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Viola Da Gamba Concertata

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 5, 1994
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Product Details

  • Performer: Siegfried Pank
  • Orchestra: Academy of Ancient Music
  • Composer: Georg Philipp Telemann, Johann Pfeiffer, Johann Gottlieb Graun
  • Audio CD (April 5, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capriccio
  • ASIN: B000001WM3
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #732,609 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
This recording would exite a musicologist of 18th century German music in Prussia: the concerti for viola da gamba by Pfeiffer and Graun are an obscurantist's dream. Setting aside historical considerations, however, what we have here is a superb recording of some absolutely wonderful music. The sound of both gamba and orchestra is the aural equivalent of fine silk trailed across bare skin. The concerto attributed to Pfeiffer has very sweet melodies to tug at the heartstrings; the concerto by Graun is marvelously inventive and plays the solo gamba off the orchestra with a rhythmic verve sure to set your foot tapping. Pank uses a gamba by Hoffmann (Leipzig, 1693) with a dark, throaty, and very full sound. The continuo playing by harpsichordist Christine Schornsheim is energetic enough to keep your ear tuned to what goes on beneath the solo and orchestral lines. For aficionados of viol music, this disc is a no-brainer: get it. It recommends itself, however, to anyone fond of 18th century music and interested in an excellent recording of some works that deserve to be heard, again and again.
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Format: Audio CD
Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767): Ouverture (Suite) in D major TWV 55:D6 for Viola da gamba, strings and b.c.; Johann Pfeiffer (1697 - 1791) (attrib.): Concerto in A major for Viola da gamba, two violins and b.c.; Johann Gottlieb Graun (1702/3 - 1771): Concerto in D major for Viola da gamba, strings and b.c. Performed by Siegfried Pank, viola da gamba; Christine Schornsheim, harpsichord; and members of the Akademie der Alten Musik, Berlin [Stephan Mai, Dörte Wetzel, Berhard Forck, violins; Ulrich Keifer, viola; Frank Deike, Karin Liersch, cello; Christian Horn, double bass]. Recorded by the VEB Deutsche Schallplatten at the Paul-Gerhardt-Kirche in Leipzig in May and October 1987. Released in 1988 as Capriccio 10 237. Total playing time: 54'18".

This is one of the few recordings on period instruments which were published in the former German Democratic Republic before it finally collapsed in 1989. Siegfried Pank, better known for his virtuoso cello playing, here took up the viola da gamba and got together with wizard East German harpsichordist Christine Schornsheim and the GDR's first period instrument orchestra, the Akamus from Berlin, to record three extremely rare items: concertos for viola da gamba and strings by the still youthful Telemann, by the Nuremberg violinist Pfeiffer (although his authorship cannot be proven) and the Berlin kapellmeister Johann Gottlieb Graun. Why these items are so rare will become obvious when listening: the viola da gamba had, by the 18th century, been widely replaced by the cello as the instrument of preference for this range, and was only played by a few virtuosos and by members of the nobility who loved its intimate, nasal qualities and for whom it had a certain aura of eliteness.
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