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Chamber Music - Released September 24, 2013 | Zig-Zag Territoires

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released January 1, 2007 | Alpha

Johann Heinrich Schmelzer has enjoyed a considerable revival of fortunes since Romanesca's trailblazing recording of his music for Harmonia Mundi in 1996; although at least one critic since has referred to Schmelzer as "pretty ensconced on the list of obscure composers," the extent to which Schmelzer has been recorded and adopted by violinists since 2000 doesn't bear that out. Hélène Schmitt, after a fashion, serves as Alpha Productions' in-house Baroque violinist and, apart from Uccelini, has generally avoided recording the same material that Manze has put his nimble fingers to. In the case of Johann Heinrich Schmelzer: Sonatae a violino solo, she does so mostly by virtue of recording new discoveries in Schmelzer's worklist, though it does also include the now familiar sonatas Quarta and Quinta from the Sonatae unarum fidium. Here, Schmitt is joined by a crack continuo group consisting of violone player Jan Krigovsky, theorbist Stephan Rath, and Jorg-Andreas Bötticher, who opts for a Clavierorganum rather than an organetto or harpsichord to fill out the continuo. The A minor and B flat major sonatas and the Sonatina in G minor are all "new," located in manuscript at the British Library and recorded for the first time here. The Gigue dite Pfefferstossl (Pepper Mill Jig) is found in two manuscripts at Klagenfurt and Vienna, respectively, with the A major Ciaccona in Vienna alone; neither of these appear to have been recorded either. Among many virtues that can be singled out among these previously unknown works, the B flat major sonata includes a striking "Fantaisie sur une basse Obstinée," a movement where the violin spins out an ever increasingly complex set of variations of a ground bass that's constantly rising upward. Along the way we are treated to a theorbo sonata by Giovanni Pittoni and Toccata by Wolfgang Ebner; now there are a couple of names that are "ensconced on the list of obscure composers!" In the context of the ensemble works, the Clavierorganum works well and adds a considerable amount of color to Schmelzer's Sonata Quarta, but it is hard to get used to the sound of it in Ebner's Toccata -- it almost resembles one of those electronic keyboard settings that combines the sound of two instruments. Comparisons from Schmitt to Manze in this literature are hard to avoid, especially as the choice of continuo is so similar. One aspect of Alpha Productions' Johann Heinrich Schmelzer: Sonatae a violino solo that decidedly does not work in Schmitt's favor is that the performance of the Sonata Quinta is paced a bit too broadly, resulting in an effect that comes off as rather routine. The new discoveries are all quite compelling, however, and the Sonata Quarta is at least comparable to that by Romanesca; Bötticher's employment of the Clavierorganum turned out, in the end, to be a good strategy. © TiVo
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Classical - Released April 19, 2019 | Olde Focus Recordings

Hi-Res Booklet
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Classical - Released September 6, 2011 | Glossa

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
This 1991 recording unusually featured a pair of small Italian groups, Labyrinto and Ensemble Aurora, performing together and separately in ensemble sonatas of various sizes by Austrian composer and violinist Johann Heinrich Schmelzer. It's hard to pick out one group from the other, and indeed, the packaging does not indicate to which group each of the eight individual players belongs. The sonatas are all in the typical style of mid-17th-century Italy, with alternating short sections of contrasting tempo and rhythm that may bring to mind the contrast between light and dark in Baroque painting. The consistent, rather tinkly sound of the string group and the sameness of the musical form may make for a long haul for listeners without a particular interest in instrumental music of the period (these sonatas are drawn from sets published in 1659 and 1662); they would never have been performed back to back in sets like this. But the album, which was reissued by Glossa in 2011, can be recommended to fans of Baroque instrumental music. Schmelzer, a generation before Biber, was a less wildly original composer, but the same imaginative treatment of Italian models is audible in these works. Sample the Pastorale sonata a tre (track 5) with its unexpected treatments of its initial 6/8 material for one instance. The harpsichord and organ continuo of keyboardist Guido Morini was notable for its lively, active quality in 1991, and it still sounds good two decades later. The attractive still-life drawing on the cover of the Glossa version is another point in its favor, as is the fact that recordings of Schmelzer remain scarce. © TiVo
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Symphonic Music - Released April 1, 2012 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released January 1, 2002 | CPO

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Classical - Released November 6, 2012 | Accent

Booklet
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Classical - Released September 7, 2010 | Arcana

Booklet
The "Margarita" referred to in the title of this album was Margarita Teresa of Austria, who married the Habsburg monarch Leopold I in 1667. This event was marked by one of history's great spectacles: a balletto a cavallo or equestrian ballet involving 600 horses and 1,700 participants, who rehearsed for a year. Should Zhang Yimou by chance become interested in the historical performance movement, perhaps this remarkable event could be reconstructed sometime; it was documented in writings and engravings, and the present performers reenacted it on a small scale. The music of court composer Johann Heinrich Schmelzer for the ballet is performed here (track 1), along with other ceremonial music and dances for the Habsburg courts and several sonatas for multiple trumpets, along with trombones and other low instruments. The latter, which are well covered in the booklet (in Italian, English, French, and German), are the most interesting on the program for casual listeners; the variation technique (especially in the Sonata XII, track 7, which also has an interesting humorous dimension explicated in the notes) leads into virtuoso territory. The string-based dances are less immediately appealing; they were parts of spectacles whose primary aspects were visual. But the music is engagingly played throughout, and the album belongs in the collections of anyone studying this phase of the mighty Habsburg monarchy. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 4, 2006 | Preiser Records

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Chamber Music - Released February 1, 2003 | CPO

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Sacred Vocal Music - Released January 1, 2006 | Christophorus

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Classical - Released May 1, 2015 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released December 16, 2015 | 6-2 studio - REVERSIO

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Classical - Released June 25, 2019 | iMD-M.D.T.

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Classical - Released March 22, 2019 | iM Michael Dominik Troehler