“For me, it was important to bring together composers who express the European idea, whether because of their origins, their education, the journeys they made or the way they moved around to different locations in the course of their careers” – Ludwig Güttler
That is the idea behind the new album from the trumpeter and conductor Ludwig Güttler. On the face of it, the motive for the album is Christmas, the festive season, but Ludwig Güttler wishes to reference something more fundamental. The title says it all: “Europa Cantat – Europe sings”: on this edition, he brings together composers from all over Europe in such a way as to demonstrate their common ground, both from a musical and textual point of view.
This musical journey through eras and regions of Europe begins with a splendid Intrada by the Italian composer Pietro Torri. On this album, lesser known European composers rub shoulders with the great names down the ages such as George Frideric Handel, Antonio Vivaldi, Georg Philipp Telemann and Johann Sebastian Bach, who was, in spirit at least, a much-travelled cosmopolitan, since he benefited enormously from interactive exchange with other musicians and appointments in a number of different situations.
“The pool of masterworks is enormous. Today we can but shine the light of our torches upon it.” – Ludwig Güttler
Finally, just such a shaft of light falls on Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber. During his own lifetime, Biber was highly acclaimed, especially as a violinist and a composer of instrumental music. Nowadays his church music has come more to the fore, such as his “Missa Alleluja à 36” written for Salzburg cathedral. “When planning this CD I was overcome by the thought that it could be the beginning of a limitless series,” says the 76-year-old, while at same time aware that it was not achievable. “But perhaps listeners will identify in it the incipient musical impulse that will spur them to continue the journey, and to do some lateral thinking.”