Sephardic Journey: Wanderings of the Spanish Jews

Apollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra, Jeannette Sorrell
Avie AV2361

Salamone Rossi’s worked as a musician in Mantua, though without regular positions. He produced nine books of madrigals between 1589 to 1628 and one sacred publication of Hebrew psalms, Hashirim asher lish’lomo. I first reviewed the Hebrew Psalms around 1995.

I presume that Rossi followed the normal Mantuan approach of singing one-to-a-part. It is now known that Monteverdi had only ten singers, which is fine for double-choir music. The booklet even has a paragraph from Leon Modena in 1605, recommending ten singers. The director has used her own choir, using chosen good singers (6442) and four soloists (SSTB), as well as well as 12 players, mostly playing more than one instrument. I get the feeling that Jeannette is doing her own thing. This didn’t strike me as a well-explored performance, but if she wants to do exotic music, she should get people with experience. This is even more “pseudo” than her last CD – get back to doing the Baroque that you do so well!

Clifford Bartlett