Giuseppe SAMMARTINI, Concertos & Overtures Giuseppe Sammartini, Concertos & Overtures

During his own lifetime, Sammartini was considered to be one of the most talented composers of his generation. John Hawkins wrote in 1776: “His singularities can only be ascribed to that boldness and self-possession which are ever the concomitants of genius.” He ranked Sammartini’s concertos and overtures at the same level as those of Arcangelo Corelli and Francesco Geminiani – and even held them in higher esteem than Georg Frideric Handel’s. Yet, through an inexplicable twist of history, Sammartini has remained an unknown quantity for the general public. Les Muffatti have made a careful selection from among the plethora of Sammartini’s masterworks in order to fully reflect their quality. They hope that this world-premičre recording of works in Sammartini’s widely varying styles can do justice to this genius, and share the ensemble’s enthusiasm for this unjustly underrated composer.

les Muffatti  The Baroque orchestra LES MUFFATTI originated from the need felt by a group of young Brussels musicians to establish a professional working environment where the sheer basic pleasure of music-making, the refinement of skills, and the investigation of content could be equably combined. Their enthusiasm and idealism resonated with Baroque specialist Peter Van Heyghen, who joined the ensemble in 2004 as permanent coach and conductor. Ever since then they have performed numerous successful concerts together in Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy and Portugal, and have become often-seen guests at specialized festivals, such as the Musica Antiqua festival in Bruges, The Holland Early Music festival in Utrecht, the Musica Sacra festival in Maastricht, and the Tage Alter Music in Regensburg. Since 2007 they have been "ensemble in residence" at the Augustinus Music Centre (Amuz) in Antwerp, and since 2010 at the cultural centre De Bogaard in Sint-Truiden as well. The ensemble's name refers to the cosmopolitan composer Georg Muffat (1653-1704), a key figure in the birth of the orchestra, and one of the earliest writers to describe in detail the great differences between French and Italian musical performance practice. The central element of Les Muffatti's performance practice is their permanent endeavor to perfect a musical presence grafted to the inherent theatricality so elemental to Baroque art. In this they are driven by the conviction that this highly affective and rhetorical form of communication is not merely typical of the Baroque, but is essentially universal, and therefore timeless in character. A thorough knowledge of style, appropriate playing techniques and a carefully assembled instrumentarium are the tools which allow Les Muffatti to continually entertain, move and convince modern audiences with historic repertoire.

Peter Van Heyghen, direction
Benoît Laurent, oboe
Sophie Gent (concertino), Marie Haag, Catherine Meeùs, Laurent Hulsbosch, Madoka Nakamaru, Tuomo Suni (concertino), Marcin Lasia, Benedicte Verbeek, violins
Wendy Ruymen (concertino), Julie Vermeulen, violas
Marian Minnen (concertino), Corentin Dellicour, Ronan Kernoa, cellos
Benoît Vanden Bemden, double bass
Kris Verhelst, harpsichord
Bernard Zonderman, lute
Bart Aerbeydt, Michiel van der Linden, horns


The musical activities of Belgian Early Music specialist PETER VAN HEYGHEN are manifold. As a recorder player, he performs solo concerts, and tours with the chamber music ensemble More Maiorum and the recorder consort Mezzaluna, of both of which he is a founding member. As a conductor he is primarily active with the baroque orchestra Les Muffatti of which he is the artistic director. He also regularly conducts the baroque orchestras of the Brussels and The Hague conservatories and occasionally accepts invitations as a guest conductor by such orchestras as Les Agrémens, Wroclaw Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, or the Deutsche Händelsolisten. Until recently he was also active as a specialized singer of Renaissance music. He performed with ensembles such as Capilla Flamenca and Weser- Renaissance, and for a period of four years he was one of the artistic directors of the vocal ensemble Cappella Pratensis. As a researcher he has published a number of trail-blazing articles on the history and performance practice of the recorder. As a professor of historicallyinformed performance practice (Renaissance and Baroque) he teaches at the Early Music departments of the conservatories in Brussels and The Hague. In addition he is regularly invited to give lectures, teach masterclasses and lead workshops at conservatoriums and universities all over the world. As a researcher, conductor and teacher Peter Van Heyghen has been increasingly active in the field of the Baroque operatic repertoire, for which he closely collaborates with the Belgian stage-director and choreographer Sigrid T'Hooft. Together they have been leading, amongst others, the annual opera workshop at the Händel-Akademie in Karlsruhe since 2003, and in 2009-10 they formed the team of artistic directors of the highly successful production of Handel's opera Radamisto at the Badisches Staatstheater in Karlsruhe.

BENOÎT LAURENT studied recorder, modern oboe and baroque oboe in Belgium with Frédéric de Roos, Paul Dombrecht, Ann Vanlancker and Sylvain Cremers, before moving on to specialise on baroque oboe in Germany with Michael Niesemann. In 2008 he was awarded second prize at the prestigious competition Musica Antiqua in Bruges, in the soloist category. He is currently Professor for baroque oboe at the Hochschule für Musik in Frankfurt, and also teaches at the Conservatoire Royal in Brussels. Benoît performs orchestral and chamber music with many renowned period instrument ensembles, such as Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, Collegium Vocale, B'Rock and Il Gardellino. As a concerto soloist he has appeared with Concerto Köln, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Les Agrémens, Les Muffatti, and La Stagione Frankfurt, among others. He recently recorded Ludwig August Lebrun's C major Oboe Concerto with Les Agrémens, and – with his own ensemble Lingua Franca – a CD of German oboe-band music for the Ricercar label.

Concerto grosso 1.Spiritoso
for strings and basso continuo 2. Allegro Assai
in A major Op. 2/1 3. Andante
4. Allegro
Concerto grosso 5. Allegro
for strings and basso continuo 6. Andantino, e Cantabile
in A minor Op. 5/4 7. Allegro Moderato
  8. Minuet Gratioso
Concerto for oboe, 9. Allegro
strings and basso continuo 10. Andante
in C major (S-Skma Xe-R 166:30) 11. Allegro Assai
Overture 12. Allegro
for strings and basso continuo 13. Andante Sostenuto
in F major Op. 10/7 14. Minuet – 2do Minuet
Concerto for oboe, 15. Andante Sostenuto
strings and basso continuo 16. Allegro Assai
in G minor Op. 8/5 17. Andante Sostenuto
Overture 18. Spiritoso
for strings and basso continuo 19. Allegro
in D major Op. 10/4 20. Andante
  21. Allegro Grazioso
Concerto grosso 22. Andante Sostenuto
for strings and basso continuo 23. Tempo Giusto – Sostenuto
in E minor Op. 11/5 24. Andante
  25. Allegro
Overture 26. Allegro Assai
for two horns, strings and basso continuo 27. Andante
in G major Op. 7/6 28. Minuetto Allegro – [2do Minuet]