Routes du Cafe

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: Nicolas Bernier, Kathleen Kajioka, Tanburi Cemil Bey, Johann Sebastian Bach, Nayi Osman Dede, Matthew Locke, Marin Marais

Genre:

Vocal

Label: Alpha

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: ALPHA543

ALPHA543. Routes du Cafe

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Le caffé Olivier Fortin
Evgenios Voulgaris
Nicolas Bernier Composer
Reinoud van Mechelen
Pierre Rigopoulos
Hana Blazikovà
Ensemble Masques
Adrien Espinouze
Lisandro Abadie
Wahda sarabande Lisandro Abadie
Reinoud van Mechelen
Adrien Espinouze
Pierre Rigopoulos
Evgenios Voulgaris
Olivier Fortin
Kathleen Kajioka Composer
Hana Blazikovà
Ensemble Masques
Taksim & Mahur peşrev Olivier Fortin
Lisandro Abadie
Hana Blazikovà
Pierre Rigopoulos
Tanburi Cemil Bey Composer
Evgenios Voulgaris
Reinoud van Mechelen
Ensemble Masques
Adrien Espinouze
Taksim kaman Adrien Espinouze
Olivier Fortin
Kathleen Kajioka Composer
Lisandro Abadie
Hana Blazikovà
Reinoud van Mechelen
Evgenios Voulgaris
Ensemble Masques
Pierre Rigopoulos
Cantata No. 211, 'Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht' (Coffee Cantata) Hana Blazikovà
Evgenios Voulgaris
Lisandro Abadie
Reinoud van Mechelen
Ensemble Masques
Johann Sebastian Bach Composer
Pierre Rigopoulos
Adrien Espinouze
Olivier Fortin
Taksim ney Hana Blazikovà
Reinoud van Mechelen
Ensemble Masques
Pierre Rigopoulos
Lisandro Abadie
Adrien Espinouze
Nayi Osman Dede Composer
Olivier Fortin
Evgenios Voulgaris
Rast dilârâ saz semâî Hana Blazikovà
Reinoud van Mechelen
Lisandro Abadie
Evgenios Voulgaris
Adrien Espinouze
Nayi Osman Dede Composer
Ensemble Masques
Olivier Fortin
Pierre Rigopoulos
Rast dilârâ peşrev Olivier Fortin
Lisandro Abadie
Ensemble Masques
Nayi Osman Dede Composer
Adrien Espinouze
Evgenios Voulgaris
Reinoud van Mechelen
Hana Blazikovà
Pierre Rigopoulos
Taksim oud Evgenios Voulgaris
Olivier Fortin
Adrien Espinouze
Pierre Rigopoulos
Nayi Osman Dede Composer
Reinoud van Mechelen
Ensemble Masques
Hana Blazikovà
Lisandro Abadie
Fantasia in D minor Reinoud van Mechelen
Ensemble Masques
Matthew Locke Composer
Lisandro Abadie
Pierre Rigopoulos
Evgenios Voulgaris
Hana Blazikovà
Olivier Fortin
Adrien Espinouze
Saillie du caffé Ensemble Masques
Evgenios Voulgaris
Adrien Espinouze
Pierre Rigopoulos
Olivier Fortin
Lisandro Abadie
Marin Marais Composer
Reinoud van Mechelen
Hana Blazikovà
If one searches for Zimmermannsche Kaffeehaus online, up comes its location in Katharinenstrasse, Leipzig, the map helpfully annotated with the red note ‘permanently closed’. That would be because the coffee house frequented by Johann Sebastian Bach was bombed in an Allied air raid in 1943. Although a fine Baroque ensemble now bears the name Café Zimmermann, I’m surprised no enterprising soul has sought to resurrect the building itself.

Coffee was all the rage in Europe by the time Bach was composing, strengthening its caffeinated grip across the continent ever since the mid-16th century, when the first cafés appeared in Constantinople. It reached Germany in 1670. In Leipzig, Gottfried Zimmermann opened his café in 1715, putting on concerts on Friday evenings to drive trade. Almost certainly written for Zimmermann’s, Bach’s Coffee Cantata (1735) takes the form of an argument between a daughter and her father, who tries to get her to kick the coffee-drinking habit.

However, Bach’s secular cantata had a notable French forebear in Nicolas Bernier’s Le caffé, which extols the heady virtues of the drink, to a libretto by Louis Fuzelier. These two works form the backbone of this fabulous new disc from Olivier Fortin and Ensemble Masques, a paean to coffee given Turkish context by sensuously interleaving them with music from the Ottoman Empire. This includes works by Nâyî Osman Dede and improvisations on the ney flute, yaylı tanbur and kaman. It reminds me a little of the cross-genre collaboration between Concerto Köln and Sarband (‘Dream of the Orient’ – Archiv, 10/04), if minus its exuberant janissary percussion.

The playing of Ensemble Masques is suitably lip-smacking, Anna Besson’s flute nicely in the foreground sharing the limelight with Hana BlaŽíková’s pert soprano in Bernier’s frothy cantata. The ‘Air gay’, which praises coffee’s properties as hangover cure, proves particularly delicious. BlaŽíková is also the stubborn daughter in Bach’s barista gig, to Lisandro Abadie’s grumpy father. ‘Ah, how sweet the taste of coffee’, she sings, ‘better than a thousand kisses’. It’s a persuasive argument.

The Turkish numbers percolate vivid oriental colour, closely recorded to aid the impression you’re tucked up in an intimate coffee house somewhere, whether in Constantinople, Leipzig or Paris. Or, indeed, in London, for we take a small musical detour to The Turk’s Head – otherwise known as ‘Miles’ Coffee House’ – in Westminster, where Samuel Pepys met Matthew Locke, hence the latter’s Fantasia in D minor.

Imaginatively programmed, beautifully played and recorded, this is disc is as delightful as a cup of the black gold itself.

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