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Giorgio Matteoli, Ensemble Festa Rustica, Giorgia Cinciripi - Francesco Antonio Vallotti: Antifone Mariane (2022)

Posted By: delpotro
Giorgio Matteoli, Ensemble Festa Rustica, Giorgia Cinciripi - Francesco Antonio Vallotti: Antifone Mariane (2022)

Giorgio Matteoli, Ensemble Festa Rustica, Italico Splendore, Giorgia Cinciripi
WEB FLAC (tracks) - 315 Mb | MP3 CBR 320 kbps - 138 Mb | 00:59:48
Classical, Vocal | Label: Da Vinci Classics

Vallotti and the composition of the Marian Antiphons for soprano, strings and continuo. The idea of exploring Francesco Antonio Vallotti’s works, more than three centuries after his birth, comes from the desire of returning to today’s world a small page of Music History which had hitherto remained unexplored. This will facilitate the rediscovery of a very fecund composer of sacred music, who was for a long time the Chapel Master in the Basilica del Santo in Padua. Vallotti is best known for his theoretical writings, but he was in fact a very productive composer of religious music. His works elicited the interest, admiration and enthusiasm of his contemporaries (and not only of them). However, the short-sighted Caecilian Reform of the late nineteenth century inopportunely stigmatized his music as “Baroque”, and thus worth despising.

Following Maria Nevilla Massaro’s study of Vallotti’s catalogue of works, our attempt to remove from oblivion the music of this musician friar, giving him back the aesthetic dignity he deserves, resulted in the choice of a specific thematic itinerary. This path is that of the Marian Antiphons for soprano, strings and continuo.

The expression “Marian Antiphons” cumulatively indicates a group of four Antiphons. They are short liturgical texts usually connected to a Psalm. They are sung in various types of worship services, and are dedicated to the figure of Mary, Jesus’ Mother. Dating back to the 11th-12th century, they were performed (following the practice of Gregorian chant) at the end of Compline in four different periods which, taken together, embrace the entire church year. They are Alma Redemptoris Mater (“O Holy Mother of our Redeemer”), Ave Regina Coelorum (“Hail O Queen of Heaven”), Regina Coeli (“O Queen of Heaven”), and Salve Regina. Starting from the 15th century, they were the object of numerous polyphonic and soloistic elaborations. Francesco Antonio Vallotti contributed to this tradition; he composed his versions of the Antiphons for the Basilica del Santo where they were regularly performed during the church year.

The manuscripts of the Marian Antiphons are accurately compiled and very easy to interpret. This not only facilitates the transcriber’s work dramatically; it also demonstrates the copyist’s excellent skill. It can be inferred, from a calligraphic study, that the copyist was one and the same for all the antiphons. With the establishment of the Musical Archive and in parallel with the surfacing of an increasingly evident stylistic continuity and musico-historical awareness in the Chapel, the copyist’s work was functional and oriented to the preservation of the manuscripts themselves as perfect “fair copies”. Equally well-preserved performing parts are extant for each score; this is because these works were regularly performed during the worship services in the Basilica del Santo.

Vallotti wrote ten Marian Antiphons for soprano voice: two Salve Regina, three Ave Regina Coelorum, four Alma Redemptoris Mater and one Regina Coeli. The performing forces are always the same for all Antiphons, i.e. voice, strings and continuo. Similarly, the tripartite structure is also common to all Antiphons. It usually consists of an “andante” first movement, of a “quick” second movement and of a “slow” third movement. Structurally, the choice of concluding with a slow movement (generally a “Largo” or “Larghetto”, with the exception of the Regina Coeli which closes on a quick movement since the sung text is “Alleluia”) is interesting; we may surmise that this choice be due to the relationship between music and lyrics. With the only exception of the already-mentioned Regina Coeli, in fact, all Antiphons close with the plea to Mary that she may pray for the faithful. Thus, it is as if in the last movement, after praising Mary, one sought to create a mystical and introspective dimension. Human beings, in their fragility, ask Mary to pray for them. This intimate dimension of requesting Mary’s prayer is therefore expressed by a slow movement with a legato phrasing and broad scope.

Among the elements found in the Marian Antiphons is the frequent use of progressions and that of numerous trills and appoggiaturas in the pure Baroque style. Dynamic indications (Piano and Forte, frequently abbreviated as Pia: and For:) are found in all Antiphons. Normally, such indications are omitted at the piece’s beginning (certainly it was presumed that pieces began in Forte). However, they are always indicated at the singer’s entry, generally by means of a Piano asking the orchestra for a lighter sound, so that the solo voice could stand out. The Forte is expressed as soon as the singing ends, so that the orchestra can resurface with its full weight of sound.

Among the other elements we find the use of the continuo. It is always scrupulously numbered; it proceeds uniformly and with very few rhythmical variations. At times, however (normally in order to create contrasting effects of timbre and dynamic) the organ’s continuo part is interrupted, whilst the concertante cello continues (the continuo’s numbering is of course omitted here).

The voice’s use of the melody has a Classicizing flavour. It is sober, and careful not to exceed in virtuosity. At the same time, it Is complex: it hardly imposes itself to the ear as a simple melody, but rather results, at times, from the sum of various thematic and rhythmic cells, skillfully sewed together. This complexity is due, from the one side, to the continuing quest for a novel melodic idea; from the other, to the composer’s speculative approach, as he was interested in the continuity of harmonic combinations.

As concerns rhythm, we observe that Vallotti favours the dotted figurations, both in the scheme “dotted quaver and semiquaver”, and as in the Lombard rhythm (“semiquaver and dotted quaver”).

Another element all Marian Antiphons for soprano have in common is the use of key within the framework of the work’s structure. The first and third movement are in the same key, whilst the second is in another key, but one close to the main key. Harmonically, one observes a self-assured use of sevenths of the third and second kind, beyond (obviously) the dominant and diminished seventh; they are frequently treated without preparation and with exceptional resolutions. The use of augmented sixths is also substantial, though more restrained; it presents chordal conglomerations of the Italian and German kind.

The work of transcribing and recording of some of the Marian Antiphons brought with itself the expectation of rediscovering this musical heritage, inopportunely relegated in the past, together with the wish of making its notes sound once more. Thus, manuscripts which seemed dumb at first opened themselves to understanding and revealed themselves to be an eighteenth-century gem. They gave me the emotion of being the first soprano in three hundred years to sing those buried scores.
Tracklist:
1. Giorgia Cinciripi – Alma Redemptoris Mater in B-Flat Major: I. Tempo giusto (03:07)
2. Giorgia Cinciripi – Alma Redemptoris Mater in B-Flat Major: II. Spedito (02:24)
3. Giorgia Cinciripi – Alma Redemptoris Mater in B-Flat Major: III. Larghetto (03:13)
4. Giorgia Cinciripi – Alma Redemptoris Mater in G Major: I. Spiritoso (03:14)
5. Giorgia Cinciripi – Alma Redemptoris Mater in G Major: II. Allegro (02:09)
6. Giorgia Cinciripi – Alma Redemptoris Mater in G Major: III. Larghetto (02:52)
7. Giorgia Cinciripi – Ave Regina Caelorum in D Major: I. Moderato (03:44)
8. Giorgia Cinciripi – Ave Regina Caelorum in D Major: II. Allegro non presto (02:26)
9. Giorgia Cinciripi – Ave Regina Caelorum in D Major: III. Largo e sostenuto (03:17)
10. Giorgia Cinciripi – Ave Regina Caelorum in F Major: I. Andante (03:29)
11. Giorgia Cinciripi – Ave Regina Caelorum in F Major: II. Allegro (03:17)
12. Giorgia Cinciripi – Ave Regina Caelorum in F Major: III. Sostenuto (03:36)
13. Giorgia Cinciripi – Salve Regina in B-Flat Major: I. Vivace (04:31)
14. Giorgia Cinciripi – Salve Regina in B-Flat Major: II. Allegro (02:30)
15. Giorgia Cinciripi – Salve Regina in B-Flat Major: III. Larghetto (03:54)
16. Giorgia Cinciripi – Salve Regina in G Major: I. Vivace e spiccato (03:26)
17. Giorgia Cinciripi – Salve Regina in G Major: II. Larghetto (05:38)
18. Giorgia Cinciripi – Salve Regina in G Major: III. Allegro assai (02:51)

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