четверг, 3 июля 2014 г.

Michel de la Barre - Flute Suites - Nancy Hadden with Lucy Carolan, Erin Headley



Considered the best French flautist of his time, Michel de la Barre (c 1675 - 1754) has endeavoured to elevate his instrument and bring it to perfection much as Marin Marais did for viola da gamba. The composer stated this intent himself in the preface to his first book of solo flute suites (which can also boast the first information in print about slurring and ornamentation on the transverse flute). Indeed, the overwhelming majority of his musical output belongs to flute music and it is a known fact that he helped to make this instrument one of the most fashionable of the time and establihed the style that later flourished in the hands of Jacques Hotteterre le Romain and other French flute composers.

It is a pity that this music is so sparsely recorded, for it is full of sweet charm and that measured, well-balanced sensitivity and reserved sensuality which is characteristic of the best in French baroque. This disc contains pieces from different flute books by de la Barre - in later ones he began to call his suites sonatas as was the Italianate fashion of the time.

On the cover is the group portrait of French musicians (by Robert Tournières or François de Troy) where the man with the flute is thought to be de la Barre himself.

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вторник, 1 июля 2014 г.

European Baroque Guitar Music (Rome-Paris-Madrid) - Bartolotti, Granata, Corbetta, de Visee, Sanz, Guerau - Pierre Pitzl



The concept behind this album is to showcase the work of best baroque guitar composers in the period when this new instrument swept across Europe and conquered it along with its kings - that is the second half of the 17 C. The composers chosen for this task are Michelangelo Bartolotti, Giovanni Battista Granata (who answer for Rome), Francesco Corbetta (an international star of Italian origin) and his pupil Robert de Visee (Paris), and Francisco Guerau with Gaspar Sanz for Madrid. 
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понедельник, 30 июня 2014 г.

Il Bestiario di Leonardo - Animals in Renaissance Music - Renata Fusco, Massimo Lonardi


Just what the title says - this is an album of instrumental and vocal pieces by known and mostly unknown Renaissance composers devoted to different animals, from swan and lion to basilisk and dragon (and even the turbulent relationship of dog and flea).
Composers: Barbetta, Capirola, Arcadelt, Attaignant, Scoto, da Milano, Lando, da Lodi, Gorzanis, Horatio Vecchi, Donato and various anonimous.

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воскресенье, 29 июня 2014 г.

Henri Hardouin - Complete Four-Part a cappella Masses Vol. 1


Technically the oeuvre of Henri Hardouin (1727-1808) falls outside the baroque period but the antiquated style he practiced has no place within the classical idiom. Unaccompanied masses he wrote were rare for baroque as well - however stile antico was a known phenomenon and had its practitioners and audience, mostly in the provincial chruch. And Rheims Cathedral where Hardouin worked, despite its symbolic importance for the French crown was such a provincial place.
Of course the unaccompanied choral music in stile antico  wasn't identical with the Renaissance polyphony that was its ideal - rather it was a combnation of polyphonic and homophonic elements taken from the baroque idiom. This is also the case with Hardouin: "like most stile antico composers, he abandons strict countepoint once all the voices have entered and moves toward a more homophonic style"(booklet). The overall effect of this music which may have appeared anachronistic in its time is surprisingly modern and rather reminds one of modern composers' experiments with Renaissance idioms.

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суббота, 28 июня 2014 г.

Johann Kuhnau - Neuer Clavier-Ubung, Vol. 1 - Gabriele Micheli


Most known as the last Thomaskantor in Leipzig before Bach, Johann Kuhnau (1660-1722) was a man of many talents - composer, harpsichordist, theorist, writer and lawyer. As was later said of him, he "displayed an element of medieval universality and mastered music, law, theology, rhetoric, poetry, mathematics and foreign languages’ (Schering, 1926). "Scheibe put him alongside Handel, Keiser and Telemann as one of the major German composers before Hasse and the Grauns, and Mattheson, paying equal tribute to his musicianship and his erudition, claimed never to have known his like as composer, organist, chorus director and scholar. Among his pupils were such great figures as Fasch, Heinichen and Graupner.
Kuhnau's surviving music belongs to two categories: keyboard music, nearly all published by 1700, and sacred music, mostly cantatas and all of it unpublished. His secular vocal works are all lost. The Neue Clavier-Übung the first part of which (the one in major keys) is presented on this CD strongly influenced keyboard music of the time. As the title suggests, these compositions were meant primarily for his pupils, as exercises for very advanced practitioners.

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пятница, 27 июня 2014 г.

John Johnson - Lute Music - Christopher Wilson, Shirley Rumsey


John Johnson (c 1550-1594) can be regarded as the founder of of the school of English Golden Age lute. His works can be found in manuscripts all over Europe, though for the most part anonymously, and the only other English lute composer to surpass him was Dowland.
Johnson's style is a natural amalgam of the Italian style prevailing in his day and native preferences and pecularities, as such it's more idiomatic than original. Indeed, his compostions were so often used for variations, improvisations and imitations that the first composer's name got often lost in the process.

"His works show the English taste for cross-relations, surprising harmonic and tonal relationships and, above all, variation. Indeed, without exception, all his compositions include some form of variation procedure and often more than one kind at a time; variation techniques range from an entire piece being based on a single motif, to the varied reprise, to discanting on English and Italian grounds, to variations of popular tunes such as Walsingham and Carman’s Whistle. He is now best known, especially among lutenists, for his treble variations of grounds and duets for equal lutes." (Grove)

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четверг, 26 июня 2014 г.

Giovan Battista Ferrini - Opere per Clavicembalo - Roberto Loreggian


A native of Florence, Giovan Battista Ferrini (c 1601-1674) also called "Giovanni della spinetta" is known as a Roman musician where he worked in different church establishements. He may be considered  as one of the more interesting Italian keyboad composers of the generation between Frescobaldi and Bernardo Pasquini, his main fault being that he left no printed works. Although he served as an organist as well, most of his "tabulatures" existing in manuscripts are thought to be written for the harpsichord or, indeed, spinet. These compositions fall into three categories - free improvisations (toccatas and tastate), dances and partitas on airs popular at the time.

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