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Gesualdo: Responsoria / De Labyrintho

Release Date: 08/11/2009 
Label:  Stradivarius   Catalog #: 33842   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Carlo GesualdoVittorio Ghielmi
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

GESUALDO Responsoria. GHIELMI Antiphons Walter Testolin, dir; Vittorio Ghielmi (vdg); De Labyrintho STRADIVARIUS 33842 (60:45 Text and Translation)

The main part of this program is the set of nine responsories for Holy Saturday that Don Carlo Gesualdo composed, part of a set for the three days of Tenebrae. The most recent disc of these responsories came from Philippe Herreweghe (14:1), while an exemplary set of Good Read more Friday responsories under Andrew Parrott (24:1) was properly relieved by the insertion of a lamentation or a lesson before each piece. The complete set of three days of Tenebrae was made most recently by the Hilliard Ensemble (14:5), while in a review of an earlier set by A Sei Voci, reissued on CD (31:2), I summed up the discography. The most obvious difference among the recent recordings is the makeup of the ensemble. For this music for six voices, Testolin has two voices to a part, like Peter Phillips (11:4), while Herreweghe had two or three to a part; the Hilliard Ensemble and A Sei Voci had one voice to a part, but they were adult male voices, while all the others were mixed voices. Testolin’s interpretation is more full-blown than the Hilliards or A Sei Voci, which restrain the effect of the convoluted harmonies to good advantage. This is an additional reason to prefer those two, which in any case present the complete set of responsories as a group.

This program is framed by two responsories from the Office of the Dead, “Hei mihi Domine” and “Peccantem me quotidie,” both from Cantiones Sacrae , previously recorded in Jeremy Summerly’s collection (18:1). Inserted at intervals are four pieces by Vittorio Ghielmi (b. 1968), a gamba player whose contribution receives scarcely a word in the notes. His brief interjections are not enough to provide the relief that comes from hearing a lesson before each responsory. The intensity of Gesualdo’s writing requires this much, as Machaut’s polyphony needs Mass Propers in chant (evident in another review elsewhere), both cases respecting the original way the music was heard (or at least intended to be heard).

There is an Easter egg on this disc. The program is followed by two minutes of silence (counted down on the readout) and then “Ave dulcissima Maria,” the most familiar of the Cantiones Sacrae . There is no other clue to the presence of this extra piece, but it is included in the printed total timing. All in all, this is an excellent performance of its kind.

FANFARE: J. F. Weber
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Works on This Recording

Responsoria ad officium defunctorum: Hei mihi Domine by Carlo Gesualdo
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 3 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Responsorium: Memento mei, Deus by Vittorio Ghielmi
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 2 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Responsoria ad officium hebdomadć: Sabbato Sancto - Sicut ovis ad occisionem by Carlo Gesualdo
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 3 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Responsoria ad officium hebdomadć: Sabbato Sancto - Jerusalem surge by Carlo Gesualdo
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 3 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Responsoria ad officium hebdomadć: Sabbato Sancto - Plange quasi virgo by Carlo Gesualdo
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 5 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Antiphona: Elevamini portć eternales by Vittorio Ghielmi
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 0 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Responsoria ad officium hebdomadć: Sabbato Sancto - Recessit pastor noster by Carlo Gesualdo
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 3 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Responsoria ad officium hebdomadć: Sabbato Sancto - O vos omnes by Carlo Gesualdo
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 4 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Responsoria ad officium hebdomadć: Sabbato Sancto - Ecce quomodo moritur justus by Carlo Gesualdo
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 5 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Antiphona: In pace, in idipsum by Vittorio Ghielmi
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 2 Minutes 20 Secs. 
Responsoria ad officium hebdomadć: Sabbato Sancto - Astiterunt reges terrć by Carlo Gesualdo
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 2 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Responsoria ad officium hebdomadć: Sabbato Sancto - Ćstimatus sum by Carlo Gesualdo
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 4 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Responsoria ad officium hebdomadć: Sabbato Sancto - Sepulto Domino by Carlo Gesualdo
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 6 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Antiphona: Deus adjuvat me by Vittorio Ghielmi
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 2 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Responsoria ad officium defunctorum: Peccantem me quotidie by Carlo Gesualdo
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 6 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Ave, dulcissima Maria by Carlo Gesualdo
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1603; Venosa, Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 17 Secs. 

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