GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Great Recordings and Reviews => Topic started by: Mandryka on February 05, 2016, 11:55:56 PM

Title: Love can transpose things bass and viol to form and dignity.
Post by: Mandryka on February 05, 2016, 11:55:56 PM
The title is of course taken from the start of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Quote
Things base and vile, holding no quantity,
Love can transpose to form and dignity.
Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind.
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51xaVyLJceL._SL500_SX355_.jpg)


It's to the violist Jonathan Durnford that I owe the realisation that  music for viol solo has multiple summits which are as interesting to hear, and hence as "great" , as any solo cello music.

This recording of solo viol music attributed to Le Sieur Du Buisson is one of those summits. Austere, rich in counterpoint, meditative, complicated and full of variety:  Dunford's style, which is very much based on shades of grey and on clarity of voicing, suits this cerebral and spiritual music to a tee.

I'm no expert in viol, but I hear in Dunford's recordings something I've heard too infrequently from others: he occasionally plays the instrument like a lute. I love this. I love the huge contrast of texture it brings. I hazard a guess that lute is a major influence on Jonathan Dunford. Even when he bows, the sound he makes is quite often short like a plucked instrument, rarely long and rich and resonant like an organ. I wonder if this way of playing viol influenced the way Wispelwey plays the prelude to the 4th cello suite in his 3rd recording of the Bach. Would that Dunford would record the Bach!

What was the function of this sort of music? Private mediation?  Prayer in solitude? These performances make me think again about sacred and secular in early music: I bet that the boundary is fuzzy.


Title: Re: All things viol.
Post by: aligreto on February 06, 2016, 03:35:23 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51xaVyLJceL._SL500_SX355_.jpg)


It's to the violist Jonathan Durnford that I owe the realisation that  music for viol solo has multiple summits which are as interesting to hear, and hence as "great" , as any solo cello music.

This recording of solo viol music attributed to Le Sieur Du Buisson is one of those summits. Austere, rich in counterpoint, meditative, complicated and full of variety:  Dunford's style, which is very much based on shades of grey and on clarity of voicing, suits this cerebral and spiritual music to a tee.

I'm no expert in viol, but I hear in Dunford's recordings something I've heard rarely, if ever, from others: he occasionally plays the instrument like a lute. Pizzicato. I love this. I love the huge contrast of texture it brings. I hazard a guess that lute is a major influence on Jonathan Dunford. Even when he bows, the sound he makes is quite often short like a plucked instrument, rarely long and rich and resonant like an organ. I wonder if this way of playing viol influenced the way Wispelwey plays the prelude to the 4th cello suite in his 3rd recording of the Bach. Would that Dunford would record the Bach!

What was the function of this sort of music? Private mediation?  Prayer in solitude? These performances make me think again about sacred and secular in early music: I bet that the boundary is fuzzy.

I am even less of an expert on the viol than you claim to be but I also like the sound of the viol family of instruments. What appeals to me is the tone and the sonority, especially from those instruments in the lower register. That CD looks very appealing from what you describe.
Title: Re: All things viol.
Post by: Mandryka on February 09, 2016, 02:07:25 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51XWGnn9NCL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)

A large number of pieces for viol and organ by Louis Couperin. Sensitively and lovingly played by Anne Marie Lasla and Olivier Vernet. Initial impressions is that this is the real McCoy. A gem of a performance, rapt and atmospheric.

10 viol pieces by Louis Couperin, with the rest by Du Mage Mont and others. I'd be interested to know whether others sense the true voice of Louis Couperin - I don't know, but I like the it  as much as I like Louis Couperin's organ music.
Title: Re: All things viol.
Post by: (: premont :) on February 10, 2016, 05:46:37 AM

10 viol pieces by Louis Couperin, with the rest by Du Mage and others. I'd be interested to know whether others sense the true voice of Louis Couperin - I don't know, but I like the it  as much as I like Louis Couperin's organ music.

Excusez-moi, I am confused.

Are the L. Couperin pieces transcriptions of some of his organ music? Or newly discovered ??? original music for viol?

And what about Du Mage? Viol music?. His only surviving work is the Premier livre d'orgue.
Title: Re: All things viol.
Post by: Mandryka on February 10, 2016, 06:35:28 AM

Are the L. Couperin pieces transcriptions of some of his organ music? Or newly discovered ??? original music for viol?



Allegedly. Apparently they are early pieces from the Bauyn manuscript. Here's what the booklet says (which makes me think that I should see if there is a biography of Louis Couperin. )

Quote
The Regrets

One can only regret that the young Louis Couperin did not leave more music for the first instrument which brought him out of the shadows into public light. One regrets that so few traces of his life remain, because his music is full of eloquent love and impassioned force; one regrets, too, that it is still not possible to have access to the two five-part viol fantasias that are part of the Oldham manuscript, having survived the fate of pages wilfully torn up, pages of music formerly composed for a fleeting instant of time, and depriving future generations of all the other fragments no doubt missing as well... while regretting that it is still impossible to have a full version of the complete works including pieces like this, which would quite cer-tainly have illustrated the fullness of his inspiration. Of his music for viols, only the first flow-ers remain, and very few masterpieces. For Couperin, Malherbe’ s phrase was not to ring true: ‘ ...and the fruit shall bring forth what the flowers promised’ . He did not have the time.

The Flowers

Each of the pieces recorded here, even if not perfect or fully mature, is as rich in emotion, youth, dynamism, and eloquence as it is also in the science of composition and in gravity: in a word, filled with princely beauty. Each piece reflects the timid but simple and modest soul of our defunct Orpheus. Are these pieces undated memories of his musical origins, affectionately preserved in the organ section of the Bauyn manuscript? Their place in the manuscript as well as that of the ‘ Pseaumes’ was the starting point of the pleasing partner-ship of the organ with the viol, desired in this recording. Or were they moments of glory at the court, vestiges of the prestigious post of treble violist to the King? It matters little whether the setting was in a provincial town, in the Louvre or in Paris; with music like this Louis would have succeeded brilliantly.... His imagination fires his melodies and each new turning is a surprise. The composer’ s changing moods result in unorthodox harmonies which astonished the listener. Each piece reminds one of a ‘ palais de Luxembourg’ , with its antique columns and rooms filled with paintings by Rubens; or the wealthy Marie de Medici and the Italian Mazarin. At this period classicism was just one facet of baroque style and Louis Couperin wrote like Corneille before Racine came on the scene. France had yet to adopt a specific style, although it was clearly in gestation. And so Louis took pleasure in abrupt rhythmic changes and harmonic clashes, making this very personal touch a recog-nisable hallmark of his individual style, characteristic of true genius. He was a born impro-viser who composed guided by his inspiration, separating, for instance, a treble viol solo passage from its string continuo bass in order to create a passage of lyrical grandeur; the same is true for three notes in the bass in the Fantaisie, pars operis 142.

Louis Couperin’ s music for viols has so much to tell, and its rhetorical mastery is eloquent. He is capable of remarkable concision, and can pack everything into a short eight bar-phrase. Some of his music, for example the ‘ Pseaumes’ , pars operis 137 & 138, reminds one of a French-inspired haiku, or short Japanese poem, with its characteristic fresh lightness. But at the same time these pieces are like tender loving words which one could well imagine as part of a dialogue between Romeo and Juliet. This is not the only occasion when Louis Couperin associates heightened dramatic tension with concisely-wrought compositions. The harpsichord works include a sarabande, pars operis 60, which is a masterpiece of increasing excitement, reminiscent of an emboldened young lover, followed by an instant of hesitation, as if the girl were feigning indifference. In the end all is concluded with loving elegance. The Symphonie pars operis 146 for viols is even more audacious, telling the same tale, and using an unusually asymmetrical and thoroughly baroque plan which has led many experts to think that the manuscript was incomplete. It starts with a vision of the treble viol pouring out its complaint in a declamatory gesture, when all of a sudden the bass viol arrives on the scene with a lyrical outburst. This is followed by a short reply from the treble viol, taking the form of an unconvincing speech for the defence, albeit full of promises. The bass viol is all the more convincing in its declaration. Couperin introduces a harmonic device which requires the instrument to emphasise the argument by means of playing chords. The treble viol’ s immediate answer is a cascade of semiquavers, suggesting a declaration, encouraged by the discreet underlining presence of a now-pacified bass viol. This arabesque has led the listener in an impassioned yet perfectly natural way to a triple-time dance section, a verita-ble lovers’ duet with an emotional climax to conclude the scene that has just been enacted. Would anyone dispute the title of ‘ les fiançailles’ or ‘ la déclaration’ ? Surely this music foreshadows the descriptive titles used by his nephew François Couperin? The programme corresponds to Chopin’ s Etude in C sharp minor, opus 25 no.7, not to mention many other romantic works. And yet are we really so far from the world of Monteverdi and Cavalli’s large-scale operas to detect something of their style? Only words are lacking.

Similar dramatic awareness is to be found in the Symphonie pars operis 145. The ear is sud-denly accosted by the sound of viols, as if making an effort to hear the sound like the amazed guests of Jacques Champion de Chambonnières the day of the serenade for the feast of St Jacques at Chaumes (24 July, 1651). This trio may well exemplify the high-spirited style of three Couperin brothers; it is full of youthful enthusiasm, anxiety and melancholy, but lack-ing in classical perfection. Could one imagine a better reason why this promising genius was invited to Paris?

It is already time to leave his company, although there is no shortage of music should we wish to stay with him. Keyboard transcriptions of viol pieces may be an attractive idea. The Pavane, an Allemande in earlier style and the Piémontaise are all pieces which sound very convincing when played by viols. One particular piece, the bass division for organ, is clear evidence of a lost art, Louis having been an excellent performer on the viol. The dazzling virtuosity of the art of variation-writing and improvising for the viola bastarda on songs and popular tunes was an art which corresponded perfectly to the youthful force of his compositions, and which he tran-scribed for the St Gervais organ, using a ‘ jeu de tierce’ or the cromorne stop. Certainly many of these bass divisions (variations) cannot easily be considered as original viol music, but rather thought of as reconstructions or later performances of improvised and lost pieces. This appears to be the case of the rather truculent fantaisie pars operis 214, Oldham 69, the superb declama-tory character of which seems to come straight from a collection of part-books by Selma y Salaverde (fl 1638). It has often been stated that Louis Couperin invented this particular genre for the organ. Even if this was not the case (and it would mean under-estimating his predeces-sors’ art of marrying instrumental colours), then it certainly provided him for a long time with the breezy style of the viol.

The Fruit

Let us remain in touch with his sources of inspiration, and the same profound noble sense of style, (royal duties making it necessary - sous-maître of the King’ s Music, Composer of the Chapel, and the Queen’ s Master of the Music) expressed in the works of the great Henri Dumont, whose music was more traditional and more adult, yet so closely related to Couperin in style. Dumont’ s works are truly regal in their beauty, the fruit that one hoped Louis Couperin’ s music would bear. . .



Excusez-moi, I am confused.


And what about Du Mage? Viol music?. His only surviving work is the Premier livre d'orgue.

Me who's confused -- mont not mage!

Title: Re: All things viol.
Post by: (: premont :) on February 10, 2016, 10:19:54 AM
Well, I understand.

Thanks for the quoting from the booklet. This CD seems mandatory -mand(ryk)atory :) :) ;)

Concerning Louis Couperin biography I am not sure, that it has been written.
Title: Re: All things viol.
Post by: Mandryka on February 10, 2016, 11:16:10 AM

(https://img.discogs.com/AfV7oPdglSU-knOr4g1UI82uAuE=/fit-in/600x595/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-8358713-1530642814-7871.jpeg.jpg)

De Machy has a bad reputation apparently because Robert Donnington said that his suites have no merit in Grove. For me, nothing could be further from the truth. This is polyphonic solo viol music, and the harmonies are superb.

What it is not is a collection of hummable tunes, simple natural melodies in the classical style of Marais. It's less accessible but more interesting than anything Marais wrote, to me.

Savall plays this music lyrically. I do not feel like I am listening to dances. In fact I quite often feel as though I'm listening to unmeasured preludes! I exaggerate, but still.

For me, that lack of pulse, or rather that evanescent pulse, brings an air of mystery and meditation to the music which I find totally beguiling. Deep, in fact. Like a prayer. It may be a one sided interpretation, it may not be an informed interpretation, but it's one I like a lot.

Title: Re: All things viol.
Post by: Mandryka on February 14, 2016, 07:06:44 AM
(http://www.glossamusic.com/glossa/files/References/262/GCD_920413_cover_HD.jpg)

No one plays like Paolo Pandolfo, I'd noticed it years ago in his Forqueray and this De Machy is if anything even more unusual.

He is a master at touch, at timbre, at phrasing and at voicing. Each voice so evident, so clearly given its own character, and the whole played with a sense of the drama between the voices which is astonishing. It's as if the voices are chasing each other . . . no, as if the voices are dancing with each other. Or playing with each other. Playing kiss-chase or hide-and-seek or It.

Neither lyrical nor rhetorical, I'm not presented with someone singing or perorating. So what is it? It's music conceived as fleeting reflections, ephemeral melodies like sparks blown in the wind.

And sooooooo imaginative, he makes all the other viol players look like stick-in-the-muds. To give an example which made me prick up my ears, there's one piece where he plays one voice with the bow and the other pizzicato (G major sarabande.) It's stuffed with viol effects which I've never heard before.

Like all new poetry, my own sense of disorientation is irrelevant to the value of the poem and all part of the adventure of exploration.
Title: Re: All things viol.
Post by: Mandryka on March 11, 2016, 12:01:10 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71DxpaRQr4L._SX355_.jpg)

Fretwork/Charles Daniels perform music by Ludwig Senfl. A interesting recording from the point of view of balance: there is a sense of equality between singer and instruments. Fretwork are there usual models of impeccable sobriety, and here at least, in Stenfl, that seems a satisfactory approach to take. Charles Daniels' voice is adequate I suppose.
Title: Re: All things viol.
Post by: Mandryka on March 20, 2016, 01:27:19 PM
(https://i1.sndcdn.com/artworks-000141385637-ct3zxq-t500x500.jpg)

Atsushi Sakae and friends play Antoine Forqueray. Initial impressions (the thing has only just been released) are very positive. There's a magical combination of abandon and control; Rousset is alert, rather more than accompaniment;  colourful and complex sound from both viol and harpsichord ; expressive - not at all cold; they tell a story with the music which keeps you listening; natural well balanced sound.

What it doesn't have is speed and fury: machismo. On the contrary, these performances are unprecedentedly reflective, and unprecedentedly sensitive to the variety of affects in the music. But I think that makes the music sound better! More interesting! Deeper! A revelation!

It makes me wonder if Forqueray's reception hasn't in fact been damaged by the quip that he played like a devil. It's made the musicians paly up the virtuosity and play down his humanity. That's it: Sakai's Forqueray is humane.

But such depth of feeling is  unexpected in Classical French music, rather like with Bertrand Cuillier's Rameau. Maybe we are starting to see a reevaluation of Louis XIV style. This is, after all, the era of Racine as much as of Mollière.

This joins Pinnock and Tilney as the best new releases of the first quarter of 2016


Title: Re: All things viol.
Post by: Mandryka on April 10, 2016, 04:25:31 AM
(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_400/MI0003/546/MI0003546978.jpg)

Part of the reason this performance of Art of Fugue by Les Voix Humaines sounds unique is the ornamentation: it is used partly to give the voices their own personality. Another, I think (but I'm not sure), is that the transcription sometimes distributes melodies across different viols, à la Webern. A third is their tendency to phrase the thing with short cells.

At the level of emotion, the performance doesn't seem to go very deep. At the level of exploration, especially textures, it's innovative but somehow not interesting enough to make it worth the candle for the whole duration. It's more like a study of a certain type of texture than an exploration of textural possibilities with the music. That's to say, they've got things to say about the music's potential, but not enough. What's more there's a jumpy jittery aspect to the performance, like they've got ants in their pants, which gets on my nerves. When I first heard it I was impressed by how it sounded like a bunch of people speaking. Now I think it sounds like a bunch of highly strung people speaking: I don't want to be part of the conversation thank you very much.

If anyone has the CD I'd be very interested to know if they say anything about what they were trying to achieve.
Title: Re: All things viol.
Post by: Mandryka on April 19, 2016, 07:58:49 AM
(http://www.glossamusic.com/glossa/files/References/22/P30405.jpg)

I've been listening to Paolo Pandolfo playing the 6th cello suite, BWV 1012. The allemande especially is in a very familiar and  distinctive Pandolfo style, in which the voices seem to chase each other around in a game of hide and seek. I think it gives the music the feeling of melodies arriving on a breeze.

Another really distinctive moment is is the second gavotte.

The mood is introspective. There's no real sense of a "singing forth"
Title: Re: All things viol.
Post by: (: premont :) on April 19, 2016, 10:48:53 AM
(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_400/MI0003/546/MI0003546978.jpg)

Part of the reason this performance of Art of Fugue by Les Voix Humaines sounds unique is the ornamentation: it is used partly to give the voices their own personality. Another, I think (but I'm not sure), is that the transcription sometimes distributes melodies across different viols, à la Webern. A third is their tendency to phrase the thing with short cells.

At the level of emotion, the performance doesn't seem to go very deep. At the level of exploration, especially textures, it's innovative but somehow not interesting enough to make it worth the candle for the whole duration. It's more like a study of a certain type of texture than an exploration of textural possibilities with the music. That's to say, they've got things to say about the music's potential, but not enough. What's more there's a jumpy jittery aspect to the performance, like they've got ants in their pants, which gets on my nerves. When I first heard it I was impressed by how it sounded like a bunch of people speaking. Now I think it sounds like a bunch of highly strung people speaking: I don't want to be part of the conversation thank you very much.

If anyone has the CD I'd be very interested to know if they say anything about what they were trying to achieve.

Your second impression seems more adequate to me - as far as I recall. I own the CD, and do not remember any revolutionary thoughts expressed in the booklet, but I shall reread it and report to you. I am busy at work to morrow, but the day after to morrow I shall do it.
Title: Re: All things viol.
Post by: (: premont :) on April 19, 2016, 10:51:55 AM
The mood is introspective.

Isn't this partially kind of the viol's nature - as opposed to the violoncello?
Title: Re: All things viol.
Post by: (: premont :) on April 21, 2016, 11:51:19 AM

If anyone has the CD I'd be very interested to know if they say anything about what they were trying to achieve.

Unfortunately I have not kept the complete booklet, only the pages with the track listing.
Title: Re: All things viol.
Post by: Mandryka on May 06, 2016, 11:50:03 AM
(http://www.jessicahorsley.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/CD-1.jpg)


Basically I was strapped to my seat listening to this recording of 17th century Italian music from Andrea Marcon, Paolo Pandolfo and others. Much, most, of it includes viol, hence this thread. And what a revelation! My first exposure to Neapolitan viol music and it's very jolly! Marcon plays organ too - the CD opens with a powerful, noble, harmonically tangy toccata by De Macque, for example.

It even includes a suitably chromatic harpsichord piece by my bête noire of composers - Gesualdo.

Other suggestions for exploring Neapolitan viol music much appreciated.
Title: Re: All things viol.
Post by: Mandryka on May 30, 2016, 06:57:39 AM
(http://petitfestival.fr/images/ef3c2e4b3101e5423e58f1026a247d298f42a006.jpg)

Duo Coloquintes play some music by Froberger and others.

This is, of course, a totally disorienting experience, to hear Froberger arranged for a viol and violin, but it is quite an authentic one and I think it's really interesting to hear how the transcriptions bring out the voices - especially in the very familiar suite in D . The music contains some pieces by other composers which, at first glance, aren't quite at the same level of inspiration as Froberger, though I can see the music attributed to someone called Bernhard is possibly  worth a second listen.

Quote
Ce programme de musique allemande s'articule autour de pièces écrites pour violon et viole de gambe insérées dans un manuscrit de la bibliothèque de Wolfenbüttel, le Ludwig Partiturbuch. Ces pièces ont la particularité de présenter un aspect peu connu de l’œuvre du mystérieux Johann Jacob Froberger, figure emblématique de la musique pour clavier du XVIIe siècle ayant fait sa carrière auprès de l’empereur Ferdinand III à Vienne. Car si des traces de sa musique se retrouvent à travers toute l’Europe, les transcriptions de ses suites de danses pour violon et viole de gambe présentes dans ce manuscrit sont uniques en leur genre. Elles ont été pour le duo le point  de départ d’un travail de transcription et d’adaptation plus vaste de son œuvre, que qu'elles ont étayé de pièces de la même époque pour le duo ou instruments seuls.

By the way, this year is the 400th anniversary of Froberger's birth. So far I think only a handful of releases to mark it - this and one by Bob van Asperen and the recordings by Daniele Boccaccio. There are some festivals this summer in France and no doubt elsewhere - I'll have to investigate what's going on.
Title: Re: All things viol.
Post by: Mandryka on July 04, 2016, 03:26:53 AM
(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_500/MI0003/978/MI0003978416.jpg)

Thor Jorgen and friends play Italianate music for gamba and organ, occasionally violin too. And very good music too.  Johan van Veen has said that he thought the playing was stiff and awkward, but I disagree. I think their playing has a feeling which I very much appreciate, a mixture of control and expression. There's brilliance and passion aplenty, but it's not in your face,  it's not at all flamboyant or demonstrative.  I do sense a feeling of abandon of self which gives the performances an eternal, universal quality which I find revealing. The style of play made me think of Leonhardt's last recordings, his final Forqueray disc for example.

They use a sweet but I think quite faceless chamber organ.
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: bob_cart on July 26, 2016, 02:41:18 AM
Three names that I find worth noticing; Marin Marais, Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe and Jordi Savall. The first two being great composers, the third being a great viol player who still plays today and is in my opinion a great interpreter of older music. There is also a great french movie reuniting them all together called: "Tous les Matins du Monde". I recommend you check all of it out  ;D
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: aligreto on July 26, 2016, 06:59:45 AM
Three names that I find worth noticing; Marin Marais, Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe and Jordi Savall. The first two being great composers, the third being a great viol player who still plays today and is in my opinion a great interpreter of older music. There is also a great french movie reuniting them all together called: "Tous les Matins du Monde". I recommend you check all of it out  ;D


(http://fr.web.img2.acsta.net/medias/nmedia/18/64/98/67/18816812.jpg)

A film that I enjoyed. Even though it has been quite a while since I have seen it I can still clearly recall the atmosphere that it creates  :)
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: Mandryka on August 08, 2016, 09:52:10 PM
(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_500/MI0004/057/MI0004057447.jpg)


The music here, by Telemann for solo bass viol, was recently discovered. Thomas Fritzsch plays it  like a dream, full of mood changes, psychologically rich,  it makes me think of the wonderful Tobias Hume as played by Susanne Heinrich.
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: Mandryka on September 10, 2016, 02:16:35 AM
(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_400/MI0003/608/MI0003608344.jpg)

There's a huge amount to enjoy on this solo CD by Wieland Kuijken.  A rich and complex polyphonic suite by Johannes Schenck which is full of passion and fantasy, a reminder of the context of Bach's last three cello suites; a handful of ricercari by Diego Ortiz and preludes by Christopher Simpson which are surprisingly abstract; melodically attractive pieces, some of them quite substantial, by Tobias Hume and Abel. In the case of the Hume, Kuijken is open to the complex emotions in the music, a sort of deep psychological content  - confirming my suspicion that Hume is a great great composer.

Kuijken's sense of expression and control is perfect for my tastes, as is his seriousness. He plays intimately and meditatively. Well recorded.
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: Mandryka on September 11, 2016, 07:14:12 AM
(http://cdn.naxos.com/SharedFiles/images/cds/others/8.572863-64.gif)

I had up to now believed that the emotional depth of  music for Lyra viol by Tobias Hume was a sort of blip, a feature of his music which made him a composer beyond the dominant  style of his time. But this extraordinary recording of excerpts from the Manchester Gamba Book played by Dietmar Berger shows that so much music played in the Lyra way - i.e. with a polyphonic texture created by chords like some of the Bach suites for cello - are extremely soulful. This recording is wonderful, inexhaustible, life enhancing, desert island blah blah blah.
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: Que on September 11, 2016, 07:20:50 AM
blah blah blah.

Those are the best!  :D

Q
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: Mandryka on September 25, 2016, 04:12:04 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41J2WB05C3L.jpg)

A very truthfully recorded, civilised and humane performance - the approach reminds me of Pandolfo & co. in the same music, but there's maybe more blend from Kuijken Bros. and Mr. Kohnen. It is easy going, congenial: no sense of swagger, sforzandi not too strong, tempos relaxed, there's a sense of abandon too - the players have abandoned their egos. This is far from Forqueray the devil and jolly good thing too. I haven't had a chance to hear the Dollé on the same recording. Like it (like Pandolfo too.) it's a bit of a big old wooly sweater of a performance - comforting and comfortable.
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: Mandryka on February 10, 2017, 09:24:54 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51Er4XcZvLL.jpg)

A  passionate and theatrical performance of a few pieces by Marais and Forqueray, led by Fahmi Alqhai.

The dramatic life at Versailles was dominated by two polar opposites: Mollière and Racine. Comedy of manners and the passionate tragedy. Maybe this recording reveals a similar contrast in viol music: Forqueray = Racine and Marais = Mollière. That's probably nonsense.
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: aligreto on March 09, 2017, 08:42:25 AM
A cross post from the Listening Thread due to a recent purchase of mine....


(http://www.glossamusic.com/glossa/files/References/374/C80010_HD.jpg)


The music from the various composers featured is of very good quality and, for the most part, upbeat with quite a bit of dance music featured. The playing and recording are both very fine. Most enjoyable and certainly warmly recommended. This CD certainly belongs in this thread.
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: Mandryka on October 08, 2017, 11:40:58 PM
(https://images-eu.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51c0Zl4BJCL._SS500.jpg)

I enjoyed discovering Telemann's viol fantasies on Thomas Fritzsch's CD when it first came out, in fact I enjoyed them more than any other Telemann I've ever heard! Are we really sure that they're by Telemann? >:D

We now have the appearance of all the fantasies recorded by Jonathan Dunford, played with his disctinctive nobility, rich sound, emotional restraint and seriousness. I guess that two recordings have appeared so quickly is a testimony to their musical quality.
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: Mandryka on March 31, 2018, 09:52:17 AM
(https://i.scdn.co/image/54df6c9c7cb0f7325bbc8194f4d864a95ac08302)

Extremely impressive Sainte Colombe selection from the great Pere Ros, accompanied in just three pieces by a musician  I've never come across before called Itziar Atutza. The two play in a really complementary way, even the sounds of their respective instruments, one wiry and one a bit plumper, work beautifully together. It's astonishingly well recorded.

But all this is as nothing compared with the approach. It's spacious. Like the greatest musicians, these two know how to use silence to create poetry. There's air between the phrases, the music is living and breathing, but calm, stable without be static, gentle without being feeble, dancing without being ecstatic, austere without being frugal, simple without being simplistic, expressive without being emotional, rapt without being rapturous.

Sorry for that.  I'd better shut up I think.
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: aligreto on March 31, 2018, 10:05:44 AM
(https://i.scdn.co/image/54df6c9c7cb0f7325bbc8194f4d864a95ac08302)

Extremely impressive Sainte Colombe selection from the great Pere Ros, accompanied in just three pieces by a musician  I've never come across before called Itziar Atutza. The two play in a really complementary way, even the sounds of their respective instruments, one wiry and one a bit plumper, work beautifully together. It's astonishingly well recorded.

But all this is as nothing compared with the approach. It's spacious. Like the greatest musicians, these two know how to use silence to create poetry. There's air between the phrases, the music is living and breathing, but calm, stable without be static, gentle without being feeble, dancing without being ecstatic, austere without being frugal, simple without being simplistic, expressive without being emotional, rapt without being rapturous.

Sorry for that.  I'd better shut up I think.

I think that you make a compelling case  ;)
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: Mandryka on March 31, 2018, 10:13:02 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/91Y9jzpVMCL._SX466_.jpg)

Jordi Savall and Wieland Kuijken made two recordings of music for two viols by Ste. Colombe père for Astrée, and I very much like this their second one. Their approach is self assured. You never for a second have the impression of a virtuosic improvised second viol part responding in the moment to a simpler written out first viol part. Nevertheless I find their composure very satisfactory in these pieces, which I find very moving. Who, apart from Tobias Hume, was better than Sainte Colombe at using the viol poignantly, psychologically, emotionally?

There's a real spiritual, abstract, eternal side to Ste Colombe Père's music - spacious, and other worldly, a real high point of the baroque.

I also like the rather fat sounds of their instruments together.
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: Mandryka on May 21, 2018, 11:55:37 AM
(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/22/58/0002894655822_600.jpg)

This is Jonathan Dunford's first recording of music by Ste. Colombe (Père),

The musicians who remind me most of Jonathan Dunford and Sylvia Abramowicz are The Tatrai String Quartet. Dunford seduces not with song but with rhetoric. Dunford's art is all about nuanced and fluid declamation. His music making is like a renaissance acid etching, the grey shading seems to get to the heart of the matter, the essence of things, without the distraction of the painters' colours. Paradoxically, this restrained music making seems full of passion to me. But it is more demanding. That's to say, Savall and Kuijken work to create an atmosphere which I can bathe in, which I can let wash over me. Dunford does none of that - you have to listen in a focussed and attentive way to get anything out of what he does.

Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: Mandryka on May 23, 2018, 08:23:46 AM
(https://images-eu.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51AjtkYlRrL._SS500.jpg)

Two  pieces by Ste. Colombe on this compilation CD from Jerome Hantaï and others, played with distinctive  lightness and quietness and elegance and poetic expression. Just 15 minutes but I thought what they do is rather satisfying.
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: Mandryka on May 25, 2018, 04:16:41 AM
(https://cdbaby.name/j/o/jonathandunford3.jpg)

This is Jonathan Dunford's second recording of music by Le Sieur de Ste. Colombe  - music from a manuscript for which Dunford himself found the attribution.

It contains three suites from the manuscript. The last of the three, the D minor, seems to me an astonishing piece of music with immediate impact and obvious depth of feeling and complexity of idea. It ends with an attractive chaconne

https://www.youtube.com/v/9T7RIfNT69Y

Dunford presents the music like ricercare - the sense of the musician searching for the possibilities of what can be done with an idea, the sense of the musician letting his imagination roam, is very palpable. The result is something which is very much about the balance between intellect and feeling - I like that myself. The performances are intense, and they demand intense listening, my experience is that the moment I lose concentration or good will, all is lost. It's as if I have to engage with Dunford and Ste. Colombe, follow them on their journey, or they'll just abandon me by the wayside. As often is the case for me, finding the right volume (low) is essential, if not it sounds crude and dull.

In his notes to the recording, Dunford uses the word "exquisite", and that is right. I'm reminded that Bach's contribution to this genre was the end of a rich line that includes some major musical poems by Hume, Stoeffken and indeed Le Sieur de Ste. Colombe.

Dunford recorded and published this release by himself, and it's available in good MP3 and on Spotify. This seems a shame because for me, good MP3 and spotify is not really ideal.
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: Mandryka on June 22, 2018, 01:50:05 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/818dI9KCUKL._SL1500_.jpg)

I first got to know Anne-Marie Lasla and Sylvie Moquet through their participation in the Ensemble de Violes Orlando Gibbons, who made a fabulous recording of suites by Matthew Locke. This recording of music by St Colombe père on Alphée has been released as a stream and download, though unfortunately not the best quality. The performances have all the moody dusky sounding inwardness, like soliloquies,  that Ste Colombe demands IMO - it’s for me completely captivating.

Anne-Marie Lasla and Sylvie Moquet also made a recording of music by Du Mont, Marais and Louis Couperin which I have but I can’t remember a thing about it!

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51bVA0LTzIL.jpg)
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: aligreto on November 17, 2018, 02:53:19 AM
Cross post from The Listening Thread:


Marais: Suite in D major from Pieces de Violes, 3me livre 1711 [Spectre de la Rose]


(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71h%2BdmHykPL._SX355_.jpg)


I thought that this piece is given a very fine, spirited and driven performance here. Definitely worth a listen for its energetic display in this music which is exuberant and exciting but yet controlled and contained. This is an assertive and appealing performance which has great presence. I was impressed.
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: XB-70 Valkyrie on November 17, 2018, 03:49:29 PM
Some of these recommendations look very interesting, esp. the one with Pierre Hantai.

I was just watching a few Jordi Savall  performances on YouTube last night and wondering which of his CDs (featuring him playing viol solo or in small ensemble) are must-haves.?? Thoughts?  (I do have the soundtrack to Tous Les Matins, which I have enjoyed for years.)
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: Draško on November 17, 2018, 04:19:22 PM
I was just watching a few Jordi Savall  performances on YouTube last night and wondering which of his CDs (featuring him playing viol solo or in small ensemble) are must-haves.?? Thoughts?  (I do have the soundtrack to Tous Les Matins, which I have enjoyed for years.)





I think bits from Ste. Colombe discs are featured on Tous les Matins du Monde soundtrack.
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: Mandryka on November 17, 2018, 11:05:13 PM
Some of these recommendations look very interesting, esp. the one with Pierre Hantai.

I was just watching a few Jordi Savall  performances on YouTube last night and wondering which of his CDs (featuring him playing viol solo or in small ensemble) are must-haves.?? Thoughts?  (I do have the soundtrack to Tous Les Matins, which I have enjoyed for years.)

To ironise

Top tier

Luis de Mila
Lessons for the Lyra Viol
Mr Demachy
Ste. Colombe père - both, but especially v.2
The second Tobias Hume


Second tier (or whatever the expression is)

Christopher Tye
Caurroy (maybe)
Louis de Caix d’Hervelois
John Jenkins
Matthew Locke
Dowland Lachrimae
John Coprario
Henry Purcell





With Savall the bowing can be a bit crude and lyrical, and he has a tendency to dominate ensembles. But there’s a great sense of discovery which can compensate. What I like most about him is that he seems to make music sound more ancient than it is - so stuff which is right on the borders of baroque and renaissance tends to sound backward looking to renaissance rather than forward looking to baroque,  which suits my musical tastes.

Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: Mandryka on December 23, 2018, 06:52:10 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71xiwlL4rqL._SL1200_.jpg)


Christine Plubeau and Isabelle Saint-Yves play viol like cello, the push against the string to make an intense and rich singing sound. I don't like this approach much, I prefer the style that Padolfo pioneered, I want it to sound like Aeolus is playing rather than Bianca Castafiore. But anything with music by Ste. Colombe (père) is well worth hearing at least once IMO.

Unfortunately the booklet is nowhere online. Johan van Veen's review makes reference to what sounds like an interesting debate between Ste Colombe and De Machy about harmony and melody, my guess is he lifted it from the booklet. If anyone knows anything about it please let me know. Van Veen's review is here

http://www.musica-dei-donum.org/cd_reviews/BayardMusique_308-500.2.html

The recording includes a tombeau to his father by Ste. Colombe's son -- and that really is operatic. It features a descent to  the underworld like Froberger's tombeau for Blancrocher -- I guess it must have been a trope of the time.
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: aligreto on December 24, 2018, 07:59:40 AM
Cross post from the Listening Thread


Lobet ihn mit Saitenspiel:


(https://img.discogs.com/XUzG_Aeu18T7uhYJPMgAeXJCd_w=/fit-in/600x629/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-8535486-1463567988-6772.jpeg.jpg)   (https://img.discogs.com/JdiSwKiRGh5H2znRhOZkonqyobM=/fit-in/600x629/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-8535486-1463568000-6521.jpeg.jpg)   (https://img.discogs.com/RJThLHF8IH0l7SzRT44GBgJB4Bw=/fit-in/600x608/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-8535486-1496824956-8866.jpeg.jpg)


Scheidt: Pavane-Galliarde-Allemande
Finger: Pastorale
Buxtehude: Jubilato Domine


I find this to be an interesting LP which may be of interest. I do not know if it ever made it to CD.
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: Mandryka on January 21, 2019, 11:35:53 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61qihAEVsfL._SX569_PJautoripBadge,BottomRight,4,-40_OU11__.jpg)

One thing that is really impressive about Robin Pharo’s new recording of music by Charles Dollé is his capacity to enter into and reveal the soul of the music, the expressive content. These pieces sometimes have titles which say what effect they’re supposed to have, and Pharo is completely in tune with Dollé’s intentions. When Dollé calls for tendre he’s tender. When Dollé calls a piece l’amoureux, you can imagine the music as an expression of the delight lovers may take in being together. When Dollé calls a piece le difficile you are indeed aware, as a listener, of how gnarly the music is. Three charming suites. I think this reveals Dollé every bit the equal of Marais and Forqueray, I terms of quality if not in terms of quantity and fame. And it reveals Dollé to be every bit his own man. While the former has a gift for evocative tunes, and the latter has a gift for intense virtuosity, Dollé has a gift for expressive poetry.

Very well recorded. Booklet has a little appreciation by the performer and an essay on the composer and his music, a pleasure to read.
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: Mandryka on April 12, 2019, 12:14:27 PM
(https://cdbaby.name/j/o/jonathandunford3.jpg)

This is Jonathan Dunford's second recording of music by Le Sieur de Ste. Colombe  - music from a manuscript for which Dunford himself found the attribution.

It contains three suites from the manuscript. The last of the three, the D minor, seems to me an astonishing piece of music with immediate impact and obvious depth of feeling and complexity of idea. It ends with an attractive chaconne

https://www.youtube.com/v/9T7RIfNT69Y

Dunford presents the music like ricercare - the sense of the musician searching for the possibilities of what can be done with an idea, the sense of the musician letting his imagination roam, is very palpable. The result is something which is very much about the balance between intellect and feeling - I like that myself. The performances are intense, and they demand intense listening, my experience is that the moment I lose concentration or good will, all is lost. It's as if I have to engage with Dunford and Ste. Colombe, follow them on their journey, or they'll just abandon me by the wayside. As often is the case for me, finding the right volume (low) is essential, if not it sounds crude and dull.

In his notes to the recording, Dunford uses the word "exquisite", and that is right. I'm reminded that Bach's contribution to this genre was the end of a rich line that includes some major musical poems by Hume, Stoeffken and indeed Le Sieur de Ste. Colombe.

Dunford recorded and published this release by himself, and it's available in good MP3 and on Spotify. This seems a shame because for me, good MP3 and spotify is not really ideal.

But considerably more satisfying in the download than on Spotify, demanding and rewarding music.
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: Mandryka on April 26, 2019, 09:56:13 PM
(https://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_500/MI0003/124/MI0003124848.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)

Gottfried Finger is a new composer for me, in fact I know very little in general about German music for gamba, and my feeling is that it’s an area which has been pretty much underdeveloped on record, maybe due to the strong influence of Jordi Savall’s taste.

Anyway the excellent recording of duos by Jessica Horsley and David Hatcher has caught my imagination big time, it demonstrates  that Finger wrote enigmatic music full of unusual and exciting twists and turns, surprising and imaginative variations, and unusual harmonies.

Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: Mandryka on April 29, 2019, 11:17:50 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61Y6f0SGJ3L._SY355_.jpg)

When this set of music by Antoine Forqueray first came out some three years ago, like everyone I found myself confronted with something shockingly new. Forqueray, Forqueray le diable, has a reputation for devilish virtuosity. In short his reputation is of someone whose art is about fiendishly difficult instrumental effects and satanically seductive tunes.

Sakai etc present a rather different vision, their Forqueray is someone who digs deep into the emotional possibilities of music, a Forqueray whose music prompts us more to reflect of life’s pains and joys than to drink and dance.

Three years ago this all seemed heavy. And slow.

But now, revisiting the set, it seems very satisfying indeed. A Forqueray closer to Sainte Colombe than anyone ever thought possible. Who knows, maybe  such intense emotional effects may well have been just the ticket in the court of Louis XIV.

Furthermore it should be said that Sakai is a real virtuoso - the variety of attacks, for example, is impressive. It’s just that he makes the music sound so articulate and expressive that you don’t notice unless you listen out for it. In short Sakai makes his self disappear to reveal . .  Forqueray’s self. (Sorry!) The instrumental effects are put in service of the poetry, rather than the music being about the display of said effects.

Beautifully recorded, very good for nearfield listening - volume right down, ears close to the tweeters,

And so I have no hesitation in commending the set, especially to people who had previously thought that Forqueray’s music is too superficial to be interesting,
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: Mandryka on April 30, 2019, 07:54:01 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/812ntz3OfxL._SY355_.jpg) (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51SPV5en9SL._SX355_.jpg)

Contrary to what you may think after reading and watching Tous les matins du monde, Jean de Sainte Colombe had a son, who in turn wrote music for viol, solo viol. In fact you can hear  echos of his father's gift for the honest expression of tortured states, though I think that it's true to say that the son (I don't know his first name -- can anyone help?) is less cerebral and indeed less complicated,  than the father. But no less tortured,  And sonny is more ready to have a good old dance.  Attractive polyphonic solo viol  music for me, no doubt about it -- in the booklet essay Savall draws a comparison to the Bach cello suites, and that seems right.

Only two recordings dedicated to the son, or indeed with substantial amounts of music by fiston. Savall and Dunford. Savall as you would expect a gruff old bear and it's jolly good like that.
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: North Star on April 30, 2019, 08:16:53 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/812ntz3OfxL._SY355_.jpg) (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51SPV5en9SL._SX355_.jpg)

Contrary to what you may think after reading and watching Tous les matins du monde, Jean de Sainte Colombe had a son, who in turn wrote music for viol, solo viol. In fact you can hear  echos of his father's gift for the honest expression of tortured states, though I think that it's true to say that the son (I don't know his first name -- can anyone help?) is less cerebral and indeed less complicated,  than the father. But no less tortured,  And sonny is more ready to have a good old dance.  Attractive polyphonic solo viol  music for me, no doubt about it -- in the booklet essay Savall draws a comparison to the Bach cello suites, and that seems right.

Only two recordings dedicated to the son, or indeed with substantial amounts of music by fiston. Savall and Dunford. Savall as you would expect a gruff old bear and it's jolly good like that.

Quote
It is speculated by various scholars that Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe was of Lyonnais or Burgundian petty nobility; and also the selfsame 'Jean de Sainte-Colombe' noted as the father of 'Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe le fils.'[3] This assumption was erroneous, according to subsequent research in Paris by American bass viol player and musicologist Jonathan Dunford. Dunford suggests he was probably from the Pau area in southernmost France and a Protestant, that his first name was "Jean" and that he had two daughters named Brigide and Françoise.[4]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsieur_de_Sainte-Colombe

That Savall is one of my earliest early music sets (coupled with a Marais disc), and it's certainly splendid to my ears. But if this is the "son's" music, where can I hear the father?
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: Mandryka on April 30, 2019, 08:42:01 AM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsieur_de_Sainte-Colombe

That Savall is one of my earliest early music sets (coupled with a Marais disc), and it's certainly splendid to my ears. But if this is the "son's" music, where can I hear the father?

I don't understand, is Dunford saying that the son is not the son of the father? Or the son is the same as the father? 

But if this is the "son's" music, where can I hear the father?


The father is Sieur de Ste. Col. -- and there are tons of recordings of his music, see above in this thread.
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: Mandryka on April 30, 2019, 08:51:46 AM
Found Dunford's essay on the matter

Quote
Jonathan DUNFORD

Sainte Colombe an obscure 17th century violist, forgotten for let a handful of viola da gamba aficionados and musicologists suddenly was thrust center stage with the release of the film “Tous les Matins du Monde” in 1991. The scenario of this film was based on the novel by Pascal Quignard by the same name[1].

The film depicts an austere musician, raising two daughters by himself, living in an isolated castle and refusing the pomp and security of a fixed job at the court of Louis XIV. The novel as well as the film were based on the scarce documentation that was available to musicians and musicologists in 1991.

How close was the film character to the real Sainte-Colombe? We may never know with absolute certainty, but years of patient research[2] have unveiled leads as to who he was and how he lived. This essay will not give conclusive answers; at the moment there are none. However, the documentation presented here will hopefully correct certain mistakes and misconceptions that have slipped in over the past decade concerning the biography and works of this illusive genius as well as serve as a point of departure for future researchers.

The film was an overwhelming commercial success, winning seven French Césars. It brought world-wide recognition to the viola da gamba and its music. While the hitherto unknown Sainte Colombe was receiving so much attention an article claiming to have discovered Saint Colombe’s real identity appeared on the first page of the Le Monde.[3] According to the musicologist who wrote the article, Saint Colombe’s real name was Augustin D'Autrecourt and he lived in Lyons in the 1650's. However, a close look at the original sources revealed this to be a misinterpretation. Indeed, there had been a music teacher who also taught the viol and who lived in Lyons in the 1650's. According to the archives of the Hospice de Charité in the year 1657:

Acte de reception du Sieur de Ste Colombe, Maitre musicien, pour la maison.

Sieur Augustin Dandricourt dict Sainte Colombe, maître musicien à Lyon, a esté recu par la compagnie appres avoir esté informée de ses bonnes vies mœurs et cappacité pour enseigner et establyr la musique aux enfans adoptifs de ceste maison au nombre nécessaire maintenir celle des filles de Sainte Catherine aussi adoptives, et à ceux qu’il verra les plus proprres leur apprendre la composition et la viole, et leur fire les leçons tous les jours affin de faire au plus tos qu’il se pourra ung cœur de musique complet, et venir assister aux divins offices pour les festes acoustumees, et pour les deffuncts bienfacteurs, ce qu’il a promis de faire et de s’en aquiter le mieux qu’il luy sera possible. A remercie lesdits sieurs recteurs qui lui ont accordé pour ses gages la somme de cent cinquante livres par an, quartier par quartier.

The name D’Autrecourt mentioned in Le Monde was a misreading of the cursive hand-writing in the 17th century archives in Lyons. Rather, it was a Monsieur Dandricourt[4] who, as proven in this document, used the pseudonym Sainte Colombe or Sainte Culumbe (an important family by the name of Saint Colombe was benefactor to the Hospice de la Charité[5] and it can be assumed that there may have been some connection between the music teacher and this family). Since the publication of this article in Le Monde the misread name ‘D’Autrecourt’ has proliferated and can be found in articles, books, record sleeves, etc. It is high time to eradicate all association of the name D’Autrecourt with that of the musician Sainte Colombe.

We know too that Sainte Colombe studied with Hotman in Paris[6]. Would he have regularly made such a long journey from Lyons to Paris and back? Moreover, it seems highly unlikely that this modestly paid choir director (Dandricourt), who as part of his job taught a few girls to play the viol as a continuo instrument to sustain the choir, was the same Sainte Colombe who later, in 1678, was proclaimed in the Mercure de France to be ‘si celebre pour la viol’[7] and who was performing in Paris and teaching highly gifted students such as Marin Marais and Jean Rousseau[8].

Further search for the real Saint Colombe led to the "Insinuations de Châtelet"[9] in the French National Archives where I discovered a Françoise de Sainte-Colombe who married in 1669[10] . Her father was a certain “Jean de Sainte Colombe bourgeois de Paris” and one of the witnesses to her marriage was an organist by the name of Nicolas Caron (organist at St. Thomas de Louvre and at the Eglise St Oppurtune). Later I discovered that Jean de Saint Colombe had stood as witness to Caron’s own marriage in 1658.

Looking further I found that in the 1650’s and 1660’s Jean de Sainte Colombe had two daughters, Brigide and Françoise and lived on the Rue de Betizy (today the Rue de Rivoli) in the Saint Germain l’Auxerois district. This street intersects the Rue de la Monnaie and the Rue Bertin Poirée, curiously enough two of the first addresses of the young Marin Marais. Moreover on the Rue Saint Germain l'Auxerrois, one street over, was the residence of the celebrated violist Du Buisson's.

In his Parnasse François (1732) Evrard Titon du Tillet gives us a vivid account of Sainte-Colombe the man. From him we learn that the composer "gave Concerts at his home in which two of his daughters participated, one on the treble viol, the other on the bass, forming with their father a Consort of three Viols.[11]" Could these daughters have been Jean’s two daughters Françoise and Brigide? Again, further research unveiled that Jean’s eldest daughter, Françoise de Sainte-Colombe married Jean Varin, a teacher of mathematics to the King who was appointed to a post in Belfort while her sister, Brigide, married Louis Lebé, a secretary for the Marquis de Segnelay, who was stationed in Versailles. The Lebés, a family of printers of both books and music, were closely associated with the famous Ballard family. We also know that Saint Colombe the musician had close ties to a family of publishers named "Allain" (cf. the Concert a deux violes called "L'allain")[12]. It is interesting to note that several of the names associated with Jean de Sainte-Colombe were confirmed protestants.

These many documents all make a strong case for Jean de Sainte Colombe and yet, in my many years of searching through the French archives I have never found Jean de Sainte Colombe referred to as a musician but consistently as a "bourgeois de Paris". The possible protestant connection is an important one; antagonism against non-Catholics was quite prevalent after the 1685 revocation d’Edit de Nantes. Could Sainte Colombe have been protestant and, consequently, slighted in the official registers? Until we find at least one document referring to the musician as Jean, or referring to Jean as a musician, we cannot be certain that this was the revered French musician.

Then there is the claim to a son or sons, perhaps illegitimate and consequently not in the official registers. In his work Réflexions sur l’Opéra published in 1742 the writer, Rémond de Saint-Mard claims to have known one of Sainte-Colombe’s sons. He referred to him as "a simple man...who had not enough imagination to tell a lie[13]."

Six suites for solo bass viol by "Mr de Sainte Colombe le fils"[14] are to be found in the Durham Cathedral library. They are part of a volume of 300-odd pages of solo bass viol music, including works by Marais, Dubuisson, Simpson and many other composers. The music had all been copied by an amateur violist and protestant minister by the name of Phillip Falle.[15] Curiously, markings in red ink are found only on the music by Sainte Colombe le fils. Could Falle have been a student of Saint Colombe le fils, who we know lived in Edinburgh which is not far from Durham?[16]

The Durham library also houses a theological dissertation in Latin by a Henri Auger de Sainte-Colombe who was a protestant minister originally from the Béarn region in France[17]. His birth record indicates that he was born near Pau, in France, on the 1st of June 1680 to Monsieur le Baron Jean de Sainte Colome (one "m", no "b") and Marie de Landorte.

Many letters have been left by Henri Auger and, oddly, he can be found in London at the same time as Sainte Colombe le fils. Sainte Colombe‘le fils’is mentioned in a London newspaper, "The Daily Courant," in 1713 in a notice for a "concert benefice for Mr Sainte Colombe" held at the Hickford Room in London[18]. Were they perhaps related? Given the dates they could have been cousins. A viol teacher in London in 1716 by the name of "Mr Cynelum,"[19] may well be the same Sainte Colombe le fils, his name anglicized for easier pronunciation for English speakers.

It would seem that there were at least two branches of the original Sainte Colombe family, one protestant and from the Béarn region of France and the other Catholics from Lyons. The Paris Protestant archives have a mention in the "repertoire Haag" of a Parisian Sainte Colombe (no first name) mentioned in 1700 as being “fort suspect de religion.”

A list of Parisian musicians compiled in 1692 by Abraham du Pradel gives a Sainte-Colombe but rather than an address there is a dotted line[20] and this Sainte-Colombe’s name is not to be found in the tax register of musicians from 1696. [21]

The Tombeau de Sainte Colombe of course is in Marais’ second book of Pièces de Viole published in 1701. But the same book contains the Tombeau for Lully who of course died in 1687. This suggests that Sainte Colombe may have died some time between 1686 – 1700.

A few years ago a correspondent indicated an article by a certain Claude Astor, “Musique et Musiciens à Saint Julien au XVIIe siècle, Un Sainte-Colombe à Brioude”[22]. The article includes a testament as well as an inventory of Marie d’Estoupe widow to Le Sieur de Sainte Colombe who had been buried in Brioude by the 13th of November 1688 in the cemetery of the Saint Julien church[23]. This musician, who arrived in Brioude at an unknown date, brought with him an impressive number of musical instruments. The list contains two portative organs, two spinets, seven viols (four basses and three trebles) and a lute. Unfortunately his first name is never mentioned in any of the documents.

With more patient and meticulous research we may come up with firm and conclusive evidence that gives a birth as well as a death date and perhaps even a genealogy for this great maître de viole. In France many archives have literally vanished in smoke both in Paris as well as in the provinces. Perhaps research in Great Britain, where many archives remain for the most part intact, will one day resolve the Sainte Colombe enigma.

Works

All the extant music by Monsieur de Sainte Colombe is to be found in four books:

- Two books of solo viol music (106 pieces) in the Scottish National Library. They are not signed but in an inventory from 1685 the two books are described as “viole lessons of Mr. St. Columbe in two books”[24].

- One book of solo viol music (144-odd pieces) in Tournus (Burgundy), known as the Tournus manuscript. This manuscript is not signed but about seventy of the pieces are also found in the Scottish manuscripts. This and the style of the music make it clear that it is the work of Sainte Colombe.

- Les Concerts a Deux Violes Esgales, a collection of 67 duos now housed in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris. About fourty of these pieces are found in solo versions in the above mentioned manuscripts.

It has been proposed that the solo manuscripts are missing a second viol part. However, there is strong reason to believe that, rather, these works were part of a long tradition of solo viol music prevalent in 17th-century Europe. In France alone there is, to begin with, the large solo repertoire of Hotman, who left us with approximately forty-five solo bass viol pieces and Dubuisson whose surviving works amount to over one hundred pieces. This tradition continued with the solo music of Demachy and later Marin Marais and Sainte-Colombe’s own son. Marais’ first book of viol pieces were for solo viol and was published in 1686. By 1688 Jean Rousseau reported in a letter that “everyone is playing [Marais’] music”. It was only in the following year, 1689, that Marais took an unprecedented step and published a ‘basso continuo’ part for his first book. This was the first time an accompaniment was published for the viol or for any other instrumental music in France thus beginning a new trend which would continue into the 18th century.

The bass viol in seventeenth century French society was, I believe, heard like its close cousin the lute, as an unaccompanied solo instrument[25] and Sainte Colombe’s music was very much in the continuing 17th-century tradition of solo unaccompanied viol music. As the century ended he began exploiting and developing his own new form, the duos for two viols.

The tradition of turning a solo piece into a duo for two bass viols started in France with Nicolas Hotman[26], but it is well documented in England as well with pieces for solo or duo viols by Hume, Corkine and Ferrabosco and many others. In fact, a few of the solo pieces by Sainte Colombe can be found rewritten as duos in his Concerts à Deux Violes Esgales. Often the second viol part in the Concerts is the more demanding one. One might imagine the solo part being given to a student with whom Sainte Colombe would improvise a more virtuosic second part[27].

Sainte Colombe is credited with having added the 7th string to the bass viol in France as well as inventing the wound bass strings "... we owe to him this beautiful left hand position which brought viol playing to perfection [and] allowed him to imitate the greatest qualities of the human voice ... ; we also owe to M. de Sainte Colombe the 7th string which he added to the viol. Finally, he ... introduced the use of silver-spun strings in France, and he continually works to find anything to improve this instrument, if it were possible."[28] Whether this is true or not is irrelevant. Sainte-Colombe’s music speaks for itself. It is the first music in France that uses the seventh string, evident from the very first prelude for solo viol in the Tournus Manuscript. The virtuosity required to play this music highly exceeds predecessors such as Hotman or contemporaries such as Dubuisson. Both the solo music as well as the duos show Sainte-Colombe’s flair for improvisation and a highly agile “diabolic” bow stroke that drew the admiration of disciples such as Marin Marais.

Sainte Colombe’s reputation and innovation surely led to the viol’s prominent place as a solo instrument in France under the ‘ancien regime’. Moreover, he must have had an influential role in the evolution of 17th-century French viol repertoire from solo unaccompanied music to, by the end of the century, music for solo bass viol accompanied by a second viol continuo. His extensive collection of duos, of extraordinary length and beauty, are crucial in this development but should not overshadow the fabulous solo repertoire by which it was preceded. It is only to be hoped that more of this exceptional composers viol repertoire will come to light.


Editions

Jean (?) de Sainte Colombe

Recueil de Pièces pour Basse de Viole Seule

Fac-similés des manuscripts MS 9469 et MS 9469

National Library of Scotland, Edimburgh

(Manuscrits Panmure)

Editions Minkoff Genève 2003

Jean (?) de Sainte Colombe

Recueil de Pièces pour Basse de Viole Seule

Fac-similé du manuscript M.3 de la Bibliothèque municipale de Tournus

(Manuscrit de Tournus)

Editions Minkoff Paris 1998

Concerts à Deux Violes Esgales du Sieur de Sainte Colombe

Paris

Société Française de Musicologie 1998

Sainte Colombe the younger

Five suites for solo bass viol

ed. Jonathan Dunford,

Les Cahiers du Tourdion, Strasbourg, 1998.


Articles


Claude ASTOR

Musique et Musiciens à Saint Julien au XVIIe siècle, Un Sainte-Colombe à Brioude

Almanach de Brioude et de son arrondissement 1993 Pages 89 – 107

Jonathan DUNFORD

Articles :

Le point sur Sainte Colombe

L’Écho de la viole, 2, 1999, p. 2-4

(Société Française de Viole)

Les musiciens français antérieurs à Marin Marais

L’Écho de la viole, 4, 2000, p. 2-3.

(Société Française de Viole)

F.P. GOY

Préfaces :

Jean (?) de Sainte Colombe

Recueil de Pièces pour Basse de Viole Seule

Fac-similés des manuscripts MS 9469 et MS 9469

National Library of Scotland, Edimburgh

(Manuscrits Panmure)

Editions Minkoff Genève 2003

Jean (?) de Sainte Colombe

Recueil de Pièces pour Basse de Viole Seule

Fac-similé du manuscript M.3 de la Bibliothèque municipale de Tournus

(Manuscrit de Tournus)

Editions Minkoff Paris 1998

Concerts à Deux Violes Esgales du Sieur de Sainte Colombe

Paris

Société Française de Musicologie 1998

Article :

Jean de Sainte-Colombe et le Manuscrit de Tournus dans l’histoire de la musique pour viole seule en France

Société des Amis des Arts et des Sciènces de Tournus

Tome XCIV

Année 1995

p. 61 - 76

Corinne VAAST

Préface :

Concerts à Deux Violes Esgales du Sieur de Sainte Colombe

Paris

Société Française de Musicologie 1998

Articles :

M. de Sainte Colombe Protestant?

Bulletin de la société de l’histoire du Protestantisme Français

Tome 144, 1998 p. 591-601

A propos de M. de Sainte-Colombe

Bulletin de la société de l’histoire du Protestantisme Français

Tome 145, 1999 p. 189-191

[1] Pascal Quignard Tous les Matins du Monde, Editeur – Gallimard ISBN 2070724743

[2] This research has been conducted since 1992 by a team consisting of Stuart Cheney, François-Pierre Goy, Corinne Vaast and myself.

[3] L'envol de Sainte-Colombe, Pierre Guillot, Le Monde 18 January 1992 pages 1 and 13. The newspaper Le Monde corrected it’s previous erroneous article from 1992. See Enfin, des nouvelles du sieur de Sainte-Colombe by Renaud MACHART, Le Monde, 5 January, 1996; p. 19.

[4] For more on Dandricourt see Jean-Marc BAFFERT, Les orgues de Lyon du XVIe au XVIIe siècle, 1974, Cahiers et mémoire de l'orgue, 11, p. 51

[5] Paul de Rivérieulx, Vte de VARAX Généalogie de la Maison de Sainte Colombe, Lyon Imp. générale 30 rue Condé, (1881)

[6] Jean Rousseau Traité de la Viole 1687

« De tous ceux qui ont appris à joüer de la Viole de Monsieur Hotman, on peut dire que Monsieur de Sainte COLOMBE a esté son Ecolier par exellence, & que mesme il l’a beaucoup surpassé.. »

and

Jean Rousseau Réponse de Monsieur Rousseau, Paris 1688

« … car Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe & tous ceux qui ont appris de Monsieur Hotteman… »

[7] Mercure de France février 1678

Il y a eu icy ce Carnaval plusieurs sortes de Divertissements mais un des plus grands que nous ayons eus a esté un petit Opéra intitulé Les Amours d'Acis et de Galatée, dont M. de Rians, Procureur du Roy de l'ancient Chastelet, a donné plusieurs représentations dans son Hostel avec sa magnificence ordinaire. L'Assemblée a esté chaque fois de plus de quatre cens Auditeurs, parmy lesquels plusieurs Personnes de la plus haute qualité ont quelquefois eu peine à trouver place. Tous ceux qui chanterent et joüerent des Instrumens furent extrêmement applaudis. La Musique estoit de la composition de M. Charpentier dont je vous ay déjà fait voir deux Airs. Ainsi vous en connoissez l'heureux talent par vous-mesme. Madame de Beauvais, Madame de Boucherat, Messieurs les Marquis de Sablé et de Biron, M. Deniel, Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe, si celebre pour la Viole et quantité d'autres qui entendent parfaitement toute la finesse du Chant ont esté des admirateurs de cet Opéra. (pp. 131-132)

[8] Another key date is the publication of a Sarabande de Mr de Sainte Colombe, published in Paris by Bénigne de Bacilly in Recueil des plus beaux vers qui ont esté mis en chant Third part Paris (c 1665), p. 139 (Unfortunately the words for the song are printed without the music!).

[9] Archives Nationales Série Y

[10] Archives Nationales, Minutier Central XCI (365) 22 septembre 1669

[11] Evrard Titon du Tillet Vies des Musiciens et autre Jouers d'Instruments du règne de Louis le Grand edition Le Promeneur, Gallimard, 1991 pages 84 - 85.

[12] Concerts à Deux Violes Esgales , revised edition Société Française de Musicologie, Paris 1998 (article by Corrine Vaast)

[13] Rémond de Saint-Mard Réflexions sur l'Opéra (oeuvres mêlées, 1742).

[14] See edition of Five suites for solo bass viol, ed. Jonathan Dunford, Les Cahiers du Tourdion, Strasbourg, 1998.

[15] Margaret Urquhart Prebendary Philip Falle (1656 –1742) and the Durham Bass Viol Manuscript A. 27 Chelys, vol 5 pages 7 – 20.

[16] The Younger Sainte-Colombe in Edinburgh, Ian Woodfield Chelys - Journal of the Viola da Gamba Society, Volume 14, 1985 pages 43 - 44.

[17] Exercitatio Theologica de Lege et Evangelio Ad Elucidationem Loci Evangelii Johannis Cap 1 vers 17….Respondente H. Auger de Ste Colome, Bearnis Gallo

[18] Daily Courant, London 11 May 1713 "For the benefit of Mr. Ste Columbe : a consort of vocal and instrumental musik will be performed on Thursday, being the 14th of May, at the Hickford dancing room over the tennis court on James street, Hay-Market to begin exactly at 7 o'clock. Tickets may be had at St James Coffee house."

[19] Dudley Ryder 1715-1716: Extracts from the Diary of a Student Viol Player - Ian Woodfield Journal of the Viola da Gamba Society of America Volume XXI - 1984 pages 64 - 68.

[20] Pradel (Abraham du), Le livre commode des adresses de Paris pour 1692.

[21] Archives Nationales Z1H657 Capitation 13 Janvier 1696 Musiciens Simphonistes

(among others listed)

De La Grauveuse – Violes

Forcroy père

Forcroy fils

Machy

Rousseau

Le Moyne

[22] Almanach de Brioude et de son arrondissement 1993 Pages 89 - 107

[23] Testatment de Marie d’Estoupe, veuve du Sieur de Sainte-Colombe 13 novembre 1688

« A esté présente honeste femme Marie d’Estoupe, veuve de feu M (en blanc) Saincte-Colombe, vivant maistre de musique de l’esglise Sainct Julien de ceste ville de Brioude,…

Prie et supplie humblement Madame de Brinai vouloir faire enterrer sondict corps au tumbeau où est enterré ledict feu sieur de Saincte-Colombe dans le cimetiere de ladicte esglise Sainct-Julien…

Donne et lègue à nos seigneurs les comptes et chapitre de ladicte eglise Sainct Julien pour l’entretien de leur maistrise et instruction des enfans de chœur, tous les instrumens de musique qu’elle a en ladicte mestrise, consistans en deux orgues, trois basses et trois dessus et d’un autre.

Donne aussi à Messire Louis Eyssamas, prebstre semi-prébandé de ladicte esglise, à présent maistre de ladicte mestrise, pour les agréables services qu’elle a reçus et reçoit journellement de luy, d’une paire d’espinettes, autre basse de violon qu’il pourra choisir entre touttes celles qu’elle a en ladicte mestrise… et le travail de musique dudict feu de Saincte Colombe. »

Inventaire avant décès de Marie d’Estoupe 14 novembre 1688

« …2 paires d’orgues

…une paire d’espinettes, 4 violes

3 dessus, un luc (luth)

[24] See article Patrick CADELL La musique française classique dans la collection des comtes de Panmure, Recherches sur la musique française classique, XXII (1984) pp. 51 - 52 et 56 - 58

[25] We must remember that Sainte Colombe’s teacher Nicolas Hotman was both a lutenist and violist. Sainte Colombe also persisted in this predeliction for plucked instruments as reported by Rousseau in Réponse de Monsieur Rousseau, Paris 1688 :

Page 9

« Il dit que je n’ay point parlé de pincer la Viole, je n’ay pas cru le devoir faire, parce que ce n’est pas un jeu de la Viole qui soit en usage & qui n’y doit pas estre, j’avoue que Monsieur de Sainte Colombe s’y fait admirer, mais c’est un divertissement particulier qu’il se donne par l’usage qu’il a des Instruments à pincer ».

[26] See Courante VDGS 9 (solo in A-ET Goëss B) (folio 63 (A)), second viol part VDGS 27 in F-Pc MS Rés 1111, 267

[27] Look at Gigue « l’aisé » Concert « La Conférence » (VIII), or the concerts Pierotine (XV), or Les Couplets (X).

[28] Jean Rousseau Traité de la Viole 1687 Page 24.
Title: Re: All things viol
Post by: Mandryka on April 30, 2019, 07:38:39 PM
(https://lesvoixhumaines.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/jaquette_sainte-colombe_v1-300x296.jpg)

There’s a line in Tous les matins du monde which popped into my mind listening to the first volume of Little and Napper’s Ste. Colombe. When Ste. Colombe first hears the young Marais he says something like “you know how to make the bow move like an eel in the water”

This image of fluidity is what seems to me to be very much at the essence of Little and Napper in this volume. That and an extraordinary sense of rapport between the two musicians: the booklet is full of stuff about the French courtly conception of dialogue, conversation, and quite rightly so, because these two musicians somehow transmit the sense of two people really enjoying being engaged in an intense and sparkling discussion.

Sparkling like the sun shining on moving water. The sound these two make is not gruff (Savall) and it’s not austere (Dunford), it’s a very attractive mean between the two.

As far as the music is concerned, all I can say is this: every concert seems to me wonderful! Full of delightful thing for the mind and the sensibility. And never falling either into the cliché or the triviality, there’s a constant sense of invention and expression.

But there may be some things lacking, some things which Savall and Kuijken have led me to value more than all else in Sainte Colombe’s music - cerebralness,  the sense of a mind searching and going deep into its self. Maybe the best, most positive, way to put it is like this: in this first volume, Little and Napper reveal a new, sensual, side of Ste.Colombe. It’s like the difference between conversation as pleasure, harmony (that’s Little and Napper) and conversation as a Socratic quest for truth (that’s Kuijken and Savall) That’s it. It’s the difference between dialogue in The Protagoras and dialogue in Pride and Prejudice!
Title: Re: Things bass and viol
Post by: Mandryka on May 05, 2019, 07:38:58 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41D5HJBBNZL.jpg)

It is quite easy to believe, listening to this CD, that there never has been more poetical. more beautiful music, than the obscure previously unheard short pieces by obscure largely unknown composers therein contained. And I can assure you that it hasn't always appeared like that to me: the music is subtle and you have to approach it in the right frame of mind, or it will just wash over you in a vaguely irritating way -- I know this from experience. But today, I saw it in a different light.

Initially I went to the CD to explore the suite by Nicolas Hotman, who interests me because he was probably, possibly, the teacher of the Chopin of the viol, M. de Sainte Colombe. And indeed the suite, which is the only example of his music I've heard, is rather nice. There's a specially nice allemande for example. But for me Hotman's music isn't the high point of the recording -- that status goes to Anonymous, who features quite a lot with delicate, refined, complex, tortured, knotty, dark music played communicatively and with subtle, humane feeling.

Dunford is on top form here, the performances are at the level of his Stoeffkens recording, which to my mind is the greatest gamba recording ever made (apart from . . . ) Classical, restrained but there's absolutely no sense of the music coming in on the phone, he's present. Dunford is the Leonhardt of the viol.

I like it very much when he plays a whole movement pizzicato.

Does anyone have the CD with the booklet essay? If so could they let me have a look, it's nowhere on line, and in fact I can't even see a copy of the CD (maybe I've not looked too hard)
Title: Re: Love can transpose things bass and viol to form and dignity.
Post by: Mandryka on May 06, 2019, 08:59:36 AM
Excellent Essay on Tobias Hume from Marianne Muller's recording

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81bAatfE%2BuL._SL1332_.jpg)

Quote
Captain Tobias Hume, Scottish mercenary, dilettante composer, virtuoso exponent of the viola da gamba, scorned during his lifetime and subsequently ignored by the musical encyclopaedias (‘So I must mone bemonde of none’ in What Greater Griefe), was a colourful personality who, in the view of many, went beyond the bounds of mental equilibrium in his outrageous words, attitudes, and writings. Of his trade of arms, we know only what he himself relates: ‘When I was in Russia, I did put thirty thousand to fight, and killed six or seven thousand Polonians by the Art of my Instruments of Warre when I first invented them’ (from the ‘True Petition of
Colonel Hume’). Let’s take his word for it…

Of his works, two collections published during his lifetime have come down to us. The first of these, issued in 1605, was The First Part of Ayres, containing 117 pieces, principally for solo viol with the exception of a few duos, trios, and accompanied songs. (John Dowland had published Lachrimae or Seaven Teares the previous year.) Then in 1607, came a second anthology, Captain Humes Poeticall Musicke, consisting of twenty-five pieces for consort of viols, some of them intended to be sung and suitable for playing on other instruments, as the composer himself recommends. (In the same year, Claudio Monteverdi wrote his Orfeo.) He died at the London Charterhouse (an almshouse) on 16 April 1645.

There in bare outline are the facts about this strange individual. However, if one looks beyond the barrackroom bravado and the fashionable melancholy of the period, it does not take much effort to hear in the music of Tobias Hume a substance at once profound and vivid, concentrated; and through that substance a man of paradoxes, fragile and enigmatic. Profound, for under the most extravagant titles it develops melodies
combining intimacy and sincerity.

Concentrated, because Hume relentlessly reworks not the same themes but the same melismas, the same gestures
(his written style is unfquestionably derived from orality and the instrumental gesture; in other words, what he set down on paper was merely the final outcome of sound materials and melodies long kneaded by his own hands),
and thus the same modes implied by the practice of the viol: the keys of G and D (major or minor) make up a huge
percentage of his output. Of the 117 pieces in The First Part of Ayres, more than a third respectively are in each of these two tonics! Here too the instrumental gesture is crucial. It is really in G minor that he finds his most moving and personal colours, as in Captaine Humes Pavan, A fiuestion, and An Answere. (In the present recording, seven of the eleven pieces are in the tonic of G, including five in the minor.) Let us not forget that in the early seventeenth century equal temperament (the octave divided into twelve equal semitones) did not exist in the sense we give it today; temperament took multiple forms, and as a result each tonic developed its own intervals, possessing specific ‘humours’ that no other mode could reproduce. The standardisation of temperament based on the ‘Werckmeister’ system of 1691 should not be seen as an artistic advance but rather as an option in the history of western culture.

The inner world of the Captain (or self-styled Colonel in his senile wanderings!) is extremely precise, centripetal, and controlled; the colours of his universe are immediately identifiable on first hearing. Although he fought without the slightest diplomacy against the hegemony of the lute, claiming supremacy for the viol instead, his style derives directly from the instrument of the ‘English Orpheus’, both aesthetically – he was among the first to employ polyphony and chordal technifiqe on the viol; his counterpoint is simple, clear, and skilful – and in scribal terms, since the great majority of his scores are in the form of tablatures and table-books similar to those for lute.

The programme meticulously chosen by Marianne Muller is particularly good at teasing Hume out of his
shell (or rather his armour) and his nefarious legend, allowing us to hear his personality in all its sensuality
(Sweete Musicke), humour (Tinckeldum Twinckeldum) and melancholy melodic clarity (The Virgins Muse),
what Hume himself termed ‘the onely effeminate part of mee’.

Captaine Humes Pavan, so often recorded, assumes here a dimension of abyssal introspection tinged with
a little resigned smile, as if to excuse itself. In the repetition of the last twelve bars, the melodic line moves
irremediably downwards by means of a slowly articulated point of imitation on a diatonic motif, starting
initially on G, then a fourth lower still on D. Even the final speck of light represented by a little cell of a rising third is set in a harmonic progression which tends ever downwards until it reaches its resolution. From these depths, light is probably shed on ‘A Part of the true Face’ of the enigmatic Captain Tobias Hume!

Eric Fischer

Title: Re: Love can transpose things bass and viol to form and dignity.
Post by: Mandryka on May 10, 2019, 09:46:39 PM
(https://i.ibb.co/94fKYms/Capture.png)

Here's an image of a page from an Elizabethan score for viol consort, apparently Dowland's Lachrimae were written like this. The idea was that it would sit in the middle of a table for all the players to share --  they would sit  around the table, so the music is written in four separate orientations.
Title: Re: Love can transpose things bass and viol to form and dignity.
Post by: San Antone on May 11, 2019, 03:20:15 AM
(https://i.ibb.co/94fKYms/Capture.png)

Here's an image of a page from an Elizabethan score for viol consort, apparently Dowland's Lachrimae were written like this. The idea was that it would sit in the middle of a table for all the players to share --  they would sit  around the table, so the music is written in four separate orientations.

That was common in the Medieval/Renaissance periods; there was no "score", just each part on a separate section spanning two pages.  What is unique about this is the vertical/horizontal arrangement for players sitting at a table.  But choirs always used a similar type of manuscript, except all the parts were vertical arranged on the page such as:

Part A       |       Part C
Part B       |       Part D

I am not sure when the first composite score came into existence.
Title: Re: Love can transpose things bass and viol to form and dignity.
Post by: aligreto on May 11, 2019, 03:30:37 AM
(https://i.ibb.co/94fKYms/Capture.png)

Here's an image of a page from an Elizabethan score for viol consort, apparently Dowland's Lachrimae were written like this. The idea was that it would sit in the middle of a table for all the players to share --  they would sit  around the table, so the music is written in four separate orientations.

That was common in the Medieval/Renaissance periods; there was no "score", just each part on a separate section spanning two pages.  What is unique about this is the vertical/horizontal arrangement for players sitting at a table.  But choirs always used a similar type of manuscript, except all the parts were vertical arranged on the page such as:

Part A       |       Part C
Part B       |       Part D

I am not sure when the first composite score came into existence.


Most interesting and informative, gentlemen.
Title: Re: Love can transpose things bass and viol to form and dignity.
Post by: Mandryka on May 12, 2019, 12:13:25 PM
(https://lawostore.no/assets/images/GCD922519_51e287_rszd_2.jpg)

This Cd is the apotheosis of a technique which Pandolfo has been developing for years -- he touches the strings lightly with the bow, the result is a bit like short motifs of music are chasing each other in a game of cat and mouse -- fragile, murmuring, and above all in motion. He uses these chasing motifs to create a pulse -- it's a completely new way of marking a rhythm. It makes the music sound mysterious, elusive and shimmering with life.

The music is made up of C16 pieces for little ensembles including viols, the music is all  inspired by madrigals -- the madrigals are sung, like in those recordings of Orgelbuchlein where they sing the chorales.

Is the viol music interesting? It's beautiful, in a renaissance way, that's to say it's simple and it's sweet and sane. And it's virtuoso. Harmonically, the madrigals sound quite interesting  presumably because of enharmonic and microtonal adjustments that the singers are making. The viol pieces are often viol and some sort of accompaniment so there aren't a whole of of opportunities for harmonic juiciness unfortunately.

Pandolfo's style of playing makes it more interesting that that sounds, because it gives it nervous energy and life.

One fascinating moment is in Vincenzo Bonizzi's music based on Pierre Sandrin's Douce Memoir, where the nervous cat and mouse style is effectively contrasted with brief and memorable lyrical moments. Bonizzi also comes up trumps in a long piece based on Willaert's song Jouissance vous donnerai -- he's defo a composer I want to explore more.

Another high point, for similar reasons, is Bassani's music based on Susanna un jour. And how lovely here, the combination of viol and lute.

If this was a concert we'd be on our feet at the end shouting bravo and be we'd talking about how wonderful it was in the bar afterwards; we'd be totally enraptured by the music making, which would make us forget all other music; we'd feel honoured and fortunate to have borne the costs, and taken the time and trouble to go   -- in these days of streaming, what more can anyone want from a recording than that?
Title: Re: Love can transpose things bass and viol to form and dignity.
Post by: Mandryka on May 19, 2019, 08:55:34 AM
(https://lawostore.no/assets/images/GCD922519_51e287_rszd_2.jpg)

This Cd is the apotheosis of a technique which Pandolfo has been developing for years -- he touches the strings lightly with the bow, the result is a bit like short motifs of music are chasing each other in a game of cat and mouse -- fragile, murmuring, and above all in motion. He uses these chasing motifs to create a pulse -- it's a completely new way of marking a rhythm. It makes the music sound mysterious, elusive and shimmering with life.

The music is made up of C16 pieces for little ensembles including viols, the music is all  inspired by madrigals -- the madrigals are sung, like in those recordings of Orgelbuchlein where they sing the chorales.

Is the viol music interesting? It's beautiful, in a renaissance way, that's to say it's simple and it's sweet and sane. And it's virtuoso. Harmonically, the madrigals sound quite interesting  presumably because of enharmonic and microtonal adjustments that the singers are making. The viol pieces are often viol and some sort of accompaniment so there aren't a whole of of opportunities for harmonic juiciness unfortunately.

Pandolfo's style of playing makes it more interesting that that sounds, because it gives it nervous energy and life.

One fascinating moment is in Vincenzo Bonizzi's music based on Pierre Sandrin's Douce Memoir, where the nervous cat and mouse style is effectively contrasted with brief and memorable lyrical moments. Bonizzi also comes up trumps in a long piece based on Willaert's song Jouissance vous donnerai -- he's defo a composer I want to explore more.

Another high point, for similar reasons, is Bassani's music based on Susanna un jour. And how lovely here, the combination of viol and lute.

If this was a concert we'd be on our feet at the end shouting bravo and be we'd talking about how wonderful it was in the bar afterwards; we'd be totally enraptured by the music making, which would make us forget all other music; we'd feel honoured and fortunate to have borne the costs, and taken the time and trouble to go   -- in these days of streaming, what more can anyone want from a recording than that?

This is definitely something to hear, and revisiting it through a different set of speakers in a different mood even the singing sound more my style. The performances are so committed and inspired that they completely disarm criticism. It’s a case of love transposing . . .
Title: Re: Love can transpose things bass and viol to form and dignity.
Post by: Mandryka on July 02, 2019, 08:58:18 PM
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Rés 1111 is a manuscript in Berlin, this is what the booklet says about it, and the difficulty of Juliane Laake’s rather inspiring work - maybe for the first time I’m coming to understand how the problems of scholarly musicians go beyond making musical sense of a manuscript.

Quote
Rés. 1111 has never been published in a facsimile or modern edition1. In order to access this music, one must either visit the library in person with a large stack of manuscript paper (and many hours of writer’s cramp ahead), or pay a sizable fee to obtain an authorized digital copy. Once the item is actually to hand, the challenges are not over; while close to all of the 273 pieces are titled, it is not known who composed 220 of them. Let me translate this conundrum by asking you to imagine visiting an art museum only to find that the names of the artists have not been provided! It might be immediately obvious to you that some paintings are truly original and remarkable works, but it’s difficult to argue so convincingly without comparing them to other works to which they are directly related. This was the situation that confronted Juliane Laake when planning this project. Not only were there a great number of pieces with which to come to grips, but she also had to find some way to organize them into a coherent and presentable narrative. What you have in front of you is a record of her exploration and sleuthing and discovery. Just because the author can’t be determined doesn’t mean the music is better or worse than pieces by known composers. And not every piece by “anon” sounds the same! So that you, dear listener, may better join in this journey and pick out some of the landmarks, here is some context for the manuscript, plus a few of the details that can be identified, and an explanation of what makes it so very unusual and special.

The music includes hymn settings and some songs for solo voice and viol, scholars believe it was part of a Lutheran tradition of domestic devotional music making.

Sober and meticulous performances of rare high quality music scrupulously recorded, mostly anon, mostly viol solo, mostly Lutheran in origin, some hymn settings, all dating from the century before orgelbuchlein. Very well worth exploring for those who appreciate this sort of thing - think Stoeffken, think Tobias Hume - I would have thought. For me it’s a treasure!
Title: Re: Love can transpose things bass and viol to form and dignity.
Post by: Mandryka on August 09, 2019, 04:40:55 AM
(https://img.discogs.com/jtI_aJsf-P7KCEkUTv9J4hbBKxk=/fit-in/383x374/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-4085015-1556538855-8378.jpeg.jpg)    (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61DKmAsr5JL._SX355_.jpg)

Jordi Savall recorded Marais Book 2 two times, once for Astree in 1975  with Anne Gallet and Hopkinson Smith. And then when he quit Astree to form is own label Alia Vox, he rerecorded them with Hantai and Lieslevand and Pierlot and Diaz Latour. I'm not sure of the date for the second, maybe 2003.

Anyway there is a big difference and as you'd expect if you know Savall's art, the later style is less heavy, in my opinion preferable.

The music of book 2 is well worth exploring, harmonically and rhythmically. 

There are, by the way, two Savall recordings of Book 4 -- it's just that I've not been exploring them today.


(https://img.discogs.com/GsQ0oEzwVW0CJ1SFBfvHI41eqWw=/fit-in/600x614/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-10409780-1496861314-7598.jpeg.jpg)    (https://d27t0qkxhe4r68.cloudfront.net/t_900/829410084369.jpg?1438598805)
Title: Re: Love can transpose things bass and viol to form and dignity.
Post by: Mandryka on November 17, 2019, 08:59:12 AM
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How delightful to find a recording of music by Marais for solo viol, especially by a sensitive academic performer like Alberto Rasi. He plays like an angel, a reflective happy angel -- even something like the Arabesque (80) is sweet. Gorgeous. He knows how to play the silences too, so La reveuse (82), for example, has you hanging off the end of your seat, such is the power of suspension. The result is a Marais which sounds close in spirit to Sainte Colombe, and for that's a jolly good thing.  This is a recording I will be exploring.

I have no information on the viol; Rasi is also a bit of a mystery, one website says he was a Savall student, that he has his own ensemble, teaches in Verona . . . no more than that.

Outstanding sound.
Title: Re: Love can transpose things bass and viol to form and dignity.
Post by: Mandryka on January 08, 2020, 06:41:30 AM
(https://www.highresaudio.com/imgcache/733f89a44db330788d808e0d90ae2bff/revsef-thegalaxyr-preview-m3_550x550.jpg)

This is, I think, the release of a previously hard to find early CD by well known and well loved consort Spirit of Gambo. The recording is mostly dedicated to music by Johan Schenck, which is not my cup of tea at the moment, despite its evident virtue of melodiousness.

So what a surprise to discover it contains three short pieces by a composer completely new to me, Christian Herwich. He doesn't even have a wikipedia entry, so I guess I can be forgiven for never having come across him before. Born 1609, died 52 years later, the fact that he comes from a couple of generations before Schenck is obvious from the music, which in my opinion calls to mind the contrapuntal, expressive music of his peer Dietrich Stoeffken.  Soeffken is, on the basis of Jonathan Durnford's recording, IMO one of the major masters of viol music.

So what else is there by Herr Herwich? Not much. There's a concerto on a Rembrandt themed CD by Musica Amphion, but it seemed a bit uninteresting to me. But there's also a piece taken on a sort of lute on this CD by Hamburg Ratsmusik, and it is very very very very beautiful.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51pUcf6TYIL.jpg)

It's a concert recording, and it sounds as though it may be worth giving a listen.

This is why you need streaming, by the way. I personally would have been disappointed if I'd have forked out real dosh for all that Schenck on the Spirit of Gambo CD, but I'm thrilled they introduced me to this fabulous, if obscure, composer. And it's through searching Qobuz databases that I found the lute piece.




Title: Re: Love can transpose things bass and viol to form and dignity.
Post by: Mandryka on April 20, 2020, 04:49:53 AM
(https://www.etcetera-records.com/media/filer_public_thumbnails/filer_public/f9/55/f95554d1-7be0-4da3-a80c-b383a3e9b6cc/ktc_1906.jpg__1080x980_q85_crop_subsampling-2.jpg)     (https://o-livemusic.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/cover-KTC-1912-fc.jpg)     (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61oljgbeBqL._SL1200_.jpg)     (https://o-livemusic.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/farinamaxi-copy.jpg)     (https://www.etcetera-records.com/media/filer_public_thumbnails/filer_public/5b/79/5b79fae6-46d1-479e-8598-7dcc0f7ff153/ktc_1919.jpg__1080x980_q85_crop_subsampling-2.jpg)


You may have come across the name Roberto Gini for his recordings with Tactus -- Monteverdi and other Italians. But he also has a contract with Olive Music, for whom he has made three viol recordings, and really, I think they're all absolutely fabulous (apart maybe for the Lawes, who is a blind spot for me mostly) -- nuanced, eloquent, calm, expressive. In short, the acme of good taste.

He has also recorded this, unless it's the same as the other Farina recording. Has anyone heard it?

(https://img.discogs.com/K1aCt5GjFC2o6lgG76HxWqfwT24=/fit-in/600x533/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-11425734-1516114951-7293.jpeg.jpg)
Title: Re: Love can transpose things bass and viol to form and dignity.
Post by: Mandryka on September 16, 2020, 09:05:05 AM
(https://www.amazon.fr/images/I/81LXhGIs17L._SS500_.jpg)

Lawes's music is never the same, each movement of each one of these suites is distinctive -- sometimes polyphonic, sometimes simply lyrical, occasionally canons, and every now and then sudden and unexpected ruptures in the flow, and strange dissonances.  What Fretwork do here is always fresh, light, tender and sweet. A joy to hear when you're in the mood I think. It has taken me years and years to open up to Lawes's consort music, but today, with this recording, it has finally happened.
Title: Re: Love can transpose things bass and viol to form and dignity.
Post by: Mandryka on September 18, 2020, 04:22:29 AM
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There are many good recordings of the Purcell fantasias. This one from Harnoncourt dates from the mid 1960s, it has a warm sound which for me is reminiscent of the sound of LPs, that’s probably silly, but it’s true. The ensemble is very much à voix égales, rather than à voix fondues (just made that expression up) - and that contrapuntal approach to these quartets, sextets and septets suits me. No viol is principal, all voices are equally important. But what may well be the really distinctive thing about Harnoncourt’s performances is the sense of joy, more joy than melancholy I think, and the sense of easy going pleasure in making the music blossom. This makes the playing congenial to hear, despite the austerity and the complexity of the music.  These fantasias are at the very end of the centuries long tradition of viol consort music in England, and for once it may well be true that the best is the last (or first with Christopher Tye, let’s not go there.) A lovely recording IMO.
Title: Re: Love can transpose things bass and viol to form and dignity.
Post by: Mandryka on September 27, 2020, 08:41:46 AM
(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/4a/a0/oifjiwawca04a_600.jpg)

An new Demachy recording from Jonathan Dunford, on Qobuz and similar platforms.  It seems fabulous to me this Sunday evening, it’s caught my imagination much more than his earlier recording pictured below, I’ll try to give both more attention soon.



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