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Rossi: Song Of Solomon & Instrumental Music / Profeti Della Quinta


Release Date: 09/29/2009 
Label:  New Pan   Catalog #: 10214   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Salomone Rossi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble MuscadinProfeti Della Quinta
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



S. ROSSI The Songs of Solomon: Lamnatséah ‘al hagitít; Kéter yitenú lakh; Lemi ehpóts; ‘Al naharót bavél; Barehhú; Hashkivénu; Elohím ashivénu; Yitgadál veyitkadásh. 7 Sonatas. 4 Sinfonias. Gagliardi quinta detta Amor perfutto Profeti della Quinta; Ens Muscadin (period instruments) PANCLASSICS 10214 (58:35 Text and Translation) Read more


Here’s the short version of my review: If you enjoy early music in general or Salomone Rossi in particular, grab this disc.


The long version is that it’s great to hear two relatively young (to judge by their photos) groups of musicians, one vocal and one instrumental, take such interest and immerse themselves fully in the music of this fascinating but formerly unknown composer. It’s hard to fathom, today, what a shock it was when Noah Greenberg trotted Rossi’s music out in 1956 on Columbia ML-5204. (An ironic footnote: the cover of this album was one reason Greenberg’s New York Pro Musica left the label. The cover designer set out the two folio covers and two sample pages of Rossi’s music in a quadrant with two bars of gold, one vertical and horizontal, separating them in the middle. Greenberg complained that it “looked like a Christian cross,” but Columbia chief Goddard Lieberson refused to change it, so Pro Musica walked.) As Joel Newman’s notes for that album indicated, Rossi’s religious music, including the 33-piece collection known as The Songs of Solomon, tended to be conservatively written in the outmoded polyphonic style, while his instrumental music was bold and innovative in his instrumental writing, virtually inventing the trio sonata form. Peter Reidmeister, in the notes for this new album, explains that the reason for this was that it was hotly debated then whether any art music be presented while the Jewish service was in progress, so Rossi decided to play it safe by being musically conservative. His instrumental pieces, all miniatures, include dances, sinfonias (preludes and interludes for use with vocal music), and instrumental chamber music, such as the canzona and sonata. Instrumentation is generally indicated with lead violins, but Ensemble Muscadin has varied this in the performance traditions of his time by substituting a recorder or cornett. This not only makes musical sense, but adds some wonderful color to the pieces.


Though Ensemble Muscadin doesn’t employ much dynamic contrast, as Pro Musica did, there are some mild rhythmic accents and dynamics used by Profeti della Quinta in their performances of the vocal music. Comparing their versions of “Lemi ehpóts” (Wedding Ode) to the one by the New York Pro Musica, I was struck by the later group’s decision to add instruments, something that was strictly taboo in synagogues of the time. The only indication in the liner notes why this was done is the statement that “the vivid harmony drives towards a musical setting to which a figured bass could be applied.” But since this is a “concert performance” assembled for recording, and also a wedding ode and not a prayer, it’s okay with me as long as the musicologists like it! Needless to say, their vocal blend is superb.


Despite their general lack of dynamic contrast, Ensemble Muscadin, which consists of Corina Marti on recorder, Leila Schayegh on Baroque violin, Josué Mélendez Peláez on cornett, Tore Eketorp on viola da gamba, Michal Gondko on chitarrone, and Alena Hönigová on positive organ, creates a truly joyous sound. I was particularly delighted by the “Sinfonia decima” (band 11), but nearly all of them have a rhythmic lift and light touch that almost makes the music float. Both groups also employ some Sephardic musical “turns” that Pro Musica either didn’t know or thought better about including. The only other listings I could find for most of these vocal pieces are split between three different CDs, of which only one by the New York Baroque (Dorian 93220) is devoted entirely to the vocal pieces from Songs of Solomon. This is a must-hear for early-music fans!


FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

1.
Kedusha by Salomone Rossi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Muscadin,  Profeti Della Quinta
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Italy 
2.
The Songs of Solomon: Lemi echpots by Salomone Rossi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Muscadin,  Profeti Della Quinta
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1623; Italy 
3.
The Songs of Solomon: Barchu by Salomone Rossi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Muscadin,  Profeti Della Quinta
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1623; Italy 
4.
The Songs of Solomon: Hashkiveinu by Salomone Rossi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Muscadin,  Profeti Della Quinta
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1623; Italy 
5.
The Songs of Solomon: Elohim Hashiveinu by Salomone Rossi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Muscadin,  Profeti Della Quinta
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1623; Italy 
6.
The Songs of Solomon: Yitgadal by Salomone Rossi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Muscadin,  Profeti Della Quinta
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1623; Italy 
7.
The Songs of Solomon: Lamnatseach ‘al hagitít by Salomone Rossi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Muscadin,  Profeti Della Quinta
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1623; Italy 
8.
The Songs of Solomon: ‘Al naharót bavé by Salomone Rossi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Muscadin,  Profeti Della Quinta
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1623; Italy 
9.
Sinfonia by Salomone Rossi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Muscadin,  Profeti Della Quinta
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Italy 
10.
Sinfonia by Salomone Rossi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Muscadin,  Profeti Della Quinta
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Italy 
11.
Canzona by Salomone Rossi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Muscadin,  Profeti Della Quinta
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Italy 

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