Fontana / Fritz / Hammerle - Early Baroque Music From The Basilica Palatina | RECORD STORE DAY
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Compared to the Italian power centers of Milan, Florence or Rome, the Lombard city of Mantua in the Po Valley is only of manageable size. All the more glamorous was the commitment of the ruling Gonzaga dynasty to the arts: for them, artists such as Andrea Mantegna, Giulio Romano or Leon Battista Alberti created lasting masterpieces of painting and architecture, while musicians such as Giaches de Wert or Claudio Monteverdi consolidated Mantua's reputation throughout Europe. The scenes of their work were the grandiose complex of the ducal palace and the church of Santa Barbara, part of the palazzo, an impressive synthesis of Mannerist architecture and painting - and an ideal space for music. This magical place was chosen by recorder player Julia Fritz together with organist Johannes Hämmerle, soprano Magdalene Harer and harpist Reinhild Waldek to record works by Giovanni Battista Fontana and Angelo Notari, two contemporaries of Monteverdi. Fontana's solo sonatas for violin and continuo, which Julia Fritz interprets on various flutes, belong to the canon of early Baroque violin music, while the pieces by Notari, some of which are recorded here for the first time, come from a manuscript in the British Library that the composer presumably made for English music lovers in the circle of King Charles I. The works are also available in the English language. They are variations and song arrangements that demonstrate the high standard of solo and ornamental art of the time, which were as popular in Italy as in the rest of Europe.