century Venice; as a student of, and later, successor to Claudio
Monteverdi, he was the leader of St. Mark’s cathedral in Venice. He
also served as head of the Venetian operatic school, and was very
highly regarded as a composer of religious and operatic music in his
day. Unfortunately, he was somewhat reluctant to have his compositions
published, and therefore, is virtually unknown to modern audiences.
Much of the music here could be very favorably compared to the works of
his mentor, Monteverdi. Cavalli was a superb composer for a variety of
instruments, and the organ and small ensemble accompaniment heard on this disc are a striking addition to the vocals here as opposed to the
more common acapella programs of that period. Most of the selections
here are small-scale, incorporating three or four voices. The lone
sonata that appears midway through the program is delightful – it’s
really tragic that so little of Cavalli’s instrumental compositional
output has survived.
Sonically, this all-DSD recording is superb, and offers a really great
representation of the recorded acoustic. The surrounds are mainly
employed to help present ambient information, and the participants
occupy a very real space as spread out before you during the
performance. I’m very impressed with this new disc from Fone – I’d
previously found some of their initial offerings to be a bit screechy
tonally. No problems here, though – this disc is near-reference
quality. Very highly recommended.
— Tom Gibbs