1 LP - 6.42072 AH - (p) 1979
1 CD - 2564 66211-9 - (c) 2012

concentus in concert - holland festival - Vol. 2

Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764)

Suite aus der Oper "Castor et Pollux"
21' 10" A
- Ouverture: Fièrement - Vite
3' 17"

- Menuet I 1' 26"

- Tambourin 0' 52"

- Loure 2' 12"

- Gavotte 2' 41"

- 3e Air pour les athlètes 1' 04"

- Entrée d'Hébé 1' 55"

- Entrèe des astres - Chaconne 8' 05"

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644-1704)

Drei Sonaten aus "Fidicinium sacro-profanum":
17' 30" B
- Sonata No. 1 in B minor, C. 78 7' 08"

- Sonata No. 8 in B flat major, C. 85 4' 41"

- Sonata No. 10 in E major, C. 87 5' 17"

CONCENTUS MUSICUS WIEN (mit Originalinstrumenten)

Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Leitung
Luogo e data di registrazione
Lutherse Kerk, Den Haag (Olanda) - 26 giugno 1973
Registrazione live / studio
Producer / Engineer
Prima Edizione CD
Teldec "Das Alte Werk" - 2564 66211-9 - (1 cd) - 73' 37" - (c) 2012 - ADD
Prima Edizione LP
Telefunken "aspekte" - 6.42072 AH - (1 lp) - 38' 40" - (p) 1979

Anybody hearing the Concentus musicus Wien with Nikolaus Harnoncourt in a concert for the first time is surprised. The reasons for this are firstly that he gains a new impression such as can only result from direct confrontation - the impression of spontaneous, explosive music-making engendered by the utmost degree of concentration, the perfect opposite to the "studio atrnosphere". Secondly because the listener, if he had only experienced gramophone recordings, almost unexpectedly feels that his expectations have been confirmed. This is not a case of music being perforrned on old instruments by a philologist or historian in accordance with traditional perspectives, but a performance rendered with enthralling emotion by a present-day musician of flesh and blood. That Harnoncourt is primarily a musician, marked by a rich dash of the musicmaker, has been appreciated by many friends of early music for the first time in a concert of such spirit-stirring liveliness as is actually the case with Harnoncoun. The "hairsplitting"  - or more exactley the gathering of knowledge - is part of a primary stage going back a long way before the concert.
This second gramophone disc, which was recorded directly from a concert, transmits that breath of the fascinating element of the immediate From this vantage point it can be that one hears the other versions, the studio productions, in a fresh manner, since one so to speak subsequently projects into them this particular elementary factor. This impression becomes especially important with regard to works with which we are not very farnilarand which bear the stigma of being boring. This is particularly so regarding music by Jean-Phihppe Ramaeu. Harnoncourt is of the opinion that Rameau's operas are among the highlights of French music and have been widely underrated. The reason is perhaps that as opposed to other countries, in France singing played a role which was not indebted to Italian bel canto.
Rameau did not go to Paris until he was 40 years of age, and at 50 began to write operas with which he defended the French tradition against the influence of the Italians. He created works which admittedly were intended to be anti-revolutionary but the effect of which was avantgarde, due to Rameau's unusual ideas and his enormous powers of expression. With "Castor and Pollux", composed in 1737 and his second opera, he anticipated the early classic - or, as Harnoncourt opines - enabled us to refer to the much sought after link between baroque and the classical period.
In view of the fact that frequently only sketches have been preserved (of the overture for instance there are merely two lines and instrumental references) .the interpreter of today is forced to try, with a great deal of understanding and imagination, to bring about an approximate tonal, dynamic and properly articulated reproduction. This will only entirely succeed where the archaeological element of musical preparation is forgotten and the imagination is directly fired in the concert performance - as was the case at the recorded concert of the Holland Fesuval in1973.
Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber was described by Paul Hindemith as the most important musician of the baroque era beside Bach. From the point of view of tonal invention, illustrative emotional discoveries, the genial, effervescent force, and also with his wit and his diverse forms, the Austrian was in fact, a highly interesting composer. This applies particularly to the violin, "his" instrument, with which the Bohemian musician became famous from his base in Salzburg where he had settled. The short sonatas from the collection entitled "Fidicinium sacro-profanum" use two violins, trombone and basso continuo (in the 8th sonata for example), written on the Italian pattern, partly in luxuriating tutti, tightly woven, partly in solo concerto style, without omitting indendent cadenzas.

W. E. v. Lewinski
English translation by Frederick A. Bishop

Nikolaus Harnoncourt (1929-2016)
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