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Giovanni Battista Vitali : Artificii Musicali, op. 13. Coen.
Format : 1 CD
Total Time : 01:10:40

Recording : 08-14/06/2022
Location : Rome
Country : Italie
Sound : Studio / Stereo

Label : Brilliant Classics
Catalog No. : BRIL96686
EAN : 5028421966861

Publishing Year : 2022
Release Date : 07/12/2022

Genre : Classical
Giovanni Batista Vitali (1632-1692)
Artificii Musicali, op. 13
Sonate n° 1 pour violon seul
Sonate n° 2 pour violon seul

Andrea Coen, clavecin

Publiés à Modène en 1689 et dédiés au duc Francesco II dont Giovanni Battista Vitali était vice-maître de chapelle, ces 'Artificii Musicali' ne prétendent point nous régaler d''artifices' mais nous offrir un 'art de la musique' fondé sur une synthèse du naturel en musique et de l'artificiel dans le contrepoint. L'on pourra méditer sur la structure cosmogonique de l'oeuvre, le symbolisme pythagoricien et chrétien du nombre de pièces et leur disposition en voyage d'initiation ascensionnelle. Les points de contact avec 'L'Offrande Musicale' de J.S. Bach ne manqueront pas d'intriguer. 40 canons de 2 à 12 voix dont 4 à énigmes précèdent une collection de balletti et de capricii, une passacaille et deux sonatas da chiesa. Ce divertissement de cour érudit ne saurait toutefois combler que de rares initiés: rigueur, engagement, passion se conjuguent sous les doigts d'Andrea Coen jusqu'à un véritable envoûtement qui nous saisit crescendo dans la succession des contrepoints. Cet enregistrement constituerait une des parutions majeures de l'année si le clavecin ne sonnait terriblement métallique. Défaut accentué (créé?) par une prise de son très rapprochée qui a voulu trop bien faire. (Michel Lorentz-Alibert)

Born in Bologna, Giovanni Battista Vitali (1632–1692) spent all his life between his birth city and Modena, where he moved in 1674. There is something noteworthy in this geography of the composer: Vitali’s move from Bologna, then part of the Papal States under the administration of Rome, to the smaller but significantly more secular and artistically stimulating Modena, under the rule of the splendid Este family, is suggestive of a desire to achieve greater expressive freedom. All composers must tackle the dilemmas of their times, and Vitali’s legacy is his ability to use his great skill to achieve that ideal synthesis between tradition and innovation. Artificii Musicali (Modena, 1689) has given Vitali a respectable place in music history, particularly if one considers the oft supposed idea that it served as inspiration for J.S. Bach’s Musical Offering, J. Fux’s Gradus ad Parnassum (1725) and G.B. Martini’s Saggio Fondamentale Pratico di Contrappunto sopra il Canto Fermo (1774). Vitali’s Artificii Musicali appeared at a historical crossroad, during the final decades of the 17th century, when there was an explosive rise in instrumental music. The sprout of creative freedom for composers of instrumental music was immensely liberating, as the previous generations of musicians were often limited in their artistic endeavors by the rigid structures of choral polyphony or the madrigal form. Artificii Musicali is a unique pedagogical music handbook, a theoretic treatise of canonic science, and ultimately a testament to the originality and genius of its author. There are 40 canons in this work and interspersed among them there are 4 that can be classified as riddle-canons or enigma-canons. These intriguing pieces are accompanied by a brief Latin motto containing the key for their realization, which is left to the reader to decipher (of note, Bach also included two riddle-canons with Latin mottos in the Musical Offering). The final 9 pieces in the Artificii are an eclectic collection of balletti, capricci, a passagallo, and 2 violin sonatas, representative of the main forms of instrumental music at the end of the 17th century. Although Artificii was originally written for violin and bass, Andrea Coen performs here on a harpsichord, and furthermore a harpsichord in equal temperament. Such a choice is not the result of simplification or trivialisation, but is based on confirmed historical evidence reported by Patrizio Barbieri: 'For the entire fifty years in the middle of the 17th century, concrete attempts were made in Europe to tune harpsichords, organs and harps no longer with the usual mesotonic, but with equal temperament'. Furthermore, the recording choices on this album were of tantamount importance, and Riccardo Cimino has shaped and spatialized the sounds with great musical sensitivity and powerful sound engineering. The finalisation of the recording in Dolby Atmos gives many possible ways of listening to the Artificii, depending on the chosen media: from the three-dimensional Atmos music audio down to a binaural stereo. This, compared to traditional stereo, presents much greater depth.

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