Le Concert Brisé (dir. William Dongois): Chamber music by G. B. Pandolfi-Mealli und J.-J. Froberger
William Dongois (cornetto), Carsten Lohff (harpsichord, organ), Eric Bellocq (lute, theorbo)
Style fantastique (CD-16280) is the 2010 live album of the ensemble Le Concert Brisé lead by William Dongois (cornetto), and the ensemble's fourth recording with the label Carpe Diem.
The term Style fantastique refers to a 17th century style of composition and interpretation that is characterized by its very free form, its elements of improvisation and a highly dramatic arrangement.
The album holds the six sonatas op. 3 for solo instrument and continuo by Giovanni Pandolfi-Mealli (1620 - ca. 1669), printed in Innsbruck, Austria in 1660. The individual pieces are named after musicians who, together with Pandolfi-Mealli, were employed at the Habsburg Court in Innsbruck, for instance, Antonio Castello (sonata "La Castella").
Although the sonatas were originally composed for the violin, William Dongois makes the music resound with a lightness as if it had never been thought up for an instrument other than his own - here, once again, demonstrating the complete mastery of his instrument.
This recording is set with Le Concert Brisé's smallest lineup so far, almost intimate: aside from William Dongois, there are Carsten Lohff playing the harpsichord and organ, and Éric Bellocq on the lute and theorbo. They take on the continuo part in the six sonatas and as interludes feature solo pieces by Johann-Jakob Froberger (1616 - 1667). Thereby, the harpsichord played is a real treasure: an original Rückers instrument of 1632, taken from the inventory of the museum in Neuchatel, Switzerland.
Furthermore, and this distinguishes the CD at hand from all prior recordings with cornetto, it is truly a live recording, brought about by very particular circumstances: in October 2009, the ensemble played three consecutive concerts at the Museum of Art and History in Neuchatel. From the recordings of these three concerts, which differed in program, the best pieces were chosen and assembled on this album. This setting brought forth an exceptional dynamics and spontaneity in play, where the audience became the catalyst for capturing unpredictable musical moments and a very authentic interpretation which is hard to reach in a studio.
Style fantastique is an invitation to experience a contemporary and, for some, new understanding of the notion Stylus Fantasticus - an experience rarely found today: the spontaneous act of creation of both the composer and the interpreter. Music, interpretation and sound set the scene for a journey into the metaphysical immensity of music.