During his lifetime Francesco Cavalli (1602-1676) was best known as one of Venice’s leading composers of opera. His operas were wildly popular during his lifetime but he and his operas were quickly forgotten after his death in 1676. He started his musical career as a choirboy in St. Mark’s in 1616 and stayed on as a tenor in the capella when his voice changed. He sang and studied under Monteverdi’s direction with whom he had a good relationship and Monteverdi’s influence can be heard in much of his music.
He published this Salve Regina for men’s voices in ‘Musiche Sacre’ in 1656 it reminds me a bit of Caldara’s Crucifixus although it’s far lighter and clearer than Caldara’s music and far more restrained than for example Monteverdi’s Domine ne in furore tuo. It’s sung below by The Sixteen, conducted by Harry Christophers. Enjoy :-).
Text: Salve Regina
Salve Regina, mater misericordiae, vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, Salve.
Eia ergo, advocata nostra, illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte, et Jesum benedictum fructum ventris tui nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
Virgo mater ecclesiae, aeterna porta gloriae, esto nobis refugium apud patrem et Filium.
O clemens, Virgo clemens, Virgo pia, Virgo dulcis, O Maria, exaudi preces omnium ad te pie clamantium.
O pia, funde preces tuo nato crucifixo, vulnerato, et pro nobis flagellato, spinis puncto, felle potato.
O dulcis Maria, Salve.
Hail, Queen, Mother of mercy,
We cry to you, we exiles, children of Eve. To you we sigh, groaning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Hail, therefore, our advocate; turn those merciful eyes on us, and show us Jesus, the blessed fruit of your womb, after this exile.
Virgin mother of the church, everlasting gate of glory, be a refuge for us before the Father and your Son.
O merciful and pious Virgin, sweet Virgin, O Mary, hear the prayers of all the people who cry piously to you.
O pious one, pour prayers on to your crucified and wounded Son, scourged and pierced with thorns for us, who drained the gall for us. O sweet Mary, Hail.