Buy Brook Street Band CDs

Release Date: April 2024

FHR145

Throughout the performances are excellent with David de Winter bringing great style to the music…and he is finely partnered by the Brook Street Band, creating a sense of vocal chamber music rather than a grand accompanied motet. We don’t hear anything like enough Schütz and this wonderfully engaging disc makes you want to explore more.
Planet Hugill

Details

One of the key German composers before Bach with more than 500 surviving individual pieces, Heinrich Schütz wrote mainly church music, and is credited with bringing the Italian style to Germany and continuing its evolution from the Renaissance into the early Baroque. Although he lived most of his long life in Germany, in his twenties Schütz made two visits to Venice. The first was between 1609 and 1613 when he was taught by Giovanni Gabrieli; and the second in the late 1620s to meet and possibly study under Monteverdi. The two trips greatly influenced Schütz’s music as he absorbed and began to combine the ornate and theatrical Venetian style with the more understated Lutheran tradition in which he grew up.

This album explores his solo cantatas alongside examples of the brilliant and virtuosic Venetian style instrumental music.

Reviews

Throughout the performances are excellent with David de Winter bringing great style to the music…and he is finely partnered by the Brook Street Band, creating a sense of vocal chamber music rather than a grand accompanied motet. We don’t hear anything like enough Schütz and this wonderfully engaging disc makes you want to explore more.
Planet Hugill

David de Winter well captures and projects the innate character of each [piece], and the members of The Brook Street Band not only provide solid yet flexible support throughout, but are, on their own, a prime example of how a baroque music ensemble should sound. Elegance and dynamic balance throughout, a lightsome sound and gentle cadence. The recording itself…offers the perfect level of acoustical space and depth to the soundstage.”
Classical Music Sentinel

“It’s a programme that puts its artists through their multi-faceted paces, and it’s beautifully done, from the Germanic-end, pared-down textures and quietly radiant reverence of Schűtz’s O süsser, O freundlicher – whose highlights include de Winter’s crisply rendered vocal embellishments and the closely attentive continuo support – to the more floridly-supported lilt of Schűtz’s Symphoniae Sacrae I…Here, Rachel Harris’ and Kathryn Parry’s violins dance gorgeously in and out of each other, underpinned with neat spring by cellist Tatty Theo.

One further pleasure, which can be felt throughout, is the underlying sense of joy. This may be sacred music, but there’s a thoroughly non-sober, life-affirming conviviality between these players at every turn.”
Charlotte Gardner, dCS Only the Music, April 2024

Release Date: July 2022

RES10304

“It’s full of lively dances and arias and a few noisy, lip-smacking kisses…it fills a gap for students of the 18th-century English stage, but the commitment of these performers creates its own, wider pleasure.”
Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian

Details

Thomas Arne’s opera The Judgment of Paris (1742), a setting of William Congreve’s libretto of the same name, is known only from the printed score, but in this world premiere recording is performed with panache and authority by The Brook Street Band and a scintillating young cast led by sopranos Mary Bevan (Venus), Susanna Fairbairn (Pallas) and Gillian Ramm (Juno), with tenors Ed Lyon as the shepherd Paris and Anthony Gregory as Mercury, all under the expert direction of conductor John Andrews.

By the end of the opera we are not surprised when Venus’s softly, softly appeal to her shepherd judge succeeds over the more demonstrative blandishments of her competitors, Pallas and Juno.

This is a lovely discovery, with all the cast joining in the spirit of this fable to give it a stylish and compelling revival.
(Dutton Vocalion)

Reviews

“It’s full of lively dances and arias and a few noisy, lip-smacking kisses…it fills a gap for students of the 18th-century English stage, but the commitment of these performers creates its own, wider pleasure.”
Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian

“Performed with zest and just the right blend of seriousness and farcical humour.”
BBC Radio 3 Record Review

“This uproarious send-up of Handelian operatic conventions (transposed to a Yorkshire village and complete with earthy local colloquialisms) works so well because both composer and cast demonstrate are so fully in command of the style that’s being satirised; Bevan and Carby have a riot with the coloratura cat-fight ‘Insulting gypsy, you’re surely tipsy’, whilst Wilde delivers the cod-heroics of ‘Dragon, to atoms I’ll tear thee’ (shades of Acis’s ‘Love sounds the alarm’ here) with just the right amount of tongue-in-cheek braggadocio.”
Presto Music Editor’s Choice

“The cast are all excellent, singing the music with wonderfully po-faced glee and plenty of Handelian style. There is no hint of send-up, and of course that is what makes it so much fun. The singers, instrumentalists and conductor are all able to well hold their own in genuine opera seria, and this stylistic confidence shines through here.”
Planet Hugill 4.5 stars

“In this premiere recording, conductor John Andrews shrewdly reserves buffoonery for Carey and Lampe’s antic scenes, heightening the galant elements of duets and ensembles, and giving performers space for arresting explorations of Lampe’s lyricism. In the showpiece ‘Gentle Knight’, soprano Mary Bevan gently wraps stunning ascending embellishments around the oboe’s melody. In the big lament aria, cellist Tatty Theo enriches the subtle articulation and rich timbres of mezzo-soprano Catherine Carby with her own. By contrast, tenor Mark Wilde as the knight and bass-baritone John Savournin as a squire and the dragon have great fun with the work’s excesses, Wilde prefacing his runs with vulgar gulps and Savournin growling absurdly.”
BBC Music Magazine, Opera and Editor’s Choice, 5 *s

“What a surprise! This comic opera, popular in its day, has been languishing as a passing reference in the history books. Now it has been brought to life in this excellent performance by The Brook Street Band under John Andrews.”
Gramophone Magazine, Editor’s Choice

“With sunny support from the brilliant Brook Street Band and John Andrews’s insouciant direction, this is a Dragon’s dish to savour”
Opera Magazine

Release Date: May 2019

CDLX7361

‘It’s all sung with a suitable lightness of touch, with sparkling accompaniment from The Brook Street Band, all artfully directed by John Andrews.’
The Observer

Details

Thomas Arne’s opera The Judgment of Paris (1742), a setting of William Congreve’s libretto of the same name, is known only from the printed score, but in this world premiere recording is performed with panache and authority by The Brook Street Band and a scintillating young cast led by sopranos Mary Bevan (Venus), Susanna Fairbairn (Pallas) and Gillian Ramm (Juno), with tenors Ed Lyon as the shepherd Paris and Anthony Gregory as Mercury, all under the expert direction of conductor John Andrews.

By the end of the opera we are not surprised when Venus’s softly, softly appeal to her shepherd judge succeeds over the more demonstrative blandishments of her competitors, Pallas and Juno.

This is a lovely discovery, with all the cast joining in the spirit of this fable to give it a stylish and compelling revival.
(Dutton Vocalion)

Reviews

‘The performance is lovely. John Andrews conducts with flair and style, and there’s some delectable playing from The Brook Street Band.’
Gramophone Magazine

‘It’s all sung with a suitable lightness of touch, with sparkling accompaniment from The Brook Street Band, all artfully directed by John Andrews.’
The Observer

‘Andrews’s stylish conducting makes a strong case for this English baroque discovery.’
The Sunday Times

‘The playing is delightfully buoyant, the recording intimately truthful.’
Radio 3 Record Review

‘This performance, by the Brook Street Band is absolutely magisterial. Do not be fooled by the more familiar connotations of its titular designation. The Brook Street Band is glorious.  Named for the London street on which Handel lived for much of his London residency, and best regarded for its handling of his repertoire, the Band was formed in 1996 by baroque cellist Tatty Theo and here comprises three first violins, two second violins, two violas, double bass, timpani, bassoon, a Flemish petit ravelment two manual harpsichord, two trumpeters, flautists and oboes, Theo, of course, supplies cello continuo.’
Goldmine Mag

 ‘BSB’s chamber dimensions lend the performance a likeable intimacy and vivacity.’
Classical Source

‘The Brook Street Band, expanded beyond the group’s usual chamber proportions to 18, play Arne’s music with style.’
Planet Hugill

Release Date: June 2018

AV2387

‘Hijinks from Handel … Lovely playing from the first sonata right through the last … the performances convince absolutely as does the recording. Add it to The Brook Street Band’s previous albums with complete confidence.’
BBC Radio 3 Record Review

Details

The Brook Street Band’s passion for the music of George Frideric Handel shines through on this recording of the nine Violin Sonatas by – or attributed to – the Baroque composer.

The ensemble’s 10th release for AVIE compliments its critically acclaimed and award-winning discography of a wide variety of Handel’s chamber music and vocal works. Combining consummate artistry with characteristic inquisitiveness, The Brook Street Band – posing the question ‘how many violin sonatas did Handel actually compose?’ – offers nine works composed over a span of 40 years, from the German-born Handel’s early years honing his style in Italy to his later years as a leading light in London.

He composed some and his name has been variously ascribed by others, depending on which publisher was cashing in, perhaps in cahoots with the commercially-minded composer. But who really knows and one could ask who cares, especially with music of such colour performed with such panache.

Reviews

‘Hijinks from Handel … Lovely playing from the first sonata right through the last … the performances convince absolutely as does the recording. Add it to The Brook Street Band’s previous albums with complete confidence.’
BBC Radio 3 Record Review

‘This release is a thorough pleasure … Sample one of the fast movements…to hear the vigorous, strongly rhythmic, rather edgy approach favoured by these musicians. Especially noteworthy are the slow-movement gestures of violinist Rachel Harris, which convince the listener that they were the work of a master of opera. More than an album for Handel completists, this is a strong release from a British group that has consistently issued historically informed Baroque performances of passion and commitment.’
AllMusic

‘erudite, intimate music, not without violinistic fireworks. The BSB include cello alongside harpsichord for the continuo, satisfyingly grounding the texture. Rachel Harris delivers these eloquent expressions of the violinist’s art with stylish sweetness, her embellishments beautifully measured.’
The Sunday Times

‘none finer than this outstanding recording of Handel’s Sonatas for violin and basso continuo played by The Brook Street Band. The BSB brings the sonatas to life with fresh, eminently stylish accounts, performed with impressive audible detail…Handel’s violin sonatas could hardly receive finer advocacy than these exceptional performances here from The BSB.’
Music Web – Recording of the Month

‘As a trio, the [BSB] perform superbly and wonderfully sympathetically, with Theo and Gibley supporting Harris in an admirable manner…period performances full of musicality and great style. The BSB bring a lovely combination of virtuosity and vibrancy to the performances, really engaging the audience and making you want to listen for more.’
Planet Hugill

 ‘For me, this new offering from The Brook Street Band – as intoxicating and spirited as it is sensitive and feeling – will now be the new benchmark for others to aspire to.’
Music-Web International

 I’m very glad that the BSB have given us all nine [Handel violin sonatas], and all the more so, given the life with which they’ve imbued them… The various ornamentation, articulation and repeat decision have come off brilliantly. You simply don’t know what’s coming next, which I mean in the best possible way. Bravo!’
Gramophone

‘Readers familiar with [The BSB’s] invigorating recordings of Handel’s Trio Sonatas Opp. 2 and 5 will not be disappointed by this new release. The finest music, of which there is much reaches a peak with the D Major sonata HWV371 coming across with natural grace and effective articulation.’
BBC Music Magazine 4 *

Release Date: March 2016

AV2357

‘A birthday release that will invite many happy returns. The musical language is so second nature to the Band that its playing has the unbuttoned relish of musicians relaxing in a mother tongue. …an incisive verve prevails throughout the disc, buoyed up by a conversational attentiveness that never flags, and ensemble so pin-sharp it merits a safety warning.’
BBC Music Magazine

Details

The Brook Street Band celebrates its 20th anniversary as a leading light and champion of the music of Handel with another imaginative album that completes the ensemble’s survey of Handel’s Trio Sonatas for two violins and continuo.

A bonus is an arrangement for two violins and basso continuo of the overture to Handel’s oratorio Esther.

Reviews

‘The Brook Street Band bring some spectacularly fine playing… making this a Handel disc not to be missed’

‘…crisp, lithe, foot tapping rhythms as the Band weaves some very fine lines – a real joy.’

‘A birthday release that will invite many happy returns. The musical language is so second nature to the Band that its playing has the unbuttoned relish of musicians relaxing in a mother tongue. …an incisive verve prevails throughout the disc, buoyed up by a conversational attentiveness that never flags, and ensemble so pin-sharp it merits a safety warning.’
BBC Music Magazine

‘The Brook Street Band bring some spectacularly fine playing to these works, lithe, and beautifully shaped with some lovely sonorities and terrific ensemble, not to mention moments of terrific spontaneity.’
Bruce Reader, The Classical Reviewer, 14th March 2016

‘They bring out a vivacity and joy in all the works, with highly charismatic performances. There is a liveliness and immediacy in their playing of the faster movements, and a nice sense of lyricism in the slower ones.’

‘You sense the players great enjoyment of the music and their eagerness for you to enjoy it to. Technically these are very fine, but it is this sense of joy which makes the disc a must.’
Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, 11th March 2016

‘The Brook Street Band were born to play Handel. Fresh, lively performances’
David Fay, The Big Issue, 7th March 2016

‘[The band members] approach everything with a spring in their step, relishing the harmonic crunches and keeping everything vital and vivacious.’
Erica Jeal, The Guardian Online, 14th April 2016, 4-star Rating

‘The Sonatas are played with delightful ease and elegance… an exemplary recording where Handel’s inexhaustible inventiveness, even on a smaller, intimate scale, springs wonderfully into life.’
Music Web International

‘Neat and energetic birthday performances’
The Strad

‘Life-enhancing stuff, and beautifully recorded too’
The Arts Desk

‘Masterly performances’
Gramophone Magazine

‘An absolute cracker of a disc!…One to be treasured!’
Early Music Review 5* Review

Release Date: March 2015

AV2321

‘…an impressive recording and some infectious music-making from two performers who clearly take great pleasure in playing together.’
Early Music Today

Details

The Brook Street Band has easily earned its reputation as “the smartest new baroque band around” (The Times, London). Among today’s most notable Handel specialists, the group’s founder, cellist Tatty Theo, and harpsichordist, Carolyn Gibley, turn their attention for only the second time to the music of J. S. Bach as well as his son Carl Philip Emmanuel.

Like father, like son, each wrote three Sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord. These works have long been a valued part of the cello repertoire, but this recording is the first to make use of a regular four-string baroque cello.

Reviews

‘Theo and Gibley, founding members of the famed Brook Street Band, give it their all in smashing performances… sturdy, gracious and consistently alert…’
Audio-Video Club of Atlanta

‘…there is a close match between cello and a harpsichord of cutting transients which fits the businesslike virtuosity of much of the playing. Choice of tempi cannot be faulted and rhythm is exact…’
Nalen Anthoni, Gramophone Magazine, May 2015

‘…an impressive recording and some infectious music-making from two performers who clearly take great pleasure in playing together.’
Early Music Today

Release Date: October 2013

AV2282

‘These are grown-up performances from the Brook Street Band. Finely balanced, deliciously spiced, infectiously musical!’
Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3 – CD Review, November 2013

Details

The Brook Street Band has easily earned its reputation as “the smartest new baroque band around (The Times, London). Among today’s most notable Handel specialists, the all-girl group follow their ear-opening recording debut, the world-premiere chamber version of Handel’s ‘Oxford’ Water Music (AV 0028) which earned the ensemble an Editor’s Choice from Gramophone, and a sparkling rendition of the Op. 5 Trio Sonatas (AV 2068), with the composer’s other great set of Trio Sonatas, Op. 2.

An utterly memorable collection of works that features Handel’s imaginative “re-heating” of his own popular tunes, the recording once again brings forth the Band’s sheer pleasure in sharing the composer’s wonderful music.

Reviews

‘These are grown-up performances from the Brook Street Band. Finely balanced, deliciously spiced, infectiously musical!’
Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3 – CD Review, November 2013

‘The Brook Street Band’s performances have a well-blended, soft-textured finish and, rhythmically, an easy grace.’
Michael Dervan, The Irish Times, November 2013, 5-star Rating

‘What an enjoyable recording this is!… The Brook Street Band play with superb style and enthusiasm; they have appropriately varied the instrumentation of the individual sonatatas, and their programme order makes perfect sense… prepare to be beguiled…’
Alistair Harper, Early Music Review, December 2013

‘…the music is unfailingly graceful and inventive and, in the hands of sensitive musicians such as these, it springs to life from the written page.’
Nicholas Anderson, Early Music Today, December 2013, 4-star Rating

Release Date: May 2013

AV2274

‘…an absolutely superb performance here from the Brook Street Band and the Choir of Queen’s College, Oxford. …everything about this album represents British Baroque performance at its best.’
James Manheim, AllMusic.com, July 2013, 5-star Rating

Details

Following five critically-acclaimed and immensely popular recordings for AVIE, The Brook Street Band embark on their most ambitious project to date: a recording with the estimable student Choir of The Queen’s College, Oxford, that pairs for the first time ever the two settings of the Dixit Dominus written by Alessandro Scarlatti and George Frideric Handel.

Both works date from early 18thcentury Rome, Handel’s within a year of his arriving in the musical capital, and possibly influenced by Scarlatti’s work, though the date of the elder Italian’s composition is not precisely known. Indeed it has been suggested that the 22-year-old Lutheran was attempting to outdo Scarlatti with his masterly grasp of large-scale sacred music for the Roman rite.

In between these two grand Vespers, The Brook Street Band serve up a palette cleanser of an instrumental concerto in G minor by Scarlatti. On this recording the massed forces are joined by five of Britain’s brightest young singers: soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, mezzo-sopranos Esther Brazil and Sally Bruce-Payne, tenor Guy Cutting, and bass-baritone Matthew Brook

Reviews

‘…an absolutely superb performance here from the Brook Street Band and the Choir of Queen’s College, Oxford. …everything about this album represents British Baroque performance at its best.’
James Manheim, AllMusic.com, July 2013, 5-star Rating

‘The playing of The Brook Street band is mouth-watering in its simple quality of musicianship, a standardard that is upheld throughout… A disc of unusually high calibre.’
Malcolm Hayes, Early Music Review, August 2013

‘…performances of the highest quality, with the Queen’s choir at its best and the alert instrumentalists fully committed in their playing… Highly recommended.’
David Ponsford, Choir & Organ, September 2013, 5-star Rating

Release Date: October 2010

AV2199

‘With unaffected performances of remarkable freshness and vitality… the exuberance is all BSB’s own. [Tatty] Theo’s bass is clear and firm throughout, providing a centre of gravity for violinists Rachel Harris and Farran Scott to really dance… The variety of string articulation together with [Carolyn] Gibley’s discrete harmonisations further serve both to enliven and to elucidate Bach’s musical arguments. Superb… This is a must-have album.’
Gramophone Magazine Editor’s Choice, William Yeoman, Gramophone Magazine, January 2011

Details

The Brook Street Band burst on to the scene in 2003 with their Avie debut, the world-premiere recording of Handel’s ‘Oxford’ Water Music, a genuine chamber arrangement of the composer’s ever-popular suite which earned the period-instrument ensemble an Editor’s Choice from Gramophone.

Since then the all-girl group, named for the London street where Handel lived and composed for most of his working life in England, has released three further Handel surveys which prove their own adept skills at arranging. They now apply the age-old practice to their first recording of the music of J S Bach, adapting his Organ Sonatas to their own instrumentation of two violins, harpsichord and cello.

The result is yet another unique approach from the Brook Street Band, whose sheer pleasure in sharing this wonderful music shines though in their radiant renditions.

Reviews

‘With unaffected performances of remarkable freshness and vitality… the exuberance is all BSB’s own. [Tatty] Theo’s bass is clear and firm throughout, providing a centre of gravity for violinists Rachel Harris and Farran Scott to really dance… The variety of string articulation together with [Carolyn] Gibley’s discrete harmonisations further serve both to enliven and to elucidate Bach’s musical arguments. Superb… This is a must-have album.’
Gramophone Magazine Editor’s Choice, William Yeoman, Gramophone Magazine, January 2011

‘…The Brook Street Band plays stylishly, with well-nigh impeccable intonation and tremendous verve… Delightful.’
George Pratt, BBC Music Magazine, November 2010, 4-star rating

‘The Brook Street Band has a trademark playing style that’s communicative, energetic and very very zingy in every department… the playing has such deftness and verve that time flies by… in chamber music from this period, you won’t find more winning and winsome playing.’
Malcolm Hayes, Classic FM Magazine, March 2011, 4-star rating

Release Date: September 2008

AV2153

‘…Nicki Kennedy and Sally Bruce-Payne are superb vocalists, every English diphthong beautifully articulated, but the big hand belongs to the four-piece band… for the richness of their sound, a delight from start to close.’
Norman Lebrecht, Evening Standard, December 2008, 5-star review + pick of the week

Details

In this day and age is there any more to be traced and discovered from Handel’s “lost music”? The Brook Street Band, awarded a Gramophone Editor’s Choice for their AVIE debut of Handel’s “Oxford” Water Music (AV 0028), certainly think so. Their inquisitive fourth disc for AVIE presents music unheard since the composer’s time, his English Cantatas and Songs.

Some of the music is certainly borrowed from well known works such as the operatic masterpiece Giulio Cesare, but here the English songs are mostly original compositions which were probably intended for indoor performances in front of a very small audience. For these vocal pieces the Band are joined by soprano Nicki Kennedy and alto Sally Bruce-Payne, both known soloists in the field of Early Music, Choral and Opera.

Reviews

‘…Nicki Kennedy and Sally Bruce-Payne are superb vocalists, every English diphthong beautifully articulated, but the big hand belongs to the four-piece band… for the richness of their sound, a delight from start to close.’
Norman Lebrecht, Evening Standard, December 2008, 5-star review + pick of the week

‘…the Band is as deliciously poised and pertinent as ever.’
BBC Music Magazine, January 2009

‘Handel recycles some of his best tunes in vocal music that’s a fresh as a summer’s day. Lovely ensemble playing and expressive soloists.’
Classic FM Magazine, January 2009

‘As always, The Brook Street Band has a delightfully light touch, never solemn, and they are beautifully complemented here by the clear Baroque soprano of Nicki Kennedy and the rich alto of Sally Bruce-Payne.’
HMV Choice, Sept/Oct 08

‘Essential listening for all Handelians, and the performances are first class.’
Early Music Review

Release Date: February 2007

AV2118

‘…The enterprising Brook Street Band… the infectious enthusiasm of these all-female virtuosi seems likely to bring them another Classic FM hit.’
Anthony Holden, The Observer, March 2007

Details

Handel Cello Sonatas? As Handel didn’t write any, that may raise a few eyebrows. Then again, period-instrument ensemble The Brook Street Band have been doing just that since their debut recording of Handel’s “Oxford” Water Music (AV 0028), a chamber version of the orchestral evergreen, which earned the all-girl baroque band a Gramophone Editor’s Choice. Tapping into the ubiquitous 18th-century technique of recycling tunes by transposing or arranging for different instruments, The Brook Street Band – named after Handel’s London address – here take the set of recorder sonatas variously known as Op. 1, assigning the solo line to the cello, an instrument which with Handel had obvious affinity.

The Brook Street Band’s second disc, Handel’s Op. 5 Trio Sonatas, became a favourite on Classic FM. This, their third release, is acclaimed and popular in equal measure.

Reviews

‘…The enterprising Brook Street Band… the infectious enthusiasm of these all-female virtuosi seems likely to bring them another Classic FM hit.’
Anthony Holden, The Observer, March 2007

‘Bags of charm on this disc of transcribed recorder sonatas. Theo’s Baroque cello plays mostly high where the tone is dry and appealing.’
Classic FM Magazine, March 2007, 4-star Review

‘…These performances have a powerful stamp of authority about them… Theo’s beautiful sense of line and utterly natural phrasing. Perhaps the most striking thing about these performances is the sense of total unity between both players. These are two musicians coalesced into a single entity, dancing with a wonderful unanimity of purpose… Handel himself would have found real cause for celebration.’
International Record Review, March 2007

‘…a rave review… so convincing are Tatty Theo and Carolyn Gibley’s accounts of them… all beautifully balanced… please do enjoy this unusual and unexpected delight!’
Early Music Review, April 2007

‘…vivacious and ardent music making… a thoroughly enjoyable and expertly played CD’
Goldberg Magazine, May 2007

‘…the playing of the two-person Brook Street Band is expressive and lively… the impact made by this music and its persuasive and technically brilliant advocates here… This CD is recommended… The whole is pleasing, very pleasing’
MusicWeb, April 2007

Release Date: July 2005

AV2068

‘…the Brook Street Band. The smartest new baroque band around, they deliver these seven sonatas with consistent panache and musicality… if you need instant sunshine, play this disc.’
Geoff Brown, The Times, July 2005 4-star Rating

Details

The Brook Street Band secured their place on the musical map with their Avie debut of the world-premiere recording of Handel’s “Oxford” Water Music, a delightful chamber version of the evergreen work. A Gramophone Editor’s Choice sealed the Brook Street Band’s Handelian credentials.

They further proclaim their allegiance to the baroque master with this, their follow-up CD of the charming Trio Sonatas, Op. 5. Handel was a renowned recycler of his own music and these informal works are full of one familiar tune after the other. Treated to The Brook Street Band’s effervescent interpretations, this disc is another winner for the all-girl baroque band.

Reviews

‘…the Brook Street Band. The smartest new baroque band around, they deliver these seven sonatas with consistent panache and musicality… if you need instant sunshine, play this disc.’
Geoff Brown, The Times, July 2005 4-star Rating

‘so infectious is the enthusiasm of these gifted players for their Baroque master that you will find it hard to suppress a smile at the sheer energy and effervescence that bounce out of this disc’
Anthony Holden, The Observer, July 2005

‘The Brook Street Band are a lively ensemble of period instrumentalists, always stylish, occasionally daring in their expressive response to this glorious music…’
Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times, July 2005

‘The four members of the Band play with flawless ensemble and beautifully controlled intonation, their unruffled and confident approach underlined by their generally comfortable pacing…’
International Record Review, Christopher Price, November 2005

‘The Band is highly polished… and infectiously enthusiastic’
BBC Music Magazine, 4-star Review

‘They play Handel with sprightliness and a joie de vivre that lets you know this composer will never go out of style… the performances on this CD have such spontaneity…’
Atlanta Audio Society Classik Reviews, December 2005

‘[Handel Trio Sonatas Op.5 No.4] was the highlight of the afternoon and no member of the audience managed to keep their feet still. Everything about this seemed perfectly judged: the precipitous glissandi from Rachel Harris on first violin, echoed by Farran Scott on second, with spot-on tuning and improvisatory feel throughout’
Planet Hugill, March, 2016 – review of concert, St. John’s Smith Square, London, 28-Feb-2016

Release Date: November 2003

AV0028

‘The Brook Street Band… are gaining quite a reputation for their stylish and imaginative programmes. They bring a delightful freshness and lack of affectation… playing in a vivacious style… that makes it very clear that they are enjoying themselves. Their pleasure in the music is infectious.’
Gramophone Magazine Editor’s Choice, Stanley Sadie, Gramophone Magazine, February 2004

Details

It’s easy to imagine the well-documented first performance of Handel’s Water Music, played by at least 50 musicians on a barge floating down the Thames for a royal procession. But what was the score’s first incarnation? After all, Baroque composers would shamelessly beg, borrow and steal from their own music, whatever it took to make a few extra bob.

Enter the Brook Street Band, a young baroque chamber ensemble whose core make-up is two violins, harpsichord and cello. Upon learning of a chamber version of the Water Music in an Oxford University library, apparently penned by Handel himself, the group applied 18th century practices and adapted the music for their own forces, adding an oboe doubling on recorder. The resulting world premier recording recreates how Handel’s popular music may have been enjoyed by 18th century folk in the privacy of their own home.

This is the debut recording by The Brook Street Band, award winning specialists in eighteenth century repertoire who take their name from the London street where George Frideric Handel lived and composed for most of his working life. They complete their CD with trio sonatas by Corelli, Geminiani, Handel and Leclair.

Reviews

‘The Brook Street Band… are gaining quite a reputation for their stylish and imaginative programmes. They bring a delightful freshness and lack of affectation… playing in a vivacious style… that makes it very clear that they are enjoying themselves. Their pleasure in the music is infectious.’
Gramophone Magazine Editor’s Choice, Stanley Sadie, Gramophone Magazine, February 2004

…The Brook Street Band… play with style and zest, keeping the rhythms light and springy and ornamenting deftly… eager continuo… delightful music-making, with violinists sparring elegantly in the faster numbers and bringing a delicate sense of timing and colour to the slow movements.’
Richard Wigmore, BBC Music Magazine, March 2004, Double 4-star Rating

‘No matter how many recordings of this music you may already have, if you buy one Baroque music disk this year, let it be this one… It is a tremendous pleasure to be a reviewer when a disk like this comes along… [a] magical balance of crispness, bounce, swing, sweetness and dignity… The Brook Street Band are stratospheric in quality…’
Paul Shoemaker, Music Web, Recording of the Month, December 2003

‘It’s a delight to hear vigorous yet informed playing, combined with such a crisp, well-balanced recording… Well researched and compiled… the accomplished performances of Handel’s earliest version of the famous Water Music suites are fresh and sparky, enlivening this all-too familiar music.’
Jane Jones – Classic FM, February 2004, 4-star Rating