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Bertali: Missa Ressurectionis/Yale Schola Cantorum, Simon Carrington, director
Bertali: Missa Ressurectionis - Yale Schola Cantorum


 
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Program and Notes Reviews
 

Easter Sunday in Imperial Vienna 1666
Antonia Bertali: Missa Resurrectionis
Spiritus Collective
Yale Collegium Players, Robert Mealy, director
Ilya Poletaev, organ
Yale Schola Cantorum, directed by Simon Carrington

World Premiere Recording



1. Antonio Bertali (1605-1669): Kyrie
Sinfonia–Kyrie–Sinfonia–Christe–Kyrie
Robert Mealy, Rebecca Tinio, violin; Greg Ingles, sackbut;
Kris Ingles, James Miller, cornetto; Erik Schmalz, Mack Ramsey, sackbut


2. Johann Jakob Froberger (1616–1667): Toccata in C
Ilya Poletaev, organ


3. Bertali: Gloria
Robert Mealy, Rebecca Tinio
, violin; Greg Ingles, sackbut;
Kris Ingles, James Miller, cornetto; Erik Schmalz, Mack Ramsey, sackbut


4. Christian Geist (c. 1650–1711): Alleluia; Surrexit pastor bonus
Abigail Haynes, soprano solo
Mellissa Hughes, soprano; Derek Chester, Steven Caldicott Wilson, tenor;
Doug Williams, bass-baritone; Robert Mealy, Rebecca Tinio, violin; Michael Rigsby, viola da gamba


5. Pavel Josef Vejvanovsky (c. 1640–1693): Sonata Petri et Pauli
Robert Mealy, Rebecca Tinio, violin; Renate Falkner, viola;
William Perdue, cello; Kris Ingles, trumpet;
Greg Ingles, Erik Schmalz, Mack Ramsey, sackbut

6. Bertali: Credo
Robert Mealy, Rebecca Tinio, Renate Falkner, Nadège Foofat
, viola;
Kris Ingles, Christopher Cockren, trumpet;
Greg Ingles, Erik Schmalz, Mack Ramsey, Daniel Green, sackbut


7. Geist: Resurrexi et adhuc tecum sum
Mellissa Hughes, soprano solo
Robert Mealy, Rebecca Tinio, violin; Michael Rigsby, viola da gamba


8. Bertali: Sonata a 3
Robert Mealy, Rebecca Tinio, violin; Erik Schmalz, sackbut


9. Bertali: Sanctus
Robert Mealy, Rebecca Tinio, violin; Kendra Mack, Renate Falkner, Nadège Foofat, viola;
Michael Rigsby, viola da gamba; Greg Ingles, Erik Schmalz, Mack Ramsey, Lisa Albrecht, Daniel Green, sackbut


10. Bertali: Benedictus
Abigail Haynes, Mellissa Hughes, soprano; Derek Chester, tenor; Douglas Williams, bass;
Robert Mealy, Rebecca Tinio, violin


11. Bertali: Sonata a 7
Robert Mealy, Rebecca Tinio, violin; Nadège Foofat, viola; Greg Ingles, Erik Schmalz, Mack Ramsey, sackbut


12. Vejvanovsky: Sonata a 3
Robert Mealy, violin; Kris Ingles, trumpet; Greg Ingles, sackbut


13. Bertali: Agnus Dei
Robert Mealy, Rebecca Tinio, violin; Kendra Mack, Renate Falkner, Nadège Foofat, viola;
Michael Rigsby, viola da gamba; Kris Ingles, Christopher Cockren, trumpet;
Greg Ingles, Erik Schmalz, Mack Ramsey, Lisa Albrecht, Daniel Green, sackbut

Program Notes
According to a note on the cover of the original manuscript, which survives in the Castle Archives at Kromeriz in the Czech Republic, Bertali’s Missa Resurrectionis was performed in Vienna, seat of the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I, on Easter Sunday 1666. Its composer, the Verona-born Antonio Bertali (1605–1669), had been Kapellmeister to the court from 1649, when he succeeded his compatriot, Giovanni Valentini. Having received his early education at the cathedral in Verona, and established a reputation as a virtuoso violinist, Bertali came to Austria to work for Archduke Karl Joseph, brother of the then emperor, Ferdinand II. He moved to the imperial court in 1624 and was soon commissioned to compose music for some of the most important celebrations, such as the wedding music for the future Ferdinand III (1631) and a Requiem for Ferdinand II (1637).

Perhaps best known today for his instrumental music, Bertali was undoubtedly a master of all the standard genres of the seventeenth century: as well as several oratorios, operas, and serenatas (few manuscripts have survived but the court records speak volumes), his output of liturgical and vocal chamber music is most impressive.

The Missa Resurrectionis is one of several dozen settings by Bertali that include all five sections of the Common of the Mass: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus & Benedictus, and Agnus Dei. This was by no means always the case—various religious feasts required only a Missa brevis (Kyrie and Gloria only), while others also included a setting of the Credo. It may well be that different sections of this particular work were performed in various locations, or they may have come from disparate earlier sources, since there are four distinct scorings as the piece progresses (again, this is not unique to this particular work): as well as eight solo voices and two four-part ripieno choirs, the Kyrie and Gloria combine two violins and trombone in one band, while two cornetti and two further trombones form another; in the Credo, four violas and four trombones create a strangely dark timbre until Et resurrexit, where the composer introduces two bright trumpets that fanfare the news of the resurrected Christ. The Sanctus & Benedictus bring back the violins and add a fifth trombone to the texture. The Agnus Dei sees the return of the trumpets (possibly re-affirming the Lamb of God as the salvation of the empire and the world), creating an opulence worthy of Easter Sunday—the ultimate celebration of Catholic faith at the Hapsburg court; this is a remarkably fresh composition for someone in his sixty-first year!

Although Bertali clearly has an eye on the overall architecture, and creates a variety of moods as much to entertain the ear as to inspire the Christian “audience,” he is essentially a miniaturist. He is capable of excellent counterpoint, but rarely overuses the technique; he can handle the complexities of writing up to 15 independent voices with ease; his use of differing instrumental colors is not typical of the period. He is, however, at his best using a pair ofvoices and perhaps an instrumental backdrop (be it a choir of sackbuts or duetting violins) to allow the all-important text to be declaimed clearly.

The celebration of the Mass requires more music than the setting of the Common, however. There are specific texts for other parts of the proceedings, such as an Introit, an Offertory and a Gradual. There would also have been instrumental music, and plainchant, performed by the clergy. For this recording, we have opted to use substitutes for these sections.

Two motets by the North German singer-composer Christian Geist (1670–1711) set suitable Easter texts: Resurrexi et adhuc tecum sum is the Introit for Easter Sunday, while Surrexit pastor bonus comes from the Matins service for Easter Monday. Although there is no direct link between Geist and Vienna, the manuscripts from which these motets come are in a collection that also includes several Bertali autographs, which Geist may have used at the German church in Stockholm.

In accordance with contemporary practice, sonatas by Bertali and the Czech master of music at Kromeriz, Pavel Josef Vejvanovsky (c.1640–1693), and a Toccata in C by the Vienna-based organist Johann Jakob Froberger (1616–1667), complete the program. Froberger, though born in Stuttgart, studied with the great Girolamo Frescobaldi in Rome, and thus was seminal in propagating the Italian stylus fantasticus in German-speaking lands, eventually casting a profound influence on the next generation of German musicians. The toccata opens in the Italian style, after which follow two linked contrapuntal sections before the character of the opening returns. Vejvanovsky’s Sonata SS. Petri et Pauli contrasts a string group (violin and three violas) with a wind band (trumpet and three trombones) above continuo. Only in the closing triple-time section do all the instruments play together. Bertali’s Sonata a 7 uses a similar technique in as much as the two violins and the top two trombones exchange musical ideas in a dialogue while the lower strings and third trombone provide a harmonic backdrop. Two smaller sonatas, one by Bertali that precedes the Sanctus and the other by Vejvanovsky which is placed in the program before the Agnus Dei, demonstrate how advanced instrumental technique was by the middle of the seventeenth century.

Notes by Brian Clark (with thanks to Ilya Poletaev for notes on Froberger)

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