Sunday, June 17, 2018
Libro Primo ''Fantastica Incantata''
Improvisation has played a minor role in European classical music, but it’s the basis for seventeenth-century works composed in the Stylus Phantasticus genre—the so-called fantastic style that gets its name from the flights of fancy that it both imitates and elicits. “Fantasia Incantata” (Veterum Musica), a new album by the Ensemble Libro Primo—a duo consisting of Sabine Stoffer, who plays a seventeenth-century German violin, and Alex McCartney, who plays theorbo (a long-necked, deep-voiced lute)—is devoted to compositions in this mode, all written between 1626 and 1678. These works are meant to sound as impulsive as improvisations, while also allowing their performers free rein in expression, ornamentation, and counterpoint—an opportunity that Stoffer and McCartney seize with fervor..