$11.98 – $16.98
Stephen Stubbs, Artistic Director
Featuring Tekla Cunningham, Baroque Violin
Reference Recordings proudly presents this unique album with 11 works of early Baroque composers. The famous Jesuit Father Athanasius Kircher (1602–1680) wrote in Book VII of the Musurgia Universalis describing different musical styles, but, in particular, he defined a “fantastical style” for instruments:
“The Stylus phantasticus is appropriate to instruments. It is the most free and unfettered method of composition, bound to nothing, neither to words, nor to a harmonious subject. It is organized with regard to manifest invention, the hidden reason of harmony, and an ingenious, skilled connection of harmonic phrases and fugues. And it is divided into those pieces which are commonly called Phantasias, Ricercatas, Toccatas, and Sonatas.”
The compositions included on this recording provide prime examples of the lineage of the stylus phantasticus from its Italian roots, before Kircher wrote his definition, to its later development into an “imperial style” associated with Central Europe and the Habsburgs.
Stylus Phantasticus was produced by GRAMMY®-award winning David Sabee in St. Thomas Chapel, Kenmore, Washington. The album was recorded by GRAMMY®-award winning engineers Dmitry Lipay, Aleksandr Lipay and Kory Kruckenberg. Artists on this album are Tekla Cunningham, baroque violin; William Skeen, bass violin; Stephen Stubbs, baroque guitar and chitarrone; Maxine Eilander, baroque harp; and Henry Lebedinsky, organ and harpsichord.
Founded in 2007 by GRAMMY®-award winning conductor Stephen Stubbs, Pacific MusicWorks presents Baroque music, dance and theater to audiences worldwide. Bringing experience gained performing with leading early music performers here and abroad, PMW contributes an historically and culturally informed perspective to collaborations with a diverse cast of internationally renowned artists.
On This Recording
Carlo Farina (1600–1639)
- Sonata Seconda detta la Desperata Giovanni de Macque (1550–1614)
- Toccata Marco Uccellini (1603–1680)
- La Luciminia contenta, Op. 4 No. 2 Francesco Corbetta (1615–1681)
- Partite sopra La Folia Giovanni Antonio Pandolfi Mealli (1630–1669/70)
- La Castella, Op. 3 No. 4 Giovanni Battista Fontana (?–1630)
- Sonata Seconda Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber (1644–1704)
- Sonata Prima Johann Heinrich Schmelzer (1620–1680)
- Ciaconna in A from Serenada in Mascara Ignazio Albertini (1633–1685)
- Sonata Prima for violin and continuo Johann Heinrich Schmelzer (1620–1680)
- Sonata Seconda from Sonatæ unarum fidium
- Sonata Quarta from Sonatæ unarum fidium
“Over the years I have heard many recordings of this kind of repertoire, and it never fails to make a strong impression. The instrumental music of the 17th century is quite exciting stuff. However, its effect largely depends on the performance. If the contrasts within pieces are flattened out or the dynamic differences are equalized, the music becomes almost harmless, and one cannot experience the excitement it must have caused at the time it was written and performed. I am happy to say that in all respects, the performers succeed with flying colours in bringing this music to life. Tekla Cunningham not only impresses with a flawless technique, but also with her deep understanding of the rhetorical and gestural nature of this repertoire. This is one of the best demonstrations of the features of the stylus phantasticus that I have heard recently. She receives excellent support from the basso continuo section, which is a real driving force. Its importance in the performance of this repertoire cannot be overestimated. The use of a harp is particularly enjoyable. In short, this disc is a perfect display of the excitement of the stylus phantasticus.” —Johan van Veen, MusicWeb International