Lute Works - Early Music America Reviews_9.pdf · Johann Sebastian Bach Lute Works Stephen Stubbs,...

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12 Spring 2006 Early Music America Johann Sebastian Bach Lute Works Stephen Stubbs, Baroque lute ATMA Classique ACD 2 2238 55:54 minutes The solo lute works of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) are, as a collection, a hodgepodge. Some of the sources are tablatures pre- pared by lutenists, but Bach’s auto- graphs are in grand staff. Of the pieces on this recording, BWV 995 is Bach’s 1727 transcription of the Suite No. 5 in C minor for Unaccom- panied Cello (which also exists in a contemporary tablature); BWV 998 is a 1740 work whose autograph specifies “luth ò Cembal”; and BWV 1001 is the first sonata for solo violin (1720), presented in Stephen Stubbs’s transcription. Stubbs wears many hats: profes- sor at the Hochschule für Künste in Bremen, founding director of the ensembles Tragicomedia and Accad- emia d’Amore, opera director and regular co-director (with Paul O’Dette) of the Boston Early Music Festival. As with O’Dette, the late Michael Eagan, and others, one has to wonder when Stubbs gets time to practice the lute. Yet he clearly does, as the current disc testifies. The performance we get here is less about virtuosity (although these are difficult works) than it is about a thoughtful presentation of complex musical ideas. The lute used in the recording is not identified; we are only told that it has 14 courses (rather than the normal 13) in order to play contrabass Gs in the auto- graph of BWV 995. In this suite, Stubbs presents an appropriately French rendition with clean slurs and crisp ornamentation to carry the often quirky lines. The Prelude, Fugue and Allegro (BWV 998) is a bit more labored by comparison. But don’t go away—the Sonata in G minor (BWV 995) performance justi- fies its transcription here with its depth of sound and clarity of line. And violinists who like to play the Presto at twice the speed could profit from a listen to this version. —Stephen Dydo Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber Vesperae longiores ac breviores (1693) Yale Schola Cantorum, Simon Carrington, conductor; Yale Collegium Players, Robert Mealey, violin, director Yale Schola Cantorum (Self-produced; available at www.Clarionrecords.com) 59:53 minutes It’s been a bumper crop year for Biber (1644-1704) sacred music recordings. We have had two disks of his Missa Christi resurgentis (Andrew Manze and Andrew Par- rott), a recording of Requiems (Paul McCreesh) in B and F, and now this excellent recording of the Vesperae longiores ac breviores of 1693, reconstruct- ed by musi- cologist Brian Clark. This disc is a composite of two live per- formances given last year by the Yale Schola Cantorum, directed by Simon Car- rington. Since Biber only set the psalms and litany for his published Vesperae, the remaining music in the service is by Rupert Ignaz Mayr (1646-1712), Emperor Leopold I (1640-1705), and Giovanni Legrenzi (c.1620-1690). Biber’s setting is smaller-scaled then his grand masses and is scored for four voices (solo and tutti), two violins, two violas, and continuo. Biber might have had bigger plans, though; there is a set of manuscript parts in the Bavarian State Museum for wind instruments that would have doubled the choral parts. There are so many good things happening on this recording. The repertoire is excellent; the Biber psalm settings are all top-flight, and the instrumental works that are interpolated between them are well chosen and played to perfection by violinist Robert Mealy and a small string ensemble. The music by the other composers holds up, too. The Sancta Maria by Mayr is a gem for solo soprano and strings, and Legrenzi’s Salve Regina provides a grand conclusion to the service. The performances are excellent. It’s heartening to hear fresh, enthu- siastic young voices (they are Yale students) joyfully singing. Carring- ton—one of the choral world’s elite though not known as an early music specialist—is quite at home in this work. His intelligent pacing, wise sense of proportion, and remarkable gift for getting the best from a choir make this disc well worth acquiring. —Craig Zeichner Jacques Duphly Second Livre de Pièces de Clavecin (complete) Byron Schenkman, harpsichord Centaur CRC 2714 67:56 minutes Four books of keyboard works was Jacques Duphly’s (1715-1789) total published output. (The third has a violin part for some of the pieces.) His productive life was spent in the salons of Paris, where he was highly regarded as a teacher of a graceful technique that, like his pieces, followed Jean-Philippe Rameau’s model. The works are character studies and are from three to six minutes in length. “La Félix” has been much recorded, and for good reason; it has a striking exploration of the marking “Noblement” in its exploita- tion of the bass. Byron Schenkman intensifies the effect by taking a tempo slow enough to allow for rich ornamentation and rubato. “La Vic- toire” and “La d’Héricourt” both enable Schenkman to reveal his cus- tomary sparkle and speed. On the other hand, “La Lanza,” despite its deeper harmonic explorations, has a difficult time justifying its exceptional length (11 minutes). Schenkman plays on a restored Henri Hemsch harpsichord, and its sound is large. The recording is admirably clear, with no more reverb than we would expect in a room hous- ing such an instrument. This is good, because Schenkman, in the manner of Rameau, often revels in the power of the bass, with a rather boomy effect. His handling of the higher passages is also quite strong, and in the many instances of contrasting extremes of high and low, the balance is beautifully maintained. —Stephen Dydo Claudio Monteverdi Scherzi musicali Maria Cristina Kiehr, soprano; Stephen MacLeod, bass; Concerto Soave (Amandine Beyer, Alba Roca, violins; Gaetano Nasillo, cello; Monica Pustilnik, lute, guitar; Mara Galassi, harp), Jean-Marc Aymes, claviorganum, director Harmonia Mundi HMC 901855 73:29 minutes In 1607, Giulio Cesare Montever- di published a collection of his brother Claudio’s three-part works for voice and instruments called Scherzi musicali. In some ways, the actual music has been overshad- owed by the Dichiaratione (declaration) that Giulio included with the music, a polemic that defended his brother’s new style against the criticism of the theorist Giovanni Maria Artusi. The Scherzi musicali were proba- bly written before 1607 and were intended for the Mantuan court. The Edited by Craig Zeichner

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  • 12 Spring 2006 Early Music America

    Johann Sebastian BachLute Works Stephen Stubbs, Baroque luteATMA Classique ACD 2 223855:54 minutes

    The solo lute works of JohannSebastian Bach (1685-1750) are, asa collection, a hodgepodge. Someof the sources are tablatures pre-pared by lutenists, but Bachs auto-graphs are in grand staff. Of thepieces on this recording, BWV 995 isBachs 1727 transcription of theSuite No. 5 in C minor for Unaccom-panied Cello (which also exists in acontemporary tablature); BWV 998

    is a 1740work whoseautographspecifiesluth Cembal;and BWV1001 is the

    first sonata for solo violin (1720),presented in Stephen Stubbsstranscription.

    Stubbs wears many hats: profes-sor at the Hochschule fr Knste inBremen, founding director of theensembles Tragicomedia and Accad-emia dAmore, opera director andregular co-director (with PaulODette) of the Boston Early MusicFestival. As with ODette, the lateMichael Eagan, and others, one hasto wonder when Stubbs gets time topractice the lute. Yet he clearly does,as the current disc testifies.

    The performance we get here isless about virtuosity (although theseare difficult works) than it is about athoughtful presentation of complexmusical ideas. The lute used in therecording is not identified; we areonly told that it has 14 courses(rather than the normal 13) in orderto play contrabass Gs in the auto-graph of BWV 995. In this suite,Stubbs presents an appropriatelyFrench rendition with clean slurs andcrisp ornamentation to carry theoften quirky lines. The Prelude,Fugue and Allegro (BWV 998) is abit more labored by comparison. Butdont go awaythe Sonata in G

    minor (BWV 995) performance justi-fies its transcription here with itsdepth of sound and clarity of line.And violinists who like to play thePresto at twice the speed couldprofit from a listen to this version.Stephen Dydo

    Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber

    Vesperae longiores ac breviores (1693)

    Yale Schola Cantorum, SimonCarrington, conductor; Yale Collegium Players, Robert Mealey, violin, directorYale Schola Cantorum (Self-produced; available atwww.Clarionrecords.com)59:53 minutes

    Its been a bumper crop year forBiber (1644-1704) sacred musicrecordings. We have had two disksof his Missa Christi resurgentis(Andrew Manze and Andrew Par-rott), a recording of Requiems (PaulMcCreesh) in B and F, and now thisexcellent recording of the Vesperaelongiores ac breviores of 1693,

    reconstruct-ed by musi-cologistBrian Clark.This disc is acomposite oftwo live per-formances

    given last year by the Yale ScholaCantorum, directed by Simon Car-rington. Since Biber only set thepsalms and litany for his publishedVesperae, the remaining music inthe service is by Rupert Ignaz Mayr(1646-1712), Emperor Leopold I(1640-1705), and Giovanni Legrenzi(c.1620-1690).

    Bibers setting is smaller-scaledthen his grand masses and is scoredfor four voices (solo and tutti), twoviolins, two violas, and continuo.Biber might have had bigger plans,though; there is a set of manuscriptparts in the Bavarian State Museumfor wind instruments that wouldhave doubled the choral parts.

    There are so many good things

    happening on this recording. Therepertoire is excellent; the Biberpsalm settings are all top-flight, andthe instrumental works that areinterpolated between them are wellchosen and played to perfection byviolinist Robert Mealy and a smallstring ensemble. The music by theother composers holds up, too. TheSancta Maria by Mayr is a gem forsolo soprano and strings, andLegrenzis Salve Regina provides agrand conclusion to the service.

    The performances are excellent.Its heartening to hear fresh, enthu-siastic young voices (they are Yalestudents) joyfully singing. Carring-tonone of the choral worlds elitethough not known as an early musicspecialistis quite at home in thiswork. His intelligent pacing, wisesense of proportion, and remarkablegift for getting the best from a choirmake this disc well worth acquiring. Craig Zeichner

    Jacques DuphlySecond Livre de Pices deClavecin (complete)

    Byron Schenkman, harpsichordCentaur CRC 2714 67:56 minutes

    Four books of keyboard workswas Jacques Duphlys (1715-1789)total published output. (The thirdhas a violin part for some of thepieces.) His productive life was spentin the salons of Paris, where he washighly regarded as a teacher of agraceful technique that, like hispieces, followed Jean-PhilippeRameaus model.

    The works are character studiesand are from three to six minutes inlength. La Flix has been muchrecorded, and for good reason; ithas a striking exploration of themarking Noblement in its exploita-tion of the bass. Byron Schenkmanintensifies the effect by taking atempo slow enough to allow for richornamentation and rubato. La Vic-toire and La dHricourt bothenable Schenkman to reveal his cus-tomary sparkle and speed. On theother hand, La Lanza, despite its

    deeper harmonic explorations, has adifficult time justifying its exceptionallength (11 minutes).

    Schenkman plays on a restoredHenri Hemsch harpsichord, and itssound is large. The recording isadmirably clear, with no more reverb

    than wewouldexpect in aroom hous-ing such aninstrument.This is good,because

    Schenkman, in the manner ofRameau, often revels in the powerof the bass, with a rather boomyeffect. His handling of the higherpassages is also quite strong, and inthe many instances of contrastingextremes of high and low, thebalance is beautifully maintained. Stephen Dydo

    Claudio MonteverdiScherzi musicaliMaria Cristina Kiehr, soprano;Stephen MacLeod, bass; ConcertoSoave (Amandine Beyer, Alba Roca,violins; Gaetano Nasillo, cello;Monica Pustilnik, lute, guitar; Mara Galassi, harp), Jean-MarcAymes, claviorganum, directorHarmonia Mundi HMC 90185573:29 minutes

    In 1607, Giulio Cesare Montever-di published a collection of hisbrother Claudios three-part worksfor voice and instruments calledScherzi musicali. In some ways, the

    actual musichas beenovershad-owed by theDichiaratione(declaration)that Giulioincluded with

    the music, a polemic that defendedhis brothers new style against thecriticism of the theorist GiovanniMaria Artusi.

    The Scherzi musicali were proba-bly written before 1607 and wereintended for the Mantuan court. The

    Edited by Craig Zeichner

  • Early Music America Spring 2006 13

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    J.S. Bach ~ available now!works are strophic but have instru-mental ritornelli and are filled withdance rhythms. A second set ofScherzi musicali was published in1632, and these works are alsostrophic but, with the exception ofone piece, are not associated withthe dance. This recording featuresmusic from both sets, as well assome canzonette a tre voci and asolo work from the Settimo Librodei Madrigali.

    Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) infused these works with themelodic splendor, rhythmic verve,and almost preternatural gift forvocal writing that are his hallmarks.Soprano Maria Cristina Kiehr andbass Stephan MacLeod blend beau-tifully, particularly in De la bellezzale dovute lodi, but its the solovoice pieces that make you loseyour breath. And while MacLeod isan excellent singer, its an other-worldly experience when Kiehrsings. Her assured vocalism and wit make Quel sguardo sdegno-setto one of the high pointsher glowing top notes on thephrase Beglocci allarmi areunforgettable.

    The instrumentalists of ConcertoSoave provide sizzling accompani-ment throughout. The ritornelli ofDamigella tutta bella, with echoesof the shepherds dance from LOr-feo, fairly jump out of the stereospeakers. Ultimately, its Kiehr andharpist Mara Galassi who will mosthaunt you. In Se i languidi mieisguardi, a work for solo voice(without strict rhythmic structure)from the Settimo Libro deiMadrigali, singer and harpist touchevery nerve in this masterpiece. Craig Zeichner

    Wolfgang AmadeusMozart

    Concertos for FortepianoThe Mozartean Players Classical Orchestra, Steven Lubin, fortepiano, directorClassical Soundings CS100146:27 minutes

    With certain pieces of music, somany fine recordings have alreadybeen made that a performer reallyneeds to bring something new tothe studio to justify yet another.Mozarts Concerto No. 21 is such apiece and, happily, Steven Lubin issuch a performer. Simply playingthe work on period instruments isnot sufficient; its been done before.Lubin and his ensemble bring alightness of sound and a rich com-plexity to Mozart. Superb techniqueis wedded throughout to revelations

    of meaning, and thats justificationenough for both the works on thisdisc.

    I dont want to slight the excel-lent orchestra, but its Lubins inti-mate mastery of the fortepiano thatmakes this recording such a stand-

    out. While amodernpiano is loudenough tocompetedirectly withthe orches-tra, the

    fortepiano must achieve a harmo-nious balance (the technical aspectsof which are handled very wellhere). Lubin uses its more subtlepalette as a way to peel back thelayers of Mozarts music, uncover-ing surprising abstractions in No. 14and virtuosity even in the scaleworkin the outer, robust movements ofNo. 21. Even the Andante in thatconcerto, one of the most oft-played Mozart movements, soundsfresh and tender, yet without atrace of sentimentality.

    Lubin and The Mozartean Play-ers are among the pioneers inbringing Mozart back to periodinstruments, and his recordings ofseveral Mozart concertos forArabesque are touchstones of thisrepertoire. Its a delight to hear the series continued on ClassicalSoundings.Beth Adelman

    Wolfgang AmadeusMozart

    Piano SonatasAndreas Staier, fortepianoHarmonia Mundi HMC 90185661:30 minutes

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozartsthree sonatas, K. 330332, are cor-nerstones of the keyboardists art,with recordings available by artistsof such divergent temperaments asVladimir Horowitz, Alicia De Lar-

    rocha, andAlfred Bren-del on themodernpiano andRonaldBrautigam(most

    notably) on fortepiano. Nowfortepianist Andreas Staier weighsin, playing a Monika May copy of a1785 Anton Walter instrument.

    Staier pushes the word count inthe liner notes when discussingornamentation and interpretativefreedom in these works, and thetangible results are mixed. The most

  • 14 Spring 2006 Early Music America

    successful of the three performanc-es is the Sonata in C Major, K. 330,where Staiers pacing of the open-ing Allegro moderato is brisk butnot hurried, allowing its warmgeniality to shine through. TheAndante cantabile second move-ment is tastefully ornamented butcould sing more. The closingAllegretto drives hard and is quitesuccessful.

    Its in the K. 331 that Staierfumbles. His phrasing in the open-ing Andante grazioso, with itsmemorable set of variations, isclipped, while the second move-ment Menuetto lacks wit. Staierpoints out in the notes that in thejanissary music of the famous Ron-do alla turca finale, Mozart...seems almost to caricature itthrough stylistic exaggeration. Nokidding. Staier over-ornaments andshifts tempos with weird aban-donit doesnt work and comesoff like a caricature of a caricature.This is a less than satisfying follow-

    up to Staiers earlier superb Harmo-nia Mundi Mozart recital. Craig Zeichner

    Gaspar SanzLa PreciosaGordon Ferries, Baroque guitarDelphian DCD3403666:20 minutes

    By the late 16th century, a largebody of sophisticated sacred andsecular polyphonic works had beencomposed for the lute family,including the vihuela. The guitar, onthe other hand, was associated dur-ing this time with popular musicand accompanying unsavory acts,including strumming, drinking,singing irreverent songs, and, especially, dancing.

    It was left to composers such asGaspar Sanz (16401710) to takethe instrument seriously enough towrite a body of music that broughtit out of the taverns and villagesquares and, eventually, into thevarious royal courts of Europe.

    Sanz, a Spaniard, studied guitarand lute in Naples and Rome. Trou-bled that there were no books avail-able in Spanish to instruct guitarplayers, he wrote Instruccin deMsica, which sets out just abouteverything a guitar player wouldneed to know, including stringing,

    fretting,reading tab-lature,strumming,plucking,and orna-mentation.It also

    includes many pieces of music,most based on popular danceforms.

    Gordon Ferries plays 22 of theseshort tunes on a five-course (foursets of double strings and a singletop string) Baroque guitar. Heachieves an astonishing array ofmoods and emotions, from theknotty complexity of the Chaconato the tenderness of the Preludio oCaprichio arpeado. His livelystrumming, especially on the Zara-banda and Canarios, really doesmake the listener feel like dancing.Ferriess playing is at once crisp,stylish, and fun. He moves easilyfrom one mood to the next, keep-

    ing the texture of this programinteresting and varied. Technically,the music has been very wellrecorded, with a close, intimatefeel. This is a disc to listen to againand again.Beth Adelman

    Antonio Vivaldi 5 Violin ConcertosViktoria Mullova, violin; Il Giardino Armonico, Giovanni Antonini, directorOnyx 400153:06 minutes

    Continuing her recently initiatedand so far convincing foray into his-torical performance practice, Vikto-ria Mullova collaborates with Il Gia-rdino Armonico on this disc of fiveconcertos by Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741). The selected works form adiverse group, including the Con-certo for Four Violins in B minor,No. 10, from the Lestro armonico,Op. 3, as well as several with thecolorful designations Il GrossoMogul, Linquietudine, and IlFavorito.

    The partnership between soloistand ensemble is a highly successfulone, as the energetic, driving styleof Il Giardino Armonico nicely com-plements the charismatic individual-

  • Early Music America Spring 2006 15

    ity of Mullovas playing. This chem-istry is most striking in the Concertoin D Major titled The UnquietOne, a compact work given anuninhibited, fearless performance ofsix-minutes length that shattersany remaining vestiges of thestereotype of Vivaldis music, popu-larized on classical radio, as easylistening.

    Vivaldis idiosyncratic originalityalso emerges fully in the Concertoin D Major titled The GreatMogul, an interesting early 18th-century example of orientalism inwhich extended, fanciful cadenzasand recitative-like passages serve todepict the exotic East.

    The dubious cultural representa-tion aside, the musical qualities of

    this compo-sition soimpressedJ.S. Bachthat hetranscribedit as a key-board work

    (the Organ Concerto in C Major,BWV 594), as he also did thefamous four-violin concerto (as theConcerto for Four Harpsichords,BWV 1065), which here receives aseamlessly coordinated rendition by

    Mullova and three members of theensemble joining her as soloists.Jen-yen Chen

    COLLECTIONS

    1605, Treason and Dischord:William Byrd and the Gunpowder Plot

    The Kings Singers; ConcordiaSignum Classics SIGCD06169:21 minutes

    Religious persecution and athwarted terrorist attack are oddsubjects for a musical program, yetthey provide the springboard forthis cleverly conceived and brilliantlyperformed disc by the KingsSingers and the viol consort Con-cordia. The listener is taken to Eng-land, via the music of William Byrd(1543-1623), Peter Philips (1560-1628), John Dowland (1563-1626),Thomas Weelkes (c.1576-1623),and Richard Dering (c.1580-1630),on November 5, 1605, the day theGunpowder Plot (the scheme byCatholic dissenters to blow up Par-liament) was uncovered. Whilethere is no direct reference in themusic to the Gunpowder Plot, threeof the composersByrd, Dowland,and Philipswere Catholics. To fur-ther the conceit, Deborah Mackay

    wrote an imaginary monologue forthe notes in which Byrd speaks ofthe plot.

    Crafty concept aside, what wehave here is some familiar reper-toire yielding many musicalrewards. The centerpiece is the sub-lime Mass for Four Voices by Byrd,

    and TheKingsSingersdeliver anincandes-cent per-formancethats

    among the very best available.Theres more splendid Byrd with hisgorgeous motet Civitas sancti tuiand the composers A Fancie,played by organist Sarah Baldock,between the Kyrie and Gloria of theMass; it doesnt make liturgicalsense, but it is still musicallypleasing.

    Its not all Catholic music, how-ever; Weelkess anthem, O Lordhow joyful is the King, possiblywritten to commemorate the kingsdeliverance from the plot, comesoff beautifully and showcases thewarmth and richness of theConcordia viols. Craig Zeichner

    Chant WarsSequentia, Benjamin Bagby, director Dialogos, Katarina Livljanic, directorDeutsche Harmonia Mundi 66649-274:53 minutes

    The subtitle that appears on theliner notes reads, The CarolingianGlobalisation of Medieval Plain-chant. Dont be frightened by thesubtitle or put off by the title,though, because Chant Wars issnappier than either suggests. Intheir live concerts and on record-ings, Sequentia and Dialogos haveconsistently made chant a thrillingexperience.

    One aspect of the EmperorCharlemagnes desire to unify hisempire was the reform of the litur-gy. What we have on this recordingis a snapshot of the collision, in the9th century, of two chant tradi-

    tions: thoseof the can-tors of theCarolingianemperorsand thosethat were inpractice in

    various European regions. The mens voices of Sequentia

    and Dialogos are outstanding in

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    She squeezes timelike putty

    to mold theelegant phrases

    that makethis music work.

    Stephen Dydo,Early Music America

    I cannot stop listeningto this recital . . . The playingis fantasticsensitive, wellshaped, and engaging.Christopher L. Chaffee,American Record Guide

    With Andrew Bolotowsky, David Bakamjian,Rebecca Pechefsky, and Gregory Bynum

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  • 16 Spring 2006 Early Music America

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  • this program, which moves fromthe highly dramaticthe muscularChristus vincit with its ecstaticchant and choral response that cele-brates the saints of heavento thegently melodicthe Gallic antiphonVenite, populi. There are alsosome solo turns by Benjamin Bagby:A solis ortu usque ad occidua, anon-liturgical lament on the deathof Charlemagne, and In conver-tendo dominus, a psalm settingthat attempts to re-create thesinging of a Roman cantor at thetime of Pope Gregory.

    This is hands-down one of themost intellectually engaging andmusically rewarding chant record-ings ever made, and it will appeal as much to early music fans as itwill to devotees of such modernMedievalists as Arvo Prt and John Tavener.Craig Zeichner

    Mde, Ariane, Circ, Hroles desses outrages

    Agns Mellon, soprano; Barcarole(Amlie Michel, transverse flute;Alice Pirot, violin; Eric Bellocq,theorbo; Kenneth Weiss,harpsichord; Richard Boothby, viola da gamba) Alpha 06868:56 minutes

    As did operas of the period,Baroque cantatas focused on thepassions and emotions of themythological heroes and heroineswho peopled their librettos. Gener-ally dedicated to composerspatrons and performed at intimatevenues at their courts, these com-positions were as dramatic as the-atrical works, but because they(generally) were performed withoutscenery or costumes, their effect laysolely in the vocal interpretation ofthe singer(s).

    A stunning example of both thedramatic cantata and of what surelymust be its ideal performance is thisrecording by soprano Agns Mellonand the members of the ensembleBarcarole. Together they have select-ed four early 18th-century Frenchcantatas, all of which feature ascorned priestess or sorceressMedea, Ariadne, Hero, and Circe.Each work gives abundant examplesof the emotional range that demon-strates the ensembles theme.

    Mellon is perfect as each charac-ter, and just as the original singerswould have, she creates the angerand pain these women felt with

    powerful vocal interpretations. Best,however, is how amazingly well hervoice merges with the instruments,

    all playedwith theutmost skilland histori-cal integrityby themembersof Barca-

    role. Whether in passages of recita-tive or airs, she navigates the vocallines with elegance and grace.

    A must for the fan of FrenchBaroque vocal music, this recordingintroduces a little-known but fasci-nating repertoire by composersPhilippe Courbois (fl.1705-1730),Nicolas Clrambault (1676-1749),and Franois Colin de Blamont(1690-1760).Denise Gallo

    Northern Lights: Brunnemller, Telemann, Bach, Richter

    Brooklyn Baroque (AndrewBolotowsky, Baroque flute; David Bakamjian, Baroque cello;Rebecca Pechefsky, harpsichord);Gregory Bynum, recorderQuill Classics 100571:46 minutes

    This debut recording by Brook-lyn Baroque presents a varied andgenerous selection of mostly unfa-miliar music by German composers

    of the 18thcentury. Itfeatures onegem that, byitself, justifiesinterest inthis disc: theSolo in D

    Major for Cello and Continuo byGeorg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)which is, in fact, a four-movement sonata in the da chiesaform of alternating fast and slowsections. Cellist David Bakamjianresponds beautifully to the expres-siveness of Telemanns music, pro-viding an elegant, fluid, and richlyresonant performance.

    The little known Elias Brunne-mller (1690-1712), who flourishedaround the turn of the 18th centu-ry, is represented by works for fluteand continuo and for solo harpsi-chord. The most interesting of theseis a suite in D minor for harpsichorddistinguished by an opening Toc-catina that contains two separate

    Early Music America Spring 2006 17

    Continued on page 60

  • 18 Spring 2006 Early Music America

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  • 60 Spring 2006 Early Music America

    fugues. Keyboardist Rebecca Pe-chefsky offers an effective if occa-sionally stiff account of thiscomposition.

    The disc is rounded out by twoworks that point to the growingpreeminence of the galant style: theSonata in G minor for Flute andHarpsichord, BWV 1020, longattributed to J.S. Bach and nowbelieved to be by his son CarlPhilipp Emanuel (1714-1788), anda sonata for flute and continuo bythe important Mannheim symphon-ist Franz Xaver Richter (1709-1789).In this music of a later generationof German composers, flutistAndrew Bolotowsky earns highmarks for his lively, supple, andclear-toned musicality, as does thetrio as a whole for its unifiedensemble playing and its energeticengagement.Jen-yen Chen

    Villancicos y CantadasJennifer Ellis, soprano; JenniferLane, mezzo-soprano; El Mundo(Zachary Carrettin, Adam LaMotte,violins; William Skeen, cello, viol;Corey Jameson, harpsichord;

    Peter Maund, percussion; BruceBurchmore, guitar), Richard Savino,guitar, directorKoch International Classics KIC-CD-765458:51 minutes

    Popular piety in musical reper-toires has been common since theMiddle Ages. Unfortunately, suchpieces are seldom recorded. Thiscollection, however, of Spanish and Latin American villancicosand cantadas of the 17th and 18th centuries, along with somecontemporary instrumental works,attractively demonstrates theirappeal.

    In the 17th century, Spanish vil-lancicos ceased being primarily partsongs about love and became devo-tional songs accompanied by instru-mental ensembles. Flourishingthroughout Spains empire, villanci-cos both spread Spanish cultureand absorbed musical features oftheir new homes, most noticeablypopular rhythms.

    Meanwhile, the Italian style ofrecitative and aria that developedduring the Baroque was adopted bySpanish and Latin American com-

    posers and put to the service ofdevotional texts. The resultingcantadas consisted, like their Italian counterparts, of recitativeand da capo arias. In contrast,villancicos remained popular in tone with their repeated refrainsand strophes.

    El Mundotwo singers and sev-en instrumentalistsis persuasive incapturing the spirit of both types ofworks in their selections. Oygan

    una xacaril-la blendsvivaciousrhythms andtunes fromstreet songswith a textof praise

    bright with images of light, whilethe gentle Al dormir el sol is a lul-laby for the Christ child. The floridmelodies of the cantada Por aquelhorizonte give sobriety and weightto a somewhat ingenuous Christ-mas text, while the cascading melis-mas of Ya que el sol misteriosoenliven the poetrys statement offaith.

    Three purely instrumental piecesillustrate styles popular in this peri-od as well. The folia, a theme withvariations used frequently from the15th through the 18th centuries,appears here as an ensemble workby the Neapolitan composer AndreaFalconieri (15851656). Two guitarsolos by the Spanish composer Gas-par Sanz (1640-1710), performedby Richard Savino, show comple-mentary styles of music: lyrical,melodic lines in the courtlyPavanas contrast with crisprhythms in the more rusticCanarios.

    Thoroughly enjoyable, thisrecording is not without flaws:some attacks by Jennifer Lane andJennifer Ellis could be more preciseand exhibit clearer diction. The bal-ance and intonation are excellent,however, and the generally highquality of the performances morethan makes up for a few minorproblems. Deborah Lawrence

    Viola DAmoreAffetti Musicali (Marianne Rnez, viola damore,

    director; Ludwig Hampe, violadamore; Arno Jochem, viola dagamba; Michael Freimuth, theorbo; Ernst Kubitschek, harpsichord);Monika Mauch, sopranoWinter & Winter 910096252:52 minutes

    This marvelously quirky programof music for viola damore withstrings and voice is smartly con-ceived and superbly performed. Therepertoire is decidedly offbeat andfeatures works by Anton Huberty(c.1722-1791), Johann CasparGanspeck (c.17th century), AttilioAriosti (1666-1729), WilhelmGanspeckh (1687-1770), and amore familiar name, Heinrich IgnazFranz von Biber (1644-1704).

    The viola damore soloist is Mar-ianne Rnez, and she is supportedby the strings, theorbo, and harpsi-chord of her ensemble Affetti Musi-cali on Bibers Partia VII in C minor.

    This is a per-formancethat wowswith itsvibrancy,warmth, andhealthybursts of vir-

    tuosity. As on Rnezs 1998 record-ing of Bibers Rosary Sonatas(where she was the violin soloist),this disc showcases a superbensemble that deserves widerrecognition.

    The music for voice and stringsis consistently delicious. Un ruisse-let bien clair, by Huberty, is a lovelylittle duet between soprano MonikaMauch and Rnez that seduceswith its dainty melody and perfectinterplay between singer andsoloist. The folk-like quality ofGanspecks Marian aria, Mariaschnste Bluemen zirt, is nicelyserved by Mauch and company andmight stir musicians to unearthmore of this composers music.

    Like all Winter and Winterrecordings, the sound is demonstra-tion quality, butalso like toomany Winter and Winter record-ingsthe liner notes are artfullydesigned but difficult to read. Smallmatter; this is a sleeper recordingthat will put your CD players repeatbutton to good use. Craig Zeichner

    Continued from page 17

    Early Music America magazine welcomes news of recent recordings.Please send CDs to be considered for review and pertinent informationto Craig M. Zeichner, Reviews Editor, 69 Poplar Street, Apt. 2C,Brooklyn, NY 11201; [email protected] Early Music Americacannot guarantee the inclusion of every CD sent for review. All published reviews reflect the personal opinions of the reviewer only.

  • Early Music America Spring 2006 61

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    Apollos Fire plays Mozart

    THE CLEVELAND BAROQUE ORCHESTRA

    J E A N N E T T E S O R R E L L (800) 314-2535 www.apollosfire.org

    Sorrells Mozart achieves

    a near-perfect combination of

    real dramatic cogency and the

    ability to sing... (Fanfare)

    C E L E B R A T I N G M O Z A R T S 2 5 0 t h B I R T H D A Y

    Mozart SymphoniesNo.35 in D (Haffner) No.41 in C (Jupiter)

    KOCH KIC CD 7574

    Mozart Piano Concertoswith John Gibbons FORTEPIANO

    No.20 in D minor, K.466 No.23 in A, K.488

    KOCH KIC CD 7575

    O R D E R Y O U R C O P Y N O W