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.
Les Traversées Baroques continues its exploration of the great repertory of sacred music from northern Europe. After Marcin Mielczewski, the ensemble has decided to turn to Mikołaj Zieleński for its new recording, thus rehabilitating this Polish Baroque composer whose biography is no more than a long series of question marks, but whose magnificent music amply compensates for the gaps in our knowledge.
"A few years ago, the name of Johann David Heinichen came out of the blue as a wonderful surprise. Baroque music lovers around the world were amazed to discover an obscure composer who, in his best works, was second to none–easily comparable to Vivaldi in terms of originality, rhythmic exuberance, and boundless imagination. (…) The Fiori Musicali ensemble, on period instruments, plays with enthusiasm and poetic commitment. The virtuosity may not be as extreme as that of Concerto Köln, but each performance reaches a perfect balance between expressive ardor and precision–a quality mirrored by the accurate and natural sonics of the Radio Bremen engineers." ~classicstoday
La Venexiana has recorded all eight volumes of Monteverdi's madrigals, the Selva morale e spirituale and L'Orfeo. Here we have the Scherzi musicali published in Venice by Bartolomeo Magni in 1632, although pieces from other publications, such as the Arie di diversi raccolte of Vincenti (1634) and the Quarto scherzo delle ariose vaghezze of Milanuzzi (1624) are also included. By way of contrast, the finishing touch is provided by a dazzling and moving rendition of the Lamento di Arianna in an arrangement by Cavina himself, wherein the voice of Emanuela Galli, the star of this disc, is draped in a string ensemble led by Svetlana Fomina.
This is the fifth and final volume in the Ligia series of the complete keyboard music of Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583–1643). Previous volumes reviewed in Fanfare include the Primo libro di capricci and Secondo libro di toccate (both 34:2), and the Primo libro di toccate (34:6). The present volume includes published collections from the beginning, middle, and end of Frescobaldi’s career. The Primo libro delle fantasie was published while the composer was still in Milan; it served as a kind of audition piece that eventually won him the position of organist at St. Peter’s in Rome.