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Grandi: Vulnerasti Cor Meum / Jacobs, Schola Cantorum Basel


Release Date: 07/23/2008 
Label:  Dhm Deutsche Harmonia Mundi Catalog #: 77281   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Friederike HeumannKarl-Ernst SchröderMaria Cristina KiehrMinna Arkkola,   ... 
Conductor:  René Jacobs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Basiliensis
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

All the items on this CD are gems. Grandi, who may have been a pupil of Giovanni Gabrieli, had great melodic gifts and good ear for dramatic presentation of his texts.

Alessandro Grandi might have been a pupil of Giovanni Gabrieli. He spent the initial part of his musical career singing (falsetto soprano) and directing music at establishments in Ferrara, culminating in his appointment as director of music at Ferrara cathedral in 1616. In 1617 he moved to Venice and became a singer, under Monteverdi's direction, at St. Mark's, going on to become Monteverdi's deputy in 1620. He and Monteverdi are reputed to have been in open rivalry and Monteverdi is supposed to have prevented Grandi from presenting large-scale works of
Read more his own. Grandi seems to have made a virtue of necessity and produced a ravishing string of solo motets and concerti spirituali. In 1627 he moved on to become director of music in Bergamo. He published 11 volumes of motets, many of them very popular, 3 volumes of psalms and 5 masses. His motets with symphonies, involving obbligato violins, had an influence on Schütz.

In the 1620's sacred music underwent a significant change, out went the polychoral techniques of the Gabrielis and in came the new concerted style. A more intimate style with a few solo voices and instruments, with a greater emphasis on virtuosity. Monteverdi used this style in his later church music, but it was fully developed by his colleagues and followers such as Alessandro Grandi.

Grandi had an advantage over colleagues such as Monteverdi and Gabrieli in that he was a singer. His art revolves around the expression of the text, using the music to bring out the prosody of the words. His earliest motets were published in 1610 and they are admirably lacking in youthful inexperience. 'O quam pulchra es' uses three voices in an almost madrigalian setting of words from the Song of Songs.

Grandi's works crop up in the catalogue mainly in surveys of Monteverdi's contemporaries. Despite his importance in early 17th century Italian music, record companies have mainly cast him in Monteverdi's shadow, so it is pleasant to welcome this CD back. It has an enviable line up of singers with the young Andreas and Elisabeth Scholl alongside René Jacobs and Maria Cristina Kiehr.

The motets all receive fine performances. This vocal chamber music requires a good interplay between performers and those on this record are generally admirable. Jacobs sings two of the solo motets, 'Salve Regina' with its cornet obliggati and 'O quam tu pulchra est'. Whilst I was able to admire his artistry greatly, not everyone will like his distinctive resinous tone. But these are two of the most affecting motets on the record and Jacobs' way with the words is hauntingly persuasive. Though all the artists on the disc are excellent, Jacobs proves to be the most penetratingly responsive to the text.

The admirable cornettists are Jean Tubery, and William Dongois and their playing combines discretion and subtlety along with virtuoso effect. They appear on two further tracks. 'Transfige', a solo motet well sung by Gerd Türk with his mellifluous, bright, if slightly unvarying tenor voice and 'Bone Jesu verbum patris', a lovely duet charmingly sung by Elisabeth and Andreas Scholl, who blend exquisitely. The two cornets beautifully balance the two vocalists and show off Grandi's expertise with the new structural developments in sacred music.

Dramatic and structural interest are rarely absent from these lovely works. Solo voices are counterbalanced by two violins in three of the motets. 'Osculetur me', in which Andreas Scholl brings to bear his creamy alto voice; 'Virgo prudentissima' sung with a brilliant urgency by Elisabeth Scholl; 'Vulnerasti cor meum' sung by the bright toned Maria Cristina Kiehr who gets the bulk of the soprano solos.

In the multi-voiced motets, some are in the more traditional style of the late 16th century, like the 5-voiced setting of Job's lament, 'Versa est'. But others reflect Grandi's more recent concerns. 'Heu mihi! - Quid ploras?' is a conversation between the despairing sinner (hauntingly sung by Gerd Türk) and God (sung by Andreas Scholl, Otto Rastbichler and Ulrich Messthaler). 'Quemadmodum desiderat' is another dialogue, this time between two voices (Maria Christina Kiehr and Ulrich Messthaler). a lover and beloved, which ends with a hymn to the Virgin!

The motet 'Plorabo die ac nocte' uses a text which links the lamentations of Jeremiah with a pain-filled Marian lament. The text is sung by each soloist in turn. But, in an effect reminiscent of a Greek chorus, all soloists join together at the end of each solo. But the most remarkable is possibly 'Missus est Gabriel'. This setting of the annunciation uses St. Luke's Gospel, allocated to Evangelist (Ulrich Messthaler, singing with a wonderfully dark tone), Angel (Gerd Türk) and Virgin (Andreas Scholl). But this mini-oratorio increases the drama by adding an off-stage chorus (sopranos Maria Cristina Kiehr and Elisabeth Scholl) who constantly sing the praises of the virgin, providing a chorus which comments on and interrupts the main dialogue.

All the items on this CD are gems. Grandi had great melodic gifts and good ear for dramatic presentation of his texts. A singer himself, his vocal lines are always effective and grateful. All the singers on this recording are admirable and it manages to showcase the talents of a remarkable group of young singers and instrumentalists.

Grandi's motets deserve to be better known, but his works have been difficult to come by in performing editions. This seems to be the only CD in the catalogue devoted solely Grandi's works, so it is pleasing to see its return and the artists are also to be commended for their musicological research. It is a shame that the CD booklet does not manage to print the texts of the motets. Grandi was such a text based composer that one misses the opportunity of following the words in translation. Not all of these texts are well known and not everyone has the requisite Latin.

This is a lovely CD to listen to in one sitting or simply to dip into. I can highly recommend it.

-- Robert Hugill, MusicWeb International
reviewing this title reissued as DHM 77857
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Motetti con sinfonie, libro primo: Vulnerasti cor meum by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Friederike Heumann (Bass Viola da gamba), Karl-Ernst Schröder (Chitarrone), Maria Cristina Kiehr (Soprano),
Minna Arkkola (Violin), Gottfried Bach (Organ), Brigitte Täubl (Violin)
Conductor:  René Jacobs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Basiliensis
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1621; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 11/1991 
Venue:  Catholic Church, Seewen, Switzerland 
Length: 4 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
2.
Motetti (18): In lectulo meo by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Maria Cristina Kiehr (Soprano), Friederike Heumann (Bass Viola da gamba), Karl-Ernst Schröder (Chitarrone)
Conductor:  René Jacobs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Basiliensis
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1621; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 11/1991 
Venue:  Catholic Church, Seewen, Switzerland 
Length: 2 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
3.
Motetti (16) con le Letanie della beata vergine: Beata es Maria by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Ulrich Messthaler (Bass), Andreas Scholl (Countertenor), Elisabeth Scholl (Soprano),
Otto Rastbichler (Tenor), Gottfried Bach (Organ), Gerd Türk (Tenor)
Conductor:  René Jacobs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Basiliensis
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1614; Ferrara, Italy 
Date of Recording: 11/1991 
Venue:  Catholic Church, Seewen, Switzerland 
Length: 3 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
4.
Motetti con sinfonie, libro primo: Salve Regina by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  René Jacobs (Countertenor), Friederike Heumann (Bass Viola da gamba), Karl-Ernst Schröder (Chitarrone),
Gottfried Bach (Organ), William Dongois (Zink), Jean Tubery (Zink)
Conductor:  René Jacobs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Basiliensis
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1621; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 11/1991 
Venue:  Catholic Church, Seewen, Switzerland 
Length: 4 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
5.
Il sesto libro de motetti: Quemadmodum desiderat cervus by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Karl-Ernst Schröder (Chitarrone), Gottfried Bach (Organ), Ulrich Messthaler (Bass),
Maria Cristina Kiehr (Soprano), Friederike Heumann (Bass Viola da gamba)
Conductor:  René Jacobs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Basiliensis
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1630; Bergamo, Italy 
Date of Recording: 11/1991 
Venue:  Catholic Church, Seewen, Switzerland 
Length: 5 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
6.
Motetti (18): O intemerata by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Friederike Heumann (Bass Viola da gamba), Karl-Ernst Schröder (Chitarrone), Gottfried Bach (Organ),
Gerd Türk (Tenor)
Conductor:  René Jacobs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Basiliensis
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1621; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 11/1991 
Venue:  Catholic Church, Seewen, Switzerland 
Length: 3 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
7.
Motetti con sinfonie, libro secondo: Osculetur me by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Friederike Heumann (Bass Viola da gamba), Gottfried Bach (Organ), Minna Arkkola (Violin),
Brigitte Täubl (Violin), Andreas Scholl (Countertenor)
Conductor:  René Jacobs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Basiliensis
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1625; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 11/1991 
Venue:  Catholic Church, Seewen, Switzerland 
Length: 3 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
8.
Il quarto libro de motetti: Ave, regina caelorum by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Friederike Heumann (Bass Viola da gamba), Karl-Ernst Schröder (Chitarrone), Gottfried Bach (Organ),
Ulrich Messthaler (Bass), Otto Rastbichler (Tenor), Gerd Türk (Tenor),
Elisabeth Scholl (Soprano), Maria Cristina Kiehr (Soprano)
Conductor:  René Jacobs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Basiliensis
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1616; Ferrara, Italy 
Date of Recording: 11/1991 
Venue:  Catholic Church, Seewen, Switzerland 
Length: 2 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
9.
Motetti con sinfonie, libro primo: Bone Jesu verbum by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Karl-Ernst Schröder (Chitarrone), Gottfried Bach (Organ), William Dongois (Zink),
Jean Tubery (Zink), Andreas Scholl (Countertenor), Elisabeth Scholl (Soprano),
Friederike Heumann (Bass Viola da gamba)
Conductor:  René Jacobs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Basiliensis
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1621; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 11/1991 
Venue:  Catholic Church, Seewen, Switzerland 
Length: 4 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
10.
Missus est Gabriel by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Karl-Ernst Schröder (Chitarrone), Gottfried Bach (Organ), Ulrich Messthaler (Bass),
Gerd Türk (Tenor), Andreas Scholl (Countertenor), Elisabeth Scholl (Soprano),
Maria Cristina Kiehr (Soprano), Friederike Heumann (Bass Viola da gamba)
Conductor:  René Jacobs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Basiliensis
Date of Recording: 11/1991 
Venue:  Catholic Church, Seewen, Switzerland 
Length: 8 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
11.
Motetti con sinfonie, libro terzo: Virgo prudentissima by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Karl-Ernst Schröder (Chitarrone), Minna Arkkola (Violin), Brigitte Täubl (Violin),
Elisabeth Scholl (Soprano), Friederike Heumann (Bass Viola da gamba)
Conductor:  René Jacobs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Basiliensis
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1629; Bergamo, Italy 
Date of Recording: 11/1991 
Venue:  Catholic Church, Seewen, Switzerland 
Length: 2 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
12.
O quam tu pulchra es by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Gottfried Bach (Organ), Maria Cristina Kiehr (Soprano), Karl-Ernst Schröder (Chitarrone)
Conductor:  René Jacobs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Basiliensis
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1625; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 11/1991 
Venue:  Catholic Church, Seewen, Switzerland 
Length: 3 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
13.
Il sesto libro de motetti: Domine, ne in furore by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Friederike Heumann (Bass Viola da gamba), Maria Cristina Kiehr (Soprano), Andreas Scholl (Countertenor),
Gerd Türk (Tenor), Ulrich Messthaler (Bass), Gottfried Bach (Organ),
Karl-Ernst Schröder (Chitarrone)
Conductor:  René Jacobs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Basiliensis
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 11/1991 
Venue:  Catholic Church, Seewen, Switzerland 
Length: 3 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
14.
Il secondo libro de motetti: Heu mihi - Quid ploras by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Friederike Heumann (Bass Viola da gamba), Karl-Ernst Schröder (Chitarrone), Gottfried Bach (Organ),
Ulrich Messthaler (Bass), Otto Rastbichler (Tenor), Gerd Türk (Tenor),
Andreas Scholl (Countertenor)
Conductor:  René Jacobs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Basiliensis
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1613; Ferrara, Italy 
Date of Recording: 11/1991 
Venue:  Catholic Church, Seewen, Switzerland 
Length: 4 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
15.
Motetti con sinfonie, libro primo: Transfige dulcissime by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Friederike Heumann (Bass Viola da gamba), Gottfried Bach (Organ), Minna Arkkola (Violin),
Brigitte Täubl (Violin), Maria Cristina Kiehr (Soprano), Karl-Ernst Schröder (Chitarrone)
Conductor:  René Jacobs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Basiliensis
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 11/1991 
Venue:  Catholic Church, Seewen, Switzerland 
Length: 6 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
16.
Il quarto libro de motetti: Plorabo die ac nocte by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Karl-Ernst Schröder (Chitarrone), Gottfried Bach (Organ), Ulrich Messthaler (Bass),
Maria Cristina Kiehr (Soprano), Andreas Scholl (Countertenor), Gerd Türk (Tenor),
Friederike Heumann (Bass Viola da gamba)
Conductor:  René Jacobs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Basiliensis
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1616; Ferrara, Italy 
Date of Recording: 11/1991 
Venue:  Catholic Church, Seewen, Switzerland 
Length: 5 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Language: Latin 

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