Georg Muffat studied with Lully in Paris early in his career. In 1680, he journeyed to Venice to study with Corelli. Influences from both composers can be heard in his 1682 collection Armonico Tributo.
The structure of the proto-concerto grossi resembles those of Corelli’s Opus 4, written around the same time. And the dance movements resemble those found in Lully’s instrumental suites.
In this recording, the Ars Antiqua Austria brings out that dancelike quality to great effect. These works sound light and elegant. Some of the movements have a bounce to them as if encouraging the listener to get on their feet.
The ensemble has a clean, transparent sound I really like. The cello provides a solid low end with rich, full tones. The upper strings play with clarity and expressiveness (bringing out the Corelli influence).
Gunar Letzor and the Ars Antiqua Austria successful bring these works to life, imbuing them with energy. Well performed, and well recorded. Muffat’s music was well-served.
Georg Muffat: Armonico Tributo
Ars Antiqua Austria; Gunar Letzbor, director
Pan Classics PC 10407