• Mal Etre - "Torment" CD out now

    20 Jul 2010, 14:22 by Nocturnalpriest

    Mal Etre - Torment

    Pro cd edition made by Kunsthauch, limitation 500: http://kunsthauch.com
    Available at Gravity Entertainment's webshop: http://www.gravity-entertainment.ch/onlineshop/catalog/index.php

    Logo by Lisa, cover photograph by my priestess Voiledenuit.

    Check it out if:

    - you're looking for atmospheric black metal with depressive tones, some dark rock, doom and ambient elements.

    - you like "emotional" music, not too "professional" sounding, and you don't bother if it's not a "technical" release.

    - you're looking for dark music to make things that are not permitted by the laws we all love...

    Don't check it out if:

    - you listen to dream theater
    - you are afraid of tattoos, sodomy and drugs
    - you have a band, you play covers and never composed anything in your life
    - you are going to make a review after one listen and you download more music than it's possible for your useless brain to assimilate.
  • Malvoisie: downloads part I - "Sombre Plénitude"

    18 Mar 2010, 22:03 by Nocturnalpriest

    We've decided to spread the disease widely before it's too late, beginning with Malvoisie's first demo, "Sombre Plénitude".


    (copy this link in a new window if it doesn't work)

    More to come soon.
  • Malvoisie - Black Cult

    23 Jan 2010, 09:16 by Nocturnalpriest

    Malvoisie's new release, "black cult", is available now on infernal kommando records.


    tape limited to 250 copies.
  • "Mal Etre" Downloads part II: "Malaise Dominical"

    14 Dec 2008, 11:55 by Nocturnalpriest

    "Malaise Dominical" is Mal Etre's first recordings ever (beginning of year 2007). The name of the demo refers to the sensations of isolation you can feel on black sundays. This is hangover music, with a hostile production. I recommend it to people who like raw black/industrial/noisy shit.

  • "Mal Etre" Downloads part I: "In Girum Imus Nocte Et Consumimur Igni"

    4 Oct 2008, 09:21 by Nocturnalpriest

    Here is a link to download the demo "In Girum Imus Nocte Et Consumimur Igni":


    This demo was recorded during year 2007 (Mal Etre was born in march).
  • Giovanni Buonaventura Viviani

    20 Apr 2008, 17:56 by Epitymbidia

    Giovanni Buonaventura Viviani, sometimes referred to as Giovanni Bonaventura Viviani (or even Gio Bonaventura Viviani), was born in Florence in 1638. As of the age of 18, he occupied a position as violinist at the court of Innsbruck, due, in all likelihood, to the instigation of a member of his family, Antonio Maria Viviani, who had been there quite some time, serving as chaplan, organist, secretary and even librettist, and had been ennobled in 1654 by Archduke Ferdinand Karl. Among other duties, the young violinist participated in the musical accompaniment of German comedies and carnival cortèges. Like most of his Italian colleagues, he was let go in 1663 by Sigismund Franz, the new archduke.

    As Sigismund Franz left no heir, the Tyrolean branch of the Habsburgs died out in 1665, and the country reverted to Emperor Leopold I. We do not know hwere Viviani lived for the next nine years, but in 1672, he made a triumphal return to Innsbruck, where the emperor had just appointed him Kapellmeister to the court. He was in charge of the music for Anna de' Medici, widow of Ferdinand Karl, and her daughter Claudia Felicitas; but both left to settle in Vienna the following year, as Claduia Felicitas was betrothed to the emperor. It was also in 1673 that Viviani had his opus 1, twelve sonatas for two violins, bass viol and basso cantinuo, published in Venice, a great centre of musical publishing. He then turned to Augsburg, the piblishing centre of Southern Germany, where, in 1676, he brought out his Motets, opus 3 and Sonatas for Solo Violin, opus 4. At the end of the month of May be it before or after this publication, he resigned from his functions in Innsbruck, after having barely served for four years: in the absence of a court, this Court Kapellmeister could hardly flourish.

    Giovanni Antonio Pandolfi Mealli's twelve "Sonate a Violino solo, per chiesa e camera", opus 3 and 4, published by Viviani's chapel colleague in Innsbruck in 1660, apparently had a powerful influence on the young violinist that he was at that time. Although the larger-scale works he would write later for the same formation and with an equivalent title do not feature quite the extravagance of their models, some of them also show such alternation pf melodious and virtuoso passages. On the other hand his works seem to attest to an "Austro-German" influence, so to speak: in particular, they are reminescent of Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, who held a postion in Salzburg, not far from Innsbruck, or else Johann Heinrich Schmelzer, assistant-master of the Imperial Chapel, and Johann Jakob Rosenmüller, who practised and published in Venice. It is precisely through this form of the sonata da camera that Viviani seems to have played an intermediary role between the violin sonata of Northern Europe and Arcangelo Corelli: the latter, after playing in Rome under the composers direction the same year these sonatas were published there, would, in turn, begin his suites of dances with a free introduction, a practice therefore non-existant in Italy...

    Everything leads us to believe that Viviani went to Venice, where his opera "Astiage" and his arrangement of Francesco Cavalli's "Scipione Affricano" (1664) were staged in the course of the winter on 1677/78. It was during this stay in the City of the Doges that he had his opus 4 violin sonatas, initialy published in Augsburg, reprinted. Then he continued on to Rome where, during the Lenten season of 1678, he directed a Latin oratorio most likely from his own pen. The performance, intended for the great Brotherhodd of the Oratorio des Santissimo Crocifisso, took place in the Curch of San Marcello. Vkiviani was paid 10 scudi; Bernardo Pasquini, the organist, received 1.50 scudi, and Corelli - who was going to become the illustrious musician we are familiar with - had to settle for one scudo. Engaged for the 1768/79 season as musical director at the Teatro San Bartilomeo in Naples, he was unable to honour the comission of a new oratorio for 1679. At the same time, a Roman publisher took back a certain number of copies of the Augsburg edition of the opus 4 sonatas to offer them for sale. As for the composer, he was ennobled like his relative.

    Flushed with their success in Naples, his troupe had to continue the season aster Easter and even ensure the following season until the impresario of the theatre was forced to flee his creditors. It is probable that Viviani then made his way to Milan, a city that also belong to Spain, where "Astiage", his popular opera, was staged again. He did not return to Naples until 1681, when he was again appointed musical director of a lyric theatre, but this time it was the Theatro dei Fiorentini, his previous house having been destroyed by fire. A new opera of his, given at the royal palace in the presence of the viceroy, was also a success. 1682 saw the creation of two oratories, and the revival of "Astiage" at the Teatro San Bartolomeo, which meanwhile had reopened.

    After losing trace of him, we do not meet up with Viviani again until 1686, this time in Calabria, where he is maestro di capella to Prince de Bisignano, for whom he wrote a new opera. However, baraly six motnhs later (at the beginning of 1687), he returned to his native Tuscany, having been appointed maestro di capella at the cathedral of Pistoia, a position from which he resigned in 1692 following the performance of an oratorio in Florence. Meanwhile, several sacred and secular vocal works were published in Bologna and Florence under opus numbers 5-7. The publication, in 1693, of "Solfeggiamenti", singing exercises for two voices, is the last element we know about the agitated life of this little violinist who had become a Kapellmeister to the court, the opera and the Church, and who composed in nearly all the musical genres of his time, creating one of the most important works for solo violin in the 17th century.
  • C. Z. A. Monteverdi - Music as the true language of love...

    18 Apr 2008, 22:14 by Epitymbidia

    Among the eight madrigal books published by Claudio Monteverdi between 1587 and 1638, the last collection occupies a very special place. This collection, printed when the madrigal art - generally in five voices - which undisputably reigned during at least one century over Italy and also north of the Alps, had finally given up its prominent position in the benefit of lighter genres such as duets and cantatas, seems to be a farewell to the past; with its innovative phrasing entirely based on philosophical views, it clears the ground for a musical language focusing on emotions which was to put its stamp on musical creation for a very long time.
    It pays tribute for the last time to the magnificent Italian literature while already reflecting through somptuous and imposing compositions the musical taste of the Viennese Imperial court.

    This eighth book is dedicated to the Emperor, even if given its troubled genesis we still don't know to which Emperor exactly. Monteverdi intended at first to dedicate his madrigal collection to Emperor Ferdinand II., Leader of the Catholic League during the Thirty Years' War. When this monarch died in 1637, as the work was still in press, his son succeeded him as Ferdinand III. Consequently Monteverdi changed his previous dedication, putting as explained in his foreword "to the son's feet a present initially meant for the father".
    Many compositions are dedicated to Ferdinand II. or Ferdinand III.: this approach illustrates the composer's views both at musical and philosophical level.

    Monteverdi entitled his eighth madrigal book "Madrigali Guerrieri et Amorosi" - "War and Love Madrigals" - and wrote beside his dedication a foreword explaining his artistical views. According to him, anger, reserve and humility are the main emotions of human soul which the composer must express by a now violent, now restraint, now flowing writing. Many expressive means already existed which aimed to imitate reserve and humility. After thouroughly studying the Ancients' philosophy and also classic metrics, Monteverdi created a specific musical language.
    He invented - in addition to the two musical styles of the "genere temperato" and the "genere molle" - the "genere concitato", to express anger. He considered this content as nearly identical to the "genere de guerra" already widely used to illustrate war themes.

    But Monteverdi also used this new style for less obvious purposes than a clear homage to a wa leader. In the two parted madrigal composed on a sonnet written by Petrarch "Hor che'l ciel, e la terra e'l vento tace" he illustrates the despaired atmosphere (described as a "war full of rage and pain") of the lyric theme whose inner fever violently contrasts with the serenity of the evening nature. With stylistical approaches such as this he probably intended to illustrate in his madrigals the three steps of emotion - in this example the "genere molle" in the slow and soft repetitions of the beginning, the "genere concitato" by the term "guerra" and finally the "genere temperato" at the end of the second part when the melody unfolds.
    In "Gira il nemico insidioso amore", a work in six parts for one to three voices which is said to be impossible to classify, Monteverdi plays in a both fine and witty way with the concept of "genere concitato". The enemy to fight before he wins an absolute victory is the god of love, who conquers the fortress of the heart with his fatal arrows...

    In his work, Monteverdi found in the emotional field a new musical expression, creating a relationship between voice and instruments which refers composers to a long range of noble examples:

    Music as the true language of love.
  • A. Grandi - The "inventor" of the cantata

    16 Apr 2008, 05:38 by Epitymbidia

    Alessandro Grandi (1586 – 1630), who might have been a pupil of Giovanni Gabrieli (although there're certain facts against this assumption, for example that there is no influence of this composer in Grandi's work, whereas there's clearly an influence of Giovanni Croce to be heard in his early works), spent the initial part of his musical career singing (falsetto soprano) and directing music at establishments in Ferrara, culminating in his appointment as director of music at Ferrara cathedral in 1616. In 1617 he moved to Venice and became a singer, under the direction of Claudio Monteverdi, at St. Mark's, going on to become Monteverdi's deputy in 1620. He and Monteverdi are reputed to have been in open rivalry and Monteverdi is supposed to have prevented Grandi from presenting large-scale works of his own. Grandi seems to have made a virtue of necessity and produced a ravishing string of solo motets and concerti spirituali. In 1627 he moved on to become director of music in Bergamo. He published 11 volumes of motets, many of them very popular, 3 volumes of psalms and 5 masses. His motets with symphonies, involving obbligato violins, had an influence on Heinrich Schütz.

    In the 1620's sacred music underwent a significant change, out went the polychoral techniques of the Gabrielis and in came the new concerted style. A more intimate style with a few solo voices and instruments, with a greater emphasis on virtuosity. Monteverdi used this style in his later church music, but it was fully developed by his colleagues and followers such as Alessandro Grandi.

    Grandi had an advantage over colleagues such as Monteverdi and Gabrieli in that he was a singer. His art revolves around the expression of the text, using the music to bring out the prosody of the words. His earliest motets were published in 1610 and they are admirably lacking in youthful inexperience. "O quam pulchra es" uses three voices in an almost madrigalian setting of words from the Song of Songs.

    Grandi's works crop up in the catalogue mainly in surveys of Monteverdi's contemporaries. Despite his importance in early 17th century Italian music, record companies have mainly cast him in Monteverdi's shadow although Grandi had great melodic gifts and good ear for dramatic presentation of his texts. A singer himself, his vocal lines are always effective and grateful.
  • Sanatorium Altrosa (Musical Therapy for spiritual Dysfunction)

    6 Mar 2008, 00:54 by Epitymbidia

    After such a short period of time since "Les Fleurs du Mal - Die Blumen des Bösen", the last work of Sopor Aeternus & The Ensemble of Shadows, was released, Anna-Varney Cantodea comes out with the very promising sister-release:

    "Sanatorium Altrosa (Musical Therapy for spiritual Dysfunction)"

    01) Consider this: the true Meaning of Love (instr.)
    02) Architecture II
    03) Shave, if you love me (remix)
    04) La Mort d'Arthur (instr.)
    05) Consider this (orig. version)
    06) The Conqueror Worm II (instr.)
    07) In der Palästra (instr.)
    08) Collision
    09) Les Fleurs du Mal (instr.)
    10) Bitter Sweet (instr.)
    11) Consider this: the true Meaning of Love

    The date of release of the strictly limited collectors' edition (only 999 copies) - featuring as usual (among some little "gifts") a hardcover book (52-pages) with exclusive photos and lyrics, the album as CD, as a 2x 12" coloured vinyl version and the "nostalgia" tape edition of the two sister-CDs - shall be April 30st.

  • G. A. Frescobaldi - Linking Renaissance and Baroque

    5 Mar 2008, 13:52 by Epitymbidia

    Girolamo Frescobaldi was born into a fairly well-to-do family in Ferrara, but his general education seems to have been sketchy. One contemporary classed him among those who are "so ignorant in letters that they scarcely know how to write their own names" (and certainly those writings of his that have survived are full of idiosyncrytic spelling and syntax); and another, who called him "a very common man", accused him not merely of faulty word-setting in his vocal music but but of not even understanding any unusual words. It was a very different matter when it came to his talents as a performer, which commanded universal admiration. He was called "the prodigy of his time": one musician wrote that "for organ and cembalo he carries off all the honours, both in his skill and in the agility of his hands," and another commented that he had "found a new style of playing, especially on the harpsichord," adding that "today anyone not playing in this style is hardly to be considered." As a composer, Frescobaldi exercised great influence, especially through his pupil Johann Jakob Froberger (who left his post at the Imperial court in Vienna for over three years in order to study with him): Johann Sebastian Bach as a young man attempted to copy his style.

    Frescobaldi's importance lay particularly in his development of keyboard music, in which sphere his contribution was equalled at the time only by
    Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck in Amsterdam and John Bull in London and Antwerp: he represents a link between the contrapuntal disciplines of the late Renaissance and the freer, more decorative flights of the Baroque, often with bold usage of dissonance (in which he was influenced by Carlo Gesualdo, who had spent sometime in Ferrara, and by other Neapolitan composers), and in particular displaying a talent for improvisatory figurations and for variation technique (of which Antonio de Cabezón had been the father-figure). He also gave unusually precise and practical directions for the performance of his works: players were encouraged to "discover the right affective expression of each passage" and to feel free to alter speeds within a piece as the character of the music changed (as was the custom in contemporary madrigal singing), to begin toccatas slowly so as to increase the brilliance of later, faster sections, to slow down towards cadences and make pauses between sections.