Gesualdo: Choral Works

Album cover art for upc 3149020212929
Label: Harmonia Mundi
Catalog: 902129
Format: CD

VocalConsort Berlin, James Wood

As we commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of Gesualdo in 2013, one of his last works still remains to be rediscovered: the second book of Sacrae Cantiones, motets for six and seven voices, of which the bassus and sextus parts have, alas, disappeared. Thanks to his unrelenting and methodical research, James Wood has managed to reconstruct the score for the first time as it might have been sung in 1603. This fascinating investigation took three years to complete; here is the result. There is an extensive essay in the booklet by James Woods on his labours and an extended version at "I had little idea at the outset just how difficult the task of reconstruction would be, and indeed there were many moments when I was tempted to concede defeat. However, my determination was fuelled on the one hand by the excitement of bringing these masterful and visionary pieces back to life after four hundred years of oblivion, and on the other by the stimulation which came from discovering so many secrets within a compositional technique of such phenomenal strength and sophistication, and from which I, as a composer even four centuries later, could learn so much. I would like to thank Andrew Parrott for his very great help, advice and constant encouragement throughout my work on this reconstruction." JAMES WOOD, March 2012

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