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In festo angelorum- A journey through Spanish,
Portuguese and Italian Baroque sacred music Giovanni Maria PAGLIARDI(1637-1702) Ad'arma, ad bella [10:12]
Fray José DE VAQUEDANO(1642-1711) Lamentación: Matribus suis dixerunt [8:48]
Fabritio FONTANA(d.1695) Ricercare XI [2:43]
Domenico MAZZOCCHI(1592-1665) Sonetto: Amar a Dios por Dios [2:45]
anon[ms Bouro Monastery, 17th/18th C] In feria sexta. Lectio III [10:31]
Italianas ou estrageiras [6:00]
Amavit cum dominus [6:13]
José DE TORRES(c.1670-1738) Stetit angelus (In festo angelorum) [2:18]
anon[Jaca Cathedral, 18th C] Toccata on themes of Corelli [3:24]
Alessandro STRADELLA(1639-1682) Ah, ah, troppo è ver, cantata:
Ah riverito piede - Deh' ricevi i nostri voti, recitative & aria
Juan Manuel DE LA PUENTE(1692-1753) Meninas de Portugal [2:53]
Giovanni MARCIANI(c.1605-1663) Quanta fecisti domine [6:28]
Monica Piccinini (soprano), Manuel Vilas (harp)
rec. July 2008, Church of San Vicente, Pombeiro (Lugo), Spain. DDD
Texts included, no translations
BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94428 [68:05]
The music on this disc was composed during the 17th century in
Italy, Spain and Portugal. The vocal pieces have in common that they are for
solo voice and basso continuo, and reflect the monodic style which emerged
in Italy in the early 17th century. One important aspect of the 'new style',
as it was called, is the close connection between text and music. This is
largely lost on the listener who doesn't know Latin or Spanish as the
booklet includes the lyrics but omits any translation. This is a serious
blot on an otherwise musically interesting and compelling programme.
One of the attractions of this disc is that most of the composers
here are barely known. The programme opens with a piece by Giovanni Maria
Pagliardi, who was born in Genoa and died in Florence. The largest part of
his life he worked in Genoa. His oeuvre includes operas, an oratorio which
has been lost, motets, chamber cantatas, arias and sacred madrigals. His
cantata Ad'arma, ad bella (To arms, to war) is about the war of the
faithful against the devil. The programme includes two pieces on texts of
the Lamentations of Jeremiah, which were sung during Holy Week. The first is
from the pen of José de Vaquedano who acted as maestro de
capilla in Santiago de Compostela from 1681 to 1700. The second is
anonymous, and has been preserved as part of a manuscript from the Bouro
Monastery which is now in the Public Library and District Archive of Braga
in Portugal. Each is from the Lamentations for Good Friday - Lessons II and
III respectively. As was common practice the Hebrew letters are set to
Another anonymous piece, Amavit cum dominus, is also taken
from the Braga manuscript. Stylistically this brings us back to early
Italian monody. The text has just three lines, but the piece lasts more than
six minutes thanks to some elaborate ornamentation in the style of Caccini.
Amar a Dios por Dios by Domenico Mazzocchi is quite surprising.
Mazzocchi was one of the most prominent composers in Rome in the mid-17th
century. The use of Spanish in this piece is noteworthy. The score formed
part of a collection of music for private worship. A contemporary of
Mazzocchi’s was Giovanni Marciani, who worked for most of his life in
Rome. He was for some time a tenor in the Collegio Germanico under Giacomo
Carissimi who influenced Marciani's style of composing. The latest Italian
composer in the programme is Alessandro Stradella who led a turbulent life
and was murdered in 1682. 'Ah riverito piede - Deh' ricevi i nostri voti'
comprises a recitative and aria sung by the First Shepherd from his cantata
for Christmas eve, Ah, ah, troppo è ver.
There are two more Spanish composers in the programme. José
de Torres y Martínez Bravo, to use his full name, was a composer,
theorist, organist and publisher. In the latter capacity he printed many
theoretical works from previous eras in Spanish music history. Juan Manuel
de la Puente started his career as a choirboy in the cathedral of Toledo and
worked the largest part of his life as maestro de capilla in
Jáen cathedral where he was appointed at the age of just 19.
Meninas de Portugal (Girls of Portugal) is a Christmas piece in the
style of a villancico with a number of verses interrupted by a refrain.
The programme is extended by some instrumental pieces. Fabrizio
Fontana is a little-known composer who worked most of his life in Rome. The
Ricercari which were printed in 1677 are in the style of Frescobaldi
and are dominated by counterpoint. The Braga manuscript includes "Italian or
foreign dances for organ or harp", as they are called, in a mostly French
style. Manuel Vilas plays five pieces: a sarabanda, an aria, a pair of
menuets, a piece without a title and another menuet. In the cathedral of
Jaca in northern Spain a manuscript is kept which includes a large number of
instrumental works. One of these is a Toccata which is a
transcription of the corrente and giga from the Sonata da camera op.
2,8 by Corelli. It is a token of the influence of Italian music in Spain
which was growing around 1700.
This disc contains an interesting programme of largely unknown
pieces by mostly little-known composers. It shows the depth of the Italian
music scene of the 17th century of which we know only the tip of the
iceberg. The Spanish compositions are an indication of the influence of the
Italian style in the Iberian peninsula. This has been underrated for many
Monica Piccinini has the perfect voice for this kind of repertoire.
She demonstrates a good understanding of the idiom reflected in her
treatment of the text as well as the dynamics. These are crucial to the
interpretation. The accompaniment with harp rather than keyboard offers a
nice variety and is rarely encountered in this repertoire.
The quality of repertoire and performance are amongst the reasons
for welcoming this disc; just a shame that translations of the lyrics are
Johan van Veen http://www.musica-dei-donum.org
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