AAM Live: In stil moderno

In stil moderno: Castello, Strozzi & Claudio Monteverdi
Academy of Ancient Music

Streamed from West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge. 14 April 2021

Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677) : L’eraclito amoroso & Lagrime mie
Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643): Et e pur dunque vero & Si dolce e’l tormento
Dario Castello (c1602-1631) : Sonate concertante in stil moderno, Libro Secondo

The second in the three-concert series of AAM Live 2021 events was initially billed as a farewell to their outgoing Music Director, Richard Egarr, who is now replaced by Laurence Cummings who directed the first of their AAM Live 2021 concerts, reviewed here. Although Egarr may have been an inspiration behind this programme of music from 17th-century Venice, the concert listed two directors, the AAM’s principal violinist Bojan Čičić and keyboard player Steven Devine. They were joined by mezzo Helen Charlston. Continue reading

Anime Amanti

Anime Amanti
Roberta Mameli, Luca Pianca
Alpha Classics ALPHA291. 68’16

Anime Amanti

Songs by Monteverdi, Caccini, Strozzi, d’India, Merula. Pianca

The opening Lamento di Arianna, the only surviving part of Monteverdi’s opera L’Arianna. sets the scene for a beautifully performed programme of music from the earliest days of opera. Roberta Mameli’s evocative and rich vocal timbre is an ideal vehicle to display the extraordinary range of emotions depicted in this sensuous music. Her coherence of tone over a very wide range aligns with effective control of her natural vibrato, notably on long-held notes where she uses gentle vibrato as an ornament. She is very well supported by the impressively restrained theorbo playing of Luca Pianca.

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York Early Music Festival

York Early Music Festival
Innovation: the Shock of the New!
10-12 July

My principal reason for going to York was to review the biennial York Early Music International Young Artists Competition which took place over the last three days of the annual York Early Music Festival. The Festival lasted from 5 to 13 July and was given under the banner of Innovation: the Shock of the New! taking inspiration from the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci. Alongside talks and community events were a range of concerts, mostly from York-connected and UK ensembles, but with welcome continental visitors including Concerto de Margherita, one of the EEEmerging groups, fortepianist Andreas Staier, the Italian/Jewish Ensemble Lucidarium, and the distinguished Belgian consort Vox Luminis. I was able to attend the last four of the Festival concerts, together with the three days of the Competition.

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Acqua Alta

Acqua Alta
Serikon, Erik Westberg
Footprint FRCD073. 79’30

Giovanni Gabrieli: Canzon X à 8, Canzon II á 4, Omnes gentes plaudite minibus; Andrea Gabrieli: Domine ne in furore; Claudio Merulo: Sanctus à 16; Alexander Campkin: Colour Blinds the Eye; Adrian Willaert: De profundis; Barbara Strozzi: Salve Regina; Dario Castello: Sonata Duodecima – Libro II; Giovanni Rovetta: Domine Deus noster; Jan Sandström: Acqua alta.

What a fascinating CD! With music ranging from the Renaissance, via the early Baroque to a composer born in 1984, the programme explores the musical colours of Venice and a none-too-subtle focus on its current environmental issues. Acqua Alta is a collaboration between the Renaissance ensemble Serikon, conductor Erik Westberg and the Artists for the Environment organization, and apparently also involves a meteorologist and climate specialist. With Venice flooding from rising sea levels with increasingly frequently and with higher water levels, it is an obvious city to focus on.   Continue reading