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Venetian Treasures - Gabrieli, Caldara, Monteverdi, Cavalli - The Sixteen, H. Christophers

Venetian Treasures - Gabrieli, Caldara, Monteverdi, Cavalli - The Sixteen, H. Christophers-Choir-Sacred Music
ID: COR16053 (EAN: 828021605321)  | 1 CD | DDD
Released in: 2007
Sacred Music
CALDARA, Antonio | CAVALLI, Pier Francesco | GABRIELI, Andrea | GABRIELI, Giovanni | LASSUS, Orlande de | MONTEVERDI, Claudio
FISHER, Gillian (soprano) | GEORGE, Michael (bass) | PARTRIDGE, Ian (tenor) | TREVOR, Caroline (alto)
The Sixteen
Other info:

The sacred choral music of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries from Venice, especially that written for the splendour of St Mark’s, has a unique style. From the rich and sonorous sound world of the Gabrielis to the airy zestfulness of Caldara’s contemporary Vivaldi, this was music which dazzled the rest of Europe.
CALDARA, Antonio (1670-1736) 
1. Crucifixus a 16: Crucifixus a 16 4:55 L0:69 
GABRIELI, Andrea (c. 1533-c. 1586) 
2. De profundis: De profundis 6:43 L0:69 
MONTEVERDI, Claudio (1567-1643) 
3. Domine ne in furore tuo: Domine ne in furore tuo 3:57 L0:69 
CAVALLI, Pier Francesco (1602-1676) 
4. Salve Regina: Salve Regina 6:25 L0:69 
GABRIELI, Giovanni (1554/57-1613) 
5. Hodie completi sunt: Hodie completi sunt 3:47 L0:69 
LASSUS, Orlande de (1532-1594) 
Missa Bell' Amfritit' Altera 
6. Kyrie2:48 
7. Gloria5:00 
8. Credo6:52 
9. Sanctus1:51 
10. Benedictus2:10 
11. Agnus Dei4:35 
12. Tui sunt coeli3:10 
CALDARA, Antonio (1670-1736) 
Stabat Mater 
13. Stabat mater dolorosa2:36 
14. Quis est homo, qui non fleret3:18 
15. Sancta mater, istud agas2:17 
16. Fac me tecum pie flere1:47 
17. Virgo virginum praeclara1:28 
18. Fac, ut portem Christi mortem1:17 
19. Flammis ne urar succensus0:58 
20. Christe, cum sit hinc exire1:53 
21. Fac, ut animae donetur1:45 


All of these works except the Stabat mater first appeared on Collins 13602 (17:2). Two brief Frescobaldi toccatas on that disc have been omitted, replaced by the much longer piece from Collins 13202 (16:1), where it was an odd filler next to major works of Bach and Vivaldi. While there was room to leave the toccatas in, Frescobaldi was the only reason why the previous disc was characterized as “sacred music from Venice and Rome,” so the present title now fits best. In searching for the first review, I noticed that the issue’s Collections section had two other Venetian programs. Ivan Moody’s original note focused entirely on Venice, but it has nevertheless been replaced by a new one by Nicolas Robertson.

Suitably enough, The Sixteen opens with a motet that uses everyone, one voice to a part. (Actually, there are a few other singers involved in the program, but their names are no longer printed in the booklet.) Caldara, who died in 1736, represents the end of a musical progression here, and placing his additional piece at the end of the disc serves to close the circle. In between are a group of composers that, as Moody said in his original notes, blur the distinction between Renaissance and Baroque. Their works are not arranged in chronological order (an order that is slightly altered from the original disc), perhaps to make the point. Lassus has less connection with Venice than the others, but he visited the city more than once and modeled his three eight-voice masses on Andrea Gabrieli’s double-choral style. This Mass was supposedly based on a madrigal, now lost, that proclaimed Venice “another Amphitrite,” after the wife of Poseidon and goddess of the sea. This was already the fifth recording, and there are now twice as many, but this must be the best one of all. My usual preference for the Westminster Cathedral choir is diminished here because theirs is one of the few that employs instruments, but if that is your choice, go for it.

In its revised format, this ranks with the best recordings this group has given us, though their output has been enormous. It is hard to accept the blurb on the tray card that says, “For all the composers represented here and employed by St. Mark’s, Lassus was the founding influence.” Lassus was never employed at St. Mark’s, and Andrea Gabrieli was an influence on him. Not enough to disqualify a marvelous program.

FANFARE: J. F. Weber


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