Three from Brilliant Classics

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Program: #18-13, Air Date: 03/19/18

The art of the theorbo from the early 17th century, organ masses by Claudio Merulo, and the sounds of the medieval piper.

I. L’Art du théorbiste: Music for theorbo (Simon Linné). Brilliant Classics CD 95426.

L'art Du Théorbiste Product Image


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Inspired by his travels across Europe in the sole company of his faithful theorbo, Simon Linné has taken the composer Angelo Michele Bartolotti – an equally well-travelled composer and performer of the early Baroque period – as his starting point for this release. Born in Italy, Bartolotti (also known as Michelangelo) is known to have worked at the Swedish court of Queen Christina, and played in Jean‐Baptiste Lully's orchestra in Paris. Another member of that orchestra was French composer Robert de Visée, whose devotion to Lully led him to transcribe some of his shorter operas for solo theorbo, some of which are included on this release. Estienne le Moyne is almost as anonymous as 'Anonymous' – nothing is known about the composer, but the few pieces he has left behind for solo theorbo are exceptionally idiomatic.

The theorbo was closely linked to the Renaissance lute, a different creature from the Baroque one, which enjoyed its own style and repertoire in the 17th century. Rather, the solo music for the theorbo was closer to the then standard genres of opera and chamber music. This is, therefore, much more unusual fare compared to Baroque lute music of the same period. Swedish performer Simon Linné is a lutenist as well as theorbo player, and revels in exploring lesser‐known works for the two instruments. He teaches at the University of the Arts, Bremen.

Angelo Michele Bartolotti (1615-1682)
Prélude
Allemande
Courante
Sarabande
Gigue
Chaconne
Prélude
Allemande
Sarabande
Fugue
Allemande
Passa corde
Courante
Sarabande

Estienne Le Moyne (1640-1715)
Prélude
Allemande
Courante
Sarabande
Marche

Robert de Visée (1655-1732)
Contredanse et double
Les Echos d'Atis
Canaries
Prélude
Ouverture de la Grotte de Versailles
Air du Grand Ballet du Roy
Air
Dieux d'Amour

Anonyme
La Villanelle

II. Merulo: Organ-Alternatim Masses (Federico Del Sordo, o./Nova Schola Gregoriana/In Dulci Jubilo/Alberto Turco). Brilliant Classics CD 95145.

Merulo: Organ-Alternatim Masses


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Though Federico del Sordo is joined by two Veronese choirs to impart coherence to these Mass settings, this release is all about the organ – both the particular instrument in question in Verona Cathedral, and Claudio Merulo’s mastery of the language fostered by such an instrument, its particular tuning and colours which are so far removed from the principles of the Gothic organ style prevalent ever since the time of Bach. What may sound to modern ears ‘out of tune’ is the mean tone temperament which lends a golden, antique sheen to both celebratory flourishes and devotional reflections as each phrase of the Mass unfolds, with an archaic splendour all its own.

Not least thanks to his longevity and prolific output of madrigals, masses and motets in the mature Venetian style, Claudio Merulo (1533-1604) is the most extensively represented composer of his era on record, though mostly of shorter toccatas, canzoni and ricercari. These three Mass settings were published in 1568 and date from his 27 year long tenure as master of music at the Basilica of St Mark’s in Venice, a post to which he had been appointed in 1557 at the tender age of 23, indicating the esteem in which he was already held by the Venetian musical establishment, and his music figured prominently in the exuberant musical celebrations of Venice’s military victory over the Turkish navy at Lepanto in 1571. After his death he was eulogised as the greatest keyboard musician of his age. The organ masses alternate plainchant recitation of the text with freely elaborated fantasias on each statement or paragraph of the text; the surviving manuscripts are incomplete and have required careful reconstruction to recreate the magnificence of their original, intended effect among the Byzantine domes of St Mark’s, for which in this new recording the ample space of Verona’s 12th century Duomo stands as a more than adequate replacement. The cathedral’s main organ was built by Costanzo Antegnati (1565-1606), and restored by Barthélémy Formentelli in 1992. Previous recordings by Federico del Sordo on Brilliant Classics have included the works of Carlo Tessarini (BC94787), and sonatas by Veracini (BC94822).

Claudio Merulo (1533-1604) was an important composer, organist and publisher in Late Renaissance Italy. He obtained the prestigious post of organist of the famous San Marco in Venice. His keyboard style is highly innovative, and was the basis of further development by composers like Frescobaldi and Sweelinck.

In his Masses Merulo alternates the choir and the organ in the different mass sections. The organ part starts out as a transcription of vocal polyphony but develops into ornamented fantasies of advanced virtuosity.

Beautifully sung by the famous Schola gregoriana “In Dulci Jubilo”, conducted by specialist Alberto Turco, recorded in the great acoustic of the Verona Cathedral. The historical organ played by Federico Del Sordo, is built by Costanzo Antegnati (1565-1606).

Missa Apostolorum
Missa in Dominicis diebus
Missa Virginis Mariae

III. The Medieval Piper (Silke Gwendolyn Schulze). Brilliant Classics CD 95566.

The Medieval Piper


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Silke Gwendolyn - Schulze pipe, triangle, tabor, shawm, double recorder, douçaine

• A varied programme of Medieval and Renaissance pieces
• for a variety of wind instruments.

A fascinating program conjuring up the life of a medieval piper, travelling the country to entertain at Royal weddings, tournaments, religious councils, court sittings and annual fairs, carrying a plethora of melodies and instruments.

The pieces on this new recordings are based on vocal source material, which is mainly taken from the “Manuscrit du Roi”, the “Chansonnier de Vallière” and the “Cantigas de Santa Maria” collection. Taking the text and vocal forms that underpin them as starting point the artist instrumented some of the pieces based on the individual features and playability of the instruments in question. As many of the musical parameters are not notated down in the manuscripts much is left to free
imagination and improvisation, no doubt fully in style with the original performances.

Silke Gwendolyn Schulze is specialized in the research and performance of Medieval music. She uses the following instruments: pipe, triangle, tabor, shawm, double recorder, douçaine.

A specialist in wind instruments from the Medieval and Renaissance eras, Silke Gwendolyn Schulze takes listeners on a journey into the musical past of the courts and country fairs of Western Europe in the Middle Ages. Though little direct evidence has come down to us about individual composers and the instruments they played, she combines painstaking research and a vivid musical imagination to recreate the world of the aristocratic singer–poets and itinerant musicians – the troubadours and minstrels – who were an important part of every facet of cultural life at the time.

Knowledge of these musicians’ social patterns, illustrations of instruments and manuscripts of vocal music and wordless dances have informed Schulze’s reconstruction of the theoretical repertoire of one imaginary Medieval piper – the songs he would have learned, memorised and performed for the entertainment of others.

She performs a varied programme of pieces, some by great names of Medieval music such as Hildegard von Bingen and Guillaume de Machaut, some by documented courtly troubadours like Jehan Erart and Guiraut Riquier, some even posited to be by the King of Castile and Leon himself, Alfonso el Sabio, using a wide array of period wind instruments including pipe & tabor, two tabor pipes, pipe & triangle, six-hole flute, recorder, double recorder, shawm and douçaine.

A fascinating program conjuring up the life of a medieval piper, travelling the country to entertain at Royal weddings, tournaments, religious councils, court sittings and annual fairs, carrying a plethora of melodies and instruments.

The pieces on this new recordings are based on vocal source material, which is mainly taken from the “Manuscrit du Roi”, the “Chansonnier de Vallière” and the “Cantigas de Santa Maria” collection. Taking the text and vocal forms that underpin them as starting point the artist instrumented some of the pieces based on the individual features and playability of the instruments in question. As many of the musical parameters are not notated down in the manuscripts much is left to free imagination and improvisation, no doubt fully in style with the original performances."A specialist in wind instruments from the Medieval and Renaissance eras, Silke Gwendolyn Schulze takes listeners on a journey into the musical past of the courts and country fairs of Western Europe in the Middle Ages. Though little direct evidence has come down to us about individual composers and the instruments they played, she combines painstaking research and a vivid musical imagination to recreate the world of the aristocratic singer–poets and itinerant musicians – the troubadours and minstrels – who were an important part of every facet of cultural life at the time.

Knowledge of these musicians’ social patterns, illustrations of instruments and manuscripts of vocal music and wordless dances have informed Schulze’s reconstruction of the theoretical repertoire of one imaginary Medieval piper – the songs he would have learned, memorised and performed for the entertainment of others.

She performs a varied programme of pieces, some by great names of Medieval music such as Hildegard von Bingen and Guillaume de Machaut, some by documented courtly troubadours like Jehan Erart and Guiraut Riquier, some even posited to be by the King of Castile and Leon himself, Alfonso el Sabio, using a wide array of period wind instruments including pipe & tabor, two tabor pipes, pipe & triangle, six-hole flute, recorder, double recorder, shawm and douçaine.

A fascinating program conjuring up the life of a medieval piper, travelling the country to entertain at Royal weddings, tournaments, religious councils, court sittings and annual fairs, carrying a plethora of melodies and instruments.

The pieces on this new recordings are based on vocal source material, which is mainly taken from the “Manuscrit du Roi”, the “Chansonnier de Vallière” and the “Cantigas de Santa Maria” collection. Taking the text and vocal forms that underpin them as starting point the artist instrumented some of the pieces based on the individual features and playability of the instruments in question. As many of the musical parameters are not notated down in the manuscripts much is left to free imagination and improvisation, no doubt fully in style with the original performances."

1 Virgen madre groriosa

2 La seconde estampie royal

3 Si ay perdut mon saber

4 Comment que, pour l’eloignance

5 Bel m’es quan sunt li fruit madur

6 Saltarello

7 Che ti zova nascondere

8 I’ vo’ bene

9 Santa Maria amar

10 Muito demostra a virgen

11 Como poden per sas culpas

12 A chantar m’es al cor

13 Sans cuer, dolent de vous departiray

14 Dou mal qui m’a longuement

15 Ave generosa

16 Par un tres bel jour de mai

17 Non sofre Santa Maria

18 Aquela que a seu Fillo

19 Tant m’abelis ioys e amors e chans

20 Trotto

21 Benedicamus sane per omnia

22 Quen a omagen da virgin

23 Dehors loncpre el boschel

24 Tant m’es plazens le mal d’amor

25 Como somos per conssello do demo perdudos

 

Composer Info

Angelo Michele Bartolotti (1615-1682), Estienne Le Moyne (1640-1715), Robert de Visée (1655-1732), Claudio Merulo (1533-1604)

CD Info

Brilliant Classics CD 95426, Brilliant Classics CD 95145, Brilliant Classics CD 95566.