Viola d’amore

Christoph Angerer, Viola d’amore;


Paul Angerer, Viola d’amore, harpsichord, violin;


Claudia Leitenbauer, Viola da Gamba;


Sergio Posada, Piano


sound samples

order no. CCD 261
EAN 4028183002617

about this recording:
The viola d’amore is an instrument of the viola form – and therefore a member of the viola da gamba family – usually equipped with six or seven melody and an equal number of sympathetic strings. The Baroque era and the classical period can certainly be regarded as the heyday of the viola d’amore, with compositions by, e.g. Heinrich Ignaz Franz v. Biber, Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, Carl Stamitz, Anton Hoffmeister, Johann Georg Albrechtsberger and Joseph Eybler. However, in recent years, new compositions for the viola d’amore were written all over the world, thus fortunately ensuring a slow, but steady renaissance for this instrument.
sound samples (mp3):
Angerer, Laufstück - Toeschi, Allegro moderato - David, Einleitung Adagissimo, Thema mit Veränderungen, Andante grazioso, Variation - Stamitz, Allegro un poco moderato
Hindemith, Mäßig schnell. Lustig
Paul Angerer (geb. 1927): Contest between Major and Minor for 2 Violas d’amore (1997)
Giovanni Toeschi (1735 – 1800): Sonata D-Major for Viola d’amore and Basso continuo
Johann Nepomuk David (1895 – 1977): Sonata for viola d’amore aund viola da gamba op. 31 a (1942)
Carl Stamitz (1745 – 1801): Sonata D-Major for viola d’amore aond violin
Paul Hindemith (1895 – 1963): Small Sonata for viola d’amore and piano, op. 25 Nr. 2


...The first work by Paul Angerer (*1927) is titled Wettstreit zwischen Dur und Moll (Contrast between Major and Minor) for 2 Violas d'amore was 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 carefully, a delightful little surprise appears at the very end). The two soloists here play this work with panache.

Following, 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 opportunity to hear this work, splendidly performed by Mr. 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 works for viola d'amore from the second half of the 18th Century. Son of Johann Stamitz, found of the renowned Mannheim School, Carl 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, namely arpeggios, double and multiple stops, harmonics and left-hand pizzicato. Christoph Angerer has the mastery demanded by this work and is beautifully supported by his father, Paul on the violin. Their performance is based on the MS in the archives in the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna.

The Kleine Sonate fiir Viola d'amore und Klavier, Op. 25, Nr. 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 musn't let the title "Little Sonata" deceive us. There is a lot of music packed into a little package. Mr. Angerer and Sergio Pasada are both tender and fiery and technically brilliant.

The CD notes are given in both German and English 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.

(Daniel Thomason in „Newsletter of the Viola d’amore Society of America“)

© Cavalli Records 2004 top