Moderntimes 1800 is an Austrian period-instrument ensemble based in Tyrol. Its moniker is explained in the annotations: “All composers have written and continue to write for the instruments of their particular age, and as such, all music can claim to have been ‘modern’ in its own time. The inclusion of the date ‘1800’ in the name of the orchestra refers to one of the most turbulent epochs in European history in which society, politics, and culture all underwent fundamental change, heralding the advent of European Modernity. The transition from the 18th to the 19th century marked the beginning of the collapse of an epoch, characterized by upheaval and reorientation in the most diverse spheres.” Thus the title of the set comes clearly into focus.
A fine sense of vitality and elegance runs through the works on this album, which are presented in an effortless and sympathetic manner from first note to last. The pulse is strong, the dynamic shifts striking, and the articulation sparkling. Moderntimes 1800 exhibits a rare dedication to the music; this is in evidence vis-à-vis the meticulous attention paid to each detail, be it written or implied. These appealing renditions appeal to novice and cognoscenti alike.