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Viola Appassionata
Ensemble Art d’Echo (Juliane Laake (viola da gamba), Maximilian Ehrhardt (Baroque harp), Johanna Oelmüller Rasch (Baroque cello)
rec. 2017, Andreaskirche, Berlin
QUERSTAND VKJK1710 [61:10]

Following the success of her first album The Golden Age in Brandenburg (review), the viola da gamba player Juliane Laake has just released her second for the Querstand label, this time with the intriguing title Viola Appassionata. Once again, her collaborators are the Ensemble Art d’Echo.

The album focuses on the subject of love in its many forms. Laake has provided the accompanying notes and quotes Corinthians at the start: “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love...”. It is a subject that has inspired the creation of many works in numerous art forms, which have attempted to convey the many emotions that love awakens. The madrigal in 16th Century Italy was a vehicle for such expression, attempting to portray vividly the emotional content of a particular text. This disc presents instrumental arrangements of a selection of these. The booklet contains the texts of some of them in the original Italian with German translation.

The biting, buoyant rhythms of Pasquini’s ‘Follia’, in an arrangement by the ensemble themselves, provides the perfect curtain-raiser to this splendid disc. The melancholic strains of Falconieri’s ‘Canzone La Suave Melodia’, eloquently traced by Laake, are aptly counterbalanced by the genial and sprightly ‘Corrente’. To offer an element of contrast, Frescobaldi’s Toccata places the harp in the spotlight. To lift the spirits, sample Ortiz’s ‘Recercada seconda’ or Frescobaldi’s ‘Se l’aura spira’. Cipriano de Rore’s ‘Ancor che col partire’ takes a more reflective stance, with the harp’s diaphanous chords offering a glowing radiance. The other ‘Ancor che col partire’, this time by Riccardo Rognoni, sounds as if it’s being improvised, as does Trabaci’s ‘Ancidetemi pur’. An intimate dialogue between lovers is how I would characterize Jarebsky’s ‘Cantate Domino Parte II’.
The point I am trying to make is that this programme has great variety in terms of mood, emotion and instrumental focus. Berlin’s Andreaskirche offers an ideal and sympathetic recording venue, conferring both intimacy and clarity. It’s a most enjoyable release.
Stephen Greenbank

Bernardo Pasquini (1637-1710)
1 Follia (arr. Art d’Echo) [3:08]
Girolamo Dalla Casa (c.1550-1601)
2 Qual è più grand’ o Amore [2:49]
Diego Ortiz (c.1510-1570)
3 O felici occhi miei [1:58]
Andrea Falconieri (c.1585-1656)
4 Canzone La Suave Melodia – Corrente [3:25]
Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643)
5 Toccata [5:27]
6 Canzona I [3:03]
Diego Ortiz
7 Recercada seconda [1:39]
Cipriano de Rore (c.1515-1565)
8 Ancor che col partire [2:34]
Riccardo Rognoni (c.1550-1620)
9 Ancor che col partire [5:32]
Diego Ortiz
10 Recercada terza [1:34]
Adam Jarzebsky (c.1590-1649)
Cantate Domino
11 Parte I [4:36]
12 Parte II [4:24]
Girolamo Frescobaldi
13 Se l’aura spira [1:14]
Andrea Falconieri
14 Brando dicho el Melo [1:09]
Giovanni Trabaci (c.1575-1647)
15 Ancidetemi pur [6:56]
Giovanni Bassano (c.1558-1617)
16 Susanne ung jour [4:11]
Adam Jarzebsky
17 Susanna Videns [5:00]



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