Bollinger Cornetto Recordings

La Carioletta: auf europäischen Wandelpfaden; Capella Caesarea; self-produced.
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recorded August 6-9, 2005

La Giorgina: Canzonen und Sonaten aus dem Frühbarock für Zink und Orgel; Hans-Jakob Bollinger, cornett, Christiane Lux, Organ; Swiss Pan SP51721
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recorded July 3-6, 2005

Two new discs recorded a month apart featuring the cornetto plying of Hans-Jakob Bollinger offer a wide variety of interesting repertoire. He is a member of the ensemble Capella Caesarea and combines his efforts with Peter Stelzl, sackbut, Rachel Harris, violin, Jennifer Harris, dulcian, Andrea C. Baur, chitarrone, and Evelyn Laub, positive organ. The majority of the music is northern European. Some of the composers represented are Schmelzer, Grabbe, Kindeman, Froberger, and Buchner. A most interesting work is the Symphonia I à 4 of Nikolaus à Kempis (1600-1676), which features each member well and has several varied sections. Unfortuantely the liner notes are brief, all in German, and do not discuss the composers or cite sources. Hans-Jakob reports by e-mail that Kempis was an organist from Brussels and the father of Joannes Florentius and Thomas. Little more is known.

On this disc Bollinger plays cornettino (made by Henri Gohin) on the Sonata à 4 of Matthias Weckmann. He plays cornetto muto (made by Christoph Schuler) on the Canzon "La Sincopata". The remainder of the music is performed on an instrument made by John McCann. The sackbut played by Peter Stelzl is the Drewelwecz model made by Ewald Meinl. All are at A=440.

The other disc, La Giorgina, is for cornetto and organ. The organist is Christine Lux. The instruments on this disc are remarkable. The organ is in meantone and located in the church of the Modanna de la Campagna, Valtellina, in northern Italy. It was built in 1518 by Marco Antonio Bizzari, further developed in 1589 by the Antegnati family, and recently restored by Marco Fratti. There is more. It is at A=453. Our soloist engaged Andreas Schoni of Berne to build a cornetto at A=453 and the results are quite pleasing. Bollinger is a sensitive player who demonstrates acrobatic dexterity on two sonatas by Fontana as well as clever and graceful ornaments on works by Cima.

These two discs represent a welcome contribution to the ever-growing body of early music recordings and are recommended to our readers not only on the merits of the playing, but on the breadth of repertoire and the grand gesture of commitment of having an instrument built in order to perform with such a fine organ.

--- James Miller