The composers known collectively as the Fiamminghi made their mark in Europe in general and in Italy and in France in particular during the 15th century. Their talent and skill gained them the most important positions in the great musical establishments of the time. This collection is devoted to the leading composers of the 15th century, from those of the first generation (Guillaume Dufay, Gilles Binchois, Arnold de Lantins and Johannes Brassart) through Johannes Ockeghem, the great master of polyphonic technique, to Josquin Desprez and Pierre de La Rue, two musicians taught by Ockeghem who laid the foundations of the Ars Perfecta during the Renaissance. Also included is Jacob Obrecht, the only composer of this school whose career was based essentially in his native Flanders. Every genre of both sacred as well as secular music of the time is represented here.
Johann Bernhard Bach (1676-1749) is a somewhat ill-known member of the family, but known by his first cousin once removed, Johann Sebastian. A disciple of Pachelbel, he was in the service of the court of Eisenach and left us only instrumental music. His four Ouvertures for orchestra constitute the obvious link between French music of the Grand Siècle and the compositions that Johann Sebastian would write in Weimar and Cöthen. A missing link to be (re) discovered.
A two-CD set devoted to the Lutheran liturgical repertory from Martin Luther himself to Heinrich Schütz. The first disc comprises compositions specific to the Lutheran liturgy: Deutsche Messe, Deutsches Magnificat, Deutsche Passion (the first German polyphonic Passion, by Joachim von Burck) and even a reconstruction of a Deutsches Requiem drawn from polyphonic works that set the same texts as those Brahms was later to use for his Deutsches Requiem.
These seven discs recorded between 1995 and 2000 make up a fabulous anthology of early seventeenth-century Italian music. A large number of composers are gathered round the central figure of Claudio Monteverdi; while some of them, like Salomone Rossi, Biagio Marini and Dario Castello, are among the musicians with whom he worked in Mantua or Venice, others illustrate the extraordinary musical creativity of the period, whether it be Sigismondo d’India, Tarquinio Merula, Francesco Cavalli, Alessandro Grandi, or so many other lesser-known personalities, each of whom helped to build the rapidly growing edifice of Italian Baroque music.
Pour rendre plus doux les derniers jours du petit malade, Mamie Rose conseille à Oscar d'écrire à Dieu. …
French group La Main Harmonique is named for the "Guidonian hand," known to generations of music history graduate students, which teaches solmization syllables by means of labeled finger joints. That suggests the basic orientation here, which is toward specialists; the booklet dutifully lists library sources but does not provide anything so helpful as translations of the 15th-century French texts (there are some almost completely black photos of the performers, though). It's nice, however, to have recordings of this secular chanson repertoire, which in the case of Johannes Ockeghem is not so well represented on recordings as his intellectually fearsome masses.
« Il arrive un moment, dans certains pays, à certaines époques, où les hommes semblent attendre un événement important et tragique qui permettrait de résoudre tous les problèmes. Ces périodes sont généralement nommées : avant-guerre. Elles sont assez mal choisies pour tomber amoureux. En 1940, à New York, un écrivain débutant nommé Jerry Salinger, vingt et un ans, rencontre Oona O'Neill, quinze ans, la fille du plus grand dramaturge américain. Leur idylle ne commencera vraiment que l'été suivant…