Season Two: La Suave Melodia
A digital video recital for recorder, dulcian, harpsichord & organ
with Anna Stegmann (recorder), Inga Maria Klaucke (dulcian), Alexandra Nepomnyashchaya (organ & harpsichord)
The title “La Suave Melodia” (the sweet melody) is reflected in this programme in several ways: not only does a work by Andrea Falconieri bear this charming name, the two protagonists in the concert (recorder and dulcian) are both historically associated with a sweet and soft sound.
The dulcian (from Latin dulcis “sweet”) emancipated itself from the homogeneous consort at the beginning of the 17th century into a virtuoso solo and continuo instrument. The Spanish-born composer and dulcian player Bartolomeo de Selma y Salaverde acquired during his lifetime famed for his excellent breath control and his ability to articulate quickly on this instrument. His toe-tapping dances are given vitality through chromatic twists and colours. Elsewhere, the 'modernity' of his music manifests itself through frequent, sudden, gaudy contrasts in tempo and dynamics.
The recorder is described in many languages as the 'sweetest' of the flutes (eg “flauto dolce” and “flûte douce”), enriching the works of Falconieri and Palestrina in these recitals - originally intended for violin or cornetto - with an enchanting beauty.
Dulcian and recorder challenge each other to an exciting musical dialogue that follows the impulses of the bass line. The works, mostly published in Venice (the capital of music printing in the 17th century), take the listener to the pinnacle of these lively, virtuosic, and at times melancholic melodies.
Anna Stegmann, October 2020