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American Record Guide: (01/2020) 
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Amadio Freddi: Vespers (1616) Product Image

Code-barres / Barcode : 5060262791554


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Reviewer: Catherine Moore

Amadio Freddi (c 1580-1643) began his musical career as a singer and later held maestro di cappella positions at cathedrals in Treviso, Vicenza, and Padua. A prolific composer, he was certainly familiar with the grand Venetian style of writing; and this program shows how he was adept at using a chamber-sized group of varied voices and instruments to create “an illusion of more lavish forces, evocative of the polychoral tradition”. In the booklet notes ensemble director Jamie Savan recognizes Freddi as an innovator who fused “elements of the nascent trio sonata with the concertato motet [anticipating] a pattern that was to become one of the hallmarks of the Venetian style in the 1620s”. The Gonzaga Band is also expert at making the most of their six singers (SCtCtTTB) and three instruments (violin, cornett, organ). For instance, the nice flow and energy in ‘Ave Maris Stella’ is colorfully animated by having cornett play the second violin part and the organ’s bass reed stop play the bassoon part. The performances are good, especially the ones with larger forces as compared to the solo motets. There’s nice interplay in ‘Nisi Dominus’ as voices and instruments criss-cross their melodies.
Short pieces by Donati, Grandi, A and G Gabrieli, Marini, and Castello complement the Freddi compositions: five Vespers psalms, ‘Ave Maris Stella’, ‘Salve Regina’, and Magnificat. Most of the Freddi pieces are first recordings, and I’m glad to learn that Jamie Savan’s performing editions will be published.

The organ here is a Hauptwerk Virtual Pipe Organ, using samples from a specific 18th-Century instrument in Slovenia. Whether this type of digital organ software is a positive step for record producers and performers is a topic for another time.

Notes, texts, translations. I liked the same ensemble’s “Venice 1629” (Resonus 10218, N/D 2018: 188).


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