CAVALLI: Messa Concertata
Seicento/The Parley of Instruments/Peter Holman, cond.
Hyperion CDA 66970 (F) (DDD) TT: 66:13
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Imagine you're attending a high mass at the epicenter of 16th Century
church music, Venice's St. Mark's Basilica. Admittedly, this CD holding
Francesco Cavalli's Messa Concertata employs 12 singers and a small
instrumental ensemble instead of antiphonal brass choirs. However, the
same sonic excitement exists. Recorded in London's St. Jude's Church (a
building similar in size and acoustic to St. Mark's), the vocal and
instrumental sounds soar and intensify thanks to a generous reverberation
time. This recording duplicates the order of service so common during
Cavalli's tenure as maestro di capel at St. Mark's (1668-1676).
Instrumental canzonas and an occasional motet are interspersed between the
5 Ordinary sections of the Mass. Cavalli's music, although modeled after
his more famous predecessor, Claudio Monteverdi, is equally impressive
especially as performed by the 8 singers comprising Seicento and Parley
of Instruments conducted by Peter Holman.
K.S. (Sept. 1999)