Cazzati, Frescobaldi, Foggia, Monteverdi, Roberday, Turini, Bassani, Viadana, Cima, etc

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Bassani,Cazzati,Cima,etc,Foggia,Frescobaldi,Monteverdi,Roberday,Turini,Viadana
LABELS: Virgin
ALBUM TITLE: Un Concert pour Mazarin
WORKS: Works by Cazzati, Frescobaldi, Foggia, Monteverdi, Roberday, Turini, Bassani, Viadana, Cima,
PERFORMER: Philippe Jaroussky (countertenor); Ensemble La Fenice/Jean Tubéry
CATALOGUE NO: 5 45656 2
From the 1660s onwards, French music evolved a fiercely independent national style. Yet paradoxically, during the preceding 20 years, the papal legate Jules Mazarin imported Italian music wholesale. Jean Tubéry’s imaginative programme of largely forgotten music opens a window on this historical anomaly. The centrepiece is the expressive, quite feminine-sounding countertenor of Philippe Jaroussky. His solos include a delightful Marian motet by Cazzati, full of clattering concitato chords and curiously folk-like turns of melody, and an echo motet by Cima, where the vocal phrases are imitated by Tubéry’s distant cornett. Its fickle pitching and articulation is incredibly voice-like (it was the standard support for shaky choral trebles). The ear is deceived into imagining words as Tubéry replaces a second voice in a Monteverdi motet, though he doesn’t admit to the deception in the booklet notes. His virtuosity is stunning as he matches, and sometimes teasingly out-does, sparkling violin figurations in a dialogue by Viadana – as exciting cornett-playing as I’ve ever heard. Two pieces show off the fine, restored organ of Saint-Michel en Thiérache, though its blower is noisy. Otherwise, recorded sound is direct and immediate within a warm acoustic. The programme ends with an impassioned cantata by Bassani for solo voice and ‘two upper parts’ – here again cornett with various partners. George Pratt