Giovannni Battista Bassani (born in 1650 in Padua) was one of the foremost representatives of the Bolognese School. His works were well known during his lifetime, and composers like Handel and Bach knew and esteemed them highly. The Sinfonie Op. 5 displays a wide variety of styles, from solemn toccatas to playful dances, and is written for a several string instruments and basso continuo. Ensemble StilModerno adheres to the Historically Informed Performance Practice, and plays these original and skilfully written works with passion and virtuosity. New recordings, liner notes written by specialists in this field.
Early seventeenth-century Rome and Venice were the undisputed musical capitals of Italy, overseeing the emergence of new forms such as opera, cantata and oratorio. This programme reflects the diversity of motets written at this time for the highly-developed cult of the Virgin Mary, from a superb Salve Regina by the Venetian Alessandro Grandi and the enchanting Sanctissima Virgo by Girolamo Casati, to substantial, cantata-like works by Bassani and Colonna. Countertenor Philippe Jaroussky is accompanied by his chamber group Ensemble Artaserse, who also perform Bassani’s magnificent Sonata prima from 1683.
Philippe Jaroussky, whose recording of Vivaldi’s Virtuoso Cantatas has established him as one of the most promising counter-tenors of his generation, returns here with a rich selection of motets dedicated to the Virgin Mary, composed in the 17th century by Italian composers. Although the majority of these composers were very famous at their time, their works are quite unknown today, and very rarely, if ever, recorded. The central piece is Giovanni Felice Sances’ Stabat Mater dolorosa, which at just over 10 minutes is also the longest. It is considered a masterpiece of the times, and a thoroughly poignant work.
Most of the motets are for solo counter-tenor voice, with a small ensemble accompaniment. Jaroussky again teamed up with his own Ensemble Artaserse for this recording. And two motets he sings with Canadian contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux, whose name is gaining international recognition.