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TITIAN: Venice and the Music of Love
Baldassare DONATO (c.1525 - 1603) Ahi miserelle - 2’07"
Adrian WILLAERT (c.1490 - 1562) Sempre me ride sta - 1’13"
Francesco da MILANO (1497 - 1543) (Lute) Fantasia 38 - 1’54"
F. SILVESTRINO O Dio se vede chiaro - 2’30"
Diego ORTIZ (c.1510 - c.1570) (after Arcadelt) (Viol Consort) O felici occhi miei - 1’56"
Adrian WILLAERT Quando nacesti, Amore - 2’57"
Sylvestro GANASSI (1492 - c.1550) Ricercare No. 3. - 1’16"
Riccardo ROGNIONI (? - 1619/20) (after Rore) (Viol & Harpsichord) Ancor che col partire - 5’00"
Andrea GABRIELI (c.1510 - 1586) Ecco Vinegia bella - 3’59"
Francesco da MILANO (Lute) Fantasia 42 - 1’56"
Cipriano de RORE (1515/6 - 1565) Helas comment voulez-vous - 3’00"
Adrian WILLAERT Qual dolcezza giamai - 4’06"; O dolce vita mia - 4’24"
Andrea GABRIELI (Harpsichord) Cantate Domino - 4’12"
Cipriano de RORE Ancor che col partire - 2’13"
Giovanni BASSANO (c.1558 - 1617) (after de Rore) Ancor che col partire - 3’15"
G. da MODENA Ricercare in e - 2’02"
Adrian WILLAERT Liete e pensose - 3’56"
Francesco da MILANO (Lute) Fantasia 33 - 3’03"
Philippe VERDELOT (?1470/80 - 1552) Madonna qual certeza - 2.48"
Girolamo PARABOSCO (c.1524 - 1557) Da pace Domino - 1’26"
Philippe VERDELOT Italia mia - 3’43"
Concordia/Mark Levy
Recorded in St. John’s Church, Loughton, Essex - 3-5 July 2002
METRONOME MET CD 1052 [59’24"]

This CD was originally specially commissioned and recorded to complement the Titian exhibition at the National Gallery, London in February - May 2003, the first monographic show spanning Titian’s entire career to be held in Britain.

This is a mixture of admirable ensemble singing, instrumental and consort works from Concordia, who by now are well known and respected, and with good reason. Throughout, the ensemble singing is excellent, and with the clear-toned Rachel Elliott as the lead soprano, the performances are idiomatic and very enjoyable. The various pieces are well separated: some instrumental, some consort, and the rest vocal. The venue at St. John’s Church has good spacious sound, without being over-reverberant. The Consort pieces are led by Mark Levy on treble viol, with harpsichord by Gary Cooper and David Miller as solo lutenist.

So much for the performances; the main draw-back to this disc is the presentation of the booklet. The tracks are defined by the composers and works (but without dates of either) and also with no indication of the performers. This, I would suggest, is a major fault in a mixed performance such as is offered here.

As regards "best" performances, it would be invidious to pick out too many in such enjoyable renderings, but I would suggest that track 2 (Willaert - Sempre me ride sta) for full choir (minus soprano), track 9 (Gabrieli - Ecco Vinegia bella) for full choir and viols is very florid and typical Gabrieli, track 17 (Modena - Ricercare in e) is a good example of how a chest of viols should sound, and Rachel Elliott is glorious on track 11 (de Rore - Helas comment voulez-vous) - all of which gain Ludwig six points.

David Miller’s contributions are also well-presented and nicely judged in tone and manner.

An enjoyable disc for the music - shame about the booklet.

John Portwood

see also review by Johan van Veen


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