David Funck: Stricturæ Viola​-​di Gambicæ

by David Funck

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about

The 1677 publication Stricturæ Viola-di Gambicæ is the only surviving music by David Funck (1648-?1699). Very little is known of his life. He was born in Bohemia and spent some time in Italy before returning to Germany. Funck was an accomplished writer, theorist, and composer. Stricturæ Viola-di Gambicæ is a collection of dance suites for four viols. The forty-three numbered pieces —some of which would have seemed quite old-fashioned in character by 1677—are generally straightforward dances with sweet simple melodies, regular phrase structures, and narrow ranges for the viols. The ranges are low enough that the suites can be performed entirely on bass viols (indeed, this scoring is necessary for the “Fugue” movement). A note in the original print suggests that with the exception of this fugue, the pieces could be performed with a “violetta” playing the top line (we have used a tenor viol for the top line in the G major and G minor suites as these have a higher tessitura than the two D major suites).

Though a keyboard is not called for in the publication, Funck himself was an accomplished keyboardist. He might have accompanied the viols as was a common practice in his day. For this recording, we chose three different keyboard instruments (harpsichord, organ, and gut-strung clavicytherium) to vary the texture and color of the suites.

Johann Jakob Froberger's Meditation sur ma mort future and Toccata prima for solo keyboard round out the recording. This recording features performances by influential performers in the early music scene, hailing from Oberlin, Julliard, Yale, McGill and Boston University.

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released February 25, 2014

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New Focus Recordings New York, New York

New Focus Recordings is an artist led collective label featuring releases in contemporary music of many stripes, as well as new approaches to older repertoire. The label was founded by guitarist Daniel Lippel (who is the current director), composer engineer Ryan Streber, and composer Peter Gilbert in 2003-4, and features releases from many of new music's most active performers and composers. ... more

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