Gonzaga Band: Venice 1629

Venice 1629
The Gonzaga Band
Resonus RES10218. 68’27

Music by Castello, Monteverdi, Marini, Schütz, Grandi, Pesenti,
Tarditi, Carrone, Donati, and Rè

The Gonzaga Band, as the name suggests, was founded to explore the
music of late Renaissance Italy, their name inspired by the Mantua seat of the Gonzaga family, where Claudio Monteverdi had been their maestro della musica. However, this recording is centred in Venice, around 150km east of Mantua. The year 1629 is when Schütz, then  Hofkapellmeister of the Saxon court in Dresden, made a second visit to Venice to learn more about the music of Monteverdi and his contemporaries. Monteverdi had been maestro di cappella at St Mark’s since 1613, and the style of Giovanni Gabrielli, under whom Schütz studied in Venice a couple of decades earlier, was beginning to be superceded by the new style of the early Baroque.  Whilst there, Schütz published the first volume of his Symphoniae Sacrae. The same year also saw the publication of music by Dario Castello, Alessandro Grandi, Biagio Marini and others. This recording explores the extraordinarily productive musical life of Venice during that single year of 1629, with pieces from the musical greats of the city, as well as lesser-known composers.  Continue reading

Pellingmans’ Saraband: Twenty waies upon the bels

Pellingmans’ Saraband: Twenty waies upon the bels
https://pellingman.greedbag.com. PS0002

PictureMusic by Thomas Ravenscroft, Thomas Robinson, John Johnson, Robert Smith, Nicholas Lanier, Thomas Campion, and Anon.

The distinguished viola da gamba and lute performers, Susanna Pell and Jacob Heringman, have been musical colleagues for some 27 years, and husband and wife since 1999. But it is only comparatively recently that they have started performing together as a duo, generally near to their home in Richmond, North Yorkshire: a very welcome addition to the non-London musical scene. This is only their second CD together although, on the basis of this excellent offering, I would hope for many more.

PictureThe basis for their programme is ‘circular music’, here represented by ‘grounds and rounds’ in the form of instrumental grounds (divisions/variations), lute songs based on grounds, and rounds from Thomas Ravenscroft, here sung four male singers. For the lute songs, they are joined by the excellent soprano, Faye Newton (pictured). The exquisite clarity and focus of her voice fits the musical style perfectly. Continue reading