You’ve heard of the First Viennese School (Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven et al.). You’ve heard of the Second Viennese School (Schoenberg, Webern, Berg et al.). What about the (very) First Viennese School (Schmeltzer, Legrenzi, Biber et al.)?

Quicksilver Baroque

In the 17th century, a series of enlightened and cultured rulers welcomed to the Viennese court some of the finest Italian composers of the day. These latter came bearing musical gifts, usually wrapped in a sonata. Which as Quicksilver’s violinists and musical directors Robert Mealy and Julie Andrijeski write in their substantial booklet commentary, had “no agenda but the imagination of the composer, and no standardized form except the passionate give-and-take of friends in conversation”.

It’s this last quality that also comes to the fore in these compelling performances of the music not just of Italian composers working at the Viennese Court, but of their German and Austrian contemporaries. Here are Robert Mealy and Julie Andrijeski (violins), Greg Ingles (trombone), Dominic Teresi (dulcian – an early bassoon), David Morris (viola da gamba), Avi Stein (harpsichord, organ) and...