Splendore di Roma (2003)

Kapsberger, Michi, Mazzocchi, Landi, Rossi

Johannette Zomer, Fred Jacobs

During the pontificate of Urban VIII (1623-1644), the arts in Rome enjoyed a period of unprecedented splendor. In the context of the Counterreformation, they were part of the propaganda arsenal of papal might. The architecture of Bernini and Borromini, as well as the musiche of Mazzocchi and Rossi, echoing in the private apartments of the cardinals and the accademie, where the elite of Rome congregated to enjoy music and poetry, bear witness to this trend.

The texts set in this music were often deliberately vague as to whether their content was secular or religious. The primary intent was to express of the power of the words and their affect, by using the richest possible harmonic support. Composers like Landi and Michi both sang and accompanied themselves; the instruments which were considered most suitable for this purpose were the theorbo and the harp, which could accommodate to the voice at nearly every dynamic level. Mazzocchi, in his compositions, even provides indications of changes to tempo and dynamics. He sometimes gives the accompaniment an independent part in order to emphasize the text.

For example, in ‘Spoglie’, the theorbo follows the text "passerà l'ombra mia la ripa avara" in a literally shadow-like way. The most important virtuoso theorbo player of 17th century Rome was Johann Hieronymus Kapsberger, Il Tedesco della Tiorba (the German Theorbist). In addition to solo compositions for theorbo and lute, his publications include collections of motets, villanelle, and ‘arie’, some of which have a fully written-out accompaniment in tablature, such as ‘Già risi’, recorded on this cd.....

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Johannette Zomer

After several years as a microbiologist, Dutch SopranoJohannette Zomer trained at the Sweelink Conservatorium,Amsterdam with Charles van Tassel. She currently studieswith Diane Forlano.Johannette made her opera debut as Tebaldo in Don Carlowith the Nationale Reisopera and has gone on to sing Belinda– Dido & Aeneas, La Musica & Euridice – L’Orfeo,Gassman’s Opera – Seria, Dalinda – Ariodante, Ilia – Idomeneo,Pamina – Die Zauberflöte and Amanda – Le GrandeMacabre for the company. She has also sung Oberto in Alcinaat the Komische Oper. On the concert platform she has aenviable reputation as a baroque specialist working with manyof the top conductors in the field such as Ton Koopman,Frans Bru?ggen, René Jacobs, Reinhardt Goebel and PaulMcCreesh as well as collaborating for 20th century and contemporaryrepertoire with Kent Nagano, Daniel Harding,Valery Gergiev, Reinbert de Leeuw and Peter Eötvös. Herrecent engagements have included Bach B Minor Mass with the Tonhalle Orchestra/Bru?ggen, and Euridice in Gluck’s Orfeo with the Bamberger Symfoniker/Christian Zacharias.She regularly gives recitals with fortepianist Arthur Schoonderwoerd with whom she has recordedSchubert Songs for Alpha Records and is a member of the early music ensembles Compania Vocale andAntequera with whom she sings Neapolitan and Spanish baroque repertoire and medieval Cantigas.Johannette’s recent and future plans include projects of Handel and Frank Martin with the RiasKammerchor/Daniel Reuss; Bach and Buxtehude with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra/Koopman,Handel with Collegium Vocale, Gent and Gluck and Buxtehude with The Netherlands Bach Soc

Fred Jacobs

Fred Jacobs studied lute and theorbo with Anthony Bailes at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam. In 1985 he co-founded The Locke Consort,  acknowledged for their interpretations and praised for their recordings of 17th Century English chamber music. He is a member of the Gabrieli Consort and Players, The Parley of Instruments, the Baroque Orchestra of the Netherlands Bachsociety and the Monteverdi Continuo-ensemble of the Bavarian State Opera, where he has performed in all Monteverdi and Cavalli productions since 1997.

Fred Jacobs is a regular accompanist of many distinguished singers, such as soprano Anne Azéma, countertenor Michael Chance and baritone Maarten Koningsberger. With the Dutch soprano Johannette Zomer he has been recording a series of programmes devoted to 17th Century monody for which his research has unveiled many hidden treasures.

Over the years Fred Jacobs has been a guest at the major early music festivals in Europe and the United States. He performs in opera productions in London, Paris, Munich, Amsterdam and Florence. Fred Jacobs has worked with many conductors such as Gustav Leonhardt, Frans Brüggen,Ton Koopman, Ivor Bolton, Andrew Parrot, Marc Minkowski and Richard Egarr. With soprano Emma Kirkby, contralto Carolyn Watkinson, and baritone Maarten Koningsberger he gives workshops on the English lute song and on French ‘Air de Cour’.

Since 1995 Fred Jacobs teaches lute and theorbo at the Amsterdam Conservatory.

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Splendore di Roma (2003)

Kapsberger, Michi, Mazzocchi, Landi, Rossi

Johannette Zomer, Fred Jacobs


Met haar kraakheldere stem weet Johannette Zomer op een natuurlijke, haast vanzelfsprekende wijze een scala van gevoelens verbeelden. Jacobs zorgt voor een dynamische, vloeiende begeleiding en is ook in de composities voor theorbe zeer overtuigend. (…)


Excellent aufgenommen!! Ungewohnlich plastisch ubd präsent wird die Theorbe afgebildet, und Johannette Zomer scheint beinahe vor einem zu stehen. Dieser intime Charakter der Lieder wird auch musikalisch getroffen, das perfekt aufeinder eingestellte und miteinander spielende Team findet genau die richtige Balance zwischen der Vermittlung der Stimmung und virtuoser Verziering.

    de Gelderlander

delicate kleinoden uit het erfgoed van de Eeuwige Stad (…) (…) de sopraan Johannette Zomer klaagt en behaagt, prikkelt en verleidt met de muziek van onbekende meesters uit de barok die in hun korte werkjes een breed scala aan vocale emoties ten tonele voeren (…)


de meest gevierde sopraan uit de garde van jonge zangers (…) (…) geweldige feeling voor dit Barokke repertoire (…) (…) in elk lied heeft haar stem weer een nieuwe toepasselijke kleur en stemming (…) (…) aandachtig en gevoelvol theorbe-spel van Fred Jacobs (…)

    International Record Review

Jacobs and Zomer work wonderfully together. Zomer’s natural and unforced soprano rings out true and clear, with vibrato just one of many devices in her expressive quiver. (…) (…) Jacobs put his faith in the simplest colours and textures (…) Very intimate and very lovely. More soon, please, from this perfect partnership. the recording is exceptionally full and detailed, and audiophiles may be interested to know that this disc is also available in SACD format.

    Classics Today

Jacobs is one of the world’s masters of theorbo (…) (…) The interaction between Zomer and Jacobs is finely tuned and unquestionably comes from a uniform interpretive point of view. (…) (…) you won’t be disappointed by the excellent sound, which gives vivid life to the theorbo selections and perfectly balances voice and instrument in an intimate acoustic setting.

Splendore di Roma (2003)

Kapsberger, Michi, Mazzocchi, Landi, Rossi

Johannette Zomer, Fred Jacobs

Cables: van den Hul T3 series
Digital Converters: DCS A/D DSD / DCS DA
Mastering Engineer: Jared Sacks
Mastering Equipment: B&W 803 diamond series
Microphones: Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mixing Board: Rens Heijnis custom design
Producer: Jared Sacks
Recording Engineer: Jared Sacks
Recording location: Doopgezinde Kerk, Deventer, The Netherlands 2003
Recording Software: Pyramix bij Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64
Speakers: Audiolab, Holland

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19903: Splendore di Roma
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Dove mi lasci
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Gia risi del mio mal
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Cinta di rose
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Pargoletto son io
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Toccata III
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Su l'oriente
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Empio cor, core ingrato
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Fin dal monte Sion
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Spoglie che fosti (Didone)
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Voi, voi rubaste il core
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Canzone I
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Leggiadra rosa
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Non si scherzi con amore
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Toccata II
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Or che la notte del silenzio amica
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Disperati che aspetti piu
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Addio, perfida, addio
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