Secular and Sacred Vocal Music
115:08 (2 CDs in a single jewel case)
Brilliant Classics 95586
[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s the informative booklet notes state, Cazzati’s is a name that deserves to be better known; he was one of the most prolific composers of the post-Monteverdian generation, and certainly one of the most published. The Eridanus ensemble (voices, recorder, two violins and continuo) have opted to separate the secular and the sacred by devoting one disc to each, interpolating vocal music with instrumental trios (sonatas and dance movements). Alessio Tosi has a pleasant, light voice which he colours according to the drama of some of the texts, and mezzo-soprano Marta Redaelli, who only sings on the second disc, has a clear, even voice. The performers manage the sound world by changing the continuo accompaniment through the sequence of works; although I have complained about that in these pages in the past, it is only a serious concern when the line-up varies throughout a single piece. There is none of that here – each work has a constant accompaniment. Eridanus should be very proud of this fine achievement, not least because 24 of the 31 tracks are world premiere recordings. I hope Brilliant Classics will encourage them to go on and record a similar disc of Cazzati’s music for larger forces, so that we have a truly rounded impression of this neglected master.