Italy in the 17th Century

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Program: #16-28, Air Date: 07/04/16

Arias by two early opera masters (Caccini and Peri), and world premiere proceedings of sacred works of Graziani and Antonio Lotti.

I. Bonifazio Graziani (1604-1674)—Adae Oratorium and Filli Prodigi Oratorium (Consortium Carissimi/Garrick Comeaux). Naxos CD 8.573256.

The small-scale motet was at the heart of daily and weekly musical practice in the Roman Catholic Church of the mid-seventeenth century. One of the genre’s most distinguished exponents was the maestro di cappella in the Jesuit Church in Rome, Bonifazio Graziani. An ordained priest, he was commissioned by Pope Innocent X to compose solemn music for the ‘most holy year’ of 1650, and his works were in demand across Europe. His elegant mixture of text, melody, and harmonic accompaniment is highly distinctive, with the two oratorios revealing the extent of his compositional breadth.

Show Details Motetti, Op. 24: O miracula
1. Motetti, Op. 24: O miracula 00:07:57
Show Details Motetti, Book 6, Op. 20: Beati mundo corde
2. Motetti, Book 6, Op. 20: Beati mundo corde 00:06:20
Show Details Sacrae cantiones, Book 6, Op. 19: Venite, audite
3. Sacrae cantiones, Book 6, Op. 19: Venite, audite 00:05:39
Show Details Motetti, Op. 24: Quis dabit capiti meo
4. Motetti, Op. 24: Quis dabit capiti meo 00:08:18
Show Details Motetti, Op. 1: Quid est hoc
5. Motetti, Op. 1: Quid est hoc 00:05:58
Show Details Adae
6. Part I 00:09:48
7. Part II 00:11:06
Show Details Filli Prodigi
8. Part I 00:08:25
9. Part II 00:07:50

II. Li due Orfei: Giulio Caccini & Jacopo Peri). (Marc & Angélique Mauillon). Arcana CD A393.

Li Due Orfei: Giulio Caccini & Jacopo Peri

Florence, 1600: Giulio Caccini and Jacopo Peri, two virtuoso singers and rival composers. Striving to rediscover the expressive powers of ancient Greek tragedy, they revolutionized the art of singing and created a new style, which eventually would give birth to opera. In reaction to Renaissance polyphony, these monodies were intended to be sung with the simple accompaniment of a plucked intsrument in order to express the full range of human passions. Peri and Caccini would often accompany themselves but they would also perform with certain family members. Thus brother and sister in this duo follow most naurally a tradition passed on by those great musicians.

Giulio Caccini

« Dolcissimo sospiro »

« A quei sospir ardenti »

« Mentre che fra doglie e pene »

« Vedrò ‘l mio sol »

Luzzasco Luzzaschi

Toccata del quarto tono

Jacopo Peri

« Tu dormi, e ‘l dolce sonno »

« Tra le donne onde s’onora »

Giulio Caccini

« Amarilli mia bella »

« Tutto ‘l di piango »

« Odi, Euterpe »

« Moveti a pietà »

« Torna, deh torna »

Alessandro Piccinini

Aria di sarabanda in varie partite

Jacopo Peri

« Un di soletto »

Giulio Caccini

« Perfidissimo volto »

« Non ha ‘l ciel cotanti lumi »

« Tutto ‘l di piango »

« Al fonte, al prato »

Luzzasco Luzzaschi

Canzona

Giulio Caccini

« Pien d’amoroso affetto »

III. Antonio Lotti: Crucifixus (The Syred Consort/Orchestra of St. Paul’s/Ben Palmer). Delphian CD DCD34182.

Antonio Lotti: Crucifixus

Despite a hugely prolific output spanning a career of more than 50 years, Antonio Lotti is now known almost exclusively for his eight-part setting of the ‘Crucifixus’. It is not widely known that that motet is in fact part of a complete Credo setting, itself part of the Missa Sancti Christophori that receives its first recording here. Much of Lotti’s music was written for the Basilica of San Marco in Venice at a time when expense and extravagance were not spared. He often wrote daringly for much bigger forces than were usual; in reviving Lotti’s music, that sheer scale can present a challenge. Rhythmic shock and awe, masterful variety, incessant invention and a defiant refusal to conform make this music overripe for revival. Lotti is at the cutting edge of the galant style that prefigures the Classical era; his harmonies can be surprising, daring – even outrageous.

For their debut on Delphian, The Syred Consort and Orchestra of St Paul’s have collaborated with musicologist Ben Byram-Wigfield to bring this survey of Lotti’s music to life. Ben Palmer’s singers dazzle in their virtuosity, and the instrumentalists play with immaculately crisp ensemble. There is excitement. There is hushed poignancy. And throughout there are Lotti’s luscious harmonies, which make this music nothing short of addictive.

1 Dixit Dominus in G minor [8:30]
2-6 Miserere in C minor [26:20]
7-12 Missa Sancti Christophori [31:21]
13-16 Credo in G minor [13:16]

Composer Info

Bonifazio Graziani (1604-1674), Giulio Caccini, Luzzasco Luzzaschi , Jacopo Peri , Giulio Caccini , Alessandro Piccinini, Antonio Lotti

CD Info

Naxos CD 8.573256, Arcana CD A393, CD DCD34182