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Album at a Glance

Tonal and ConsonantVocal SoloistPeriod Instruments
Record Label – RAMÉE: "In only four years, RAMÉE has established itself as a greatly respected label on the Early Music scene."
Release Date: 2014-01-28


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Portus Felicitatis - Motets & Arias by Johann Georg Reutter


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.

The music is not featured on this album, but the singer is - enjoy soprano Monika Mauch singing Mozart's lovely Laudamus te