Cantate Domino, recorded by legendary sound engineer Bertil Alving in 1976, is widely regarded as one of the greatest audiophile masterpieces ever recorded. Opening with Enrico Bossi's "Cantate Domino" for choir, organ, trumpets and trombones, the choral album includes a number of Swedish folk songs as well as pieces by Handel, Otto Olsson, and others. The famous reference record is now made even better with this new hi-definition release.
The anonymous Mass Cantate Domino for six voices (#1-4) is recorded in an incomplete set of part-books of about 1550, traditionally linked with Dunkeld Cathedral, but more likely originating in the collegiate chapel of Lincluden, Dumfriesshire. Much has had to be done to complete the music: the bass part is missing throughout and three other voices are more or less fragmentary towards the end. The style of the music is 'British decorative' of the earlier sixteenth century with its characteristic mixture of florid and imitative counterpoint. On closer examination, however, the work may be of Scottish origin: the music is directly related to the five-part Mass Fera pessima by Robert Carver, finest Scottish composer of sacred music in the early sixteenth century. I suggest that the present Mass is a reworking of about 1525 for six voices, possibly by Carver himself, of the earlier five-part composition: much thematic material is common to both works, though the six-part shows a more assured technical command. It is a cyclic Mass in the established tradition: each movement opens with the same head-motif and each is based on the same cantus firmus - a plainsong melody, as yet unidentified. Also, traditionally, the music has been arranged to alternate full and solo sections. It is an impressive work, and if by Carver - it is certainly very good Carver.
The ensemble LA GIOIA ARMONICA was founded by Austrian dulcimer-player Margit Übellacker and German organist and singer Jürgen Banholzer. One of the ensemble's objectives is to explore the baroque repertoire for dulcimer, in particular in connection with the legendary pantaleon. The size of the group varies from dulcimer-organ duet to large chamber-music settings. Th e musicians are all specialised in historically-informed performance practices, and combine broad experience drawn from their involvement in various international ensembles. La Gioia Armonica's debut CD – Cantate, Sonate ed Arie, dedicated to music of Antonio Caldara – was also released by Ramée, and gained various awards, among which the Pizzicato Supersonic Award, Goldberg 5 Stars, and the Prelude Classical Award 2006 for best debut CD. Since then, the ensemble has been invited to perform in Germany and abroad, including at the Halle Händelfestspiele, the Dordrecht Bach Festival, the Middle-Germany Heinrich Schütz Days, the Bottrop Organ Plus Festival, and the Bad Homburg Fugato organ festival.
A ubiquitous Viennese figure in the early 1700s, Francesco Conti was one of several gifted Italian Baroque composers who settled in foreign lands. If Caldara remains the most durable Italian figure in Vienna, Conti's star — on this evidence — deserves to be dusted down and given a second chance. These four cantatas from eight Cantate am istromenti probably date from the first decade of the century and feature the most delectable plethora of obbligato instruments imaginable.
Antonio Maria Bononcini (1677 - 1726) is the younger and lesser-known brother of Giovanni Bononcini (1670 - 1747). He was one of a number of Italian composers who were active at the imperial court in Vienna, and introduced the newest trends in Italian music to the Austrian capital. His brother also did belong to this group of composers, as well as Ziani and Ariosti. The chamber cantata was one of the genres these composers paid attention to as listening to cantatas was part of the entertainment at the court.