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American Record Guide: (01/2018) 
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Reviewer: Charles Brewer

This recording includes sacred music by three generations of Neapolitan composers, each of whom were chapel masters in turn at the Church of Santa Maria delle Anime del Purgatorio in Arco, established to pray for souls in purgatory. The oldest member of this family was Francesco Feo (1691-1761). His Italian cantata for solo soprano and continuo has the unusual title, La Sinderesi, which refers to the theological concept of synderesis, which Bonaventura defined as “the natural inclination of the will towards moral good”. The evocative text set by Feo effectively portrays a sinful soul seeking repentance. The two major works on this new release are settings of the Tenebrae Lamentations for solo soprano and orchestra by two members of the Manna family. Gennaro Manna (1715-79) followed his uncle Feo as chapel master, and his ‘Lamentazione 3’ for Holy Thursday for solo soprano and orchestra is written in the style of Neapolitan opera. Sometimes the meaning of the text from the Lamentations of Jeremiah seems to be countered by the rather upbeat music. This recording concludes with Gennaro’s short doxology for soprano and strings, which is remarkable for its extensive coloratura passages for the voice. Gaetano Manna (1751-1804) followed his uncle Gennaro as chapel master. Gaetano’s approach to composing his ‘Lamentazione 2’ for Holy Thursday is very different from his uncle. The style is even more operatic in character and light in texture, favoring the major keys more common in the galant style, and Gaetano’s is the most up-beat setting of Jeremiah’s lamentations I have heard. Silvia Frigato’s voice is well suited for both the virtuosity and expressiveness required by these works, and is effectively supported by Talenti Vulcanici. These works deserve to be better known, and this recording offers an interesting contrast to the few other recordings of Neapolitan sacred music by these composers, such as a Mass by Feo (J/A 2009) or Gennaro Manna’s more subdued choral Responses for Holy Week (M/A 2011). In contrast to current trends, the booklet is informative and offers full texts and translations.

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