|commentaar: ||CD met evocatie van de blaasmuziek die is uitgevoerd bij de Blijde Intrede van Ferdinand van Oostenrijk in Antwerpen in 1635, gevolgd door enkele politieke liederen voor en tegen Ferdinand.|
Notes by Louis P. Grijp
The CD opens with an evocation of the music sounded during the Triumphal Entry of the Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand in Antwerp (1635): official music played on the stages and arches by Trumpeters and City Pipers (I), which I discussed at some length in my article in the present volume. It is followed by several political Flemish and Dutch songs for and against the Cardinal-Infante, accompanied on period instruments (II).
I. Music for the Triumphal Entry of Ferdinand into Antwerp
The city of Antwerp spent 325 pounds artois on trumpeters and 125 pounds artois on city musicians (or pipers), in order to play on Keizerspoort, arches, and stages during the Triumphal Entry of Ferdinand. These were substantial amounts. Although we don't know what music they played, we offer here an evocation of the sound, using appropriate, period instruments and musical pieces from repertoires the city musicians may have used, as I have elaborated on in the conclusion ('Reconstruction or Evocation') of my article on music in Ferdinand's Triumphal Entry, elsewhere in this volume.
We don't know exactly how the trumpeters and pipers were distributed over the arches and stages along the route, but there must have been some alternation because of the limited number of pipers available: only the six city pipers of Antwerp. They simply could not play on a stage for the Prince and reach the next stage before he was there, through the immense crowd. For the trumpeters it was easier because there were at least three groups.
We begin this CD with an evocation of the kettledrum and eight trumpeters, which according to the description in Triumphael Incomst were already part of Ferdinand's train before it entered the city. No seventeenth-century trumpet music has survived from the Low Countries, but we do have two seventeenth-century Italian trumpet books. One is by Girolamo Fantini (Spoleto, 1600 - Florence, after 1675), chief court trumpeter in the service of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, from 1631 on. Fantini mainly worked in Italy, where he became famous for solo performances. He could play pitches nobody had ever heard before, both extremely high and/or out of the harmonic series. In 1638 he published an important trumpet method: Modo per imparare a sonare di tromba. From that we have chosen three fragments of the Entrata Imperiale per sonare in concerto and arranged them for five trumpets. In the opening fragment the trumpets are combined with kettledrums [track 1].
According to the city accounts the city pipers played on the Emperor's Gate, through which Ferdinand entered the city. The pipers had a much broader repertoire than the trumpeters. Theoretically, they could play any polyphonic work up to six parts, both instrumental and vocal. They even played motets and music for the Mass in church services. For a solemn occasion such as a Triumphal Entry we may assume that the pipers played in their full strength and chose six-part music. A six-part chanson such as Je porte tes couleurs [track 2] would have been appropriate. This chanson was written by the Antwerp composer Andreas Pevernage and published in his Livre quatrieme des Chansons (Antwerp, 1591, reprinted 1607). It is performed here with the combination of instruments we know from a painting by Denijs van Alsoot and Antoon Sallaert, showing a group of six city musicians in the procession of Notre Dame de Sablon in Brussels (1615): cornetto, shawm, two alto bombardes, tenor trombone and bass dulcian (fig. 1).
The first stage Ferdinand saw, the Stage of Welcome on the Mechelseplein, would have been for the trumpeters. It has two Famas with trumpets on top, so we decided to have a trumpet duo there: Fantini's Sonata del Gucciardini, which he explicitly notated for two trumpets [track 3]. At the Portico of the Emperors on the Meir, pipers and trumpeters seem to have joined forces, and therefore we have the pipers play a balletto in imitation of trumpets, Gastoldi's Tutti venit'armati [track 4], the refrain of which could be doubled by the trumpets. Trumpets would have been playing again from great triumphal arches such as the Arch of Ferdinand in the Lange Nieuwstraat [track 5].
When the Cardinal-Infante entered the cathedral the city pipers may have been playing. We chose a solemn six-part motet by the famous composer Orlande de Lassus, who had published his first music books in Antwerp. His impressive O crux, splendidior cunctis astris, in two movements, is played here on cornetto, two alto bombardes, tenor trombone, tenor dulcian, and bass dulcian [track 6]. Inside the cathedral the pipers probably accompanied a vocal performance of Henrico Liberti's Te Deum laudamus, but that composition has been lost.
After his visit to the cathedral Ferdinand passed the Stage of Mercury with its triton-like beings on top, sounding conch shell horns. As I have argued in my article in the present volume, trumpets would have been most fitting for this stage, for instance Fantini's Rotta from his Entrata Imperiale [track 7].
When approaching St. Michael's Abbey, sacred music would have been appropriate. We chose the four-part Ave gratia plena by Cornelis Verdonck [track 8], who also had contributed music to the 1599 Entry of Albrecht and Isabella. Verdonck originally composed his Ave gratia plena in 1584 for an engraving of the Virgin and Child with Saint Anne by Johannes Sadeler after a design by Maarten de Vos, the first of a unique series of engravings with polyphonic music notation incorporated, the so-called Antwerp beeldmotetten ('picture-motets'). On this recording, the motet is played by the piper ensemble on cornetto, alto dulcian, tenor trombone, and bass dulcian, accompanied by a drum.
The last arch Ferdinand passed was the Arch at St. Michael's. Here trumpets would match the martial spirit of Rubens's decorations [track 9]. We chose a virtuoso sonata by Cesare Bendinelli. This Italian trumpeter, born in or near Verona, pursued an international career. He was a trombone player in Schwerin for several years, stayed in Vienna, and ended his carreer as chief court trumpeter in Munich (1580-1617). In 1614 Bendinelli presented his Tutta l'arte della Trombetta (The Complete Art of the Trumpet), the content of which he had collected from the best players of his day or written himself. In his book he elucidated the 16th-century practice of improvising over a second or 'sonata' part in a five-part trumpet ensemble. That more or less corresponds with the Antwerp group, which in the 1630's varied from four to six trumpeters.
II. Political songs for and against Ferdinand
In 1635 the Low Countries were still involved in the Eighty Years War, a civil war which resulted in the separation of the Low Countries into the Northern and the Southern Netherlands. During the Revolt the Northern provinces were succesful in founding an independent state, which within a few decades developed into an economic and military world force. Amsterdam became the richest of all Dutch cities, at the expense of Antwerp, which lost its harbour because the Dutch closed the river Scheldt and thus cut off the city from the sea. When Ferdinand made his Triumphal Entry into Antwerp, the city was suffering greatly because of this. The Antwerp inhabitants hoped that Ferdinand, who was the brother of the Spanish king, could bring new energy into the war and defeat the Dutch. The spectacular Entry prepared for him was in the first place an expression of that wish.
In the second part of this CD we follow Ferdinand's vicissitudes in the war against the Dutch during the years 1635 to 1638. Political songs were sung on - and against - both sides. The Dutch sang so-called Geuzen-songs or Beggar-songs, named after the Geuzen, the militant anti-Catholic and anti-Spanish party. The Flemish had their own songs against the Dutch. On this CD the northern songs are sung with a Dutch accent by the Leiden tenor Nico van der Meel (tracks 11, 13, 14), and the southern songs with a Flemish accent both by the tenor Bernard Loonen (tracks 10, 12), who spent part of his youth in Brussels, and by the Flemish folksinger Paul Rans (track 15).