This is the second CD recommended on Expedition Audio of music by German composer Johann Georg Reutter (1708-1772), who has long been handed the short end of the proverbial stick by history’s musicologists. Appraisals of Reutter’s art coming from the past couple centuries contrast bluntly with those of the composer’s time. In the fields of both opera and sacred music, he was among the most respected composers of 1730’s Vienna. This album on the Ramée record label is titled Portus Felicitatis – Motets & Arias for the Pantaleon and features soprano Monika Mauch and alto Stanislava Jirků with the period instrument ensemble La Gioia Armonica lead by Jürgen Banholzer. This early music band consists of five bowed string instruments with archlute, organ and dulcimer.
The program is a selection of motets, arias and instrumental interludes as they may have been performed at court services for various feast days. All of the arias for soprano on this recording call for the dulcimer, an instrument that was later referred to as a “pantaleon” by Louis XIV, after Pantaleon Hebenstreit, who developed an instrument with chromatic capacities and a particularly wide range. Reutter employed the dulcimer as a solo obbligato instrument for vocal arias and as a very colorful continuo instrument. You can hear it in all its subtle beauty from the very beginning of our album sample, the Aria Venga l’eta vetusta sung by Monika Mauch.
Reutter’s music is not only extraordinarily beautiful; it is also richly varied in texture, color and atmosphere with each facet inspired by a fascinating musical imagination. If you enjoy this music, I encourage you to seek out the other Reutter collection recommended on Expedition Audio, a program from the Accent label titled Arie & Sinfonie. Aside from the certain enjoyment to be had, you’ll also be encouraging each label’s Reutter initiative. In the area of sacred music alone, Reutter quilled about 80 masses, 126 motets, 6 requiems, 151 psalm settings and 48 antiphons, so there’s plenty more Reutter yet to be discovered.
Today almost entirely forgotten, Reutter was the most successful composer of opera in Vienna during the 1730s, and the single and most influential composer of church music in Vienna for three decades, enjoying the estimation of both Charles VI and Maria Theresia. Reutter is one of the few composers who composed for the Pantaleon (salterio). As Caldara had done before him, Reutter used the pantaleon as an obbligato instrument in several arias of his operas and oratorios. This program features four arias for obligato salterio. With this CD La Gioia Armonica will continue the endeavours of its first CD for RAMÉE, dedicated to original compositions for the pantaleon by Antonio Caldara. Third line:
Johann Georg Reutter
Johann Adam Joseph Karl Georg Reutter (1708-1772) was an Austrian composer. According to Wyn Jones, in his prime he was “the single most influential musician in Vienna”.
Monika Mauch, born in Baden-Württemberg, her vocal studies began at the Institute of Early Music at the Musikhochschule Trossingen with the bass-baritone Richard Wistreich, followed by a year of study in Paris with Jill Feldman.
Her singing career began in Philip Pierlot’s Ricercar Ensemble together with the Wind Ensemble La Fenice under Jean Tubéry, the ensemble Ordo Virtutum under the direction of Stefan Morent, with the Taverner Consort under Andrew Parrot and Red Byrd (John Potter and Richard Wistreich).
She has since had much success working with many other ensembles including a wide variety of appearances with Montreal Baroque, Les Cornets Noirs and the ensemble Private Musique by Pierre Pitzl, especially the CD ‘Tonos Humanos’ with Monika Mauch and Josep Cabré, show music of singular beauty.
Soloist of the National Theatre Opera. She studied voice at the Conservatory in Teplice under the tutelage of Jitka Slavíčková and at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague in the class of Ivan Kusnjer.
She has also collaborated with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, North Bohemia and South Bohemia Philharmonic Orchestras, Zlín Philharmonic Orchestra, Berg Chamber Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Zagreb Soloists and other orchestras and ensembles. Her repertoire is extensive indeed – from Baroque to contemporary, from songs and oratorios to operas.
La Gioia Armonica Ensemble
The ensemble La Gioia Armonica was founded by the Austrian dulcimer player Margit Übellacker and the German organist and singer/director Jürgen Banholzer. A main focus of the ensemble’s work is the exploration of the baroque repertoire for the dulcimer, and for the legendary pantaleon in particular
“… a delightful range of charming colours and intriguing textural effects …” (Early Music)