After the Thirty Years’ War and a plague epidemic which had left the state of Württemberg in a disastrous condition (in 1648, Stuttgart only had 5000 inhabitants with just 600 men!), reconstruction began during the second half of the 17th century. Following the resumption of courtly life in Stuttgart, the double bass player Johann Michael Nicolai entered into the service of the Duke Eberhard III in the court ensemble in 1655. He remained in this post up to his death in 1685 and appears to have undertaken the tasks of Kapelmeister in Stuttgart in his later years.
Not much is known about his biography and many of his works have been lost. A few compositions were however included in significant collections of his time which suggests that Nicolai’s works were also greatly valued by his contemporaries at other courts. His oeuvre contains instrumental music for performance at court and sacred vocal music primarily intended for church services at the Stiftskirche in Stuttgart. Following intensive research, the ensemble ecco la musica has compiled a magnificent selection of Nicolai’s existing compositions and these precious works from the Stuttgart court are presented here in public for the very first time – all the works on this CD are world recording premieres!