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Renaissance Of Italian Music


Release Date: 11/29/2011 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 88789  
Composer:  Gregorio AllegriAndrea GabrieliGiovanni GabrieliClaudio Monteverdi,   ... 
Performer:  Timothy Beasley-MurrayGerald FinleyCharles PottDavid Hurley,   ... 
Conductor:  Stephen CleoburyPaul McCreeshAndrew ParrottSir David Willcocks,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College ChoirGabrieli ConsortTaverner Consort,   ... 
Number of Discs: 2 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

A nice little investment for loved ones with a growing interest in this magnificent era.

Let no one say that EMI do not recycle. The recording featured here of the Missa Papae Marcelli recently appeared on an all-Palestrina double-disc, reviewed here. At about the same time, the other three Palestrina works came out, appropriately enough, on an EMI Encore CD, reviewed here. Then this version of Monteverdi's Vespers and the three items from his Selva Morale e Spirituale all appeared on EMI Classics' 'Great Recordings of the Century' series. And this recording of Allegri's Miserere appeared even more recently, on yet another EMI compilation - including also the same Monteverdi Beatus Vir - bearing the post-modern title
Read more 'Essential Renaissance': And those are only a selection of previous incarnations!

Yet as all those reviews make clear, there can be no complaints, to put it mildly, about the quality of the music on offer here, written by giants of the Italian Renaissance. Nor about the credentials of the performers, which are all but immaculate - some of the biggest names in early music, as much today as two or three decades ago. In fact, so star-studded is the line-up that many find themselves omitted from the back cover, their names appearing only in the small print of the track listing inside the book: names like Stephen Cleobury, who conducts Allegri's Miserere, with Gerald Finley as Cantor, or Emma Kirkby, who appears twice in the Monteverdi works. These are all top-class performances recorded in sympathetic acoustic environments.

Before placing an order, however, the prospective buyer should consider the following points. Firstly, Monteverdi's masterpiece, the Vespro della Beata Vergine, has been edited down to "excerpts". The bleeding chunks are substantial, but around still an hour's worth of music is missing. Monteverdi's own anthology, Selva Morale e Spirituale, is even less complete, with only three items heard here, though in fairness the Selva was never intended to be performed as a single work.

Second, these are fairly old EMI recordings, all of which are still available in various previous editions over the internet, often at good prices. Another factor related to the age of the recordings is that performance scholarship has inevitably moved on from as was in the Seventies, Eighties or even Nineties. That does not necessarily invalidate any of these interpretations, of course, but the collector in particular should be aware that some of the choices made by directors like Andrew Parrott are likely to have been 'updated' in current recordings - albeit in Parrott and the Taverner Consort's case, they have not re-recorded these works. The above-noted reviews and others discuss some of these issues.

Yet EMI have an ace. This release coincides with a Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition at London's National Gallery, on whose website the book is also on sale, and the 'jewel case' here really is a gem: a lavishly illustrated hardback book running to more than 60 sides. The first few pages are occupied by a detailed track listing, a fairly brief essay on the work, the full sung texts in Latin with an English translation, another short essay on Renaissance art, and then around twenty colour plates, each with descriptive texts opposite: a mini-exhibition of some of the greatest paintings of the era (of all time, indeed), not just by Leonardo, but also by the likes of Raphael, Michelangelo, Tintoretto and others.

In the end, those looking for something from the purely musical side of the Renaissance are better served elsewhere, not least by these very recordings on previous - and probably future - EMI releases. But as far as gifts for loved ones with a growing interest in this magnificent era for the arts, this may be a nice little investment: two jam-packed CDs and a pocket set of prints for less than a cup of tea and a plate of sandwiches and pastries in the National Gallery's café.

-- Byzantion, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Miserere mei Deus: Miserere mei by Gregorio Allegri
Performer:  Timothy Beasley-Murray (Treble), Gerald Finley (Baritone)
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; Italy 
2.
Missa "Pater peccavi": Sanctus by Andrea Gabrieli
Performer:  Charles Pott (Tenor)
Conductor:  Paul McCreesh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli Consort
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1587; Italy 
3.
Missa "Pater peccavi": Benedictus by Andrea Gabrieli
Performer:  Charles Pott (Tenor)
Conductor:  Paul McCreesh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli Consort
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1572; Italy 
4.
Kyrie a 12 by Andrea Gabrieli
Performer:  Charles Pott (Tenor), David Hurley (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Paul McCreesh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli Consort
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Italy 
5.
Gloria a 16 by Andrea Gabrieli
Performer:  Robert Harre-Jones (Countertenor), Charles Pott (Tenor)
Conductor:  Paul McCreesh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli Consort
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
6.
O Jesu me dulcissime by Giovanni Gabrieli
Conductor:  Andrew Parrott
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Consort,  Taverner Players,  Taverner Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Italy 
7.
Dulcis Jesu patris imago by Giovanni Gabrieli
Performer:  Charles Daniels (Tenor), Nicholas Robertson (Tenor)
Conductor:  Andrew Parrott
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Consort,  Taverner Players,  Taverner Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Italy 
8.
Omnes gentes plaudite manibus by Giovanni Gabrieli
Performer:  Robert Harre-Jones (Countertenor), Charles Daniels (Tenor), Peter Harvey (Bass)
Conductor:  Paul McCreesh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli Consort
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1597; Venice, Italy 
9.
Vespro della Beata Vergine: Excerpt(s) by Claudio Monteverdi
Performer:  Tessa Bonner (Soprano), Joseph Cornwell (Tenor), Nigel Rogers (Tenor),
Emma Kirkby (Soprano), Andrew King (Tenor)
Conductor:  Andrew Parrott
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Consort,  Taverner Players,  Taverner Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1610; Mantua, Italy 
10.
Selva morale e spirituale: Excerpt(s) by Claudio Monteverdi
Performer:  David Thomas (Bass), Emily van Evera (Soprano), Rogers Covey-Crump (Tenor),
Nigel Rogers (Tenor), Emma Kirkby (Soprano)
Conductor:  Andrew Parrott
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Consort,  Taverner Players,  Taverner Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1640; Italy 
11.
Missa "Papae Marcelli" by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1567; Italy 
12.
Magnificat septimi toni by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Timothy Brown
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Clare College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
13.
Hodie gloriosa by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Timothy Brown
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Clare College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Italy 
14.
Beata es a 8 by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Timothy Brown
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Clare College Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 

Sound Samples

Missa Papae Marcelli: Kyrie
Missa Papae Marcelli: Gloria
Missa Papae Marcelli: Credo
Missa Papae Marcelli: Santus
Missa Papae Marcelli: Benedictus
Missa Papae Marcelli: Agnus Dei I
Missa Papae Marcelli: Agnus Dei II
Motet "Beata es Virgo Maria"
Motet "Hodie"
Magnificat Septimi Toni
A Venetian Coronation 1595: Kyrie à 12 (Andrea Gabrieli, 1587)
A Venetian Coronation 1595: Gloria à 16 (Andrea Gabrieli, 1587)
A Venetian Coronation 1595: Sanctus & Benedictus à 12 (Andrea Gabrieli, 1587)
A Venetian Coronation 1595: Motet: Omnes gentes à 16 (Giovanni Gabrieli, 1597)
Dulcis Jesu patris imago a 20
O Jesu mi dulcissime a 8
Vespro della beata Vergine (1610): Psalmus IV - Psalmus 126:Nisi Dominus
Vespro della beata Vergine (1610): Concerto - Pulchra es
Vespro della beata Vergine (1610): Hymnus - Ave maris stella
Vespro della beata Vergine (1610): Concerto - Duo Seraphim
Vespro della beata Vergine (1610): Magnificat
Selva morale e spirituale, Venetia 1640 (1984 Digital Remaster): Psalmus 111: Beatus vir (primo) a 6
Jubilet tota civitas: solo 'in Dialogo'
Selva morale e spirituale, Venetia 1640 (1984 Digital Remaster): Hymnus: Salve Regina a 3
Miserere a 9

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