Beatam me dicent – Antiphona ad communionem

This communion antiphon is sung here as it would have been sung in Venice during a Marian Mass, that is a Mass offered within the framework of a liturgy set out for a Marian feast day. The chant in this case is taken from the Commune Festorum B. Mariae Virginis which set out the liturgically…

Benedetto Marcello (1686–1739): Dulcis Jesu Mater cara

Bendetto Marcello’s reputation has been eclipsed by that of Vivaldi and the other professional musicians of his era his music is now largely forgotten. Its obscurity is our loss for Marcello’s music was greatly admired and rightly so by Bach, Telemann, Locatelli, Avison and Goethe, and in later times Cherubini, Rossini and Verdi. The ‘Nobile…

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…

Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643): Missa Sancta Maria à 4 Voci da Capella (Mass of Thanksgiving) – Cantores Musicæ Antiquæ, Live performance

Monteverdi’s ‘Mass of Thanksgiving’ or Solemn Mass for the Feast of Sancta Maria della Salute to give it its formal title was specially composed for performance on 21 November 1631 during the ceremonial Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in St. Mark’s Basilica held to give thanks for Venice’s delivery from the ravages of the…

Andrea Gabrieli (±1510-1586): De profundis clamavi

Unfortunately for An­drea Gab­rieli’s reputation as a com­pos­er he was the the uncle to the far more famous Giovan­ni who has overshadowed his talented uncle. While he was alive Andrea was famous for the vast amount of church music he wrote and for being a lively an inventive composer of mad­rig­als and fes­tive music. Despite…

Giovanni Rovetta (1596-1668): Beatus Vir

‘For the composition of the music and as master of the chapel, from among so many who could be found in Venice, Signor Rueti was chosen, and expressly ordered to assemble as many singers and instrumentalists as could be found in the city, in order to satisfy the magnificent projects of His Excellency, who desired…

Francesco Cavalli (1602-1676): Laetatus sum

During the 1650s Cavalli  was at the height both of his fame and his creative powers, and had reached his career’s apex. This was the decade in which he published no less than fourteen of his thirty-two surviving operas and it was the decade in which he published the Musiche sacre (1656).  The Musiche sacre…

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Laudate pueri RV600

Vespers was a very important service which accounts for the many settings of the Psalms which were such an important component in its structure.  This particular setting by Vivaldi of Psalm 112  Laudate Pueri is a fairly early work. it’s in C minor and is a surprisingly dark-toned piece. It’s a lovely multi-movement work for…

Francesco Cavalli (1602-1676): Magnificat A Sei Voci

Cavalli was born in Crema in February 1602 the son of Giovanni Battista Caletti Bruni, who at that time was maestro di cappella in Crema’s Cathedral. He had a particularly beautiful voice, so much so that Federigo Cavalli, the chief magistrate of the city and one of Venice’s foremost aristocrats took the then fourteen-year old…