Notes and Editorial Reviews
First Book of Madrigals a 4.
First Book of Madrigals a 5.
Canti di Salomone
Stefano Bozolo, dir;
Ut Musica Poesis Ens;
BRILLIANT 93359 (3 CDs: 179:24
Text and Translation)
Domine Dominus noster
This package groups three Tactus CDs united by the composer of almost all the music, Tactus 571803, 571802, and 571804. (The first disc in the series, Rossi’s instrumental works performed by still another ensemble, is not included. It was listed in the last edition of
, but if the later discs were also available here they were not received for review.) Salomone Rossi (c. 1570–c. 1630) has long been represented on records, though not abundantly. The pioneering issue on a mono Columbia ML 5204, reissued on Odyssey (3:4), included five of the madrigals heard here. Joel Cohen included some of the sacred music in a collection (3:6; CD in 11:6) that included the call to prayer
. The big year for Rossi was 1996, when the New York Baroque Ensemble made two discs of his sacred music (21:5), including all three psalms heard here along with a text from Leviticus and the Kaddish, while the Zamir Chorale of Boston recorded a cross section of his music (25:5), including Psalm 128 again, the call to prayer
Cor mio deh non languire
. The new versions are more forceful than those of the two American choirs, largely due to the added instruments in the sacred music. The Rossi psalm collection was also recorded recently for Hungaroton. A number of other discs in the current catalog concentrate on his instrumental music.
There is a slight overlap between the first two discs here. The first is devoted mostly to the First Book of Madrigals for Four Voices, published in 1614, while the second includes most of the Madrigaletti of 1628, Rossi’s final publication. His First Book of Madrigals for Five Voices of 1600 is innovative in presenting for six of the pieces an alternative method of performance by solo voice with theorbo intabulated on the page. This marks the very beginning of the transition from Renaissance polyphony to Baroque monody with accompaniment. All six of these madrigals are heard at the end of the second disc, while different performances of four of them are scattered through the first disc.
The third disc is programmed to include psalms of three religions. Most of the disc is devoted not to the familiar biblical Song of Songs but to Hebrew settings of the psalms (that is, songs) of David, which is also a pun, the
Songs of Solomone
(Rossi), published in 1620. Then come several psalms by Purcell set in English to the Protestant Authorized Version, and a psalm of Campra set to the Latin text of the Vulgate. Both of these composers, flourishing later in the century, were influenced by the Italian style, an additional instructive and unitive element in the program.
The presentation of the three discs was carefully worked out, and they make a satisfactory boxed set. Anyone who is interested in Rossi is likely to want all of the discs, an easy choice at the price offered. They offer a distinct contrast to the unaccompanied discs that were available a few years ago.
FANFARE: J. F. Weber
Works on This Recording
Madrigals for 4 Voices, Book 1 by Salomone Rossi
Ut Musica Poesis
Written: by 1614; Italy
Madrigals for 5 Voices, Book 1 by Salomone Rossi
Written: by 1600; Italy
Madrigaletti per cantar a due soprani o tenori, Op. 13 by Salomone Rossi
Written: by 1628; Italy
Work(s) by Salomone Rossi
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