D. SCARLATTI Te Deum. Missa breve “La stella.” Cibavit nos Dominus. Magnificat. Stabat mater • Morten Schuldt-Jensen, cond; Immortal Bach Ens • NAXOS 8.570382 (64:06)
The previous Scarlatti review of the Alessandrini reissue just began to sort out the two masses that Domenico Scarlatti composed. Besides the more familiar one often called the “Madrid” Mass, Eleonora Simi Bonini has found a Missa breve “LaRead more stella” in the archives of Santa Maria Maggiore, where he was employed briefly during the service of his father, Alessandro. It is now clear that the Graham O’Reilly recording was correctly identified as a work for double choir. Like that one and the Harry Christophers recording, neither heard here, this new entry is coupled with the famous Stabat mater, along with three shorter works. Cibavit nos Dominus, also found at Santa Maria Maggiore, is a brief motet for Corpus Christi that is appropriately inserted into the Mass here as an elevation motet. The Te Deum, written for Lisbon, the latest work on this program, is so concise that it takes no longer to sing than the familiar chant setting. The other two works are both preserved in Münster and probably date from his service at the Cappella Giulia in 1713–19.
All these works, except Cibavit nos Dominus and the Magnificat, are sung with continuo, the organ joined by violone and theorbo, a practice regarded as normal in 17th-century Rome. The a cappella pieces are sung two voices to a part, everything else sung one voice to a part. This Stabat mater is really a viable alternative to the Erik van Nevel version that I have favored. The Mass is well worth hearing, though I can’t compare it with the other two versions. This ensemble was known until recently as the Gewandhaus Kammerchor, founded in 2001. The two a cappella pieces and the Te Deum were recorded some years ago by the Western Washington University Chorus in a Scarlatti collection that I have not heard. This is a recommendable collection that should appeal to Baroque enthusiasts, especially for the unfamiliar works.