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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – String Quintets K.406 & K.516

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – String Quintets K.406 & K.516

Recorded at the Unitarian Church, Budapest, from 14th to 17h of February, 1994.

About these works:
Mozart’s String Quintet in C minor, K 406 is the composer’s own arrangement of a Wind Serenade, K. 388, for two oboes, clarinets, horns and bassoon, written in 1782 at the end of July, shortly after the completion of the Singspiel Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio). It is mentioned by Mozart in a letter to his father on 27th July in that year, described as Nacht Musique but is not in the form or mood of a Serenade. The later arrangement was presumably designed to be advertised with the Quintels K. 515 and 516 on 2nd, 5th and 9th April 1788 in the Wiener Zeitung, where they are announced as schön und korrekt geschrieben, to be had from Johann Michael Puchberg, the textile-merchant and fellow freemason of Mozart, to whom he had lent various sums of money. The advertised quintets, available on subscription, represented an effort by Mozart to repay Puchberg. The failure of this attempt can be seen from a second advertisement in the Wiener Zeitung on 25th June, extending the subscription period to 1st January 1789. Publication by Artaria followed in 1789 and 1790, with the third of the quintets, K 406, appearing in 1792 after the composer’s death. The C minor Quintet, like Mozart’s other string quintets scored for two violins, two violas and cello, opens with a strong statement of the key on the ascending notes of the C minor tonic chord, with a softer answering syncopated phrase The second subject, in E flat major, is announced by the first violin, then joined by the first viola. Marked rhythms conclude the exposition, which is then repeated, followed by the central development, at first entrusted to violas and cello. There is a pause before the return of the first subject in recapitulation, with the second subject now transposed into C minor and varied to suit its new harmonic context. A gentle E flat melody opens the Andante, a first violin aria, in which the second violin joins in duet. The principal theme makes a hesitant re-appearance, followed by the secondary material, now transposed to end in E flat. The C minor Menuetto in canone uses the imitative device of canon in various ways, at first when the cello imitates the first violin and later briefly between first and second violin and more substantially between violins and violas, followed by the cello. The Trio, in C major, is in inverted canon, the first violin imitating the second with an inversion of the theme and the cello the first viola, while the second viola remains silent. The final Allegro is a set of variations, the first strongly marked in rhythm, followed by a version of the theme in triplets from the first violin. Syncopation characterizes the next variation, leading to a version that allows the cello a running part. Violas and cello open an E flat major variation, answered by the violins The first viola springs into activity in the next treatment of the material, followed by the cello, and a solemn passage of suspensions leads to the return of the theme, now in a cheerful C major. The Quintet in G minor, K. 516, bears the date 16th May 1787 and was written either before or during the composition of Don Giovanni, the period of the final illness of Mozart’s father, who died in Salzburg on 28th May. It is the most heartfelt of the string quintets, with an immediate poignancy in the principal theme, heard initially from the first violin, accompanied by second violin and first viola and then from the first viola, accompanied by the second viola and cello. The descending notes of the cello, echoing those of the first violin, lead to a second subject that goes some way towards dispelling the air of melancholy. This is transformed into the tragic in the development and again on its re-appearance in the recapitulation. The principal theme dominates the coda, as instrument after instrument enters in imitation. The Minuet sustains the mood, its melodic line broken by heavy chords. The Trio, in G major, offers a measure of contrast. The E flat major Adagio starts with a muted statement of the principal theme in music of great beauty, from which tragedy is never far away and soon makes its overt appearance. There is delight in the descending violin figure, answered by the first viola over a syncopated accompaniment, before the return of the first theme. The key of G minor returns in the Adagio introduction to the last movement in music of infinite sadness, leading to the G major Allegro, with its delicate and sprightly theme, intervening between episodes in which still the occasional shadow falls.

The Artists:
Éder Quartet
Jenos Selmeczi: violin
Peter Szts: violin
Sndor Papp: viola
Gyorgy Eder: cello
János Fehérvári: 2nd viola

Track List:
1. String Quintet KV 406 – I – Allegro (7:55)
2. String Quintet KV 406 – II – Andante (4:34)
3. String Quintet KV 406 – III – Menuetto (4:28)
4. String Quintet KV 406 – IV – Allegro (6:07)
5. String Quintet KV 516 – I – Allegro (10:09)
6. String Quintet KV 516 – II – Menuetto (5:23)
7. String Quintet KV 516 – III – Adagio ma non troppo (7:35)
8. String Quintet KV 516 – IV – Adagio – Allegro (10:12)

Stereo, DDD, mp3 (320 kbps), 136.99 Mb, 56:01 minutes. Info & covers included.


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – String Quartets No.20 & 23 & Adagio And Fugue In C Minor, K.546

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – String Quartets No.20 & 23 & Adagio And Fugue In C Minor, K.546

Recorded at the Unitarian Church, Budapest,from 5th to 9th April, 1993.

About this work:
The String Quartet in D Major, K. 499, was written in 1786 in Vienna by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It was published by — if not indeed written for — his friend Franz Anton Hoffmeister. Because of this, the quartet has acquired the nickname Hoffmeister. There are four movements:
I. Allegretto, in D major
II. Menuetto: Allegretto, in D major, with a trio section in D minor
III. Adagio, in G major
IV. Allegro, in D major
This work, sandwiched between the six quartets he dedicated to Joseph Haydn (1782–5) and the following three Prussian quartets (1789–90), intended to be dedicated to King Frederick William II of Prussia (the first edition bore no dedication, however), is often polyphonic in a way uncharacteristic of the earlier part of the classical music era. The menuetto and its trio give good examples of this in brief, with the brief irregular near-canon between first violin and viola in the second half of the main portion of the minuet, and the double imitations (between the violins, and between the viola and cello) going on in the trio.

Mozart’s final string quartet No.23 was to have been the third of six the composer intended to dedicate to King Frederick William II of Prussia, the cello-playing monarch whom Boccherini served as exclusive chamber musician from 1787 until the death of the king ten years later. Shortly after entering the F major Quartet in his thematic catalog in June, 1790, Mozart told Puchberg in a further letter that he had been “obliged” to give away the quartets “for a mere song in order to have cash in hand to meet my present difficulties.” Along with its two companions, K. 590 has been generally regarded by commentators as being less successful than the great set of six “Haydn” quartets composed between 1782 and 1785. Artaria’s advertisement for the “Prussian” quartets describes them as “concertante quartets,” thus paying due recognition to the prominence of their cello parts, which were obviously designed to give Frederick William significance. Yet if the structure is frequently looser than in the more tightly organized “Haydn” quartets, there is much compensation in the skillful manner in which Mozart allows the royal cello discourse with its colleagues, a refinement the composer confessed to finding “troublesome” in execution. The customary four movements are an opening Allegro moderato, an affecting, valedictory Andante, Menuetto, and Allegro finale. From the first movement this piece is filled with aural miracles. Dialogues scurry about and return slightly altered, like double entendres uttered in one of Mozart’s operas. At the movement’s end, the coda restates the development, gracefully winds down, and ends on a witty high note. Mozart never specified whether the second movement is an Allegretto or an Andante.  Alfred Einstein said of it: “It seems to mingle the bliss and sorrow of a farewell to life. How beautiful life has been! How sad! How brief!” The Menuetto is charged with ornamental appoggiaturas and contrary phrases. The finale is packed with wondrous devices, such as unexpected silences and intricate counterpoint. Listen closely in the last bars and you’ll even hear a bagpipe-like drone.

The C-minor Fugue was first composed in December of 1783 for two pianos (K. 426) then re-arranged for strings, with an introductory Adagio, in June 1788 – the prolific summer during which he also penned his last three symphonies. The Adagio alternates a dotted-rhythm reminiscent of a French overture with a more lyrical passage. A French overture normally begins a more extended multi-movement work; in this case, its use serves to establish a period flavor and a sense of occasion. The theme of the Fugue is strongly rhythmic, with little of Mozart’s melodic charm – and yet it has the uniquely Mozartean quality of suggesting a character through gesture and nuance. The “crisis in creative activity” was not for naught.

The Players:
Éder Quartet
János Selmeczi: violin
Péter Szüts violin
Sándor Papp: viola
György Éder: cello

Track List:
01. String Quartet No.20 – Allegretto (8:48)
02. String Quartet No.20 – Menuetto: Allegretto (3:18)
03. String Quartet No.20 – Adagio (8:14)
04. String Quartet No.20 – Allegro (6:51)
05. String Quartet No.23 – Allegro Moderato (8:57)
06. String Quartet No.23 – Andante (Allegretto) (9:04)
07. String Quartet No.23 – Minuetto (3:57)
08. String Quartet No.23 – Allegro (5:06)
09. Adagio And Fughe In C Minor, K.546 – Adagio (4:09)
10. Adagio And Fughe In C Minor, K.546 – Fuga: Allegro(moderato) (3:59)

Stereo, DDD, mp3, 320 kbps, 155,06 Mb, 62:23 minutes. Covers & info included

Part1 —–   Part2

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – String Quartets No.16 & 18

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – String Quartets No.16 & 18

Recorded at the Sashalon Reformed Church, Budapest from 4th to 8th January, 1991.

About these works:
The String Quartet No. 16 in E flat major, K. 428/421b, was composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This is the third of the Haydn Quartets, a set of six string quartets he wrote during his first few years in Vienna in honor of the composer Joseph Haydn. It is in four movements, with the Minuet third:
I. Allegro non troppo
II. Andante con moto
III. Menuetto & Trio
IV. Allegro vivace
The first movement is highly chromatic, with the chromaticized bridge theme in the exposition being one of several examples, the end of the exposition being another. The slow movement invokes the slow movement of Haydn’s Op. 20 no. 1. The ostentatious dissonances of its opening almost have an antique flavour, caused by the collision of semitonal ascents and descents, and this strongly suggests the opening subject of the first movement, so surprisingly isolated there.” Other commentators hear it as pointing forward to Johannes Brahms.

The String Quartet No. 18 in A major K. 464, the fifth of the Quartets dedicated to Haydn, was completed in 1785[1] Mozart’s autograph catalogue states as the date of composition “1785. / the 10th January”. It is in four movements:
1. Allegro
2. Menuetto and Trio
3. Andante
4. Allegro non troppo
The whole piece is characterized by the use of several different contrapuntal devices. In England”this quartet is known as the Drum because the cello part in variation six [of the Andante] maintains a staccato drum-like motion.” This quartet was the model for Beethoven’s String Quartet in A major, Opus 18 No. 5. Throughout the third movement Mozart “makes use of a pedal point in the bass, thus giving the music an entrancing rustic effect.” The last movement “can best be described as being an abridged rondo form.

The Players:
Éder Quartet
Pál Éder: violin
Erika Tóth: violin
Zóltan Tóth: viola
György Éder: cello

Track List:
1. String Quartet No.18 – Allegro (7:28)
2. String Quartet No.18 – Menuetto (6:39)
3. String Quartet No.18 – Andante (13:10)
4. String Quartet No.18 – Allegro (6:27)
5. String Quartet No.16 – Allegro (7:11)
6. String Quartet No.16 – Andante con molo (9:04)
7. String Quartet No.16 – Menuetto, Allegro (6:14)
8. String Quartet No.16 – Allegro vivace (5:28)

Stereo, DDD, mp3, 320 kbps, 151,86 Mb, 60:47 minutes. Covers & info included

Part1 —–   Part2

Music At The Court Of Mannheim

Music At The Court Of Mannheim

Recorded at Opera Studio, Vienna, May 1963.

About the Mannheim School:
Mannheim school refers to both the orchestral techniques pioneered by the court orchestra of Mannheim in the latter half of the 18th century as well as the group of composers who wrote such music for the orchestra of Mannheim and others. The court of the Elector Carl Philipp moved from Heidelberg to Mannheim in 1720, already employing an orchestra larger than that of any of the surrounding states. The orchestra grew even further in the following decades and came to include some of the best virtuosi of the time. Under the guidance of Kapellmeister Carlo Grua, the court hired such talents as Johann Stamitz, who is generally considered to be the founder of the Mannheim school, in 1741/42, and he became its director in 1750. The most notable of the revolutionary techniques of the Mannheim orchestra were its more independent treatment of the wind instruments, and its famous whole-orchestra crescendo.  Members of the Mannheim school included Johann Christian Bach, Johann Stamitz, Franz Xaver Richter, Carl Stamitz, Franz Ignaz Beck, and Christian Cannabich, and it had a very direct influence on many major symphonists of the time, including Joseph Haydn and Leopold Hofmann. The orchestra commissioned Joseph Haydn to compose six symphonies (the “Paris Symphonies” Nr. 82-87), which Chevalier de Saint-Georges conducted for their world premiere. Cannabich, one of the directors of the orchestra after the death of J. Stamitz, was also a good friend of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart from the latter’s visit to Mannheim in 1777 onwards. Composers of the Mannheim school introduced a number of novel ideas into the orchestral music of their day: sudden crescendos – the Mannheim Crescendo or (a crescendo developed via the whole orchestra) – and decrescendos; crescendos with piano releases; the Mannheim Rocket (an extended crescendo passage typically having a rising melodic line over an ostinato bass line); the Mannheim Sigh (a mannered treatment of the Baroque practice of putting more weight on the first of two notes in descending pairs of slurred notes); the Mannheim Birds (imitation of birds chirping in solo passages) and the Grand Pause where the playing stops for a moment, resulting in total silence, only to restart vigorously. The Mannheim Rocket is a series of rapidly ascending broken chords from the lowest range of the bass line to the very top of the soprano line. Its influence can be found at the beginning of the 4th movement of Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 as well as the very start of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 2, No. 1.

About the authors:
Johann Christian Bach (September 5, 1735 – January 1, 1782) was a composer of the Classical era, the eleventh and youngest son of Johann Sebastian Bach. He is sometimes referred to as ‘the London Bach’ or ‘the English Bach’, due to his time spent living in the British capital. He is noted for influencing the concerto style of Mozart. He was born to Johann Sebastian and Anna Magdalena Bach in Leipzig, Germany. His distinguished father was already 50 at the time of his birth, which would perhaps contribute to the sharp differences between his music and that of his father. Even so, his father first instructed him in music until he died. After his father’s death, when Johann Christian was 15, he worked with his second oldest brother Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, twenty-one years his senior, and considered at the time to be the most musically gifted of Bach’s sons. He enjoyed a promising career, first as a composer then as a performer playing alongside Carl Friedrich Abel, the notable player of the viola da gamba. He composed cantatas, chamber music, keyboard and orchestral works, operas and symphonies. Bach lived in Italy for many years starting in 1756, studying with Padre Martini in Bologna. He became organist at the Milan cathedral in 1760. During his time in Italy he converted from Lutheranism to Catholicism. In 1762, Bach travelled to London to première three operas at the King’s Theatre, including Orione on 19 February 1763. This established his reputation in England, and he became music master to Queen Charlotte. He met soprano Cecilia Grassi in 1766 and married her shortly thereafter. She was his junior by eleven years. They had no children. He died in London on New Year’s Day, 1782.

Ignaz Jakob Holzbauer (September 18, 1711 – April 7, 1783) was a composer of symphonies, concertos, operas, and chamber music, and a member of the Mannheim school. His aesthetic style is in line with that of the Sturm und Drang “movement” of German art and literature. Holzbauer was born in Vienna. His operas include Il figlio delle selve (premiered Schwetzingen, 1753). Its success led to a job offer from the court at Mannheim, where he stayed for the rest of his life, continuing to compose and to teach, his students including Johann Anton Friedrich Fleischmann (1766-1798), the pianist, and Carl Stamitz. He died in Mannheim, Germany.
His opera Günther von Schwarzburg, based on the life of the eponymous king (and described here), was an early German national opera, a performance of which Mozart and his sister attended, through which they met Anton Raaff, who was later to premiere a role in Idomeneo. This opera has recently been recorded on the label cpo. Mozart also composed nine numbers for insertion in a Miserere by Holzbauer on commission by the Parisian Concert Spirituel in 1778, but they have been lost. They have been given the catalog number KV 297a in the list of Mozart’s works.

Jan Václav Antonín Stamic was born in Deutschbrod/Nemecký Brod on June 17, 1717. He was the third child born and the first to survive past infancy. He was baptized on June 19, 1717 and probably born a day or two before the baptism. His name appears in the registry as Jan Waczlaw Antonin Stamitz. The Stamitz family was very artistic as Johann’s father, Antonín Ignác, was organist at the Dean’s Church before becoming a merchant, landowner and town councilor. His three brothers were very artistic as well. Joseph František was a painter and Antonín Tadeáš and Václav Jan were both musicians at some point in their lives. Stamitz received his first schooling in Nemecký BrodDeutschbrod and his first musical instruction most likely came from his father. In 1728, he enrolled in the Jesuit gymnasium in Jihlava where he received training from the Jesuits of Bohemia, whose high standard of musical education spawned students were the premiere musicians in Europe. Stamitz spent the academic year 1734–1735 at the [University of Prague]. After only one year, he left the university to pursue a career as a violin virtuoso. The six-year period between Stamitz’ departure from the university in 1735 and the time he was employed in [Mannheim] around 1741 is ambiguous. Stamitz was appointed by the Mannheim court either in 1741 or 1742. Most likely, his engagement at Mannheim resulted from contacts made during the Bohemian campaign and coronation of Carl Albert (Carl VII), a close ally the Elector Palatine. In January 1742 Stamitz performed at Mannheim as part of the festivities surrounding the marriage of Carl Theodor, who succeeded his uncle Carl Philipp as Elector Palatine less than a year later; Carl Albert of Bavaria was a guest at the wedding. At Mannheim, Stamitz advanced rapidly, becoming the “Erster Hoff Violinist” or First Court violinist in 1743. He was granted an increase of salary by 200 gulden, to 900 gulden, the most of any instrumentalist at Mannheim. In 1745 or 1746, he was given the title Concertmeister. The academies, which featured the Mannheim school and the Mannheim orchestra, were the primary responsibility of the Concertmeister and Stamitz was required to prepare and conduct the performance, perform concertos, and provide orchestral compositions of his own. On Feb 27, 1750, he was named the instrumental music director. Stamitz’s other duties and responsibilities included supervision and performance of chamber music and performance in the orchestra for certain operas, ballet productions, balls, and church services.

Franz Xaver Richter is best known as a singer and composer at the famous court of Elector Karl of Mannheim. He was one of those few composers, like Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach, whose styles span three different musical periods of the 18th Century: baroque, roccoco, and classical. Although highly regarded in his lifetime (Mozart had high respect for his work) , he is one of the most neglected of classical composers today. The Schwann catalogs have only a few recorded works by him. Many of Richter’s earlier works were published in London, including rococo symphonies that included a basso continuo in the early 1740’s. However, in the 1750’s he composed a set of six string quartets (divertimenti “Op. 5”), the first of which was published by Breitkopf & H&aunl;rtel and is well-known to most professional quartet players. This beautiful quartet (the best estimate suggests it was composed around 1756) anticipates by nearly 15 years the pathbreaking Op. 20 quartets of Franz Joseph Haydn (1770), which were his first to extend solistic treatments to all the instruments. The other four surviving quartets in the “Op. 5” series are also charming, and have probably been neglected because of their lightness (several end in minuets). Professional quartet players of the later 20th Century need to be known for their technical prowess and eschew works whose main objective is to bring pleasure to audiences. Another set of six quartets published in London in 1768 are available from the Royal Swedish Archives (I have copies) but are in a compressed notational typography that is unsuitable for playing by contemporary professionals. This set needs modern playing editions and recordings. I predict it will eventually become a major addition to the quartet literature. It should gladden quartet lovers tired of endlessly hearing the same standard works.

Track List:
01. Johann Christian BACH – Quintet in D for Flute, Oboe, Violin, Viola & Cello Op.11 No.6 -I- Allegro (7:35)
02. Johann Christian BACH – Quintet in D for Flute, Oboe, Violin, Viola & Cello Op.11 No.6 -II-Andantino (3:21)
03. Johann Christian BACH – Quintet in D for Flute, Oboe, Violin, Viola & Cello Op.11 No.6 -III- Allegro assai (3:06)
04. Ignaz Jakob HOLZBAUER – Quintet in B for Harpsicord, Flute, Violin, Violetta & Cello -I- Allegro (3:54)
05. IIgnaz Jakob HOLZBAUER – Quintet in B for Harpsicord, Flute, Violin, Violetta & Cello -II- Andante (2:32)
06. Ignaz Jakob HOLZBAUER – Quintet in B for Harpsicord, Flute, Violin, Violetta & Cello -III- Menuetto – Trio – Variations I to V – Menuet (8:07)
07. Johann STAMITZ – Trio in A Op.1 No.2 -I- Allegro assai (4:56)
08. Johann STAMITZ – Trio in A Op.1 No.2 -II- Andante poco adagio (3:15)
09. Johann STAMITZ – Trio in A Op.1 No.2 -III- Menuet (2:52)
10. Johann STAMITZ – Trio in A Op.1 No.2 -IV- Prestissimo (1:56)
11. Franz Xaver RICHTER – String Quartet in Bb Op.5 No.2 -I- Poco allegretto (4:31)
12. Franz Xaver RICHTER – String Quartet in Bb Op.5 No.2 -II- Poco andante (5:01)
13. Franz Xaver RICHTER – String Quartet in Bb Op.5 No.2 -III- Fugato presto (2:33)

The Players:
Concentus Musicus Wien
Nikolaus Harnoncourt: conductor & violoncello.
Leopold Stastny: transverse flute
Jürg Schaeftlein: oboe
AliceHarnoncourt & Eva Braun: violin
Georg Fischer: harpsichord

Stereo, ADD, mp3, 320 kbps, 130.61 Mb, 53:45 minutes. Covers & info included.

Part1 —–   Part2

Antonio Vivaldi – Opus 2: 12 Sonate For Violin And Continuo

Antonio Vivaldi – Opus 2: 12 Sonate For Violin And Continuo

Recorded in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, October 1977

About the author:
The creator of hundreds of spirited, extroverted instrumental works, Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi is widely recognized as the master of the Baroque instrumental concerto, which he perfected and popularized more than any of his contemporaries. Vivaldi’s kinetic rhythms, fluid melodies, bright instrumental effects, and extensions of instrumental technique make his some of the most enjoyable of Baroque music. He was highly influential among his contemporaries and successors: even as esteemed a figure as Johann Sebastian Bach adapted some of Vivaldi’s music. Vivaldi’s variable textures and dramatic effects initiated the shift toward what became the Classical style; a deeper understanding of his music begins with the realization that, compared with Bach and even Handel, he was Baroque music’s arch progressive. Though not as familiar as his concerti, Vivaldi’s stage and choral music is still of value; his sometimes bouncy, sometimes lyrical Gloria in D major (1708) has remained a perennial favorite. His operas were widely performed in his own time.

About this work:

These works, often thought of in terms of being ‘immature’, are currently under recorded. This is a pity because although lacking in the depth of Vivaldi’s next opus, the masterwork ‘L’Estro armonico’, these sonatas are sophisticated and artful studies. Taking the rhythms and melodies from dance movements Vivaldi creates a showcase for the violin and explores the interplay between the base instruments of cello and harpsichord. The movements contrast stately, formal preludes with rustic and immediate dances. The exuberance of the faster movements encourages technical brilliance and the slower ones require a thoughtfulness from the player. There is in this music a real sense of Vivaldi striving to stretch the sonata form and to give the music a depth of meaning.

Track List:

The Players:

Stereo, ADD, mp3, 320 kbps, 320.01 Mb, 2 hours 17 minutes. Covers & info included.

Part1 —–   Part2 —–   Part3 —–   Part4

Arcangelo Corelli – Sonate A Violino E Violone O Cimbalo

Arcangelo Corelli – Sonate A Violino E Violone O Cimbalo

Recorded at the Badia Cavana Church, Langhirano, Italy from My 25th to June 2nd, 2003.

About the work:
These dozen sonatas fully constitute one-sixth of Corelli’s published output and strongly influenced the form of the violin sonata in the early decades of the eighteenth century. The collection is in many ways a condensation of Corelli’s four earlier volumes of trio sonatas; here are solo sonatas (front-and-center violin, accompanied by a continuo section of at least a keyboard and usually cello or gamba, sometimes with the addition of theorbo or some other member of the lute family), with the works divided between six church sonatas (sonate da chiesa, the format of Corelli’s Opp. 1 and 3 trio sonatas) and five chamber sonatas (sonate da camera, in the manner of Opp. 2 and 4). The final work follows neither convention; it’s a theme with variations in a single movement. Although Corelli knew this music would be purchased and played mainly by amateurs, he requires a great deal of skill; this set is something of a compendium of violin technique ca. 1700.
Each of the six church sonatas consists of five movements carrying tempo indications rather than the names of dances. The first movement is always imposing and slow (marked either Grave or Adagio), the spacious tempo allowing florid melodic lines. This is always followed by a fast movement, either Allegro or Vivace, often a fugue whose counterpoint requires double and triple stops. Next comes a pair of movements, one fast and the other slow, although the order varies; these are lighter than what has come before, and may suggest some dance form without fully committing to one. The finale is fast, sometimes another fugue, sometimes dancelike (Corelli actually calls one “Giga”).
The five chamber sonatas accomplish much the same sort of work with a lighter touch. They are in either four or five movements, the first always called Preludio and usually slow (except for Sonata No. 7, which is Vivace). Next come three movements in fast-slow-fast pattern. The first of these may be a Corrente, Allemanda, or Giga; the second is usually called Sarabanda; the third is generally a Giga (when that wasn’t the basis of an earlier movement) or Gavotta. The 10th and 11th sonatas end with an extra Allegro, a Giga in the first case, a Gavotta in the second. The final sonata is a set of 24 variations on the old “La Folia” chord progression, offering a variety of tempo, character, and harmony, and ultimately requiring great virtuosity.

Track List:
01. 1. Grave (Sonate I en ré majeur) (3:20)
02. 2. Allegro (Sonate I en ré majeur) (2:29)
03. 3. Allegro (Sonate I en ré majeur) (1:00)
04. 4. Adagio (Sonate I en ré majeur) (2:47)
05. 5. Allegro (Sonate I en ré majeur) (1:39)
06. 1. Preludio: Vivace (Sonate VII en ré mineur) (1:56)
07. 2. Corrente: allegro (Sonate VII en ré mineur) (2:43)
08. 3. Sarabana: Largo (Sonate VII en ré mineur) (2:08)
09. 4. Giga: Allegro (Sonate VII en ré mineur) (2:08)
10. 1. Grave (Sonate II en si bémol majeur) (3:00)
11. 2. Allegro (Sonate II en si bémol majeur) (2:24)
12. 3. Vivace (Sonate II en si bémol majeur) (1:15)
13. 4. Adagio (Sonate II en si bémol majeur) (2:36)
14. 5. Vivace (Sonate II en si bémol majeur) (1:19)
15. 1. Preludio: Largo (Sonate VIII en mi mineur) (4:32)
16. 2. Allemanda: Allegro (Sonate VIII en mi mineur) (1:51)
17. 3. Sarabanda: Largo (Sonate VIII en mi mineur) (2:52)
18. 4. Giga: Allegro (Sonate VIII en mi mineur) (1:53)
19. 1. Adagio (Sonate III en ut majeur) (2:49)
20. 2. Allegro (Sonate III en ut majeur) (2:08)
21. 3. Adagio (Sonate III en ut majeur) (2:59)
22. 4. Allegro (Sonate III en ut majeur) (1:01)
23. 5. Allegro (Sonate III en ut majeur) (2:22)
24. 1. Preludio: Largo (Sonate IX en la majeur) (4:58)
25. 2. Giga: Allegro (Sonate IX en la majeur) (2:34)
26. 3. Adagio (Sonate IX en la majeur) (0:40)
27. 4. Tempo di Gavotta: Allegro (Sonate IX en la majeur) (2:31)
01. 1. Adagio (Sonate IV en fa majeur) (2:16)
02. 2. Allegro (Sonate IV en fa majeur) (2:24)
03. 3. Vivace (Sonate IV en fa majeur) (1:08)
04. 4. Adagio (Sonate IV en fa majeur) (2:16)
05. 5. Allegro (Sonate IV en fa majeur) (2:19)
06. 1. Preludio: Adagio (Sonate X en fa majeur) (2:33)
07. 2. Allemanda: Allegro (Sonate X en fa majeur) (2:12)
08. 3. Sarabanda: Largo (Sonate X en fa majeur) (2:23)
09. 4. Gavotta: Allegro (Sonate X en fa majeur) (0:37)
10. 5. Giga: Allegro (Sonate X en fa majeur) (2:13)
11. 1. Adagio (Sonate V en sol mineur) (3:29)
12. 2. Vivace (Sonate V en sol mineur) (1:53)
13. 3. Adagio (Sonate V en sol mineur) (2:17)
14. 4. Vivace (Sonate V en sol mineur) (1:39)
15. 5. Giga: Allegro (Sonate V en sol mineur) (1:30)
16. 1. Preludio: Adagio (Sonate XI en mi majeur) (2:12)
17. 2. Allegro (Sonate XI en mi majeur) (2:29)
18. 3. Adagio (Sonate XI en mi majeur) (0:41)
19. 4. Vivace (Sonate XI en mi majeur) (1:57)
20. 5. Gavotta: Allegro (Sonate XI en mi majeur) (0:44)
21. 1. Grave (Sonate VI en la majeur) (3:12)
22. 2. Allegro (Sonate VI en la majeur) (2:17)
23. 3. Allegro (Sonate VI en la majeur) (0:59)
24. 4. Adagio (Sonate VI en la majeur) (2:17)
25. 5. Allegro (Sonate VI en la majeur) (2:15)
26. Follia (Sonate XII en ré mineur (11:57)

The Players:
Enrico Gatti: violin
Gaetano Nasillo: violoncello
Guido Morini: harpsichord

Stereo, DDD, mp3, 320 kbps, 301.9 Mb, 2 hours 06 minutes. Covers & info included.

Part1 —–   Part2 —–   Part3 —–   Part4

Auguste Franchomme – Works For Cello & String Quintet / Music For Two Cellos

Auguste Franchomme – Works For Cello & String Quintet / Music For Two Cellos

Recorded in May 1996

About the author:
Auguste-Joseph Franchomme (April 10, 1808 – January 21, 1884) was a French cellist and composer. Born in Lille Franchomme studied at the local conservatoire with M. Mas and Pierre Baumann, before continuing his education with Jean-Henri Levasseur and Louis-Pierre Norblin at the Conservatoire de Paris, where he won his first prize only after one year. He began his career playing with various orchestras and was appointed solo cello at the Sainte-Chapelle in 1828. Along with the violinist Jean-Delphin Alard, teacher of Pablo de Sarasate, and the pianist Charles Hallé, creator of the The Hallé, he was a founder and member of the Alard Quartet. The Quartet was rare for a chamber ensemble of its time because it consisted of professional musicians. Franchomme also belonged to the founding ranks of the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire. Franchomme forged close friendships with Felix Mendelssohn, when the latter visited Paris in 1831, and with Frédéric Chopin. In 1833, Chopin and Franchomme collaborated to write a Grand Duo Concertant for piano and cello, based on themes from Giacomo Meyerbeer’s opera Robert the Devil. Franchomme also rewrote the cello parts for Chopin’s Polonaise Brillante, op. 3, and was the dedicatee of Chopin’s Cello Sonata, op. 65. With the exception of a trip to England in 1856, Franchomme hardly left Paris, where he became a central figure of the city’s musical life. In 1843, he acquired the Duport Stradivarius from the son of Jean-Louis Duport for the then-record sum of FRF22,000. He also owned the De Munck Stradivarius of 1730. Franchomme succeeded Norblin as the head professor of cello at the Paris Conservatory in 1846, and his class included Jules Delsart, Louis Hegyesi, and Ernest Gillet. Franchomme was the most celebrated cellist of his time and contributed to the refinement of the bowing technique—elegant, sweet, and light—which distinguished the French school developed by Jean-Pierre, and Jean-Louis Duport. His left hand was renowned for its deft, precise, and expressive powers of execution. As a composer, Franchomme published some 55 works for cello, including the 12 caprices, op. 7, and the 12 Études, with optional second cello, op. 35; a cello concerto, op. 33; as well as numerous other pieces with piano, orchestral, or chamber accompaniment. For his contributions to music, he was decorated with the Légion d’honneur in 1884.

Ensemble Explorations
Roel Dieltiens: conductor
Christine Busch & Peter Despiegelaere: violons
Marten Boeken: alto
Roel Dieltiens & Lidewij Scheifes: violoncelles
Cléna Stein: contrebasse

Track List:

1. Variations sur des thèmes russes et écossais op. 6 (10:13)
2. Caprice op. 7 No.6 pour deux violoncelles en Ré majeur / D major (2:41)
3. Etude op. 35 No.11 pour deux violoncelles en ut dièse mineur / C sharp minor (5:28)
4. Etude op. 35 No.5 pour deux violoncelles en ut mineur / C minor (2:03)
5. Fantaisie sur une mélodie de Schubert op. 39 (6:33)
6. Nocturne op. 15 No.3 pour deux violoncelles en La bémol majeur / A flat major (5:12)
7. Nocturne op. 15 No.1 pour deux violoncelles en Ut mineur / C minor (5:18)
8. Deuxième Air russe varié op. 32 (11:10)
9. Caprice op. 7 No.9 pour deux violoncelles en Ré majeur / D major (4:04)
10. Caprice op. 7 No.7 pour deux violoncelles en Ut majeur / C major (5:42)
11. Caprice op. 7 No.11 pour deux violoncelles en sol mineur / G minor (2:01)
12. Fantaisie sur “Le Chant d’adieux” op. 9 (8:06)

Stereo, DDD, FLAC, 68:31 minutes. Covers & info included.

Part1 —–   Part2 —–   Part3