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American Record Guide: (03/2021) 
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Code-barres / Barcode : 3760135103126


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Reviewer: Peter Loewen

This is a charming recording of a little-known repertory that demonstra-tes the influence of Italians and Italian music in 17th-Century Hungary. The name Il Transilvano is from a treatise by Girolamo Diruta (Venice, 1593) dedicated to the Prince of Transylvania, Sigismund Bathory. The bulk of the program, though, comes from a 17th Century collection known as the Codex Caioni, consisting of Italian and German music with Hungarian and Romanian folk music.


The ‘Sonata Sopra La Monica’ by Biagio Marini (1594-1663) gives Franciska Hajdu (violin) and Elisabeth Champollion (recorder) the opportunity to show off their technical skills in this variation of the well-known song ‘La Monica’. Works of Hungarian origin are interlaced with Italian pieces, but they dominate in the second half. Giovanni Picchi’s Intavolatura di Bali d’Arpicordo (Venice 1618-20) is the source for three Hungarian Dances—’Ballo Ongaro’, ‘Paduana ditta la Ongara’, and ‘Gagliarda Ditta la Ongara’. They consist of simple melodies of Hunga-rian origin arranged by the Prisma nsemble over simple harmonic foundation. The two vocal works are a revelation. For ‘Angoli Borbala’, sung by Hajdu, the ensemble created a rustic ambience with bird songs in the background. The song was collected by Zoltan Kodaly. This a beautiful, though desperately sad, song about a young pregnant girl who suffers and dies through her mother’s maltreatment. The 7/8 meter gives the music an exotic character. The song begins in a slow, meditative tempo and then takes on a fast tempo. Here, with recorder divisions and drone-like playing in the violin, the song conveys a whirling, hypnotic effect.

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