Fantasticus – Baroque chamber works by Buxtehude, Stradella, Schmelzer, Jenkins, Pandolfi Mealli, Kertzinger, Muffat & Bertali

Reviewed on Mon 26 Aug, 2013

For their recording debut, the Baroque trio Fantasticus has chosen a variety of exponents of the notion of stylus fantasticus that evolved in instrumental music of the 17th century, exploring works by (amongst others) Dieterich Buxtehude (c1637-1707), Antonio Bertali (1605-1669), John Jenkins (1592-1678) and Giovanni Antonio Pandolfi Mealli (c1629-c1679). The performances are superlative – consistently energetic, vibrant, communicative and full of stimulating detail. Each of the three musicians is excellent in technique, and they move effortlessly between the more structured and the freer parts, blending together, and standing out in solos without dominating too much. Among the many highlights are Rie Kimura's striking and expressive treatment of the free sections for violin in Pandolfi Mealli's Sonata ‘La Castella’, and the beautiful exchanges between violin and viola da gamba in the more contrapuntal Sonata a 2 in A minor by Johann Heinrich Schmelzer (c1620/23-1680). This is, quite simply, a release not to be missed.
–Stine Frimann