One of the most grown-up review sites around

2020
54,928 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

 

BUY NOW 

AmazonUK  

The Italian Dramatic Lament
Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643)
Lamento d’Arianna [10:47]
Jacopo PERI (1561-1633)
Al fonte al prato [01:44]
Giovanni Girolamo KAPSBERGER (c.1575-c.1661)
Sferraina (from Libro Quarto) [03:37], Capona (from Libro Quarto) [03:21]
PERI
Lungi dal vostro lume [02:54]
Giulio CACCINI (1545-1618)
Vedrò ’l mio sol [04:01]
PERI
Se tu parti da me [04:14]
MONTEVERDI
Si dolce è il tormento [04:25]
KAPSBERGER
Passacaglia (from Libro Quarto [09:13]
CACCINI
Amarilli [03:16]
Richardo ROGNIONO (fl. c.1620)
Ancor che col partire [02:56]
PERI
Uccidimi dolore [09:38]
CACCINI
Amor ch’attendi [01:56]
The Catacoustic Consort (Annalisa Pappano, Artistic Director, lirone and treble viola da gamba, Catherine Webster, soprano, Michael Leopold, theorbo, Becky Baxter, baroque triple harp)
rec. 29 April-2 May 2004, St. John Chrysostom Church, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. DDD
NAXOS 8.557538 [62:03]

 

 

A programme of laments, even dramatic ones, might sound daunting, but such is the variety of pacing and expression this group finds in those recorded here that one’s fears are set aside. Besides, there a few cheats: Peri’s “Al fonte al prato” is a jolly piece that got in by mistake and, while the words of “Amor ch’attendi” might suggest lament-like treatment, Caccini thought otherwise so this makes a lively end to the disc. Then there are four instrumental pieces slipped in along the way, by Kapsberger and Rogniono; the former’s Passacaglia is big and serious but the others have a tripping charm and the “Sferraina” shows minimalism to have been alive and well in the early 17th century – and distinctly more attractive than it is today.

The bulk of the programme falls on the shoulders of the soprano, Catherine Webster, who proves well able to sustain it. This is a typical “early music” voice, sweet and girlish in its upper register – but also able to express fiery passion without a suspicion that a 19th century operatic voice is lurking in the shadows – and stronger in her lower register with a tough of chest tone. There is none of the nasality which some singers have essayed in the name of authenticity. Helped by her inventive accompanists she encompasses a wide range of expression with complete spontaneity. It can never be insisted too much that this early music, despite its apparently limited means, is frequently sumptuous in effect, ironically more so than in latter-day “elaborations”. The student who knows Caccini’s “Amarilli” only with Parisotti’s plodding piano accompaniment (the “Arie antiche” are still going strong in Italian conservatoires, I’m afraid) will be amazed at the richness and expressiveness of the version presented here.

The group’s Artistic Director, Annalisa Pappano, contributes a good general introduction to the music, but the non-specialist listeners at whom this bargain issue is presumably aimed might have appreciated some comments on the individual pieces. I suppose there was no space. For this same reason, listeners wishing texts and translations are invited to pull them down from the Naxos site. I have already expressed my reserves on Naxos’s policy and I should be sorry if a disc potentially capable of reaching listeners who do not normally go for this repertoire – it is a very attractive programme excellently performed – should instead be limited to those with the necessary background knowledge to deal with it. That apart, it’s a lovely disc. If the Catacoustic Consort record more - I certainly hope they will), perhaps next time they’ll tell us what “Catacoustic” means.

Christopher Howell

see also Review by Robert Hugill

 

 

 


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews


All Chandos reviews


All Hyperion reviews


All Foghorn reviews


All Troubadisc reviews


Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews


All Eloquence reviews


All Lyrita Reviews

 


Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

November


Donizetti - Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali


Chamber Symphonies 2 & 4


French Cello Concertos

 

October


Shostakovich

 


Return to Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.