Sabbato Sancto

Album cover art for upc 3760195735510
Label: Arcana
Catalog: A551

Odhecaton Paolo Da Col

Within the Italian polyphonic repertoire for Holy Week of the first half of the 16th century; a group of works that particularly stands out for its organic; comprehensive and unique qualities are the two books of four-voice Lamentations and responsories for the office of Tenebrae from the Triduum sacrum composed by Paolo Aretino (Paolo Antonio del Bivi; 1508-1584). They were published respectively in 1544 (the responsories: a first printed edition of its kind; to the best of our knowledge) and 1549 (the Lamentations). Both books were reprinted in 1563; a rare occurrence for a collection of this type. Aretino; a maestro di cappella at both the cathedral and Santa Maria della Pieve in Arezzo; was acclaimed in his own day as a true symbol of the city’s glory; along with his fellow-citizen; the famous writer Pietro Aretino. He also had repeated contacts with the Medici court; and indeed certain characteristic features of his style can be traced to the late-15th century Florentine tradition of regularly using polyphony during the Triduum. In particular we note his use of equal voices and; above all; the adoption of an austere and solemn declamatory style closely linked to the structure of the text. All of this; however; is not only conveyed with extreme refinement; but also includes some very striking encroachments into vocal ranges rarely found in contemporary Italian music. An example is the use of two or three bass voices together with a low bass; as happens; for example; in the Lamentations for Holy Saturday; which in this recording are presented complete; together with their respective responsories.

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