Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Clemens non Papa (Jacob Clement), Pier Francesco Cavalli, Carlo Gesualdo|
Domenico Scarlatti: Stabat Mater / Cavalli: Salve Regina / Gesualdo: Ave, dulcissima Maria
A voice teacher and early music fan
George Peabody | Planet Earth | 01/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"MUSIC OF INCREDIBLE BEAUTY COMPOSED BY FOUR EARLY MUSIC GREATS AND PERFORMED WITH PERFECTION BY THE MONTEVERDI CHOIR.
This recording includes pieces, all of which are in honour of the Virgin Mary, and therefore share an undoubted Roman Catholic identity. They are also a reflection and echo of Western polyphony ,as well as a source of spiritual beauty and emotion.
The largest composition on the disc is the 'Stabat Mater' by Scarlatti, composed at Rome around 1715. It is in a contrapuntal style, the sequence of which refers to the Neopolitan custom, where the ceremonies of Holy Week were an excuse for liturgical scenic productions. It is scored for four sopranos,two altos, two tenors, two basses and organ continuo. The music is frequently lyrical and mature in manner, and also highly melodic, astonishingly modern and has harmony whose 'richness and beauty remind one of Mozart's last religious composition.
Carlo Gesualdo in his 'Ave Dulcissima Maria' uses a grand five-part style in this 'cantione sacra'. The work has a devouring mysticism with a sombre flavor much like El Greco's. It is incredibly moving as sung by
a young Monteverdi Choir.
Francesco Cavalli, a desciple of Monteverdi,stays faithful in his 'Salve Regina' to the fourpart style with basso continuo. The concerns of the dramatist(Cavalli was above all known as a composer of operas)emerge through the homophonic mode of his writing. The repetitive effects are almost like a litany.
Jacques Clement in his 5 part motet 'O Maria, Vernans Rosa' imposes his skill in an imitative style resembling that of Palestrina. But the breadth of his sonorities suggests Lassus and his followers.
John Eliot Gardiner, along with the soloists and the Monteverdi Choir, display a remarkable sensitivity to this music, and its beauty at times is awesome. The singing is 'perfecto' and the soloists are skilled in every way. There are ten singers in this early group of Gardiner's, and they are all noteworthy. I particularly liked the 2 countertenors : Michael Chance and Ashley Stafford. Chance has flawless diction and his own amazing 'golden' sound. The balance, tone color and intensity of sound is just excellent. All early music lovers should enjoy this disc. By the way, it was recorded in 1984!!!!!"