WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Grandi: Vespro Della Beata Vergine / York, Taylor, Lyon, Harvey, Halls

Grandi / York / Stuttgart, G.k. / Stuttgart, B.c
Release Date: 06/28/2011 
Label:  Carus   Catalog #: 83367   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Deborah YorkEd LyonPeter Harvey
Conductor:  Matthew Halls
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach CollegiumGächinger Kantorei Stuttgart
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 58 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



GRANDI Vespro della Beata Vergine Matthew Halls, cond; Deborah York (sop); Daniel Taylor (alt); Ed Lyon (ten); Peter Harvey (bs); Gächinger Cantorei; Bach-Collegium Stuttgart CARUS 83.367 (57:50 Text and Translation)


Despite his prominence during his abbreviated lifetime and his historical significance, Alessandro Grandi (1586–1630) remains extremely poorly represented on recordings; including this new release, I can locate only three CDs devoted solely to his works. Read more (There was also once a fine Nonesuch LP with Denis Stevens and his Accademia Monteverdiana—will the manifold treasures from that label ever be reissued?) His birthplace is uncertain, but most likely was Ferrara. He studied with Giovanni Gabrieli in Venice, and held a series of positions in Ferrara from 1597 to 1605 and again from 1609 to 1617; from 1605 to 1609 and again from 1617 to 1627 he was employed at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice, becoming in 1620 the assistant to Claudio Monteverdi. For whatever reasons—some sources suggest a rivalry between the two that led Monteverdi to use his influence to inhibit his colleague’s activities in areas that might compete with him—Grandi chose to specialize in composing small-scale motets, where he became a pioneer in the use of the new concertato style. In 1627 he moved to Bergamo to assume the post there of maestro di capella , and began to write pieces in larger-scale forms such as the cantata, but died only three years later during an outbreak of bubonic plague. His distinctive style made extensive use of chromaticism and ornamentation for intensive expressive effects; unlike many colleagues of his own generation, however, he did not shift to a preference for homophonic textures and often wrote polyphonic rather than monodic lines over a basso continuo accompaniment.


Grandi’s first set of motets was published in 1610; a three-volume set of church music issued in 1629 remained influential for decades to come. The Marian Vespers presented here is a construction by musicologist Rudolf Ewerhart from various published collections of the composer’s works. The performances here are good, though they could have been even better. The forces employed—Helmut Rilling’s famed instrumental and choral ensembles from his encyclopedic Bach recordings, here guest-conducted—are considerably larger than what is now typical for such repertoire. They make a grand noise, and sing and play with vigor and bite, but for increased clarity of the harmonies and polyphonic lines, less would have been more here. The vocal soloists are a mixed bag; they sing expressively but their timbres are fundamentally uningratiating, meaning that they lavish first-rate technique upon second-rate equipment. Unfortunately this complaint can be lodged against many other recordings of similar repertoire, and these singers are no worse than the norm. The original Latin texts have the German translations opposite them but the English translation is inconveniently printed separately afterward. The recording places the soloists in the foreground and the chorus and instrumentalists in a spacious and somewhat reverberant background; the informative program notes give several specific and helpful examples of Grandi’s musical word-painting of the texts.


Of the two other collections of Grandi’s motets in print, the one by the Musica Secreta ensemble on the Divine Art label—reviewed with suitable cautionary warning flags by J. F. Weber in Fanfare 32: 2—subjects the music to various transpositions and emendations, and I would avoid it. The other, fortunately, is a fine selection recorded for Deutsche Harmonia Mundi by René Jacobs and includes Jacobs and Andreas Scholl among the excellent soloists. However, those performances have a more languorous feel than the ones offered here, and given that there is virtually no overlap between the contents of the two discs, most collectors of early Baroque sacred music will doubtless wish to acquire both. Since recordings of Grandi’s music still are not common, and this program is unlikely to be replicated soon, this disc also is recommended on its own, despite the caveats noted.


FANFARE: James A. Altena
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Deus in adjutorium: Invitory by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Deborah York (), Ed Lyon (), Peter Harvey ()
Conductor:  Matthew Halls
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium,  Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 09/12/2010 
Venue:  Live  Markuskirche, Stuttgart, Germany 
Length: 0 Minutes 58 Secs. 
2.
O Quam Suave for 2 voices by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Ed Lyon (), Deborah York ()
Conductor:  Matthew Halls
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 09/12/2010 
Venue:  Live  Markuskirche, Stuttgart, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 11 Secs. 
3.
Dixit Dominus, for 4 voices by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Peter Harvey (), Deborah York (), Ed Lyon ()
Conductor:  Matthew Halls
Date of Recording: 09/12/2010 
Venue:  Live  Markuskirche, Stuttgart, Germany 
Length: 6 Minutes 59 Secs. 
4.
O quam tu pulchra es by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Ed Lyon ()
Conductor:  Matthew Halls
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1625; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/12/2010 
Venue:  Live  Markuskirche, Stuttgart, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 20 Secs. 
5.
Laudate pueri, for 4 voices by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Ed Lyon (), Peter Harvey (), Deborah York ()
Conductor:  Matthew Halls
Date of Recording: 09/12/2010 
Venue:  Live  Markuskirche, Stuttgart, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 21 Secs. 
6.
Motetti con sinfonie, libro primo: Vulnerasti cor meum by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Deborah York ()
Conductor:  Matthew Halls
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1621; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/12/2010 
Venue:  Live  Markuskirche, Stuttgart, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 59 Secs. 
7.
Laetatus sum, for 8 voices & continuo (Salmi brevi) by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Peter Harvey (), Deborah York (), Ed Lyon ()
Conductor:  Matthew Halls
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 09/12/2010 
Venue:  Live  Markuskirche, Stuttgart, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 5 Secs. 
8.
Laetamini vos, o caeli, for 3 voices by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Peter Harvey (), Deborah York (), Ed Lyon ()
Conductor:  Matthew Halls
Date of Recording: 09/12/2010 
Venue:  Live  Markuskirche, Stuttgart, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 19 Secs. 
9.
Nisi Dominus, for 4 voices by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Deborah York (), Peter Harvey (), Ed Lyon ()
Conductor:  Matthew Halls
Date of Recording: 09/12/2010 
Venue:  Live  Markuskirche, Stuttgart, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 58 Secs. 
10.
Lauda Jerusalem, for 8 voices & continuo (Salmi brevi) by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Peter Harvey (), Deborah York (), Ed Lyon ()
Conductor:  Matthew Halls
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 09/12/2010 
Venue:  Live  Markuskirche, Stuttgart, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 9 Secs. 
11.
Ave maris stella by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Peter Harvey (), Ed Lyon ()
Conductor:  Matthew Halls
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1629; Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/12/2010 
Venue:  Live  Markuskirche, Stuttgart, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 35 Secs. 
12.
O Speciosa by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Ed Lyon (), Peter Harvey (), Deborah York ()
Conductor:  Matthew Halls
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 09/12/2010 
Venue:  Live  Markuskirche, Stuttgart, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 16 Secs. 
13.
Magnificat, for 4 voices by Alessandro Grandi
Performer:  Ed Lyon (), Peter Harvey (), Deborah York ()
Conductor:  Matthew Halls
Date of Recording: 09/12/2010 
Venue:  Live  Markuskirche, Stuttgart, Germany 
Length: 6 Minutes 54 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In