Neville Marriner – The First Recordings

February 1, 1962
Director: Sir Neville Marriner
Played with precision, care, consummate musicianship, and with more sense of style than all the other chamber orchestras in Europe

This double CD brings together the Academy’s earliest recordings, made under the L’Oiseau-Lyre label, including the recording with which it all began in 1961. A Recital by the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, as it was snappily titled, was a close replica of the first ever Academy concert in 1959. Featuring works by Corelli, Albicastro, Torelli and Locatelli (who were part of a group of Italian baroque composers rather irreverently dubbed ‘the Italian ice-cream merchants’) as well as a Handel Concerto Grosso, the record was received with effusive praise by Gramophone. The first record was followed up by the inventively titled A Second Recital by the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, prompting Stereo Review to rave:

Aurally one of the most stunning groups of its kind… the second volume is every bit as good as the first.

The tracks from a third record from 1963, featuring works by Cherubini, Vivaldi, Geminiani, Bellini and Corelli, complete the set.