Search - Cherubino Busatti, Ignazio Donati, Alessandro Grandi :: Monteverdi's Contemporaries

Monteverdi's Contemporaries
Cherubino Busatti, Ignazio Donati, Alessandro Grandi
Monteverdi's Contemporaries
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Classical
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1


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CD Reviews

Munrow's Swansong ... and the Beginning of the AAM
Leslie Richford | Selsingen, Lower Saxony | 06/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Made in November 1975, this must have been one of David Munrow?s last recordings before his unfortunate suicide in 1976. At any rate, it is, in my opinion, one of the finest discs he ever put together and a wonderful highlight of the mini-series of his music published by Virgin to mark the twentieth anniversary of Munrow?s death. The booklet fortunately contains a complete list of the musicians involved (although not giving any further details about the instruments), and even a brief perusal of the names leads one to the conclusion that this was not only the swansong of Munrow?s Early Music Consort but also the beginning of The Academy of Ancient Music, whose fans and followers will recognise many names (James Bowman, Paul Elliott, Michael Laird, Iaan Wilson, Alan Lumsden, Simon Standage, Trevor Jones, Nigel North, David Corkhill and, last but not least, Christopher Hogwood). Both the playing and the recording quality here leave nothing to be desired, the sound of the voices and of the period instruments being brilliantly captured in panoramic stereo.

The music on the disc is all from Italy and all from the first half of the seventeenth century. Most early music lovers are familiar with Monteverdi?s great works from this period, but this disc tries to put these in context by showing the depth and diversity of his less well-known contemporaries. The first part of the disc contains a total of ten dances by Giorgio Mainerio, and these sound very similar to the dances by Michael Praetorius made famous by Philip Pickett and the New London Consort on Decca in the 80?s. There are also three ?canzoni? by Guami, Lappi and Priuli, pieces for large instrumental ensembles that would originally have been distributed round the church (at St. Mark?s, Venice, for example) and where the sound of two different instrumental groups is delicately contrasted.

The second half of the disc contains vocal works by Porta, Busatti, Donati, d?India and Alessandro Grandi, for many years Monteverdi?s second-in-charge at St. Mark?s, a composer whose fame was possibly hindered by a rather jealous Monteverdi: The two pieces recorded here (and a whole disc of them presented by René Jacobs on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi?s Baroque Esprit series) evidence the fact that Grandi was Monteverdi?s equal in every respect; this is inspiring and uplifting music that every lover of Monteverdi?s Vespers should know.
Highly recommended!