Author Topic: The Early Music Club (EMC)  (Read 162282 times)

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Online Que

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1140 on: November 26, 2017, 10:50:58 PM »
Thanks for for your personal notes!  :)

I still have to try this ensemble....

Q
À chacun son goût.

Offline San Antonio

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1141 on: November 27, 2017, 06:12:16 PM »
Chiara Margarita Cozzolani

Recognized during her lifetime as one of the finest composers in Italy, Chiara Margarita Cozzolani spent her entire adult life within the four walls of the musically famous convent of Santa Radegonda in Milan. Contemporary accounts describe the huge crowds that filled the exterior church of the convent to hear the angelic voices of nuns singing Cozzolani's passionate and ecstatic music.

The Concerti sacri of 1642 are inscribed to the single most important patron of singers in northern Italy, Prince Matthias de’ Medici, who seems to have heard Cozzolani’s pieces in winter 1641 while on a stay in the city. While this is the only dedication of sacred music to Matthias, he was a generous patron of singers and composers associated with early Venetian opera and established a troupe in Siena in 1646. In the absence of music theatre in Milan until after mid-century, the prince could well have visited the institutions best known for singing - the convents.

The wide variety of topics in the collection point to no single specific occasion for the performance of its contents, other than Matthias's putative visit. The motets represent the most modern style of Lombard vocal writing of the the 1630s and 40s, while the setting of the mass ordinary displays some of the most elaborate imaitative writing found in her music.

Beginning in 2000, Magnificat and Musica Omnia embarked on a project to record the complete surviving works of this remarkable and neglected composer. Magnificat's initial releases reflected the ensemble's commitment to the performance of sacred music within the liturgical context for which it was originally composed. On the triple CD set Vespro della Beata Vergine released in 2001, Magnificat integrated four of Cozzolani's psalm settings, one of her settings of the Magnificat, and six of her motets into the liturgy for Second Vespers for the Feast of Annunciation. On their second CD Messa Paschale released in 2002, Magnificat placed Cozzolani's setting of the Mass and five motets within a liturgy for the Mass for Easter Day. On each CD, Cozzolani's extraordinary music is heard in the context of the chants, prayers and readings proper to the respective feast, as intended by the composer.

Magnificat's CDs of Cozzolani's music are, imo, excellent recordings.  You can hear some on their Cozzolani page: http://music.cozzolani.com/

Also, in November 2002, in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Chiara Margarita Cozzolani’s birth, Magnificat hosted a conference on Women and Music in 17th Century Italy at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. In additions to two performances by Magnificat, four scholars presented papers on aspects of the role of women in musical life in Italy during the period. Robert Kendrick, whose research has contributed tremendously to our understanding of Cozzolani and the musical culture in Milan in general, contributed this article and has graciously granted permission to repost it here.


Online Que

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1142 on: December 10, 2017, 02:51:29 AM »
Repost from the WAYLT thread:


In a way a pleasant reprieve from the histrionics by The Sound and The Fury, though I still appreciate their Caron set.
Perhaps it is due to the larger forces vs one voice per part, but Van Nevel is considerably more mellow in comparison.
Whether that means it is undercharacterised or not, seems up to personal taste. Two opposite views below!
That me it is very nicely done, good and enjoyable interpretation but not outstanding amongst Huelgas recordings.
You definitely shouldn't regret your recent purchase.  :)

The Egidius Consort, the Gesualdo Consort or Ludus Modalis would know what to do with this stuff and provide a good mean between the two options currently available.

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CARON Twilight of the Middle Ages - Edward Breen

Born in Amiens and named after his town’s patron saint, Firminus Caron (c1440-after 1480) was a contemporary of Johannes Tinctoris and Loyset Compère. Little is known about his life but what we do know, and the fact that this disc exists at all, is due to the work of those few tireless musicologists who do so much to bring 15th-century music to our attention. Paul Van Nevel’s disc comprises a composite Mass – movements from five of Caron’s four-part cantus firmus cycles, including, as one would expect, a L’homme armé setting – a chanson and three rondeaux.

As ever with the Huelgas Ensemble, the unique warm sound, characterised by soft, dark vowels, creates a pleasing sense of unity across the whole album and delivers a smooth and intimate listening experience; Galaxy to the Dairy Milk of British counterparts, if you like. Yet this smooth tone is far from monotonous. Van Nevel frequently draws on groups of solo voices to highlight differences in texture so that his performances of Caron’s Mass movements are characterised by such interplay and further strengthened by a bold, firm plainsong line clearly etched into the polyphonic web. Such a staunch cantus firmus is particularly noticeable in the Credo. Caron’s surprisingly smooth polyphonic garlands create a flow and fluidity that inspire this ensemble, and when the polyphony cadences they then delight in his remarkably long final chords.

The sublime and despairing rondeau Le despourveu infortuné, one of the most popular in the second half of the 15th century, showcases the ensemble at their best, mourning and yearning with wonderfully judged delicate vocal lines cascading like gentle tears. The contrast could not be greater with their grittier, wittier tone in the delightfully smutty Corps contre corps, where sequential vocal entries reveal a mischievous plan: no-holes-barred [sic] lusty singing from the lower voices and a smooth upper line which makes sense only when you read the text closely…

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E. L. Wisty - It's unavoidable that....

...any review I might write of a recording of works by Firminus Caron is going to be heavily coloured by a comparison to the outstanding "The Sound And The Fury" sets, firstly a single disc with two masses Missa "L'Homme Armé" & Missa "Accueilly m'a la belle" and a subsequent three disc set Firminus Caron - Masses and Chansons presenting all five surviving masses confirmed to be from Caron - including re-recordings of the masses on that earlier disc - plus chansons (interestingly van Nevel in the notes declares himself of the minority opinion that the set of six L'Homme Armé masses in a Neapolitan manuscript are also by Caron, these being usually attributed to Antoine Busnois; there is also an anonymous Missa "Thomas cesus" in the Vatican B80 manuscript which van Nevel regards as being from his pen too).

Paul van Nevel's offering here presents a single movement from each of the five masses, plus four chansons. Sadly it's not a patch on the TSATF recordings - as noted it was never going to be in my opinion - but the mass movements with 3 voices per part are indistinct and the lower voices drowned out by the sopranos. The Gloria from Missa "Jesus autem transiens" is a bit of an exception which fares better, because it is sung with only the male voices and thus with only 2 voices per part as well as not being domineered in the recorded sound by the higher voices. It has to be said that the Huelgas Ensemble are normally rather better than this.

The booklet gives some notes on Caron (what little is actually known about him) and his music (which can get a bit technical). Sung texts and translations are supplied but the two are separated by several pages in the booklet rather than side by side.

If by hook or by crook you can get hold of the aforementioned recordings by The Sound And The Fury I would urge you to do so. This taster of a disc is very much a second best compared to the distinct, balanced, clear and characterful polyphonic lines of the one voice per part ensemble TSATF.
À chacun son goût.

Online Que

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1143 on: December 10, 2017, 04:09:09 AM »
Morning listening:



When introduced to this set, I commented on recordings by The Sound and the Fury as "hit or miss". And my point of view hasn't changed. Their recordings can be very frustrating for that reason. I am happy to report to Draško, Mandryka and other watchers of this ensemble that this set is somewhat of a (qualified) hit..... :)
Caveats: live recording, several rough edges...balance issues, not so neat ensemble work, hooty countertenor...

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Name/Firminius-Caron/Composer/172325-1

http://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/caron-masses-and-chansons

http://www.musica-dei-donum.org/cd_reviews/frabernardo_fb1207302.html


Q
À chacun son goût.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1144 on: December 10, 2017, 07:25:10 AM »
I listened to Nevel in Le despouveu infortuné. It's very sweet, even when they sing

Quote
Sur touz je suis mal atourné,
car Espoir m’a le doz tourné,
si va mon faict tout au rebours;
par raison puis blasmer Amours,
quant en ce point m’a ordonné

Its like someone singing Winterreise without any real sense of bitterness.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Josquin13

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #1145 on: December 12, 2017, 09:16:49 AM »
When I first heard The Sound and the Fury's initial recording of the music of Firminus Caron, prior to their re-recording and releasing the 2 CD set mentioned above, I was astonished by the high quality of Caron's music.  Clearly, he was one of the giants of the early Renaissance.  It's great to finally have recordings of his music, though I hope these recordings will inspire other groups to record his output, especially any motets & chansons that have not yet been recorded.

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