The Italian word "trombone," in fact, originally meant sackbut. They play other early brass instruments besides the sackbut, here including the cornett and early trumpet. The Ludi Musici of Samuel Scheidt , composed in , is right up their alley; here they perform 17 of the 32 short dances and canzonas included in that set of light music intended for the establishment of the Archbishop of Magdeburg. Scheidt , as annotator Jean-Pierre Canihac points out, specified the use of viols, trombones, bassoons, and optional cornetts in the Ludi Musici. It might have been nice to hear from the group as to why it opted for an ensemble that was more homogeneous than the one Scheidt suggested -- the brasses of Les Sacqueboutiers are only lightly accompanied by theorbo or guitar, organ, and percussion, and there are passages where a string section would have enlivened antiphonal effects in the music.
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In he took time off to study with Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck in Amsterdam. By the end of he was back in Halle as court organist to the new administrator, Margrave Christian Wilhelm of Brandenburg, There Scheidt was responsible for playing the organ during services and providing secular keyboard music. In late or early he was appointed court Kapellmeister, retaining his position as organist. From to Scheidt enlarged the court musical establishment to ten instrumentalists and five vocal soloists and published a collection of motets Cantiones sacrae, ; three volumes of instrumental ensemble music Ludi musici, , , ; one volume of large-scale vocal concertos Concertus sacri, ; and the most important collection of his keyboard music, the 3-volume Tabulatura nova It was also during this period that Scheidt gained a reputation as an expert in organ construction; throughout his life he was often called upon to inspect new instruments.
He lost this post in as the result of a dispute with Christian Gueinz, Rektor of the Gymnasium. In the plague hit Halle , claiming the lives of his four surviving children. Peace returned to Halle in , and Scheidt fully resumed his position as court Kapellmeister. In he offered to Duke August of Brunswick a collection of more than sacred madrigals for 5 voices now lost and a number of instrumental sinfonias designed as Preludes to vocal music.
His three volumes of Tabulatura nova are a monumental compendium of song and dance arrangements, sets of variations, fantasias, toccatas, fugues and liturgical pieces often plainsong-based for the Lutheran Mass and Office.
Likewise his four books of Geistliche Konzerte illustrate the ways of elaborating a chorale, fusing declamatory ideas with contrapuntal writing. He also published motets and instrumental dance music.
Ludi Musici I (Grayson, Martin)
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