Musik der Stadtpfeifer. Intraden, Tänze, Canzonen und Sonaten
Musica Fiata


deutsche harmonia mundi / BMG
«editio classica» GD 77236

01 - Valentin HAUSSMANN (c.1570-1614). Intrada à 5   [1:48]
„Rest von polnischen und andern Tänzen ." 1603

02 - Christian ERBACH (c.1570-1635). Canzona à 4   [3:08]

03 - Giovanni Martino CESARE (c.1590-1667). „La Massimiliana"   [3:05]
Due Cornetti à Violini · „Musicali Melodie" 1621

04 - Johann Hermann SCHEIN (1586-1630). Suite No. 7 à 5   [6:57]
Suite Nr.7 à 5 „Banchetto Musicale" 1617

Giovanni Martino CESARE. „Musicali Melodie" 1621
05 - „La Augustana"   [3:44]
Cornetto é Trombone
06 - „La Fenice"   [3:23]
Due Cornetti é due Tromboni

07 - Johann VIERDANCK (1605-1646). Sonata à 4   [3:12]
„Ander Theil ... Capricci, Canzoni e Sonaten" 1641

08 - Samuel SCHEIDT (1587-1654). Intrada à 5   [4:01]
„Ludi Musici" 1621

09 - Paul PEUERL (1570-1625). Canzona à 5   [2:15]
„Weltspiegel" 1613

10 - Giovanni Martino CESARE. „La Gioia"   [3:10]
Due Cornetti è Violini é Trombone · „Musicali Melodie" 1621

11 - Isaac POSCH (m.1622). „Echo" Paduana à 5   [4:05]
„Musikalische Tafelfreudt" 1621

12 - Giovanni Martino CESARE. „La Foccarina"   [4:10]
Cornetto à Violino Solo · „Musicali Melodie" 1621

13 - Melchior VULPIUS (c.1570-1615). Magnificat Secundi Toni à 5   [5:48]


Cornetto: Roland Wilson, Jeremy West
Alto cornetto: Roland Wilson
Alto trombone: Wolfgang König
Tenor trombone: Wolfgang König, Petet Sommer, Richard A. Lister
Basso trombone: Richard A. Lister
Organo & regale: Christoph Lehmann

Cornetti von Roland Wilson nach einem Original aus dem Musikinstrumentenmuseum Brüssel, von Christopher Monk nach einem Original um 1620.
Alto cornetto von Roland Wilson sowie Alt-, Tenor- und Baßposaune von Meinl und Lauber nach Originalen aus dem Germanischen Nationalmuseum Nürnberg.
Orgel von B. Junghänel
Regal von R. Junghänel

Aufnahme: Dr. Benjamin Bernfeld
Schnitt: B. Bemfeld jun.
Technik/: harmonia mundi acustica
Aufgenommen: 16.-18. t/II. 1982, St. Petruskirche in Blasingen


Music of the "Stadtpfeifer"

From the 13th century onwards larger cities began to take musicians into their employment, the word "Stadtpfiffer" first appearing in the next century. Other equivalent names which also appear at this time include Ratsmusikant, Stadtmusikant and Zinkenist. Stadtpfeifer (lit. "city piper") were the German equivalent of the English "city waits". By the second half of the 16th century even smaller cities had their Stadtpfeifer bodies and towards the end of the century the ensembles also began to increase in size.

The duties and rights of the musicians were officially laid down in contracts between them and the town council. The post as Stadtpfeifer was often combined with that of watchman, and an important part of their duties consisted of playing from the church tower at specific hours of the day. Other duties included providing the music at official banquets and celebrations, playing on feast days in the church or, for example in Bremen, being obliged to entertain the market traders for an hour on market days with music played on cornetts and trombones. Apart from performing their civic duties, for which they were not particularly well paid, the Stadtpfeifer supplemented their income by exercising their exclusive right to provide music for private functions such as weddings, citizens only being allowed to engage other musicians if the Stadtpfeifer were not available.

The Stadtpfeifer learnt their trade like any other, by spending five or six years as an apprentice and then becoming a journeyman for a number of years, after which he was able to apply for a position as Stadtpfeifer if one fell vacant. Although they were required to be proficient on all the wind and string instruments of the time, the wind instruments tended to predominate in their music. Cornett and sackbutts, on account of their noble sound, were held to be superior and in some cities were reserved for the upper classes, the lower classes having to make do with string music at their festivities.

In the first quarter of the 17th century two different foreign influences made themselves felt on German instrumental music which were to play an important part in it's future. In the north a number of English musicians came to settle in Germany at this time, foremost among them William Brade and Thomas Simpson, who, with their publications of dances, played a major role in the development of the dance suite. In the south the influence of Italian music and musicians predominated, bringing with it firstly the instrumental canzona and later the sonata. Outstanding among the numerous publications of dances at this time were the twenty suites published in 1617 by Johann Hermann Schein, a few months after his appointment as Thomaskantor in Leipzig, under the title of "Banchetto Musicale". Each suite consists of two pairs of dances — padouana-gagliarda and allemande-tripla — with a courente between them. These are united by key, and in some cases, thematically. Of these, the first pair had become stylised instrumental pieces far removed form their origins as dances. In particular, the padouana was regarded as a free instrumental composition, which, in it's complex polyphonic style, was closely related to the English viol fancies. The English influence is particularly clear in the case of the suite on this record, which uses a cantus firmus technique, reminiscent of English "In Nomine" compositions. The other dance pair, allemande and tripla, of which the latter is merely a rhythmic variation of the former, represents an antithesis to the first pair, the simple, peasant-like dance music of the second pair contrasting sharply with the artistic invention of the first. Between the two extremes comes the courente, which, although rhythmically more complicated and more polyphonic than the allemande-tripla, is clearly recognisable as a dance.

Closely related to the pavane, although more homophonic, was the intrada, represented here by compositions from Valentin Haussmann and Samuel Scheidt. One can easily imagine the former being used, as the intrada originally was, as a short introductory piece for dances or other festivities, whereas the latter, while retaining the same character, has developed into a piece of artistic invention.

"Echo" canzonas were fairly common in Italy at this time and this device is used to good effect by Isaac Posch in the padouana played here. As dynamic markings were not very common at this time, Posch felt obliged, in the introduction to his "Musicalische Tafelfreudt", to explain the meaning of the signs P. and F.

The vocal origins of the instrumental canzona are unmistakeable in the canzona by Paul Peuerl. Published in a collection otherwise containing vocal music, it could equally well be sung as be played. The canzona by Christian Erbach is, however, more instrumental in conception. It shows his close acquaintance with Italian music, including a short section which makes use of a "battaglia"-type rhythm similar to that used in the many pieces of that name.

The fourteen instrumental pieces contained in Giovanni Martino Cesare's "Musicali Melodie" were named neither canzonas nor sonatas by the composer. The titles of the pieces are merely dedications such as "La Foccarina" (for the Fugger family), or descriptive e.g. "La Gioia" (the joy). Although most of them begin with the typical canzona rhythm, they distinguish themselves from the canzonas of Peuerl and Erbach in a number of ways, typical of the Italian sonata of this time. Firstly, the basso continuo part, instead of simply following the lowest part, is often completely independent and makes, for example in "La Augustana" a trio out of a piece entitled "a 2". Secondly instead of the old soprano, alto, tenor, bass scoring, there is a clear treble-bass contrast. Thirdly, an increased emphasis of the affections, requires from the performer varied tempi, dynamics, and articulation, although these are not specified by the composer. The writing is also typically instrumental, including wide, melodic leaps and virtuoso passage-work which would have been beyond the capabilities of all but the very best Stadtpfeifer.

The "Sonata à 4" by Johann Vierdanck, in which a concerted solo part for the cornet is contrasted with a tutti of three trombones, has been called the first German solo concerto. It is wonderfully conceived in terms of the instruments it is written for, the majestic sound of the trombone trio combining perfectly with the more agile cornett, which incorporates into it's part diminutions in the old Italian tradition.

The church duties of the Stadtpfeifer are represented here by a performance of the Magnificat à 5 by Melchior Vulpius. It is the only untexted Magnificat out of the twelve by him, contained in the Pelplin Organ Book, and may have been intended for instrumental performance, the individual movements being played between sung sections of the Magnificat.

Roland Wilson

Giovanni Martino Cesare (ca. 1590-1667) was employed as a cornettist at the court of Duke Maximilian in Munich. Vocal works by him also appear in important anthologies of the time.

Christian Erbach (ca. 1570-1635) enjoyed a wide reputation as teacher, organist, and composer of both vocal and instrumental music in his day. He spent all his working life in Augsburg, where he was for some years head of the Stadtpfeifer.

Valentin Haussmann (ca. 1570-1614) published numerous collections of dance-songs and instrumental dances, which mark a landmark in the development of German instrumental music.

Isaac Posch († 1622 or 23) and Paul Peuerl (1570-1613) both worked as organists and organ builders in Austria, and both made a significant contribution to the development of the dance suite.

Samuel Scheidt (1587-1654) and Johann Hermann Schein (1586-1630) are held, together with Heinrich Schütz, to be the most important composers of the German early Baroque period. Most of Scheidt's instrumental ensemble music has been lost, and his fame now rests mainly on his organ music. Schein's instrumental music represented only a small part of his output but in this genre, as in every other, he showed himself to be a great master.

Johann Vierdanck (1605-1646) was a choirboy under Heinrich Schütz and was later employed as a violinist and cornettist in the Dresden Hofkapelle before taking up an appointment as organist in Stralsund.

Melchior Vulpius (ca. 1570-1615) was an important composer of Lutheran church music, writing 400 hymns and almost 200 motets.

was founded in 1976 as an ensemble specializing in the performance of 16th and 17th century music on historical instruments. An intensive study of performance practice sources, playing techniques and original instruments of the period has enabled the group to develop an appropriate musical style which differs considerably from that of the late-baroque. Tensely-strung violins, playing with light, short, bows which favour a speech-like articulation, authentic mouthpieces for the cornetts and sackbutts, which produce a clear brilliant sound, and performing at chorton pitch (ca. a semitone higher than modern pitch) all contribute to Musica Fiata's unique sound.
The group is based in Cologne and apart from giving concerts in Germany, Musica Fiata has performed in Spain, Italy, Israel, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, France, Austria, Sweden and Finnland. The ensemble's exemplary performances have resulted in invitations to the most important festivals throughout Europe.