Monteverdi, Rovetta, Grandi, B & Fm Marini, etc

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: B & Fm Marini,etc,Grandi,Monteverdi,Rovetta
LABELS: Hyperion
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Salve Regina
WORKS: Works
PERFORMER: Robin Blaze (countertenor); The Parley of Instruments/Peter Holman
CATALOGUE NO: CDA 67225
Venice was a hotbed of modernist experiment in the first half of the 17th century, as music underwent profound changes that amounted to a cultural revolution. One strand in that history is elucidated in this lovely recording, which traces the development of a new kind of sacred vocal music in works for solo voice, strings and continuo.

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Monteverdi, as maestro di cappella at St Mark’s from 1613 to 1643, was a crucial figure in these changes. He is represented here by his 1641 ‘Iam moriar mi fili (Pianto della Madonna)’, a late adaptation of the famous lament from his 1608 opera Arianna. Opera certainly became a major influence on church music – witness Legrenzi’s 1692 motet ‘O mirandum mysterium’, which seamlessly incorporates an operatic lament – but Monteverdi’s colleagues drew on other secular forms too. Alessandro Grandi’s beautiful ‘Ave maris stella’, for example, sets the hymn as a triple-time dance, while the ‘Salve regina’ by Monteverdi’s successor as maestro, Giovanni Rovetta, displays its modernity in the rich textures with which the instruments cradle the voice.

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Robin Blaze’s clear, pure countertenor is the ideal voice for these pieces, and he sings them with impressive authority. The Parley of Instruments adds sensitive support. An excellent release.