‘Venice to Hamburg’ reviewed on Music Frames

Medium hpm009 cover

Mattie Poels reviewed our CD ‘Venice to Hamburg’ on his blog Music Frames

In 1977 The Early Music Consort of London (led by David Munrow) released the LP ‘Monteverdi’s contemporaries’. A legendary album with works by unknown contemporaries of Claudio Monteverdi, who had composed captivating music that had until then remained unknown. Something similar is to be found on ‘Venice to Hamburg’ by The Bach Players. In 1996 this colourful ensemble was founded by the violinist Nicolette Moonen to perform religious cantatas by J.S. Bach. Since then, the ensemble has broadened its musical horizons – as we hear on this ninth album with music by the relatively unknown composers Schmelzer, Weckmann, Froberger, Böddecker, Valentini, and Marini. A beautiful instrumental collection, very well played – well-groomed and crystal-clear – according to performance practices of the early seventeenth century. There are splendid musical imitations in several compositions in which violin, cornetto, sackbut (trombone), and dulcian (bassoon) imitate each other, as they do in Schmelzer‘s ‘La Cariolatta’, which is enhanced by a ‘tripla’ (a segment written in 3). Also splendid is his Sonata no. 3 for violin and basso continuo, played on organ and theorbo. ‘La Monica’, a composition by Böddecker for dulcian (bassoon), violin and basso continuo (played on organand theorbo), stands out for its serene beauty. ‘Venice to Hamburg’ contains ten pieces composed for various combinations of instruments: solo harpsichord, duets and works for quintet. Besides, this album has a booklet full of information and a wonderful cover. A sublime collection that is raised by The Bach Players to timeless pearls!

Mattie Poels, Music Frames, 21.06.2016 [translation given here is slightly modified from that on the Music Frames website]