Notes & Reviews:
The operas of Francesco Cavalli have earned him a secure place among the masters of the 17th century, yet he has remained almost completely unknown as a composer of sacred music. While the greater part of his time and energy was undoubtedly devoted to the 32 operas which he produced in Venice, Cavalli nonetheless pursued a constant and parallel career in sacred music which spanned 60 years of activity at St. Mark's. When Cavalli published the Musiche sacre in 1656 he was at the height of his creative powers and at the apex of his career. As with both Monteverdi's 1610 collection and his Selva morale of 1640, Cavalli's Musiche sacre contains components which can be used to fulfill the liturgical requirements of a wide range of feast days. On this recording we present the principle musical items which could have been heard at second Vespers on a feast of the Virgin Mary (in this case the Feast of the Assumption) either at St. Mark's or at one of a variety of other Venetian churches. It is no more and no less a single unified musical "work" than are Monteverdi's 1610 Vespro della Beata Vergine, nor can it be, since the liturgy has its own formal requirements going far beyond the music. An expert group of vocal soloists join the instrumentalists of Concerto Palatino in this landmark recording made in the mid-nineties which Glossa is now proud to recover for its Schola Cantorum Basiliensis series.
American Record Guide, July / August 2012
I have great admiration for the musicians and singers of Concerto Palatino, who include such top exponents of early music performance as Barbara Borden, Emily Van Evera, Gerd Turk, Mark Padmore, Harry Van Der Kamp, Stephen Stubbs, Erin Headley, Charles Toet, and Bruce Dickey.
Irish Times, 13th January 2012
The singing is first-rate, and the instrumental line-up, with two cornetts and up to eight trombones, often sounds glorious in the spacious acoustic of the Reformierte Kirche Arlesheim in Switzerland.