Monteverdi, Frescobaldi, Mazzocchi, Kapsberger, Della Ciaia, M Rossi, Carissimi

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Carissimi,Della Ciaia,Frescobaldi,Kapsberger,M Rossi,Mazzocchi,Monteverdi
LABELS: Channel
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Love & Lament
WORKS: Works
PERFORMER: Cappella Figuralis/Jos van Veldhoven
CATALOGUE NO: CCS 17098
Cappella Figuralis has a well-deserved reputation for bringing to light rediscovered music. Here, it complements two famous laments, by Monteverdi and Carissimi, with two more, by Mazzocchi and Della Ciaia, which are new to me.

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Johannette Zomer is the grieving nymph of Monteverdi’s Lamento della Ninfa, vividly portrayed with biting dissonances, all the more forlorn for having barely a trace of vibrato, while elsewhere her line is racked with passion. She’s impressive, too, in Alessandro Della Ciaia’s description of the Virgin’s lament over the body of Jesus, a splendid piece, strongly constructed, its solo line ranging from an extraordinarily ferocious outburst of anger at those who crucified her son to the quiet emptiness of total grief.

The narrative of Carissimi’s Jephte is cleverly managed – the recitative very flexible yet purposeful, never meandering, never losing touch with its underlying metre. The famous ‘lament’ of Jephte’s daughter, surely among the greatest outpourings of despair ever composed, is rather over-impassioned, close recording adding too much complexity to Anne Grimm’s voice. (For me, Janet Coxwell with Paul McCreesh – 1995 – has yet to be bettered.)

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Compared with Carissimi’s masterpiece, Domenico Mazzocchi’s Lamento di David is rather perfunctory, its ‘affects’ sustained over briefer periods. Three instrumental toccatas complete a revealing disc. George Pratt