Through the combination of sacred and profane that she embodies, the profoundly human personality of Mary Magdalene greatly inspired artists of the Baroque era, whether painters, poets or composers. It was in the sphere of influence of Italian oratorios, highly prized at the court of Vienna, that Antonio Bertali devoted a most moving sepolcro to her in 1663, a genre traditionally played during Holy Week. In 1617, in Mantua, it was in the form of theatrical interludes that she was honoured by court composers such as Salomone Rossi, Muzio Effrem and Claudio Monteverdi, who wrote the prologue for this other Maddalena.
Bertali’s life seems to embody the typical experiences that top-notch musician would expect during the seventeenth century: his playing and composing centered around court life. Bertali served under the Habsburgs of Austria. The program notes point out that, although he was mainly a composer of oratorio and opera, his instrumental works still merit attention. This point is made best by giving this disc a thorough hearing. The sonatas which make up the majority of the repertoire here are delightful miniatures. Highly sectional and often inspired by dance rhythms, these pieces sometimes feel like dance suites.
…The playing is superb, the intonation impeccable, the interpretation brilliantly original. Technically, these sonatas are well-done, with a live acoustic, but plenty of recorded detail to capture the clean playing by the FBO Consort.
In seventeenth-century Germany, a Wunderkammer (typically translated as “Cabinet of Curiosities”) was a type of private museum collection in the home of an aristocrat. Always in search of the most fascinating music from this era, ACRONYM has unearthed a large number of previously unrecorded manuscript sonatas written by long-forgotten composers. Some of these pieces contain harmonic eccentricities, rhythmic or metric irregularities, or structural curiosities. This disc includes ten such works, ACRONYM's own musical Wunderkammer. The composers are Samuel Capricornus, Adam Drese, Johann Philipp Krieger, Andreas Oswald, Antonio Bertali, Daniel Eberlin, Philipp Jakob Rittler, Georg Piscator, Alessandro Poglietti, and Clemens Thieme.
The versatile ensemble Caecilia-Concert, a group which specialises in the interpretation of 17th century music for instruments and voices, here perform pieces by a range of German and Italian Baroque composers who worked at the Habsburg Court including Johann Heinrich Schmelzer, Johann Joseph Fux, Marco Antonio Ferro, and Antonio Bertali. The works included on this CD are among the last, highly virtuosic compositions for a range of period instruments like the cornetto and the dulcian.
This recording of Georg Muffat's monumental mass alongside church sonatas by his contemporaries creates a vivid impression of the imposing sacred music heard at leading Catholic courts during the High Baroque. The Abbey Church of Muri with its four galleries and its historical Bossart organs proves to be a performance venue with perfect acoustics for these polychoral works.
The legendary label, deutsche harmonia mundi, releases a special 50 CD boxset featuring star performers such as Hille Perl, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Dorothee Oberlinger, Simone Kermes, and Nuria Rial and more! This collection displays the sheer variety available from the dhm archive. A perfect collection ranging Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Romantic music.
Ever since Beethoven wrote his last piano sonata and called it "Opus 111", the number 111 has enjoyed certain kudos in musical circles, and 2009 marks the 111th anniversary of Deutsche Grammophon.
Over 11 decades, the label's philosophy has always been “the greatest recordings by the greatest artists in the world” and now they showcase this with this incredible 55 CD box set.
Astrée's sound is first rate, with excellent instrumental detail and realistic spatial orientation. […] Every work offered here is a gem, and Kraemer and his Council are to be commended for rescuing these pieces from undeserved and certainly unwarranted obscurity. Highly recommended. (John Greene, classicstoday.com)