Three from Accent

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Program: #16-23, Air Date: 05/30/16

The amazing (and profuse) German label takes us to Italy and the great early Baroque master who brought the Italian style back to Germany.

I. Fontana & Gabrieli: Sonate et Canzone (Le Concert Brisé/William Dongois). Accent CD ACC 24250.

William Dongois is one of the best-known cornettists of our time. He plays the repertoire of his instrument – the cornett resembles a flute in its construction, whereas its wooden mouthpiece is used similarly to that of a trumpet – with dancelike elegance, rhetorical concision and, often, even with a certain 'groove'.Dongois presents nine sonatas by Giovanni Battista Fontana here. Fontana, born in Brescia, was active in Venice, Rome and Padua, where he died in 1630 during a plague epidemic. He was an outstanding violinist, and his only surviving opus with 18 instrumental sonatas is an important testimonial for the emergence of autonomous instrumental music. (The other nine sonatas have already been recorded by Le Concert Brisé on the CD Venetian Art 1600, ACC24253.)Dongois's instrumentations of these works include cornetts, violins and baroque trombones, achieving a large and rich sonic variety. In addition, three instrumental canzonas for large ensembles are heard, as well as an instrumental version of the great motet 'Exaudi Domine' of Giovanni Gabrieli. All the instrumentalists on the recording come together in these works, and the full, tutti sound gives an impression of the sonic splendour of Venetian music in this epoch.

Giovanni Gabrieli: Canzon II a 6, C. 96

Canzon II a 6

Giovanni Battista Fontana: Sonata No. 18

Sonata No. 18

Giovanni Battista Fontana: Sonata No. 15 in C Major

Sonata No. 15

Giovanni Battista Fontana: Sonata No. 11

Sonata No. 11

Giovanni Battista Fontana: Sonata No. 8

Sonata No. 8

Giovanni Gabrieli: Canzon IV

Canzon IV

Giovanni Battista Fontana: 18 Sonatas in 1, 2, 3 Parts

Sonata No. 6

Giovanni Battista Fontana: Sonata No. 10

Sonata No. 10

Giovanni Battista Fontana: Sonata No. 13

Sonata No. 13

Giovanni Battista Fontana: Sonata No. 5

Sonata No. 5

Giovanni Battista Fontana: Sonata No. 16

Sonata No. 16

Giovanni Gabrieli: Exaudi Domine

Exaudi Domine

Giovanni Gabrieli: Canzon duodecimi toni a 8, C. 179

Canzon duodecimi toni a 8

II.  Heinrich Schütz: Musikalische Exequien(La Petite Bande/Sigiswald Kuijken). Accent CD ACC 24299.

Heinrich Schütz composed the Musikalische Exequien SWV 279-281 for the funeral of his patron Prince Heinrich Posthumus Reuß 1635/1636. Of the three parts, which were to be performed during three different sections of the funeral service the first part, in the form of a sacred concerto for choir and soloists, is based on the numerous biblical passages which, in accordance with the instructions given by the deceased were to be recited at the coffin, which the deceased himself had designed during his lifetime. This part is followed by a motet for double choir based on the text of a sermon ("Herr, wenn ich nur dich habe"), and at the conclusion of the hymn of praise to Simeon ("Herr, nun lässest du deinen Diener in Frieden fahren"), a choir apart from the main choir intones "Selig sind die Toten" from heaven, so to speak. With this composition, written as a commission, Schütz created one of the most artistic and heartfelt works of mourning ever written in the history of music.

For his recording, Sigiswald Kuijken decided on a soloistic rendering of the individual parts, thus attaining greater transparency. In the middle parts, Kuijken uses high tenors – no altus or countertenors – who possess the specific ability to sing the middle parts over the entire tessitura clearly and with good balance, contributing great richness to the overall sound.

Aus der Tiefe (SW 25, 1619) [3:46]
Das ist je gewisslich wahr (SWV 277, 1631) [4:19]
Was betrübst du dich, meine Seele? (SWV 353, 1647) [5:06]
Selig sind die Toten (SWV 391, 1648) [3:16]
Zweierlei bitte ich (SWV 360, 1647) [5:15]
Musikalische Exequien (SWV 279-281, 1636) [28:44]

III.  The Golden Age of the Cornett (Le Concert Brisé/William Dongois). Accent CD ACC 24261.

William Dongois is one of the best-known cornettists of our time. He is able to play the repertoire of his instrument – the cornett resembles a flute in its construction, whereas its wooden mouthpiece is used similarly to that of a trumpet – with dancelike elegance, rhetorical concision and, often, even with a certain 'groove'.

On this double CD, together with the ensemble Le Concert Brisé, he dedicates himself to the Golden Age of the cornett: between 1580 and 1630 in Northern Italy when the instrument enjoyed its greatest popularity amongst composers and listeners. Secular dance movements and songs of the Seicento, the Italy of the 17th century, can be heard on the first CD. William Dongois pays special attention here to the art of diminution, ie ornamentation and figuration. In the music of this period, the score served only to provide a basic framework for the improvised embellishments of the musicians.

The second CD features sacred instrumental and vocal music at St. Mark's Cathedral in Venice during the time of Monteverdi, with soprano Julie Hassler and violinist Christine Moran joining William Dongois as soloists. Vocal and instrumental works alternate with each other, clearly showing that Venice stood at the centre of the development of a new style and occupied a pioneering role in all of Europe.

CD 1:

  • Palestrina & Rognoni: Domine, quando veneris L’aria di Firenze (Pavane, gaillarde et saltarello), Io son ferito - traditional La Monica (Aria e saltarello)
  • Bovicelli & Victoria: Vadam et circuibo - traditional Gaillarde napolitaine
  • Pandolfi-Mealli: Sonata La Clemente, Anchor che col partir
  • Castello: Sonata seconda per canto solo

CD 2:

  • Grandi: Salve Regina, Tota pulchra es, Gaudete, 0 quam tu pulchra es, Regina Coeli
  • Castello: Sonata terza in stil moderno, Exultate jubilate, Sonata seconda per canto solo
  • Fontana: Sonata seconda, Sonata settima per corneto e violino, Sonata undecima per corneto e violino
  • Scarani: Sonata sesta a due canti
  • Monteverdi: Pianto della Madonna

 

Composer Info

Giovanni Battista Fontana, Giovanni Gabrieli, Heinrich Schütz, Palestrina, Rognoni, Bovicelli, Victoria, Pandolfi-Mealli, Castello, Grandi, Fontana, Scarani, Monteverdi

CD Info

CD ACC 24250, CD ACC 24299, CD ACC 24261.