Within this aesthetic of unity through variety, the Mannheim language constantly exudes a masterly sense of style, balance, elegance and poise. The incredible variety of expression in the Mannheim language is achieved through, amongst other things, a large repertoire of emotive "melodic" figures. Also, any given musical figure will also sound different (through articulation, dynamic, rhythm and tone colour) in a different key because each key is representing a different emotional state. It is this variety in performance which makes the Mannheim language so rich, communicative and compelling. In this language, the function of the continuo (bass line) is critical in providing the structure and continuity for this exploration and representation of emotive figures in the upper lines (violins). In many ways then, the importance of the continuo is similar to the importance of the rhythm section in jazz, providing the framework, structure and groove which allows and supports the melodic possibilities and freedoms of the upper lines. According to mid-18th century sources, the keys
appearing here represent the following emotional states: A major - mirth and rejoicing; brilliant and uplifting, B flat major - cheerful love, masculine energy, hope, aspiration for a better world, C minor - lovely but sad, languishing, the longing and sighing of the lovesick soul, D major - noisy, joyful, warlike and rousing; martial, grand and majestic. The New Dutch Academy Mannheim Project is an immense project involving original material from dozens of libraries throughout the world, the analysis of manuscripts, the preparation of working scores, the consultation of treatises and other sources; thought about aesthetical schools, flows, changes and in relation to instruments, playing techniques and musical realisation; and the combination of all this with performance, learning the Mannheim language, and bringing the music to life. Through this disc we are very proud to launch our Mannheim Project, and to set the tone for the resulting series of recordings which will present newly discovered works, many of which will appear here for the first time in recorded form.
'Although the authentic instrument ensemble The New Dutch Academy was launched in 2002, it has quickly secured an international reputation, formed as it is of a number of well established early music performance specialists in the Netherlands.... Vibrant, energetic and wonderfully secure playing is supported by a sumptuous recording which fairly wallows in the fulsome acoustic, yet there is no loss of detail in the fast music.' Ivor Humphreys, Gramophone (Awards issue 2003)