Notes and Editorial Reviews
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
at that time. Brian Robins did the honors
when it appeared again in 2000 (on Harmonia Mundi 905219.20;
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
surrounding solo work, as in the
, and longer orchestral
(as well as the concluding sonata
) 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
Works on This Recording
Vespro della Beata Vergine Marie by Pier Francesco Cavalli
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)
Concerto Palatino Choir
Written: by 1675; Venice, Italy
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