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Armonie Dello Spirito - Canti Gregoriani / Palombella, Cappella Musicale Pontificia

Palestrina / Cappella Musicale Pontificia Sistina
Release Date: 10/30/2012 
Label:  Euroarts   Catalog #: 2072578  
Composer:  AnonymousGiovanni PalestrinaPablo BrunaTomás Luis de Victoria,   ... 
Performer:  Juan Paradell Sole
Conductor:  Massimo Palombella
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Musicale Pontificia
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

A concert in honor of the 85th birthday of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. The Cappella Musicale Pontificia "Sistina" is one of the oldest and most prestigious musical institutions the “Choir of the Pope”. Under the direction of Massimo Palombella they perform some concerts of the most beautiful and most popular composers of sacred music; from Gregorian chant to the Kyrie and Gloria Papae Marcelli di Palestrina. A highlight of the evening is also the premiere of "here est Operatus" by Lorenzo Perosi. This is a new piece of the great composer, found recently in historical archives. Recorded in the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano, Rome, November, 2011. The DVD is the second release of a series of sacred music from Read more Italian Basilicas.

PICTURE FORMAT: NTSC 16:9
SOUND FORMATS: PCM-STEREO DD 5.1
BOOKLET: English, Italian
DISC FORMAT: NTSC
NO OF DISCS: 1
RUN TIME: 55 mins

ARMONIE DELLO SPIRITO Massimo Palombella, cond; Sistine Ch; Juan Paradell Solè (org) UNITEL CLASSICA 2072572 (DVD: 55:00)


Music of PALESTRINA, VICTORIA, PEROSI


This concert in the Lateran Basilica in Rome, the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome and one of the city’s four major basilicas, marked the 85th birthday of Pope Benedict XVI. The notable event here is the first recording known to me of the Sistine Choir directed by Massimo Palombella, which he has led since late 2010. In his previous work with the Interuniversity Choir, which he founded, he made CDs and DVDs, none of which I have heard.


The choir’s long and glorious history did not see its best days in the 20th century. Pope Pius X brought the composer Lorenzo Perosi down from Venice with him in 1903, but the promise that marked his first years was not fulfilled as his health failed for most of his life (he died in 1956, still the perpetual director of the choir). He was followed by Domenico Bartolucci, who also provided his own compositions for the choir, but there was nothing to cheer about his long reign (after retirement he was made a cardinal at the age of 91). John Paul II heard Giuseppe Liberto in Sicily and brought him to Rome in 1997, but the improvement if any was slight.


Now Pope Benedict XVI, well known for his musicality (he plays a grand piano in his apartments and his older brother was the director of the Regensburger Domspatzen), has brought in Palombella. The Sistine Choir is noticeably improved in the year that he has worked with them. Since the choir understandably made few recordings, the chief evidence of their work over here has been the Christmas midnight Mass televised every year. The choir under Bartolucci also sang Mass Propers (composed by the director) for the CD and DVD recording of 1985 with Karajan conducting his Vienna forces in Mozart’s “Coronation” Mass ( Fanfare 10:1; DVD, 26:2). An indication of Palombella’s seriousness came when he brought the choir to London with Pope Benedict to sing with the Westminster Abbey Choir (the Abbey is also dedicated to St. Peter), then invited the abbey choir to come to Rome last summer to sing together for the feast of Ss. Peter and Paul (the occasion was the same for the Karajan encounter in 1985).


If the choir’s improvement is notable, it still has some room for further growth. In this concert the men sing chant and the Victoria responsory O vos omnes , then join with the choir boys in the rest of the polyphonic works. With 20 men and 30 boys, the choir is too large, but the improvement in the boys’ singing is especially noticeable. The two chant selections are especially troublesome. The introit Nos autem gloriari is sung without its verse, while the gradual Christus factus est is the slowest performance on record at 3:01 without the repetendum, the runner-up being Josef Schabasser’s version on a mono Vox set. The singing of the chants is shaped like a performance rather than unfolding as a prayer. Perhaps the director is trying to reshape the choir’s old habits (if they ever sang chant at all).


It may be noted that in addition to this DVD at the Lateran Basilica and Karajan’s at the Vatican Basilica, we can see concerts at Santa Maria Maggiore sung by The Tallis Scholars (18:3) and a double program under McCreesh and Pinnock (31:5). If you want to tour beyond the Eternal City, there is John Eliot Gardiner’s DVD of the Monteverdi Vespers at St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice (27:1). You see views of the church interior in each case, but only the Karajan is a liturgical celebration. With hope for future greatness, we can take this concert as one small step in that direction.


FANFARE: J. F. Weber
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Works on This Recording

1.
Nos autem by Anonymous
Conductor:  Massimo Palombella
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Musicale Pontificia
Period: Medieval 
2.
Christus factus est by Anonymous
Conductor:  Massimo Palombella
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Musicale Pontificia
Period: Medieval 
3.
Ricercari (8) sopra li toni, a 4: Ricercare del sesto tono by Giovanni Palestrina
Performer:  Juan Paradell Sole (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
4.
Ricercari (8) sopra li toni, a 4: Ricercare del quinto tono by Giovanni Palestrina
Performer:  Juan Paradell Sole (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
5.
Missa "Papae Marcelli": Kyrie by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Massimo Palombella
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Musicale Pontificia
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1567; Italy 
6.
Hodie Christus natus est by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Massimo Palombella
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Musicale Pontificia
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Italy 
7.
Dum complerentur dies pentecostes by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Massimo Palombella
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Musicale Pontificia
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1569; Italy 
8.
Canite tuba by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Massimo Palombella
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Musicale Pontificia
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1572; Italy 
9.
Tiento de falsas de 2 Tono by Pablo Bruna
Performer:  Juan Paradell Sole (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Spain 
10.
Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae: Tenebrae Responsories - O vos omnes by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Massimo Palombella
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Musicale Pontificia
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1585; Spain 
11.
Toccata no 2 by Girolamo Frescobaldi
Performer:  Juan Paradell Sole (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; Rome, Italy 
12.
Qui operatus est by Lorenzo Perosi
Conductor:  Massimo Palombella
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Musicale Pontificia

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