The debut recording of classically trained Swiss clarinetist Hans Koch’s jazz trio with bassist/cellist Martin Schütz and drummer Marco Käppeli, Accélération is not a shy blip in the fascinating potpourri of ECM’s 80s period, by which time Koch’s formidable outfit had left its footprints in standard territories before branching out here with a set of nine originals. Into this, the shivering cello and pointillist rims of “Shy Csárdás” provide a fitting point of entry. Like an opera overture these sounds recede as quickly as they rise, making way for the clarineted protagonist whose introductory aria secures a tether of human folly to the romantic sentiments that follow.
In Rome between the late seventeenth century and the early eighteenth, academies and ‘conversazioni’ (artistic gatherings) organised by aristocrats and cardinals attracted the leading writers and musicians. The names of Arcangelo Corelli, Alessandro Scarlatti and the young G. F. Handel stand out among many others. Giovanni Lorenzo Lulier (Rome, c.1660-1700), a cellist and composer known as ‘Giovanni del Violone’, participated in this intensive musical activity. […] When he entered the entourage of Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, in 1690, Lulier already had a decade of compositional activity behind him in the genres of oratorio, opera and above all the chamber cantata. Originally consisting of a succession of strophic arias, the cantata gradually established itself as a poetic and musical genre characterised by alternating recitatives and arias. […] As is well known, the conversazioni of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries also included the performance of instrumental music.