If you are fan of the
music of Telemann, this disc may be
for you. Iím not, and this isnít. But,
having warned you of my bias up-front,
letís see what we can make of this.
Actually, you might get a better picture
of the style if you imagine Telemann
crossed with some of the dance spirit,
but not the pungency of sound, of Praetorius.
We have a collection
of "instrumental music at the courts
of 17th century Germany",
which was assembled into the Partiturbuch
Ludwig by Jacob Ludwig, and presented
to a former employer as a birthday present.
Ludwig was a court musician and compiler,
but not a composer himself. The most
represented composer here is Antonio
Bertali, who was the Kapellmeister in
Vienna, though to my unschooled ears
there isnít much to distinguish between
him and the other court composers.
The Ensemble Echo du
Danube seem committed and capable performers.
They manage to sound larger than their
small number - seven musicians, most
of whom do not play on all tracks. In
fact, despite consisting of a viola
da gamba, a theorbo, a dulcian (a what?
turns out to be a predecessor to the
bassoon), along with violin, double
harp, organ and harpsichord, the group
manages a full, even modern sound. Modern
performance technique on historical
instruments, to invert the equation
of such groups as Orchestre Révolutionnaire
Naxos have obviously
assembled an important historical document
here. As Ludwig compiled a sampling
of the music of his time and place,
so we have the opportunity to travel
and hear the sounds of German court
music in the 1600s, stuff that led courtiers
from a good meal to an evening of toe-tapping
and dancing. If this journey sounds
interesting to you, then do check out
this well-done disc.
see also reviews
Pursglove and Jonathan