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<<  -- 3 --  Jennifer Paull    CAPRITIO


To quote the Oxford Companion to Music, '[equal temperament] is, however, said to have been proposed by Aristoxenus (c350 BC) and to have been in actual use in China centuries before this.' If spaghetti found its way back to Italy thanks to Marco Polo (1254-1324) a good few centuries before this music was written, thereby modifying local culinary practice dramatically, what a pity equal temperament didn't return in an adjacent saddle bag to dramatically modify local musical practice at the same time!

I find the hypothesis of heating or air-conditioning during the recording, equally plausible as a possible ingredient. There is often a difference between the harpsichord and the ensemble. It is lower in places. That has nothing to do with history; rather today's means of contemporary climate manipulations in temperature as opposed to historically accurate modifications in temperament.

The Aria Amorosa by Nicola Matteis (c1640-c1707) gives the viola da gamba another opportunity for the subtlety of phrasing in which Erin Headley excels. A pity there is quite so much sniffing going on (obligato del naso?).

There follows a Sonata a due bassi by Bernardo Pasquini (1637-1710) with Stephen Stubbs leading. It sets of to a rollicking start and holds together well until the intonation really shows the harpsichord to be flat. There are delicious sequences through delightful suspensions -- dangerous ground for intonation under the chosen discipline: an interesting composition.

Perhaps the exciting dance Giga, the third movement of the following Suite from The False Consonaces of Music by Nicola Matteis (no date) could explain the heavy breathing that follows?

This fascinating collection concludes with another beautiful Sonata a mandolino, e basso by Carlo Arrigoni (1697-1744). It is a strong work, gorgeous descending sequences, beautiful phrasing in statement and echo, and superb playing by soloist and ensemble [listen -- track 25, 3:01-4:00].

Copyright © 29 May 2002 Jennifer Paull, Vouvry, Switzerland



Capritio - instrumental music from 17th century Italy

HMU 907294 DDD Stereo 74'35" 2001 harmonia mundi usa

Tragicomedia : Erin Headley, Paul O'Dette, Stephen Stubbs and Alexander Weimann
D Scarlatti: Sonata a mandolino e basso continuo; M Rossi: Settima Toccata; G B Vitali: Capritio sopra li cinque tempi; Capritio; Passa Galli per la lettera E; Capritio primo; Chiacona per la lettera B; G Strozzi: Sonata di basso solo; F M Bassano: Toccata per B quadro; F Rognoni: Susanne ung jour (after Lassus); A Scarlatti: Variazioni sulla 'Follia di Spagna'; N Matteis: Aria amorosa; B Pasquini: Sonata a due bassi; N Matteis: Suite from 'The False Consonances of Music'; C Arrigoni: Sonata a mandolino, e basso




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