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Rembrandt - Music of His Time
Michael PRAETORIUS (c.1571-1621)

Terpsichore (pub. 1612): La Bourree [2'32"]; Bransle de la Torche [2'17"]; Westra Aros Pijpare/Bertil Färnlöf
(From Naxos 8.553865)
Tobias HUME (c.1579-1645)

Captain Humes Poeticall Musicke (pub. 1607)
The Earle of Mountgomeries delight [2'26"]
Les Voix Humaines/Paul Audet/Stephen Stubbs
(From Naxos 8.554126)
Jan Pieterszoon SWEELINCK (c.1562-1621)

Echo Fantasia in A minor [4'15"]
James David Christie (organ)
(From Naxos 8.550904)
Orlando GIBBONS (1583-1625)

Fantasia No. 3 [3'46"] Rose Consort of Viols
The Fairest Nymph [1'35"] Timothy Roberts (virginal)
(From Naxos 8.550603)
Jan Pieterszoon SWEELINCK

Onder een linde groen [5'32"]
James David Christie (organ)
(From Naxos 8.550904)
Heinrich SCHÜTZ (1585-1672)

Jauchzet dem Herren (Psalm 100) [5'05"]
Oxford Camerata/Jeremy Summerly
(From Naxos 8.553514)
Erhöre mich, wenn ich rufe [2'59"]
Oxford Camerata/Jeremy Summerly
(Carys-Anne Lane and Rebecca Outram, sopranos)
(From Naxos 8.553044)
Girolamo FANTINI (1600-after 1675)

Sonata No. 8 "detta del Nero" [2'50"]
Niklas Eklund (baroque trumpet), Knut Johannessen (organ)
(From Naxos 8.553593)
William LAWES (1602-1645)

Alman for two lutes [2'40"]
Corant for two lutes [1'57"]
Jacob Heringman and David Miller
(From Naxos 8.550601)
Louis COUPERIN (c.1626-1661)

Prélude in F [2'18"]
Allemande in C [3'16"]
Laurence Cummings (harpsichord)
(From Naxos 8.550922)
Anthoni Van NOORDT (c.1619-1675)

Tablatuur-boeck van psalmen en fantaseyn (pub.1659)
Psalm XXIV [7'21"]
Peter Ouwerkerk (organ)
(From Naxos 8.554204)
Jean Baptiste LULLY (1632-1687)

Ballet de Xerxes (1660): Ouverture [2'04"]; Bourrée pour les Basques [1'04"]; Deuxième Air pour les mesmes [0'50"]; Air pour les Paysans et Paysanes [0'55"]; Gigue pour Scaramouche [1'32"]
Aradia Baroque Ensemble/Kevin Mallon
(From Naxos 8.554003)

Prélude in F [2'24"]
Tombeau de M. de Blancrocher [5'35"]
Glen Wilson (harpsichord)
(From Naxos 8.555936)
Johann Jakob Löwe von EISENACH (1629-1703)

Capriccio No. 1 for two trumpets [1'31"]
Niklas Eklund and Marc Ullrich, baroque trumpets/Knut Johannessen, organ
(From Naxos 8.553593)
Johann ROSENMÜLLER (c.1619-1684)

Sonata da camera cioe Sinfonie Alemande
Sinfonia XI [5'20"]
Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca, Treviso
Accademia Strumentale Italiana, Verona
(From Naxos 8.553787)
NAXOS ART AND MUSIC 8.558118 [72'18"]

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This programme is very similar to the Bruegel that I reviewed in August 2004, the main difference being that there are more consort and instrumental items and fewer vocal ones. The relationship of the music to the period of the artist is well demonstrated and an excellent chart in the booklet allows one to compare the historical chronology. The period is an interesting one; I did not realise that Holland had only just become a state in its own right only 25 years prior to Rembrandt's birth, and that warring with Spain was still then prevalent, particularly in the Antwerp area. The cessation of Catholicism and advent of Calvinism obviously had great effects on the music and character of the people, not just in Holland, but over most of post-Reformation Europe and England. This is shown in examples and extracts from the various composers featured on the disc.

As on the previous disc mentioned, the music is typical in the time and style of the countries affected; except for Fantini, who was Italian, all the examples are from Holland, France, Germany and England. The continental pieces particularly show the more sedate and serious aspect that the separation from the Catholic church gave rise to. Even the dances are dignified, with an early indication of the style of music which became the baroque. At the same time, the progression of style across the countries according to their geographical position is evident as the lighter nature of Lully's court music and ballet is more a mirror of its Italian counterpart.

There is a nice mixture of solo instrument as in organ, lute, and keyboard as against consort music and choral pieces, particularly as the fashion for more ensemble pieces for the various courts became more widespread. Most of the works are late-Renaissance, with some early Baroque appearing e.g. Lully and Schütz (I have even heard of Gibbons being described as England's first baroque composer; I personally feel that honour belongs to Purcell). The standard of performance is high in all cases, as should be expected with performers of the excellence of the Oxford Camerata, Lawrence Cummings and Jacob Heringman. I had not had the opportunity of hearing the other contributors to the disc, but they acquit themselves well. The recording is true and lifelike and well up to the best standards. The booklet gives a nice vignette of Rembrandt's life, with a quick sketch of the music - not all the pieces are described or mentioned in the text. The words of the psalms by Schütz are included.

If this type of presentation appeals, one will not be disappointed, particularly at bargain price.

John Portwood

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