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CD Review

Thomas Arne

Eight Overtures

The Academy of Ancient Music/Christopher Hogwood
L'Oiseau-Lyre 4759117 56m ADD
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This was the recording that set the ball rolling way back in 1973 for the first L'Oiseau-Lyre/Florilegium release conducted by an up and coming conductor called Christopher Hogwood and his crack period instrument ensemble, The Academy of Ancient Music.

The rest, as they say, is history and when this LP first appeared on the scene, it raised a number of eyebrows in musical circles for the thrilling and daring use of instrumentation with music that was then rather rarely heard. Arne's overtures come to life in raucous and rather uninhibited ways and even today, almost 40 years later, this stunningly remastered CD still thrills one to the bone.

The overtures are replete with effects and musical tricks that make them quite a joy to listen to and the Academy of Ancient Music is certainly on what could have been termed as a voyage of discovery. Lindsay Kemp is an astute and observant guide to the fortunes and travails of the period instrument epoch in his scholarly eulogy that makes up the booklet note. The recording has come up as clean as a whistle. Could you really hesitate?

Copyright © 2008, Gerald Fenech