La Petite Bande

Vespro della Beata Vergine

Price: € 14.95
Format: CD+Book
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917661323
Catnr: CC 76613
Release date: 03 October 2008
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917661323
Catalogue number
CC 76613
Release date
03 October 2008
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN
NL

About the album

Monteverdi’s “Vespro della Beata Vergine” was published in 1610, together with his “Missa in illo tempore”. This edition is his first important collection of music for the Catholic service.

There is much uncertainty about how this “Vespro” came into being. In fact, this is a collection of various pieces which were most likely not conceived together with the goal of creating a self-contained unity; there are for example two Magnificat compositions in a row; of course only one of these should be chosen by the performer.

The manner of performance of this sort of music could vary strongly in the time, even within the prevailing conventions; however, in his 1610 edition, Monteverdi gave many concrete instructions regarding vocal and instrumental setting, which actually makes the choices more limited in this case. In our performance, I have chosen to follow these instructions completely; even if that means for example that some instruments are seldom used. (In fact, this also seems to indicate a certain degree of independence among the musical fragments.) The vocal parts are therefore always in a solo setting, one per part; the ten vocalists each have a specific individual role. A performance with a choir (wherein the parts would be doubled or trebled in the polyphonic pieces) is certainly a possibility – although Monteverdi’s instructions in the score seem to indicate a setting for solo voices, which in my opinion also can facilitate more pronounced and individualized expression.

Consistent with the composer’s instructions about instrumentation, many fragments are accompanied only by the organ. Some fragments indicate precise instrumental combinations, and others have only the summary indication “con stromenti” (“with instruments”, without precise indications about which), or even “con stromenti, si placet” (with instuments, as one wishes); these last two directions require the performer to make his own choices, which is completely in keeping with the spirit of the times.
Bijzondere kerkelijke muziek van Monteverdi
Dirigent Sigiswald Kuijken en zijn ensemble La Petite Bande spelen op dit album kerkmuziek van Claudio Monteverdi. De, tijdens zijn leven al geëerde, Italiaanse componist publiceerde het Vespro della Beata Vergini, de Mariavespers in 1610, samen met zijn Missa in illo tempore. Het was zijn eerste grote verzameling muziek voor de Katholieke kerkdienst. Niet bedoeld voor de dagelijkse diensten, maar meer voor de christelijke of andere religieuze feestdagen. Tien zangers, magnifiek begeleid door La Petite Bande en geleid door Kuijken zorgen hier voor een adembenemende uitvoering.

Hoe het Vespro is ontstaan, is onzeker. Het lijkt er niet op, dat de Mariavespers een afgerond geheel moesten vormen. Integendeel, het zijn verschillende losse werken, die onafhankelijk van elkaar en in diverse samenstellingen uitgevoerd kunnen worden. Samen met de vespers werden ook twee Magnificat (lofzang op Maria) composities uitgebracht. Het was aan de uitvoerder om een keuze te maken. In de dienst is immers geen ruimte voor meer dan één lofzang.

In de tijd van Monteverdi liep de uitvoeringspraktijk van dit soort muziek sterk uiteen. Gelukkig gaf Monteverdi in deze versie uit 1610 concrete instructies mee voor de vocale en instrumentale bezetting. Wat de keuze makkelijker maakte. Kuijken koos ervoor die instructies in deze uitvoering naadloos op te volgen. Ook al betekende dat, dat sommige instrumenten nauwelijks aan bod kwamen. Monteverdi gaf de voorkeur aan een solo bezetting voor de vocalisten. De tien zangers vervullen ieder een specifieke, individuele rol, wat zorgt voor meer uitgesproken en individuele expressie. Conform de instructies van de componist worden veel fragmenten alleen begeleid door het orgel. Sommige passages kennen specifieke instrumentale aanduidingen, andere alleen de instructie 'met instrumenten', zonder aan te geven welke, of zelfs 'met instrumenten, zo men wil'. Compleet in de geest van die tijd, moet de uitvoerder zijn eigen keuzes maken.

La Petite Bande is één van de meest vooraanstaande barokorkesten. Het werd in 1972 opgericht door de Belgische violist en dirigent Sigiswald Kuijken en de Nederlandse klavecinist en dirigent Gustav Leonhardt. Het orkest streeft ernaar oude muziek zo getrouw mogelijk te laten herleven. Dat doet het gezelschap door authentieke instrumenten te gebruiken en de oude speelwijze te hanteren. Ook een wisselende bezetting, met telkens de meest 'geschikte' musicus voor een bepaald repertoire, draagt bij tot de speciale interpretatie van Kuijken. La Petite Bande was oorspronkelijk een tijdelijk gezelschap, dat zich hoofdzakelijk richtte op Franse muziek. Vanwege hun succes geeft het orkest tegenwoordig wereldwijd concerten en bestaat het repertoire inmiddels ook uit muziek van Italiaanse componisten en componisten als Bach, Händel, Gluck, Haydn en Mozart.

Artist(s)

La Petite Bande (Belgium) was founded in 1972 by Sigiswald Kuijken at the request of the record company Harmonia Mundi (Germany) in order to record Lully's "Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme", under the direction of Gustav Leonhardt. The orchestra takes its name and constitution from Lully's own orchestra at the court of Louis XIV. All its members are internationally renowned specialists in the early music field.

Although originally La Petite Bande was not meant to become a permanent orchestra, the success of the recordings was such that they began to give concerts regularly. Having initially concentrated mainly on French music, the orchestra's repertoire has expanded over the years to include music by the Italian masters and that of Bach, Handel, Gluck, Haydn, Mozart and others.

The 17-part CD series "Cantatas of J.S. Bach" (ACCENT) will be finished by the end of 2012. Sigiswald Kuijken applies the latest findings in Bach research: no choir, but rather a vocal quartet together with a minimal instrumental scoring. In this way, the fine musical texture of these cantatas can be much better (and more naturally) revealed.

La Petite Bande has recorded instrumental as well as vocal music, including operas and oratorios from the Baroque and Classical periods. La Petite Bande currently makes recordings for Accent, Challenge, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Denon, Seon/Virgin and Hyperion.

La Petite Bande has performed in a multitude of international festivals and concert series, in Europe, Japan, Australia, South America and China.
Since 1997, La Petite Bande has been in residence in the City of Leuven.

Sigiswald Kuijken was born in 1944 close to Brussels. He studied violin at the conservatories of Bruges and Brussels, completing his studies at the latter institution with Maurice Raskin in 1964. He came into contact with early music at a very young age, together with his brother Wieland. Studying on his own, he gained a thorough knowledge of specific 17th- and 18th-century performance techniques and conventions of interpretation on violin and viola da gamba This led to the introduction, in 1969, of a more authentic way of playing the violin, whereby the instrument was no longer held under the chin, but lay freely on the shoulder; this was to have a crucial influence on the approach to the violin repertoire and was consequently adopted by many players starting in the early 1970s.
From 1964 to 1972, Sigiswald Kuijken was a member of the Brussels-based Alarius Ensemble (with Wieland Kuijken, Robert Kohnen and Janine Rubinlicht), which performed throughout Europe and in the United States. He subsequently undertook individual chamber music projects with a number of Baroque music specialists, chief among which were his brothers Wieland and Barthold and Robert Kohnen, as well as Gustav Leonhardt, , Frans Bruggen Anner Bylsma and René Jacobs.

In 1972, with the encouragement of Deutsche Harmonia Mundi and Gustav Leonhardt, he founded the Baroque orchestra La Petite Bande, which since then has given innumerable concerts throughout Europe, Australia, South America, China and Japan, and has made many recordings for a number of labels (including Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Seon, Virgin, Accent, Denon, Hyperion, Challenge, ...).

In 1986 he founded the Kuijken String Quartet (with François Fernandez, Marleen Thiers and Wieland Kuijken), which specialises in the quartets and quintets (with Ryo Terakado as first violist) of the Classical period. Recordings of quartets and quintets by Mozart and Haydn have appeared on Denon.

Since 1998 Sigiswald Kuijken occasionally brings together two generations Kuijken (his daughters Veronica and Sara and his brother Wieland) to perform string quartets of later periods (Debussy, Schumann, Beethoven, Schubert) often combined with Lieder by Marie Kuijken, soprano and also daughter of Sigiswald, and Veronica Kuijken, piano. Recordings of the two generations have been made for Arcana and Challenge Records.
In 2004 Sigiswald Kuijken reintroduced in practical performance the Violoncello da spalla (shoulder cello, very probably the instrument Bach had in mind when writing his six cello solos): concerts and recordings of Bach, Vivaldi, ...

From 1971 to 1996, Sigiswald Kuijken taught Baroque violin at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague and from 1993 to 2009 at the Koninklijk Muziekconservatorium in Brussels. In addition, he has for many years been in demand as a guest teacher at a number of institutions (including the Royal College of Music in London, Salamanca University, the Accademia Chigiana inSiena, the Conservatoire of Geneva, the Musikhochschule of Leipzig).

Since 1998, Sigiswald Kuijken occasionally conducts “modern” symphonic orchestras in romantic programs ( Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, Mendelssohn).

On 2 February 2007, Sigiswald Kuijken received an honorary doctorate of the K.U. Leuven.

He was granted in February 2009 the prestigious "Life Achievement Award of the Flemish Government".

Composer(s)

Press

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Videos

Interview with Sigiswald Kuijken (part 1)
Interview with Sigiswald Kuijken (part 2)
Interview with Sigiswald Kuijken (part 3)
Interview with Sigiswald Kuijken (part 4)

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