Alla Polacca is an invitation to delve into the world of sounds, scents and flavours of Poland and Polish folklore. What is presented here is a journey through Poland and Polish culture through the eyes of various European and Polish composers who lived, worked or traveled to Poland in the seventeenth and eighteenth century and whose compositions present elements of the Polish style.
To begin with, discussing music of the Polish Baroque as well as different relations and cultural exchange between Polish and European composers, it is impossible to ignore historical events that had a direct influence on the state of the nation and its culture. In the seventeenth-century Poland a dynamic, open-minded country welcoming enthusiastically new artistic ideas coming from the Southern and Western Europe. The reign of both Vasa kings – Zygmunt III and Władysław IV was a period of outstanding excellence in Polish music both of them being great lovers of the arts. Zygmunt III Vasa reorganised the royal ensemble and recruited many Italian musicians who constituted an important part in the orchestra till his death. Władysław IV continued his work and brought to Poland many eminent Italian artists who worked alongside the renowned Polish musicians and composers for the famous Royal Chapel at a newly founded opera theatre in Warsaw.
These migrations reveal a network of musicaland culture-related connections that existed between Italy and Poland as well as expose the considerable impact of Italian musicians who, during their lives, pursued their activities in various cultural centres.
Tarquinio Merula (ca. 1595-1665) most probably came to Warsaw around 1621 and stayed here untill the first months of 1626 in the service of the Polish king Zygmunt III Vasa. His style had a great impact on the output of the Polish musicians at the Royal Chapel. He was the first to compose the pieces for the solo voice with the accompaniment of the violin and basso continuo. More than ten years after his return to Italy he published the collection “Canzoni overo Sonate Concertate per chiesa e camera” op. 12 where the piece “La Polachina” with some Polish folklore elements can be found.
Another Italian composer who had a possibility to visit Poland during his life was Carlo Farina (ca. 1600-1639). He was born in Mantova and was an one of the most important Italian violinists of the early seventeenth century. He spent important part of his life at the court of Dresden, working close to Henrich Schütz. Then he spent some time working in Bonn, Parma, Lucca and Massa. 1636 he left Italy and went to Gdańsk, where he was offered the violinist position in the municipal orchestra. Although his stay in the Dresden music court was brief, nevertheless it had a lasting effect, as he brought the Italian sonata and violin style to the German speaking countries. During his stay in Dresden he published five volumes, among them sonatas for 2, 3, 4 instruments and basso continuo. Most of them have titles that depict the actual character of the piece. For example in the Sonata detta La Polaca, he uses some Polish dance rhythms.
Adam Jarzębski (1590-1648), one of the leading Polish composers of the seventeenth century, was a violinist, rhymist and author of the delightful work The Highway or a Portrayal of Warsaw. From 1617 he was a member of the Royal Chapel where he worked during the years of its exuberant development under the kapellmeisters A. Pacelli, A. F. Arnerio and M. Scacchi. He remained in the chapel until his death. His legacy consists of a collection entitled Canzoni e Concerti, comparable to the works of the Italian pioneers of violin music, with whom Jarzębski became acquainted during his year-long stay in Italy. This collection is of particular importance in the history of Polish music, because apart from three fantasies by Mikołaj Zieleński, it is the first fairly large set of Polish compositions for instrumental ensembles. We can find two of the pieces Bentrovata and Sentinella in this album. Each piece sets a different mood, creating a specific musical picture.
The next composer present on this CD is Marcin Mielczewski (1600-1651). He was active at the royal Polish court during the same period as Adam Jarzębski, and the two composers played together in the Royal Chapel. His focus as a composer was sacred vocal instrumental music and arias, sonatas and canzonas for instrumental ensemble. Mielczewski achieves some very interesting results by combining elements of the Italian style with intrinsically Polish motifs in his canzonas and the two of them Canzona Prima and Terza a tre are presented in this collection.
Giovanni Matteo Picchi (1572-1643) was born, lived and worked most of his life in Venice, and concentrated on performing and composing for the keyboard, developing a musical practice closely linked to dance music, which enjoyed widespread popularity and a prestigious tradition in Venice. He was a versatile musician, perfectly at ease in the practice of both secular and church music. In 1619, Picchi published Intavolatura di balli d’arpicordo, one of the rare collections of music for keyboard in the lagoon territory tradition focused on contemporary dance music. In the collection we can find Ballo alla Polacha, that constitutes also a part of this CD.
Another noteworthy aspect is the links between the royal ensemble of the Polish king and musicians from Gdańsk, which remained under Polish rule, but enjoyed considerable autonomy and possessed a specific culture characterised by strong ties to Protestant Germany. Furthermore, throwing an eye on the mid-eighteenth-century Germany, it can be noticed that the Germans were becoming increasingly fascinated by the Polish style in music. One of the reasons for that was the political union between Poland and Saxony; on the other side there was an important influence of Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) who was a great enthusiast of seeking inspiration in Polish music. He worked in Silesia at the court of Count Erdmann II. With Erdmann, Telemann had traveled through the Republic, stopping at roadside taverns and inns where he listened with pleasure and admiration to the Polish players who entertained the people with popular melodies. No other German composer before or since had shown a comparable interest in the Polish style or drawn a comparable amount of inspiration from Polish music. In his own lifetime, Telemann was regarded by many Germans as an unquestioned authority on the art of composition, and his interest in Polish music was duly noted by fellow composers and music theorists. In this CD two Telemann’s compositions are presented: Concerto alla Polonese and Sonata “Polonese”.
Even if Telemann is considered the first to have propagated Polish music and the Polish style in Germany, its popularity was also due to Polish musicians such as bagpipers, bandora, and hurdy-gurdy players and other folk musicians who traveled accross Germany in search for jobs. Such itinerant musicians often were depicted in seventeenth-century German picaresque novels that at that time enjoyed their literary heyday. One of the most popular anthologies of this type of stories was entitled Der pohlnische Sackpfeiffer (The Polish bagpiper). These Polish bagpipes were imitated musically in the seventeeth-century instrumental works. The most interesting example is a sonata called Polnische Sackpfeiffen, by the Austrian violinist and musician Johann Heinrich Schmelzer (1620-1680). Nothing is known about his early years, but he seems to have arrived to Vienna during the 1630s and remained composer and musician at the Habsburg court for the rest of his life. He was one of the most relevant violinists of the period and had a great impact on the later German and Austrian composers of the music for the violin. His sonata Polnische Sackpfeiffen is one of many examples of instrumental program music of the period, in which different sound effects were used in order to create vignettes set in a Polish context. Its copy can be found in the famous anthology of seventeenth-century instrumental music named the Codex-Rost.
Another composer who used the Polish style and found in Poland the inspiration for some of his compositions was Johann Valentin Meder (1649-1719). “The famous kapellmeister of Gdańsk”, described in this way by Johann Mattheson in his famous compendium Grundlage einer Ehren-Pforte, arrived to Gdańsk in the summer of 1686 where most probably he traveled in search of a well-paid post matching his ambitions. He officially took up the position of the city council kappelmeister on 24th May 1687 and was very active in Gdańsk for almost 12 years. The composer wrote vocal-instrumental church and secular music as well as solely instrumental pieces. The only examples of his instrumental works are Trio-Chaconne written in Gdańsk in 1698 and a composition for string instruments Der Polnische Pracher, also written in Gdańsk, in 1689 that can be find in this album. Its manuscript is to be found in the library of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Gdańsk. The piece is speculated to contain not only allusions to Polish itinerant musicians but even the influence of klezmer music.
Ewa Anna Augustynowicz, PhD © 2021
Alla Polacca to zaproszenie do zagłębienia się w świat dźwięków, zapachów i smaków Polski i polskiego folkloru. To, co zostało tu przedstawione, to podróż przez Polskę i polską kulturę oczami różnych europejskich i polskich kompozytorów, którzy mieszkali, pracowali bądź odbywali podróże do Polski w XVII i XVIII wieku i których kompozycje prezentują elementy polskiego stylu. Omawiając polską muzykę baroku oraz różne relacje i wpływy kulturowe między kompozytorami polskimi i europejskimi, nie sposób pominąć wydarzenia historyczne, które miały bezpośredni wpływ na stan narodu i jego kulturę. W XVII wieku Polska była dynamiczna i otwarta na nowości a Polacy z entuzjazmem przyjmowali nowe idee artystyczne płynące z południa i zachodu Europy. Panowanie obu królów Wazów – Zygmunta III i Władysława IV było okresem wybitnych osiągnięć w dziedzinie polskiej muzyki, dodatkowo obaj królowie byli wielkimi miłośnikami sztuki. Zygmunt III Waza zreorganizował Kapelę Królewską i zatrudnił wielu muzyków włoskich, którzy aż do jego śmierci stanowili bardzo ważną część orkiestry. Władysław IV kontynuował jego dzieło i sprowadził do Polski wielu wybitnych włoskich artystów, którzy pracowali u boku znanych polskich muzyków i kompozytorów dla słynnej Kapeli Królewskiej w nowo założonym teatrze operowym w Warszawie.
Migracje te ujawniają sieć powiązań muzycznych i kulturowych, które istniały między Włochami a Polską, a także ukazują znaczący wpływ włoskich muzyków, którzy w różnych fazach swojego życia mieli możliwość działać i pracować w wielu interesujących ośrodkach kulturalnych.
Tarquinio Merula (ok. 1595-1665) przybył do Warszawy najprawdopodobniej około 1621 roku i pozostał tu w służbie króla polskiego Zygmunta III Wazy do pierwszych miesięcy 1626 roku. Jego styl wywarł ogromny wpływ na twórczość polskich muzyków grających w Kapeli Królewskiej. Jako pierwszy zaczął komponować utwory na głos solowy z towarzyszeniem skrzypiec i basso continuo. Ponad dziesięć lat po powrocie do Włoch opublikował zbiór Canzoni overo Sonate Concertate per chiesa e camera op. 12, w którym znajduje się utwór La Polachina z elementami polskiego folkloru.
Innym włoskim kompozytorem, który miał okazję odwiedzić Polskę w czasie swojego życia był Carlo Farina (ok. 1600-1639). Urodził się on w Mantui i był jednym z najważniejszych włoskich skrzypków pierwszej połowy XVII wieku. Sporą część swojego życia spędził na dworze w Dreźnie, pracując z kompozytorem Henrichem Schützem. Następnie przez pewien czas pracował w Bonn, Parmie, Lucce i Massie. W 1636 opuścił Włochy i udał się do Gdańska, gdzie otrzymał propozycję objęcia stanowiska skrzypka w orkiestrze miejskiej. Choć jego pobyt na dworze muzycznym w Dreźnie był krótki, to jednak miał ogromne znaczenie dla propagowania włoskiego stylu sonatowego i skrzypcowego w krajach niemieckojęzycznych. Podczas pobytu w Dreźnie Farina opublikował pięć tomów, wśród których znalazły się sonaty na 2, 3, 4 instrumenty i basso continuo. Większość z nich ma tytuły, które oddają rzeczywisty charakter i atmosferę utworu. Na przykład w Sonacie detta La Polaca wykorzystuje niektóre rytmy charakterystyczne dla polskich tańców ludowych.
Adam Jarzębski (1590-1648), jeden z czołowych kompozytorów polskich XVII wieku, był skrzypkiem, poetą i autorem zachwycającego dzieła Gościniec, albo krótkie opisanie Warszawy. Od 1617 roku był członkiem Kapeli Królewskiej, w której grał w latach jej intensywnego rozwoju pod kierunkiem włoskich kapelmistrzów A. Pacellego, A. F. Arnerio i M. Scacchiego. Jego spuścizną jest zbiór Canzoni e Concerti, porównywalny z dziełami włoskich pionierów muzyki skrzypcowej, z którymi Jarzębski zapoznał się podczas rocznego pobytu we Włoszech. Zbiór ten ma szczególne znaczenie dla historii muzyki polskiej, gdyż obok trzech fantazji Mikołaja Zieleńskiego, jest pierwszym w miarę dużym zbiorem polskich kompozycji na zespoły instrumentalne. Dwa z tych utworów, Bentrovata i Sentinella, znajdziemy na prezentowanej tutaj płycie. Każdy z utworów stanowiących część kolekcji Canzoni e Concerti wprowadza specyficzny i wyjątkowy nastrój, przedstawiając różne obrazy muzyczne.
Kolejnym kompozytorem prezentowanym na tej płycie jest Marcin Mielczewski (1600-1651). Działał on na dworze królewskim w tym samym okresie co Adam Jarzębski i obaj kompozytorzy grali razem w Kapeli Królewskiej. Prawdopodobnie był także fagocistą lub puzonistą, choć jego działalność kompozytorska koncentrowała się na sakralnej muzyce wokalno-instrumentalnej oraz ariach, sonatach i canzonach na zespół instrumentalny. Mielczewski osiągnął bardzo ciekawe rezultaty, łącząc w swoich canzonach elementy stylu włoskiego z motywami rdzennie polskimi, z których dwie Canzona Prima i Terza a tre znajdują się na niniejszej płycie.
Giovanni Matteo Picchi (1572-1643) urodził się, mieszkał i tworzył przez większość życia w Wenecji, koncentrując się na graniu i komponowaniu na instrumenty klawiszowe. Picchi rozwinął praktykę muzyczną ściśle związaną z muzyką taneczną, która w tamtym okresie cieszyła się w Wenecji dużą popularnością. Był muzykiem wszechstronnym, doskonale odnajdującym się zarówno w komponowaniu i wykonywaniu muzyki świeckiej, jak i kościelnej. W 1619 roku Picchi opublikował zbiór Intavolatura di balli d’arpicordo, jeden z niewielu w tradycji Laguny Weneckiej zbiorów muzyki na instrumenty klawiszowe wykorzystujący współczesną muzykę taneczną. W zbiorach tych odnajdujemy Ballo alla Polacha, które stanowi również część niniejszej płyty.
Na uwagę zasługują również związki Warszawskiej Kapeli Królewskiej z muzykami z Gdańska, który pozostawał pod panowaniem polskim, ale cieszył się znaczną autonomią i posiadał specyficzną kulturę charakteryzującą się silnymi związkami z protestanckimi Niemcami. Ponadto, obserwując kraje niemieckojęzyczne połowy XVIII wieku, można zauważyć, że Niemcy coraz bardziej fascynowali się polskim stylem w muzyce. Jedną z przyczyn tego stanu rzeczy była unia polityczna między Polską a Saksonią, z drugiej strony duży wpływ na muzykę i twórczość artystyczną miał Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767), który z wielkim entuzjazmem szukał inspiracji w muzyce polskiej. Pracował on m.in. na Śląsku na dworze hrabiego Erdmanna II. Z Erdmannem Telemann podróżował po Rzeczpospolitej, zatrzymując się w przydrożnych gospodach i zajazdach, gdzie z podziwem i zdumieniem słuchał polskich grajków, którzy zabawiali lud popularnymi melodiami. Żaden inny niemiecki kompozytor nie wykazywał porównywalnego zainteresowania polskim stylem ani nie czerpał w takim stopniu inspiracji z polskiej muzyki. Za życia Telemann był uważany przez wielu Niemców za niekwestionowany autorytet w dziedzinie sztuki kompozytorskiej, a jego zainteresowanie muzyką polską zostało zauważone przez kolegów kompozytorów i teoretyków muzyki. Na tej płycie prezentowane są dwie kompozycje Telemanna: Concerto alla Polonese i Sonata Polonese.
Choć Telemann uważany jest za pierwszego propagatora polskiej muzyki i polskiego stylu w Niemczech, to jednak do popularności tego stylu przyczynili się także polscy muzycy, dudziarze, bandurzyści i inni twórcy ludowi, którzy przemierzali Niemcy w poszukiwaniu pracy. Tacy wędrowni muzykanci często byli przedstawiani w siedemnastowiecznych niemieckich romansach pikarejskich, które w tym czasie przeżywały swój literacki rozkwit. Jedną z najpopularniejszych antologii tego typu opowieści była Polnische Sackpfeiffen (Polski dudziarz). Właśnie te polskie dudy były imitowane w utworach instrumentalnych z XVII wieku. Najciekawszym przykładem jest sonata Der Polnische Sackpfeiffer, autorstwa austriackiego skrzypka i muzyka Johanna Heinricha Schmelzera (1620-1680). Nic nie wiadomo o jego młodzieńczych latach, ale wydaje się, że przybył do Wiednia w latach 30-tych XVII wieku i do końca życia pozostał kompozytorem i muzykiem na dworze Habsburgów. Był jednym z najbardziej znaczących skrzypków tego okresu i wywarł wielki wpływ na późniejszych niemieckich i austriackich kompozytorów muzyki na skrzypce. Prezentowana tutaj sonata to jeden z wielu przykładów instrumentalnej muzyki programowej tego okresu, w której za pomocą różnych efektów dźwiękowych tworzono winiety osadzone w polskim kontekście. Jego kopia znajduje się w słynnej antologii siedemnastowiecznej muzyki instrumentalnej Codex-Rost.
Innym kompozytorem, który wykorzystał styl polski i znalazł w Polsce inspirację dla niektórych swoich utworów, był Johann Valentin Meder (1649-1719). “Słynny kapelmistrz gdański”, określony w ten sposób przez Johanna Matthesona w słynnym kompendium Grundlage einer Ehren-Pforte, przybył latem 1686 roku do Gdańska, dokąd najprawdopodobniej udał się w poszukiwaniu dobrze płatnej posady odpowiadającej jego ambicjom. Oficjalnie objął stanowisko kapelmistrza 24 maja 1687 roku i przez prawie 12 lat działał bardzo aktywnie w Gdańsku. Kompozytor tworzył wokalno-instrumentalną muzykę kościelną i świecką, a także utwory wyłącznie instrumentalne. Jedynymi przykładami jego utworów instrumentalnych są Trio-Chaconne napisana w Gdańsku w 1698 roku oraz kompozycja na instrumenty smyczkowe Der Polnische Pracher, również napisana w Gdańsku, w 1689 roku, która znajduje się na tym albumie. Jej rękopis znajduje się w Bibliotece Polskiej Akademii Nauk w Gdańsku. Przypuszcza się, że utwór zawiera nie tylko nawiązania do polskich muzyków wędrownych, ale wykazuje pewne wpływy muzyki klezmerskiej.
Ewa Anna Augustynowicz, PhD
Autorka otrzymała stypendium z Funduszu Popierania Twórczości Stowarzyszenia Autorów ZAiKS.
Giardino di Delizie is a creative Roman Baroque ensemble founded in 2014 by Ewa Anna Augustynowicz, PhD, which consists of specialists in historical performance practice who studied under distinguished international masters, such as E. Onofri, E. Gatti, F. Pavan, M. Testori, B. Hoffmann, Ch. Rousset, E. Baiano, E. Mascardi etc.
Giardino di Delizie is based in Rome and since its very beginnings has performed in Italy and abroad at numerous internationally renowned festivals and venues, such as for example the Almisonis Melos Festival (Turin), the Circle of the Armed Forces at the Ministry of Defence (Rome), Umberto Theatre (Rome), Polish Institute of Culture (Rome), Festival Sulle Ombre del Cusanino (Filottrano), the BRQ Vantaa Music Festival (Helsinki) and the Oude Musik Festival (Utrecht).
The ensemble has also performed at various festivals in Poland, including the Schola Cantorum Early Music Festival, Wilanow Palace Warsaw, Società Dante Alighieri Katowice, Barok na Spiszu or Festival Misericordia.
In 2018, in collaboration with the Polish Institute of Culture in Rome and Polish Consolate in Milan, Giardino di Delizie performed Polish Baroque music in various prestigious venues all over Italy, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Polish independence (Turin University, Società del Giardino in Milan, Museum of Instruments in Rome).
The musicians of Giardino di Delizie collaborate regularly with other ensembles, including Les Eléments, Divino Sospiro, Capella Cracoviensis, Accademia Montis Regalis, Europa Galante, Arianna Art Ensemble, Collegium Pro Musica, Quatuor Mosaiques, Concerto Romano, Accordone and Pomo d'Oro, I Barocchisti etc.
The ensemble’s Artistic Director, Ewa Anna Augustynowicz, who has a multitasking and creative personality, has been focused on the research in musicology and history of music with particular attention to the Roman and Polish Baroque repertoire. In fact, all musicians of Giardino di Delizie believe in the need to “saper ben parlare per ben suonare”. Rediscovering forgotten composers and establishing links between the two countries has thus been the main characteristic of the ensemble’s activity and its main goal. This has led to the rediscovery of masterpieces by Italian composers centered in Rome, as well as Polish and Italian composers active at the court of the Polish kings. The intensity and excitement of the ensemble’s performances is the fruit of their extensive historical research.
The ensemble’s first recording, Lonati’s Sinfonie a tre, released by Brilliant Classics in 2019 received widespread critical acclaim. The American magazine “Fanfare” wrote: “These are spirited performances, notable not just for their technical polish, but also for their heart and human excitement. I can’t imagine this level of achievement being surpassed anytime soon, if at all.”
The group’s second release Gems of the Polish Baroque, devoted to 17th century Polish instrumental music, was released in March 2020, also by Brilliant Classics. „Ruch Muzyczny”, a renown Polish music magazine described it as “the best recording of the 17th century Polish instrumental music as yet”.
The third release featured the first modern recording of the 10 sinfonie a tre by Lelio Colista, a Roman composer admired in his time and inexplicably forgotten by his posterity. The recording was not only highly praised in specialist publications and general press but was also nominated to the prestigious Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik in January 2021. As Giuseppina La Face wrote in the Italian daily paper Il Fatto Quotidiano “The Ensemble exalts both the serene severity of the counterpoint and the full, gentle sonority of the music with elegant phrasing and clear rhythmic contrasts that are never aggressive. An excellent performance, with the added value of focusing attention on a hitherto neglected composer of quality, thereby enriching our knowledge of music in Rome during the 17th century.”
The last recording by Giardino di Delizie, Stradella Complete Violin Sinfonias published in June 2021 by Brilliant Classics received 5 stars from the German Music Magazine Pizzicato: „Giardino di Delizie is convincing in its elegant élan, its sense of appropriate tempi and the works’ tonal idiosyncrasies, which transmits all the music’s vibrations and reminds us that the basso continuo is the backbone of this music. This should not prevent us from highlighting the rhetoric of soloist Ewa Anna Augustynowicz“
Adam Jarzębski [Harzebsky, Warka, z Warki],
(b Warka, nr Warsaw; d Warsaw, probably late Dec 1648 or early Jan 1649). Polish composer, violinist and writer. He is first heard of in September 1612, when he entered the Kapelle of Johann Siegmund Hohenzollern, Elector of Brandenburg, in Berlin as a violinist. On 30 April 1615 the elector granted him a year’s leave of absence so that he could visit Italy, probably to perfect himself as a composer and to become better acquainted with Italian music. Apparently he did not return to Berlin. Instead he became a musician in the royal chapel at Warsaw, probably in 1616 or 1617, and remained there for the rest of his life. He is last heard of on 26 December 1648, when, close to death, he dictated his last will, and presumably died a few days later. Apart from his musical activities as a violinist and composer, he taught some of the senators’ children and acted as an administrator and organizer in connection with the building of the royal palace at Ujazdów, near Warsaw. He was also a man of letters and wrote a verse description of the Warsaw of his day entitled Gościniec, abo krótkie opisanie Warszawy z okolicznościami jej (‘A gift, or a short description of Warsaw and its environs’; Warsaw, 1643).
As a composer, Jarzębski is known chiefly by the manuscript Canzoni e concerti (1627). It contains twelve compositions for two instruments, ten for three instruments and five for four instruments, all with continuo; some are also found in the Pelplin Tablatures. These works were crucially important in the development of chamber music in central Europe. All the two-part pieces are transcriptions of polyphonic vocal works by other composers, among them Giovanni Gabrieli, Lassus, Merulo and Palestrina, but Jarzębski treated the original pieces in such an individual and creative manner that his transcriptions are in fact new compositions, instrumental in nature. He took over only the broad structural outlines and the thematic material of the originals. He used the material only at the beginning of his transcriptions, later so transforming it by variation technique that it assumes a quite different character; moreover, he introduced new elements into many of the pieces (e.g. dance rhythms in Susanna videns). In all the pieces Jarzębski’s melodies are richly ornamented and are notable for their harmonic basis, which is manifested in, for example, the way in which they are built on broken triads (as in Nova casa, Sentinella, Spandesa, Bentrovata, Norimberga, Canzon terza and Canzon quinta) and in the subordination of the lower voices to the highest voice. The three- and four-part pieces show distinct tonal leanings, but the two-part ones are still firmly modal. Jarzębski handled chromaticism and dissonance in a lively manner, as can be seen in the three-part Chromatica, in one section of which he experimented by introducing the motif of a descending chromatic 4th that was popular at the time. The two-part pieces resemble various types of ricercare and fantasia. The others are varying types of canzona, among which the arch-form canzona is particularly conspicuous, since it was still a rarity in central European chamber music of the 1620s. Jarzębski, moreover, introduced up-to-date italianate trio-sonata textures to Warsaw. In some of his instrumental works he used popular tunes.
(b Mantua, c1604; d Vienna, 1639). Italian violinist and composer. His Mantuan origins are referred to on the title pages of his five published books. Nothing is known of his musical education, but if he was the son of Luigi Farina of Casalmaggiore, Cremona, a ‘sonatore di viola’ who was known to have been in Mantua, in the service of the Gonzagas, at the beginning of the 17th century and to have married there in 1603 and taken Mantuan citizenship in 1606, he probably received his early musical training from his father. Mantua at that time was a particularly productive and stimulating environment for a young violinist, what with the presence of the virtuoso violinist Salamone Rossi and the important musical legacy of Claudio Monteverdi. Farina soon became very well known as a violinist, and in 1625 he was appointed Konzertmeister of the court of the Elector of Saxony, Johann Georg I, in Dresden, working directly under Heinrich Schütz. From 1625 to 1628 his name appears in connection with the most important activities at the Saxon court, including the festivities for the wedding of the elector’s daughter Sophia Eleonora and the Landgrave Georg II of Henssen-Darmstadt (Torgau, spring 1627). Farina played a leading role both in the music for the wedding banquet and in the performance of Schütz’s Dafne, composed for the occasion. A brief reference to these events can be found in the eighth galliard of Il terzo libro delle pavane … (1627), which the composer recalls as having been played and sung on that occasion to a eulogistic text, in all likelihood now lost. The straitened circumstances of the Dresden court, resulting from the Thirty Years War, meant that Farina’s work there was interrupted in 1628; the following year he was replaced by the Mantuan violinist Francesco Castelli. After returning to Italy, Farina was engaged in the autumn of 1631 as a violinist in the chapel of Madonna della Steccata, Parma, but he did not remain there after 1632. In September 1635 he took part in the musical celebrations for the feast of S Croce in Lucca, probably as first violin, and at the end of that year he left Italy permanently. He moved again to northern Europe, first to Danzig, where he played in the municipal orchestra between 1636 and 1637, and then, from 1638, to Vienna, where he was in the service of the Empress Eleonora I. He remained there until his death in 1639, probably at the end of July.
Georg Philipp Telemann (b Magdeburg, 14 March 1681; d Hamburg, 25 June 1767). German composer. The most prolific composer of his time, he was widely regarded as Germany’s leading composer during the first half of the 18th century. He remained at the forefront of musical innovation throughout his career, and was an important link between the late Baroque and early Classical styles. He also contributed significantly to Germany’s concert life and the fields of music publishing, music education and theory.
(fl 1600–25). Italian composer, organist and lutenist. He is depicted playing the lute among three other instrumentalists on the title-page of Fabritio Caroso’s Nobiltà di dame (Venice, 1600, 2/1605). He was organist of the Cà Grande, Venice, by 1615 according to Romano Micheli (Musica vaga et artificiosa, Venice, 1615, p.42), and the title-page of his own Canzoni da sonar states that he was still there in 1625. On 5 March 1623 he was also appointed organist of the Scuola di San Rocco, Venice. In 1624 he applied unsuccessfully for the post of second organist at St Marco and was passed over in favour of Giovanni Pietro Berti.
Johann Heinrich Schmelzer [Schmeltzer, Schmelzer von Ehrenruef]
(b Scheibbs, Lower Austria, c1620–23; d Prague, between 29 Feb and 20 March 1680). Austrian composer and violinist. He was the leading Austrian composer of instrumental music before Biber and made an influential contribution to the development of the sonata and suite.
Johann Valentin Meder
(b Wasungen, nr Meiningen, bap. 3 May 1649; d Riga, end of July 1719). German composer, organist and singer. He came from a musical family, his father and four brothers all being organists or Kantors. He studied theology at Leipzig in 1669 and then at Jena but soon became a professional singer. He was employed as court singer at Gotha in 1671, Bremen in 1672–3, Hamburg in 1673 and Copenhagen and Lübeck (where he met Buxtehude) in 1674. From 1674 to 1680 he was Kantor at the Gymnasium at Reval (now Tallinn). After a sojourn in Riga in 1685–6 he succeeded Balthasar Erben as Kapellmeister at the Marienkirche, Danzig, in 1687. In 1698 Danzig city council refused to allow a performance of his opera Die wiederverehligte Coelia. He had it performed instead in the nearby town of Schottland, which led to his being dismissed from his post. After briefly being employed as Kantor at the cathedral at Königsberg, he went in 1700 to Riga, where he held a similar position until his death.
Marcin Mielczewski [Milchevsky, Myltzewski],
(d Warsaw, Sept 1651). Polish composer. A pupil of Franciszek Lilius, he is first heard of in 1632 as a musician of the royal chapel in Warsaw, where he had probably been active for a number of years, mainly as a composer. From 1645 until his death he was director of music to the king's brother, Karol Ferdynand Waza, Bishop of Płock (the bishop's court stayed mostly in Warsaw and at his residences nearby). His Polish contemporaries recognized Mielczewski as a composer of the front rank. Although only two of his works were printed in the 17th century, they were performed abroad, as is proved by manuscripts containing some of them in archives in the Czech Republic and Germany. Matthias Schacht included an entry on him in his Musicus danicus (completed 1687), and Nikolay Diletsky, probably one of his pupils, also referred to him and quoted extracts from his works in his treatise Musikiyskaya grammatika.
Mielczewski was indeed one of the leading Polish composers of his time, and his output was large and varied. The concertato principle dominates his entire corpus of accompanied vocal works, and homophonic and polyphonic writing alike are subordinated to it. He composed a wide variety of sacred concertatos for both a few and many voices as well as many polychoral works, and he was the first to introduce the Venetian rondo concertato into Polish music. The style of his small-scale concertatos, in which the words are given full expression, suggests that he must also have composed secular vocal and instrumental pieces, such as madrigals, which have not survived. The accompanied masses and motets for large numbers of performers continued the polychoral tradition of the Venetian school and also include virtuoso solo passages in contrast to the tutti. His instrumental canzonas are clearcut in form and include arch structures. He also wrote variation canzonas, one of which is particularly characteristic; in every other section there is an exact or slightly modified quotation of a Polish folktune, some in dance rhythms – the mazurka is found here for the first time in Polish art music. Mielczewski also quoted popular Polish religious songs in his sacred works, thus giving them a specific local character: for instance, his Missa super ‘O gloriosa domina’ is based on a version of the tune of the song named in the title which is known only from Polish sources. He wrote other masses, and motets too, in a prima pratica style in which the plainsong cantus firmus is generally placed in the bass as a harmonic foundation.
Tarquinio Merula (b Cremona, 1594–5; d Cremona, 10 Dec 1665). Italian composer, organist and violinist. He was one of the finest and most progressive Italian composers of his generation, and excelled in both vocal and instrumental music.
The suggested years for Merula's birth derive from the fact that he was confirmed on 23 April 1607, probably at the customary age of 12. His earliest post was probably as organist of S Bartolomeo, the church of the Carmelite Fathers, at Cremona. On 22 October 1616 he signed a three-year contract to serve as organist of the church of the Incoronata, Lodi. He was re-engaged on 8 February 1620 but appears to have left Lodi at the end of January 1621. He probably went directly to his next known position, in Poland, since in a letter of Anton Neunhaber of about that time he is mentioned as being in Warsaw. In 1624 the nature of his position is made explicit: he was serving as ‘organista di chiesa e di camera’ to Sigismund III, King of Poland.
Returning to Cremona, Merula was elected on 18 February 1626 provisional maestro di cappella for the Laudi della Madonna, which took place at the main altar in the cathedral on Saturdays and on vigils of Marian feasts. A regular appointment followed on 13 January 1627. In 1628 he was also holding the position of organist of the collegiate church of S Agata. His next move was to Bergamo, where on 12 April 1631 he signed a three-year contract to serve as maestro di cappella of S Maria Maggiore. As successor to Alessandro Grandi (i), who had died in the plague of 1630, Merula began the work of rebuilding the cappella. In his first year G.B. Buonamente was one of its members. Merula was, however, dismissed on 29 December 1632 for ‘indecency manifested towards several of his pupils’. Threatening a lawsuit to recover his lost salary, he was in turn faced with the prospect of a criminal complaint lodged by the governing body of S Maria Maggiore. On 11 April 1633 the matter was resolved by a statement from him in which he apologized and relinquished all claim to his salary. He again returned to Cremona and at his own request and by prior agreement was reinstated on 19 August 1633 as maestro di cappella for the Laudi della Madonna in the cathedral, thereby displacing G.B. Minzio, maestro at the time. Disagreements with the governing body there over matters of salary and responsibilities, however, led to his resignation in 1635. He is next heard of in 1638 at Bergamo, this time as maestro di cappella and organist at the cathedral, adjacent to S Maria Maggiore. Further problems with his former employers at S Maria Maggiore prompted them on 14 April 1642 to forbid any of their musicians to perform under his direction, thus disrupting the customary exchange of musicians between the two churches. He appears to have remained at Bergamo Cathedral until his final return to Cremona, which resulted from his appointment on 25 August 1646, in succession to Nicolò Corradini, as organist of the cathedral and as organist and maestro di cappella for the Laudi della Madonna. He thus held the last of these posts for the third time, and he now held all three until his death. In 1643 he collaborated with five others in composing music for La finta savia, performed in Venice. He was a member of the Accademia dei Filomusi of Bologna and a Knight of the Golden Spur.