The ensemble Les Cornets Noirs (named after their black, leather-covered cornettos) has unearthed some real musical treasures: the collection of Gustaf Düben, chapel-master at the court of Sweden, encompasses more than 2300 musical works that are partly composers’ autographs, partly scribal copies. Düben must have started collecting autographs of established German and Italian composers already during his studies in Germany, and subsequently his position as court chapel-master undoubtedly afforded him many occasions to acquire or copy valuable music. Later, the Düben Collection wandered from Stockholm to the University Library in Uppsala. From the extensive repertoire, Les Cornets Noirs, who play with masterly virtuosity and mellow sound, have selected sonatas intended for “cornetti” as well as other compositionally mature chamber music works and sacred concertos (bass: Wolf Matthias Friedrich) that reflect a broad spectrum of the musical landscapes in Germany, Italy, and the Baltic Sea region of the seventeenth century.
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