giovedì 31 dicembre 2015

Love, Revelry and the Dance in Mediaeval Music

7 CD - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 721 Mb

CD 1

CD 2

CD 3

CD 4

CD 5

CD 6

CD 7 & Booklet

Millenarium is an early-music instrumental ensemble directed by organist Christophe Deslignes and percussionist Thierry Gomar. Personnel on the albums listed above have ranged from just the pair ( The Masters of the Florentine Organetto , on Trecento organ music) to seven musicians ( Libre Vermell, Danza ) with other groups added for specific projects ( Libre Vermell, Carmina Burana: Officium Lusorum , etc.). Millenarium has focused on the late medieval/early Renaissance end of the early-music spectrum in the 13th and 14th centuries, paying particular attention to the scholarly reconstruction of music based on surviving commentaries, images, and a close study of both classical and folk traditions. None of this conveys the vitality, period sense of style, or improvisational skill that these recordings supply. 

If you aren’t familiar with the group, then taken together, their performances probably come closest to those of the Boston Camerata in terms of program design and stylistic approach. In Joy and Douce amie , longer songs alternate with short dances, and an Arabic influence upon the latter is pronounced. Successive strophes of songs are performed with vocal improvisation and without instrumental shifts in the accompaniment, though Deslignes writes of “light cutting” to avoid monotony for modern audiences. (There’s much debate over whether troubadours and trouvères varied ornamentation or accompaniment during lengthy songs, but evidence is lacking for any conclusions—and indeed, may never have existed. Variations in performance over time and place may well have existed.) Although spoken word isn’t used as binder as the Boston Camerata does, there is a palpable sense of theater in most of these albums, in the sense of the spectator/listener being drawn in to a highly expressive, self-referential world. 

The most distinctive of the included albums in this respect is the Carmina Burana: Officium Lusorum disc. Where the Carmina Burana: Tempus transit… album is concerned with philosophy, and sacred and secular love, Officium Lusorum attempts (with the assistance of research by Pierre-Emmanuel Guilleray) to recreate a Mass of the Fools—part of the All Fools Day, or Feast of the Fools, that the Roman Catholic Church tolerated while it had to, as an inheritance of the pagan Roman Hilaria Matris Deûm , and then slowly strangled as its secular power base grew. Millenarium sets the framework of their re-creation between Christmas and 12th Night, in 13th-century northern France, by which time the Ordinary of the Mass was considered sacrosanct, and is surrounded here by goliard-inspired parody. The result is an accurate performance of Mass organum, providing the greatest possible contrast to lively dances and satiric literary content, sometimes bitingly so—as in the calling down of God’s curses upon all those, secular and sacred, who are avaricious and refuse to support beggars: “Effunde, domine, iram tuam super avaros et tenaces…” 

The musical side of this humor includes but is not limited to over-elaborate vocal ornamentation, grotesque slurring between notes, gasping breaths between phrases of off-pitch plainchant, foreign cultural interpolations, and folk style improvisations on top of chant. In bloodless print this sounds repetitive and dull, but the performers manage to sustain several cuts of this, among them one lasting 24 minutes. Various groups have recorded similar efforts over the years, most memorably René Clemencic and his Clemencic Consort (currently on Harmonia Mundi 195335), but I find Millenarium’s version just as lively if more dramatic due to internal contrasts with the Ordinary. As always where perceptions of humor are concerned, your mileage may differ. 

I have nothing but praise for Ricercar’s inclusion of the copious cut listings and liner notes from each of the albums, but shouldn’t they have considered adding a contents page? The 111-page, French and English booklet simply offers one album’s listings and notes after another. With no easy method to locate any album save the first, it’s a bit of a chore finding what you want. Texts and translations would have been helpful, as well, both in the Carmina Burana material, and the work of the troubadours and trouvères. That aside, highly recommended. There are no right or wrong ways to perform this music, anachronisms and technical deficiencies to one side, and Millenarium’s way with all of it is both thoroughly researched and refreshingly direct. 

FANFARE: Barry Brenesal


1. Carmina burana: no 215, Officium Lusorum by Anonymous 
2. Totz altres joys, song by Anonymous 
3. A que as cousas coitadas, song by Cantigas de Sa Anonymous 
4. Trotto, dance for instrumental ensemble by Anonymous 
5. La Quarte Estampie Royal by Anonymous 
6. L'autrier jost'una sebissa by Marcabru 
7. La sirena by Anonymous 
8. Principio di virtù, istanpitta by Anonymous 
9. La Manfredina et la Rota by Anonymous 
10. Saltarello No 4 by Anonymous 
11. La Septime Estampie Real by Anonymous 
12. Danse Anglaise by Anonymous 
13. Saltarello No. 8 (GB-LBl Add.29987) by Anonymous 
14. Nota manta, song by Troubadour Anonymous 
15. Lamento di Tristano & La Rotta by Anonymous 
16. Da che Deus mamou, song by Cantigas de Sa Anonymous 
17. Saltarello "Petits riens" by Anonymous 
18. Amors m'est u cuer entree by Henri III de Brabant 
19. Lamento du Val fourni, song by Richard De Fournival 
20. Ghaetta (An Istampita) (14th cent.) by Anonymous 
21. Llibre Vermell de Montserrat by Anonymous 
22. Procession des pèlerins by Anonymous 
23. Cuncti simus concanentes by Anonymous 
24. Work(s): Inperairitz / Verges ses par (chanson avec envoi à 2 voix) by Anonymous 
25. Kyrie Rex Genitor (for Christmas Midnight Mass) by Anonymous 
26. Res est admirabilis, sequence (polyphony) by Gradual of Ali Anonymous 
27. Ave Maria, offertory by Anonymous 
28. Mariam Matrem Virginem, virelai for 3 voices (Llibre Vermell) by Anonymous 
29. Bal redon, improvisation by Xavier Terrazza 
30. Los Set gotxs recomptarem by Anonymous 
31. Advocatam innocemus by Anonymous 
32. O Virgo splendens, canon for 3 voices (Llibre Vermell) by Anonymous 
33. Danza vermeillosa by Anonymous 
34. Laudemus virginem, canon for 3 voices by Anonymous 
35. Stella splendens in monte, virelai for 2 voices (Llibre Vermell) by Anonymous 
36. Fauvel nous fait présent, motet in 3 parts by Anonymous 
37. Mater patris et filia, offertory by Anonymous 
38. Splendens ceptigera by Anonymous 
39. Polorum Regina by Anonymous 
40. Work(s): Agnus Dei / Ave Maria by Anonymous 
41. Ad Mortem Festinamus, virelai (fol. 26v) by Anonymous 
42. Carmina burana: Excerpt(s) by Anonymous 
43. Carmina Burana: Sic mea fata CB 116 by Anonymous 
44. Carmina burana: no 73, Clauso Chronos by Anonymous 
45. Carmina burana: no 71, Axe Phebus aureo by Anonymous 
46. Carmina burana: no 31, Vite perdite me legi by Anonymous 
47. Carmina burana: no 19, Fas et Nefas by Anonymous 
48. Carmina burana: no 159, Veris dulcis in tempore by Anonymous 
49. Carmina burana: no 153, Tempus transit gelidum by Anonymous 
50. Carmina burana: no 15, Celum non animum by Anonymous 
51. Carmina burana: Dulce solum by Anonymous 
52. Touz eforciez by Anonymous 
53. Rose des rosaces by Anonymous 
54. Pour coi me bait by Anonymous 
55. Li nouviauz tanz by Anonymous 
56. la tierche Estampie royale by Anonymous 
57. Improvisation by Anonymous 
58. Estampie janus by Anonymous 
59. Estampida arnautz by Anonymous 
60. Douce Dame by Anonymous 
61. Dame, ensinc est by Anonymous 
62. Ce fut en mai by Anonymous 
63. Au renouvel du tens by Anonymous 
64. Amours, ou trop tard by Anonymous 
65. Danca Amorosa by Anonymous 
66. Can vei le lauzta mover by Bernart de Ventadorn 
67. Fortz causa es que tot lo major dan by Gaucelm Faidit 
68. Tan m'abelis jois et amors e chans by Berenguier de Palazol 
69. Jamais nulz tems nom pot re far Amors by Gaucelm Faidit 

Choeur de Chambre de Namur

mercoledì 23 dicembre 2015

Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber - Mystery Sonatas

2 CD - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 196 Mb

A grand teathricality in her manner that generates memorable moments (…) will make the most immediate impact on listeners"  Gramophone

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber's Rosary Sonatas (or Mystery Sonatas) c. 1678 are unlike anything else in the violin literature, with scordatura, or unconventional instrument tuning, exhaustively explored in the fifteen-piece cycle, each sonata utilizing a different tuning. Each sonata represents one of the Catholic Rosary Mysteries. As the music reaches its spiritual climax in the "Resurrection" sonata, Biber specifies the violin be played with its two central strings crossed. Accompanying Lina Tur Bonet, an exciting younger generation violinist, is her ensemble Musica Alchemica.


Disc 1

1 - Der freudenreiche Rosenkranz I. Mariæ Verkündigung
2 - Der freudenreiche Rosenkranz II. Marias Besuch bei Elisabeth
3 - Der freudenreiche Rosenkranz III. Die Geburt Christi
4 - Der freudenreiche Rosenkranz IV. Die Darstellung im Tempel (Der alte Simeon im Tempel)
5 - Der freudenreiche Rosenkranz V. Der zwölf jährige Jesus im Tempel
6 - Der Schmerzensreiche Rosenkranz VI. Christus am Ölberg (Der Blutschweiß)
7 - Der Schmerzensreiche Rosenkranz VII. Die Geißelung
8 - DDer Schmerzensreiche Rosenkranz VIII. Jesus wird mit einer Dornenkrone gekrönt

Disc 2

1 - Der Schmerzensreiche Rosenkranz IX. Jesus trägt sein Kreuz
2 - Der Schmerzensreiche Rosenkranz X. Die Kreuzigung
3 - Der glorreiche Rosenkranz XI. Die Auferstehung
4 - Der glorreiche Rosenkranz XII. Die Himmelfahrt
5 - Der glorreiche Rosenkranz XIII. Die Entsendung des Heiligen Geistes
6 - Der glorreiche Rosenkranz XIV. Mariæ Himmelfahrt
7 - Der glorreiche Rosenkranz XV. Die Krönung Mariens
8 - Der glorreiche Rosenkranz XVI. Passagalia (Der Schutzengel)

Lina Tur Bonet
Musica Alchemica

I wish you all a merry Christmas
and I hope I will be more present next year.


lunedì 10 agosto 2015

Animals have the right of way

Give way!.. GIVE WAY !!.. GIVE WAY !!!

I'm leaving tomorrow for my holidays.
Until now it's been a pleasure to attend
to this blog. And I hope you got some
fun with it too. I'll be back again around
september 10th.
Hopefully I'll have a lot of new energy 
to spend with this blog, I know I left it
apart in the last months... 

Enjoy yourself! (sure I will).

sabato 8 agosto 2015

W.A.Mozart - Castrato Arias

8 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - 79 RAR Mb

It may come as a surprise to learn that a number of Mozart soprano arias were originally written for the powerhouse voice of the castrato. Mozart's career, in fact, coincided with the beginning of the end for the castrato tradition, and the final piece included here, "Voi che sapete" from Le nozze di Figaro, was in fact not written for a castrato; by 1786 they were becoming scarce. Romanian countertenor Valer Sabadus' recital is short at just under 50 minutes, and the blooming sacred aria Exsultate, jubilate, K. 165, which was written for one of the castrati whose careers are represented here, might have made a stronger finale. This aside, many lovers of Mozart opera will appreciate this release. It's not just the attractively smooth, if a bit monochromatic, voice of Sabadus, which has plenty of delicacy in quieter upper-register passages. It's the chance to hear arias like "Non ho colpa" from Idomeneo, rè di Creta, K. 366, where the male voice suggests a different kind of balance with the dense, energetic orchestral writing that characterizes this over-the-top opera seria. The alert, adequately sized support from the re-creation-Großes Orchester Graz under Michael Hofstetter is also a plus here, and there's no denying that the creamy singing of Sabadus is a pleasure to hear in the lighter comic-opera pieces earlier in the program. Oehms delivers very nice sound from a pair of live recitals in a concert hall in Graz in December 2013. Presenters distressed by audience coughing may wish to retain Stefianiensaal personnel as consultants: they somehow managed to suppress every trace of it.


La finta giardiniera, KV 196

Se l'augellin sen fugge
Dolce d'amor compagna

Lucio Silla, KV 135
Pupille amate
Il tenero momento

La clemenza di Tito, KV 621
Deh, per questo istante solo

Idomeneo, Rè di Creta, KV 366
Non ho colpa

Le nozze di Figaro, KV 492
Voi che sapete

Valer Sabadus, countertenor

Großes Orchester Graz

dir. Michael Hofstetter

mercoledì 5 agosto 2015

Servaas de Koninck - Love and Drinking Songs of the Netherlands

40 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 116 Mb

"Servaas de Koninck was an immigrant, like many of his collegues in late 17th century Amsterdam. Born in 1654 in Dendermonde, Flanders, he served from 1663 until 1665 as a chorister in St. Jacob's Church in Ghent. From 1675 he studied at Louvain University, and settled in Brussels five years later. He moved to Amsterdam in 1685, where he frequented the theatrical circles of society. He died in 1701, not yet fifty years old. He was a a relatively productive composer, leaving behind seven opus numbers of varying sorts of music. Estienne Roger of Amsterdam published them all between 1696 and 1699. There are extant collections of sonatas for one and two flutes, with and without figured bass; the choruses for the tragedy Athalie of the French playwright Racine; two sets of trios; the Dutch love and drinking songs; and a volume of motets. Several more individual works in both manuscript and print can also be attributed to de Koninck.
Although the names of most of de Koninck's 'librettists' are known, the identity of the poet who wrote the lyrics for the Dutch love and drinking songs remains unknown. Characteristic of de Konincks Dutch love-and drinking songs are the explicit and frequent indications of French style and Italian style. The French style clearly harks back to Lully, with an introverted and refined style, an idiom de Koninck had fully mastered. The Italian style is exuberant and expressive, but in this publication markedly less frequent. Even so, this juxtaposition of styles typifies the international and eclectic musical environment found in Amsterdam at the end of the seventeenth century."


01. Ah! dat ik ook een hontje was
02. Trio Rigaudon
03. Gelijk de beekjes
04. Minlyke lust
05. Nu dat ik u myn ziel
06. Helas!
07. Hebt gy niet
08. Mijn vader dwong my
09. Laat uw fierheit
10. Volge wy de minnegloet
11. O! doodelyke spyt
12. Trio
13. Stond my geen quaad te duchten
14. Ach! Phyllis!
15. Trio
16. Eens myn vryheid weer
17. Gigue
18. Fier onderwind keachtlooze waan
19. Trio: Grave
20. In dit zoet en vermaakelyk dal
21. Symphonie (Athalie)
22. Vreest niet, schoone Cloris
23. Symphonie (Athalie)
24. Prelude
25. Trio
26. Ik kan uw schoon gezicht niet langer
27. Trio
28. Een weinig min
29. In het glaasjen of myn Tryntjen
30. Plainte
31. Overzoete nachtegaalen
32. Trio
33. 't minnezoet lykt wat van buiten
34. Louis Bourbon
35. Weg Lompe, zyt gy dol
36. Die zich begeeft tot Minnen
37. Zoete rust van myn ziel
38. Ik volg u naa
39. In dit veld vol gebloemt'
40. Gy wilt my vlien
41. Gy beklaagt uw verliefde zinnen
42. Geeft my, schoone, een gunstig woort
43. O! zoet en teer geneugt
44. Chaconne

Dopo Emilio

 Liesbeth Houdijk - soprano
Michiel Niessen - lute, theorbo
David van Ooijen - theorbo, baroque guitar
Gesina Liedmeier - lira da gamba, lyra viol, viola da gamba


Sytse Buwalda - alto
Joost van der Linden - tenor
Tom Sol - bass


Basil de Visser - violin
Rachael Yates - violin

domenica 2 agosto 2015

Avanti L'opera: An A-Z of Italian Baroque Overtures

17 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 103 Mb

Early-music pioneers Charivari Agréable perform an engaging collection of overtures from Italian Baroque Opera, best described by Kah-Ming Ng as being “lucidly crafted for the purpose of turning heads”.
In a decadent era when the antics of theatre-goers were often as intriguing as the performances taking place on stage, these works were composed with the express intention of thrilling, beguiling and engaging an often hard-to-impress audience.


Attilio ARIOSTI: Vespasiano
Leonardo LEO: Catone in Utica
Giovanni BONONCINI: Cefalo
Antonio CALDARA: L'Olimpiade
Carlo Francesco POLLAROLO: La Proserpine
Alessandro SCARLATTI: La Statira
Giovanni Bononcini, Turno Aricino
Giovanni Bononcini, Il trionfo di Camilla
Giuseppe Antonio BERNABEI: L'Ascanio
Bernardo PASQUINI: L'Idalma
Tomaso Giovanni ALBINONI: Zenobia
Pietro Andrea ZIANI: Il Talamo
Carlo Francesco POLLAROLO: Gl'inganni felici
Giovanni LEGRENZI: Il Totila,
Agostino STEFFANI: La lotta d'Alcide con Acheloo
Alessandro SCARLATTI: La caduta di Decemviri
Francesco Bartolomeo CONTI: Il trionfo della fama

Charivari Agréable
dir. Kah-Ming Ng

venerdì 31 luglio 2015

Constantinople - Metamorfosi - Impressions Baroques

15 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 100 Mb

In line with a previous project, Early Dreams, it is the pages left by another marvellous composer and singer that Constantinople has taken the liberty of reinventing this time around. A worthy heiress of Monteverdi, Renaissance Venetian madrigalist Barbara Strozzi created a secular vocal repertoire that intoxicates the senses. A joyful and salutary delirium for music lovers!


Monteverdi, Claudio - Il ballo delle ingrate (excerpt)  
Monteverdi, Claudio - Si dolce è il tormento
Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger / Marco Uccellini - Bergamasca
Rossi, Salomone - Sinfonia quinta (excerpt)
Strozzi, Barbara - L'Eraclito amoroso
Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger / Andrea Falconieri - Capona / Ciaconna
Merula, Tarquinio - Sentirete una canzonetta
Kapsberger, Giovanni Girolamo - Toccata arpeggiata
Kapsberger, Giovanni Girolamo - Kapsberger
Landi, Stefano - Marillide deh vieni
Kapsberger, Giovanni Girolamo - Colasione
Kapsberger, Giovanni Girolamo - Canario
Landi, Stefano - A che più l'arc tendere
Kapsberger, Giovanni Girolamo - Passacaglia
Strozzi, Barbara - Amor dormiglione


Kiya Tabassian - Sétar et direction
Enrique Solinis - Guitare baroque et théorbe
Pierre-Yves Martel - Viole de gambe
Miren Zeberio - Violon baroque
Ziya Tabassian - Percussion

Suzie LeBlanc - Soprano

mercoledì 29 luglio 2015

Pietro Nardini - 4 Violin concertos

12 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 100 Mb

Nowadays nobody seems to remember about Pietro Nardini (1722-1793), but during his lifetime his renown was great, reaching beyond the boundaries of his native Italy. The recordings of his works made up to this day have nearly all been fortuitous, often based on unreliable editions. The present CD, on the contrary, offers four of Nardini’s compositions for violin and orchestra - three of which never published before - which have been recorded following criteria that are rigorously faithful to the originals. These are works of excellent musical quality; no less outstanding is the violin writing of this Tuscan composer who, in his day, was considered one of the finest violinists in existence. Leopold Mozart, who heard him in 1763, commented: ”The beauty, purity and evenness of his sound, and the refinement of his cantabile cannot be equalled.”


Concerto in Do maggiore OP.1 n°2
Concerto in Sol maggiore OP.1 n°4
Concerto in Re maggiore OP.1 n°5
Concerto in La maggiore OP.1 n°6

Mauro Rossi, violin
Orchestra da Camera Milano Classica

lunedì 27 luglio 2015

Karina Gauvin - Prima Donna

15 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 116 Mb

Canadian superstar soprano Karina Gauvin pays tribute to baroque diva Anna Maria Strada del Pò, singing rarities by Vinci, Vivaldi and some of the greatest Handel arie di bravura. Like Strada del Pò in her prime, Miss Gauvin sings this repertoire with powerful expression and brilliant technique, in particular, the trills for which Strada del Pò was renowned. More than thirteen opera roles were created by Handel for Strada del Pò (including Sosarme, Orlando, and Alcina). 

Karina Gauvin has impressed audiences and critics the world over with her luscious timbre, profound musicality and wide vocal range. The Globe and Mail calls her “one of the dream sopranos of our time.” The Sunday Times in London also wrote: “Her glinting soprano, bright-edged yet deliciously rounded and sensual, is used with rare understanding for character... ”


George Frideric Handel - Scherza in mar [Adelaide • Lotario HWV 26]
George Frideric Handel - No, non potrà [Angelica • Orlando HWV 31]
George Frideric Handel - Verdi piante [Angelica • Orlando HWV 31]
Leonardo Vinci - Tortorella se rimira [Ermione • Astianatte]
George Frideric Handel - Adagio [Concerto grosso op. 3 no 1 HWV 312]
George Frideric Handel - Dite pace [Elmira • Sosarme HWV 30]
Antonio Vivaldi - Addio caro [Rosanne • La Verità in Cimento, RV 739]
George Frideric Handel - Da te parto [Emilia • Flavio HWV 16]
George Frideric Handel - Ouverture [Lotario HWV 26]
George Frideric Handel - Ah Ruggiero crudel [Alcina • Alcina HWV 34]
George Frideric Handel - Ombre pallide [Alcina • Alcina HWV 34]
George Frideric Handel - Si, son quella [Alcina • Alcina HWV 34]
George Frideric Handel - Adagio[Concerto grosso op. 6 no 8 HWV 326]
George Frideric Handel - Ah mio cor [Alcina • Alcina HWV 34]
George Frideric Handel - Care selve [Meleagro • Atalanta HWV 35]

Arion Orchestre Baroque
    Alexander Weimann, conductor

sabato 25 luglio 2015

Pietro Nardini - Complete String Quartets

14 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 110Mb

Admired by Leopold Mozart and a student of Giuseppe Tartini, Pietro Nardini (1722-1793) was an outstanding violinist. The music historian, Charles Burney, preferred Nardini's playing to Paganini's. Born in Fibiana, Italy, he held positions in Stuttgart and Württemberg before returning to Italy to become the Music Director of the court at Florence upon Tartini's death. Not surprisingly, many of his compositions feature the violin as a solo instrument, and these six string quartets, the only ones he ever wrote, place the violin front and center.

Noted for his cantabile playing style, his adagios in these works reflect that preference in their aria-like treatment. Two quartets are in three movements while the other four contain only two.

Written in A Major, Quartet No.1 opens the first movement `Allegro' with the lead violin initiating a brief, sprightly canon. In the development section, most of the melodic content is distributed among the three upper voices with the cello being relegated to supplemental accompaniment, often simple repeated notes. Marked `Comodo' or moderately, a prayerful 2nd movement follows, with the members of Quartetto Eleusi using a free form rhythm that allows the phrasing to flow like the breathing patterns of a singer. Counter melodies from the 2nd violin and the viola emerge as the movement shifts into minor, with the bass providing the harmonic underpinning.

The three movement Quartet No.2 is in C Major. After presenting the initial theme over repeated staccato notes in the bass line, a rousing orchestral unison drives the opening `Allegro' before coming to a surprisingly hushed ending. Without pause, and featuring a softly undulating accompaniment in the lower strings, a minor keyed 'Adagio' serves as a mournful respite before the final open cadence. A triple metered `Allegretto' contains a counter melody in the bass, and gives the cello a more prominent role.

In B Flat, the long flowing melodic lines of the 1st violin drift in and out of minor in the 1st movement `Allegro' of Quartet No.3. The viola supplies a restless counterpoint to the songlike structure of the primary voice. A pulsing `Andante' takes its rhythmic flow from the lead violin with the viola providing the opening thematic thrust. A solo for the cello and complex violin ornamentation give this final movement more character and individuality than in the 2 earlier quartets.

Quartet No.4 is in F Major and in three movements, unexpectedly beginning with the briefest of adagios as a seamless introduction to the merry `Allegro' that ensues. Bravura solo work from the 1st violin precedes an explosion of spirited ensemble interplay. The viola followed by the 2nd violin carry the counter melody in a wonderful response to the virtuoso lead voice. A sprightly minuet closes the piece with more emphasis on secondary themes in the lower strings.

Written in G Major, the 5th Quartet opens with a cheerful `Allegro'. After being led by the 1st violin, all four voices trip down the scale in unison, setting the stage for the some virtuosic interplay among the instruments. Shifting into minor, an elegiac `Andante legato' provides a platform for the violins to soar above the lower strings before concluding in a tender whisper.

The 6th quartet is composed in E Flat, and starts with a rousing `Allegro' driven by the urgency of repeated notes in the bass line. Unlike the early quartets, here the cello takes center stage for a brief, but appealing solo. The gentle finale with an indication of `Comodo' features interweaving of countermelodies using all four voices, but with the 1st violin predominating.

Although these quartets were published as a set in 1782, the earliest ones were probably written years before, perhaps as early as 1765. They delineate Nardini's development, always with the 1st violin as the lead voice, but with increasing prominence given to the other members of the quartet. The Italian based Quartetto Eleusi performs with spirit and skill, while the recording by Brilliant Classics is quite bright, often losing the bass line behind the upper strings.

Pietro Nardini's quartets are an excellent place to become acquainted with his work. Too long a member of the pantheon of overlooked composers of the early Classical era, he deserves more than to be just another forgotten Italian.

By bejart7092 on Amazon, April 29, 2013


String Quartet No. 1 in A
String Quartet No. 2 in C
String Quartet No. 3 in B flat
String Quartet No. 4 in F
String Quartet No. 5 in G
String Quartet No. 6 in E flat

Quartetto Eleusi

giovedì 23 luglio 2015

Il Tesoro di San Gennaro

25 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 97Mb

Sacred music in early 18th-century Naples

Antonio Florio’s deep understanding of the Baroque musical terrain of Naples now takes him to the dawn of the 18th century when the fervour and visceral excitement held by Neapolitans for their chief patron saint San Gennaro was at its height, in an era when the city had been ravaged by plague and was living in constant fear of eruptions from nearby Mount Vesuvius. Great devotion was directed at San Gennaro, in the belief that he would ward off further evils: a richly-adorned chapel in Naples’s cathedral was dedicated to him and provided with its own musical ensemble, and a stream of composers (often pupils of the great Francesco Provenzale) such as Cristofaro Caresana, Nicola Fago and Gaetano Veneziano worked there.

Central to the programme of I Turchini, prepared by Florio and Dinko Fabris, are performances of Fago’s four-part Stabat Mater and Caresana’s canzona Sirene festose. There is a rare outing also for a motet, Antra valles Divo plaudant, written by the young Domenico Scarlatti – three of whose string sinfonias are also included here – when he was one of the organists in the Real Cappella; musicians in Naples regularly moved in and out of different ensembles, then as now.

A booklet essay by Fabris himself splendidly underpins the popular traditions and musical and religious colour surrounding San Gennaro in a Naples still alive today; moreover, an evocation brought to potent life by the performances of Florio, with his singers and instrumentalists of I Turchini.


Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
Sinfonia a 5 in do maggiore

Cristofaro Caresana (1640-1709)
Canzona a 4 con istromenti “Per S. Gennaro"

Nicola Fago (1677-1745)
05 Confitebor a 3 con violini
Stabat Mater a 4 voci e strumenti

Domenico Scarlatti
Sinfonia a 4 in re maggiore
Antra valles Divo plaudant (mottetto a 5 voci e strumenti)

Gaetano Veneziano (1665-1716)
Jam sol recedit (inno a voce sola con violini)
Iste confessor (inno a 2 voci, 4 violini e b.c.)

Domenico Scarlatti
Sinfonia a 4 in sol maggiore

Gaetano Veneziano
Ave Maris Stella (inno a voce sola con violini)

I Turchini
Antonio Florio, direction

Valentina Varriale, soprano
Leslie Visco, soprano
Filippo Mineccia, countertenor
Rosario Totaro, tenor
Pino De Vittorio, tenor
Giuseppe Naviglio, bass