Feature: Alessandro Grandi (±1586 – 1630): Salve Regina

This wonderful setting of the Salve is a particularly fine example of what a talented composer does when confronted with artistic restrictions. Grandi was one of those composers who flourished in Venice during Monteverdi’s time and in his shadow. He’d held posts as a maestro di capella in Ferrara, and had previously sung and studied…

Hans Leo Hassler (1562-1612): Verbum caro factum est

Hassler’s six-part motet was published in Augsburg in 1591 in Cantiones sacrae de festis praecipuis totius anni Its text is from John 1:14 and it’s sung both during Christmas Matins, and for the Annunciation. There are quite a few voice configurations possible SSAATB, SSATBB, SSATTB, AATTBB and SAATTB and is very Italianate in style as…

Heinrich Schütz (1585–1672): Jauchzet dem Herren

To my mind Schütz is the most important composer in Germany before the advent of Johann Sebastian Bach. His family wanted him to be a lawyer but fortunately for him (and for us) in 1608 the Landgrave of Moritz gave him money to travel to Venice and study music under Giovanni Gabrieli. At that time…

John Blow (1649-1708): Salvator mundi, salva nos

Many things changed drastically in England once the Puritan government fell and the monarchy under Charles II was restored. Among the things that changed was that Church music was suddenly allowable again. Among the things that didn’t change was the fact that Latin texts remained distinctly non grata in Anglican churches. This didn’t stop Purcell…

Alessandro Scarlatti (1660–1725): Cantata pastorale per la natività di Nostre Signore (Christmas Cantata)

A Scarlatti – Christmas Cantata – Cantata pastorale per la natività di Nostre Signore: Oh di Betlemme altera povertà Gertraut Stoklassa, soprano Purcell Singers / Mainz Chamber Orchestra / Gunter Kerr 1.Sinfonia 2.Recitativo: O di Betlemme 3.Aria: Dal bel seno d’una stella 4.Recitativo: Presa d’uomo la forma 5.Aria: L’Autor d’ogni mio bene 6.Recitativo: Fortunati pastori…