Musicology and Ethnomusicology
Gaining exposure for "other" Baroque Composers
Antonio Caldara 1670-1736
While Bach and Handel may never be displaced as the pre-eminent composers of the Baroque era and while Vivaldi's Four Seasons will always be a favourite with music lovers, there is an ongoing exploration of the repertoire of those "other" composers who people the Baroque age. More and more previously unknown and unheard music is being made available through performances, publications and recordings. A not-insignificant contribution to this expansion is the work produced here at the University of Canterbury.
For many years Dr Brian Pritchard of the School of Music has conducted research into the life and works of the Venetian-born composer Antonio Caldara (1670-1736). Besides articles, commissioned dictionary entries (The New Grove Dictionary of Opera London, Macmillan, 1992, and The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (second edition) London, Macmillan, 2001), and a volume of essays (Antonio Caldara: Essays on his life and times Scolar Press, Aldershot, 1987) his research has also made a cross-section of Caldara's music far more accessible to the public than ever before.
To date some ten CD recordings of Caldara's works result from his editions and his efforts to persuade performing ensembles and recording companies to take on board an "unknown" composer. "While one or two of Caldara's compositions such as the 16-voice Crucifixus and a few Arie antiche have appeared regularly on discs featuring works of several composers, to have entire CDs devoted to major works of one rather remote author is quite another matter," says Dr Pritchard.
The series began with the 1991 release by Philips of Caldara's Missa Laetare, actually recorded in the Hofkapelle in Vienna where it was first performed in 1729. More recent releases have come from Naxos and Harmonia Mundi France and from Dynamic and Pan Classics.
It was Harmonia Mundi's recording of the oratorio Maddalena ai piede di Cristo that scooped the pool in the Baroque Vocal Category in the 1997 Gramophone Awards ceremony in London, taking out the Recording of the Year award. The citation praised the work as "wonderfully rich in fresh and attractive invention". Dr Pritchard saw such comments as "a happy confirmation of one's own judgement, a by no means insignificant matter where large-scale works are concerned. The editor has to the select the composition - for Maddalena it was a matter of deciding on one out of nearly 40 oratorios - stand by that decision throughout the lengthy process of preparing the edition and then convey the merits of the work to potential performers and enthuse recording companies."
A similarly successful outcome greeted the fully-staged season of Caldara's opera I disingannati at the 1993 Festival of Early Music at Innsbruck - described as "ein Triumph für Caldara, ein Triumph für das Team, ein Triumph für Innsbruck." And Dr Pritchard's four-volume edition of Caldara's Sonatas for Cello and Continuo (Doblinger, Vienna, 1997) continues to enjoy high demand and critical acclaim in Europe.
Contact: Dr Brian Pritchard
Phone +64 3 366 7001 ext 7634
School of Music
A sample of research, publications, recordings
Antonio Caldara: Essays on his life and times Scolar Press, Aldershot, 1987. 424pp.
"Antonio Caldara's Credo à 8 voci - a composition for the Duke of Mantua" (with Reinhard G. Pauly) in Antonio Caldara: Essays on his life and times Aldershot, Scolar Press, 1987, pp.49-76.
"Antonio Caldara" biographical entry and work-list in The New Grove Dictionary of Opera London, Macmillan, 1992, v.1, pp.683-87
Individual entries for Caldara's operas: Adriano in Siria, L'Olimpiade, I disingannati, and L'Anagilda for the same Dictionary, v.1, pp.28, 116, 1181-2; v.3, pp.662-3
"Antonio Caldara" biographical entry and work-list in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (second edition) London, Macmillan, 2001, v.4, pp 819-26.
Programme booklets and articles
"Antonio Caldara - Dafne" Festival Wratislava Cantans, (Wroclaw) 1993; programme volume, pp.173-83.
"Antonio Caldara, I Disingannati and the Viennese imperial court" XVII Festwochen der Alten Musik, 1993, Innsbruck. Programmheft, pp.136-41.
Antonio Caldara - La Passione (oratorio) Festival Wratislava Cantans, (Wroclaw) 1995; programme volume: 92-6.
"Italian music and composers in Hapsburg Austria" Ambraser Schloss Konzerte, 1996, Innsbruck. Programmheft.
"Antonio Caldara - Madrigaux" programme volume for Les Arts Florissants' concert performances in Italy, France, Germany, Nov. 1998 and March,1999.
Caldara: Six Sonatas for violin solo and basso continuo Vienna, Doblinger Verlag, 1989. 2 volumes (first published edition)
Caldara: Sinfonia Concertante 2 solo violins and string orchestra, Vienna, Doblinger Verlag, 1996 (first published edition)
Caldara: Sixteen Sonatas for solo violoncello and continuo, Vienna, Doblinger Verlag, 1996-97. 4 volumes (first published edition)
Caldara: Three Cantatas for Soprano and Continuo Exeter (England), Antico Editions, 1997. (first published edition)
Caldara: Missa in D (with reworkings by J.D. Zelenka) Foreword and commentary for the facsimile edition of the manuscript in Sachsische Landesbibliothek, Dresden, in Musik der Dresdener Hofkapelle (Zentral-antiquariat der DDR, Leipzig), 1989.
Caldara: 12 Sonate à tre, op. 2, with foreward and commentary. 'Editions Dominantes', Fuzeau, Courlay (France), 1994.
Editions used for performance [not published]
Caldara: I Disingannati - commedia per musica in three acts. For 17th Festival of Early Music, Innsbruck, Austria; August 1993. La Petite Band (dir. Sigiswald Kuijken). Repeated Ghent, Flanders Festival. (First performance in modern times).
Caldara: Vaticini di Pace - Christmas cantata, SATB soloists and orchestra. Parnassus Baroque Ensemble, London (Ont.) Canada, December, 1994.
Caldara: Madrigaux (selections) Les Arts Florissants (dir. Christie). Six performances in Italy and France, Nov. 1998; Germany, March, 1999
Caldara: Amarilli vezossa - Christmas cantata, SAC-T soloists and orchestra. Orchestra of St John's, Smith Square, London (dir. John Lubbock) London, December, 2003. (First modern performance)
Recordings [editions and booklets]
Antonio Caldara - Cantatas (six cantatas for soprano and also soloists and continuo) Ely recordings (Ely 007) Wellington, New Zealand, 1989.[editions and booklet]
Antonio Caldara - High mass at the Imperial Court Missa Laetare Hofmusikkapelle and Cappella Caldara, Vienna. Philips Classic Recordings, Baarn, Holland, 1991. (first recording) [edition and booklet]
Antonio Caldara - Cantatas and Madrigals. Wren Baroque Soloists, London. Unicorn-Kanchana, London, 1992. (first recording) [editions and booklet]
Antonio Caldara - Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo (oratorio) Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, Basel; Harmonia Mundi - France, 1996. (first recording) [edition and booklet] Winner of the "Baroque vocal music" Award at the Gramophone Awards, London, Oct. 1997.
Antonio Caldara - Cantate d'Amore (Cantatas for two voices and instruments); Dynamic-srl, Genoa, 1996. (first recording). [booklet]
Antonio Caldara - Vaticini di Pace Aradia Ensemble; Toronto, Naxos, Hong Kong, 1996. (first complete recording). [edition and booklet]
Antonio Caldara - La Passione di Gesù Cristo Capella Savaria; Hungaroton, Budapest, 1999. (first complete recording). [edition and booklet]
Antonio Caldara - Missa dolorosa - Stabat mater Coro Radio Svizzera; Naxos, Hong Kong, 1999 [booklet]
Antonio Caldara - Cantate e Sonate Ensemble Fons Musicae, Pan Classics, Vevey, Switzerland, 2004 [booklet]
Antonio Caldara - Cantatas -Max Emanual Cencic (alto) and Ornamente 99; Capriccio Frechen, Germany, 2005. [edition of "Da tuoi lumi"; first recording]