Musiche sacre concertate (Venezia 1656) is an anthology of Sacred Music composed by Francesco Cavalli. It is performed on this album from Fone by Sylvia Pozzer, Simonetta Cavalli, Vincenzo Di Donato and Garrick Comeaux (Voices), Monica Pelliciari and Elisa Imbalzano (Violins), Daniele Cernuto (Cello), Pietro Prosser (Tuba), Accademia di Musica Antica, and the Ensemble Vocale e Strumentale di Rovereto conducted by Romano Vettori.
Francesco Cavalli was an important musical figure in 17th Century Venice. As a student of, and later, successor to Claudio Monteverdi, he was the leader of St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice. He also served as head of the Venetian operatic school and was very highly regarded as a composer of religious and operatic music in his day. Unfortunately, he was reluctant to have his compositions published, and therefore, is virtually unknown to modern audiences.
Much of the music here could be very favorably compared to the works of his mentor, Monteverdi. Cavalli was a superb composer for a variety of instruments, and the organ and small ensemble accompaniment heard on this disc are a striking addition to the vocals here as opposed to the more common acapella programs of that period. Most of the selections here are small-scale, incorporating three or four voices. The lone sonata that appears midway through the program is delightful – it’s tragic that so little of Cavalli’s instrumental compositional output has survived.
We can assume that Cavalli avoided, perhaps for excessive modesty, to pursue an adequate dissemination of his works in prints, if in the preface to his anthology of Sacred Music of 1656 he said, “My genius has always kept away from prints, and I have more quickly consented to let my weaknesses go where Fortune brought them by means of the pen, rather than the press. In the end, however, I let myself be convinced.”
Venice was the goal of pupils and musicians coming from all over Europe. Schutz refined there his polychoral style, and his mixed concertato for small choir. To this field is dedicated a conspicuous part of Cavalli’s anthology, from which the pieces presented in this album have been chosen and which, on top of showing the ingenuous composer’s traits, store exquisite vocal and instrumental surprises.
Sylvia Pozzer – Soprano
Simonetta Cavalli – Mezzo Soprano
Vincenzo Di Donato – Tenor
Garrick Comeaux – Basso
Monica Pelliciari – Violin
Elisa Imbalzano – Violin
Daniele Cernuto – Cello
Pietro Prosser – Tuba
Accademia di Musica Antica
Ensemble Vocale e Strumentale di Rovereto
Romano Vettori, Conductor
Total time: 01:05:50
Accademia di Musica Antica, Daniele Cernuto, Elisa Imbalzano, Ensemble Vocale e Strumentale di Rovereto, Garrick Comeaux, Monica Pelliciari, Pietro Prosser, Romano Vettori, Simonetta Cavalli, Sylvia Pozzer, Vincenzo Di Donato
|Analog to Digital Converters||
Neumann U 47, U 48, M 49 Tube Microphones
|Original Recording Format|
Giulio Cesare Ricci
Paola Maria Ricci
Giulio Cesare Ricci
Crema, Chiesa di San Bernardino in April 2002
|Release Date||September 29, 2021|
Sonically, this all-DSD recording is superb. It offers a really great representation of the recorded acoustic environment. The 5 Channel DSD surround channels are mainly employed to help present ambient information, and the participants occupy a very real space as spread out before you during the performance.
I’m very impressed with this album from Fone. It is near-reference quality.
Very highly recommended.
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