This has been very eagerly awaited! Balzano's music shows an incredibly diverse style that also demonstrates the high standards prevalent in Maltese artistic circles in those times.
The wonderful 'Missa Brevis' is a model of clarity with firm, succinct fugues and a dashing feeling of joy that is only demonstrated in the best works . The 'Gloria' is particularly effusive here. Similar treasures are to be found in the various motets that make up the rest of the disc. 'Salve Regina' and 'Jubila Propera Festina' are intrinsically beautiful whilst the loveliness of 'Dulcis Amor' is also quite ravishing.
Throughout the pieces, one cannot fail to note the high standards of singing achieved by the Laudate Pueri Choir constantly matched by the fine playing from the handpicked Baroque Ensemble. Professor Vella conducts with an evident feeling and passion for this superbly constructed music that is truly one of our historical gems.
There are also other motets by Aloysio Mataron and an anonymous composer, both representative of the genre. The sense of continuity achieved by the cover painting and the design confirms the importance of this splendid series. As usual, PRO Studios' recording is top class and the project is truly indispensable for all serious collectors.
Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech