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Francesca Caccini

Album Summary

>Caccini, Francesca : O vive rose, canzonetta for voice & continuo
>Caccini, Francesca : Non so se qual sorriso, canzonetta for voice & continuo
>Caccini, Francesca : Rendi alle mie speranze il verde, for voice & continuo
>Caccini, Francesca : Io veggio i campi verdeggiar fecondi, for voice & continuo
>Caccini, Francesca : Se mouve, canzonetta for voice & continuo
>Caccini, Francesca : Maria, dolce Maria, madrigal
>Caccini, Francesca : Lasciatemi qui solo, aria for voice & continuo (from Il primo libro delle Musiche, Firenze)
>Caccini, Francesca : S'io men vo, canzonetta for voice & continuo
>Caccini, Francesca : Regina celi, motet
>Caccini, Francesca : Dov'io credea le mie speranze vere, aria for voice & continuo
>Caccini, Francesca : Ch'Amor sia nudo, canzonetta for voice & continuo
>Caccini, Francesca : O chiome belle, canzonetta for voice & continuo
>Caccini, Francesca : Io mi distruggo, madrigal
>Caccini, Francesca : Te lucis ante terminum, hymn
>Caccini, Francesca : La pastorella, aria for voice & continuo
>Caccini, Francesca : Canzoni (4) di mio padre, for guitar
>Caccini, Francesca : Su le piume de' venti trionfator, aria for voice & continuo
>Caccini, Francesca : Fresche aurette, canzonette for voice & continuo
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Francesca Caccini, or "La Cecchina", was a Florence-born composer. Soprano Shannon Mercer reveals herself has the perfect performer of her vocal oeuvre, heartfelt baroque music with a foot in the Renaissance era. "Her soprano is bright and agile, and she uses vibrato and ornamentation vividly to extract telling nuances from words and music. Mercer brings equal expressive vibrancy to the amorous, hedonistic and sorrowful feelings in these delectable pieces." -Gramophone

"Francesca Caccini (1587 - 1641) was a Florentine court musician whose music and performances were held in high esteem in the early 17th Century. The present album collects 18 of her compositions and is sure to generate more interest in this seldom recorded composer. Canadian soprano Shannon Mercer... is simply stunning. She sings with a liquid grace that is seldom encountered... Ms. Mercer benefits from the engineer's excellent sound and by the contributions of her very fine accompanists, who are heard in a few numbers on their own to great advantage." - American Record Guide

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: l'Eglise St. Sugustin de Mirabel, Quebec, Canada (11/02/2009-11/04/2009).



Reviews

A Collection of Exquisite Miniatures
This group of songs by Francesca Caccini is a set of lovely, multi-faceted miniatures. Their length is the only thing about them that's small though. The melodic lines are straightforward but laced with nuances. The vocal passages are often long and place great demands on the singer's breathing technique. The melodic character of the individual songs is a complex mixture of emotional hues. The expressions the songs convey are full and rich. There's no shortage of highlights. The opening track 'O vive rose' ('Oh Bright Roses') is a brightly coloured canzonetta (short light vocal piece) that sounds as fresh as it would have the first time it was heard. 'Non so se quel sorriso' ('I Don't Know if That Smile') is a radiant canzonetta that evokes smiles. 'Lo veggio i campi verdeggiar fecund' ('I See the Fertile Fields Turn Green') is a lovely but subdued instrumental piece played on the cello and theorbo. 'Se muove' ('If He Decides to Take the Oath') is a vibrant canzonetta with a reflective character. 'Dolce Maria' ('Sweet Maria') is a lovely Madrigal as is 'Regina Celi'. The 'hallelujah' passages in that number are particularly exquisite. 'O chiome belle' (Oh Beautiful Hair') is a delight. The aria 'Su le plume de' vent trionfator' ('On the Wings of the Winds Triumphant') is positively delicious. 'Fresche aureate' ('Fresh Breezes') the canzonetta that closes the set is literally that; a fresh breeze. The songs seem to be very specific in their intent. My personal favourite in the set, Sio men vò' ('If I Leave'), is a lovely piece that sounds exactly like what the title suggests it is; a threat from a woman who's about to end a relationship. I'm guessing (because the lyrics don't seem to be posted on Analekta's site) but the expression formed by the melody, tempo, instrumental arrangement, and especially (Shannon) Mercer's handling of the vocal is unerringly direct. She sounds angry. She sounds frustrated. Her voice voice is filled with a threat that's unmistakeable. Many contemporary writers could take a page from Caccini's book when it comes to this facet of writing songs. Shannon Mercer, Luc Beauséjour, Sylvain Bergeron and Amanda Keesmaat have produced a jewel with this recording. (Shannon) Mercer's singing is clear and luminous. Her handling of the extended passages is nothing short of brilliant. Her vibrato is superbly controlled and she never shows any strain. The instrumental arrangements are models of sparseness and subtlety. They're always prominent but great care was obviously taken to insure they didn't subvert the vocal lines. The quality of the recording itself is very good. The musical balance established by the order of the tracks is excellent. The music itself is stunning. And it's even more stunning the tenth or fifteenth time it's heard than when it's first listened to. (Francesca) Caccini was obviously a phenomenally talented composer whose work deserves more notice than it's been given. Hopefully this recording will help to change that. It should. This is a tasty piece work to say the least.
Submitted on 04/12/10 by Brian J Hay 
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Works Details

>Caccini, Francesca : O vive rose, canzonetta for voice & continuo
  • Performers: Luc Beauséjour (Harpsichord); Luc Beauséjour (Organ); Sylvain Bergeron (Guitar); Sylvain Bergeron (Theorbo); Amanda Keesmaat (Cello); Shannon Mercer
  • Notes: l'Eglise St. Sugustin de Mirabel, Quebec, Canada (11/02/2009-11/04/2009)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Caccini, Francesca : Non sò se qual sorriso, canzonetta for voice & continuo
  • Performers: Luc Beauséjour (Harpsichord); Luc Beauséjour (Organ); Sylvain Bergeron (Guitar); Sylvain Bergeron (Theorbo); Amanda Keesmaat (Cello); Shannon Mercer
  • Notes: l'Eglise St. Sugustin de Mirabel, Quebec, Canada (11/02/2009-11/04/2009)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Caccini, Francesca : Rendi alle mie speranze il verde, for voice & continuo
  • Performers: Luc Beauséjour (Harpsichord); Luc Beauséjour (Organ); Sylvain Bergeron (Guitar); Sylvain Bergeron (Theorbo); Amanda Keesmaat (Cello); Shannon Mercer
  • Notes: l'Eglise St. Sugustin de Mirabel, Quebec, Canada (11/02/2009-11/04/2009)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Caccini, Francesca : Io veggio i campi verdeggiar fecondi, for voice & continuo
  • Performers: Luc Beauséjour (Harpsichord); Luc Beauséjour (Organ); Sylvain Bergeron (Guitar); Sylvain Bergeron (Theorbo); Amanda Keesmaat (Cello); Shannon Mercer
  • Notes: l'Eglise St. Sugustin de Mirabel, Quebec, Canada (11/02/2009-11/04/2009)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Vocal

>Caccini, Francesca : Se mouve, canzonetta for voice & continuo
  • Performers: Luc Beauséjour (Harpsichord); Luc Beauséjour (Organ); Sylvain Bergeron (Guitar); Sylvain Bergeron (Theorbo); Amanda Keesmaat (Cello); Shannon Mercer
  • Notes: l'Eglise St. Sugustin de Mirabel, Quebec, Canada (11/02/2009-11/04/2009)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Caccini, Francesca : Maria, dolce Maria, madrigal
  • Performers: Luc Beauséjour (Harpsichord); Luc Beauséjour (Organ); Sylvain Bergeron (Guitar); Sylvain Bergeron (Theorbo); Amanda Keesmaat (Cello); Shannon Mercer
  • Notes: l'Eglise St. Sugustin de Mirabel, Quebec, Canada (11/02/2009-11/04/2009)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1618

>Caccini, Francesca : Lasciatemi qui solo, aria for voice & continuo (from Il primo libro delle Musiche, Firenze)
  • Performers: Luc Beauséjour (Harpsichord); Luc Beauséjour (Organ); Sylvain Bergeron (Guitar); Sylvain Bergeron (Theorbo); Amanda Keesmaat (Cello); Shannon Mercer
  • Notes: l'Eglise St. Sugustin de Mirabel, Quebec, Canada (11/02/2009-11/04/2009)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1618

>Caccini, Francesca : S'io men vò, canzonetta for voice & continuo
  • Performers: Luc Beauséjour (Harpsichord); Luc Beauséjour (Organ); Sylvain Bergeron (Guitar); Sylvain Bergeron (Theorbo); Amanda Keesmaat (Cello); Shannon Mercer
  • Notes: l'Eglise St. Sugustin de Mirabel, Quebec, Canada (11/02/2009-11/04/2009)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Caccini, Francesca : Regina celi, motet
  • Performers: Luc Beauséjour (Harpsichord); Luc Beauséjour (Organ); Sylvain Bergeron (Guitar); Sylvain Bergeron (Theorbo); Amanda Keesmaat (Cello); Shannon Mercer
  • Notes: l'Eglise St. Sugustin de Mirabel, Quebec, Canada (11/02/2009-11/04/2009)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral

>Caccini, Francesca : Dov'io credea le mie speranze vere, aria for voice & continuo
  • Performers: Luc Beauséjour (Harpsichord); Luc Beauséjour (Organ); Sylvain Bergeron (Guitar); Sylvain Bergeron (Theorbo); Amanda Keesmaat (Cello); Shannon Mercer
  • Notes: l'Eglise St. Sugustin de Mirabel, Quebec, Canada (11/02/2009-11/04/2009)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Vocal

>Caccini, Francesca : Ch'Amor sia nudo, canzonetta for voice & continuo
  • Performers: Luc Beauséjour (Harpsichord); Luc Beauséjour (Organ); Sylvain Bergeron (Guitar); Sylvain Bergeron (Theorbo); Amanda Keesmaat (Cello); Shannon Mercer
  • Notes: l'Eglise St. Sugustin de Mirabel, Quebec, Canada (11/02/2009-11/04/2009)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Caccini, Francesca : O chiome belle, canzonetta for voice & continuo
  • Performers: Luc Beauséjour (Harpsichord); Luc Beauséjour (Organ); Sylvain Bergeron (Guitar); Sylvain Bergeron (Theorbo); Amanda Keesmaat (Cello); Shannon Mercer
  • Notes: l'Eglise St. Sugustin de Mirabel, Quebec, Canada (11/02/2009-11/04/2009)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Caccini, Francesca : Io mi distruggo, madrigal
  • Performers: Luc Beauséjour (Harpsichord); Luc Beauséjour (Organ); Sylvain Bergeron (Guitar); Sylvain Bergeron (Theorbo); Amanda Keesmaat (Cello); Shannon Mercer
  • Notes: l'Eglise St. Sugustin de Mirabel, Quebec, Canada (11/02/2009-11/04/2009)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral

>Caccini, Francesca : Te lucis ante terminum, hymn
  • Performers: Luc Beauséjour (Harpsichord); Luc Beauséjour (Organ); Sylvain Bergeron (Guitar); Sylvain Bergeron (Theorbo); Amanda Keesmaat (Cello); Shannon Mercer
  • Notes: l'Eglise St. Sugustin de Mirabel, Quebec, Canada (11/02/2009-11/04/2009)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral

>Caccini, Francesca : La pastorella, aria for voice & continuo
  • Performers: Luc Beauséjour (Harpsichord); Luc Beauséjour (Organ); Sylvain Bergeron (Guitar); Sylvain Bergeron (Theorbo); Amanda Keesmaat (Cello); Shannon Mercer
  • Notes: l'Eglise St. Sugustin de Mirabel, Quebec, Canada (11/02/2009-11/04/2009)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Vocal

>Caccini, Francesca : Canzoni (4) di mio padre, for guitar
  • Performers: Luc Beauséjour (Harpsichord); Luc Beauséjour (Organ); Sylvain Bergeron (Guitar); Sylvain Bergeron (Theorbo); Amanda Keesmaat (Cello); Shannon Mercer
  • Notes: l'Eglise St. Sugustin de Mirabel, Quebec, Canada (11/02/2009-11/04/2009)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Caccini, Francesca : Su le piume de' venti trionfator, aria for voice & continuo
  • Performers: Luc Beauséjour (Harpsichord); Luc Beauséjour (Organ); Sylvain Bergeron (Guitar); Sylvain Bergeron (Theorbo); Amanda Keesmaat (Cello); Shannon Mercer
  • Notes: l'Eglise St. Sugustin de Mirabel, Quebec, Canada (11/02/2009-11/04/2009)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Vocal

>Caccini, Francesca : Fresche aurette, canzonette for voice & continuo
  • Performers: Luc Beauséjour (Harpsichord); Luc Beauséjour (Organ); Sylvain Bergeron (Guitar); Sylvain Bergeron (Theorbo); Amanda Keesmaat (Cello); Shannon Mercer
  • Notes: l'Eglise St. Sugustin de Mirabel, Quebec, Canada (11/02/2009-11/04/2009)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance