Benda: Chamber Music and Songs

Composer Georg Benda
Artist Elena Bertuzzi soprano
Paolo Borgonovo tenor
Ulrike Slowik violin
Ensemble Arcomelo
Michele Benuzzi harpsichord & director
Format 6 CD
Cat. number 94433
EAN code 5028421944333
Release December 2013

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About this release

Many listeners will be unfamiliar with the name Georg Anton Benda, but in his day this Bohemian Kapellmeister enjoyed international fame – chiefly on account of his opera Ariadne auf Naxos, a product of the melodrama that Benda was instrumental in developing and which influenced, among others, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Benda’s skill was not just limited to musical stage entertainment, however; attracting more than 2000 subscribers upon the publication of its first part, the Sammlung vermischter Clavierstücke für geübte und geübte Spieler quickly became a bestseller, an anthology containing keyboard music, chamber music with strings and vocal pieces. Benda belonged to a transitional period, which was full of innovations and attempts to be experimental, and the Sammlung does not full short of this mark; from the irregular, unpredictable vocal line of Jesus am Creuze’s recitativo to the witty drinking song whose two-bar recitativo leads to an unexpected keyboard sonata in the same key – a suggestion for public performance? – the set abounds in surprising twists and turns, making for a delightful source of entertainment.

Performing this engaging and often overlooked music is Ensemble Arcomelo, a period-instrument group whose members share a passion for research, aesthetics and Baroque rhetoric. This release marks their first recording for Brilliant Classics; founder Michele Benuzzi plays the harpsichord, deftly supporting soprano Elena Bertuzzi and tenor Paolo Borgonovo who carve up the vocal arias between them.

Other information:
- Recorded August 2011; June, September & December 2013, Pieve di San Martino, Palazzo Pignano, Crema, Italy.
- Georg Jiri Antonin Benda (Bohemia, 1722-1795) was born into a musical nest: his father was composer Jan Jiri Benda and his mother came from the famous Brixi family.
- In 1742 Georg moved to Berlin where he worked at the court of Frederick the Great. He became a well known and internationally respected musician and composer, mainly of melodramas and operas. His “Ariadne auf Naxos” paved the way for Mozart’s operas.
- Benda published a collection of pieces meant for domestic use, for “accomplished and less accomplished players”, containing a wealth of keyboard works, chamber music and vocal works for solo voice and chamber group: delightful, fresh music, full of invention and (small) drama, marking the transition from the Baroque into the Classical Era.
- Excellent performances by harpsichordist Michele Benuzzi (who already received 5 star reviews for his Hassler recording for BC 94293) and his Ensemble Arcomelo, playing on original instruments.
- Contains detailed notes on the music and composer, full tracklist and artist biographies.
- Sung texts available by clicking 'DOWNLOAD BOOKLET' on this page (on release).

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Sinfonia in F Major: I. Allegro
  2. Sinfonia in F Major: II. Andante mesto
  3. Sinfonia in F Major: III. Allegro
  4. Sonata in G Major with Accompaniment for Two Violins, Viola and Cello: I. Allegro
  5. Sonata in G Major with Accompaniment for Two Violins, Viola and Cello: II. Andante con moto
  6. Sonata in G Major with Accompaniment for Two Violins, Viola and Cello: III. Allegro assai
  7. Sonatina in D Major (Rondeau – Andante)
  8. Sonatina in F Major (Andantino)
  9. Sonatina in A Minor (Allegro)
  10. Sonatina in C Major (Mezzo allegro)
  11. Sonata in C Minor: I. Allegro moderato
  12. Sonata in C Minor: II. Andante sostenuto
  13. Sonata in C Minor: III. Allegro
  14. Sonatina in E Minor (Allegretto)
  15. Sonatina in D Minor (Allegretto)
  16. Sonatina in B-Flat Major (Allegro moderato)
  17. Sonata in G Major: I. Allegro
  18. Sonata in G Major: II. Andante quasi allegretto
  19. Sonata in G Major: III. Andantino

Disk 2

  1. Sonata in A Minor: I. Allegro
  2. Sonata in A Minor: II. Andante con moto - Arioso
  3. Sonata in A Minor: III. Presto
  4. Passionmusik, Jesus am Creuze: No. 1, Recitativo
  5. Passionmusik, Jesus am Creuze: No. 2, Aria
  6. Sonata in G Major for Violin and Obbligato Harpsichord: I. Mezzo allegro
  7. Sonata in G Major for Violin and Obbligato Harpsichord: II. Andantino
  8. Sonata in G Major for Violin and Obbligato Harpsichord: III. Allegro
  9. Arie. Stolz auf Gott
  10. Sonatina in D Major (Allegro assai)
  11. Sonatina in F Major (Andante quasi allegretto, tempo di minuet)
  12. Sonatina in F Major (Allegretto)
  13. Menuet in C Major

Disk 3

  1. Sonata in C Major: I. Mezzo allegro
  2. Sonata in C Major: II. Largo
  3. Sonata in C Major: III. Allegro assai
  4. Sonatina in D Major (Andantino quasi allegretto)
  5. Mit Lauretten, seiner Freude
  6. Sonatina in C Minor (Allegro non troppo)
  7. Sonata in C Major with Accompaniment for Two Violins, Viola and Cello: I. Allegro
  8. Sonata in C Major with Accompaniment for Two Violins, Viola and Cello: II. Andante con moto
  9. Sonata in C Major with Accompaniment for Two Violins, Viola and Cello: III. Allegro
  10. Mir Armen, den des Fiebers Kraft
  11. Sonatina in A Major (Allegretto con spirito)
  12. Du fehlest mir, wie einsam
  13. Sonatina in B-Flat Major (Andante con moto, quasi un poco allegretto)
  14. Von nun an, o Liebe
  15. Sonatina in G Minor (Allegro)
  16. Venus, wenn du willst mich rühren

Disk 4

  1. Sonata in F Major: I. Allegro assai moderato
  2. Sonata in F Major: II. Andantino un poco larghetto
  3. Sonata in F Major: III. Allegro
  4. Hüpft, ihr wollenreichen Herden
  5. Sonatina in D Major (Presto)
  6. Ich war bey Chloen ganz allein
  7. Sonatina in E-Flat Major (Andante, quasi allegretto)
  8. Ob ich morgen leben werde
  9. Sonatina in C Major (Allegretto)
  10. Mein Geliebter hat versprochen
  11. Sonatina in G Major (Andante con moto)
  12. Hier ist das Thal
  13. Sonatina in F Major (Allegretto moderato)
  14. Belise starb, und sprach im Scheiden
  15. Sonatina in B-Flat Major (Allegro)
  16. Du, kleine, Blondine
  17. Romanze. Ein Mädchen, das auf Ehre hielt
  18. Sonata in C Minor: I. Allegro non troppo
  19. Sonata in C Minor: II. Un poco largo
  20. Sonata in C Minor: III. Allegro

Disk 5

  1. Sonata in E-Flat Major: I. Allegro
  2. Sonata in E-Flat Major: II. Andantino
  3. Sonata in E-Flat Major: III. Allegro
  4. Der Neid, o Kind
  5. Sonatina in G Minor (Andante un poco allegretto)
  6. Ein trunkner Dichter leerte sein Glaß
  7. Lieber Amor, leihe mir
  8. Menuet in G Major
  9. Ich liebte nur Ismenen
  10. Sonatina in D Major (Allegro)
  11. Faulheit, itzo will ich dir
  12. Sonata in F Major: I. Allegro non troppo
  13. Sonata in F Major: II. Andante con moto
  14. Sonata in F Major: III. Allegro
  15. Philint ist still, und flieht die Schönen
  16. Sonatina in C Major (Andantino quasi un poco allegretto)
  17. Wenn man mir ein Mädchen nennt
  18. Sonatina in G Major (Un poco allegretto)
  19. Heraklit, gleich stumpfen Greisen

Disk 6

  1. Sonata in C Minor: I. Allegro, ma non troppo
  2. Sonata in C Minor: II. Andante
  3. Sonata in C Minor: III. Allegro
  4. Cantata. Cephalus und Aurore
  5. Sonatina in C Major (Tempo di minuet)
  6. Süßes Mädchen, holder Knabe
  7. Sonatina in E-Flat Major (Allegretto)
  8. Philint stand jüngst vor Babets Thür
  9. Sonatina in G Minor (Andante, un poco allegretto)
  10. Schön ist Selinde
  11. Sonatina in G Major (Allegretto)
  12. Sonata in C Major: I. Allegro
  13. Sonata in C Major: II. Andante un poco vivace
  14. Sonata in C Major: III. Allegro
  15. Rondo in A Major (Andante con moto, quasi mezzo allegretto)
  16. Sonatina in F Major (Allegro)
  17. Sonatina in D Major (Presto)
  18. Ariette. Mein Thyrsis!