WORKS: Stabat mater; Cum invocarem; In te Domine speravi; Miserere mei Deus
PERFORMER: Currende/Erik Van Nevel
CATALOGUE NO: ACC 95108 D
Frantisek Tuma (1704-74) worked in Vienna as violinist, theorbo and gamba player, and composer, in a period of stylistic flux. A pupil of the great contrapuntal theorist JJ Fux, he combined a quasi-Palestrinan technique with vividly coloured late-Baroque ‘affects’.
Currende is a finely focused ensemble of 17 voices. The Stabat mater which heads the disc is a workmanlike piece, short-breathed, driven by textual details rather than extended musical ideas.
I enjoyed more the three Psalm settings, especially ‘In te Domine speravi’, enriched with pairs of obbligato violins and trombones, expanding the musical argument with imitations of vocal phrases, and ritornelli of their own.
Paradoxically, Tuma’s stylistic ambivalence creates a distinctive music ‘voice’, a corner of the repertoire well worth rediscovering. George Pratt