It is extremely difficult nowadays to reproduce the sound castrato singers where capable of doing at their time and, too often, one finds voices that are too nasal or merely good falsettos. But in many of the performances in this CD one can let the imagination wander and almost imagine you are in the 18th century. In particular, the performance of James Bowmann is outstanding. Also very special the performace of Charpentier 'Salve Regina' by Gerard Lesne and the others; this of course enhanced by the exquisite sensibility of the director Jordi Saval. Also, the duo of Derek Lee Ragin and Ewa Mallas-Godlewska in 'Son qual nave ch'agitata' is so exquisite it brings tears to your eyes. (Carmen E. Alvarez)
Allegri's early Baroque masterpiece Miserere from around 1630 movingly juxtaposes modal chant with tonality, and was so popular that the Vatican refused to allow it to be performed anywhere else - until the 14 year old Mozart broke the Vatican's monopoly by writing it down from memory after attending a performance. Pergolesi's late Baroque masterpiece Stabat Mater for soprano and alto dates from 1736, the year of his death at the age of 26. It was originally written for male voices but since it's hard to find a castrato these days, it's generally performed by two women or by a female soprano and counter-tenor. This performance uses a female alto but in other respects it's very much a period performance - the sound is intimate and the tempos are lively without any sacrifice of spiritual depth. The soloists, soprano Monika Frimmer and alto Gloria Banditelli, sing beautifully without overdoing the vibrato, and their voices are well matched. The disk also contains a brief "Sonata a quattro" by Vivaldi, and another setting of the Stabat Mater, by the late Baroque composer Antonio Caldara from around 1725.(Kenneth Dorter)
Tre allegri ragazzi morti” (Three happy dead guys, often shortened into TARM) are a rock band formed in 1994 in Pordenone, Italy. The trio (Davide Toffolo, Enrico Molteni and Luca Masseroni) which has released several albums, has decided not to give its image to the media and they only imagine themselves in Toffolos’s drawings, which is an established comic-drawer. They also decided to hide their faces behind skull-masks, which have now become the symbol of the imaginary evoked by lyrics and live shows as well. The band is independent since 2000, recording under the label La tempesta (The storm), which is the same label of Giorgio Canali and Moltheni.
This 1994 disc is something of a classic of the new strain of the historical-performance movement, which is characterized by a certain amount of license to speculate in the reconstruction of lost works. The Miserere mei Deus of Gregorio Allegri is, of course, not a lost work, but one with an unbroken performance tradition stretching back to its composition in the early seventeenth century (before 1638). It was sung for centuries at the Sistine Chapel, where the singers were enjoined from circulating the music beyond Vatican walls…
"Christophers draws brilliant performances from his singers, both technically assured and vividly impassioned". (The Guardian)
This internationally known string quartet has been in existence since the early '50s. The original performers (Eli Goren, James Barton, Patrick Ireland, and William Pleeth) created the group in order to play the best of Classical and Romantic quartet literature. This tradition of the grand style has been keep alive by Peter Carter, violin (a member for 25 years); Rafael Todes, violin; Dorothea Vogel, viola; and Pal Benda, violoncello. The quartet's intensive examination and rehearsals of traditional works has resulted in unique interpretations that reveal detailed characteristics and previously unheard possibilities of these musical masterpieces.