Centorio : Vocal and instrumental music

Cappella Musicale della Cathedrale di Vercelli, Denis Silano
Brilliant Classics 96242

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This CD is part of a broader exploration by Italian musicians of their local heritage, and this ensemble based in Vercelli in northern Italy has come up with Marco Antonio Centorio, a local composer of not inconsiderable charm, whose oeuvre remained in manuscript form. This selection of instrumental and vocal music presents a picture of an accomplished local musician of the early 17th century with a solid grounding in polyphony but also with distinctive elements of individuality and originality. There is some fine period instrument playing here, as well as a pleasing contribution from vocal soloists and small choir, the boys’ voices of the latter ensemble making a distinctive and idiomatic contribution. Denis Silano, the mastermind behind the project and who directs proceedings, makes a powerful case for Centorio’s music being more widely known, and it is clear from this CD that he is of more than local significance. It is good to see this ongoing exploration of regional Italian music-making in the 16th and 17th centuries by Italian ensembles, at the same time allowing us to witness the high standard of historically informed performance throughout Italy.

D. James Ross

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