This is the second recommendation in a row for a title from Flora Records, a tiny Belgium label specializing in music from the first half of the 17th century. This period of time has been the label's focus recently anyway, for the past half dozen or so releases. Strike the Viol is a program of consort music from the great English tradition of Jenkins, Lawes and Locke - a high point in the history of English classical music. There are also short pieces here by John Coperario, Daniel Norcombe and Christopher Simpson as well as some anonymous works.
If you've listened to consort music from this period before, you know that there is a melancholy air, almost a sadness that permeates it, which is part of its beauty. Three musicians are performing: Philippe Pierlot and Rainer Zipperling both play bass viol, and Giovanna Pessi plays harp. The period instruments sound wonderful, rich and full, and Flora has done a very fine job with the recorded sound. The previous Flora album recommended on E.A., Amarante, is a collection of aire de cour from the same time, but from France. It is sung beautifully by soprano Céline Scheen and has a very similar musical atmosphere as is heard here. They are both great. It just depends on how you like your melancholy served, sung or bowed?
Music for two and a harp from Coperario, Lawes, Simpson among others jewels which Philippe Pierlot invites you to discover. In these pieces for one or two voices we enter the intimacy of the interprets and composers: a sort of communion where the listener would be like a guest comfortably settled near the little group of friends musicians! The artists: Philippe Pierlot, Rainer Zipperling on ancient bass viols to which joins the triple harp of Giovanna Pessi. Recorded in May 2012.
1. "For two divisions Viols to A Ground", 04:43
2. Fancy, 03:27
3. Ayre, 02:20
4. Corant "Duos for two Basse Violls composed in 1652", 01:50
5. Fantazie, 01:38
6. Fantazie, 01:57
7. Saraband, 00:47
8. Fantasie, 02:49
9. "The 4 lesson for 2 Basse Viall by J.J.", 05:25
10. Pavan of Alfonso, 05:09
11. "Duos for two Basse Violls composed in 1652", 01:18
12. Fantazie, 01:45
13. Fantazie, 02:14
14. Courant, 01:22
15. The Bagpipes, 01:35
16. Tregian's Ground (PP), 02:07
17. "2 Partes Fantasia 2 Basse violls: Mr John Jenkins", 03:45
18. Division "The Division Viol, 1659", 08:25
19. Aire, 03:05
20. Corant, 02:33
21. Saraband, 01:32
22. Ayre in a, 04:45
23. Good night, 00:50
Composers: John Jenkins, Matthew Locke, John Coperario, William Lawes, Daniel Norcombe, and Christopher Simpson
Philippe Pierlot, bass viol
Bass Viol: Philippe Pierlot
Philippe Pierlot directs the Ricercar Consort ensemble with whom he interprets mostly works of the 17th century, revealing unknown compositions to the public. Several contemporary pieces were written for him, and he is also one of the rare “baryton” players, very peculiar instrument for which Haydn wrote more than 150 trios and other pieces.
Rainer Zipperling studied viola da gamba and cello at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. Finishing his studies in 1980 he joined groups such as the Orchestra of the 18th century, La Petite Bande, the Ricercar Consort and Camerata Köln.
Giovanna Pessi was born in Basel, Switzerland, and began playing the harp at age 7. At the age of 13, she began to play on an instrument by Erard, built in 1800. The experience with this historical harp, its light touch, and unique sound, motivated her to focus her studies towards early music and historical instruments. From 1993 to 1995, Giovanna Pessi studied the 18th century pedal harp with Edward Witsenburg in Den Haag.
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John Jenkins: "For two Divisions Viols to a A Ground" (1592 - 1678)