Sunday, June 11, 2017

Works for Viola da Gamba Consort. "Felix Austria". (16-17th and early 18 century)

New acquisition.
Bought in June 2017.
First listen: 11-6-2017.
Label: CPO.
Recording dates: January 2009.
Recording venue: Refektorium Münster Heilsbronn, Germany.
Recording engineer: Peter Collmann.
Running time: 66:02.
Relevance to me: Worthwhile.

Composers on this disc:
Johann Heinrich Schmelzer.
Giovanni Legrenzi.
Giovanni Valentini.
Leopold 1.
Johann Jacob Froberger.
Kaiser Ferdinand III.
And a lot of Anonymous works.

Works performed by:
Klaus Mertens, Bass.
Hamburger Ratsmusik, Simone Eckert.

This is really a fine and well balanced mix of Gamba music. Music was an important part of courtly life in the 17th century, and not only as a means to pass the time, but also as a way to glorify the ruler. The Habsburg Emperors of the 17th century loved music, and out of that love the works on this CD were born. The Hamburger Ratsmusik breaths life into them in a truly invigorating way, helped by Klaus Mertens in 3 pieces on this disc, two of them written by royalty.
The quality of the music is beyond approach. It is well articulated and imbued with vivid soft keyed contrasts. Its light and shade just at the right moments. Eckart is unfailingly imaginative in her approach, which proves very effective in bringing the music about. This ensemble lets the music sing and breathe. The embellishments are carefully applied and all goes at a relaxed low energy trot, which is fine by me. I would say it is carefully navigated and reflective. My palate today seems ideally prepared for this meal. The recording is very intimate and detailed.



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