Melani: Mottetti / Concerto Italiano

Album cover art for upc 709861304318
Label: NAIVE
Catalog: OP30431
Format: CD

Concerto Italiano, Rinaldo Alessandrini

A. Melani: Litanie per la beata vergine, Ave regina coelorum, Clamemus ante deum, O voces formidandæ, De necessitatibus, Laudate pueri, Vivere sine te, Salve regina, Ad arma, cor meum, Magnificat,

Gramophone Editor's Choice - November 2010
This release is a real revelation and a ‘coup de Coeur’! Roman composer Alessandro Melani (1639-1703), whose sacred music is still virtually unknown, composed several absolute jewels in this field and all the works featured here are world premiere recordings. Discover a world full of harmony and musical delicacy, in superb accounts by Rinaldo Alessandrini, who has consistently championed baroque Roman composers. The sacred output of Alessandro Melani is today almost totally unknown both to musicologists and to the public. There are no scholarly monographs on this repertory, still less recordings or performing editions. Alessandrini conducted the first modern performance of the oratorio Il sacrificio di Abel at the Semana de Musica Religiosa in Cuenca (Spain) in 2003, and has given several performances of the Litany of the Blessed Virgin and some of the motets. Melani (born in Pistoia, 1639, died in Rome, 1703) spent much of his career as maestro di cappella of various churches and cathedrals, including the basilica Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. From 1672, he was placed in charge of the Salve, the Borghese family’s private cappella inside the basilica, combining it with a position at the church of San Luigi dei Francesi. The music that he wrote for the Borghese musical establishment - some 54 compositions are held in the Santa Maria Maggiore archive - includes numerous settings of Marian antiphons, among them two of the pieces on this CD, the Litany of the Blessed Virgin (for nine voices, the forces available to the Salve) and the Ave Regina coelorum. Under Rinaldo Alessandrini’s directorship, Concerto Italiano’s revelatory interpretations have revolutionised our perception of 17th and 18th century Italian music (the group’s groundbreaking recordings of Monteverdi’s madrigals have achieved benchmark status), establishing it as the finest ensemble of its kind in Italy today. This new release will be granted the most prestigious French press award, Diapason d'or, in September.

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