Texte paru dans: / Appeared in:
GRAMOPHONE (Awards Issue /2013)
Pour s'abonner / Subscription information


Code-barres / Barcode : 8007194300055

Consultez toutes les évaluations recensées pour ce cd ~~~~ Reach all the evaluations located for this CD


Reviewer: David Vickers

Primi Toni sing Simonetti’s Venetian collection

 ‘Ghirlanda Sacra’ (Venice, 1625) is an anthology of 44 motets for solo voice and basso continuo compiled by Leonardo Simonetti, a castrato in Monteverdi’s choir at St Mark’s. Almost all of the composers selected were based in Venice or the Veneto, including the usual suspects (Monteverdi, Grandi, Rovetta, Barbarino) but also many less familiar contemporaries; Cavalli’s Cantate Domino is included under his real name, Pietro Francesco Caletti Bruni. Trombonists might recognise the name of Dario Castello but the dance-like Exultate Deo is his only piece of vocal music that survives. Nicola Lamon revolves between six different singers and varying combinations of continuo instrumentation in order to enhance textural variety; the simplest combination of voice and just theorbo and keyboard proves to be the most natural and persuasive.


The anthology kicks off with four Monteverdi motets; the seldom-recorded O quam pulchra es is sung smoothly by tenor Alberto Allegrezza, who also sings sensitively in Grandi’s O quam tu pulchra es (the only famous piece in the collection), and his gentle high range is excellent in Congratulamini mihi by Giovanni Paolo Caprioli (the musical abbot of Scandiano). Roberta Andalò gets the lion’s share of soprano songs: Monteverdi’s Ecce sacrum paratum is sung prettily and without quasi-operatic affectation, but there are technical wobbles, such as during Rovetta’s O Maria quam pulchra es. Claudia Conese’s soft piety suits two motets by pioneering monodist


Bartolomeo Barbarino, and Diana Trivellato sings brightly (and often sharp) in Jubilate Deo by the 13-year-old St Mark’s chorister Domenico Obizzi. There is greater declamatory presence from the impressive tenor Raffaele Giordani in Hodie apparuerunt delitiae paradisi by Giovanni Pietro Berti (second organist at St Mark’s). Countertenor Jacopo Facchini is mildly unsteady at times but gives fluent performances of Regnum mundi by Giulio Cesare Martinengo (Monteverdi’s predecessor at St Mark’s) and O bone Jesu by Giovanni Maria Scorzuto (which unusually has written continuo interludes). Ensemble Primi Toni also throw in some short instrumental introductions by Gabrieli and Kapsberger. There is something to be said for the straightforward warts-and-all honesty of the natural sound, and this is a useful reference tool for early-17th-century Venetian church music beyond Monteverdi.


Fermer la fenêtre/Close window


Cliquez l'un ou l'autre bouton pour découvrir bien d'autres critiques de CD
 Click either button for many other reviews