Music is the Cure!

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Program: #21-03   Air Date: Jan 11, 2021

Music from times of plague from the Middle Ages to the early Baroque, with some curative sounds added in.

I. La Peste  (Les Barocudas Ensemble) Atma CD ACD 2 2809.

La Peste Product Image
Known for its daring and youthful performances, the ensemble Les Barocudas makes its ATMA Classique recording debut with La Peste, a musical journey that explores the theme of the plague. The members of the Montreal-based trio, Marie Nadeau-Tremblay (violin), Ryan Gallagher (viola da gamba), and Nathan Mondry (harpsichord), have compiled a program in which each piece corresponds with an episode or aspect of this 17th century pandemic. All of the composers selected for this album Schmelzer, Castello, Fontana, Pandolfi, Rossi, Farina were violinists, and all of them were affected by the plague, in some cases, fatally. "When Les Barocudas chose the theme of the plague for this album back in September 2019, we had no idea it would become so topical. A premonition? We'll never know, but it's clear that a plague-themed recording can't help but evoke parallels with the COVID-19 pandemic," said Marie Nadeau-Tremblay. Les Barocudas have established themselves as a bold and energetic ensemble whose presence on the early music scene is as formidable as it is eccentric. The trio has charmed North American audiences with their refreshingly unconventional approach to early music interpretation.
Johann Heinrich Schmelzer (1623 - 1680):

1. Sonatae unarum fidium seu (Excerpts): No. 3, 07:53

Dario Castello (1590 - 1631):

2. Sonate concertate in stil moderno, Book 2: No. 2, (Arr. for Violin & Harpsichord), 06:52

Giovanni Battista Fontana (1589 - 1630):

3. Violin Sonata No. 4 in G Major0, 5:35

4. Violin Sonata, Op. 4 No. 4 "La biancuccia," 07:58

Salomone Rossi (1570 - 1630):

5. Sonata in dialogo "La Viena," 05:05

Michelangelo Rossi (1601 - 1656):

6. Toccata No. 7, 05:40

Johann Heinrich Schmelzer:

7. Sonatae unarum fidium seu (Excerpts): No. 2, 07:24

Carlo Farina (1600 - 1639):

8. Sonata detta la desperata, 10:24

Johann Heinrich Schmelzer:

9. Sonatae unarum fidium seu (Excerpts): No. 4, 09:14


II. Simone de Bonefont: Missa pro mortuis (Huelgas Ensemble/Paul van Nevel). Cypres CD CYP1682.

Simone de Bonefont: Missa pro Mortuis Product Image
In perpetual search of unpublished works and forgotten composers, Paul Van Nevel invites us to discover a Requiem Mass for five voices, composed in 1556 by Simone de Bonefont, canon and cantor at Clermont-Ferrand Cathedral. The Missa pro mortuis can be considered as one of the highlights of polyphonic vocal style, encompassing all the characteristics of Franco-Flemish techniques of the period. The richness of de Bonefont’s polyphonic writing and his mastery of counterpoint are truly astonishing. True to form, the Huelgas Ensemble honours this unpublished score with a powerful interpretation, delivering music of incredible luminous tranquility. The programme also includes four compositions by Franco-Flemish masters - that de Bonefont may well have heard - on one of the most profound texts of the Gregorian repertoire: Media vita in morte summus (In the midst of life we are in death). 

Simone de Bonefont: Missa pro mortuis:

1. Missa pro mortuis: Introitus: Requiem æternam (Live Recording), 06:11

2. Missa pro mortuis: Kyrie (Live Recording), 02:10

3. Missa pro mortuis: Graduale: Si ambulem (Live Recording), 05:14

4. Missa pro mortuis: Offertorium: Domine Jesu Christe (Live Recording), 09:23

5. Missa pro mortuis: Sanctus (Live Recording), 04:10

6. Missa pro mortuis: Agnus Dei (Live Recording), 05:17

7. Missa pro mortuis: Communio: Lux æterna (Live Recording), 03:20

Arnold von Bruck (1550 - 1554):

8. Mitten wir im Leben sind (By Arnold von Bruck) (Live Recording), 04:55

Jacobus de Kerle (1531 - 1591):

9. Media vita in morte sumus (By Jacobus de Kerle) (Live Recording), 05:46

Orlandus Lassus (1532 - 1594):

10. Media vita in morte sumus (By Orlandus Lassus) (Live Recording), 05:25

Nicolas Gombert (1495 - 1560):

11. Media vita in morte sumus (By Nicolas Gombert) (Live Recording), 06:23


III. Music is the Cure! (Mirko Ludwig, t./La Ninfea). Perfect Noise CD  PN 1904

Do you want to live in perfect health – forever? This CD will not only attempt to cure all imaginable ailments – it will even promise you immortality! For, like our historical counterparts, we are all familiar with the ups and downs of sickness, recovery and health, no matter what our age, provenance or status. Perhaps you’re asking, “A CD that makes me healthy and immortal? How does that work? And wherever did La Ninfea get that idea?”

Well, I would like to say that we found the magical musical instructions for creating the philosophers’ stone in a 17th-century alchemical codex hidden in a dusty coffer in the attic of a charming little castle, but the truth is that we found dozens of prescriptions for musical cures hidden away in archives and
manuscript collections.

    1. Here´s a health!  02:09
    2. Last will and testament, 03:34
    3. Divisions on the sick tune, 05:42 
    4. La Follia, 08:05
    5. Io son ferito alla bastarda, 07:29
    6. Rosasolis, 03:03 
    7. Antidotum Tarantulae, 01:36
    8. Tarantella, 01:36
    9. Tarantella italiana, 01:06
    10. Divisions on/über Oil of Barley, 02:26
    11. Prélude improvise, 01:12
    12. Sommeil from Persée, 03:31
    13. Entrée pour quatre Médecins from L´Amour médecin, 01:25
    14. L´Opérateur from L'Amour médecin, 01:51
    15. Le Tableau de l'operation de la taille, 03:05
    16. Les Relevailles, 01:21
    17. Suitte, 03:19
    18. Idylle sur la retour du santé du Roy, 08:07
    19. Divisons on Jack´s health, 01:20
    20. Good again (Arr. La Ninfea), 03:20
    21. He that drinks is immortal, 01:43

Composer Info

Johann Heinrich Schmelzer (1623 - 1680), Dario Castello (1590 - 1631), Giovanni Battista Fontana (1589 - 1630), Salomone Rossi (1570 - 1630), Michelangelo Rossi (1601 - 1656), Carlo Farina (1600 - 1639), Simone de Bonefont, Arnold von Bruck (1550 - 1554), Jacobus de Kerle (1531 - 1591), Orlandus Lassus (1532 - 1594), Nicolas Gombert (1495 - 1560)

CD Info

Atma CD ACD 2 2809, Cypres CD CYP1682, Perfect Noise CD  PN 1904