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Strona Główna Muzyka Klasyczna Marcello Benedetto Benedetto Marcello - Estro Poetico-Armonico (2000)

Benedetto Marcello - Estro Poetico-Armonico (2000)

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Benedetto Marcello - Estro Poetico-Armonico (2000)

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01 - Salmo 10 - Mentro Io Tutta Ripongo
02 - Salmo 40 - O Beato Chi Pietoso
03 - Salmo 3 - O Dio Perche
04 - Salmo 47 - Questa Che Al Ciel S'innalza
05 - Salmo 44 - Dal Cor Ripieno

Juris Teichmanis - Cello
Menno van Delft - Harpsichord, Organ
Konrad Junghanel - Conductor, Lute
Cantus Cöln - Vocal Ensemble


It's a funny thing, the way reputations rise and fall and fade. Nowadays, Antonio Vivaldi is about as well-known as a Baroque composer can be, while his contemporary Benedetto Marcello is familiar to only a few (so far). Yet in early 18th-century Venice, both composers were equally respected--in fact, Marcello's music was performed regularly as late as 1790, while Vivaldi's music was considered passé 50 years earlier. Benedetto Marcello, as the scion of a prominent and wealthy Venetian family, didn't have to please the music-buying public (as Vivaldi did) to make a living--and he took advantage of the freedom to follow his own muse. Where Vivaldi stuck closely to established, recognizable forms (such as the ABA da capo aria and the slow-fast-slow-fast church sonata), Marcello subordinated his musical setting to the text in much the way Monteverdi, Cavalli, and Schütz did a century earlier.

In Estro poetico-armonico, a collection of Italian-language Psalm-settings for one to four solo voices, this means that the scoring, meter and/or key may change--sometimes quite abruptly--whenever there's a new idea in the text. The result sometimes seems disjointed or even downright weird, but the music is often quite lovely--and arguably very appropriate for the Psalms, whose sudden changes of mood and imagery have confounded more than one reader. Members of Cantus Cölln--here, just four singers and continuo--give a sensitive and skillful performance of five selections from the Estro. On first hearing, one might wish for more Italian-style extroversion, but the more you listen, the more subtlety, intelligence, and feeling you'll find. It's always that way with Cantus Cölln--the better you know them, the more admirable they seem. ---Matthew Westphal

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