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Thomas Erskine - Concerto Caledonia - Audiophile Audition


01 May 2005
Audiophile Audition
John Sunier

Concerto Caledonia is Scotland's leading Baroque ensemble, and in their third disc for Linn they concentrate on the works of Kellie, or "Fiddler Tam" as he was best known in the 18th century. This is the first recording devoted entirely to his music. A contemporary of Haydn and Mozart, he studied at Mannheim with Stamitz and was one of the first to use the Mannheim style with its dramatic "steamroller" crescendos. His instrumental works on this disc struck me as sounding much like Mozart. The Maid of the Mill Overture was his big hit in London. Of the two songs featuring the soprano voice, The Lover's Message has some double entendre in its text, and the concert aria Death is now my only Treasure is tied in with Masonic rituals in which he was, like Mozart, very active. The ensemble plays with great elan and the sonics are crystalline.
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