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BBC Music Magazine (12/2019)
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Amadio Freddi: Vespers (1616) Product Image

Code-barres / Barcode : 5060262791554

Appréciation d'ensemble / Overall evaluation :

Reviewer: Kate Bolton-porciatti

Scholar-musician Jamie Savan here unveils the shadowy Baroque composer Amadio Freddi, maestro di cappella at Treviso Cathedral in the early 17th century and a close contemporary of Monteverdi. Savan threads together a rosary of music for the evening service of Vespers with psalms, hymns and a setting of the Magnificat drawn from Freddi’s 1616 collection of sacred music – all recorded here for the first time. The vocal works interlace with instrumental pieces by more familiar northern Italian composers – Biagio Marini, Dario Castello and Giovanni Gabrieli.

Compared with Monteverdi’s lavish 1610 Vespers, Freddi’s resources are modest (solo voices, cornett, violin and organ), yet the music is remarkably varied – here rapt and contemplative, there extravagantly virtuosic. The six soloists are fresh-voiced and finely balanced, and they all offer stylish and cleanly enunciated readings. Despite a few throaty trills and expressive dynamic swells, the vocal timbres and vowel colours sound a shade too Anglican for Freddi’s sensuously Italian – at times operatic – idiom, but there’s no doubting their technical excellence.

The instrumentalists play with pliant virtuosity (Savan’s cornett solos are admirably fleet), and despite the chamber-like resources, they paint a canvas lustrous as a Venetian painting. The recording, in an aptly sacred acoustic, is warm and detailed.  


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