29 March 2012

Amours, Zéphyrs & Sirènes

Easy CD-DA | FLAC tracks | Covers | 267 Mb
Date CD: 2003 | Naive | 54:56
La Turbulente are a young French group consisting of two flutes, cello, harpsichord/organ and theorbo/archlute and they were founded in 1989 by the two flute players. For this recital they trace the burgeoning independence of instrumental music. From being simply instrumental transcriptions of vocal works, instrumental pieces gradually take on a life of their own. Parallel to this development was the development of the seconda prattica, in which the text was paramount and this text was carried by a few melody lines supported harmonically as opposed to the older prima prattica which consisted of equal voices in counterpoint. This emphasis on melody and harmony meant that instrumental music could develop in its own right. Instruments could take the vocal forms and expand them rather than simply providing a sometimes unsatisfactory transcription of vocal polyphony.
The period covered by this recital was decided by the range of publications, starting with Bassano’s Ricercated, passaggi e cadentie published in Venice in 1685 and ending with Andrea Falconieri’s Primo libro di canzoni, sinfonie, fantasie printed in Naples in 1650.
As the form developed, with pieces for one or two instruments supported by chordal harmony predominating, so instrumentalists were able to begin to experiment with the deployment of virtuoso elements. In the version of the madrigal by Cipriano de Rore, ‘Ancor che col partire’, La Turbulente perform the piece with their own variations (diminutions) as would have happened at the time.
The recital is not organised in a strictly chronological manner, so once has a nice variety of types of piece and speeds. For me, the most outstanding ones were the livelier, toe-tapping numbers such as Merula’s ‘Chiacona a 3’ and Rossi’s ‘Sonata Duodecima sopra La Bergamasca’. The chaconne form (as used here by Merula) and pieces based on a dance theme (such as La Bergamasca or La Follia) are both quite common as they enable the instrumentalists to create or improvise melodic and rhythmical variations.
Also included on the disc are pieces which foreshadow the 18th century trio sonata. Cima’s ‘Sonata a tre’, which lays out two treble parts over an articulate and complex bass, is remarkable for its early date (1610).
With such a small group of instruments at their disposal, La Turbulente manage to deploy a remarkably variety of timbres and textures. The ensemble plays all these pieces in a lively and infectious manner. The flute/recorder players produce some lovely haunting tone in the slower pieces. But the combination of the temperament used, the flautists tendency to approach notes from below and their letting long notes droop, means that the tuning sometimes takes a little getting used to. But on the whole this is a highly recommendable disc.
Robert Hugill
Marco Uccellini: Aria decima terza Sopra "Questa Bella Sirena"
Bellerofonte Castaldi: Sonata 7 for theorbo
Tarquinio Merula: Chiaccona a 3
Girolamo Frescobaldi: Canzona No.5, basso solo, "detta la Tromboncina"
Andrea Falconieri: Gioiosa fantasia
Giovanni Bassano: Susanne un jour, diminution after Lassus
Bellerofonte Castaldi: Sonata 5 for theorbo
Salomone Rossi: Sonata No.12 sopra la Bergamasca
Giovanni Paolo Cima: Sonata a tre
Cipriano de Rore: Anchor che col partire
Giovanni Battista Buonamente: Sonata No.10 sopra Cavaletto zoppo
Girolamo Frescobaldi: Fiori Musicali, No.16, Tocata Cromaticha
Bartolome de Selma y Salaverde: Divisions on Vestiva i colli (after Palestrina)
Andrea Falconieri: Bayle de los dichos diabolos
Girolamo Frescobaldi: Canzona No.13, a due canti, "detta la Bianchina"
Salomone Rossi: Sinfonia a 3
Bellerofonte Castaldi: Ritornello primo
Giovanni Battista Buonamente: Gagliarda Decima
Andrea Falconieri: Fantasia echa para el muy reverendo Padre Falla
Andrea Falconieri: Folias (a 3) echa para mi Señora Doña Tarolilla de Carallenos
La Turbulente
Frédérique Thouvenot and Susi Möhlmeier, recorders
Claire Giardelli, cello & cello piccolo
Mirella Giardelli, keyboards
Pascal Monteilhet, theorbo & archlute

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