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Giovani Alberto Ristori: Divotti Affetti Alla Passione Di Nostro Signore; Esercizi Per L' Accompagnamento

Ristori / Mields / Vitzthum / Echo Du Sanube
Release Date: 03/29/2011 
Label:  Accent   Catalog #: 24209   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Giovanni Alberto Ristori
Performer:  Dorothee Mields
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Echo du Danube
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



RISTORI Divoti affetti alla Passione di Nostro Signore. Esercizi per l’Accompagnamento. Sonata in g Dorothee Mields (sop); Franz Vitzthum (alt); Echo du Danube (period instruments) ACCENT 24209 (63:57 Text and Translation)


The name Giovanni Ristori (1692–1753) is probably not at the top of anyone’s list in terms of known figures of the grandiloquent Dresden musical establishment during the times of composers such as Jan Dismas Zelenka or Johann Read more David Heinichen, but he was a figure like many Italians who traveled north as part of a touring opera troupe and found a place where he could practice his craft. Ristori first found employment in Russia, but in 1733 he was dismissed by the Empress Anna and went to Germany, where he found work as a court organist, often substituting for Johann Adolf Hasse. His main duties were with the small Catholic chapel at the main palace and thus were more private and intimate. To be sure, he did occasionally write operas for the court, but his main focus was on church music, and even when he received a boost in position to church composer following the death of Zelenka in 1746, he was unable to rise much further due to the fact that so many powerful composers were resident in Dresden at the time. His music has largely been lost or forgotten.


While one is not expecting a Ristori revival, or for that matter any sort of extra focus on private devotional music of this time, these pieces created for the Friday and Sunday of Quadragesima reflect the sort of accompanimental music that the court required for special services. Therefore, the expansive orchestration and choral settings found in the Frauenkirche were far too powerful and public for such occasions. Instead, Ristori uses only two voices, in effect turning these into duets accompanied only by a continuo calling for an organ and theorbo. Here, the Echo du Danube uses a lute to accompany the vocal portions, save for the Versetto in Primo tono , where a harp and psaltery add a nice ethereal touch. The voices generally begin with a single lyrical line, such as in the “O vinea electa” above a Baroque walking bass; here the weaving of the line nicely outlines the growing vine, and when the two voices combine the effect is magnified even further. Ristori has the capability to blend his lines contrapuntally, crossing and recrossing without interference or diminishing their clarity. A fair amount of this disc is devoted to the Esercizi , which seem to have been practice pieces for the keyboard, pedagogical works to teach both thorough-bass and improvisation. Here, they are presented in careful arrangements by Alexander Weimann, who realized the figures. The same can be said for the three-movement continuo sonata “per l’accompanamento” apparently attached to the Esercizi as sort of a final exam, much in the way that Johann Sebastian Bach did with his trio sonata at the end of The Musical Offering. While these works are not part of the Divoti , they provide a nice complement to the vocal portions, as if one were present at one of these special services reserved solely for the Saxon court.


Soprano Dorothee Mields and countertenor Franz Vitzthum have voices that are suited both to this type of music and to each other. The blend is clear and precise, with good intonation and an excellent sense of interpretation of the interwoven lines. The continuo playing of Alexander Weimann at the organ and Christian Zincke on the viola da gamba are unobtrusive, anchoring the vocal portions and keeping the tempos moving along nicely. When used, the other plucked instruments are likewise well integrated into the texture, never overt and always sensitive to the musical text. This is well worth having as a glimpse into the private world of court devotion, far removed from the pompous and extravagant display of the main public worship services. I suspect that this will not create a need for more Ristori, but is a good anodyne to the usual Bach cantatas or larger masses of Zelenka and others.


FANFARE: Bertil van Boer
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Works on This Recording

1.
Esercizio (Andante), for 1 (or 2) voices & continuo, in C minor by Giovanni Alberto Ristori
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Echo du Danube
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Himmelfahrtskirche Sendling, Munich 
Length: 2 Minutes 18 Secs. 
2.
Qui sinum patris, for voice & continuo by Giovanni Alberto Ristori
Performer:  Dorothee Mields ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Echo du Danube
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Himmelfahrtskirche Sendling, Munich 
Length: 5 Minutes 5 Secs. 
3.
Esercizio del Imo tono, for 1 (or 2) voices & continuo by Giovanni Alberto Ristori
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Echo du Danube
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Himmelfahrtskirche Sendling, Munich 
Length: 1 Minutes 29 Secs. 
4.
Esercizio (Vivace), for 1 (or 2) voices & continuo, in D minor by Giovanni Alberto Ristori
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Echo du Danube
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Himmelfahrtskirche Sendling, Munich 
Length: 1 Minutes 36 Secs. 
5.
Amor ah! Amor meus, for voice & continuo by Giovanni Alberto Ristori
Performer:  Dorothee Mields ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Echo du Danube
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Himmelfahrtskirche Sendling, Munich 
Length: 5 Minutes 35 Secs. 
6.
Esercizio, for 1 (or 2) voices & continuo, in F major by Giovanni Alberto Ristori
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Echo du Danube
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Himmelfahrtskirche Sendling, Munich 
Length: 1 Minutes 32 Secs. 
7.
Esercizio, for 1 (or 2) voices & continuo, in G minor by Giovanni Alberto Ristori
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Echo du Danube
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Himmelfahrtskirche Sendling, Munich 
Length: 2 Minutes 17 Secs. 
8.
Jesu morti tradebaris, for voice & continuo by Giovanni Alberto Ristori
Performer:  Dorothee Mields ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Echo du Danube
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Himmelfahrtskirche Sendling, Munich 
Length: 4 Minutes 23 Secs. 
9.
Esercizio (Spirituoso), for 1 (or 2) voices & continuo, in G minor by Giovanni Alberto Ristori
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Echo du Danube
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Himmelfahrtskirche Sendling, Munich 
Length: 1 Minutes 26 Secs. 
10.
Versetto del Imo tono, for organ by Giovanni Alberto Ristori
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Echo du Danube
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Himmelfahrtskirche Sendling, Munich 
Length: 1 Minutes 27 Secs. 
11.
O vinea electa, for voice & continuo by Giovanni Alberto Ristori
Performer:  Dorothee Mields ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Echo du Danube
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Himmelfahrtskirche Sendling, Munich 
Length: 4 Minutes 54 Secs. 
12.
Esercizio (Allegro), for 1 (or 2) voices & continuo, in E flat major by Giovanni Alberto Ristori
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Echo du Danube
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Himmelfahrtskirche Sendling, Munich 
Length: 1 Minutes 27 Secs. 
13.
Esercizio, for 1 (or 2) voices & continuo, in E flat major by Giovanni Alberto Ristori
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Echo du Danube
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Himmelfahrtskirche Sendling, Munich 
Length: 1 Minutes 23 Secs. 
14.
Esercizio, for 1 (or 2) voices & continuo, in A minor by Giovanni Alberto Ristori
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Echo du Danube
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Himmelfahrtskirche Sendling, Munich 
Length: 1 Minutes 56 Secs. 
15.
Per dura devia, for voice & continuo by Giovanni Alberto Ristori
Performer:  Dorothee Mields ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Echo du Danube
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Himmelfahrtskirche Sendling, Munich 
Length: 6 Minutes 12 Secs. 
16.
Esercizio, for 1 (or 2) voices & continuo, in C minor by Giovanni Alberto Ristori
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Echo du Danube
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Himmelfahrtskirche Sendling, Munich 
Length: 1 Minutes 27 Secs. 
17.
Implete pectus, for voice & continuo by Giovanni Alberto Ristori
Performer:  Dorothee Mields ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Echo du Danube
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Himmelfahrtskirche Sendling, Munich 
Length: 3 Minutes 11 Secs. 
18.
Ad mortem Jesus, for voice & continuo by Giovanni Alberto Ristori
Performer:  Dorothee Mields ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Echo du Danube
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Himmelfahrtskirche Sendling, Munich 
Length: 6 Minutes 26 Secs. 
19.
Sonata per l'Accompagnamento in G minor by Giovanni Alberto Ristori
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Echo du Danube
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Himmelfahrtskirche Sendling, Munich 
Length: 7 Minutes 27 Secs. 

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