La Ciaccona

Midori Suzuki soprano, Ensemble Anthonello
Christophorus CHE 0203-2 (© 2002)
Music by Bartolotti, Falconieri, Ferrari, Frescobaldi, d’India, Kapsberger, Merula, Salome Rossi, Selma y Salaverde & Storace

[dropcap]O[/dropacp]n this CD the Japanese Ensemble Anthonello follow the progress of the chaconne from its inception as the Chacona in South America through Spain to Italy where the Ciaccona became all the rage, influencing French composers to compose more sedate Chaconnes. With its insistent rhythms and repeating bassline, the Ciaconna gained something of a raunchy reputation, and Ensemble Anthonella provide delightfully spicy renditions of their cross-section of Ciaconas. Their vocalist Midori Suzuki has a beautifully pure voice which blends perfectly with director Yoshimichi Hamada’s cornett as well as the group’s two recorders. Also among the instruments used are an arpo doppio, beautifully played by Marie Nishiyama, while Rafael Bonavita contributes some fine Baroque guitar sounds. The two recorder players have a delightfully free approach to their lines, using various flutterings and glissandi to bring their parts to life. This is a lovely CD which brings a wide range of music by familiar but mainly unfamiliar composers vividly to life, and I was surprised to note that the original recording was made in 2000 – I hope that this is a reissue and that it hasn’t been languishing in Christophorus’s ‘to do’ tray for fifteen years. The cover depicting dancers at the Dowager of Bilbao’s Ball in 1626 is also a delight. A little gem.

D. James Ross

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