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Cover

Concerto delle Donne

Piangete, Cantatas & Motets

  • Type CD
  • Label Signum Classics
  • UPC 0635212004029
  • Catalog number SIGCD 040
  • Release date 01 October 2003
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About the album

Carissimi is sometimes thought of as a "one-work composer" known to the average music-lover only for his oratorio Jephte. Choral Societies looking for 17th century music earlier than Purcell are therefore likely to choose Jephte. Alastair Ross first became interested in Carissimi’s music for the 3-soprano Concerto delle Donne line-up when he was asked to prepare a programme “Handel and his predecessors in Italy” for the 1977 Göttingen Festival. A review of Carissimi's oeuvre showed that there were several pieces by Carissimi in the library of Christ Church Oxford just waiting to be performed by the group! He chose the cantata Siam tre miseri piangenti which has become a regular item in their concerts and which is central to this recording. It’s a marvellous piece, full of pain, suffering and anger. The three voices really are equal in the way they intertwine and react to one another. Donna Deam’s solo Piangete and Gill Ross' and Elin Thomas’s duet Ahi, non torna are similar in mood. Maybe in our cynical 21st century we find it difficult to relate to these highly emotional, self-obsessed, texts, but there’s no denying that they inspired some wonderful music! Va dimanda al mio pensiero’ and Si dia bando, alla speranza are lighter in mood – both attractive, tuneful pieces.

There is plenty of variety in the church music as well. Cum reverteretur David, which begins the CD, is brilliant and virtuosic, a dramatic account of the rivalry between David and Saul. The duetExulta, gaude, filia Sion is a joyful celebration of Christmas. In Benedictus Deus et Pater the voices weave rich dissonances to convey the suffering of the text; there’s something of the mood of Allegri’s Miserere here.

In addition to the vocal pieces the disc includes a set of variations by Frescobaldi and Michelangelo Rossi’s flamboyant and chromatic Toccata Settima for harpsichord, together with Kapspereger’s charming improvisations for chittarone.

We believe that only one of the Carissimi pieces on this CD, Exulta, gaude, filia Sion, has been recorded before, so the disc will be an important event in the recorded-music world, and one which we hope will revive interest in this unjustly neglected composer. 

  • 1
    1
    Motet - Cum reverteretur David
     
    04:09
  • 1
    2
    Motet - Benedictus Deus et Pater
     
    04:30
  • 1
    3
    Parte sopra lamonicha
     
    07:17
  • 1
    4
    Motet - Exulta, gaude, filia Sion
     
    05:07
  • 1
    5
    Toccata XI
     
    02:01
  • 1
    6
    Va dimanda al mio pensiero
     
    05:38
  • 1
    7
    Prelude XI
     
    00:36
  • 1
    8
    Motet - O dulcissimum Mariae nomen
     
    03:31
  • 1
    9
    Cantata - Siam tre miseri piangenti
     
    08:16
  • 1
    10
    Toccata Settima
     
    04:07
  • 1
    11
    Motet - Surrexit pastor bonus
     
    02:23
  • 1
    12
    Cantata - Ahi, non torna
     
    05:06
  • 1
    13
    Cantata - Piangete, ohimè piangete
     
    05:42
  • 1
    14
    Prelude X
     
    00:54
  • 1
    15
    Cantata - Si dia bando, alla speranza
     
    03:47
  • 1
    16
    Motet - Omnes gentes gaudete cum victore
     
    03:39

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