AAM SpotifySundays | with Sandy Burnett

A weekly ‘concert’ taken from the finest recordings in the extensive Academy of Ancient Music catalogue: join us each Sunday at 3pm on Spotify as we unveil a new playlist of music, personally chosen by AAM players, directors, soloists and guests.

We have a brilliant programme of music for 5 July 2020 on our #SpotifySundays playlist, as former AAM Hogwood Fellow Sandy Burnett joins us to programme his favourite AAM tracks on Spotify. Spanning Castello to Beethoven (and beyond!), this playlist seeks out the lesser-known gems of AAM’s recording activity and sheds light on recent releases that investigated undeservedly-neglected composers and works.

We are also thrilled to introduce Sandy’s new Listening Club – a weekly series of online classes. Sandy’s next class on Tuesday 7th July features AAM performing Haydn’s powerful Symphony No. 49 – more details below.

‘The programme I’ve put together ranges from Castello to Beethoven and beyond, taking in the sensitive part writing of the early Baroque and the heroic drumrolls of 19th-century revolution. It’s a dizzy ride that demonstrates the full breadth of the AAM and its sterling work under the mikes!’

‘As the AAM’s Hogwood Fellow throughout the 2018-19 season I had the pleasure of working closely with the AAM’s players as they brought their repertoire to life, not least getting together with (AAM Leader) Bojan Čičić to make a film about baroque bowing (viewable here). I loved his choice of Castello’s music that day, which inspired me to choose this track from AAM’s catalogue.’ 

Handel, Messiah HWV56, Part 3, Part III: ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?’
Iestyn Davies, Edward Higginbottom

‘Usually coming at the end of a very long evening, programming this glorious aria near the beginning of the playlist gives us a chance to hear it with fresher ears than normal, and more comfortable sit-bones… Iestyn Davies sounds great here.’ 

Handel, Brockes-Passion, HWV48, No.97: ‘Sind meiner Seelen, tiefe Wunden’
Elizabeth Watts, Ruby Hughes, Richard Egarr

‘The Brockes-Passion was the stand-out project of AAM’s 2018-19 season, and I enjoyed playing a small part in its success by helping to translate Brockes’ vivid text into English. One of the jewels in the score, this fantastic aria has a particularly memorable cello line.’

JS Bach, St. John Passion, BWV245, Part II: ‘Ewage, wie sein blutgefärbter Rucken’
Ed Lyon, Stephen Cleobury, Choir of King’s College, Cambridge [Live]

‘One fascinating aspect about working on the Brockes-Passion was that it made the text of the better-known St. John Passion fall into place, since the extraordinary imagery in the text that Bach set in 1724 had its roots in the Brockes text from the previous decade. This track features some unbelievably vivid and gory imagery, something that Orthodox Lutherans back in the early 18th century didn’t seem to mind one bit!’

Handel, Silete venti, HWV242: Presto
Grace Davidson

‘Most likely composed the same year as Bach’s St. John Passion, this glorious Latin motet of Handel’s is pretty taxing for the singer in terms of technique and stamina. Doubtless Handel had one of his great London divas in mind.’

JS Bach, Oboe Concerto in D minor, BWV1059R, 1. Allegro (performed on recorder)
Lucie Horsch, Bojan Čičić

Jacob van Eyck, Der Fluyten Lust-Hof: 130. Lavolette
Lucie Horsch

‘I hosted a couple of AAM pre-concert talks with the fantastically talented young Dutch recorder player Lucie Horsch, and these two contrasting tracks come from her chart-topping release on Decca with AAM. The first is a Bach arrangement (Bach’s music is fair game for arrangements in my view), and the other comes from a really fun set of 144 Dutch pieces for descant recorder which are completely charming.’

Beethoven , Egmont, Op. 84: ‘Freudvoll und leidvoll’, ‘Die Trommel gerühret’
Chen Reiss, Richard Egarr

‘I’ve been fascinated by Goethe’s play Egmont ever since I studied the play for my German A level, and these next two tracks are an interesting example of Beethoven in the theatre, somewhat of a rarity for him. Here we have an example of Goethe’s classic love lyric ‘Freudvoll und leidvoll’, alongside something more militaristic in a new release from soprano Chen Reiss and AAM.’

JS Bach, Overture (Suite) No. 3 in D Major, BWV1063, II. Air (‘Air on a G String’)
Richard Egarr

‘A true ‘Bach banger’, this was one of the first things I recorded in lockdown recording sessions, and so the bass line is now firmly etched in my mind!’

JS Bach, Concerto No. 1 in F Major, BWV1046: 1. Allegro
Richard Egarr

‘This is music that makes me weep with joy. Everyone knows how much Bach took from his Italian models and composers like Vivaldi, but no Italian could’ve ever written something so magnificently chaotic as the opening of the first Brandenburg concerto. You have squalling horns, oboes and violins seemingly trampling over each other in wonderfully competitive bedlam, but of course Bach knows exactly what he’s doing.’

Haydn, Symphony No. 49 in F Minor, Hob.1:49, ‘La passione’: III. Minuet and Trio
Richard Egarr

‘I’m just about to embark on a Seven Symphonies series in my Tuesday morning online Listening Club (more info here), and I’ve taken this recording of this symphony as my starting point. A fantastically dramatic work in the minor key (minor key works make up only 10% of Haydn’s output, compared to, say, 50% of Bach’s compositions), there’s something truly, well, passionate about this ‘La passione’ symphony.’

Mozart, Piano Concerto No. 22 in E flat major. K.482: 1. Allegro
Robert Levin, Christopher Hogwood

‘It’s been great to talk to Robert Levin on a few occasions before AAM concerts. He’s somebody that carries so much in that incredibly intelligent brain of his, and I love his free approach to improvising which is something that no musician should be afraid of doing. I know how closely he worked with the late Christopher Hogwood on this series of Mozart piano concertos, and this one is a corker.’

Vivaldi, Concerto in C Major, RV588: 1. Allegro Molto
Andrew Manze

‘One of Vivaldi’s last works, this concerto was included in a concert for Prince Frederick Christian of Poland during his visit to the famous Ospedale della Pietà in Venice, around 1740. I love the fact that it’s a sort of ‘Noah’s Ark’ concerto, with wonderfully diverse pairings of instruments marching along two by two.’

JS Bach, St Matthew Passion, BWV244, Pt. 2: No. 60. ‘Sehet. Jesus hat die Hand’
David Allsopp, Stephen Cleobury, Choir of King’s College, Cambridge

‘The Matthew Passion really plunges into the depths of despair and scales the heights of happiness, doesn’t it? And one of the things that makes this unbelievable masterpiece so fascinating for me is that it sometimes does those things where you least expect them. Just after Jesus has been crucified, you get this sublime aria which is so full of warmth and humanity, describing him stretching out his hands to embrace us, even as he’s nailed to the cross and dying.’

Purcell, Abdelazer, Z.570: Rondeau – Air – Air – Minuet
Christopher Hogwood

‘It’s always a treat to hear the theme that Benjamin Britten made famous in his The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra in its original context. And it’s also a reminder of the spry energy that’s a hallmark of all Henry Purcell’s writing – very much music to keep you on your toes.’

Geminiani, Concerto No. 2 in B flat major: 1. Grave; 2. Allegro
Andrew Manze

‘Early 18th-century London was stacked full of fantastic international musicians, who were very well paid and really highly skilled, and Geminiani was one of them. Some of his concerti grossi are to be found in the original Academy of Ancient Music’s part books housed at Westminster Abbey, and I had the great pleasure of seeing the originals last year on a research trip to the archives.’

(ENCORE) The Song is Ended
The Gene Harris Quartet

‘This encore touches on another thing I’m passionate about, namely the world of jazz. Every note here is just in the right place, perfectly weighted. There’s a lovely interplay between four superb musicians, and it’s as good as chamber jazz can get…’

Musician, broadcaster and last season’s AAM Hogwood Fellow Sandy Burnett is running a series of online classes over Zoom, looking at a great piece of classical music in each. It runs at the same time each week, 11:00 to 12:00 on Tuesdays, with insights, context, and the chance to ask questions in a Q&A. The next session on Tuesday 7th July looks at Josef Haydn’s powerful Symphony No. 49,”La passione”, and he’ll be featuring the Academy of Ancient Music’s recording from 2013 – the inaugural release on our AAM Records label. Here’s the link to register – it’s the first in the Listening Club’s Seven Symphonies series that runs through the summer months.The price of each session is £8, and you’ll find full information at www.sandyburnett.com/listeningclub