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Melani: Mottetti / Alessandrini, Concerto Italiano

Melani / Concerto Italiano / Alessandrini
Release Date: 08/31/2010 
Label:  Naive   Catalog #: 30431   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Alessandro Melani
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



A. MELANI 10 Motets Rinaldo Alessandrini, dir; Concerto Italiano NAÏVE OP 30431 (67:05 Text and Translation)


Alessandro Melani (1639–1703), not to be confused with his older brother Attilio, has had some representation in the record catalogs for decades, but the only significant issue was a superb collection of six solo cantatas on Dynamic. So we start here with a complementary program. Melani enjoyed several advantages along with his musician brothers. Born in Pistoia, he Read more sang as a choirboy in the cathedral there, then occupied successive positions as maestro di cappella at cathedrals in Orvieto, Ferrara, and back in Pistoia. Just days after he received this last appointment, he and his brothers went to Rome for the election of their fellow townsman as Pope Clement IX. A few months later, Melani was named maestro di cappella of Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the great Roman basilicas, later moving over to San Luigi dei Francesi while retaining a subsidiary post (the Salve chapel) there. When Rinaldo Alessandrini gave the first modern performance of one of Melani’s oratorios in Cuenca in 2003 ( Fanfare 27:1), I hailed it as the big news of the festival. But instead of recording that work as I had hoped, he has collected some of these motets from manuscripts left to Santa Maria Maggiore and other churches, transcribing some himself, using transcriptions prepared by Jean Lionnet and Luca della Libera, and using some of the editions published in Melani’s lifetime.


Melani published four books of sacred music from 1670 to 1698. He left much more manuscript music in various forms. The two longest works frame this program, beginning with a double-choir Litany of the Blessed Virgin written for the Salve chapel and ending with a double-choir Magnificat preserved at St. John Lateran. Melani must be considered an outstanding figure in Rome of the 17th century, a period generally discussed less generously than the preceding century. This disc offers a variety of works, including Psalm 112, a couple of Marian antiphons, and several original texts, in addition to the two longer works. The litany is not set in a manner that respects the nature of the text (as many later composers also failed to do), saving the refrain “ora pro nobis” to use only after groups of several invocations. The 17th-century Roman poetry of the original texts is less than inspired, but the settings of the more familiar liturgical texts are effective. This is a worthy discovery that Alessandrini has brought to light. The singing is typical of this marvelous ensemble.


FANFARE: J. F. Weber
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Works on This Recording

1.
Litanie per la beata vergine by Alessandro Melani
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
2.
Ave regina coelorum by Alessandro Melani
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
3.
Clamemus ante deum by Alessandro Melani
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
4.
O voces formidandae by Alessandro Melani
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
5.
De necessitatibus by Alessandro Melani
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
6.
Laudate pueri by Alessandro Melani
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
7.
Vivere sine te by Alessandro Melani
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
8.
Salve regina by Alessandro Melani
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
9.
Ad arma, cor meum by Alessandro Melani
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
10.
Magnificat by Alessandro Melani
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 

Sound Samples

Litanie per la Beata Vergine
Ave regina coelorum
Delectus sacrorum concentuum, Op. 2: Clamemus ante deum
Delectus sacrorum concentuum, Op. 2: O voces formidandae
Delectus sacrorum concentuum, Op. 2: De necessitatibus
Laudate pueri
Vivere sine te
Salve Regina
Concerti spirituali, Op. 3: Ad arma, cor meum
Magnificat

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