Stylus Phantasticus | Reference Recordings FR742

Stylus Phantasticus


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Label: Reference Recordings

Cat No: FR742

Barcode: 0030911174224

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 20th August 2021



Reference Recordings proudly presents this unique album with 11 works of early Baroque composers. The famous Jesuit Father Athanasius Kircher (1602–1680) wrote in Book VII of the Musurgia Universalis describing different musical styles, but, in particular, he defined a “fantastical style” for instruments:

“The Stylus phantasticus is appropriate to instruments. It is the most free and unfettered method of composition, bound to nothing, neither to words, nor to a harmonious subject. It is organised with regard to manifest invention, the hidden reason of harmony, and an ingenious, skilled connection of harmonic phrases and fugues. And it is divided into those pieces which are commonly called Phantasias, Ricercatas, Toccatas, and Sonatas.”

The compositions included on this recording provide prime examples of the lineage of the stylus phantasticus from its Italian roots, before Kircher wrote his definition, to its later development into an “imperial style” associated with Central Europe and the Habsburgs.

Stylus Phantasticus was produced by Grammy award-winning David Sabee in St Thomas Chapel, Kenmore, Washington. The album was recorded by Grammy award-winning engineers Dmitry Lipay, Aleksandr Lipay and Kory Kruckenberg. Artists on this album are Tekla Cunningham, baroque violin; William Skeen, bass violin; Stephen Stubbs, baroque guitar and chitarrone; Maxine Eilander, baroque harp; and Henry Lebedinsky, organ and harpsichord.

Founded in 2007 by Grammy award-winning conductor Stephen Stubbs, Pacific MusicWorks presents Baroque music, dance and theatre to audiences worldwide. Bringing experience gained performing with leading early music performers here and abroad, PMW contributes an historically and culturally informed perspective to collaborations with a diverse cast of internationally renowned artists.

Reference Recordings was founded in 1976 in San Francisco. The label has multiple Grammy awards and a catalogue that includes numerous American and international orchestras, ensembles and choruses. FRESH! is part of Reference Recordings’ mission to encourage unique and fine artists, and give them a strong platform for promotion and sales nationally and internationally.

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