Provenzale: Amati orrori

Echo du Danube
60:26
cpo 777 834-2

Francesco Provenzale? Who he?? Well, I eventually found out in a brief paragraph at the beginning of the third page (of three and a half!) of the note. 1624-1704, and the most important Neapolitan master of the 17th century across all genres of sacred and secular music. We are also referred to the writer’s book on the subject. Signor Provenzale could certainly compose, however – the vocal pieces on this disc are all strong pieces with characteristics of both the late monodic madrigal and the emerging cantata. And Hannah Morrison’s is some of the best early music singing I have heard for some time. With only a small ensemble for company she never has to force her tone and can fully engage with the lengthy (and sometimes unlikely!) texts. The instrumental contributions I find less convincing. To me they are over-elaborate in their sonorities and variety, and the improvisatory passages become rather formulaic after a while. The note reads like the translation it is and according to the track list all the items last 12’ 19’’. They don’t. How does this sort of thing achieve publication?

David Hansell