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Catacoustic Consort | Secret of the Muse

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Secret of the Muse

by Catacoustic Consort

Discover the intimate, charming, and virtuosic music of the French Baroque for the pardessus de viole, the smallest member of the viola da gamba family. A lady's instrument, the pardessus thrived in 18th century France, though few people play it today
Genre: Classical: Early Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Deuxième Recueil D’airs François Et Italiens Avec Des Variations Pour Deux Violons Deux Pardessus, Ou Pour Une Flute Avec Un Violon, Ouverture De Pigmalion
4:27 $0.99
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2. Sonates À Deux Pardessus De Violes Sans Basse, Livre VI, Sonata No. 2: I. Allegro ma non troppo
3:33 $0.99
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3. Sonates À Deux Pardessus De Violes Sans Basse, Livre VI, Sonata No. 2: II. Adagio
0:47 $0.99
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4. Sonates À Deux Pardessus De Violes Sans Basse, Livre VI, Sonata No. 2: III. Aria gracioso
2:01 $0.99
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5. Sonates À Deux Pardessus De Violes Sans Basse, Livre VI, Sonata No. 2: IV. Vivace
2:32 $0.99
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6. Troisième Recueil D’airs Choisis Dans Les Plus Beaux Opera Comiques Avec Un Accompagnement Ajusté Pour La Flute, Le Violon Ou Le Pardessus De Viole, Air De Zémire Et Azor: La Fauvette
4:38 $0.99
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7. Deuxième Recueil D’airs François Et Italiens Avec Des Variations Pour Deux Violons Deux Pardessus, Ou Pour Une Flute Avec Un Violon, Ariette Italienne De La Serva Padrona
2:10 $0.99
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8. Deuxième Recueil D’airs François Et Italiens Avec Des Variations Pour Deux Violons Deux Pardessus, Ou Pour Une Flute Avec Un Violon, Ariette Italienne De La Serva Padrona
4:23 $0.99
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9. Deuxième Recueil D’airs François Et Italiens Avec Des Variations Pour Deux Violons Deux Pardessus, Ou Pour Une Flute Avec Un Violon, Duo Italien De La Serva Padrona
6:15 $0.99
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10. Troisième Recueil D’airs Choisis Dans Les Plus Beaux Opera Comiques Avec Un Accompagnement Ajusté Pour La Flute, Le Violon Ou Le Pardessus De Viole, Air De L’amitié a L’epreuve: Du Dieu D’amour
4:09 $0.99
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11. Six Trio Modernes Pour Deux Violons Ou Deux Pardessus De Viole Avec La Basse, Trio Moderne No. 1: I. Largo
2:56 $0.99
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12. Six Trio Modernes Pour Deux Violons Ou Deux Pardessus De Viole Avec La Basse, Trio Moderne No. 1: II. Allegro assai
2:38 $0.99
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13. Six Trio Modernes Pour Deux Violons Ou Deux Pardessus De Viole Avec La Basse, Trio Moderne No. 1: III. Minuetto grazioso
2:02 $0.99
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14. Deuxième Recueil D’airs François Et Italiens Avec Des Variations Pour Deux Violons Deux Pardessus, Ou Pour Une Flute Avec Un Violon, Menuet De Platée
3:03 $0.99
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15. Deuxième Recueil D’airs François Et Italiens Avec Des Variations Pour Deux Violons Deux Pardessus, Ou Pour Une Flute Avec Un Violon, Rondeau Gracieux
4:25 $0.99
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16. Six Nocturnes a Deux Violons Ou Pardessus De Viole, Duetto 2: I. Maestoso
4:27 $0.99
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17. Six Nocturnes a Deux Violons Ou Pardessus De Viole, Duetto 2: II. Presto
1:30 $0.99
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18. Deuxième Recueil D’airs François Et Italiens Avec Des Variations Pour Deux Violons Deux Pardessus, Ou Pour Une Flute Avec Un Violon, Les Indes Galantes, Air De Sauvages
1:59 $0.99
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19. Troisième Recueil D’airs Choisis Dans Les Plus Beaux Opera Comiques Avec Un Accompagnement Ajusté Pour La Flute, Le Violon Ou Le Pardessus De Viole, Air De Toinon Et Toinette: Quand Un Barbon
6:02 $0.99
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20. Muséte De Choisi, Muséte De Taverni
5:24 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The pardessus de viole is the soprano-most member of the viola da gamba family. It was developed and played exclusively in France in the 18th century as an alternative to the violin, which was looked down on as little better than a fiddle for working men. For the upper crust, the pardessus was a much more seemly instrument for a lady: even the daughters of King Louis XV were proficient performers. Another renowned player, Mme Lévi, performed concertos on the pardessus in the famous Paris Concert Spirituel.

The pardessus was largely played in homes for private entertainment or for salons – gatherings of intellectuals, artists, philosophers, etc. The players performed music in both the Italian and French styles, which is the beauty of this instrument: it can sound like an Italian violin or a French viol. Music included arrangements of popular opera airs, music composed for the pardessus (collections of suites and sonatas), and arrangements of violin or bass viol music. The music on this recording is a mix of music written specifically for pardessus (Dollé) and music that could be played on either violin or pardessus.

The pardessus de viole was built in several variations – six strings (tuned like a treble viol without the bottom D string but with a top high G string), five strings, and later four strings (tuned like a violin). The instruments you will hear in this recording are five-string pardessus, which was the standard type of instrument during its short-lived (albeit intense) popularity. The five-string instrument is tuned in fourths and fifths (bottom up is G-D-A-D-G) and is still bowed underhand, like a viol.

But musical instruments of the pre-Revolutionary aristocracy were considered more than functional tools to produce sound. They were also made to be works of art. Many instruments had elaborate carvings in the scroll or ivory inlays in the fingerboard. Stripes were fashionable in ladies’ dress, and stripes often showed up on the back and sides of pardessus. These instruments were custom-made to reflect an individual’s personality and style.

The pardessus de viole lost popularity and disappeared during the French Revolution, when the fall of the ruling class assured the instrument’s demise, since it was so closely associated with the ancien régime. And as music began moving out of private homes and into large concert halls, louder, more powerful-sounding instruments rose to prominence. The once-despised violin, with its bright, ringing tones, won out over the dark, muted viola da gamba. As Hubert Le Blanc said in 1740, “how can one decide to present the viol’s merit and have her appreciated, when one is given as battlefield the vast hollowness of a huge hall, which it is impossible for her to fill … the sound of the viol, heard from far away or in a large space, packed with people and their clothes, resembles the vapour of a spirit of wine which one throws into the air and from which nothing comes down.”

Produced, edited, and engineered by John Hadden
Recorded February 2014 at St. Thomas Church, Terrace Park, Ohio

Instruments used in this recording:
Guersan, Pardessus de viole, Paris, France, 1754.
Dominik Zuchowicz, Pardessus de viole, Ottawa, Canada, 2001.
Klaus Jacobsen, Theorbo, London, England, 2005.
Cezar Mateus, Archlute, Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, USA.

Special thanks:
Gregg Hill & Linda Holmberg
John Gunnison-Wiseman
St. Thomas Church & Carlton Monroe
Fred Martens
Ingrid Keller & Nate Bick
Richard Sutcliffe
Alice Nutter

Annalisa Pappano is the founder and artistic director of the Catacoustic Consort. She studied at Indiana University’s Early Music Institute and at Oberlin Conservatory of Music. She has performed throughout Belgium, England, Ireland, Colombia, Canada, and the U.S. and has appeared on nationally syndicated radio and has played at the Berkeley and Vancouver Early Music Festivals and the Ojai Music Festival. Pappano is a member of Atalante (England) and has performed with numerous other ensembles including the Houston Grand Opera, the Cleveland Opera, the Portland Opera, the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Les Voix Baroques, Opera Atelier, the Toronto Consort, the Concord Ensemble, Cappella Artemisia, and Wildcat Viols. She has taught at workshops across the US, and has been a guest lecturer at numerous universities. Pappano teaches viola da gamba at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Joanna Blendulf has performed as soloist and continuo player in leading period instrument ensembles throughout the United States. She holds performance degrees with honors from the Cleveland Institute of Music and Indiana University. Blendulf was awarded the prestigious Performer's Certificate for her accomplishments in early music performance from Indiana University. Joanna performs regularly with the Portland Baroque Orchestra and Pacific MusicWorks. She has also performed with America Bach Soloists, Apollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra, and the Bach Collegium of San Diego. Blendulf is also an active chamber musician, performing and recording with Ensemble Electra, Ensemble Mirable, Nota Bene Viol Consort, Parthenia, and Wildcat Viols. Her recording of the complete cello sonatas of Jean Zewalt Triemer with Ensemble Mirable can be found on Magnatune. Blendulf's summer engagements have included performances at the Bloomington, Boston, and Berkeley Early Music Festivals, the Aspen Music Festival, as well as the Carmel and Oregon Bach Festivals. Joanna is a viola da gamba and baroque cello teacher and serves as faculty member at viola da gamba workshops across the country.

Soprano Youngmi Kim is the recipient of first prize at the William C. Byrd Young Artist Competition and third prize at the Louisville Bach Society Gerhard Herz Young Artist Competition. She made her Carnegie Hall debut as a result of reaching the finals of The Lyndon Woodside Solo Competition where she won the Richard Westenberg Award for 18th Century Stylistic Interpretation. Kim is a frequent performer in her native Seoul and has appeared in concert as a soloist with the Korean Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra and the Seoul Philharmonic. Youngmi Kim holds a Doctoral degree in Vocal Performance at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. She presently serves on the voice faculty at Radford University in Virginia.

Lutenist and guitarist David Walker has performed extensively throughout the United States, earning praise for his “surety of technique and expressive elegance,” (Columbus Dispatch) as well as his “tremendous dexterity and careful control” (Bloomington Herald Times). David has appeared with such early music groups as Chatham Baroque, Clarion Music Society, Mercury, the Newberry Consort, and Tempesta di Mare, and is a member of the chamber ensemble Ostraka. He has performed in numerous baroque opera productions, including engagements with the Wolf Trap Opera Company, Glimmerglass Opera, and Boston Baroque. Festival highlights include the Savannah Music Festival, Indianapolis Early Music Festival, and solo recitals for the Bloomington Early Music Festival and the University of Louisville Guitar Festival. Recording credits include Ostraka’s critically acclaimed debut, Division, in addition to recordings for Sono Luminus and Linn Records.

Air de l’Amitié à l’épreuve
Du Dieu d’amour en bravant la puissance
On s’expose a ses rigueurs
On croit le fuir mais les traits qu’il nous lance
Ont déjà frapés nos cœurs
Au doux murmure des fontaines.

En vain l’on cherche le repos,
Et le ramage des oiseaux
Réveille encor nos peines.
On languit, on gémit, on se tourmente,
Toujours la peine augmente.

Mais l’on se livre à l’espérance
Quand l’amour unit deux cœurs
Du Dieu d’Amour en servant la puissance
On mérite ses faveurs,
Le ciel est pur, nos jours sont beaux
Quand les plaisirs forment nos chaines.

Au doux murmure des fontaines
Alors on goute le repos
Et loin de nous l’amour banit les peines
Qui tout remplit nos desirs
Quand les nœuds des plaisirs,
forment nos chaines.

In engaging the God of Love,
we are exposed to his harshness,
we hope to flee but the darts that he hurls at us,
have already struck our hearts
with the sweet murmur of fountains.

In vain we search for repose,
but the chirping of the birds
reawakens our pains.
We languish, we tremble, we are tormented
as the pain grows.

But we surrender to hope,
as love unites two hearts.
For serving his power,
we deserve favors from the God of Love.
The sky is clear, our days are beautiful,
when pleasures form our chains.

With the sweet murmur of fountains
at last we taste rest,
and love banishes pains far away from us
satisfying our desires
when the coils of pleasures
form our chains.

Air de Zemir et Azor
La fauvette avec ses petits
Se croit la reine du boccage.
De leur réveil par son ramage
Tous les échos sont avertis,

Sa naissante famille
autour d’elle sautille
Voltige et prend l’essor.
Rassemblés sous son aile
De leur amour pour elle,
Elle jouit encore.

Mais par malheur
Vient l’oiseleur
Qui lui ravit son esperance,
La pauvre mère elle ne pense,
Qu’à son malheur,
Tout retentit de sa douleur.
The warbler with her young
is regarded as the queen of the glen.
By their chirping wake-up calls,
all echoes are silenced.

Her growing family
hops and flutters
around her and takes flight.
Reassembled under her wing,
for their love of her,
she continues to chirp.

But unfortunately
the bird catcher comes,
who snatches her hope.
The poor mother thinks only
of her misfortune.
All resounds with her distress.

Air de Toinon et Toinette
Quand un barbon
Prend un tendron
Soir et matin
C’est carillon.
Dans le ménage
Toujours, tapage
Si l’un dit oui
l’autre dit non,
oui, non, oui, non …
L’enfer habite la maison.

Mais deux amans
Qu’amour engage
Dans le jeune age
Chantent toujours
À l’unissson.
Si le desir
Par un soupir
Donne le ton,
L’autre répond à l’unisson.

When an old man
takes a tender young girl,
night and day
there is a constant clamor.
In the household
there is always uproar.
If one says yes,
the other says no,
yes, no, yes, no, etc.
Hell lives in the household.

But two lovers,
which love has brought together
in youth,
sing always
in unison.
If desire,
with a sigh,
sets the tone,
the other answers in unison.




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