Three from the Early Baroque

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Program: #12-21   Air Date: May 14, 2012

Recent looks at the early 17th century Italian school, with music by Provenzale, Falvetti, and Ferrari.

NOTE: Recent looks at the early 17th century Italian school.

I. Benedetto Ferrari (c.1603-1681): Musiche Varie e voce sola (Ensemble Artaserse/Philippe Jaroussky, countertenor). Ambroisie CDAMB 9932.

1. Amanti, Io Vi So Dire (Ciaconna) ("Lovers, I will tell you")
2. Occhi Miei Che Vedeste ("My eyes, you that see your love")
3. M'Amo Tanto Costei ("She loved me so much")
4. Chi Non Sa Come Amor  ("He who knows not how Love")
5. Avverti O Cor ("Take care, o my heart")
6. Queste Pungenti Spine (Cantata Spirituale) ("Those sharp thorns")
7. Lingua Di Donna ("Woman's tongue, beloved liar")
8. Udite, Amanti ("Listen, lovers")
9. Io Dissi Al Cor ("I said to my heart")
10. Non Fia Piu Ver ("Nevermore may I sell my heart")
11. Cielo Sia Con Tua Pace ("Heaven, grant your forgiveness")
12. Degg'Io Amarvi ("Must I love you?")
13. Quando Prendon Riposo("When wretched mortals take their rest")
14. O Monumenti ("Open, O tombs!")

II. Francesco Provenzale: Missa defunctorum (Capella de'Turchini/Antonio Florio, dir.).  Eloquentia CD EL 0710

--CRISTOFARO CARESANA (c.1640-1709): Dixit Dominus, for 5 voices

--GIOVANNI SALVATORE (1610-c.1688): Verso per la Messa dell'Apostoli, e Feste Doppie; Verso secondo per il Kyrie

--FRANCESCO PROVENZALE (1624-1709): Laetatus sum, for 5 voices (Salmo 125, della raccolta "Vespero breve a quattro e cinque")

--SALVATORE: Verso primo per la Gloria trasportata una quinta bassa

--PROVENZALE: In convertendo, for 5 voices (Salmo 121 - dalla raccolta 'Vespero breve a quattro e cinque')

--SALVATORE: Durezze e ligature

--PROVENZALE: Missa defunctorum, for 4 voices

III. Michelangelo Falvetti (1642-1692): Il Diluvio Universale (Cappella Mediterranea/Choeur Chambre de Namur/Leonardo García Alarcón, cond.). Ambronay CD AMY026.

From Classical a la carte: 
Michelangelo Falvetti, maestro di cappella at Messina Cathedral during the 1680s, is almost as obscure a figure as you can get in these Baroque-hungry days. Yet this disc is not just some worthy exhumation but the rehabilitation of a composition bursting with imagination and gripping drama. Frankly, it is hard to believe it has lain unheard for so long - I even spent a while wondering if it was real.

Il diluvio universale is a sacred ‘dialogue’ oratorio, in which there is no joined-up narrative but in which the soloists and chorus take roles in a sequence of dramatic tableaux. The subject is the Flood, and the cast includes God, Noah and his wife and a chorus of drowning folk, as well as Death, Divine Justice, Human Nature and the Four Elements. The musical language calls to mind both Cavalli and Alessandro Scarlatti but the treatment of the various scenes —which include the Elements conjuring a storm, beautiful and tender love music for the pious Noah and Jad, a terrifying depiction of the deluge in which the voices of the drowned break off into cries and shouts, and a sinisterly gleeful dance of Death — are treated with the disarming directness of a medieval narrative painting. There is indeed something ‘other’ about this piece, a hint of some ancient energy that perhaps reflects how Sicily itself differs from the rest of Italy.
The performers make the most of the lovely present they have been handed, with Leonardo García Alarcón leading a committed and compelling reading which revels in the music’s freedom of dramatic expression. There are some lovely solo contributions from Fernando Guimarães as Noah and Mariana Flores as Jad, and the lusty choir and orchestra are totally engaged. I confess I don’t quite understand why Arabic percussion has been added, but this thrilling release proves that Baroque music can still hold a few surprises yet. 

Il Diluvio Universale:
1). In Cielo
2). In Terra
3). Il Diluvio

Composer Info

Benedetto Ferrari (c.1603-1681), CRISTOFARO CARESANA (c.1640-1709), GIOVANNI SALVATORE (1610-c.1688), FRANCESCO PROVENZALE (1624-1709), Michelangelo Falvetti (1642-1692),

CD Info

Eloquentia CD EL 0710, Ambronay CD AMY026, Ambroisie CDAMB 9932