The 18th-century Dutch Republic served as a magnet attracting musicians across Europe. It was one of the wealthiest of European countries. Celebrities such as Handel and Mozart may have passed through only briefly, but others such as Locatelli made a permanent home in the republic and introduced many foreign musical languages to local composers.
Hence, in this unique collection, we find a remarkable diversity of style, from Wassenaer's post-Corellian concerti grossi to the more galant music of Albertus Groneman. Meanwhile Willem de Fesch and Pieter Hellendaal moved to England and never returned to their homeland. Hellendaal’s ‘grand concertos’ are likewise Italian in style, though cast in a ripieno idiom whereas de Fesch’s concertos draw on his expertise as a solo violinist, rooted as much in the heritage of Vivaldi as Corelli. Most of the concertos on CD4 were composed by foreign arrivals: itinerant musicians such as the German-born Johann Christian Schickhardt and Anton Wilhelm Solnitz of Bohemian origins.
The performances here, made in the 1990s and early 2000s and originally issued on the Dutch NM Classics label, enjoy a lively but not doctrinaire appreciation of historically informed style. Although the Combattimento Consort uses modern instruments, they play them implementing the techniques that van Wassenaer and Ricciotti would have known. The sound the players generate is therefore old and new, and should offend neither camp in the current round of period-instrument wars. Musica ad Rhenum, familiar from their considerable Brilliant Classics catalogue, play on instruments of the era or copies thereof. They are renowned among the most stylish of Dutch early-music groups.
‘The interpretations brim with verve and lucidity… de Vriend and his compatriots execute these works with excellent definition, a fine sense of shape and balance, and musical intelligence.’ Fanfare, January 2002 (Wassenaer)
The 18th century Republic of the Seven United Provinces of the Netherlands served as a magnet attracting musicians from throughout Europe. It was one of the wealthiest of European countries, the fortunes amassed in the previous century - the Golden Age - could now safely be spent, and culture was an obvious choice. Many composers from abroad either visited the Netherlands or settled there permanently, such as Antonio Locatelli. It comes as no surprise that composers, both Dutch and foreign, were influenced by the great instrumental tradition brought by the Italians, and the Concerto form flourished, both as Concerto Grosso and Solo Concerto.
This set presents a wealth of concertos by Dutch or Dutch-based composers: Pieter Hellendaal, Graaf Unico Wilhelm van Wassenaer (whose Concerti Armonici were formerly attributed to Pergolesi!), Johann Schickhardt, Anton Solnitz, Willem de Fesch, Albertus Groneman and Conrad Hurlebusch: music of high quality, written in the best Italian traditions of Corelli, Locatelli and Geminiani.
Excellent performances in Historically Informed Performance style by Dutch groups Combattimento Consort conducted by Jan Willem de Vriend and Musica Ad Rhenum, conducted by Jed Wentz, who is also a traverso soloist.
A collection compiled from the rich back catalogue of NM Classics, the label for Dutch music.