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Conner Riddle Songs

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Du angenehme Nachtigall
see end of review for track listing
Collegium ‘Flauto e voce’
rec. April 2011 Oberaspach
Texts and translations included
CARUS 83.344 [69:01]

Experience Classicsonline

The Baroque vogue for representing the pastoral and birdsong through the recorder and flute was a particularly adhesive one. Indeed it has never died, and if composers of more recent times incline to the violin for larks, then composers of the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were avid for sweet charmers of the ear to be heard on the Blockflöte and its cousins.
That is the premise of this wide-ranging disc, paragraphally divided into individual countries - Germany, France, Italy, and England - and performed by the original instrument ensemble Collegium ‘Flauto e voce’. We hear a variety of recorders, and flutes including transverse flute, with a varying accompaniment of viola da gamba theorbo, and harpsichord - sometimes one, sometimes two and sometimes all three.
We also have a number of first recordings of these avian, songful pieces. Nine of the 19 are making premiere appearances on disc and that includes all three songs by Reinhard Keiser, the songs by Montéclair, von Wilderer, Hart, Fedeli, Guzinger and Kusser. This is a good haul, and the resulting performances will, I am sure, be welcomed by those interested in the (light) repertory of which it forms a part - and will provide opportunities to develop recitals of voice and flute/recorder sparklers.
The Guzinger song is attributed to him, though not definitively by him. It’s notable for the way in which the two alto blockflöte finish the mezzo’s vocal line. For Keiser’s operatic aria Kleine Vöglein, eure Scherze soprano Susan Eitrich is surrounded by no fewer than four blockflöte. It’s a delicious piece, and the lack of a continuo focuses attention that much more fully on the essential matter in hand. Maybe the fact that it’s marooned in his opera Arsinoe has held it back - most of the songs in the selection are operatically derived - but its extraction here is well worth the price of admission.
His aria Du angenehme Nachtigal, which gives its name to the disc title, is a fluent piece of writing, full of incident but which has a reconstructed basso part. It’s not all avian felicity in the selection. There is melancholy too, as evidenced by Lully’s prelude and air from his opera Le triomphe de l’Amour or his compatriot Montéclair, whose own aria contrasts high recorders and melancholy viola da gamba writing very effectively. In his second aria, this time from the opera Jepthé, he goes one better by using five recorders in different registers. The Italian composer Pietro Torri uses a sopranino recorder to imitate a nightingale, and the results are both utterly delightful and also rather Handelian.
The operatic context of these arias also means that such devices as witty ‘falling asleep’ elements can be infiltrated; something that von Wilderer does in his mezzo aria from the opera Giocasta. Of the three English composers it’s perhaps predictable that two should contribute music from an ode and a masque and the Italian third should take the operatic bull by the horns. Philip Hart’s aria from his Ode to Harmony (1703) utilises the very Purcellian device of a ground bass over which flute and voice-here mezzo Ute Kreidler- twist and coil, whilst the Purcell is one of his fast duets. The ‘English’ Giuseppe Fedelli’s aria is a warbling one, full of fun and wit. There is one purely instrumental piece, a sonata by Jacques Loeillet for recorders, viola da gamba and harpsichord.
This, then, is an ingenious selection, cleverly compiled, fluently and engagingly performed and finely recorded.
Jonathan Woolf

Track listing
Johann Peter GUZINGER (1689-1773)
Süsse Lippen, holde Wangen [4:29]
Reinhard KEISER (1674-1739)
Kleine Vöglein, eure Scherze - from the opera Arsinoe (1710) [2:31]
Du angenehme Nachtigal - from the opera Ulysses (1722) [5:29]
Ihr fliegenden Sänger - from the opera Orpheus (1709) [2:23]
Jean-Baptiste LULLY (1632-1687)
Tout ce que j’attaque se rend - from the opera Le Triomphe de l’Amour (1681) [3:51]
Michel Pignolet de MONTÉCLAIR (1667-1737)
Mais, tout parle d’amour - from the opera-ballet Les Festes de l’été (1716) [4:14]
Ruisseaux, qui serpentez - from the opera Jepthé (1732) [7:27]
Pietro TORRI (c.1650-1737)
Son rosignolo - from the opera Ismene (1715) [3:21]
Johann Hugo von WILDERER (1670-1724)
Dormi, Giocasta - from the opera Giocasta (1696) [2:01]
Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)
Cara sorte - from the opera La verità in Cimento (1720) [5:06]
Jacques LOEILLET (1685-1748)
Sonata in B minor [9:30]
Philip HART (c.1674-1749)
Proceed, sweet charmer of the ear - from the Ode to Harmony (1703) [2:52]
Giuseppe FEDELI (c.1680-1733)
Warbling the birds enjoying - from the opera the Temple of Love (1706) [4:36]
Henry PURCELL (1659-1695)
Hark! how the songsters - from the Masque The History of Timon of Athens (1695) [1:51]
Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767)
Mich tröstet die Hoffnung - from the opera Der geduldige Sokrates (1721) [6:37]
Johann Sigismund KUSSER (1660-1727)
Wo bleibst du, mein Leben - from the opera Erindo oder Die unsträfliche Liebe (1694) [2:38]











































































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