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17th-Century Bohemian Rhapsody

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Welcome to Harmonia . . . I’m Angela Mariani. There is a library in Kroměříž, [KROM-yer-jsheesh], now part of the Czech Republic, that holds the greatest collection of seventeenth-century music in central Europe. The library was that of the prince-bishop Karl Liechtenstein-Castelcorno, whose chaplain was the violinist Philipp Jakob Rittler and whose Kapellmeister was the famed trumpeter Pavel Josef Vejvanovsky. This hour, we’ll focus on the music of these two Bohemian composers. Plus, more baroque music for trumpet and strings in our featured recording, a 2020 Pan Classics release by Ars Antiqua Austria, directed by Gunar Letzbor.  

[Theme music fades]  

MUSIC TRACK 
Biber: Harmonia artificiosa-ariosa, Partia Nos. 1-6
REBEL
Bridge Records 2006
Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber
Tr. 28 Harmonia artificiosa-ariosa: Partia No. 5 in G Minor, V. Passacaglia (actual 4:55ish)

Ensemble REBEL performed the Passacaglia from Heinrich Biber’s Harmonia artificiosa-ariosa: Partia No. 5 in G Minor.

Philipp Jakob Rittler and Pavel Josef Vejvanovský were a violinist and a trumpeter in 17th-century Moravia (now the Czech Republic) who probably met as young men at the Jesuit college in Opava. They went on to become the bishop’s chaplain and Kapellmeister, respectively, under the rule of Karl Liechtenstein-Kastelcorn, the influential and ambitious bishop of Olomouc

(O-lo-mohtz) in the latter half of the 17th century. Moravia had been devastated by the 30 Years War, and the bishop, a very cultured prince, art collector, and composer supported by the Hapsburg establishment, built himself a splendid Italian renaissance-style palace in Kroměříž [KROM-yer-jsheesh] and employed musicians from all over Europe to play at his court and churches.

 

In addition to being virtuoso performers, Rittler and even more so Vejvanovsky were composers and music copyists with whose help the bishop built the greatest collection of C17 music in central Europe. The library at Kroměříž holds many treasures, including the complete works of both composers.

To accustom our ears to the grandeur of the Bishop’s chapel, let’s dive straight into Vejvanovsky’s Sonata for Saints Peter and Paul, scored for trumpet, 3 trombones, violin, and 3 violas.

MUSIC TRACK
Vesperae Sancti Venceslai
Lukáš Sádovský, boy soprano; Martin Ptácek, countertenor; Jaroslav Brezina, tenor; Michael Pospíšil, bass; Boni pueri; Musica Florea; Marek Štryncl, conductor
Supraphon, 2002 / B000R8JVCI
Pavel Joseph Vejvanovsky´
Tr 21 Sonata SS Peteri et Pauli a 8 (4:26)

Musica Florea, directed by Marek Štryncl, performed the Sonata for Saints Peter and Paul.

As Kapellmeister for the Bishop, Vejvenovský was one of the highest paid court servants, and most of his 137 works listed in the library’s music inventory from 1695 are complete, including more than a dozen masses and many motets and other liturgical music, in addition to the instrumental music one expects. Let’s hear one of those motets, Ave sanctissimum redemptoris nostris corpus, scored for 4 voices, strings, 3 trombones, and organ:

MUSIC TRACK 
Messe; Motetten; Orchesterweke
Sabine Goetz, soprano; Ingrid Alexandre, alto; Christian Cantieni, tenor; Michael Pavluv, bass; DRS Singers (2nd-3rd, 5th works); Cappella Musica Antica; Christoph Cajori, conductor.
Kassel: Cantate, 2010 / B004FWTCVM
Pavel Joseph Vejvanovsky´ (1633–1693)
Tr. 7 Ave sanctissimum redemptoris (5:26)

Christoph Cajori conducted Cappella Music Antica in Vejvanovský’s Ave sanctissimum redemptoris.

Now to a Serenada from 1680 for strings, 5 trumpets, and timpani. The serenada was originally a sort of musical greeting, usually performed outdoors in the evening.

MUSIC TRACK 
Bach Trompeten Gala. vol. 1
Bach-Trompetenensemble München; Arnold Mehl, leader; with Franz Lehrndorfer, organ.
Ars musici, 2010 / B0000246XW
Pavel Joseph Vejvanovsky´
Tr. 7 Serenada XXIII (1680) (3:56)

The Bach-Trompetenensemble München; Arnold Mehl, leader; with Franz Lehrndorfer, organ, performed Vejvanofský’s Serenada XXIII.

Let’s turn now from the trumpeter to the violinist. Philipp Rittler also composed both sacred and instrumental music, though, like Vejvanovský, very little of his sacred music has been recorded. As you’ll hear in his Sonata Sancti Caroli, scored for 2 vn, 3 va, 6 tpt, 3 trbn, vle, [violone?] timp, and harpsichord, both composers leapt to take advantage of the superb musical establishment available to them.  

MUSIC TRACK 
Trumpet Music - BIBER, H.I.F. von / RITTLER, P.J. / SCHMELZER, J.H. / DOLAR, J.B.
[Trombett- und musikalischer Taffeldienst]
Concerto Stella Matutina
Fra Bernardo, 2012 / B01K8KU7IQ
Philipp Rittler
Tr 23 Sonata Sancti Caroli (3:59)

Philipp Rittler’s Sonata Sancti Caroli was performed by the Concerto Stella Matutina.

[Theme music begins]

Theme Music Bed: Ensemble Alcatraz, Danse Royale, Elektra Nonesuch 79240-2 / B000005J0B, T.12: La Prime Estampie Royal

You can hear highlights from recent and archival concert recordings of early music and more on Harmonia Uncut -- our biweekly podcast, curated and hosted by Wendy Gillespie. Listen online at harmonia early music dot org and through iTunes.

You’re listening to Harmonia . . .  I’m Angela Mariani.  

[Theme music fades]

 

:59 Midpoint Break Music Bed: :59 music bed: BIBER: Mensa Sonora / Violin Sonata in A major, The Purcell Quartet, Chandos 2008, Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber: Tr. 6 Mensa sonora, seu Musica instrumentalis: Sonata No. 1 in D Major: VI. Gigue (excerpt of 1:56)

 music fades

 

Welcome back. We’re listening to music of two seventeenth-century Moravian composers working in Kroměříž [KROM-yer-jsheesh] for Bishop Karl Liechtenstein-KastelKorn.

Philipp Jakob Rittler, the violinist of the pair, explores even larger forces in his Sonata a 18 scored for 6 trumpets, 3 trombones, 2 violins, 3 violas, timpani, and continuo ...

MUSIC TRACK 
Trumpet Music - BIBER, H.I.F. von / RITTLER, P.J. / SCHMELZER, J.H. / DOLAR, J.B.
Concerto Stella Matutina
Fra Bernardo 2012 / B01K8KU7IQ
Philipp Rittler
Tr. 3 Sonata a 18 (6:19)

The Concerto Stella Matutina played Philipp Rittler’s Sonata a 18.

Well, when’s the last time you heard trumpets play with a lute? Here is Rittler’s Ciaccona for 2 trumpets, strings, and continuo with a lute instead of the specified harpsichord:

MUSIC TRACK 
Nuove invenzioni (https://iub.naxosmusiclibrary.com/catalogue/item.asp?cid=886446935331)
Rolf Lislevand, Concerto Stella Matutina
Sony Classical 2018? / B07CXK4Y6R
Philipp Rittler
Tr.9 Ciaccona (6:27)

Rolf Lis-le-vand played Philipp Rittler’s Ciaccona with the Concerto Stella Matutina. 

 

And that brings us to this week’s featured release, Ars Antiqua Austria’s Festive Baroque music for trumpets and strings, released in 2020 by Pan Classics. The music is all by our trumpeter, Pavel Josef Vejvanovský. We’ll hear first a Sonata in Be mollis. Bearing in mind that the trumpet is an instrument in Bb, the idea of composing a piece in b minor would only occur to a very virtuosic trumpet player!

MUSIC TRACK
Festive Baroque music for trumpets and strings
Ars Antiqua Austria; Gunar Letzbor, conductor.
Pan Classics, 2020 / B01M3RRD8X
Pavel Josef Vejvanovský
T. 25 Sonata a 4 "Be mollis" (4:57)

That was Vejvanovský’s Sonata in B minor for trumpet, strings, and continuo. We’ll end with his other Serenada for violin, 3 violas, 5 trumpets, timpani, and continuo, which has 5 movements, with the fourth movement a Presto that is just over half a minute long!

MUSIC TRACK 
Festive Baroque music for trumpets and strings
Ars Antiqua Austria; Gunar Letzbor, conductor.
Pan Classics, 2020 / B01M3RRD8X
Pavel Josef Vejvanovský
T. 26-30 Serenada II (9:35)

We’ve been listening to music of Pavel Josef Vejvanovský on our featured release, the 2020 Pan Classics Festive Baroque music for trumpets and strings, performed by Ars Antiqua Austria, Gunar Letzbor, director.

 

Fade in theme music

Harmonia is a production of WFIU. Support comes from Early Music America: a national organization that advocates and supports the historical performance of music of the past, the community of artists who create it, and the listeners whose lives are enriched by it. On the web at EarlyMusicAmerica-dot-org. 

Additional resources come from the William and Gayle Cook Music Library at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. 

We welcome your thoughts about any part of this program, or about early music in general. Contact us at harmonia early music dot org. And, you can follow our Facebook page and our​          updates on Twitter by searching for Harmonia Early Music.

The writer for this edition of Harmonia was Wendy Gillespie.​

Thanks to our studio engineer Michael Paskash, and our production team: LuAnn Johnson, Wendy Gillespie, Aaron Cain, and John Bailey. I’m Angela Mariani, inviting you to join us again for the next edition of Harmonia.

theme music concludes

A Masked Ball in Bohemia, painting

Portion of the painting A Masked Ball in Bohemia, attributed to Andreas Altomonte, c. 1748 (Metropolitan Museum of Art) (Metropolitan Museum of Art, Wikimedia)

There is a library in Kroměříž, now part of the Czech Republic, that holds the greatest collection of seventeenth-century music in central Europe. The library was that of the prince-bishop Karl Liechtenstein-Castelcorno, whose chaplain was the violinist Philipp Jakob Rittler and whose Kapellmeister was the famed trumpeter Pavel Josef Vejvanovsky. This hour, we’ll focus on the music of these two Bohemian composers. Plus, more baroque music for trumpet and strings in our featured recording, a 2020 Pan Classics release by Ars Antiqua Austria, directed by Gunar Letzbor.

PLAYLIST

Biber: Harmonia artificiosa-ariosa, Partia Nos. 1-6
REBEL
Bridge Records 2006
Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber
Tr. 28 Harmonia artificiosa-ariosa: Partia No. 5 in G Minor, V. Passacaglia (actual 4:55ish)

Segment A:

Vesperae Sancti Venceslai
Lukáš Sádovský, boy soprano; Martin Ptácek, countertenor; Jaroslav Brezina, tenor; Michael Pospíšil, bass; Boni pueri; Musica Florea; Marek Štryncl, conductor
Supraphon, 2002 / B000R8JVCI
Pavel Joseph Vejvanovsky´
Tr 21 Sonata SS Peteri et Pauli a 8 (4:26)

Messe; Motetten; Orchesterweke
Sabine Goetz, soprano; Ingrid Alexandre, alto; Christian Cantieni, tenor; Michael Pavluv, bass; DRS Singers (2nd-3rd, 5th works); Cappella Musica Antica; Christoph Cajori, conductor.
Kassel: Cantate, 2010 / B004FWTCVM
Pavel Joseph Vejvanovsky´ (1633–1693)
Tr. 7 Ave sanctissimum redemptoris (5:26)

Bach Trompeten Gala. vol. 1
Bach-Trompetenensemble München; Arnold Mehl, leader; with Franz Lehrndorfer, organ.
Ars musici, 2010 / B0000246XW
Pavel Joseph Vejvanovsky´
Tr. 7 Serenada XXIII (1680) (3:56)

Trumpet Music - BIBER, H.I.F. von / RITTLER, P.J. / SCHMELZER, J.H. / DOLAR, J.B.
[Trombett- und musikalischer Taffeldienst]
Concerto Stella Matutina
Fra Bernardo, 2012 / B01K8KU7IQ
Philipp Rittler
Tr 23 Sonata Sancti Caroli (3:59)

Theme Music Bed: Ensemble Alcatraz, Danse Royale, Elektra Nonesuch 79240-2 / B000005J0B, T.12: La Prime Estampie Royal

:59 Midpoint Break Music Bed: :59 music bed: BIBER: Mensa Sonora / Violin Sonata in A major, The Purcell Quartet, Chandos 2008, Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber: Tr. 6 Mensa sonora, seu Musica instrumentalis: Sonata No. 1 in D Major: VI. Gigue (excerpt of 1:56)

Segment B:

Trumpet Music - BIBER, H.I.F. von / RITTLER, P.J. / SCHMELZER, J.H. / DOLAR, J.B.
Concerto Stella Matutina
Fra Bernardo 2012 / B01K8KU7IQ
Philipp Rittler
Tr. 3 Sonata a 18 (6:19)

Nuove invenzioni 
Rolf Lislevand, Concerto Stella Matutina
Sony Classical 2018? / B07CXK4Y6R
Philipp Rittler
Tr.9 Ciaccona (6:27)

Featured Release:

Festive Baroque music for trumpets and strings
Ars Antiqua Austria; Gunar Letzbor, conductor.
Pan Classics, 2020 / B01M3RRD8X
Pavel Josef Vejvanovský
T. 25 Sonata a 4 "Be mollis" (4:57)
T. 26-30 Serenada II (9:35)

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