Christoph Angerer, Viola d'amore and Assisting Musicians
Cavalli Records CCD 261 (LC 05724)
A recent release: Another new CD, Viola d'amore features the artists Christoph Angerer, viola d'amore, Paul Angerer on violin, viola d'amore and harpsichord, Claudia Leitenbauer, viola da gamba, and Sergio Posada, piano. The works included represent important compositions for viola d'amore from the middle to the end of the 18th century and from the early- to the end of the 20th century. The first work by Paul Angerer (b. 1927) is titled Wettstreit zwischen Dur und Moll (Contrast between Major and Minor) for Two Violas d'amore. Written in 1997, this masterful piece -- tonal and rich in texture -- explores the two most-used modes of Western music in a close mixing of colors, rather than as a juxtaposed treatment. [If one listens very carefully, a delightful little surprise appears at the very end.] The two soloists play this work with panache. Next, we are treated to a smashing performance of one of the outstanding viola d'amore compositions of the mid-18th century, the Sonata in D for Viola d'amore and Harpsichord by Giovanni Toeschi (1735-1800). Toeschi was concertmaster of the Court Orchestra at Mannheim during the residency of Prince Karl Theodor. This sonata is a joyful work, written with virtuoso performers in mind. This historically informed performance, based on a manuscript in the Austrian National Library is virtuosic indeed! Probably less known to viola d'amore players, Johann Nepomuk David's (1895-1977) Duo Sonata for Viola d'amore and Viola da gamba is a rhythmically complex work blending the two like instruments into a most pleasing feast of sound. This is a rare opportunty to hear this work, splendidly performed by Christoph Angerer and Claudia Leitenbauer. The Sonata in D for Viola d'amore and Violin or Viola by Carl Stamitz (1745-1801) is one of the most important and outstanding viola d'amore works from the second half of the 18th century. Son of Johann Stamitz, founder of the renowned Mannheim School, Carl Stamitz was a master viola d'amore player. Probably written after his move to Paris and clearly showing the influence of French tastes, this work capitalizes on every unique characteristic of the viola d'amore, that is, arpeggios, double and multiple stops, use of the entire wide range of the instrument, harmonics and left-hand pizzicato. Christoph Angerer has the mastery demanded by this work and is beautifully supported by Paul Angerer on violin. Their performance is based on the MS in the archives in the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna. Kleine Sonate für Viola d'amore und Klavier, Op. 25, No. 2 (1922) by Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) is one of the most important viola d'amore works from the first quarter of the 20th century. A fabled player of the instrument himself, Hindemith explored the full tonal range and technical possibilities unique to this instrument in this three-movement work of contrasting moods. Sometimes using cross rhythms and simultaneous dual meters, this is exciting music! But, we mustn't let the title "Little Sonata" deceive us. There is a lot of music packed into a little package. Christoph Angerer and Sergio Posada are both tender and fiery and technically brilliant. The CD booklet provides both German and English texts with concise notes about the viola d'amore, the featured works and their composers, the performers, and some photos of the performers and examples of the original manuscripts.This reviewer highly recommends this CD to every lover of the viola d'amore. Not only is the choice of music excellent but the players are first class.
Review by Daniel Thomason for the Viola d'amore Society of America
Cavalli Records, Ludwigshoehe 4, D-96049 Bamberg, Germany [www.cavalli-records.de]