CD: “Johann Friedrich Fasch Orchestral Music”

“What chance does a composer like Johann Friedrich Fasch have in a world like ours? It turns out that he has a pretty good one. What makes Fasch’s music most enjoyable is his willingness to dance. Try the final movement of the Concerto in D and see if its bubbling nature doesn’t make you want to move. While Tempesta di Mare gives Fasch’s grander moments their due, its members also seem to be inspired by Terpsichore, so a good time is had by all. The playing is suave and, while it is solid, it is not at all heavy. Tempesta di Mare is a Philadelphia-based ensemble. This is the first time I’ve encountered this group’s work. Tempesta di Mare is definitely at least as good a reason as the Liberty Bell to visit the City of Brotherly Love!”, 2008.

“In this magnificent live recording, the musicians of Tempesta di Mare and concertmaster Emlyn Ngai offer an impeccable orchestral palette for restoring this long-forgotten music to life.” Early Music America Magazine (US), September-October 2008.

“The concert performances [on Fasch Orchestral Music] are fresh, vibrant, and spontaneous, representing the perfect marriage between musical instinct and meticulous scholarship. I don’t know what waits for us in terms of future recordings by Tempesta di Mare, but I’m certainly willing to be patient, especially if content and commitment are even half this good.” Fanfare (US), September-October 2008.

“The American group, Tempesta di Mare from Philadelphia, keeps an easy dance character in this music that strikes an attractive balance between free interpretation and strict baroque dance rhythms. Therefore the bourée from the concerto in B-flat, FWV L:B3 sounds unrestrained, and the polonaise with which the overture closes is fluidly and supply performed. Fasch’s music is clearly beautiful enough to merit rediscovery.” Kwadratuur (Belgium), September 2008.

5 Stars: “The live concert recording [Fasch Orchestral Music] radiates a tangible sense of joy and civilized charm. Dance-like movements that feature graceful string passages, mellow horns, sweet oboes and soft flutes, create an appealing courtly atmosphere. Tempesta di Mare’s playing is never less than lovely, and I particularly enjoyed the flutes and oboes in the opening Allegro of the Concerto in D. The “Aria en Pologneise” that concludes the Ouverture Grosso in D epitomises these good-natured and lovingly crafted performances.” Goldberg Magazine (Pamplona), August 5, 2008.

“Tempesta di Mare is at the cutting edge of the re-discovery of Fasch’s output—this excellent and thoroughly enjoyable recording [Fasch Orchestral Music] is based largely on their second concert of repertoire from Dresden. Tempesta di Mare really brings the glorious sound of Heinichen and Pisendel’s famous orchestra (which Fasch knew first hand) to life.” Early Music Review (UK).

“J.F. Fasch would be a much more famous composer today if a large number of his manuscripts hadn’t been destroyed in the bombing of Dresden during WWII. However, some of them did survive, and this wonderful disc of four never-before-recorded orchestral works is one result. The Philadelphia-based Tempesta di Mare orchestra (on period instruments) plays with both accuracy and passionate excitement. Very highly recommended.” CD Hotlist: New Releases for Libraries, June, 2008.

“The Philadelphia based period instrument band Tempesta di Mare eschews the driven, highly rhetorical style of some European ensembles, and instead prefers a more relaxed and elegant approach. It sustains Fasch’s longer movements well by listening to what the composer has to say rather than overlaying a strong interpretative varnish of its own.” International Record Review (UK).

“These concertos and overture [on Fasch—Orchestral Music] are performed by the very fine baroque ensemble Tempesta di Mare, which has already released a beautiful Handel disc. They have chosen only world premieres for what is an ideal disc to celebrate the composer’s 250th anniversary, for which the imagination of this orchestra is extremely well equipped. The musicians of Tempesta di Mare show all of their colors in this vital and brilliant music.” Abeille Musique (Paris), May 1, 2008.

“Crisp, foot-tapping rhythms; clear-cut tunes; and occasionally weird-sounding harmonic shifts are all terms that well describe the four works on Chandos’ Johann Friedrich Fasch: Orchestral Music, featuring Philadelphia-based Baroque ensemble Tempesta di Mare. For a group that consists of only 26 musicians, Tempesta di Mare has a huge, solid sound and this recording has more presence than anything that has come from this label in quite some time. Chandos’ Johann Friedrich Fasch: Orchestral Music could be a harbinger of exciting things to come.”, May 2008.

“A great baroque concert in Philadelphia.” American Public Media’s Performance Today, November 30, 2007.