O felice morire — 1600 Florence / Giulio Caccini and the New Music
Virtuosic music for bass from early Baroque Italy (CD harmonia mundi 2008)
In early Baroque Italy the unique capacity of the bass voice is discovered and exploited as pieces appear with astounding ranges which demand agility and control. From Giulio Caccini’s 1601 book, Le nuove musiche (The New Music) come virtuoso pieces for bass which span over two octaves. Caccini calls these songs in his next book, published in 1614, Le nuove musiche e nuova maniera di scriverle (The New Music and the New Way of Writing it) “songs for tenor who explores the bass range”. Caccini was a renowned singer who accompanied himself on the lute (chitarrone) and wrote music in an incredibly flexible and speech-like way which put an emphasis on text. This style called monody, which paved the way for opera, was taken up by Giovanni Kapsberger and Giovanni Puliaschi who were also singer-player/composer-performers. Inspired by these great 16th century musicians, Joel Frederiksen recreates their performance ideal by accompanying himself on the archlute (which combines attributes of the lute and harp). Composers Stefano Landi, Sigismondo D’India, Andrea Falconieri, and Claudio Monteverdi are also represented in this program which breathes life into an incredibly energetic and dynamic age right at the turn of the 17th century.
Performers: Joel Frederiksen – bass, archlute and musical direction / Domen Marincic – viola da gamba / Reinhild Waldek – harp / Axel Wolf – theorbo, tiorbino, guitar