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Cavalli: Vespro Della Beata Vergine Marie / Concerto Palatino

Cavalli / Borden / Van Evera / Brutscher
Release Date: 01/31/2012 
Label:  Glossa   Catalog #: 922509  
Composer:  Pier Francesco Cavalli
Performer:  Markus BrutscherHarry Van der KampMark PadmoreEmily van Evera,   ... 
Conductor:  Bruce DickeyCharles Toet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Palatino Choir
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

CAVALLI Vespro della Beata Vergine Bruce Dickey, Charles Toet, cond; Barbara Borden, Emily van Evera (sop); Rodrigo del Pozo (alt); Gerd Türk, Mark Padmore (alt/ten); Markus Brutscher (ten); Harry van der Kamp, Peter Zimpel (bs); Concerto Palatino GLOSSA 922509 (2 CDs: 121:30 Text and Translation)

This disc, first released in 1995 by Harmonia Mundi, was not reviewed by Fanfare at that time. Brian Robins did the honors Read more when it appeared again in 2000 (on Harmonia Mundi 905219.20; Fanfare 23:3). Here it is once more, this time on Glossa.

There’s good reason it doesn’t vanish for long: It’s simply the best version of Cavalli’s reconstructed Marian Vespers—underscore that if you accept the assertion of the Concerto Palatino’s leadership that one-part-to-a-singer is a natural fit to the piece. I can understand those who might disagree with that approach, given the size and sheer magnificence of sacred choirs in Venice at the midpoint of the 17th century. But the clarity of the melismatic figurations, harmonic movement, and rhythmic buoyancy of the work are extremely well served by this performance of eight vocal soloists and orchestra. I find it difficult to believe they could be met, much less bettered, by a vastly expanded choir, much less performers who display such agility, balance, and clarity of enunciation.

The orchestra is small but flexible, dividing appropriately into a “loud” ensemble of cornetts and trombones, and a continuo of paired violins, violone, theorbo, and organ. Both brief ripieni surrounding solo work, as in the Dixit Dominus , and longer orchestral canzone (as well as the concluding sonata a 12 ) are rendered with polish and a joyful ceremonial quality quite in keeping with the Feast of the Assumption.

In short, praise to Glossa for rereleasing this, and for Dickey, Toet, and Harmonia Mundi for having the good sense and taste to record it in the first place. Highly recommended.

FANFARE: Barry Brenesal
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Works on This Recording

Vespro della Beata Vergine Marie by Pier Francesco Cavalli
Performer:  Markus Brutscher (A), Harry Van der Kamp (Bass), Mark Padmore (Tenor),
Emily van Evera (Soprano), Rodrigo Del Pozo (Tenor), Gerd Türk (Counter Tenor),
Peter Zimpel (Bass)
Conductor:  Bruce Dickey,  Charles Toet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Palatino Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1675; Venice, Italy 

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