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The Emperors Fiddler

The Emperors Fiddler

Ref: CD718

Johann Heinrich Schmelzer was a leading violin virtuoso in mid-seventeenth-century Europe, highly favoured by Holy Roman Emperors Ferdinand III and Leopold I. His six Sonatæ unarum fidium (Sonatas for one fiddle) take pride of place in the history of violin music as the earliest collection of sonatas published by a native German-speaking composer, in 1664. These works cover the full gamut of emotions, from extreme passions and extravagant virtuosity to the most intimate and profound expressions of poetic introspection, with elegant dances inserted for good measure. Schmelzer likely played violins made by Jacob Stainer, the most celebrated luthier in Europe, whose violins were renowned for their fine silvery tone and long considered superior to Cremonese models. Here the sonatas are performed on a replica of a c.1670 Stainer violin, with strings in equal tension; the bow is based on seventeenth-century designs and is short and light, with its hair at high tension. This disc explores the lavish soundworld and rich musical invention of the emperor’s fiddler.

Johann Heinrich Schmelzer
Sonatæ unarum fidium (1664)
1 Sonata quinta (no. 5)
2 Sonata secunda (no. 2)
3 Sonata tertia (no. 3)
Johann Caspar Kerll
4 Passacaglia in D minor
Johann Heinrich Schmelzer
Sonatæ unarum fidium
5 Sonata sexta (no. 6)
6 Sonata prima (no. 1)
7 Sonata quarta (no. 4)
Total time


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More Information

David Irving
Violin by John Simmers (Brisbane, 2000),
after Jacob Stainer (Absam, c.1670)
Bow by Gerhard Landwehr (Hippolytushoef,
2016), after 17th-century Italian designs
Tommie Andersson
14-string theorbo by Peter Biffin (Armidale,
1995), after Vvendelio Venere (Padua, 1611)
Hannah Lane
Italian baroque triple harp ‘Nuvolone’ by
Claus Henry Hüttel (Düren, 2014)
John O’Donnell
Chamber organ by Henk Klop
(Garderen, 2003)
Harpsichord by Dennis Woolley (Dent, 1990)
after Hans Moermans (Antwerp, 1584)
Laura Vaughan
Bass viola da gamba by Henner Harders
(Mansfeld, 2007) after Michel Colichon
(Paris, 1691)
13-string lirone by Ian Watchorn
(Melbourne, 2009) after Giovanni Maria
da Brescia (Venice, c.1525)

David Irving studied violin and musicology
at the Queensland Conservatorium and the
University of Queensland, and completed
his doctoral research in historical musicology
at Clare College, University of Cambridge,
under the supervision of Tess Knighton.
Following a Junior Research Fellowship at
Christ’s College, Cambridge, he was Director
of Music at Downing College, Cambridge,
and a Research Associate at King’s College
London. He held lectureships at the
University of Nottingham and the Australian
National University before taking up his
current post as Senior Lecturer in Musicology
at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music,
the University of Melbourne, where he works
in the Early Music Studio.
A passionate performer on baroque violin,
David Irving has played with leading early
music groups on three continents, including
the Gabrieli Consort & Players, The Hanover
Band, Concerto Caledonia, La Serenissima,
The Early Opera Company, the Australian
Brandenburg Orchestra, Le Concert Lorrain,
the Saraband Consort, St James’s Baroque
Players, Ludovico’s Band, Accademia Arcadia,
Latitude 37, Melbourne Baroque Orchestra,
La Compañia, La Fontegara, and XVIII-21
Le Baroque Nomade. A committed player
in the ‘chin-off ’ style, he counts among his
teachers and major influences Lucinda Moon,
Marc Destrubé, Oliver Webber, and
Pavlo Beznosiuk.
Irving’s musicological research focuses on
the role of music in intercultural exchange,
particularly in Southeast Asia, from 1500 to
1800. He is the author of Colonial Counterpoint:
Music in Early Modern Manila (Oxford
University Press, 2010), named one of
eighteen ‘Books of the Year’ by BBC History
Magazine in 2010, and co-editor of Intercultural
Exchange in Southeast Asia: History and Society
in the Early Modern World (I. B. Tauris, 2013).
He was awarded the Jerome Roche Prize by
the Royal Musical Association in 2010, and
the McCredie Musicological Medal by the
Australian Academy of the Humanities in
2015. He sits on the editorial boards of Early
Music, Eighteenth-Century Music, Ethnomusicology
Forum, and Musicology Australia, and is a
General Editor for Bloomsbury’s forthcoming
Cultural History of Music series. He has
recently been appointed co-Editor of the
journal Eighteenth-Century Music, published by
Cambridge University Press, from 2019.
Tommie Andersson, born in Sweden and
based in Sydney since 1984, is regarded as
Australia’s leading specialist in lutes and
early guitars. He completed his studies at the
State Conservatorium of Music in Göteborg
(Gothenburg), Sweden, with a Masters Degree
in Performance, studying under Josef Holecek.
He was then awarded a Swiss Government

A ‘rising young star of early harps’,
Hannah Lane has quickly established herself
as a dynamic member of the Antipodean
early music movement. Hannah studied
modern harp with Alice Giles and historical
performance practice with Geoffrey Lancaster,
graduating with high distinction. Thanks to the
support of the Australia Council for the Arts,
Hannah was able to commence specialisation
in historical harp with the guidance of
renowned exponents Andrew Lawrence-King
and Maria Christina Cleary. As a continuo
player Hannah performs regularly with leading
Australian early music ensembles including
Pinchgut Opera, Orchestra of the Antipodes,
Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Latitude
37, Ludovico’s Band, Van Diemen’s Band,
Accademia Arcadia, Elysium Ensemble,
and e21. She has recorded on baroque harp
both live and in the studio for ABC Classic
FM and co-directs Ensemble 642 with the
lutenist Nicholas Pollock. In 2016 Hannah
was the recipient of an Ian Potter Cultural
Trust Emerging Artists Award to pursue
professional development in Europe. In 2017
she was engaged to play the baroque harp solo
in Handel’s Saul with the Adelaide Symphony
Orchestra in the critically-acclaimed
international production at the Adelaide
Festival. Hannah is currently based in Italy,
where she is pursuing postgraduate study in
historical harp.
John O’Donnell was born in Sydney and
educated at the Sydney Conservatorium of
Music, where he was appointed Lecturer in
Academic Studies at the age of eighteen. In
1974 he was appointed Senior Lecturer in
Music at the Victorian College of the Arts,
where he subsequently served a term as Dean.
In 1990 he was appointed Senior Lecturer in
Musicology at the University of Melbourne.
In 1995 he became a freelance performer,
combining this with the position of Choir
Director at Ormond College from 2007 to
2010. He is currently Monash University
Organist, Founder/Director of Ensemble
Gombert, and Director of Music at All
Saints’, East St Kilda. He performs regularly
as conductor, organist, harpsichordist and
pianist and is also active in music research
and editing. He has undertaken 21 concert
tours of Europe and 12 of North America,
principally as organist and choral conductor.
He is the first person ever to perform
Bach’s complete keyboard works (organ and
harpsichord) in public, a total of 29 recitals in
all. His recordings of the complete keyboard
works of Johann Caspar Kerll and organ works
of Bach have met with international acclaim,
an album of the latter named ‘Best Recording
of the Year’ (2000) in the International Record
Review. During 2009 he conducted a highlyacclaimed
season of Handel’s opera Xerxes
with Victorian Opera, for which he was
nominated for a Green Room Award, and in
2014 he directed four performances of the
oldest extant opera, Peri’s Euridice, newly
edited from the original print, at the Woodend
Winter Arts Festival. John performs here from
his own edition of Kerll’s complete keyboard
works, published by Doblinger (Vienna, 1994).
Melbourne-based viola da gamba specialist
Laura Vaughan is a prominent and wellrecognised
member of the early music scene
in Australia. Having studied at Melbourne
Conservatorium with Miriam Morris, and
Wieland Kuijken and Philippe Pierlot at
the Royal Conservatory of The Hague,
she has established an active performing
career encompassing a wide range of solo
and chamber repertoire across Australasia.
Passionate about the unique sound of the viol,
Laura is committed to bringing its exquisite
repertoire from the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries to life. She is also one of the few
exponents of the rare lirone. Laura records
regularly as a soloist and chamber musician
and appears on numerous CD recordings.
She can often be heard performing with most
major Australian early music groups and is
a founding member of the multiple ARIA
award-nominated trio Latitude 37.
Photograph by Albert Comper
Photograph courtesy of Terry Lane and Melba Recordings
Photograph by Albert Comper
Scholarship for further studies at the Schola
Cantorum Basiliensis, where his teachers
included Eugen M. Dombois and Hopkinson
Smith. He has toured extensively in Sweden
and has given performances and master classes
in Scandinavia, Western Europe, Malaysia,
Singapore and Japan including tours of South
America and Asia. Tommie Andersson is
highly sought after both as a soloist and as a
continuo player and performs regularly with
the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Opera
Australia, Sydney Philharmonia, the Song
Company, Pinchgut Opera, the Orchestra of
the Antipodes, Ensemble Battistin, Sydney
Chamber Choir and The Marais Project
amongst others. He is a founding member and
principal player of the Australian Brandenburg
Orchestra and co-directs (with Marshall
McGuire) the harp/theorbo consort Ludovico’s
Band. As a recitalist he has performed in all the
major Australian capital cities and festivals and
he gives regular concerts and live broadcasts for
the ABC. Tommie Andersson appears on more
than 50 discs including a solo CD of baroque
lute and guitar music released on the Swedish
label Musica Rediviva. He lectures in Lute and
Early Guitar at the Sydney Conservatorium
of Music and is frequently approached by
universities and conservatoria around the
country to teach and perform.

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