“To us, ‘Stylus Phantasticus’ is a playground that offers endless opportunities to explore new sound colours, musical characters and ways
The Castello Consort’s debut album ‘Fantastissimus’ is entirely dedicated to the Stylus Phantasticus, featuring works from the Renaissance alongside brand new compositions by Dutch composer Martijn Padding. A complete picture is created of what the Stylus Phantasticus has to offer in all its colours, virtuosity but also tranquility and a great sense of musical freedom. In a sense, everything in this style is an exponent and the title of the album should also be seen in that light, celebrating this fantastic style.
Recording Producer Daan van Aalst:
The Stylus Phantasticus carries an immense challenge but also a huge opportunity for recording producers. The virtuosity and broad spectrum of colours are destined to interact with the best church-acoustics you can find and we found that sound in the Mennonite church in Haarlem where Gustav Leonard recorded numerous discs in the past. The sound quality is enhanced by the meantone intonation and microtonal organ that can actually play ‘in tune’ in stead of equal temperament. Add to that an inspired performance and great understanding of the music itself by the musicians and from that point every logic in a microphone setup works. What you will hear is pure microphone technique without any filter or other artificial tool. Enjoy your ride!
The Castello Consort about the project:
We like to explore different types of timbres and other ways of expressing ourselves through 17th century music. In the very beginning we focused mainly on early Italian baroque music. We recently started broadening both our repertoire and the size of our ensemble. With each program we look for a certain sound (and instrumentation) that is most convincing for the music we play. In ‘Fantastissimus’ we challenged ourselves even more by working with a contemporary composer, something we really enjoyed.
We felt that there was a lot of room for creative freedom when creating the program for this CD. Martijn Padding was very interested in our favourite repertoire and we presented him with several compositions that were in some way related to the Stylus Phantasticus. Inspired by all these composers, Martijn composed his own ‘Stylus Phantasticus’ collection, and we looked for the best early music to combine with Martijn’s completed work. When selecting these pieces, we did not want to limit ourselves too much by focusing on just one short period of history. Our goal was to find music that could be combined naturally with Martijn’s pieces. We approached the entire program as a composition in itself, connected both to the Stylus Phantasticus and to the spirit of our ensemble.