Alma, svegliate ormai

Devotional Contrafacta in Italian music during the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries
Anonimo Frottolisti
Tactus TC 400006

It may be that I was a little frottole d-out when I came to review this CD, but its exploration of Italian popular music refurnished with devotional texts failed to engage me. The rather trivial and repetitive dance and vocal music seemed largely unworthy of the religious texts fitted to it, and the performances, adequate but uninspiring, did little to convince me of the virtues of unearthing this material. Recorded in an alarming variety of acoustics from the very dead to the quite resonant, the CD cruelly exposes some of the singing as rather amateurish, although the instrumental contribution is generally more convincing. The combination of generally dodgy singing and seemingly endless repetitions of material which is not terribly inspired to start with certainly failed to convince this listener. I’m afraid you will find better performances of most of this material elsewhere.

D. James Ross