IMF Kutná Hora 2017

Sunday, June 12 / 3:00 p.m. / Church of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary in Bohdaneč


Stylus Phantasticus


Samuel Capricornus: Ciaccona in D     

Giovanni Pandolfi Mealli: Biancuccia op. 4, No. 4  

Ignazio Albertini: Sonata V in la Maggiore 

Girolamo Kapsberger: Toccata III     

Nicola Matteis: Passaggio rotto, Andamento veloce. Fantasia  

Antonio Bertali: Sonata in re a 2

Philipp Friedrich Böddecker: Sonata sopra La Monica  

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber: Sonata representativa in A major

Lenka Torgersen – violin, Hana Fleková – viola da gamba, Jan Krejča – theorbo

A fantastic programme in fantasy style, performed on authentic instruments by Lenka Torgersen and her ensemble.    

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The prominent Jesuit scholar and music theorist, Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680), describes in the seventh book of his Musurgia Universalis various musical styles, giving particular attention to the definition of the Stylus phantasticus, “fantastic style”. “Stylus phantasticus is suitable for instruments. It is the most liberal and completely unrestrained manner of composing, which is bound by nothing, whether it be words, or melodic themes. It is intended for the presentation of skill and invention. It is made up of compositions which are commonly called fantasies, ricertatas, toccatas, and sonatas…”

Without having to go into any detail about exactly what this particular category stands for, already the first listen will reveal that what Kircher speaks about must bear affinity with improvisation. It is characterized by the use of short, contrasting episodes, and its loose form leaves space for the interpreter´s own invention. Of course, it requires an experienced and virtuoso player informed about the performing style of a given period – in Kircher´s day, composers were at the same time also exquisite players (Kapsberger´s instrument was the lute, Böddecker´s the organ, and the rest were violinists).

The roots of the “fantastic style” ought to be sought in Italian music, but as a result of its spread by hosts of musicians from its home on the Appenine Peninsula farther up north, eventually to conquer most of Europe and beyond, tonight´s programme features also two names of musicians of Bohemian extraction, namely, Samuel Capricornus, and H.I.F. Biber.

                                                                                                                     sleeve-note: Dita Hradecká / translation: Ivan Vomáčka

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