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Acantus


Release Date: 04/10/2001 
Label:  Gimell   Catalog #: 516   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Anonymous
Performer:  Fabio TricomiGuido SodoGloria MorettiAlessandra Fiori,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Acantus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 58 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Acantus is an Italian early music vocal/instrumental ensemble that, on evidence of this fine recording, deserves the first rate production values and quality presentation typical of all previous Gimell projects that until now exclusively featured The Tallis Scholars. Not only has this premier label returned, restored to independent status after a failed association with Philips, but it brings along with it this unusual group of performers whose unique, some would say "earthy" style nicely complements the Tallis Scholars' long-established a cappella Renaissance repertoire niche. Exactly what Acantus does on this disc will remain something of a mystery to anyone with access only to the outer
Read more packaging. "Sacred 'songs of the people' from medieval Italy, a passionate fusion of ethnic folk music and Gregorian Chant," says the somewhat provocative little blurb on the back cover, inscribed above a picture of six interesting-looking folks in colorful period costumes playing a couple of exotic instruments. No disc title, no list of selections, nothing more than a hint of the contents, and unknown performers. I hope this less-is-more approach works because it would be a shame if otherwise interested consumers pass on this, one of the more unusual (in the best sense), entertaining, and musically satisfying recordings of early music to come along this year.


The music--17 selections in all--turns out to be sacred pieces from the 14th and 15th century with Latin texts ("Adoramus te Christe", "De profundis", "Salve sponsa Dei", etc.), drawn from a category known today as "simple polyphony". As the term suggests, the style employs basic structural means to ensure clarity in the musical lines and in the expression of the meaning of the texts. But, the melodic material itself tends to be rooted in more popular musical idioms that lend themselves to a more extroverted expressive manner of singing than we expect in the most formal liturgical works. To try to get to the heart of this music, which likely would have been performed outside (as well as occasionally inside) the context of traditional church worship, the members of Acantus went both to original manuscripts (to keep clear of modern editorial alterations or biases) and tapped into their knowledge of ethnic music and how it is performed today "in regions of Italy where the oral tradition of sacred and secular music is still alive."


The music ranges from two parts to six, some accompanied, some a cappella. But it's the distinctive vocal style--open, forward, and somewhat reedy in tone--that will immediately capture your attention. The singers also make occasional inflective gestures more common to folk music of the Mediterranean region, and it's all very effective and never seems out of character or idiomatically contradictory. Some of the pieces are accompanied by drones (voices or instruments), a practice reminiscent of both Mediterranean and certain Eastern European folk and religious vocal music. Instruments include plucked and bowed strings, bagpipes, flutes, organ, and percussion. The singers are impressive for their impeccable technique, flawless intonation, and most of all for their ability to convey the music's colorful, raw-edged spirit and spirituality. The sound is realistic and well-balanced, with a perspective that places you where you can both "feel" the size of the room and hear every detail. This is a significant new release that hopefully will be followed by many more--and perhaps for its next recording Gimell will correct an oversight and provide some background on the group.
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Adoramus te Christe by Anonymous
Performer:  Fabio Tricomi (Voice), Guido Sodo (Voice), Gloria Moretti (Voice),
Alessandra Fiori (Voice), Marco Ferrari (Voice), Stefano Pilati (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Acantus
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1997 
Venue:  Eremo di Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
2.
Vergene madre pia by Anonymous
Performer:  Fabio Tricomi (Lute), Stefano Pilati (Voice), Guido Sodo (Lute),
Alessandra Fiori (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Acantus
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1997 
Venue:  Eremo di Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
3.
Quasi cedrus by Anonymous
Performer:  Silvia Testoni (Voice), Dina Cucchiaro (Voice), Tomomi Takamatsu (Voice),
Frida Forlani (Voice), Cinzia Romeo (Voice), Alessandra Fiori (Voice),
Gloria Moretti (Voice), Roberta Binotti (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Acantus
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1997 
Venue:  Eremo di Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
4.
Verzene benedeta by Anonymous
Performer:  Alessandra Fiori (Voice), Fabio Tricomi (Lute), Gloria Moretti (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Acantus
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1997 
Venue:  Eremo di Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
5.
O Virgineta bella by Anonymous
Performer:  Stefano Pilati (Voice), Guido Sodo (Voice), Fabio Tricomi (Vielle)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Acantus
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1997 
Venue:  Eremo di Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
6.
Sicut pratum by Anonymous
Performer:  Stefano Pilati (Voice), Guido Sodo (Voice), Marco Ferrari (Organistrum),
Fabio Tricomi (Organistrum)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Acantus
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1997 
Venue:  Live  Eremo di Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 6 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
7.
Salve sancta parens by Anonymous
Performer:  Alessandra Fiori (Voice), Miranda Aureli (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Acantus
Period: Medieval 
Written: by 1350; England 
Date of Recording: 08/1997 
Venue:  Eremo di Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: This selection shares a track and timing with "Salve, sponsa dei." 
8.
Salve, sponsa Dei by Anonymous
Performer:  Miranda Aureli (Organ), Fabio Tricomi (Voice), Stefano Pilati (Voice),
Marco Ferrari (Voice), Guido Sodo (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Acantus
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1997 
Venue:  Eremo di Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Language: Latin 
Notes: This selection shares a track and timing with "Salve sancte parens." 
9.
Salve Virgo rubens rosa by Anonymous
Performer:  Gloria Moretti (Voice), Alessandra Fiori (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Acantus
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1997 
Venue:  Eremo di Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
10.
Credo apostolorum by Anonymous
Performer:  Gloria Moretti (Voice), Alessandra Fiori (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Acantus
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1997 
Venue:  Eremo di Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
11.
Sanctus by Anonymous
Performer:  Gloria Moretti (Voice), Alessandra Fiori (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Acantus
Period: Medieval 
Date of Recording: 08/1997 
Venue:  Eremo di Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 1 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
12.
Qui nos fecit ex nichilo by Anonymous
Performer:  Silvia Testoni (Voice), Frida Forlani (Voice), Gloria Moretti (Voice),
Alessandra Fiori (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Acantus
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1997 
Venue:  Eremo di Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
13.
Gaude flore by Anonymous
Performer:  Gloria Moretti (Voice), Alessandra Fiori (Voice), Silvia Testoni (Voice),
Marco Ferrari (Flute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Acantus
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1997 
Venue:  Eremo di Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
14.
In die resurrectionis meae by Anonymous
Performer:  Fabio Tricomi (Voice), Guido Sodo (Voice), Stefano Pilati (Voice),
Marco Ferrari (Voice), Gloria Moretti (Voice), Alessandra Fiori (Voice),
Marco Ferrari (Flute), Fabio Tricomi (Flute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Acantus
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1997 
Venue:  Eremo di Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
15.
De profundis by Anonymous
Performer:  Gloria Moretti (Voice), Stefano Pilati (Voice), Marco Ferrari (Flute),
Guido Sodo (Voice), Alida Oliva (Flute), Fabio Tricomi (Flute),
Alessandra Fiori (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Acantus
Period: Medieval 
Date of Recording: 08/1997 
Venue:  Eremo di Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
16.
Cum autem venissem by Anonymous
Performer:  Gloria Moretti (Voice), Alessandra Fiori (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Acantus
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1997 
Venue:  Eremo di Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
17.
O crux fructus by Anonymous
Performer:  Marco Ferrari (Bagpipe), Gloria Moretti (Voice), Fabio Tricomi (Tambourine),
Stefano Pilati (Voice), Guido Sodo (Voice), Alessandra Fiori (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Acantus
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1997 
Venue:  Eremo di Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
18.
Adoramus te Domine by Anonymous
Performer:  Fabio Tricomi (Voice), Guido Sodo (Voice), Marco Ferrari (Voice),
Alessandra Fiori (Voice), Gloria Moretti (Voice), Stefano Pilati (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Acantus
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1997 
Venue:  Eremo di Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Language: Latin 

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