Sunday, December 5, 2010

Early Music News


The American lutenist James Tyler has died on November 23. There is an obituary in The Guardian.


One of the six awards of the Deutsche Schallplattenkritik for the year 2010 was given to the recording of Johann Sebastian Bach's motets by the Bach Collegium Japan under the direction of Masaaki Suzuki.
The Musikfest Bremen awarded the Belgian keyboard player and conductor Jos Van Immerseel with its Musikfest-Preis for 2010. It is a token of acknowledgement for his artistic achievements on the music scene and his programmatic contributions at the festival. Previous prizewinners include John Eliot Gardiner, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Marc Minkowski.

From the recording studios

Some interesting productions will be released in the coming months.
The ensemble Ordo Virtutum has recorded music by Notker Balbulus. It is the first in a series of recordings of musical treasures from the library of the convent Sankt Gallen (label: Christophorus).
Music by female composers from Italian convents of the 17th century is recorded by the Cappella Artemisia under the direction of Candace Smith (label unknown; probably Tactus).
Le Concert Brisé, directed by the cornettist William Dongois, has recorded a programme with sonatas and motets by Buxtehude. Next year a disc with sonatas by Fontana will be recorded and in 2012 either a programme with antiphons and sonatas by Cazzati or sonatas by Bertali. All productions will be released by Accent. At the German label Carpe Diem a disc with music by Pandolfi Mealli and Froberger has appeared.
The United Continuo Ensemble from Germany has recorded excerpts from a collection of arias from Leipzig, Die Musicalische Rüstkammer of 1719. Next year a disc with music for bass instruments by composers from Italy and Spain (Frescobaldi, Vitali, Rognoni, Ortiz et al) will be recorded. Both are produced by PanClassics.
The Canadian ensemble Constantinople has recorded a programme with Mexican baroque music (Sanz, Ribayaz, Murcia) (Analekta).
One of the most prominent British all-male college choirs is the Choir of New College, Oxford, since long directed by Edward Higginbottom. Although its repertoire ranges from the Middle Ages to the 21th century it is especially renowned for its performances of early music. Recently a recording of Monteverdi's Vespers was released. Other new recordings include Bach's motets and Mozart's Requiem. These all appear on the choir's recently-founded label Novum.
A series of five discs with sacred music by Johann Sebastian Bach and some contemporaries will appear at the Belgian label Passacaille, with the ensemble Il Gardellino, directed by Marcel Ponseele. The first has just been released.
Johann Sebastian Bach's harpsichord concertos have been recorded by Aapo Häkkinen and Helsinki Baroque (Aeolus), whereas Andreas Staier and the Freiburger Barockorchester have recorded keyboard concertos by Carl Philipp Emanuel for Harmonia mundi.


Last October the first performance since 300 years of the opera Berenice und Lucilla by Christoph Graupner (1683-1760) took place in the Orangerie in Darmstadt, where Graupner worked most of his life. The performers were the Konzertchor Darmstadt and the Darmstädter Hofkapelle on period instruments, conducted by Wolfgang Seeliger. Interesting was the historical approach of the staging, by the Belgian choreographer Sigrid T'Hooft, who is a specialist in baroque gesture.