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Schmelzer & Co. - Music at the Habsburg Court
The versatile ensemble Caecilia-Concert, a group which specialises in the interpretation of 17th century music for instruments and voices, here perform pieces by a range of German and Italian Baroque composers who worked at the Habsburg Court including Johann Heinrich Schmelzer, Johann Joseph Fux, Marco Antonio Ferro, and Antonio Bertali. The works included on this CD are among the last, highly virtuosic compositions for a range of period instruments like the cornetto and the dulcian. In the 18th century, the leading role of these instruments was taken over by more ‘modern’ instruments such as the baroque oboe, the baroque bassoon, not to mention the violin and cello, but during the 17th century compositions for these instruments were extremely popular at the Great court of the Habsburgs in Vienna. Many of the leading composers of the day, including Schmelzer and Fux, took up residence there and wrote many delightful pieces. The group Caecilia-Concert was formed in 2001 by a group of young instrumentalists who were already working at the forefront of authentic performance practice in Europe. The aim was to rediscover and bring to today’s audiences music which had been lost, forgotten about, or had simply lain for hundreds of years in the shadows of other great works. Since then, Caecilia-Concert has not only made a name for itself as a virtuosic, flexible, small-scale recital ensemble of the highest international level, but has on occasion, expanded to incorporate other instruments and singers performing rarely heard masterpieces from Italy, Germany, Austria and The Netherlands.
“How expertly do all these players execute these remarkably adventurous works within the most rigorous principles of good chamber-music playing. Intonation is outstanding...and the personality of this regional central European 'dialect' is captured with warmth and caprice...A fine and unusual recital.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2010
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Fagotto, Basson, Dulcian, Curtal ?
Freddy Eichelberger (organ, harpsichord)
Of all the instruments that were developed during the Renaissance, the bassoon undoubtedly has the most curious history. Associated with music in the open air, it was also praised for the sweetness of its sound, as certain of its - such as dolce suono - show.
The musicians of Syntagma Amici here explore the use of the bassoon as a family of instruments in polyphonic repertoire of the 16th century as well as in early virtuoso pieces that were dedicated to it at the beginning of the 17th century.
(also available to download from $10.50)
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Furioso Ma Mon Troppo
Music from Italy 1602-1717
Maryseult Wieczorek (soprano)
“These performances have nothing if not spirit and a sense of spontaneity….. [the sound] gives natural presence and clarity to all concerned.” Classics Today
Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days.
Instrumental versions of madrigals and chansons from 16th century Italy
Words were more important than music in the Italian 16th century and song was therefore a higher art form than instrumental music. Composers such as Cipriano da Rore who observed the natural speech rhythms were afforded the highest accolades.
Wordplay presents a collection of highly decorated vocal music in purely instrumental performance. In the two centuries that this repertoire covers the borrowing and reworking of the music of earlier composers was regarded as creative, original and even as an act of respect or homage.
The disc is structured around instrumental divisions on five famous songs of 16th century and one bass-dance tenor. These divisions are for recorder, for bass viol or for lute. In total 17 different instruments are used including three types of recorder, three types of lute, seven sizes of viol, and a chamber organ.
Wordplay is one of the first recordings made in York's newly opened National Centre for Early Music in the church of St Margaret, Walmgate.
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