Author Topic: The Early Music Club (EMC)  (Read 262359 times)

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Offline The new erato

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #340 on: October 15, 2011, 02:24:33 AM »
Good! :) Hope you are doing well after your operation, BTW.

Thanks, wondrously well in fact, have even given up on the painkillers, music is a far better drug!

Totally uncharted territory! :o  So, any tips are welcome.  :)

Seem you have some work to do....the Im Maien disc on HM by Fretwork is a good introduction to the secular Senfll.

Willoughby earl of Itacarius

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #341 on: October 15, 2011, 02:40:17 AM »
I still have a bunch of old music I must tackle, but the pile is daunting to say the least.

I wish I would like the approach of van Nevel, for he tackles a lot of music I would like to have, unfortunately I cannot get used to his idiosyncratic directing. It irks me very much.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2011, 02:43:00 AM by Harry »

Offline Que

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #342 on: October 28, 2011, 11:25:56 PM »
CD4 Missa de Beata Virgine; Motets: Vide speciosam, Gaude Maria virgo, Quam pulchra sunt



What are your impressions sofar BTW?

I haven't purchased the set yet, but found Bruno Giordano's ongoing review at Amazon fascinating.
According to him my Colombina set of the complete vespers for the Holy Week (Glossa) will not be redundant. ::)

Q

Offline The new erato

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #343 on: October 28, 2011, 11:42:17 PM »
What are your impressions sofar BTW?

I haven't purchased the set yet, but found Bruno Giordano's ongoing review at Amazon fascinating.
According to him my Colombina set of the complete vespers for the Holy Week (Glossa) will not be redundant. ::)

Q
I have them both.

Cool and calm singing on this set, though still with more warmth than the typical English cathedral choir. I prefer this way of doing things, and of course Victoria is THE great late renaissance master in the Roman style (superceeding Palestrina in my view); so what's not to like?

Offline Que

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #344 on: November 25, 2011, 01:01:47 PM »


And is this as good as I have seen somebody think?

You must be referring to Bruno Giordano's raving review at Amazon? :)

My initial response is: maybe not...

This is a superlative performance in which the ensemble Stimmwerck sings possibly even more perfect than on their Heinrich Finck disc (Cavalli) and the recording engineers at Christophorus did an amazing job. The issue is the music itself. I cannot claim to be anything near as knowledgeable as Giordano in Early Music matters, but I think he might got carried way in his (justified) enthusiasm for the performance. To my ears Leonhard Paminger's music is intimate, pretty and well constructed, but maybe not so adventurous. I do miss that extra touch of individuality that gives me the WOW factor. On the other hand in Early Music the music is also very much what the performers make of it, and here that is impressive indeed.

Maybe first impressions are deceiving and will getting deeper into the music reveal more riches, but there it is...for now... I will report back if there is more to tell. :)

EDIT:

This morning I took the time to listen more attentively. My impressions are confirmed: a superb performance that elevates to a high level the music of an unknown composer of the period that is good and deserves to be heard, but is not essential repertoire. Why Giordano emphasises the polyphonic qualities of this music, is not entirely clear  to me. The polyphony is on the contrary rather sober, probably purposely done so By Paminger to keep the texts clear to the listener - an musical ideal inspired by the influence of Lutheranism. One would get this recording when interested in a new composer in the German Early Music repertoire and/or because of the sheer excellence of the performance. I came across some reviews the more align with my impression than Giordano's take:

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Leonhard Paminger (1495–1567) is one of many Renaissance composers whose names have slipped through the cracks of time and fallen into obscurity, awaiting rediscovery. [...] Born in Aschach on the Danube, Paminger studied in Vienna from 1513 to 1516, and then moved to Passau, where he spent the rest of his life as first a teacher and then headmaster of the Augustinian Choir School of St. Nikola. He composed more than 700 works and sired at least three sons—Balthasar, Sigismund, and Sophronius—who were also composers. Sophronius in particular sought to perpetuate his father’s memory, but of a planned posthumous edition of Leonhard’s works in 10 volumes only four were published. Aside from his musical activities, Paminger was also involved in the religious controversies of the era; several short polemical works by him on behalf of Lutheranism were published in the year of his death. Some evidence suggests that he may have been forced to relinquish his position in 1558 due to his confessional convictions.

This album presents a mixture of motets and psalm settings, all well crafted and worthy of revival. Despite his Protestant sympathies, virtually all of Paminger’s works set Latin rather than German texts—a practice not uncommon in areas that followed Lutheran rather than Reformed doctrine. The initial primary musical influences on Paminger appear to have been Heinrich Isaac and Josquin Desprez. However, in line with the Protestant principle that primacy should be given to intelligibility of the text, there is a good deal more homophony and less polyphony than this lineage might suggest. In particular, the psalm settings frequently feature an alternating pattern in which an initial is sung in unison and a responsory verse in harmony or relatively simple polyphony. As an appendix, a German hymn in four-part chordal harmony (with occasional antiphonal imitation) by Paminger’s son Sigismund (1539–71) is also presented.

Stimmwerck is a vocal trio, consisting of countertenor Franz Vitzhum, tenor Gerhard Hölze, and bass Marcus Schmidl, joined here by guest countertenor David Erler. As one might infer with such a small ensemble, intimacy and clarity are primary vocal virtues; the singing and interpretations throughout are highly polished. A minor caveat is that the ensemble members are miked a bit too closely for my tastes and can almost sound as if they are singing directly in one’s ear. Texts are provided in Latin, English, German, and French; curiously, though, the booklet note on Stimmwerck itself is given only in German. This disc is warmly recommended both on its own merits and for bringing a neglected and virtually forgotten figure back to our attention.

FANFARE: James A. Altena

And the review by the esteemed Johan van Veen HERE.

Q
« Last Edit: November 26, 2011, 04:42:07 AM by ~ Que ~ »

Offline Coopmv

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #345 on: November 25, 2011, 01:38:00 PM »
What are your impressions sofar BTW?

I haven't purchased the set yet, but found Bruno Giordano's ongoing review at Amazon fascinating.
According to him my Colombina set of the complete vespers for the Holy Week (Glossa) will not be redundant. ::)

Q

I am still sitting on the fence on this set.  I expect to order another batch of early music CD's before the end of the year.

Offline Que

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #346 on: November 25, 2011, 03:52:18 PM »
I am still sitting on the fence on this set.  I expect to order another batch of early music CD's before the end of the year.

I'm planning to get that Victoria set. I've had some good experiences with Noone and his ensemble.

It get the thumbs up by Harry! :)

Q

Offline chasmaniac

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #347 on: November 30, 2011, 05:06:02 AM »
The only one of this band's albums I don't own is being rereleased on Helios in January. Very much looking forward to it.

If I have exhausted the justifications, I have reached bedrock and my spade is turned. Then I am inclined to say: "This is simply what I do."  --Wittgenstein, PI §217

kishnevi

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #348 on: December 02, 2011, 08:00:04 PM »
Posted a short discography of Salamone Rossi's Songs of Salamone (1622) as an independent thread here:
http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,19634.new.html#new

Offline Coopmv

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #349 on: December 03, 2011, 04:05:35 PM »
The only one of this band's albums I don't own is being rereleased on Helios in January. Very much looking forward to it.



I surely will not miss this release.

Offline Que

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #350 on: January 13, 2012, 09:42:33 AM »
Has anyone tried this new issue yet? :)



What piqued my interest was this glowing review on MusicWeb. And the two Amazon reviews - one by Bruno Giordano - seem all the more reason to consider it seriously!

Q

Offline chasmaniac

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #351 on: January 13, 2012, 10:57:57 AM »
Has anyone tried this new issue yet? :)



What piqued my interest was this glowing review on MusicWeb. And the two Amazon reviews - one by Bruno Giordano - seem all the more reason to consider it seriously!

Q

That looks good. I've arranged to pick it up this weekend, so I'll relay my impressions then. The PAN release (Homage to...) that Bruno refers to is one I like. I was less than impressed by Mala Punica's Sidus Preclarum, but don't remember why.
If I have exhausted the justifications, I have reached bedrock and my spade is turned. Then I am inclined to say: "This is simply what I do."  --Wittgenstein, PI §217

Offline Que

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #352 on: January 13, 2012, 12:34:07 PM »
The PAN release (Homage to...) that Bruno refers to is one I like.

I'm not surprised, since it is by the Huelgas Ensemble and Van Nevel. Recorded in 1984, later reissued on CD (Pavane), now OOP and vanished... :-\

But on the bright side - this new issue looks very appealing as well. :)

Q

Offline chasmaniac

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #353 on: January 13, 2012, 01:07:16 PM »
I'm not surprised, since it is by the Huelgas Ensemble and Van Nevel. Recorded in 1984, later reissued on CD (Pavane), now OOP and vanished... :-\

But on the bright side - this new issue looks very appealing as well. :)

Q

Well, he mentions the Huelgas too, but his "PAN" refers to this album by Ensemble Project Ars Nova:

If I have exhausted the justifications, I have reached bedrock and my spade is turned. Then I am inclined to say: "This is simply what I do."  --Wittgenstein, PI §217

Offline Que

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #354 on: January 14, 2012, 12:03:05 AM »
Well, he mentions the Huelgas too, but his "PAN" refers to this album by Ensemble Project Ars Nova:

Got you!  :) what happened to them anyway? There seems to be only a handful of discs...

Q

Offline chasmaniac

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #355 on: January 15, 2012, 05:56:30 AM »
Don't know what happened to Ensemble P.A.N.

The Ricercar set is very good. The second disc, by Diabolus in Musica, with lower voices in play, rises to fabulous. Recommended.

« Last Edit: January 15, 2012, 05:58:14 AM by chasmaniac »
If I have exhausted the justifications, I have reached bedrock and my spade is turned. Then I am inclined to say: "This is simply what I do."  --Wittgenstein, PI §217

Offline Que

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #356 on: January 16, 2012, 01:02:14 AM »
The Ricercar set is very good. The second disc, by Diabolus in Musica, with lower voices in play, rises to fabulous. Recommended.

Great! :)

If some of you are in the know, I'd like to discuss the Anglo-German vocal ensemble The Sound and the Fury. And I promised Drasko a write up on their De la Rue disc. :)



I had a good listen this morning and well, I have my reservations.

This is a live recording is, as I understand are all their recordings. The Sound and the Fury's style is a rather relaxed and flowing one. All good and fine, but with complex polyphonic music singing needs to be knit quite tightly otherwise the music will loose its clarity. The first three parts of the Missa Ave Sanctissima Maria were disappointing: sloppy singing and intonations problems - at time just plainly off! :-\ But the subsequent parts were rather pretty, as is the Missa O Salutaris Hostia. Another observation: I don't think the voices blend that well - I have in particular the tenor and one of the basses in mind.

If I take a step back and just think of the vocal ensemble Stimmwerck - with their simply drop-dead gorgeous diction, perfect timing and ethereal blending of voices - and my preference is clear. On those points the members of The Sound and The Fury, who are excellent on their best moments, fall short of the "magic" I'm looking for in this music.

Browsing on the net, I accidentally came across Johan van Veen's comments on their recordings of works by Guillaume Faugues, that concur with my impressions of the De la Rue recording:

The performances certainly have their merits, but on balance I am not that enthusiastic. These are recordings of live performances. Sometimes those circumstances can give a performance a special quality, but that is not the case here. There are some irregularities and uncertainties, and these are clearly audible because the microphones have been pretty close to the singers. The church seems to have enough reverberation for this repertoire, but that isn't really taken advantage of. It also results in a very detailed picture: every single line can be heard - which in itself is nice, although probably not really intended by the composer -, but at the cost of the complete picture. Moreover it emphasizes that the voices don't blend that well and that tenor Klaus Wenk regularly reaches the limit of his upper range. I don't know - and the liner-notes don't tell - whether these masses have been transposed, but his part doesn't always sit very comfortably for his voice. This music needs to be sung legato, and in these performances this isn't always as fluent as one would wish (Full review HERE)

Q

Offline The new erato

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #357 on: January 16, 2012, 01:11:49 AM »
Does anybody have any experience with these 3 discs?:



de la Rue is underrepresented on record.

Offline Que

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #358 on: January 16, 2012, 01:22:04 AM »
Does anybody have any experience with these 3 discs?:

de la Rue is underrepresented on record.

I spotted that new release as well! :) All I know is that the three individual discs have been favourably reviewed before and awarded: Diapason d'Or, Caeciliaprize of the Belgian Music press, Repertoire 10, ***** Goldberg magazine, Prix Choc de Monde de la Musique.

Description of the individual discs:
http://www.capilla.be/EN/Pierre_de_La_Rue__Missa_de_septem_doloribus-discografie-15.php
http://www.capilla.be/EN/Pierre_de_La_Rue__Missa_Ave_Maria_en_Vespera-discografie-7.php
http://www.capilla.be/EN/Pierre_de_La_Rue__Missa_Alleluia_Muziek_aan_het_Bourgondsiche_Hof-discografie-30.php

Q

Offline Que

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Re: The Early Music Club (EMC)
« Reply #359 on: January 17, 2012, 01:39:59 AM »
.



As promised to Drasko a little writeup. [In the meantime this recording has been reissued again.]



Anyway, what a gorgeous disc! :o the Franco-Flemish composer Jean Richafort was an unknown quantity to me. He is of the first post-Josquin Deprez generation. He was widely known and respected during his life time, hence a lot of his works have been preserved for prosperity. Paradoxally little is known about his life - another short but more elaborate bio HERE. So, why is this the sole recording? ::) The discontent for this neglect is clear in Van Nevel's liner notes, where he fulminates against certain musicologists that have dismissed Richafort on the basis of the scores as "uninteresting". He argues that the qualities of Richafort only truly become apparent when listened to.
And listening I did... :) In some comments on Richafort the similarity with Desprez is emphasised. Nonsense. Technically Richafort built on Desprez' heritage, but the experience is entirely different. What he presents us is sensuous, introverted music that is expansive with long drawn smooth lines that are continuously blending, with a lot of complex stuff going on below the surface. I suspect the sound blending is typically something that does not very visible in the score. Far from "uninteresting" - unique, engaging and achingly beautiful! :) Van Nevel and his ensemble do a superlative job with music that seems very hard to pull off in a proper way. The six-part Requiem in Desprez' memory is a daunting masterpiece, so are the motets included here - the Salve Regina in particular. It seems the only nag for some listeners are the church acoustics, that are spacious with a noticeable delay yet definitely clear. I think taking issue with this aspect is a mistake - this is exactly what the music was written for and actually needs! As long as this is taken in in the performance, which is here the case - Van Nevel takes a steady but unhurried pace as to prevent blurring of the musical texture.

I'm quoting below David Vernier's comments to which I fully concur:

Quote
Who knows what creative force drove 16th-century French composer Jean Richafort (c.1480-c.1547) to write music of such sublime power and soothing sensuality. But the fact is, the Requiem and several of the motets leave you wondering not only why this composer isn’t better known (he was highly respected in his time and many of his works have survived) but also just a little emotionally drained. The opening eight or ten minutes of the Requiem move with the majesty of the spheres, harmonies unfolding upon harmony, lines building on line, and by the time we reach a true cadence we’re looking upward for the certain appearance of some heavenly host or other. A little “over the top”, you say? Well, I suggest you reserve judgment until you’ve heard a few minutes of this marvelous music. The mood is interrupted--or some might say, relieved--by a faster-moving, more rhythmically complex section midway through the Gradual, nearly 12 minutes into the Requiem. The textural and temporal intensity picks up further in the following Offertory, a lengthy (eight and a half minutes) yet continually engaging setting. By now you’ve noticed that Richafort loves to interject an occasional startling, clashing harmony into the mix, just enough to grab our attention but not enough to become a mere tiresome gimmick.


The Huelgas Ensemble’s performances give us far more than a taste of Richafort’s genius; by disc’s end we feel immersed, baptized, and perhaps saturated, a little dazzled by all the color and walls of sound created by the various voices and voicings--and the singers’ near-perfect intonation. Among the motets, the five-part Salve Regina is touted as a masterpiece--and it is, but its musical impact still gives way to that of the Requiem’s opening sections. And just what is a drinking song doing in the middle of all of this--a chanson called “Tru tru trut avant” for three male voices? Who cares--when you hear this catchy little gem, you’ll just want to hear it again, and if you sing in a group you’ll be wishing for your own copy of the score. The only thing that keeps this disc from a top rating is the sound--a bit too much resonance overwhelms the most densely textured sections and obscures some of those lovely lines we just want to hear more clearly. But this is a relatively minor complaint, one that my professional duty requires me to make, but that itself is quickly subsumed with each resounding cadence (or with each replay of “Tru tru trut avant”).
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com

Note also the elaborate Amazon reviews.

More recordings of Jean Richafort's music please!! :)

Q
« Last Edit: March 29, 2015, 02:37:39 AM by Que »