Recording data and venue: June 27th - 30th, September 10th - 11th 1995, St. Urlich Church, Stanz, Austria.
This disc is a marvellous place to make the acquaintance of the Viennese Court’s first native Kapellmeister. It affords an all-encompassing view, taking in a great state occasion (the wedding of the Emperor to Margaret Theresa), a more private expression of grief (a funeral ode dedicated to his first patron, Ferdinand II), religious and chamber music, and a concluding ballet suite assembled from short carnival pieces. This recording returns with new artwork and a new cover that brings to the fore the central figure of this programme, whose personality seems to have inspired masterpieces from many court artists, including Velázquez and his celebrated Las Meninas.
Margarita Teresa of Austria seems to have inspired many court artists to produce masterpieces, ranging from those of Velasquez during her early years in Madrid (1653-59), and, after her marriage to Leopold I (1667), to the work of Johann Heinrich Schmelzer in Vienna. Schmelzer’s many-sided musical talent gives us a detailed glimpse of court life in Vienna and Prague under his imperial employers Ferdinand III (1637-1657) and Leopold I (1657-1705). Music played a central part in the daily lives of these Habsburg monarchs, who themselves composed. Schmelzer, who was born around 1620 in a remote Lower Austrian village called Scheibbs, clearly fulfilled his functions so well that he was the first Austrian, after a long succession of Italians, to be given the position of court Kapellmeister.
Lorenz Duftschmid studied in Linz and Vienna was in Jordi Savall’s class at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, where he graduated with distinction. More than 70 recordings document his work. Today Duftschmid dedicates himself as a soloist and conductor almost exclusively to his own ensembles, Armonico Tributo and AnLeuT. Armonico Tributo was created in 1989 by Lorenz Duftschmid and his closest friends through their shared vision of using original instruments.
The remarkably varied repertoire of Armonico Tributo ranges from the ancient sounds of Celtic music to Middle Age, Renaissance and Baroque, encompassing Viennese classics as well. The AnLeut publishing company was created for the purpose of experimenting with contemporary music on ancient instruments.