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WORKS: Missa azzolini; Dixit Dominus; Laetatus sum; Miserere; Magnificat
PERFORMER: Le Concert Spirituel/Hervé Niquet
CATALOGUE NO: 8.553636
By the end of the 16th century the festive sounds of Venetian cori spezzati had attracted composers further south. One of them was the Roman, Orazio Benevolo, whose polychoral technique, often designed to create a monumental sound picture, required imposing assemblies of voices. The Missa azzolina, scored for two four-voice choirs, each with its additional solo soprano and instruments, is such a work. Additionally, and providing interesting contrast, there are four smaller scale works for the Vespers liturgy of which the Magnificat is especially rewarding. The voices of Le Concert Spirituel provide an impressive body of sound, though the uppermost reaches of the soprano range are not scaled without evident strain. All is directed with fervour by director, Hervé Nicquet. An accompanying note by Jean Lionnet provides a helpful background. Nicholas Anderson