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The Warbling Chalumeau

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Welcome to Harmonia…I’m Angela Mariani.

From time to time on Harmonia, we like to feature music written for a particular historical instrument. This week, we’re getting to know the chalumeau, whose brief popularlty left a lasting impression. It’s a single-reed instrument we might describe as the ancestor of the clarinet. We’ll also hear music featuring another woodwind—the oboe—on this hour’s featured release. We’ll hear Songs Without Words: Torchsongs Transformed performed by Les Dèlices on their 2018 recording from Navona Records.

[Theme music fades]

MUSIC TRACK

Graupner: Orchestral Suites, GWV 450, 451, and 458
Finnish Baroque Orchestra / dir. Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen-Pilch
Ondine 2013 / B00GD4HOHO
Christoph Graupner
Tr. 6 Suite for Flute, Viola d’Amore and Chalumeau in F Major, GWV 450 >> VI. Air en Menuet (4:53)

Suite for flute, viola d’amore, and chalumeau by Christoph Graupner. We heard the Finnish baroque orchestra, from a 2013 Ondine recording titled Graupner: Orchestral Suites. Later, we’ll hear more from this unusual combination of instruments as we explore music for the chalumeau.

The chalumeau is a woodwind instrument with a single reed, like the clarinet or saxophone. Some of the most well-known baroque composers wrote for the chalumeau. Its sweet sound had a quality reminiscent of a bird’s chirp, and therefore one finds the instrument used to imitate bird sounds in the works of Vivaldi, Fasch, Telemann, and others. After under a century of use in Europe, the chalumeau fell out of use, replaced by that other single-reed instrument: the clarinet. 

We’ll start with a piece for the chalumeau in its heyday. Here are the opening two movements of Johann Friedrich Fasch’s Clalumeau Concerto in B-Flat Major.

MUSIC TRACK

Johann Friedrich Fasch: Cantatas - Overture in D minor; Concerto in B flat minor
Accademia Daniel / cond. Shalev Ad-El / soloist Gili Rinot (chalumeau)
CPO 2000 / B07P192PHG
Johann Friedrich Fasch
Tr. 14 Chalumeau Concerto in B-Flat Major, FWV L:B1 >> I. Largo (1:34)
Tr. 15 Chalumeau Concerto in B-Flat Major, FWV L:B1 >> II. Un poco allegro (4:47)

Johann Friedrich Fasch’s Concerto in B-Flat major for chalameau. Soloist Gili Rinot performed with the Accademia Daniel conducted by Shalev Ad-El.

Unlike the clarinet, the chalumeau has holes drilled in a way that makes overblowing into the upper register nearly impossible. The recorder, flute, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon all rely on this type of overblowing to form notes in upper range of the instrument. For this reason, the chalumeau has limited notes available—basically, an octave plus three notes! It is no surprise, then, that makers designed chalumeaux in several sizes to increase its range. There were soprano, alto, tenor, and bass chalumeaux.

Well, what could be sweeter than one chalumeau? Let’s listen to the Largo and Allegro from Telemann’s Concerto for Two Chalumeaux in D Minor. 

MUSIC TRACK

Telemann: Wind Concertos, Vol. 7
La Frankfurt Stagione / cond. Michael Schneider
CPO 2011 / B0074ZAFB8
Georg Phillipp Telemann
Tr. 17. Concerto for 2 Chalumeaux in D Minor, TWV 52:d1 >> I. Largo (4:50)
Tr. 18. Concerto for 2 Chalumeaux in D Minor, TWV 52:d1 >> II. Allegro (3:04)

We heard Telemann’s Concerto for Two Chalumeaux in D Minor performed by La Frankfurt Stagione. Soloists were Lorenzo Coppola and Tinardo Capuano.

Perhaps the most well-known use of chalumeaux is in Vivaldi’s oratorio Juditha Triumphans. In aria “Veni, veni sequere,” a chalumeau warbles above a bed of string sixteenth-notes, imitating a dove. The chalumeau and singer, Judith, exchange notes as Judith convinces her handmaiden to accompany her on a dangerous journey. 

MUSIC TRACK

Antonio Vivaldi: Juditha Triumphans
Modo Antiquo and Coro da Camera Italiano / cond. Federico Maria Sardelli
Tactus 2002 / B000QR4ZE4
Antonio Vivaldi
CD 1, Tr. 23. Juditha Triumphans, Part I: Aria: Veni, veni, me sequere (Juditha) (6:47)

“Veni, Veni, me sequere,” an aria from Vivaldi’s oratorio Juditha Triumphans. Mezzo-soprano Lucia Sciannimanico and chalumeau-player Ugo Galasso performing with Modo Antiquo and Coro da Camera Italiano.

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

:59 Midpoint Break Music Bed:
Songs Without Words: Torchsongs Transformed
Les Dèlices
Navona 2018 / B07JK76QP1
Willie Nelson (arr. M. Corriveau, E. Milnes, D. Nagy)
Excerpt of Tr. 6 Crazy (1:42)

Welcome back! We’re listening to sweet warbles and inventive chirps of the chalumeau.  German baroque composer Christoph Graupner was not content in writing for only one a-typical instrument. A sort of Hindemith of his day, Graupner enjoyed writing for unusual instruments including flute d’amore, oboe d’amore, viola d’amore, chalumeau, and up to six timpani! Here three movements from Graupner’s Suite for Flute, Viola d’amore, and Chalumeau in F Major.

MUSIC TRACK

Graupner: Orchestral Suites, GWV 450, 451, and 458
Finnish Baroque Orchestra / dir. Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen-Pilch
Ondine 2013 / B00GD4HOHO
Christoph Graupner
Tr. 1. Suite for Flute, Viola d’Amore and Chalumeau in F Major, GWV 450 >> I. Overture (6:16)
Tr. 4. Suite for Flute, Viola d’Amore and Chalumeau in F Major, GWV 450 >> IV. Air en Sarabande (3:27)
Tr. 5. Suite for Flute, Viola d’Amore and Chalumeau in F Major, GWV 450 >> V. Air en Polonaise (1:27)

Three movements—Overture, Air en Sarabande, and Air en Polonaise—from Christoph Graupner’s Suite for Flute, Viola d’amore, and Chalumeau in F Major. The Finnish baroque orchestra was directed by Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen-Pilch.

We’ll leave our single-reed friend the chalumeau for now and move onto a double-reed instrument—the oboe. In their 2018 Navona records CD Songs Without Words: Torchsongs Transformed, ensemble Les Dèlices explores twentieth-century pop songs and jazz standards on historical instruments, championing singer-songwriters including Michael Lambert, Willie Nelson, and the Beatles. We’ll begin with Erroll Garner’s 1950s hit “Misty.”

MUSIC TRACK

Songs Without Words: Torchsongs Transformed
Les Dèlices
Navona 2018 / B07JK76QP1
Erroll Garner (arr. M. Corriveau, E. Milnes, D. Nagy)
Tr. 16 Misty (2:20)
 
“Misty” by Erroll Garner in a version arranged and performed by Les Dèlices. We heard oboist Debra Nagy, gambist Mélisande Corriveau [mell-is-ahn-deh core-ih-voe], and harpsichordist Eric Milnes.

Having spent years perfecting some of the earliest repertoire for the oboe, Nagy and her colleagues also perform arrangements of vocal and instrumental music from late seventeenth-century France. Next up, “Les folies d’Espagne” from Marin Marais’ second book of viol music. 

MUSIC TRACK

Songs Without Words: Torchsongs Transformed
Les Dèlices
Navona 2018 / B07JK76QP1
Erroll Garner (arr. M. Corriveau, E. Milnes, D. Nagy)
Marin Marais (arr. M. Corriveau, E. Milnes, D. Nagy)
Tr. 8 Pièces de viole, Book 2 Les folies d’Espagne (6:26)

“Les folies d’Espagne” by Marin Marais arranged and performed by Les Dèlices.

But what would a recording of torchsongs be without music by arguably the most influential band of all: the Beatles. We’ll close with Les Dèlices’s version of “Michelle.”

MUSIC TRACK

Songs Without Words: Torchsongs Transformed
Les Dèlices
Navona 2018 / B07JK76QP1
Erroll Garner (arr. M. Corriveau, E. Milnes, D. Nagy)
Tr. 14 Michelle title (2:49)

“Michelle” performed by Les Dèlices on their 2018 Navona release, Songs Without Words: Torchsongs Transformed.

[Fade in theme music]

Harmonia is a production of WFIU, and part of the educational mission of Indiana University. 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. You can leave a comment or question any time by visiting harmonia early music dot org and clicking on "Contact."

The writer for this edition of Harmonia was Sarah Schilling.

Thanks to our studio engineer Michael Paskash and our staff – Wendy Gillespie and LuAnn Johnson. Additional technical support comes from KTTZ at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.

Our producer is Elizabeth Clark, our executive producer is John Bailey, and I’m Angela Mariani, inviting you to join us again for the next edition of Harmonia.

Chalumeau

From time to time on Harmonia, we like to feature music written for a particular historical instrument. This week, we’re getting to know the chalumeau, whose brief popularity left a lasting impression. It’s a single-reed instrument we might describe as the ancestor of the clarinet. We’ll also hear music featuring another woodwind — the oboe — on this hour’s featured release. We’ll hear Songs Without Words: Torchsongs Transformed performed by Les Delices on their 2018 recording from Navona Records.


PLAYLIST

Graupner: Orchestral Suites, GWV 450, 451, and 458
Finnish Baroque Orchestra / dir. Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen-Pilch
Ondine 2013 / B00GD4HOHO
Christoph Graupner
Tr. 6 Suite for Flute, Viola d’Amore and Chalumeau in F Major, GWV 450 >> VI. Air en Menuet (4:53)


Segment A:
Johann Friedrich Fasch: Cantatas - Overture in D minor; Concerto in B flat minor
Accademia Daniel / cond. Shalev Ad-El / soloist Gili Rinot (chalumeau)
CPO 2000 / B07P192PHG
Johann Friedrich Fasch
Tr. 14 Chalumeau Concerto in B-Flat Major, FWV L:B1 >> I. Largo (1:34)
Tr. 15 Chalumeau Concerto in B-Flat Major, FWV L:B1 >> II. Un poco allegro (4:47)

Telemann: Wind Concertos, Vol. 7
La Frankfurt Stagione / cond. Michael Schneider
CPO 2011 / B0074ZAFB8
Georg Phillipp Telemann
Tr. 17. Concerto for 2 Chalumeaux in D Minor, TWV 52:d1 >> I. Largo (4:50)
Tr. 18. Concerto for 2 Chalumeaux in D Minor, TWV 52:d1 >> II. Allegro (3:04)

Antonio Vivaldi: Juditha Triumphans
Modo Antiquo and Coro da Camera Italiano / cond. Federico Maria Sardelli
Tactus 2002 / B000QR4ZE4
Antonio Vivaldi
CD 1, Tr. 23. Juditha Triumphans, Part I: Aria: Veni, veni, me sequere (Juditha) (6:47)


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

:59 Midpoint Break Music Bed:
Songs Without Words: Torchsongs Transformed
Les Dèlices
Navona 2018 / B07JK76QP1
Willie Nelson (arr. M. Corriveau, E. Milnes, D. Nagy)
Excerpt of Tr. 6 Crazy (1:42)


Segment B:
Graupner: Orchestral Suites, GWV 450, 451, and 458
Finnish Baroque Orchestra / dir. Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen-Pilch
Ondine 2013 / B00GD4HOHO
Christoph Graupner
Tr. 1. Suite for Flute, Viola d’Amore and Chalumeau in F Major, GWV 450 >> I. Overture (6:16)
Tr. 4. Suite for Flute, Viola d’Amore and Chalumeau in F Major, GWV 450 >> IV. Air en Sarabande (3:27)
Tr. 5. Suite for Flute, Viola d’Amore and Chalumeau in F Major, GWV 450 >> V. Air en Polonaise (1:27)


Featured Release:
Songs Without Words: Torchsongs Transformed
Les Dèlices
Navona 2018 / B07JK76QP1
Erroll Garner (arr. M. Corriveau, E. Milnes, D. Nagy)
Tr. 16 Misty (2:20)
Marin Marais (arr. M. Corriveau, E. Milnes, D. Nagy)
Tr. 8 Pièces de viole, Book 2 Les folies d’Espagne (6:26)
John Lennon / Paul McCartney (arr. M. Corriveau, E. Milnes, D. Nagy)
Tr. 14 Michelle title (2:49)

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