Vialardo: Missa “Vestiva i colli”

Musica Fiorita, Daniela Dolci
61:38
Pan Classics PC 10344
+music by Banchieri, Cima, Donati, Grancini, Rognoni & de Selma

The madrigal Vestiva i colli  by Palestrina occasioned a flurry of interest in the years following its appearance, and its music became the subject of parody motets (including some by Palestrina himself), sets of divisions and even a Mass by Baldassare Vialardo. The present CD is a survey of these works, built around the movements of Vialardo’s Mass. The four solo voices and brass and strings of Musica Fiorita produce a lovely rich ensemble sound, and the solo instruments and voices in turn provide engaging accounts of the virtuosic divisions by a variety of composers. Of Baldassare Vialardo little appears to be known – the programme note imparts little apart from the fact that he died after 1620 and even Mr Google is at something of a loss. He was a thoroughly capable composer though, and the Mass displays a thorough acquaintance with forces it is written for as well as an imaginative and inventive style. The CD also usefully dredges up composers about whom a little more is known and precious little of whose music has been recorded. Among these is the violin virtuoso Francesco Rognoni, and the rarely heard but impressively creative Giovanni Cima, Michel’Angelo Grancini and Bartolomeo de Selma. The star of the programme however is Vialardo about whom it would be fascinating to know more, such as where he worked and who influenced him in his composition.

D. James Ross