Viewed together the recordings in this 50-CD set, many of them pioneering ventures, offer the listener a microcosm of early, Baroque and Classical performing styles in their changing manners and inflexions over a period of fifty-five years.
As a dedicated Early Music label, Das Alte Werk embraced the period instrument revival almost from its inception, signing up five musicians who were to play an influential role in the development of historically informed performance over the next twenty-five years. They were the recorder and flute player Frans Brüggen, organist, harpsichordist and scholar Gustav Leonhardt, cellist, viola da gamba player and conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt, cellist Anner Bylsma and violinist Jaap Schröder. The name Das Alte Werk became synonymous with all that was at the forefront of scholarly research and period-instrument practice.
Among the most important of the younger generation of musicians signed by the label in the 1990s, were Il Giardino Armonico, Concerto Köln, Tragicomedia, Chanticleer and the harpsichordist/fortepiano player Andreas Staier. All can be heard within this superb collection.