Bertali, Böddecker, Bovicelli, Muffat & Westhoff

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COMPOSERS: Bertali,Böddecker,Bovicelli,Muffat & Westhoff
LABELS: NAIVE
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Rariora & Marginalia
WORKS: Works by Bertali, Böddecker, Bovicelli, Muffat & Westhoff
PERFORMER: Rare Fruits Council/Manfredo Kraemer (violin)
CATALOGUE NO: E 8840

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The choice of music in this recital of 17th-century instrumental music by the Rare Fruits Council certainly justifies its title, Rariora and Marginalia. Böddecker and Bovicelli, at least, should fill in a couple of lacunae in the would-be completist’s library. Happily, these pieces have not been exhumed merely on account of their obscurity but above all for their expressive qualities. The two items by Philipp Friedrich Böddecker come from his Sacra partitura (1651). An interesting feature is the inclusion in both of a dulzian or curtal, an instrument with the character and, in this particular instance, the pitch of a bassoon. Its presence brings striking colour and resonance to the music as well as a degree of virtuosity in the Sonata sopra ‘La Monica’. The anonymous Contrapunct sopra la Bassigaglos d’Altr., consisting of variations on the famous chorale ‘Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern’, is one of the most affecting items in the programme. Manfredo Kraemer’s limpid and agile violin-playing enlivens each variation which is further enhanced by a discreet and imaginatively realised continuo. In the hands of these stylish and technically accomplished players the sonata La guerra by Johann Paul von Westhoff, Antonio Bertali’s resourceful Chiacona and Giovanni Battista Bovicelli’s diminutions on Palestrina’s celebrated madrigal ‘Io son ferito’ spring to life with renewed vigour. But it is the fine Violin Sonata by Georg Muffat which offers the most sustained image of Kraemer’s expressive and athletic violin playing. An outstanding issue, excellently recorded.