for His Majesty's Sackbuts & Cornetts - Matthew Locke 81 seconds MP3 sample (678k)

Toccata in D minor - JS Bach 100 seconds MP3 sample (780k)


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