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"A Cavalier’s Tour" – From the time of the Renaissance, young men would take such educational tours to round off their studies and to get to know things that had just come into fashion at home in the foreign countries from which they originated. Such travel gave them the chance to improve their language skills, visit famous monuments and learn foreign customs. There was a craze for the Grand Tour in 18th-century England in particular, as may be seen from many different angles in the literature of the period.


Many musicians also undertook the often arduous journey in order to hear the music of their famous contemporaries at first hand and get to know their musical tastes and dialects. That allowed them to deepen their understanding of works they may already have known from the printed editions that now enjoyed wide circulation, and make friends with their colleagues abroad. Viewed against this background it is hardly surprising that the early 18th century saw the emergence of the "mixed style" in one country after another, a form considered by Prussia's master flautist Johann Joachim Quantz to be simply "the best".

The album "A Cavalier’s Tour through Baroque Europe" sends the early music ensemble Concerto grosso Berlin on a musical journey with period instruments that takes it beyond the Baroque strongholds of England, France, Italy and Germany. The musicians also present works from the periphery of Europe, where one might have expected to find little or nothing that was original. The result is a motley round of diverse compositions, distinguished not by their differences but by the similarities they derive from their common features, bringing the spirit of bygone Europe alive through the medium of this hitherto unknown repertoire.