Molters Miniatur-opern & Kammermusik Vom Karlsruhe

Album cover art for upc 881488170504
Label: PROFIL
Catalog: PH17050
Format: COMPACT DISC

Ziegler, Kilian; Mende, Julia; Berg, Hans-Joachim; Costantini, Benedetta; Hof-Capelle Carlsruhe

The court music establishment in Karlsruhe was in some respects rather special: for reasons of cost, the court did not engage any expensive foreign soloists, such as castrati for the solo parts, and instead deployed up to 40 orchestral musicians in addition to a 70-strong girls’ choir, which is likely to have overlapped with the legendary Blumenmädchen, a group of young ladies-in-waiting who were notoriously engaged by Carl Wilhelm for his entertainment. There were surely some talented vocalists among these members, but the ability to master and embellish such challenging pieces as the arias of miniature operas requires extensive vocal training. The final cantata by Molter draws on delightful coloraturas to describe the ascent of a lark, whose lovesick and despairing flight through the skies follows a concise formal pattern: two stanzas of an aria, this time without a B section, a recitative, a brief second aria and then the two stanzas of the first aria in da capo form. What is interesting is that the cantatas presented here are all cut of similar cloth, yet, on closer examination, exhibit great compositional variety, particularly in their formal structure.

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