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CD Review

Vanitatis Vanitatum

Rome 1650

  • Giacomo Carissimi: "Vanitatis Vanitatum"
  • Marco Marazzoli: "Ogno nostro piacer"
  • Domenico Mazzocchi: "Da tutti gli horologi si cava moralita"
  • Virgilio Mazzocchi: "Sospirate bellezze"
  • Stefano Landi: "Superbe colli"
  • Luigi Rossi:
  • "O si quis daret concentum"
  • "Ergi la mente al sole"
  • Anonymous:
  • "Ciaccona di Paradiso, e dell'inferno"
  • "Passacalli della vita"
Teldec Das Alte Werk 2564-69854-6 74m DDD Rec: 1995

This is a beautiful disc with several fairly unknown composers who militated in the Roman musical scene in the mid-17th century. There are a few pretty obscure names such as Rossi and the brothers Mazzocchi with the only composer who has resurfaced before being Stefano Landi whose musical drama, "Il Sant'Alessio" has been the talk of the town in recorded music circles.

The music is based on the directions given by the Counter-Reformation and as such is quite easy to follow and includes several simple but original musical themes. Landi's "Superbe colli" is an impressive work whilst Rossi's music is also very pleasant to listen to. Tragicomedia make an impressive case for all the works on offer and Teldec's recording is, as expected, top notch stuff.

To gain a better understanding of the scope of the disc, reading the notes is imperative as here the title "Vanitatis Vanitatum" is explained in greater detail and one can only be fascinated at the intensity of Roman musical life at that time. The front illustration is also extremely well chosen for the whole product. Unhesitatingly recommended to those who enjoy such off the beaten track repertoire.

Copyright © 2008, Gerald Fenech