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Nicholas Bown
Early Music Today, December 2017

Conducted by Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen- Pilch, in this recording the Finnish Baroque Orchestra champion the orchestral suites of Christoph Graupner. Graupner, a contemporary of J. S. Bach and Telemann, who spent most of his long career as court composer at Darmstadt, where he produced a great body of work, including some 85 orchestral suites. The three suites presented on this disc abound with instrumental variety: the sonorities of the chalumeau intertwine with the viola d’amore and the transverse flute with the baroque horn, realised by the lively playing of the Finnish Baroque Orchestra. Listeners may be grateful for the opportunity to explore an unknown corner of the musical life of 18th-century Germany. © 2017 Early Music Today Read complete review

Johan van Veen
musica Dei donum, February 2015

GRAUPNER, C.: Orchestral Suites, GWV 450, 451 and 458 (Finnish Baroque Orchestra, Kaakinen-Pilch) ODE1220-2
GRAUPNER, C.: Trio Sonatas (Finnish Baroque Orchestra, members) ODE1240-2

Graupner and the Finnish Baroque Orchestra seem a happy marriage. These are definitely some of the best recordings of Graupner’s music I have ever heard. The players seem to have entered this project with a strong motivation to show how good a composer he really is, and they have succeeded brilliantly. They play with zest and imagination and the many and often sudden contrasts are explored to the full. The soloists from the ranks of the orchestra have done an excellent job, both in the solo parts of the Overtures and in the trios. If you want to know what Graupner’s music is like, these discs are the best way to get to know it. Those who have heard his music before should not hesitate to add these discs to their collection. © 2015 musica Dei donum Read complete review

Peter Loewen
American Record Guide, July 2014

Graupner’s music is lively, imaginative, and somewhat eccentric. The performers demonstrate their sensitivity to this contrast by emphasizing the exotic characteristics of the Polonaise: rhythmic accents, unison melodies, and repetition schemes. The broad array of instruments used in these suites yields a range of orchestral color. © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Lindsay Kemp
Gramophone, February 2014

The performances by the Finnish Baroque Orchestra are exemplary, the mood benign and unhurried to match the music, and every player of every unusually featured instrument—led by the smooth viola d’amore of Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen-Pilch—calmly taking their opportunity to make a colourful contribution while remaining firmly part of the team. © 2014 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

David Vernier, January 2014

The beauty of this recording is in the performances, in which the individual musicians, regardless of their attraction to Graupner’s conceptions, play with knowing appreciation of the beauty of the ensemble sonorities and the idiomatic writing for individual instruments. And to be sure, Graupner was not an imitator: these suites reveal much individuality, not only in unusual instrumental combinations, but in the way these instruments are employed, using (sometimes unconventional) rhythmic effects, fugal techniques, and the formal structures of various dances to create works that are agreeably sonorous and thematically rich and satisfying. …one of the delights of these suites is that you can actually imagine dancers performing the gavottes, sarabandes, menuets, and bourrées.

For whatever reason the Finnish Baroque Orchestra has adopted and embraced these Graupner suites, and we are lucky for that—and Ondine has provided a first-rate sonic environment, from a Finnish church, that captures the individual instrumental timbres and the unique color-world of the various combinations of baroque horn and chalumeau and viola d’amore and strings. Strongly recommended. © 2014 Read complete review

Mark Sealey
MusicWeb International, January 2014

These three Suites are compact, colourful, poised, pointed and intriguing. Add to this instrumental brilliance, particularly in the way sound profiles are built up and explored. All these factors serve easily to delight the ear and have much to offer.

The musicians gently offer us the benefit of their understanding of Graupner’s enormous output.

This CD certainly demonstrates that Graupner possesses more than his fair share of originality, ingenuity and freshness.

This must in part be due to the fact that the dozen plus members of the Finnish Baroque Orchestra understand Graupner’s gifts for melody and harmony very well. To listen to but a few bars of any of the dozen and a half movements from these three enticing suites is to hear tuneful invention and fascinating counter-position. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review

WQXR (New York), January 2014

Christoph Graupner (1683-1760), a German contemporary of J.S. Bach, was renowned in his day but utterly obscure now. But this Darmstadt court composer was immensely prolific: if you are impressed by Bach’s catalogue of about 200 surviving church cantatas, take a look at Graupner’s output of some 2,000 works in virtually every form. A significant part of his orchestral output consists of concertos and suites with diverse, sometimes very curious instruments in the solo ensembles. In this recording the Finnish Baroque Orchestra plays his suites for the flûte d’amour, a flute pitched a third lower than the normal transverse flute, and the viola d’amore, an instrument roughly the same size and shape as a viola but with resonating free strings. © 2014 WQXR (New York), December 2013

The Finnish Baroque Orchestra under Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen-Pilch does a really first-rate job with this music, playing it with verve and spirit that make the Baroque era not only come alive but also sound genuinely lively. The soloists are uniformly excellent and sound quite comfortable with their instruments: Petra Aminoff on transverse flute, Tindaro Capuano and Asko Heiskanen on chalumeaus, Krzysztof Stencel on baroque horn, Jani Sunnarborg on bassoon, and Kaakinen-Pilch playing viola d’amore. Long languishing in obscurity because of legal wrangling that dates to the 18th century, Graupner’s works are gradually becoming better known, and on the evidence of this really excellent CD, they most assuredly deserve to be. © 2013 Read complete review

Early Music Review, December 2013

The playing of the Finnish Baroque Orchestra is bright and alert and technically of a high standard…It is certainly well worth investigating by those who enjoy Graupner's ingratiatingly appealing music. © 2013 Early Music Review

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