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Schmelzer & Co - Music at the Habsburg Court

Caecilia-Concert

Schmelzer & Co - Music at the Habsburg Court

Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917233926
Catnr: CC 72339
Release date: 30 October 2009
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1 CD
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917233926
Catalogue number
CC 72339
Release date
30 October 2009
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN
NL
DE

About the album

The works included on this CD are among the last, highly virtuosic compositions for these ‘old-fashioned’ instruments, and are the icing on the cake for trombonists, cornetto- and dulcian players. In the 18th century, the leading role of these instruments was taken over by more ‘modern’ instruments such as the baroque oboe, the baroque bassoon, not to mention the violin and cello.

Schmelzer & Co. The meteoric rise to power of the House of Habsburg was mired in the battles, purges, and religious persecution surrounding the Counter-Reformation. In this devout, Jesuit, Counter- Reformist court, music had an important role. This can be seen in the importance and size of the Hofkapelle.

Each individual leader of the House of Habsburg contributed to the musical development of the court in some way. For instance Ferdinand II (1578-1637), a very devout leader who was one of the most resolute backers of the anti-Pro-testant Counter-Reformation, helped secure Vienna’s position as one of the centers of music in Europe after his accession to the Imperial throne. His son, Ferdinand III (1608-57), a great patron of music as well as an amateur composer, was active in employing Italian kapellmeisters such as Antonio Bertali (1605-1669). Leopold I (1640-1705), the second son of Ferdinand III, became head of the Austrian monarchy in 1657, and was crowned Holy Roman Emperor the following year. During his reign, musical life in the Viennese court was expanded. He also composed and was responsible for employing among many others, Johann Heinrich Schmelzer (c.1620/23-1680) and Johann Joseph Fux. (1660- 1741). Josef I (1678-1711), the eldest son of Leopold, was an amateur harpsichordist, singer, and composer.

The recruitment of musicians for the court hofkapelle was often undertaken by important contacts in Italy. During the period 1660-1740, primarily Italians filled the significant posts of hofkapellmeister and vice-hofkapellmeister, for instance Massimiliano Neri, Marco Antonio Ferro and others. The only two natives to hold the post were Schmelzer and Fux Interestingly, the positions of court and church organist were more than not occupied by natives, for instance by Georg Muffat 1653-1704) in Salzburg.

While court composers were naturally occupied with composing music for the Devine Service and courtly events, not all music produced was occasional or of minor significance. In Vienna, there arose a strong tradition of composing in the stile antico. Fux in particular considered it his duty to preserve this older style.

Vergeten Duitse en Italiaanse barok
Caecilia-Concert is een veelzijdig internationaal ensemble dat zich specialiseert in het authentiek uitvoeren en onderzoeken van 17e-eeuwse muziek. Op dit album presenteert het ensemble werken van een aantal bijzondere Duitse en Italiaanse componisten uit de barok, die aan het Habsburgse Hof componeerden, onder wie Johann Joseph Fux en Antonio Bertali. Onder de werken op dit album valt een aantal van de laatste, zeer virtuoze composities voor historische instrumenten zoals de cornetto (een trompetachtig instrument met een speelwijze als die van de blokfluit) en de dulciaan (voorloper van de fagot). In de 18e eeuw werd de leidende rol van deze instrumenten overgenomen door modernere instrumenten, zoals de barokhobo, de barokfagot, de viool en de cello.

Caecilia-Concert werd in 2001 opgericht door vier jonge instrumentalisten. Hun doel was muziek te herontdekken en het hedendaagse publiek muziek te brengen die verloren was gegaan, vergeten werd, of simpelweg honderden jaren in de schaduw van andere grote werken had gestaan. Het ensemble staat bekend om zijn onderscheidende, unieke geluid en een scala aan virtuoze en expressieve mogelijkheden die niet vaak geassocieerd worden met deze instrumenten of dit repertoire. Sinds haar oprichting heeft Caecilia-Concert veel geprezen concerten verzorgd op festivals in Frankrijk, Zwitserland, Oostenrijk, Nederland en het Verenigd Koninkrijk. Ook zijn ze vaak te horen op radiostations door heel Europa.

Die eingespielten Werke gehören zu den letzten, ausgesprochen virtuosen Kompositionen, die für diese 'altmodischen' Instrumente komponiert wurden, bevor deren führende Rolle im 18. Jahrhundert von 'moderneren' Instrumenten wie der Barockoboe, dem Barockfagott, und nicht zu vergessen der Geige und dem Cello übernommen wurde. Sie gehören sicherlich zum Besten, was je für Posaunisten, Kornett- und Dulzian-Spieler komponiert wurde. Das niederländische Ensemble Caecilia-Consort legt hiermit seine dritte CD vor und stellt seine Spiellust und Perfektion erneut unter Beweis

Artist(s)

Caecilia Concert

The Caecilia-Concert is a versatile international ensemble specialising in performance and research of 17th century music. The group was formed in 2001 by four young instrumentalists working at the forefront of authentic performance practice in Europe and has a distinct, unique sound and a range of virtuosic and expressive capabilities not often associated with such instruments or repertoire. Since its formation, Caecilia-Concert has given highly acclaimed concerts at festivals in France, Switzerland, Austria, The Netherlands and the UK. They can be frequently heard on radio stations across Europe and their concerts have been broadcast on  Austria ÖRF, Concertzender and NPS, as well and have appeared as featured artists on BBC Radio 3's 'The Early Music Show'. Adam Woolf studied historical trombone...
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The Caecilia-Concert is a versatile international ensemble specialising in performance and research of 17th century music. The group was formed in 2001 by four young instrumentalists working at the forefront of authentic performance practice in Europe and has a distinct, unique sound and a range of virtuosic and expressive capabilities not often associated with such instruments or repertoire. Since its formation, Caecilia-Concert has given highly acclaimed concerts at festivals in France, Switzerland, Austria, The Netherlands and the UK. They can be frequently heard on radio stations across Europe and their concerts have been broadcast on Austria ÖRF, Concertzender and NPS, as well and have appeared as featured artists on BBC Radio 3's 'The Early Music Show'.
Adam Woolf studied historical trombone at the Royal Academy of Music in London, graduating in 1997. During this time he became a founder member of the QuintEssential Sackbutt and Cornett Ensemble and began playing regularly with many other UK based ensembles. Principal trombone of Sir John Eliot Gardiner's English Baroque Soloists and elected Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.
Harpsichordist and fortepianist Kathryn Cok was born in the city of New York, USA. She now lives in The Hague, Holland, where she completed a Masters degree at the Royal Conservatory as a student of Ton Koopman and Tini Mathot on the harpsichord, and Bart van Oort on the fortepiano. She has worked with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Musica ad Rhenum.
Upon graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Fiona Russell furthered her studies at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensi, Switzerland, and has since gone on to be one of the finest young cornetto players in Europe. She plays with The English Cornett and Sackbutt Ensemble and QuintEssential Sackbutt and Cornett Ensemble.
Wouter Verschuren graduated from the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. He studied recorder with Michael Barker and Jeanette van Wingerden, and baroque and classical bassoon with Donna Agrell. He is principal bassoonist of The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra conducted by Ton Koopman.
Violinist Annabelle Ferdinand was born in Spijkenisse, The Netherlands. She studied violin at the conservatories of Amsterdam, The Hague and Sint Petersburg. After finishing her modern violin studies, she studied baroque violin at the Royal Conservatory, The Hague with Monica Huggett and Pavlo Beznosiuk. She regularly performs with Anima Eterna, the Nederlandse Bachvereniging, the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra.

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Wouter Verschuren

Wouter Verschuren graduated from the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. He studied baroque and classical bassoon with Donna Agrell. Wouter is sought after in the Netherlands and abroad as a bassoonist, and is equally at home with repertoire ranging from the Renaissance to the Romantic. He is principal bassoonist of The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra conducted by Ton Koopman, and regularly plays with other renowned period orchestras. In addition, he regularly appears as a soloist, and plays in numerous international chamber music ensembles such as Caecilia-Concert, specializing in performance and research of 17th century music, and can be heard on countless CDs. Wouter teaches at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague and at the Utrecht Conservatory.
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Wouter Verschuren graduated from the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. He studied baroque and classical bassoon with Donna Agrell. Wouter is sought after in the Netherlands and abroad as a bassoonist, and is equally at home with repertoire ranging from the Renaissance to the Romantic. He is principal bassoonist of The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra conducted by Ton Koopman, and regularly plays with other renowned period orchestras. In addition, he regularly appears as a soloist, and plays in numerous international chamber music ensembles such as Caecilia-Concert, specializing in performance and research of 17th century music, and can be heard on countless CDs. Wouter teaches at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague and at the Utrecht Conservatory.

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Kathryn Cok

Kathryn Cok pursues a varied career as a harpsichordist, fortepianist and academic on both sides of the Atlantic. She is well sought after both as a soloist as well as a continuo player. Born in the city of New York, USA, Kathryn now lives in The Hague, Holland where she completed a Masters degree at the Royal Conservatory as a student of Ton Koopman and Tini Mathot on the harpsichord, and Bart van Oort on the fortepiano.   Kathryn recently won first prize in the first solo competition for baroque instruments in Brunnenthal, Austria. She works regularly as a soloist and continuo player with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, and other important early music ensembles in Europe and performs regularly as...
more
Kathryn Cok pursues a varied career as a harpsichordist, fortepianist and academic on both sides of the Atlantic. She is well sought after both as a soloist as well as a continuo player. Born in the city of New York, USA, Kathryn now lives in The Hague, Holland where she completed a Masters degree at the Royal Conservatory as a student of Ton Koopman and Tini Mathot on the harpsichord, and Bart van Oort on the fortepiano. Kathryn recently won first prize in the first solo competition for baroque instruments in Brunnenthal, Austria. She works regularly as a soloist and continuo player with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, and other important early music ensembles in Europe and performs regularly as a soloist in many of the world’s most renowned Early Music Festivals such as Oude Muziek, Utrecht, Brunnenthaler Concert Zomer, Bodensee Festival, and important keyboard collections in the UK such as the Cobbe Collection, Finchcock’s, Fenton House and the Gemeente Museum, Holland. She is co-founder of the Caecilia-Concert, a dynamic international group of instrumentalists specializing in performance and research of 17th century music for instruments and voices. Kathryn is busy as a researcher and teaches at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, Holland.

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Composer(s)

Georg Muffat

Georg Muffat was born in Megève, Duchy of Savoy (now in France), and was of Scottish descent. He studied in Paris between 1663 and 1669, where his teacher is often assumed to have been Jean Baptiste Lully. This assumption is largely based on the statement 'For six years ... I avidly pursued this style which was flowering in Paris at the time under the most famous Jean Baptiste Lully. 'This is ambiguous (in all of the languages in which it was printed) as to whether the style was flourishing under Lully, or that Muffat studied under Lully. In any case, the style which the young Muffat learned was unequivocally Lullian and it remains likely that he had at least some contact with the man himself. After leaving...
more
Georg Muffat was born in Megève, Duchy of Savoy (now in France), and was of Scottish descent. He studied in Paris between 1663 and 1669, where his teacher is often assumed to have been Jean Baptiste Lully. This assumption is largely based on the statement "For six years ... I avidly pursued this style which was flowering in Paris at the time under the most famous Jean Baptiste Lully. "This is ambiguous (in all of the languages in which it was printed) as to whether the style was flourishing under Lully, or that Muffat studied under Lully. In any case, the style which the young Muffat learned was unequivocally Lullian and it remains likely that he had at least some contact with the man himself.
After leaving Paris, he became an organist in Molsheim and Sélestat. Later, he studied law in Ingolstadt, afterwards settling in Vienna. He could not get an official appointment, so he travelled to Prague in 1677, then to Salzburg, where he worked for the archbishop for some ten years. In about 1680, he traveled to Italy, there studying the organ with Bernardo Pasquini, a follower of the tradition of Girolamo Frescobaldi; he also met Arcangelo Corelli, whose works he admired very much. From 1690 to his death, he was Kapellmeister to the bishop of Passau.
Georg Muffat should not be confused with his son Gottlieb Muffat, also a successful composer.

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