Music from Switzerland–Johann Melchior Gletle: Marianvesper

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Program: #08-15   Air Date: Mar 31, 2008

Some years back, we had the great pleasure of presenting the first recording of rare vocal pieces by the Bremgarten-born early Baroque composer Johann Melchior Gletle (1626-1683); the latest Musiques Suisses project gives us a reconstruction of his Vespers for the Blessed Virgin.

NOTE: All of the music on this program comes from the recording Marianvesper featuring sopranos Regula Konrad and Miriam Feuersinger, alto Peter Kennel, tenor Valentin J. Gloor, bass Stefan Vock, and chant singer Michael Schraner; the wind ensemble Il Desiderio; and the Collegium Vocale Lenzburg directed by Thomas Baldinger.

This recording, on Musiques Suisses, is CD # MGB 6229.

Broadcast of this series is made possible in part by a grant from the Embassy of Switzerland in Washington, D.C. For more information, you may visit:

JOHANN MELCHIOR GLETLE: (b. Bremgarten, nr Zürich, July 1626; d. Augsburg, ?2 Sept 1683): Maria Vespers (a liturgical reconstruction taken from manuscripts and publications in the Zentralbibliothek Zurich of a Vespers for the Virgin Mary that might have been heard in Augsburg during Gletle's time there).

Swiss composer and organist. He was organist of Augsburg Cathedral from 1651 and Kapellmeister from April 1654; he held both positions until his death. After 1670 his poor health greatly restricted his activities.There are 219 extant compositions by Gletle. All the sacred music is in the Italian-influenced concertato style common to Austria, southern Germany and Switzerland in the 17th century. According to Schanzlin, the motets contain elements found both in sacred concertos such as those of Schütz and in the church cantatas of the end of the century. There is no clear separation between aria and recitative, nor do the instrumental parts show much independence. The text-setting is conscientious in all respects, but especially with regard to expressive devices such as embellishment and chromaticism. Gletle also shows a penchant for unusual modulations. In both the secular and sacred works the melodies are songlike, revealing both Italian and folk influences.

Composer Info

JOHANN MELCHIOR GLETLE (July 1626-Sept 1683)

CD Info

CD # MGB 6229

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