"…Before 1840, there were limited written sources of folk music in Norway. Originally these historical attainments were believed to have a distinct Christian influence. As research continued, there was also mythical and fairy tale connections to the folk music. Overall the purpose of folk music was for entertainment and dancing. Norwegian folk music may be divided into two categories: instrumental and vocal. As a rule instrumental folk music is dance music (slåtter). Norwegian folk dances are social dances and usually performed by couples, although there are a number of solo dances as well, such as the halling. Norway has very little of the ceremonial dance characteristic of other cultures. Dance melodies may be broken down into two types: two-beat and three-beat dances. The former are called halling, gangar or rull, whereas the latter are springar or springleik…"
Prague-1770 celebrates the compositions of three such Bohemians, Franz Tuma (1704-1774), Josef Myslivecek (1737-1781), and Leopold Kozeluch (1747-1818). While listening to my satellite TV's classical music station I was introduced to the Larghetto movement of Myslivecek's Sinfonia in Es. I enjoyed it so much that I immediately set out to track down a CD recording on the Internet. Subsequent research revealed that my growing admiration for Josef Myslivecek was shared by none less than Mozart himself who after meeting the Czech in Bologna in 1770 exclaimed, "He exudes fire, spirit and life." There is now little doubt that Myslivecek's style influenced Mozart a great deal in opera, symphonies, and violin concertos. Moreover, it is worthy of note that even before 1767 Myslivecek was already writing the earliest examples of the string quintet, a form that Wolfgang made his own only much later.
Anima mea explores the Christian concept of the soul through these masterpieces of medieval Sacred Music. Hildegard of Bingen’s beautifully exalted harmonies represent God’s order in the music of the spheres. The recently rediscovered Erfurt Ritual contains sung music from Master Eckhart’s historical context. These antiphons are performed here for the first time since 1525, along with chants from the liturgy of the Roman mass, music from the Notre Dame School, and a glorious Magnificat. The German duo Ensemble Cosmedin, who take their name from a church in Rome, are considered one of the leading ensembles for medieval and modern sacred music. Music of the soul—gentle and luminous.