With the participation of: L'Armonia Sonora
The Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) was the stage for bloody clashes, joined in the name of religion, attended by their cortege of atrocities, famines and epidemics, resulting not only in destruction, but also, above all, a deep demoralisation. What faith could reside in Man, when his spirit could only hope to find rest in the afterlife?
This recording presents without doubt some of the most moving 17th-century settings of Penitential Psalms and biblical texts. One is struck, on listening to this music, by the depth of feeling – a blend of humility, pain and anguish – on the one hand, and by the power of the musical composition itself on the other. 17th-century sacred music was not intended as an end in itself, but as a means to move the spirit of the faithful, and render them open to the word of God, and the message of Jesus Christ.
L'ARMONIA SONORAwas founded in 2004 by Mieneke van der Velden in order to perform cantatas with a variety of vocal soloists. The ensemble consists entirely of musicians recognised within the early music world both in the Netherlands and internationally, and who teach at various Dutch and international conservatoria. The makeup of the ensemble often answers the performance needs of a particular cantata – or even a specific aria – and the programming possibilities thus offered make possible some very varied concerts. In this way, the group can consist of a continuo group only, or be extended by the addition of strings and winds. L'Armonia Sonora works with wellknown soloists such as bass Peter Kooij and the counter-tenors Derek Lee Ragin and Robin Blaze. The ensemble has recorded two previous CDs with Ramée: De profundis clamavi, early German cantatas, in collaboration with Peter Kooij; and da Gamba, featuring sonatas by Johann Sebastian Bach for viola da gamba in various instrumental combinations.
François Fernandez, Sayuri Yamagata, violin
Kaori Uemura, Ricardo Rodriguez Miranda, viola da gamba
Peter Rikkers, violone
Leo van Doeselaar, organ
Born in Prague, HANA BLAZIKOVAreceived her diploma from the Conservatorium there in 2002, in the class of Jirí Kotouc, after which she pursued her studies with Poppy Holden, Peter Kooij, Monika Mauch and Howard Crook. She has specialised in the interpretation of mediaeval, Renaissance and Baroque music, and performs all over the world with many renowned groups, such as Collegium Vocale Gent (Philippe Herreweghe), Bach Collegium Japan (Masaaki Suzuki), Sette Voci (Peter Kooij), Gli Angeli Genève (Stephan MacLeod), Collegium 1704 (Václav Luks), Collegium Marianum, Capella Regia (Robert Hugo) and Musica Florea. Hana Blazíková also plays gothic harp, and presents concerts in which she accompanies herself on that instrument.
PETER KOOIJ has appeared in the world's most prestigious concert halls, and has worked with conductors of great repute, including Philippe Herreweghe, Ton Koopman, Frans Brüggen, Gustav Leonhardt, René Jacobs, Sigiswald Kuijken, Roger Norrington and Iván Fischer. Besides the complete vocal oeuvre of Johann Sebastian Bach, his repertoire includes works from Heinrich Schütz to Anton Webern, and he has made over 150 recordings. For the BIS label, he was invited to record all the Bach cantatas with the Bach Collegium Japan, under the direction of Masaaki Suzuki. In 1999 he founded the chamber orchestra De Profundis, with the goal of accompanying singers in an historically informed style. In 2001 he created the ensemble Sette Voci, which he conducts and for which he assembles passion-filled programmes encompassing Renaissance and Baroque music. Since 2002 he has been the bass of the soloist quartet Tanto Canto, in which he develops chiefly Baroque and Romantic repertoire. From 1991 to 2000, Peter Kooij taught singing at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam, and from 1995 to 1998 at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover. He has been visiting professor and the University of Fine Arts and Music in Tokyo since 2000, and singing teacher at the Royal Conservatorium in The Hague since 2005. Besides this, he is regularly invited to give master classes in Germany, France, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Finland and Japan.
MIENEKE VAN DER VELDEN studied viola da gamba with Wieland Kuijken at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague, receiving the Performer's Diploma in 1988. Since then she has followed a varied career, and regularly gives recitals with Glen Wilson (harpsichord), and Fred Jacobs (theorbo), as well as with her ensemble L'Armonia Sonora. She has been a soloist with many leading orchestras, such as the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra (Ton Koopman), Concerto Vocale (René Jacobs), Collegium Vocale (Philippe Herreweghe), De Nederlandse Bachvereniging (Jos van Veldhoven), and Cantus Cölln (Konrad Junghänel). She has performed in the Dutch Early Music Network, Het Grachtenfestival, the Bach Festival, the Utrecht Early Music Festival and the Festival of Flanders as well as for many other concert organisations throughout Europe. She has recorded three CDs for the Dutch label Channel Classics, receiving an overwhelmingly positive reception. Mieneke van der Velden is professor of viola da gamba at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam.