Of Italian parentage, André Campra was probably the most successful successor to Jean-Baptiste Lully in the last years of the grand epoch of Louis maître de chapelle at Notre Dame Cathedral, a post that gave him a degree of protection against the usual court intrigues over who would succeed musical dictator Lully, and in 1697 he came out of the proverbial closet to begin composing the court ballet, beginning with his L’Europe galant . By 1720 he had obtained all of the usual prestigious posts but retreated back into composing sacred music as the French critics targeted him more frequently.
…Campra was one of the leading French opera composers in the period between Jean-Baptiste Lully and Jean-Philippe Rameau. He wrote several tragédies en musique, but his chief claim to fame is as the creator of a new genre, opéra-ballet. He also wrote three books of cantatas as well as religious music, including a requiem…
The acclaimed combination of Diego Fasolis and Swiss Radio present Camille Saint-Saëns’s Partsongs and Requiem Mass.
This is the only available recording of the Requiem Mass.
Saint-Saëns’s Requiem is a highly appealing work with beautiful and complex harmonies. There is plenty of colour, too – as one would expect from this inexhaustibly inventive opera composer – but also sincerity and gravitas.
Sigismond Neukomm or Sigismund Ritter von Neukomm after ennoblement as a knight (born Salzburg, 10 July 1778 - Paris, 3 April 1858) was an Austrian composer and pianist.
Neukomm first studied with the organist Weissauer and later studied theory under Michael Haydn, though his studies at Salzburg University were in philosophy and mathematics. He became honorary organist at the Salzburg University church in 1792, and was appointed chorus-master at the Salzburg court theater in 1796. Neukomm was kapellmeister at St. Petersburg's German theatre from 1804 to 1809, and in the 1810s he spent time in Brazil, South America, where he popularized the works of Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Mozart. He worked at D. João VI's court in Rio de Janeiro.
Hearing or performing music comes closest in the range of human activity to a visceral connection to the past. As long as we have notation and knowledge of how to interpret it, we can effectively experience something like our ancestors did when they sang the same music. Of course, our 20th-century sensibilities and knowledge–or lack thereof–prevent us from sharing identical responses, but as with the music on this disc, when we hear it we are in some way transported to another place. We know a completely different sound world from our own; we know that the accepted order of certain things was different. And we also know that in many ways people haven't changed. Machaut's music conveys a spirituality–both joyful and contemplative–that's as true in its impact as it must have been 600 years ago, a point made ever so clearly by these especially vibrant and vital performances.
Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643 - February 24, 1704) was a French composer of the Baroque era.
He was a prolific and versatile composer, producing music of the highest quality in several genres. His mastery in the composition of sacred vocal music was recognized and acknowledged by his contemporaries.
Almost all the music performed on these separately available discs is, or has been, available in competing versions. But Le Concert Spirituel under Hervé Niquet’s experienced direction achieves an expressive intensity which overshadows its rivals. Charpentier wrote over 30 Tenebrae for the last three days of Holy Week and their texts, drawn from the Lamentations of Jeremiah, inspired the composer to extraordinary heights of anguished declamation. Much of the music is a skilful blend of French court air with Italian monodic lamentazioni, which he had encountered during his three years in Rome as Carissimi’s pupil. The five Lenten (Carême) Meditations on the path to Christ’s Crucifixion belong to a group of ten such pieces which are hardly less striking than the Tenebrae for their expressive ardour. If the performances are not always refined, they lack nothing in respect of fervent and idiomatic declamation.
Marcel François Paul Landowski was a French composer, biographer and arts administrator. Born at Pont-l'Abbé, Finistère, Brittany, he was the son of French sculptor Paul Landowski and great-grandson of the composer Henri Vieuxtemps. As an infant he showed early musical promise, and studied piano under Marguerite Long. He entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1935; in addition one of his teachers was Pierre Monteux.
Landowski's greatest musical influence was Arthur Honegger. His entire output (including five symphonies, several concertos, operas and a Mass) bears testimony to Honegger's impact. Landowski went on …..
Francisco Lopez Capillas was born in 1608 in Mexico City, and studied plainchant and polyphonic composition at the Royal and Pontifical University before assuming the post of chorister and second organist at Puebla Cathedral in 1641. Although most of his significant works were composed toward the end of his life–and thus well into what is generally regarded as the baroque period–the Messe de la Bataille is, like many of his other works, ambiguous in its relationship to the musical innovations that were taking place in the old world at the time. With this Mass, Capillas took a polychoral approach that harked back explicitly to the great masters of Renaissance polyphony, though the work is not entirely innocent of baroque elements. Nor is it lacking in local musical influences–regional percussion instruments and recognizably South American rhythmic patterns contrast with the Latin texts to create a fascinating juxtaposition of old- and new-world flavors.