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Italia: Vocal Works of Verdi, Scelsi, Nono, Pizzetti & Petrassi / SWR Vocal Ensemble Stuttgart; Marcus Creed

Album Summary

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Sacred Pieces (4), for chorus & orchestra
>Scelsi, Giacinto : Yliam, for female choir
>Verdi, Giuseppe : Pater noster, for chorus
>Nono, Luigi : Sarà dolce tacere, for 8 vocal soloists
>Pizzetti, Ildebrando : Composizioni corali (3), for chorus
>Scelsi, Giacinto : TKRDG, for 6 male voices, 3 percussionists & electrically amplified guitar
>Petrassi, Goffredo : Nonsense, for chorus
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

In this latest installment of recordings focusing on the choral traditions of different country's choral music traditions launched last year by the Vokalensemble Stuttgart des SWR, we now arrive in sunny Italy, a country said to have no native choral tradition. Giuseppe Verdi of course used choirs in his operas, but apart from that there are only a few choral works that have sustained any place in the repertoire, some of the finest of which are presented here. With the beginning of the 20th century, however, one encounters composer's that are less well known, but whom have certainly composed some very exciting music for choir, including Pizzetti, Giacinto Scelsi, Luigi Nono and Goffredo Petrassi. They all offer poignant, poetic, funny, mysterious, ironic choral works that are original and always interesting in their structure. They show an Italy away from the operatic bel canto, but certainly not lacking in beautiful melodies. This is a most worthy addition to their on-going "country" series. The Vokalensemble Stuttgart des SWR is one of the most internationally acclaimed choirs. Their scholarship, adventurous programming, wide range of styles and impeccable vocal performances are their trademarks. For many years, the Vokalensemble has been considered one of the top ensembles for contemporary music and has, throughout its 65 year history, presented more world premieres than any other professional choir.

Gramophone Magazine, June 2015
These recordings - made over nine years and in a variety of acoustics - offer as good a survey [of 19th/20th century Italian choral music] as one might hope for, and exhibit impeccable singing of total passion, wearing for the esoteric to the sublime.

American Record Guide, September/October 2015
There are some gems on this program, and the singing is burnished and ethereal. Verdi's 'Ave Maria', 'Laudi alla Vergine Maria', and 'Pater Noster' are lovely and moving. Scelsi's three-movement TKRDG introduces instruments - electric guitar and percussion; there are only six male singers, who chant more than sing. I'll mostly come back to this for the Verdi, but the program makes an excellent sampler of Italian choral music. The sonics are very clear, not too reverberant. Notes are in English and German; texts are in Italian, German, and English.



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Works Details

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Sacred Pieces (4), for chorus & orchestra :: Ave Maria
  • Conductor: Marcus Creed
  • Ensemble: SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart
  • Notes: SWR Funkstudio Stuttgart (12/17/2012-12/19/2012)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1889-1897

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Sacred Pieces (4), for chorus & orchestra :: Laudi alla Vergine Maria
  • Conductor: Marcus Creed
  • Notes: SWR Funkstudio Stuttgart (12/17/2012-12/19/2012)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1889-1897

>Scelsi, Giacinto : Yliam, for female choir
  • Performers: Eva-Maria Schappé (Soprano); Johanna Zimmer
  • Conductor: Marcus Creed
  • Notes: SWR Funkstudio Stuttgart (12/17/2012-12/19/2012)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1964

>Verdi, Giuseppe : Pater noster, for chorus
  • Conductor: Marcus Creed
  • Notes: SWR Funkstudio Stuttgart (12/17/2012-12/19/2012)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1880

>Nono, Luigi : Sarà dolce tacere, for 8 vocal soloists
  • Performers: Torsten Muller (Percussion); Mikhael Nikiforov; Julius Pfeifer (Tenor); Eva-Maria Schappé (Soprano); Kerstin Steube-König; Alexander Yudenkov (Tenor)
  • Conductor: Marcus Creed
  • Notes: Villa Berg, Stuttgart (10/27/2004-10/29/2004)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1960

>Pizzetti, Ildebrando : Composizioni corali (3), for chorus
  • Conductor: Marcus Creed
  • Notes: Christuskirche Gänsheide, Stuttgart (03/13/2013-03/15/2013)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1942-1943

>Scelsi, Giacinto : TKRDG, for 6 male voices, 3 percussionists & electrically amplified guitar
  • Performer: Hubert Steiner
  • Conductor: Marcus Creed
  • Notes: SWR Funkstudio Stuttgart (12/17/2012-12/19/2012)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1968

>Petrassi, Goffredo : Nonsense, for chorus
  • Conductor: Marcus Creed
  • Notes: SWR Funkstudio Stuttgart (12/17/2012-12/19/2012)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1952