Albums

Classical - Released January 18, 2019 | Christophorus

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Classical - Released January 18, 2019 | Christophorus

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Classical - Released January 18, 2019 | Christophorus

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Classical - Released January 18, 2019 | Christophorus

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Classical - Released January 18, 2019 | Christophorus

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International Pop - Released October 19, 2018 | Christophorus

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Classical - Released September 21, 2018 | Christophorus

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Chamber Music - Released July 20, 2018 | Christophorus

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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released June 22, 2018 | Christophorus

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Classical - Released May 18, 2018 | Christophorus

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"Verleih uns Frieden", in Latin "Dona nobis pacem": this was surely the inspiration for musicians in the terrible years of the Thirty Years' War which ravaged Central Europe between 1618 and 1648, leaving whole countries devastated and depopulated for decades. Between Protestants and Catholics, mercenaries paid from sacking and looting, and many parties' constant switching of sides, it is impossible to boil this war down to a fight between two camps. The luckless civilian populations had to take refuge in the remnants of religious and human security, praying that the next band of mercenaries wouldn't gut them in the morning; under these conditions, music could only turn towards divine mercy. Ach Gott! Wir haben’s nicht gewusst, was Krieg für eine Plage ist ("Oh God! We knew not what a plague war is!") by Hildebrand, Wie liegt die Stadt so wüste ("What a ruin the city is") by Weckmann, Teutoniam dudum belli atra pericla molestant ("Dark dangers of war have long imperilled Germany") by Schütz say a lot about people's preoccupations at the time, whether they were Catholics, Lutherans or Protestants of other denominations; and about their terrors in the face of the inescapable situation created in part by the Peace of Augsburg in 1555 with the famous formula Cuius regio, eius religio, or "Whose realm" – i.e. to each ruler, big or small – "his religion", which could only inflame the already-aroused passions of the period. The Johann Rosenmüller ensemble are happy to translate the ardent prayers of the populations of Central Europe which would eventually fall by 60%. © SM/Qobuz

Classical - Released May 18, 2018 | Christophorus

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Classical - Released May 4, 2018 | Christophorus

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Classical - Released April 6, 2018 | Christophorus

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Chamber Music - Released February 16, 2018 | Christophorus

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Art flourished in Habsburg Spain in the 16th and 17th centuries, with its rich and diverse range of works. El Greco and Diego Velásques, the court painter of Philip IV, or Miguel de Cervantes, celebrated as a national poet, were already famous during their lifetime. Their time came to be known as the golden century of Spanish history which also brought forth a lot of wonderful music. Les Escapades became aware of the Iberian musical treasures through a guest appearance at the Early Music Festival in Daroca in 2015. The blind organ player Pablo Bruno worked his whole life here. And why not perform his organ works in the Gamba Consort? This becomes obvious in that the mid-tone tuning of these organs on viola da gamba can be realized by means of split frets and the structure of the music can be made colourful and dynamic. In their excursion into the world of Spanish Music by Pablo Bruna, Diego Ortiz, Juan Cabanilles, Antonio de Cabezón and others Les Escapades followed a dramaturgy of versatility and variety. The organ works of this period are by no means only sacred music. The music selected for this album are virtuoso variations on song melodies, hits or “villancicos populares” or “tientos” which come up with unheard-of dissonances, the Falsas. If an instrument could be assigned to the people of Spain, then surely it would be the guitar. And so Les Escapades join forces with the Catalan guitarist Maria Ferré who provides rhythmic verve in a colourful bouquet of Spanish music. © Christophorus

Classical - Released January 19, 2018 | Christophorus

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Tilman Hoppstock is one of Germany’s most famous guitar players and the work of Bach stands in his focus for a long time: His research of over 30 years culminated in the publication of two book titles and his musicological edition is considered today a standard work by nearly all guitarists who occupy themselves with Bach. In 2013 he earned the doctor’s degree for his research on Bach. The Six Suites for solo cello are nowadays performed on a wide range of instruments and Tilman Hoppstock has adapted the Suites Nos. 1, 2 and 5 for his instrument the guitar. His large knowledge of the contrapunctal technique of Bach combined with his stupendous virtuosity on the guitar resulted in a recording of great musicality and sensibility. © Christophorus

Chamber Music - Released January 19, 2018 | Christophorus

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Shortly after the invention of the French pump organ or harmonium in the year 1842, Victor Mustel (1815-1890) further developed and perfected it with a few crucial ideas, construction layouts and inventions. Mustel first called it an “orgue à double-expression”, whereas the terms “harmonium d’artiste” and finally “harmonium d’art” subsequently established themselves. In contrast to the American type of harmonium the French harmonium d’art with an ingeniously designed pneumatic-mechanic installation allows the player the entirely independent regulation of the air pressure, and thus offers him great opportunities in dynamics. The duet of piano and harmonium d’art was very “hip” in the French bourgeois society of the second half of the 19th century because it brought an “orchestral sound” into their parlours. All the works on this album present hitherto forgotten compositions such as those that may have been heard in a concert at the French harmonium manufacturer Mustel in Paris at the end of the 19th century. © Christophorus

Classical - Released January 19, 2018 | Christophorus

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The program of this album consists of a selection of lesser-known sacred works by Telemann, who successfully composed in all possible styles of his time and synthesized them into a new language that already anticipates some Classical elements. German, French and Italian idioms, both sacred and secular, are all equally present in his compositions. He wrote relatively few pieces in Latin, compared with his huge musical output. As a Lutheran Protestant, most of his sacred music is in German, and the use of that language strongly influenced his melodic and rhythmical writing. When Telemann dealt with a Latin Catholic text, he uses a less “German” style: when a choral melody is not present, he clearly quotes Vivaldi and Corelli. Telemann’s unusual Psalm 71 is connected to the only period in his life that he was outside Germany for a rather long time. In the fall of 1737, he was invited in Paris and stayed there for eight months. The composer specifically mentions his Psalm 71 in his autobiography published in 1740: he describes it as “written in the style of a French Grand Motet, with a colorful orchestration, in five parts.” This piece is probably a tribute to the French monarchy, in the style of Lully and Rameau. As for the Lateinisches Magnificat, it is recorded here for the first time in a complete version. The instrumentation is clearly influenced by Bach’s Magnificat: the use of strings, together with three trumpets and timpani, gives the composition a traditional German sound from the start. Strict counterpoint is extensively used for the choir: every single line is functional, with little ornamentation. Nevertheless, two movements are writen in Italian style. The excellent roster of soloists and the Allabastrina Choir & Consort Are led by Elena Sartori. © SM/Qobuz

Classical - Released October 27, 2017 | Christophorus

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Chamber Music - Released September 15, 2017 | Christophorus

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Classical - Released May 5, 2017 | Christophorus

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The main composer on this album is Samuel Scheidt (1587-1654), whose life was permanently scarred by the abominations of the Thirty Years’ War. His contemporaries – some of their vocal and instrumental works appear on this same album: Melchior Franck, Andreas Hammerschmidt, Johann Kindermann or Bartolomeo de Selma y Salaverde – considered him as a versatile composer of the highest rank, together with his colleagues Schütz and Schein (the “Three Great SCH” or the early German baroque). However, later assessments during the 19th and 20th centuries saw him rather as an instrumental composer who had considerably furthered the art and style of his teacher Sweelinck in terms of contrapuntal development. This is best seen in his two organ pieces Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ and Christ lag in Todesbanden from the collection printed under the name Tabulatura Nova. Both rely, according to prescriptions given to Lutheran organists, on church melodies for their cantus firmus, in particular German-language chorales by Martin Luther and his contemporaries, themselves partly based on known pre-Reformation sequences. That Scheidt, in contrast to Schütz for instance, largely based his vocal compositions on these sources, was due to the fact that his works were destined for an urban church music audience. The composition of “small”, i.e. soloistic and spiritual concertos – as distinguished from large-scale, partly double-choral works, such as Scheidt had published in his Concertus sacri in 1622 – came to play an additional role during the Thirty Years' War, as city chapels suffered considerable personnel and material restrictions. The smaller form meant higher chances of being printed and finding customers. The ensemble I SONATORI consists of five specialists of the so-called “Ancient music scene”, all of which which are active as soloists in numerous prestigious baroque ensembles (among them the Freiburger Barockorchester) and have come together to make music even outside of the “mainstream” baroque repertoire. The sung pieces are performed here by the tenor Knut Schoch, accompanied by the violin, the bassoon (or rather the bass dulcian), the cello (more precisely the violone) and the portable organ.

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