Monarca della Musica
Music of Kings and Princes of 17th century
Brilliant ceremonial splendor and hidden treasures from England, Italy and Austrobohemia
Music by Henry Purcell, William Byrd, Jeremiah Clarke, Claudio Monteverdi, Johann Heinrich Schmelzer, Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, Philipp Jacob Rittler a.o.
The sound of trumpets and drums - the most popular among Kings and Princes - rings out at the beginning and end of this programme. The status of trumpeters at royal courts is easily explained by the military associations of trumpet music; trumpeters and drummers were moreover an integral part of court ceremonial and organisation. The sound of trumpets accompanied the lives of potentates from the cradle to the grave. The programme therefore begins with the moving March from Henry Purcell's Funeral Music for Queen Mary, and ends with a Symphonie for Flat-trumpets and drums by Jeremiah Clarke, an interlude to The Island Princess, an opera performed at the Theatre Royal in 1699. English music, by Purcell, Clarke and William Byrd, forms the backbone of this programm, which seeks to chart one of the most important genres of seventeenth century music: ceremonial music for brass and drums.
Our journey leads us from Italy - music's Promised Land, which influenced the course of music history like no other - northwards through the Imperial capital Vienna, and further still to Kremsier (now Kromeriz, Czech Republic), the Summer residence of the powerful Bishops of Olmütz (now Olomouc). Fullfilling the imperial need for public ostentation, the emperor's trumpet corps at Vienna was deployed principally in the performance of ceremonial music. It is probably safe to assume that the desire for public displays of power and wealth on the part of the bishops at Kremsier was no less than at Vienna. To judge from the repertoire performed at Kremsier, the trumpet band, under its Primarius Pavel Josef Vejvanovsky, must have been far more closely integrated into the court orchestra, the Hofkapelle, was customary elsewhere. Among the 6000 manuscripts at the Palace Library are to be found not only brilliant ceremonial music, but also a largly unknown repertoire of intimate and virtouso chamber music, often calling for the use of trumpets in concert with violins, sackbuts and cornetts, and unusual repertoire for which Kremsier was famous.
Johann Plietzsch 2009
CD - Monarca della Musica released 1998 at Kammerton Berlin