bohemian baroque

[...] Die Trompete „ist ein Herrlich Instrument“ schwärmte Anno 1619 schon Michael Praetorius. Aber nur, „wenn ein guter Meister, der es wol und künstlich zwingen und regieren kann, drüber kommt“ [...] Praetorius hätte aber wohl kaum ahnen können, dass es erstmals nicht nur gute Meister, sondern auch ebensolche Meisterinnen geben könnte, denn die Trompete war –wie vieles andere – ausschließlich dem „starken“ Geslecht vorbehalten. In Diepholz stellte sich mit Susan Williams nun eine dieser Meisterinnen vor. [...].
Diepholzer Kreisblatt, 18.01.2004

Virtuosic chamber music from the baroque court of Kromeritz

In the 17th century, the castle at Kromeritz was in a central area of the Austro-Bohemian empire which was a crossroads of culture. The castle was built by Prince-Bishop Karl Lichtenstein-Kastelcorn (1624-95), and during 31 years, he built up a choir and a college for choristers, and created a court orchestra with up to 30 instrumentalists, An avid music lover, he amassed a stunning collection of music (chamber music as well as large masses) from over 100 composers).

The virtuosity of the chamber music attests to the high standard of the string and the wind players – in particular the violins and trumpets. This is not surprising considering the first 2 Kapellmeisters were H.I.F.Biber (himself a virtuosic violinist), and Pavel Vejvanovsky, court trumpeter, composer and copyist. Much music was sent also from Vienna by various composers including Heinrich Schmelzer (Kapellmeister to the emperor).

This program reveals some of the gems of this collection, reminding us of the splendour of the Austro-Bohemian empire and the baroque court at Kromeritz.

Works by Biber, Schmelzer, Vejvanovsky and others.

music sample