Rubino: Messa de Morti à 5 concertata, 1653

Cappella Musicale S. Maria in Campitelli, Studio di Musica Antica “Antonio Il Verso”, Vincenzo Di Betta
75:33
Tactus TC 601503

A new composer for me, Bonaventura Rubino (1600-1668) was master of music at Palermo Cathedral from 1645 until his death. His Messa di Morti a 5 concertata was published as part of his Opera Quarta in Palermo in 1653. The music is as it says on the box – substantial late renaissance polyphony alternates with a kaleidoscopic array of affecting solos, duos and trios; try the extended and attractive Dies Irae for a good taster:

The recording has been carefully prepared to reproduce the structure of a solemn Requiem mass, using three celebrants for the chant and interspersing organ and instrumental music at appropriate points in the service. The performance is generally enjoyable. Although comparatively large, the choir sounds focused and well blended. The soloists are good, and the instrumentalists, as well as providing excellent doubling for the choir, shine in the sinfonias. I particularly relished the delectable sound of the 1635 chamber organ. Occasionally, especially in the full sections, the music sounds a little rhythmically over emphasised, but this does not detract unduly from one’s overall pleasure in this important addition to the recorded repertoire.

Alastair Harper