Schubert sonatas

Newest Releases

Piano solo and duet
  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider

Free classical music concerts by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.


Moravec - Twelfth Night Recital
15%off £17.21 (until Dec 7)

Katerina Englichová - harp
15%0ff £10.83 (until Dec 7)

  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo
  • Stellar debut<br>piano recital
  • Clarinet transcriptions Jonathan Cohler
  • Jonathan Cohler & Claremont Trio
  • French clarinet masterpieces
  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo

Sibelius Symphonies Maazel
4CDs + Blu-ray audio
Special Price £36.75

RVW A Sea Symphony - Elder

Shostakovich Symphony 10 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem

Dvorak Opera Premiere

Grieg, Mendelssohn sonatas




Would you like a hyperlinked weekly summary of the CDs we have reviewed?

Click for further details

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Cameo Classics
Prima voce
Red Priest
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Musica Vaticana
Giuseppe Ottavio PITONI (1657-1743)
Motet: Dixit Dominus [9.40]
Roland de LASSUS (1532-1594)
Motet: Domine quid multiplicati sunt (publ. 1604) [5.31]
Vincenzo UGOLINI (1570-1638)
Missa Beata es Virgo Maria
(1622) [19.43]
Giovanni de MACQUE (c.1550-1614)
Ave Regina Caelorum
Orazio BENEVOLI (1605-1672)
Motets: O sacramentum pietatis [4.59]
Laudate pueri Dominum [5.24]
Juravit Dominum [4.15]
Francesco SORIANO (1549-1621)
In dedicatione templi
Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montréal/Christopher Jackson
rec. church of Saint-Augustine, Mirabel, Quebec, Canada, 9-13 January 2009
ATMA CLASSIQUE ACD2 2508 [57.05]  

Experience Classicsonline

I had never heard of Studio de Musique Ancienne who are based in Montréal, but I am very glad that I have made their acquaintance via this interesting CD.
The CD is subtitled ‘Polychoral Music at St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome’. You may associate this style with Venice but how wrong could you be. Pope Julius II - he of Michelangelo fame - gave the papal choir the name of ‘Capella Giulia’. Under the direction of composers like Palestrina it built up a huge and even now, mostly unexplored repertoire, some of it even earlier than the Gabrielis.
Unusually I will quote a large portion of the accompanying essay by François Filiatrault. The ‘stile antico’ was the style of most the 16th Century and we are told that it “was evolving towards a Baroque ideal, towards a Roman version of the concertante style … We hear … frequent change of rhythms, which are often based on dances, and more marked contrast of musical imagery borrowed from the madrigalists.” Nowhere is this most noticeable than in the longest work recorded here the twelve-part, three-choirMissa Beata es Virgo Maria by Ugolini who directed the choir between 1620-1626. Even in the Kyrie he moves a little into a dancing triple tempo. The Credo is much the longest movement and is full of word-painting and imaginative contrasts of all sorts. The Benedictus is a delightful movement, enhanced by the instrumental work of harp, violin and cello with organ adding a colour and support.
However, and this brings me to a sad gripe, despite the fact that we are told that the ‘stile antico’ is full of strong contrasts, the performance both of this Mass and elsewhere on the disc, though beautiful and elegant is somewhat withheld and understated. It lacks attack, a sense of excitement and danger that some sections demand. Sadly it can be a bit too bland.
The earliest composer represented is Orlando de Lassus. He worked briefly at St. John’s Lateran church in Rome. The motet Domine, quid multiplicata, a setting of Psalm 3, is one of only two by this most prolific of composers for triple choir. It is a sonorous and mostly homophonic piece which is sung with a certain amount of passion. The booklet notes tell us that the final passage is “especially notable for its richness and intensity” in which all of “the voices combine in a vigorous tutti”. Again I don’t quite feel that this is sufficiently brought out in this performance.
This style of performance comes off beautifully however in the calm and serenely conversational setting of the Ave Regina caelorum by de Macque. This was published in Rome when the composer was in his mid-forties and working there.
It has to be admitted that most of these composers are not household names even amongst keen musicians. That also apples to the three remaining figures. Francesco Soriano brought to Rome “the revolution of Monteverdi”. He was, it seems, one of the first to use basso continuo, so clearly audible in this recording, with voices. You can hear this in his adulatory motet In dedicatione templi. The three choirs rebound and resound to the words ‘Glory to you GOD/The sweet sounds resounded’.
With Orazio Benevoli we have moved more clearly into the baroque era. In the motet Laudate pueri Dominum (Psalm 113) we are also still in the world of cori spezzati as this amazing piece is for four antiphonal choirs. The other motets are definitely of the ‘secondo prattica’. The curious text of O Sacramentum pietatis is set for two sopranos with continuo and Juravit Dominum just sets two lines from Psalm 109 in a very showy way for four solo sopranos. This comes off exceptionally well.
It’s curious in some ways that the disc should start with the most modern piece on the CD, the sixteen voice setting of Psalm 110 the Dixit Dominus by Pitoni set at about the same time by Handel. Pitoni’s setting is glorious, especially the declamations of the middle section and its coruscating and highly contrapuntal final bars. It certainly makes a lively and positive beginning to the programme. Most of this composer’s work lies languishing in the Vatican archives; more’s the pity after you have heard this powerful setting.
So, as can often be the case in the early music choral world, a bit of a mixed bag, but certainly worth exploring.
Gary Higginson 



















































































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


      Composer surveys
      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

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


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

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



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

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
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
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
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.