Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Tudor 7188


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 

REVIEW
RECORDING OF THE MONTH



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

Buy through MusicWeb
for £12 postage paid World-wide.

Musicweb Purchase button

Sound Samples & Downloads

Lamentarium
Luigi ROSSI (1597-1653)
Passacaglia del Seigneur Louigi [2:49]
Marco MARAZZOLI (1602-1662)
Lamento d'Elena invecchiata (Cadute erano al fine)*/** [10:27]
Luigi ROSSI
Spargete sospiri [2:38]
Marco MARAZZOLI
Lamento d'Artemisia (Già celebrato havea la Regina di Caria)** [11:31]
Luigi ROSSI
Pianto della Maddalena (Pender non prima vide sopra vil tronco)* [19:01]
Marc'Antonio PASQUALINI (1614-1691)
Sopra la lascita di Nostro Signore (Perchè dolce Bambino)* [3:25]
Domenico MAZZOCCHI (1592-1665)
Dovremo piangere la passione di Nostro Signore (Piangete occhi, piangete)*/** [7:42]
Luigi ROSSI
Peccantem me quotidie [2:40]
Oratorio per la Settimana Santa (conclusion)*/** [7:01]
Atalante (Nadine Balbeisi (soprano)*, Theodora Baka (mezzo)**, Paulina van Laarhoven, Annalisa Pappano, Nora Roll (viola da gamba), Erin Headley (viola da gamba, lirone), Siobhán Armstrong (arpa doppia), Elizabeth Kenny, Andrew Maginley (chitarrone))/Erin Headley
rec. 27-30 November 2010, St George's, Chesterton, Cambs, UK. DDD
NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI 6152 [67:17]

Experience Classicsonline


 
 
As its title indicates this disc is entirely devoted to laments. This was a popular genre in the 17th century. Some laments belong to the most famous pieces, like the Lamento d'Arianna by Monteverdi - the only surviving fragment from his lost opera. Then there’s the lament of Dido at the end of Purcell's opera Dido and Aeneas. Various terms were used to describe them: lamento, pianto or lacrime ("tears"). This disc could also bear the title "Piangete occhi, piangete" - Weep, eyes, weep! - because that phrase returns in various pieces.
 
All these compositions were written by composers who worked in Rome, and in particular in the service of members of the Barberini family, one of the most wealthy in Italy. They were a Tuscan dynasty of wool merchants who also played a role in the church. When Maffeo Barberini was elected pope in 1623 - under the name of Urban VIII - he made two of his nephews cardinal, whereas a third became Prince of Palestrina and commander of the Papal army. Together they acted as patrons of the arts in Rome, surrounding themselves with some of the best poets, artists and musicians. Among the most celebated musician-composers in their service were Girolamo Frescobaldi, the chitarrone virtuoso Johann Hieronymus Kapsberger and Stefano Landi, castrato and player of the harp and the guitar. The main composers on this disc, Luigi Rossi and Marco Marazzoli, were also singers and harpists.
 
Marazzoli was at the service of Cardinal Antonio Barberini. The largest part of his oeuvre - oratorios, operas and cantatas - was written for the Barberinis. The same Cardinal was also the patron of Luigi Rossi, one of Rome's main composers. He has become especially famous for his opera Orfeo which was written for performance at the French court. This was at the request of Cardinal Jules Mazarin, who was of Italian birth and belonged to the Barberini network. The disc opens with a Passacaglia, an independent instrumental piece which may have been written while Rossi was in France.
 
The laments were not just written for musical entertainment. They also had a spiritual meaning, even those with secular content. Despite their love of splendour and their wish to display affluence, the Barberinis were also staunch supporters of the Counter-Reformation. And music was an important instrument by which to spread the ideals of this movement. The fact that worldly subjects were part of it only confirms that in this time there was no strict division between sacred and secular. A good example is the second item, Marazzoli's Lamento d'Elena invecchiata, the lament of the aged Helen, meaning Helen of Troy. It begins with a passage for a testo, a narrator. Oratorios, for instance those of Giacomo Carissimi (another Roman composer) often also had a role for a testo, telling parts of the story and introducing the characters - very much like the Evangelist in Bach's Passions. This lament is the musical counterpart of paintings with a vanitas subject which were also used for the promotion of ethical values. In this case the moral lesson is the vanity of beauty. The narrator concludes: "And so she [Helen] showed us through the fragile mirror, how fragile is a beautiful face".
 
Another secular piece is the Lamento d'Artemisia, also by Marazzoli. The title figure was Artemisia II, who after the death of her husband Mausolus ruled Caria from 353 to 351 B.C. She laments the death of Mausolus, and several historical figures are mentioned. This is, according to the liner-notes, one of the reasons this repertoire is not often performed. There are many references to figures and situations which are not familiar to modern audiences. That was different at the time this music was written, as the audiences consisted of aristocrats and clergymen who were very well educated.
 
The longest piece is of a sacred nature. Luigi Rossi's Pianto della Maddalena is about Mary Magdalene who threw herself at the feet of the cross and "in sobs and sighs and with these bitter notes, gave voice to her sufferings". Here we not only find sadness and grief, but also passages of utter despair and explosions of anger against heaven and hell. That lends it a great amount of realism from a psychological point of view. It also makes it a real tour de force for any interpreter. The Pianto della Maddalena is a masterpiece, and it gets a highly impressive and often moving performance by Nadine Balbeisi, who brings out every nuance of the text.
 
No less impressive is Theodora Baka in the lament of Artemisia and in the role of Helen of Troy in Marazzoli's lament. Her voice isn't that much different from Ms Balbeisi's, but has some darker streaks which are effectively used. The two singers are an excellent match in the duet in the Lamento d'Elena invecchiata and in Dovremo piangere la passione di Nostro Signore - Let us weep for the passion of Our Lord. It was composed by Domenico Mazzocchi, another who enjoyed the protection of the Barberini family. The piece consists of six stanzas, the first and last for two voices. The programme ends with the closing episode from Luigi Rossi's Oratorio per la Settimana Santa, an oratorio for Holy Week. This is a lament by Mary which ends with the words: "Eyes, weep, yeah weep for evermore!". Then follows a "madrigale ultimo" for the two voices which takes up the last line of Mary: "Weep, eyes, weep! Sorrows, torments, increase".
 
An important aspect of this disc is the use of the various instruments. It is the first CD from Atalante, which Erin Headley founded a couple of years ago with the explicit aim of performing and recording music written in Rome in the 17th century. The name is derived from Atalante Migliorotti, friend and pupil of Leonardo da Vinci. More importantly, he was the inventor of the lirone. Ms Headley is a latter-day pioneer of this instrument and was the first to commission the building of a facsimile of the instrument which played such an important role in Italian music of the 17th century. With its dark sound it was especially suited to laments, and this disc is all the proof that could be needed. Also interesting is the frequent use of a harp in the basso continuo. This is particularly appropriate as both Rossi and Marazzoli played this instrument. Lastly, in several items we hear a consort of viols. That is not something one associates with Italian music of the 17th century, but such an ensemble was more widely used than is often thought. Whether consort players still transcribed vocal pieces in the 17th century as they did in the 16th I am not sure. Two examples of such transcriptions are included here: Spargete sospiri and Peccantem me quotidie, both by Luigi Rossi.
 
This is one of the best recordings I have heard all year. The repertoire is exciting, and so are the performances. It is thanks to grants from the Arts and Humanities Research Council of Great Britain that this programme could be recorded. There is more to come. I can hardly wait.
 
Johan van Veen
http://www.musica-dei-donum.org
https://twitter.com/johanvanveen
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






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.