WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Puccini Sr.: Musica Sacra / Kantorei Saarlouis, Et Al


Release Date: 03/14/2006 
Label:  Arte Nova   Catalog #: 755070   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Puccini, Giacomo, Sr.
Performer:  Adolph SeidelJonathan Peter KennyJames GilchristJulia Gooding
Conductor:  Joachim Fontaine
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saarlouis Evangelical ChoirEnsemble UnaVolta
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



PUCCINI I Dixit Dominus. 1 De profundis. 2 Laudate pueri 3 Joachim Fontaine, cond; Julia Gooding (sop); 1–3 Jonathan Peter Kenny (ct); 1–3 James Gilchrist (ten); 1 Adolph Seidel (bs); 1,2 Kantorei Saarlouis; Ens Una Volta Read more (period instruments) ARTE NOVA 755070 (61:28 Text and Translation)


There have been many prominent families throughout musical history, including those with the name Bach, Scarlatti, and Couperin. Here we encounter an early member of yet another important and probably lesser-known musical clan, Giacomo Puccini (1712–1781). He was the great-great-grandfather of the composer of La bohème, Madama Butterfly , and Turandot . Few are aware of the musical dynasty from which the most famous member of the Puccini clan sprang. His father, Michele, his grandfather, Domenico, and his great-grandfather Antonio were all well regarded musicians whose reputations extended beyond their native Lucca, the town and republic with which the family is most associated. In short, the Puccinis were the Italian equivalent of the Bach and Couperin families. The Puccini with which we are concerned here was a composer whose career spanned the period between the Baroque and the Enlightenment; or to put it another way, the era between the continuo and the galant.


Giacomo I was apparently anal-retentive, leaving behind three extensive volumes called Libre delle musiche annue . The collection covers 30 years in which Puccini’s services were required as either a composer or performer, or both. In addition to noting fees received, there are such diverse items as routes of processions, names of participating musicians, and the layout of the orchestra for particular occasions. Giacomo I was also credited with enlarging the orchestra associated with the cathedral in San Martino, the Capella Palatina, and improving its musical acumen. In short, these collections are a kind of timeline of a large part of his career, with more than an occasional interesting foray into the periphery.


The psalm settings offered in this 2000 Arte Nova release reveal a composer of many gifts, who was capable of crafting impressive fugal passages such as the Amen that concludes the Laudate pueri , and who was thoroughly familiar with the concept of Affektenlehre , not to mention when and how to use it. Puccini correctly allows the text to be the servant of the music. Witness the anguish of the ascending phrases in the opening chorus of the De profundis as the voices communicate the painful cries of mankind. Here Puccini unexpectedly replaces the traditional Doxology, “Gloria patri et filio,” with the prayer for the souls of the departed, “Requiem aeternam dona eis.”


I have not heard of the conductor, orchestra, or chorus before, but I am acquainted with soprano soloist Julia Gooding, who lends her remarkable gifts to each of the three psalm settings. The remainder of the soloists also provide exceptional performances, possessing voices that are appropriate for this repertoire, i.e., dramatically strong and agile, but not too heavy. The chorus and orchestra are exceptional as well, the former with a nice sonic blend and just enough sensitivity to highlight the Affektenlehre properly. Their striking sense of balance allows each part in the fugues to come through clearly. The contributions of period-instrument band are also first-rate, and when combined with the chorus and soloists, the result is a disc of historically informed performances that are rich in beauty, fluent in both tone and technique, and that should elicit satisfaction from the most selective of auditors.


This newest member of our Classical Hall of Fame should be on the shelf of every choral music-lover.


FANFARE: Michael Carter
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Dixit Dominus a 4 concertato by Puccini, Giacomo, Sr.
Performer:  Adolph Seidel (Bass), Jonathan Peter Kenny (Countertenor), James Gilchrist (Tenor),
Julia Gooding (Soprano)
Conductor:  Joachim Fontaine
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saarlouis Evangelical Choir,  Ensemble UnaVolta
Period: Classical 
Written: 1755; Italy 
Venue:  Evangelical Church, Saarlouis, Germany 
Length: 24 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: Evangelical Church, Saarlouis, Germany (11/28/1999 - 11/30/1999) 
2.
De profundis por il defonti con sinfonia by Puccini, Giacomo, Sr.
Performer:  Adolph Seidel (Bass), Jonathan Peter Kenny (Countertenor), Julia Gooding (Soprano)
Conductor:  Joachim Fontaine
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saarlouis Evangelical Choir,  Ensemble UnaVolta
Period: Classical 
Written: Italy 
Venue:  Evangelical Church, Saarlouis, Germany 
Length: 27 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: Evangelical Church, Saarlouis, Germany (11/28/1999 - 11/30/1999) 
3.
Laudate pueri a 4 breve e concertato by Puccini, Giacomo, Sr.
Performer:  Jonathan Peter Kenny (Countertenor), Julia Gooding (Soprano)
Conductor:  Joachim Fontaine
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saarlouis Evangelical Choir,  Ensemble UnaVolta
Period: Classical 
Written: 1741; Italy 
Venue:  Evangelical Church, Saarlouis, Germany 
Length: 8 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: Evangelical Church, Saarlouis, Germany (11/28/1999 - 11/30/1999) 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN - TRY IT FREE!
Listen to all your favorite classical music for only $20/month.
Sign up for your monthly subscription service and get unlimited access to the most comprehensive digital catalog of classical music in the world - new releases. bestsellers, advanced releases and more.
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In