Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Cozzolani, Miller, Toll|
Cozzolani - Dialogues With Heaven (Motets) / Musica Secreta
Wow! Six or seven stars would be truer!
Giordano Bruno | Wherever I am, I am. | 05/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"May I use the word "vivacious" to review the performance of five women singing the motets of a 17th C nun, without sounding sexist? I hope so, since it's the word that comes to mind, along with polished, agile, and perfectly in tune. This is a superb CD of superb music, and the male continuo duo of organ and chitarrone add considerably to the perfection. The composer, Chiara Margarita Cozzolani, was surely one of the greatest woman composers of any era. Her small surviving output bears comparison with Monteverdi's "Selva Morale e Spirituale" (which it resembles) and with Heinrich Schuetz's "Symphoniae Sacrae", and that is maximum praise since they were the greatest composers of their era.
As the liner notes explain, singing Cozzolani's motets presents a challenge to an all-woman consort, since tenor and bass parts are indicated yet men certainly couldn't have sung with the Milanese nuns. The challenge is met here by judicious transposition (very likely the authentic practice of the nuns) and by the remarkable low voices of Mary Nichols and Caroline Trevor, along with the "Queen of the Night" soprano range of Deborah Roberts. None of these voices, even pushed to their extremes, become harsh or unresonant. All five singers have excellent control of their period-informed ornamentation -- turns, appogiature, and goat-trills. I've listened to this CD twice without stopping, something I very rarely do. Buy it!"