The idea for this programme of Concerti Bizarri, has been floating around in my head for a few years now, in fact since when I put together a programme of mixed instrumental concertos combined with a suite by Telemann called La Bizarre. I like the idea because it gives the Irish Baroque Orchestra the opportunity to use many of its orchestral players as soloists. The IBO is crammed full of wonderful musicians, and they can fully inhabit the role of soloist in every way, technically, musically and charismatically. IBO really has some of the greatest players around today! This CD shows off the solo skills of IBO players, as well as revealing some unknown jewels of 18th century concerto writing. – Monica Huggett, Artistic Director
Read the Irish Times review | BBC Radio 3 (at 18 minutes 25 seconds)
‘Monica Huggett has allotted the solo opportunities across her brilliantly varied seven-concerto-strong Concerti Bizarri programme to the existing musicians of the Irish Baroque Orchestra, and the subsequent performances are unfailingly superlative.’ Gramophone (September 2016)
Concerto Choice: 5 Stars Performance / 5 Stars Sound ‘…virtuosic razzle-dazzle…deliciously alert, spirited, and free from affectation, its clarity is beautifully matched by the recording..’ BBC Music Magazine (August 2016)
5 Stars ‘The music is always ear-catching and the captivating performances (and the bright recording) abound with verve and energy…’ Early Music Review (1 June 2016)
‘Monica Huggett makes the point that 18th-century soloists were often just virtuoso ensemble principals taking their turn front-of-stage. And that’s what happens on this fine album from the Irish Baroque Orchestra…the playing is lovely, with great poise from Huggett and standout charismatic bassoon playing from Peter Whelan…’ The Guardian (19 May 2016)
‘Flights of Fantasy’, a recording of early Italian chamber music was released in September 2010 on the Avie label, to international acclaim, with the New Yorker listing the disc as one of the top recordings of 2010 (Read the article). It also spent time at no.2 on ArkivMusic’s ‘Notable New Releases’. (Read reviews on ArkivMusic and the Times). The album includes works by Castello, Cavalli, Farina, Legrenzi and more, and is available on iTunes and on CD at Avie Records.
Irish Baroque Orchestra Plays Bach
In this recording the Irish Baroque Orchestra, led by Monica Huggett, performs some of the most popular works by Johann Sebastian Bach, including Brandenburg Concerto no.4 in G & Concerto for Two Violins in D minor. Additional works include those by extended Bach family members: cousin Johann Bernhard Bach (Suite No. 1 in G minor) and elder son Wihelm Friedman Bach (whose Adagio and Fugue in D minor presents us with a rare and moving piece). An unforgettable recording.
Available for purchase from the RTÉ Shop.