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Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music

Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music

Volume 3 (1997) No. 1

Briefly noted

Bruce Gustafson,* Reviews Editor

The materials listed below were submitted for review and are likely to be of interest to readers of JSCM, but because they do not relate primarily to seventeenth-century music they will not receive full reviews.

1. Books

2. Musical Editions

3. Compact Discs


1.1 Negrotti, Massimo. L’osservazione musicale: L’artificiale fra soggetto e oggetto. Milan: Franco Angeli, 1996. [119 pp.] Accompanying CD of Antonio Vivaldi, Le quattro Stagioni and François Couperin, 3 harpsichord pieces. Ensemble Guidantus; Leonardo Morini, harpsichord. [Datum Debut DAT 80001. Lire 42.000 ($25)]

The text is concerned with the nature of musical observation, the natural and the artifical. The disc has samples of digital effects that reproduce natural sounds, and descriptive music by Vivaldi and Couperin.

1.2 Pesce, Dolores, ed. Hearing the Motet: Essays on the Motet of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. [xi, 380 pp. ISBN 0-19-509709-2. $70.]

The essays in this volume originated as papers at a conference of the same name held at Washington University in February, 1994. After an introduction by the editor and introductory remarks by James Haar, there are sixteen essays by Rebecca A. Baltzer, Dolores Pesce, Anne Walters Robertson, Margaret Bent, Robert Nosow, Rob C. Wegman, Paula Higgins, M. Jennifer Bloxam, Richard Sherr, Patrick Macey, Joshua Rifkin, James Haar, David Crook, Jessie Ann Owens, Joseph Kerman, and Craig Monson.

1.3 Sherman, Bernard D. Inside Early Music: Conversations with Performers. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. [xi, 414 pp. ISBN 0-19-509708-4. $35.]

The twenty chapters are divided into four sections by historical era, consisting of a series of interviews, selected discographies, and bibliographies: “Medieval Music, Plainchant, and ‘Otherness'” (Marcel Pérès, Susan Hellauer, Barbara Thornton, and Christopher Page), “The Renaissance, Oxbridge, and Italy” (Paul Hillier, Peter Phillips, Alan Curtis / Rinaldo Alessandrini / Anthony Rooley, and Andrew Lawrence-King), “The Baroque” (John Butt, Gustav Leonhardt, Anner Bylsma, Julianne Baird, Nicholas McGegan, William Christie, and Jeffrey Thomas / Philippe Herreweghe / John Butt), and “Classical and Romantic” (Malcolm Bilson, Robert Levin, Roger Norrington, John Eliot Gardiner, and Joshua Rifkin). The Baroque section deals primarily with early eighteenth-century music, although Monteverdi is treated in the Renaissance section.


2.1 The French Noel, with an Anthology of 1725 arranged for Flute Duet, ed. Betty Bang Mather and Gail Gavin. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996. [120 pp. ISBN 0-253-21025-9. $20.]

After 53 pages summarizing the history of the noël, 16 noëls are presented in two-voiced treble score, based on [Jean-Jacques?] Rippert’s Brunettes ou petits airs à II dessus (Paris, 1725). Texts are provided (in French only), and the noëls are also presented in facsimile.

2.2 Merulo, Claudio. Ricercari d’intavolatura d’organo, 1567, ed. Andrea Marcon, Armin Gaus. Preface by Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini. Zimmern ob Rottweil: Gaus, 1995. [xx, 60 pp.]

The preliminary material is given in German and English, and Tagliavini’s preface is also printed in Italian. The musical text consists of eight ricercars in modern keyboard score.


3.1 Bach, Johann Sebastian. Ouvertüren. Akademie für alte Musik Berlin. Harmonia Mundi France, 1996. [HMC 901578-79.]

The four Orchestral Suites are played on “original” instruments by a conducterless ensemble from what was formerly East Berlin. The number of strings varies from 6-5-4-3-2 to one on a part.

3.2 Graun, Carl Heinrich. Cleopatra & Cesare. Concerto Köln, René Jacobs, dir. Harmonia Mundi France, 1996. [HMC 901561-63.]

This three-CD recording was made in Berlin in the spring of 1995. Principals are Janet Williams (Cleopatra), Iris Vermillion (Ceasar), Lynne Dawson (Cornelia), and Robert Gambill (Tolomeo). The opera was premiered at the court of Frederick the Great in 1742.

3.3 Handel, George Frideric. Arias for Cuzzoni, Durastanti, Senesino, Montagnana. Lisa Saffer, Lorraine Hunt, Drew Minter, David Thomas; Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Nicholas McGegan, dir. Harmonia Mundi USA, 1996. [HMX 2907171-74.]

This four-CD set repackages previous releases (1986-1991) of arias written by Handel for famous singers: soprano Francesca Cuzzoni (Lisa Saffer, HMU 907036), soprano Margherita Durastanti (Lorraine Hunt, HMU 907056), alto castrato Senesino (Drew Minter, HMC 905183) and bass Antonio Montagnana (David Thomas, HMU 907016). The notes are by Andrew Porter.

3.4 Handel, George Frideric. Theodora (selections). Lorraine Hunt, Drew Minter, Jennifer Lane, Jeffrey Thomas, David Thomas; Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, dir. Nicholas McGegan. Harmonia Mundi USA, 1996. [HMU 907188.]

The eighteen selections are from the 1991 recording of the complete oratorio (HMC 907060-62).

3.5 Sinners & Saints: The Ultimate Medieval and Renaissance Music Collection. Philip Pickett and the New London Consort. [Oiseau-Lyre 448 559-2, 1996.]

This anthology is derived from six other releases from 1986 to 1996. There are seventeen instrumental and vocal selections. Artistic personnel is not listed.

3.6 Tallis, Thomas. Lamentations, Motets, String Music. Theatre of Voices, dir. Paul Hillier; The King’s Noyse, dir. David Douglass. Harmonia Mundi USA, 1996. [HMU 907154.]

Intermixed here are the two sets of Lamentations, six Latin motets, three English sacred pieces, and seven string arrangements of vocal works.

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*Bruce Gustafson (Bruce.Gustafson@fandm.edu), President of the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music, is Professor of Music and Chair at Franklin & Marshall College. Return to beginning

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ISSN: 1089-747X

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