Phebe Craig & Katherine Westine, harpsichordists

Our dueling harpsichordists are beside themselves with a shared vision to breathe new life into a genre both delicate and robust. Phebe Craig and Katherine Westine not only recreate old treasures, but also apply their baroque sensibilities to the works of modern composers. Armed with two Italian and two French harpsichords, Westine and Craig explore the acoustics of a converted 19th century winery.

The astute listener will quickly notice the distinct character of each instrument, a property of harpsichords which, in contrast to modern keyboard instruments, provides enormous satisfaction to the connoisseur.

Listen to a sample of the Bach Concerto in C Major or the Gershwin.

Price: $15.95 plus shipping and handling

W. F. Bach – Concerto in F Major for 2 Harpsichords
George Gershwin – Three Preludes
Antonio Soler – Concierto II in A minor
François Couperin – Musétes de Choisi et de Taverni
Johann Sebastian Bach – Concerto in C Major for Two Harpsichords (BWV1061)
Scott Joplin – Stoptime Rag

"...stylish playing... sophisticated and clever fun... there's nothing square about this performance."—The American Record Guide

"The immediacy of the harpsichord's "pluck" makes for a special sense of alertness on the part of the performers and in the music itself. Craig and Westine display this vibrant quality in spades on every selection on this recording."— Continuo Magazine of Early Music

"The harpsichord joins the 20th century on this recording." —Chosen as a classical disc of the month in 1994 at HEAR


Arcangeli Baroque Strings; Michael Sand, director
Music and Arts Programs of America, Inc.

Arcangeli Baroque Strings: Michael Sand, violin/director; Elizabeth Blumenstock, Lisa Weiss, Lisa Grodin and Carla Moore, violins; George Thomson, viola; Phebe Craig, harpsichord; Paul Hale, cello; John Dornenburg, violone.

Based in San Francisco, Arcangeli Baroque Strings is an ensemble dedicated to the performance of the concerto grosso repertoire on original instruments.

These concertos are excellent examples of Bach’s response to Vivaldi’s influence. Each work is in three movements, with fast movements framing a slow one, and though the slow movements with their cantabile characters sound thoroughly like Bach, they bear many similarities to the slow movements found in Vivaldi’s concertos.

Listen to a sample of the Concerto for Two Violins and Orchestra in d, BWV 1043

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1.Concerto for Two Violins & Orchestra in d, BWV 1043

2. Concerto for Violin & Orchestra in a, BWV 1041

3. Concerto for Violin & Orchestra in E, BWV 1042

4. Concerto for Three Violins, Strings & Continuo in D, BWV 1064


Michael Sand, violin - Phebe Craig, harpsichord - John Dornenburg, viola da gamba.

One outcome of the Catholic Counter-Reformation of the 17th Century was a new movement in Roman Catholicism towards mysticism whose goal was to illuminate the mysteries of the Faith, and create an emotional state of mind open to mystical experience. No one better embodied this movement in music that H.F. Biber. Biber's violin sonatas are some of the most spiritually beautiful music ever written ---music which is as emotionally demanding as it is satisfying.

The KATastroPHE Biber CD includes five great sonatas by Biber for violin and continuo, and four equally great keyboard toccatas by Froberger and Richter in the same stylus fantasticus. We have deliberately designed our CD to give listeners a musically satisfying program by introducing each sonata with a harpsichord "fantasie" which, along with being equally exciting, affords a kind of aural cleansing of the palate by their change of timbre.

Listen to a sample of the Toccatina by Richter, or a sample of Rosary Sonata #14.

Price: $15.95 plus shipping and handling

H. I. F. Biber: Rosary Sonata #1 in D Minor, The Annunciation, Rosary Sonata #10 in G Minor, The Crucifixion, Rosary Sonata #12 in C Major, the Ascention, Rosary Sonata #14 in D major, The Assumption of Mary, Sonata VI from 8 Sonatas, 1681
J. J. Froberger: Toccata VI in A Minor, Toccata III in C Major & Toccata IV in F Major, 1656
F. T. Richter: Toccatina & Capriccio in D Minor

"What excellent performers. These Rosary Sonatas are exceptional in every aspect... absolutely fantastic."—Continuo Magazine of Early Music

"Up until now this interpretation of the Biber sonatas is unequalled... As a soloist in the Toccatas of Froberger and Richter, Phebe Craig is absolutely compelling." Chosen "Die Platte des Monats" January, 1997 Alte Musik Aktuell,Germany


Arcangeli Baroque Strings; Michael Sand, director
Meridian Records

Members of Arcangeli Baroque Strings: Michael Sand, director/violin; Elizabeth Blumenstock, violin; Lisa Weiss, violin; Lisa Grodin, violin; John Dornenburg, violone; George Thomson, viola; Anthony Martin, viola; Phebe Craig, harpsichord; Paul Hale, cello.

The concertos entitled L’Estro Armonico were the first which Vivaldi published and they were the first of his work to demonstrate his unique compositional accomplishments. They contain some of Vivaldi’s finest string writing and incorporate many devices which were had never been used before, even by Corelli, such as a single solo violin...four solo violins, long cantilene movements for one or two solo instruments, a unified ripieno section (as in Concerto VI) as opposed to the usual division into Violin I and II, and use of the viola as a petite
basse in solo movements.

Listen to a little of Vivaldi's Concerto VIII in A Minor for Two Violins.

Price: $15.95 plus shipping and handling

Concerto VIII in A minor for Two Violins
Concerto VII in F major for Four Violins
Concerto VI in A minor for Solo Violin
Concerto XI in D minor for Two Violins
Concerto X in B minor for Four Violins
Concerto I in D major for Four Violins

"There is a grand conception behind it all, definitive, of high sensibility, and above all, highly musical. It is obvious especially in the slower movements, which are as compellingly beautiful as the faster ones.

"This is an allaround successful interpretation, a "CD of the Month" without reservation or cavil, a mistake-free and immaculate masterpiece. The unheard-of explosive vitality of this recording marks the beginning of a new dimension."