Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider


colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti

Guillaume LEKEU

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Superior performance

Shostakovich 6&7 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem Thielemann

Marianna Henriksson
An outstanding recital

Arnold Bax
Be converted

this terrific disc

John Buckley
one of my major discoveries

François-Xavier Roth
A game-changing Mahler 3


Bryden Thomson


Vaughan Williams Concertos

RVW Orchestral



We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Per Flauto - Italian Recorder Music of the 17th Century
Giovanni Battista FONTANA (?-1630)
Sonata XV (1641) [3:47]
Bartolomeo DE SELMA Y SALAVERDE (c.1585-after 1638)
Canzon (1638) [4:46]
Girolamo FRESCOBALDI (1583-1643)
Canzona XI La Plettenberger (1628) [2:07]
Canzona XII La Todeschina (1628) [2:09]
Canzona III (1628) [3:37]
Aurelio VERGILIANO (c1540-c.1600)
Ricercata [3:34]
Bernardo STORACE (17th C)
Monica (1664) [7:12]
Francesco ROGNONI (?-before 1626)
Vestiva i colli (after Palestrina) (1620) [4:19]
Francesco TURINI (1589-1656)
Sonata I a 3 (1621) [3:25]
Sonata II 2. tuono (1621) [5:45]
Susan ung jour (after Lassus) (1638) [8:32]
Tarquinio MERULA (1595-1665)
La Strada (1637) [4:30]
La Cattarina (1637) [3:20]
Ganassi-Consort, Köln (Cordula Breuer, Eberhard Zummach (recorder), Christina Kyprianides (cello), Joachim Vogelsänger (harpsichord))
rec. 1988, Evangelische Kirche, Hohnrath, Germany. DDD

Experience Classicsonline

When I received this disc I assumed it was a reissue as the recording date is 1988. In fact there is no indication that it has been reissued. I wonder why after more than twenty years a review copy has landed at my door. Never mind, despite its age it makes great listening.

There can be no doubt that the standard of recorder playing in Italy in the 16th and early 17th century was very high. In the booklet Eberhard Zummach mentions the name of Sylvestro Ganassi who published a tutor (La Fontegara) in 1535 which bears witness to that. We also know about a family of brilliant recorder players from Venice, the Bassanis, who went to England in 1540 and for several decades were at the service of the Court. The recorder would remain popular in Italy until the end of the 17th century when it was gradually overshadowed by the transverse flute.

The programme of this disc contains music from the first half of the 17th century. Although it was a time which saw a more idiomatic writing for various instruments, in particular the violin, many compositions are playable at any treble instrument. Even if composers did mention a specific instrument, the use of other instruments is not excluded. Massimiliano Neri, who was active in the mid-17th century, once wrote: "Even if (...) every Sonata is assigned to instruments, everything remains at the disposition [of the player] to change within the satisfactory confines of correct taste, & taking common practice into account".

And so this disc opens with a sonata by Giovanni Battista Fontana, which was probably written for two violins, considering the fact that he was a violinist himself. But in the title of the collection from which this sonata is taken he specifically mentions the cornett as an alternative. And as the playing technique of cornett and recorder are comparable there is no objection to a performance on the latter. Bartolomeo de Selma y Salaverde, on the other hand, was a wind player himself, more particularly a virtuoso on the bassoon, and his music is very suitable to the recorder. His diminutions on Susan ung jour, the famous chanson by Orlandus Lassus, was very likely written in the first place for his own instrument. Here it is performed with the cello.

Diminutions - melodic and rhythmic ornamentations of a given vocal line - were one of the popular forms of instrumental music in the decades around 1600. They show which music of the 16th century was most famous, and Lassus's chanson belonged to that category. So did Palestrina's madrigal Vestiva i colli which was used by Francesco Rognoni for diminutions, published in a collection of 1620. He was one of the most prolific writers of diminutions at the time. Variations on popular tunes were also written for keyboard, and Bernardo Storace took another popular tune, Monica. Girolamo Frescobaldi used this tune as cantus firmus for a mass. He may be mainly known for his keyboard music but he also composed a number of canzonas which were printed in 1628. He specifically intended them for "all sorts of instruments". Most of them have names whose meaning isn't always detectable. Like his keyboard works they are built from a series of contrasting sections.

Francesco Turini was trained as organist and was for a number of years at the service of Emperor Rudolf, first in Venice, and later in Prague. He was an innovator in that he added violin parts to his madrigals. He was also one of the first to write trio sonatas like the two sonatas on this disc which were printed at the end of a book with madrigals from 1621. They were intended for violins, but are very apt to the recorder. Tarquinio Merula was also trained as an organist, but he also played the violin. He is considered "one of the finest and most progressive Italian composers of his generation" (New Grove). The two pieces on this disc bear witness to that. They are called 'canzoni' but in their texture they mark the evolution from the canzona to the sonata in which the two upper voices are more free from the basso continuo. It is telling that they were published under the title 'canzoni or concertante sonatas'. From these 'canzonas' to the sonata da chiesa is only a small step.

There is one piece which is a bit out of step with the rest of the programme: the Ricercata by Aurelio Virgiliano is a renaissance composition, without a basso continuo. It is technically demanding but stylistically different from the baroque pieces. Its inclusion makes sense as it shows that the level of recorder playing in the 16th century was high. Here we find the roots of the virtuosity of early 17th-century recorder repertoire. In this piece Eberhard Zummach can show his own virtuosity as well. This recording is quite impressive: Cordula Breuer and Eberhard Zummach are fine players who perform this programme with engagement and stylistic understanding. The often elaborate ornaments come off very well and Christina Kyprianides and Joachim Vogelsänger support the recorder players with great rhythmic drive. The former plays the diminutions of De Selma y Salaverde nicely, but I still think they would sound better on the composer's own instrument, the bassoon. Storace's variations are given a fine performance by Joachim Vogelsänger.

I am not sure whether the Ganassi-Consort still exists. I haven't heard anything about them for years. But this disc is a fine testimony to their art. No one who likes Italian music of this period shouldn't miss it; recorder aficionados in particular.

Johan van Veen


















































Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.