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Alessandro Scarlatti: Missa Breve; Six Motets; Domenico Scarlatti: Stabat Mater

Scarlatti / Choir Of Christ College / Rowland
Release Date: 03/09/2010 
Label:  Regent   Catalog #: 283   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Alessandro ScarlattiDomenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Hugh SalimbeniEdwin HillierRuth ProvostRachel Beaumont,   ... 
Conductor:  David Rowland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Christ College Choir Cambridge
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



A. SCARLATTI Missa breve, e concertata a cinque voci. 1 Ad Dominum, dum tribularer. Justitiae Domini. Exsurge Domine. Exaltabo te Domine. Domine in auxilium meum. Exultate Deo. D. SCARLATTI Stabat Mater 2 David Rowland, cond; Ch of Christ’s College, Cambridge; Jonathan Hellyer Jones (org); 1 Adam Baker (org) 2 Read more class="ARIAL12"> REGENT 283 (59:33 Text and Translation)


This recording pairs some lesser-known works by Alessandro Scarlatti with the often-recorded Stabat Mater of his son Domenico. The Missa breve was written for Rome’s S. Maria Maggiore during Alessandro’s brief period as its music director from 1707 to 1709. The Missa calls for five soloists and chorus, with organ accompaniment. The five soloists act as a separate choir, though they are often reinforced by the remaining chorus members. The six motets are for unaccompanied voices and range from prayers for help to joyful thanks to God.


Domenico’s Stabat Mater is for a 10-part choir, four sopranos and two each of altos, tenors, and basses, with organ accompaniment. The sources for this work give conflicting ideas of how it should be performed. Some support a change from solo to choral texture, while others indicate that a consistent texture should be maintained throughout.


The performances by the Choir of Christ’s College, Cambridge, are good, but they sound a bit rough when compared to professional choirs like The Sixteen, which has recorded the Stabat Mater. I don’t mean to imply that the singing is bad; it certainly is not. It simply lacks the polish that we get from the best choral groups currently recording music of this period.


For the works by Alessandro, only one motet, Exultate Deo , is currently available elsewhere. Thus, this recording is most valuable for allowing us to add to our knowledge of his sacred music. I am aware of 12 other recordings of the Stabat Mater. In Fanfare 32:2 I recommended a recording on Tactus conducted by Elena Sartori. That recording takes a different approach to the Stabat Mater than the recording under review, which uses a 32-voice choir, with occasional passages assigned to soloists. Sartori uses one singer per part, producing a brilliant sound compared to the softer-edged full chorus from Cambridge. I find the Sartori performance more convincing while admitting that either approach is a valid way of performing this work. For additional recommendations on the Stabat Mater, see J. F. Weber’s review of Alessandrini’s recording on Naïve in which he discusses most of the available recordings (31:5).


This recording is worth acquiring for the Alessandro Scarlatti works, and one gets a decent recording of the Stabat Mater as well.


FANFARE: Ron Salemi
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Works on This Recording

1. Messa breve e concertata, for chorus & continuo in E minor ("Missa in IV tono") by Alessandro Scarlatti
Performer:  Hugh Salimbeni (Voice), Edwin Hillier (Voice), Ruth Provost (Voice),
Rachel Beaumont (Voice), Olivia Marshall (Voice), Jonathan Hellyer Jones (Organ)
Conductor:  David Rowland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Christ College Choir Cambridge
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1704-1708 
Venue:  St George's Church, Chesterton, Cambridg 
Length: 2 Minutes 32 Secs. 
2. Ad Dominum dum tribularer, motet for chorus by Alessandro Scarlatti
Conductor:  David Rowland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Christ College Choir Cambridge
Period: Baroque 
Written: ?1708 
Venue:  St George's Church, Chesterton, Cambridg 
Length: 4 Minutes 9 Secs. 
3. Justitiae Domini rectae, motet for chorus by Alessandro Scarlatti
Conductor:  David Rowland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Christ College Choir Cambridge
Period: Baroque 
Written: ?1708 
Venue:  St George's Church, Chesterton, Cambridg 
Length: 3 Minutes 35 Secs. 
4. Exurge Domine non prevaleat, motet for chorus by Alessandro Scarlatti
Conductor:  David Rowland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Christ College Choir Cambridge
Period: Baroque 
Written: ?1708 
Venue:  St George's Church, Chesterton, Cambridg 
Length: 2 Minutes 56 Secs. 
5. Exaltabo te Domine quoniam by Alessandro Scarlatti
Conductor:  David Rowland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Christ College Choir Cambridge
Written: c1708 
Venue:  St George's Church, Chesterton, Cambridg 
Length: 3 Minutes 27 Secs. 
6. Domine in auxilium meum, motet for chorus by Alessandro Scarlatti
Conductor:  David Rowland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Christ College Choir Cambridge
Period: Baroque 
Written: ?1708 
Venue:  St George's Church, Chesterton, Cambridg 
Length: 3 Minutes 42 Secs. 
7. Exultate Deo adjutori by Alessandro Scarlatti
Conductor:  David Rowland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Christ College Choir Cambridge
Period: Baroque 
Written: Italy 
Venue:  St George's Church, Chesterton, Cambridg 
Length: 2 Minutes 48 Secs. 
8. Stabat Mater by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Adam Baker (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1715; Rome, Italy 
Venue:  St George's Church, Chesterton, Cambridg 
Length: 23 Minutes 5 Secs. 

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