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|Appréciation d'ensemble / Overall evaluation :|
Reviewer: Fabrice Fitch
Reconstructed sacred songs add to the
It’s well known that Stravinsky had a go at supplying the missing voices for three of these motets but as far as I know the composer and musicologist James Wood is the first to complete and bring the whole set to the recording studio.
It’s not my intention here to comment on the quality of the
reconstructions, though to the ear it sounds very convincing. Most of these
motets are constructed along similar, compact lines, and what they lack in
contrast they make up for in incident. Gesualdo favours strikingly intervallic
opening gestures and conclusions that similarly imprint themselves on the ear.
Seekers after his trademark chromaticism will find it, but attenuated, the
emphasis being on imitative points. The Vocalconsort Berlin do him proud,
treating some pieces chorally and other with soloists; like the motets
themselves, their interpretation stays within certain confines, which allows
them to negotiate all but the most demanding situations with confidence. There
may be bolder, more striking interpretations to come (just as there will be
other reconstructions) but meanwhile, who could resist the opportunity to hear
some ‘new’ Gesualdo?