Thursday, June 23, 2011

Per la Vergine Maria - Alessandrini, Concerto Italiano (2011)


The latest collection of liturgical choral works dedicated to the Virgin Mary begins where similar renaissance compilations have left off. The earliest work in Rinaldo Alessandrini's Marian sequence is Monteverdi's six-part Litanie della Beata Virgine, the most recent the tiny, austere Ave Maria that Stravinsky wrote in the 1930s. In between come 17th- and 18th-century eight-part Magnificats by Bencini, Soler and Carissimi, as well as imagea Salve Regina by Alessandro Scarlatti, but the real discovery, recorded for the first time, is a Salve Regina setting by Alessandro Melani, whose motets appeared on a Concerto Italiano disc last year. Those pieces, however, were far less striking than this short setting, in which a solo soprano (Monica Piccinini) is set against the remainder of the choir, whose role is to supply richly harmonized cadential phrases at the end of each section of the text. It's beautifully simple, and typically Concerto Italiano present it in a suitably unfussy way, with everything exactly judged and balanced, yet never over-elaborated.

flac, covers, thank you Thomas!

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