The ensemble LA GIOIA ARMONICA was founded by Austrian dulcimer-player Margit Übellacker and German organist and singer Jürgen Banholzer. One of the ensemble's objectives is to explore the baroque repertoire for dulcimer, in particular in connection with the legendary pantaleon. The size of the group varies from dulcimer-organ duet to large chamber-music settings. The musicians are all specialised in historically-informed performance practices, and combine broad experience drawn from their involvement in various international ensembles.
The revival of Spanish music of the Baroque period continues moving forward into the Classical era with this premiere recording of sonatas for "violin y bajo" – violin and bass – by Juan de Ledesma. The sonatas were rediscovered only in the late 1980s, and they're very elegantly presented here in a package adorned by a reproduction of a marvelous French fan of the period. There isn't anything of earthshaking importance among the five sonatas on the disc, but they're attractive pieces with some challenges for the violinist, and both players of the instruments and those with collections of Spanish music will find the release of interest. The booklet notes by violinist Blai Justo (in English, French, and German, with Spanish and Catalan additionally available online) point to Corelli's influence, but also note the presence of the galant style of the period, and it is the latter sound, with its atmosphere of charm and its relaxed procession of contrasting two-measure phrases, that predominates. The players do well to avoid a harpsichord accompaniment, using either a combination of cello and guitar or one or the other instrument alone.
“Brilliant singer … a lean, straightforward voice animated by a subtle flatée … real ‘vocal artistry’,” raved German early music expert Bernhard Morbach of Kulturradio Berlin Brandenburg about Amaryllis Dieltiens’ debut on AEOLUS in 2011. With her own ensemble Capriola Di Gioia, Dieltiens now presents a deeply touching Stabat mater in Boccherini’s original version from 1781.