The Leuven Chansonnier was discovered in 2015 when an art historian approached the Alamire Foundation with a tiny (120x85mm) music book. It turned out to be a previously unknown 15th-century book of chansons. It has been dated to around 1475, and probably originated in the Loire Valley. It was purchased by the King Baudouin Foundation and loaned to the Alamire Foundation in Leuven. As there is no indication of original ownership or provenance, it has been called the Leuven Chansonnier. It contains fifty compositions, a Latin Ave Regina by Walter Frye and 59 French chansons, many of which were recognised as being by leading 15th-century Franco-Flemish composers such as Johannes Ockeghem. There are twelve previously unknown works, eight of which are included on this CD. Continue reading →
Giuseppe Clemente Dall’Abaco: Cello Sonatas
Elinor Frey (cello)
with Mauro Valli, Federica Bianchi & Giangiacomo Pinardi
Passacaille PAS1069. 62.27′
Giuseppe Clemente Dall’Abaco (1709 – 1805) was a cellist and composer with Italian descent. His early musical training was with his father, Evaristo Felice Dall’Abaco, Kapellmeister to the Bavarian Court, who at the time of Giuseppe’s birth was exiled in Brussels during the War of the Spanish Succession. Giuseppe later travelled widely, working in Bonn, London, York, Paris, Verona, Venice, Vienna, and Munich. During his London visit in 1736-37, Charles Burney wrote that he “brought the violoncello into favour, and made us nice judges of that instrument”. Although his solo cellos pieces have been known for some time, this is the first recording of any of his 35 Cello Sonatas in their original form. Continue reading →
La Divina Armonia
Lorenzo Ghielmi, Mayumi Hiraski, Alice Rossi, Jan de Winne
Passacaille PAS 1019. 75’00
Concerto in A BWV 1055, Cantata: Non sa che sia dolore BWV 209, Concerto in E BWV 1042, Concerto in A Minor BWV 1044.
This recording brings together three instrumental concertos (for harpsichord, violin and the ‘Triple Concerto’, which adds flute to the previous two), and a cantata that makes extensive use of a solo flute. Although not exactly treading new ground in terms of repertoire, this fine recording of some of Bach’s most bubbly music is well worth a listen, not least for an excellent performance of the cantata Non sa che sia dolore, with its prominent solo flute passages.
Of the three instrumental concertos, the Violin Concerto, BWV 1042, is the only one that is appearing in what is probably its original format. The other two concertos are Bach’s arrangements of his own pieces for Continue reading →
Fretwork Kings Place, 12 February 2016
JS Bach Piece d’Orgue, Contrapunctus 7, Passacaglia; Purcell: Chaconny; Charpentier: Concert pour les violes; Marini Passacalio; Legrenzi Sonata Sesta, Sonata Quinta; Forqueray: Pieces a trois violes; Handel: Passacaille.
The viol consort repertoire took a long time to lie down and die. From its prime in the early years of the 17th century, its decline took different forms in different countries. Most countries retained the bass viol as a continuo instrument, with France (and, to a certain extent, Germany) developing a repertoire for solo bass viol. Italy had long since concentrated on the violin rather than the viol family. In England it was Purcell who briefly rescued the viol consort from its death throes with his remarkable late-flowering Fantasias c1680. But there were also other late-flowerings in France and Italy from the likes of Charpentier, Forqueray and Legrenzi.
In their Kings Place concert, the viol consort Fretwork explored some of these late examples of viol consort music in their programme ‘Passacaille’, the concert title giving a clue as to the nature of several of the pieces. They also ‘borrowed’ the music of Bach and Handel to add another theme their programme. They opened with Bach and a transcription of the central part of his Pièce d’Orgue (Fantasia in G minor: BWV572) Continue reading →