Teatro Spirituale (rome C. 1610)
InAlto; Foccroulle, Alice; Meisel, Marc; Colson, Lambert; Mechelen, Reinoud Van
This recording transports us to Rome’s Chiesa Nuova, the Oratory Church where in 1600 the premiere took place of the first spiritual opera, La Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo by Cavalieri. That pioneering spirit has inspired this programme devised by InAlto. Among the manuscripts in the church’s library is an anonymous source, probably dating from the very beginning of the 17th century, containing a complete cycle of settings of those seven psalms that ever since the time of Saint Augustine have been called the ‘Penitenial Psalms’. This Roman score is absolutely unique of its kind, being monodic, and composed in the early operatic melodic narrative style of recitar cantando. InAlto presents here a completely original approach, one that puts this early 17th century repertoire in its context by recreating, in the tradition of the Oratorian spiritual exercises, an imaginary ritual that might unfold in the days preceding Holy Week, one in which each of the penitential psalms takes on its full meaning; while the extraordinary musical dissonances encoded in this manuscript are guaranteed to shock the listener.