Carlo G

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Program: #17-30   Air Date: Jul 17, 2017

Fifteen years ago, a music manuscript was bought at a flea market outside of Vienna for 50 Euros; it turns out to be a previously unknown Italian composer from around 1600. This week: the world premiere recording.

The Carlo G. Manuscript: Virtuoso Liturgical Music from the Early 17th Century

This recording is on the Glossa label and is CD GCD 922516.

In the short history of modern musicology, the discovery of a “new” and important manuscript is a rare and exciting event. In the case of the Carlo G manuscript, it was not just that an important manuscript suddenly appeared, but also that it quickly disappeared again. After 400 years of oblivion, this is the debut of the mysterious Carlo G and his music. The musical content of his manuscript provides vivid testimony to the unique repertoire and performance practices of liturgical music in Italy of the early 17th century.

Some 15 years ago, the hitherto unknown "Carlo G Manuscript" was purchased at a Vienna jumble sale for the princely sum of 60 euros. Once a doctoral thesis has been prepared based on this document and it had been made available on the internet in the form of scanned images, the manuscript was sold by Sotheby's at auction to an anonymous buyer in 2007, as a consequence of which it has once again disappeared. The fact that the surname of its author had become illegible as a result of a smudge deepens the mystery surrounding the manuscript even further - however, although being from the same time as that of the famous Carlo Gesualdo, everything points to the fact the prince of Venosa was not the composer being searched for... An extensive selection of pieces from the manuscript can now be heard courtesy of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, performed by the ensemble Profeti della Quinta, and directed by the organist Elam Rotem. These are liturgical pieces dating from the early seventeenth century which undoubtedly would have sounded in Central Italy in a very similar from to what can be heard on this recording: one of the manuscript's peculiar characteristics is that it includes, exactly - note for note - what is expected from the singers and organist. This embraces the complex ornamentations which, by and large, musicians would improvise and wouldn't be written down. The acoustic of the Chiesa dei Santi Eusebio e Vittore de Peglio, Italy provides added authenticity to a project which is entrancing from every angle.


Perrine Devillers, Sopran
Doron Schleifer, Countertenor
Ori Harmelin, Chitarrone
Elam Rotem, Organ and musical direction

Guest musicians:
Plamena Nikitassova, Violin
Jörg-Andreas Bötticher, Organ

Organ: Antegnati, early 17th century; restored by Giovanni Pradella (2013), in Chiesa dei Santi Eusebio e Vittore, Peglio (CO), Italy.


Veni dilecte mi

Tota pulchra es

Amor Jesu dulcissime


Sub umbra illius

'Carlo G'

Toccata in D

Mater Hierusalem

'Carlo G'

Ego flos campi

'Carlo G'

Ego dormio et cor meum vigilat

'Carlo G'

Panis angelicus

'Carlo G'

Toccata in A

Iste est ‘per S. Bernardo’

'Carlo G'

Peccavi super numerum

'Carlo G'

Toccata Elevatione


'Carlo G'

Nigra sum

'Carlo G'


Sicut sponsus matris

'Carlo G'

Caccini, G:

Benché sovra le stelle (‘per monache’)

Deus Dominus meus

 Giacobbi:  Luce gratiae tuae

Alma mater



Composer Info

Carlo G, Caccini G., Giacobbi, Quagliati

CD Info

CD GCD 922516