The German period instrument orchestra known as the Koelner Akademie has been recording world-premieres since its inception. Led by American conductor Michael Alexander Willens, the Akademie has been a champion of famous and little-known composers whose music remains continues to remain relevant.
One composer they’ve tackled is Johann Mattheson, whose German baroque compositions were thought to have been lost after World War II, but resurfaced sometime in the late-1990s. Among the newly-found bounty was a large collection of oratorios, which included the powerful and moving Der liebereiche und geduldige David, “A Patient and Loving David,” after Biblical story about one of King David’s challenges.
The Harmonia studios was visited by a special guest. Greek-American singer John Michael Boyer came by to chat about Byzantine chant. Boyer is a principal singer in the vocal ensemble Capella Romana and Protopsaltis, or “First Cantor,” of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco. Of the many aspects of Byzantine chant, he covered what is known as the “received tradition.”
Fischer and Stamitz Concertos
For volume seven in the Koelner Akademie’s Forgotten Treasures series, the orchestra recorded select oboe concertos by Johann Christian Fischer and Carl Stamitz. The soloist, performing on a copy of a classical oboe, was the ensemble’s principal oboist, Michael Nieseman. And while the concertos have been previously heard in concert, they are recorded here for the first time.
Our featured recording is a 2010 Harmonia Mundi release of music by Italian lutenist and composer Marco dall’Aquila. His works are performed by lute virtuoso Paul O’Dette, whose program draws from a wide selection dall’Aquila’s works, including ricercars, dances, and setting of popular tunes.
Paul O’Dette will be familiar to many Harmonia listeners as the preeminent American lutenist and one of the world’s foremost lute virtuosos. His recording of Marco dall’Aquila’s music continues his ongoing effort to introduce to as wide an audience as possible lute masterpieces from the Renaissance.