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Batailles / Concerto Palatino, Montreal Baroque Band


Release Date: 08/10/2004 
Label:  Atma Classique   Catalog #: 22312   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Claude GervaiseTarquinio MerulaJohann Heinrich SchmelzerAnthony Holborne,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto PalatinoMontreal Baroque Band
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Imitating animals and other sounds of nature, and especially the dramatic aspects of battle, were favorite themes of 17th-century instrumental composers, and this program very smartly collects 11 of the better examples of this repertoire in first-rate performances by the period-instrument groups Concerto Palatino and La Bande Montréal Baroque. Most famous among them are Biber's aptly titled Battalia and Carlos Farina's Cappricio stravagante, both of which have been frequently recorded, but never better or more effectively than here.


Both works feature an array of "sound effects" produced by various techniques (some would say "abuses") of string instruments--such things as striking the wood of
Read more the bow on the fingerboard or side of the instrument, playing close to the bridge or fingerboard, and snapping the strings (à la Bartók). The Farina piece also employs unusual glissando effects (among its animal depictions are those of a hen, a rooster, a dog, and a cat), and Biber even asks the bass player to insert paper between the strings to imitate a drum in the March section. Perhaps most bizarre is Biber's Ivesian polytonal writing in a section titled "The Profligate Society of Common Humour", in which eight different folksongs are "sung" simultaneously--in seven different keys, in two meters and nine voices! This sequence is offered to represent the various ethnic groups forming the armies employed by the aristocracies of the period. (One of the songs, "Cabbage and Beets" was later used by Bach in his Goldberg Variations.) Needless to say, this is all great fun--after all, how could you not enjoy a piece--Biber's Battalia--whose subtitle is "The Dissolute Gathering of Musketeers, the March, the Battle, the Lament of the Wounded, matched with Arias and dedicated to Bacchus"?


Unfortunately, most listeners won't know many of the above details because the disc's liner notes, which go on at length to "explain" the connection between 17th-century music and Aristotelian aesthetics, don't give much concrete information on the music you're hearing. Given the fact that all of these works are "about" something, and the more we know, the better we can appreciate their programmatic effect, this sketchy treatment makes no sense. Nevertheless, we certainly can appreciate Anthony Holborne's poignant Pavane (one of the disc's highlights) without a scorecard, and overall the instrumental playing is superb--and the occasional contribution of the cornetts is especially delightful. There are other battle pieces here, by such illustrious composers as Gervaise, Schmelzer, and Scheidt, and together there's a wide enough range of moods and styles that the program's nearly 70 minutes flows by with pleasurable ease. Sound is clear and detailed and vibrant--placing us at a comfortable (and safe!) distance from the action. [4/12/2005]
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Danceries - Suite no 2: Pavane de la Guerre by Claude Gervaise
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Palatino,  Montreal Baroque Band
Period: Renaissance 
Notes: This selection is part of a medley which also includes "Gaillarde de la guerre." 
2.
Danceries - Suite no 2: Gaillarde de la Guerre by Claude Gervaise
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Palatino,  Montreal Baroque Band
Period: Renaissance 
Notes: This selection is part of a medley which also includes "Pavane de la guerre." 
3.
La Cattarina by Tarquinio Merula
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Palatino,  Montreal Baroque Band
Period: Renaissance 
4.
Polonische Sackpfeiffen in G major by Johann Heinrich Schmelzer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Palatino,  Montreal Baroque Band
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; Austria 
5.
Die Fechtschule by Johann Heinrich Schmelzer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Palatino,  Montreal Baroque Band
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; Austria 
6.
Pavans, Galliards, Almaines (65): The Funerals by Anthony Holborne
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Palatino,  Montreal Baroque Band
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1599; England 
7.
Ander Theil newer Paduanen, Gagliarden, Couranten, franzosischen Arien: Capriccio stravagante by Carlo Farina
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Palatino,  Montreal Baroque Band
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1627; Dresden, Germany 
8.
Ludi musici, Book 1: Cantus no 28, Canzon à 5 "O Nachbar Roland" by Samuel Scheidt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Palatino,  Montreal Baroque Band
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1621; Halle, Germany 
9.
Ludi musici, Book 1: Cantus no 21, Galliard battaglia à 5, SSWV 59 by Samuel Scheidt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Palatino,  Montreal Baroque Band
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1621; Germany 
10.
Battaglia de Barabaso yerno de Satanas by Andrea Falconieri
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Palatino,  Montreal Baroque Band
Period: Renaissance 
11.
Battalia à 10 by Heinrich Ignaz Biber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Palatino,  Montreal Baroque Band
Period: Baroque 
Written: Bohemia 
12.
Capriccio à 3 by Johann Vierdanck
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Palatino,  Montreal Baroque Band
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; Germany 

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