Divina Mysteria, Pavel Amilcar, violin
Vanitas VA03. 69’28
Pachelbel, Pandlfi-Mealli, Frescobaldi, Fontana, Bohn, Döbel, Froberger, Biber, Tunder, Bruhns, Schmelzer, Kapsberger, Albertini.
Based on the Stylus Phantasticus that influenced so much music during the 17th century, this CD explores its use over different musical forms, notably music for keyboard and the violin sonata, examples of the latter coming from Biber, Fontana. Pandlfi-Mealli, and Schmelzer. Each of the sonatas is paired with a piece from the keyboard repertoire, often reinterpreted by the addition of the other instruments. So we hear a Tunder organ Praeludium played on violin and archlute, and part of Bruhns’s substantial choral fantasia Nun Komm, der Heiden Heiland, played as a trio sonata.
Although the translation of keyboard works into another genre might raise some hackles, playing organ pieces with other instruments is something I have often wondered about doing myself – and will do, one day. We know, for example, that Bruhns is known to have played the violin whilst accompanying himself on the organ pedals.
As well as their inventive use of instruments in the keyboard pieces, the five musicians of Divina Mysteria (Pavel Amilcar, violin, Montse Colomé, cello, Thor Jorgen, viola da gamba and violone, Pablo Zapico, archlute and baroque guitar, and Andrés Alberto Gómez, harpsichord and organ) are also attractively inventive in their interpretations, one example being the use of a plucked violone in the final track. My only quibble is that the programme notes, at least in their English translation, make for a rather tortuous read.