Discography: (UK) New Chaconne Release: "Chamber Vespers, Miniature Masterpieces of the Italian Baroque" (CHAN 0782)

Contributed by Admin on Oct 06, 2011

The Gonzaga Band
Faye Newton soprano    
Jamie Savan treble cornett • mute cornett    
Richard Sweeney theorbo    
Steven Devine harpsichord • chamber organ    
Clare Wilkinson mezzo-soprano    
Gawain Glenton treble cornett • mute cornett

Orazio Tarditi (1602-1677): Domine ad adiuvandum
Adriano Banchieri (1568-1634): Psalm I: Dixit Dominus
Giovanni Paolo Cima (c. 1570-1630): Sonata per cornetto
Giacomo Finetti (fl. 1605-1631): Psalm II: Laudate pueri
Alessandro Piccinini (1566-c. 1638): Toccata quarta in D minor for theorbo
Francesco Petrobelli (d. 1695): Psalm III: Laetatus sum
Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643): Canzon terza in G minor for bass instrument and organ
Orazio Tarditi: Psalm IV: Nisi Dominus
Girolamo Frescobaldi: Capriccio sopra un soggetto for solo harpsichord
Natale Monferrato (c. 1615-1685): Psalm V: Lauda Jerusalem
Archangelo Crotti (fl. 1608): Sonata sopra Sancta Maria
Giovanni Felice Sances (c. 1600-1679): Hymn: Ave maris stella    
Adriano Banchieri: Canticle: Magnificat
Maurizio Cazzati (1616-1678): Regina caeli

The Divine Vespers, a service of evening prayer in the Roman-Catholic Church, has provided both occasion and inspiration for some of the most sumptuous music ever composed. But not many churches in the seventeenth century could afford the lavish instrumental and vocal resources needed to play the likes of Monteverdi’s grandiose Vespro della Beata Vergine. For many of the smaller and more provincial churches, an acceptable compromise at evening service was the playing of smaller-scale sacred chamber music. This led in the seventeenth century to a tremendous outpouring of sacred music for small groups of singers and instrumentalists, as performed by The Gonzaga Band on this disc.

During Vespers, it became commonplace to alternate the obligatory psalms with a number of extra-liturgical instrumental pieces. This recording follows the same structure. The psalms, by Banchieri, Finetti, Petrobelli, and Monferrato, are complemented and framed by a variety of joyous instrumental works by Tarditi, Cima, Piccinini, Frescobaldi, Crotti, Sances, and Cazzati.

The Gonzaga Band was formed by the cornettist Jamie Savan in 1997 to explore historical approaches to the performance of vocal and instrumental music of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Its line-up is project led: the very best vocalists and period instrumentalists are ‘hand picked’ according to the specialist requirements of each programme. On this recording, The Gonzaga Band is joined by the mezzo-soprano Clare Wilkinson and cornettist Gawain Glenton.

Chandos CHAN 0782
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