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“Amati orrori: Lamenti & Cantatas” = Works of PROVENZALE, VALENTE, STROZZI, FALCONIERI – CPO

“Amati orrori: Lamenti & Cantatas” = FRANCESCO PROVENZALE: Squarciato appena havea; Lamento di marinetta Moglie di Massaniello; Care selve, amati orroi; ANTONIO VALENTE: Gagliarda Napolitana; GREGORIO STROZZI: Toccata de Passacagli, e ciascheduno puo sonarsi a solo; Mascara Sonata, e balata da piu Cavalieri Napolitani, nel Regio Palazzo; Balletto primo; Corrente Settima, e per Organetti, o Flauti; ANTIONIO FALCONIERI: Battalla de Baraboso yerno de Satanas – Echo du Danube – CPO multichannel SACD 777 834, 60:26 [Distr. by Naxos] ****:

The salterio and baroque percussion are among some of the expressive and pungent instruments featured on this new disc that seeks to present some of the varied and more populist elements of the music of Naples from the mid-1500s to mid-1600s. The court ceremonial, which really found gestation in the city of Madrid, had a profound influence on many composers of the time. Francesco Provenzale, the most noted artist here, was expert at infusing his music with the gloomy and viscerally moving lamento genre that captured the age. Lest we think it was all doom and gloom however, this disc proves the point that the music and moods were actually quite divergent during this period, the many composers represented on this disc towering over any stereotypical assignments of what we normally think about this period and location.

Naples was of course second only to Constantinople in population at this time, and its cosmopolitan atmosphere was guided by the Spanish viceroy whose tastes transferred from Spain to the locals a penchant for the theatrical and ceremonial. This mix of dances, laments, and balletti shows the manifest diversity of approaches of wide acceptability and rigorous perfume. The performances are sparkling and pointed, given in lovely surround sound. Off the beaten path for sure, but many will approve.

—Steven Ritter

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