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August Kühnel (c.1645-1700): Sei Sonate O Partite / Consort Les Voix Humaines

Album Summary

>Kühnel, August : Sonata I in F major
>Kühnel, August : Sonatina VI en écho in C major
>Kühnel, August : Sonatina V (Serenata) in C minor
>Kühnel, August : Sonata III in G minor
>Kühnel, August : Sonata II in E minor
>Kühnel, August : Sonatina IV in A minor
Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Though his output was modest, German composer August Kühnel (1645 - ca.1700) was nonetheless the most important master of the bass viol in Germany in his day. Most of Kühnel's compositions are in manuscript form. The only exceptions are his Sonate ò Partite ad una ò due viole da gamba, con il basso continuo, (sonatas or partitas for one or two viols with continuo) which are performed by Consort Les Voix humaines on this new ATMA recording. Originally dedicated to Kühnel's employer, this collection of pieces would have been appropriate either for princely dining rooms or amateur gatherings. The collection's title is also surprising, suggesting that each piece may be considered either a sonata or a partita. With its demands that the viol excel both in playing melody and harmony, Kühnel's collection magnificently blends the Italian, French, and German styles, and shows that the composer was an elegant and sensitive virtuoso.

American Record Guide, July/August 2015
Les Voix Humaines have included all six of the sonatas for two bass viols from Knhnel's Sonate o Partite ad Una o Due Viole da Gamba, published in Kassel in 1698 and 1701. Knhnel called his French suite-like pieces sonatinas (4, 5, and 6) and the Italian ones sonatas (1, 2, and 3). The performers evoke these distinctions by applying the appropriate "dialect" of ornamentation: trills, appoggiaturas, and mordents. Moreover, they bring out the stylus phantasticus - all the rage in the second half of the 17th Century - which required performers to play in a free style, unfettered by regular rhythmic durations, aiming rather toward spontaneous expression. Perhaps the best illustration is Sonata 4, titled Aria Variata. Susie Napper and Margaret Little's performances are deeply evocative, brooding, ebullient, and preciously ornamental, supported by a team of continuo players: Melisande Coriveau, bass viol; Eric Milnes, harpsichord, and Sylvain Bergeron, theorbo.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Église Saint-Augustin, Mirabel, Québec, Canada (12/2010).



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Works Details

>Kühnel, August : Sonata I in F major :: [Prélude] (Adagio - Allegro) - Allegro - Adagio - Aria - [Adagio] - Allegro
  • Ensemble: Consort Les Voix Humaines
  • Running Time: 8 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Kühnel, August : Sonatina VI en écho in C major :: [Allegro] - Gavotta (Allegro) - Sarabande (Adagio) - Giga (Allegro)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Kühnel, August : Sonatina V (Serenata) in C minor :: [Prélude] (Adagio - Allegro - Adagio) - Entrata (Presto) - Aria (A
  • Running Time: 13 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Kühnel, August : Sonata III in G minor :: Aria Variata
  • Running Time: 11 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Kühnel, August : Sonata II in E minor :: [Prélude] (Adagio - Allegro) - Aria - [Allegro] - Allegro - Aria (Allegro) - A
  • Running Time: 10 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1698

>Kühnel, August : Sonatina IV in A minor :: Allegro - Allemande - Corrente - Sarabande (Adagio) - Gavotta (Allegro) - Gi
  • Running Time: 9 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque