Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cavalli - Messa Concertata - Orchestra & Choir of the Angelicum Milan

Cavalli - Messa Concertata -
Orchestra & Choir of the Angelicum Milan

Sacred| Eac, flac, cue | log, scans | 1 CD, 289 MB
released 1994 | Charlin | RapidShare

The historic 1964 true stereophonic recording of the Messa Concertata by P.F Cavalli (1602-1676). Winner of the Grand Prix du Disque (The French "Grammy"). The Charlin collection was recorded in the legendary Natural Sound technique pioneered by Andre Charlin (The French acoustic engineer genius who inspired and influenced the Mercury Living Presence and RCA Victor Living Stereo sound!). For the first time these audiophile and critically acclaimed performances have been remastered.

Nowadays, scholars no longer attribute the first Messa concertata for St. Mark's in Venice to Monteverdi; it is now certain that the honour should go to Cavalli, Cathedral Chapel Master of this historic Venetian church. Until recently, Cavalli's church music was completely forgotten; but not only have his Masses and Requiem been successfully resuscitated in the past few years, but it has now been established that Cavalli wrote those magnificent sinfonie, or instrumental interludes, in Monteverdi's Incoronazione di Poppea : even the opening one, with its sombre and majestic power.

The concept of a Messa concertata originated in the architecture of St. Mark's, where the Gabrielis had written powerful poly-choired music; the use of several choirs in a Mass is, then, Cavalli's contribution to the Venetian school. As music, this work shows a typically Venetian splendour, colour and richness. It is scored for two choirs, a choir of trombones and a group of strings, and this recording was made in the church of Sant'Angelo in Milan. The stereo effects are very well managed—indeed, the music is ideal for stereo for obvious reasons. Perhaps the huge sound and the length of the work, much of which is in the same key, tend to make it slightly monotonous; not even the constant switching back and forth from speaker to speaker relieve the sameness of texture. No doubt, heard in its original setting, as an actual Mass, it would be most impressive.

The performance is well paced, and the Milanese choir is certainly one of the finest in Italy. I am not familiar enough with Venetian church music of the period to say whether Cattini (whom I always like as a conductor) gives the Mass an absolutely authentic performance, but he is obviously a fine musician and has studied the work thoroughly.

CD Content

Messa Concertata.

Anna Maria Vallin (sop.),
Wanda Madonna (cont.),
Giorgio Taddeo (bass),
Coro Polifonico di Milano (chorus master: Giulio Bertola),
Orchestra of the Angelicum, Milan conducted by Umberto Cattini.

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