Rigatti: Vespro della Beata Vergine

i Disinvolti, UtFaSol Ensemble, Massimo Lombardi
Arcana A121

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When we think of Giovanni Rigatti (if we think about him at all, so overshadowed is he still by Monteverdi, despite the very obvious attraction and quality of his output!), our minds typically turn to the glories of San Marco and the sounds of a multitude of voices with violins, cornetti, trombones and organs. This fabulous recording spotlights his “Messa e salmi ariosi a tre voci concertati, & parte con li ripieni a beneplacito” of 1643 (the year of Monteverdi’s death). It is an incredibly brave thing to do, having just three singers (one of whom is also the director), but it really comes off – the two tenor voices are suitably differentiated to mean that there is always aural interest. The ripieni parts (which are really just reinforcements at structural points in the psalm settings) are taken by cornetto and three trombones. Continuo is provided by viola da gamba, theorbo and organ. The “service” is filled out by plainsong antiphons, organ music by Andrea Gabrieli, Milanuzzi’s setting of Deus in adiuvandum, a sonata by Riccio, motets by Serafino Patta (?!) and Banchieri, a canzona by the latter, a recercar by Francesco Usper and Del Buono (?!)’s hymn, Ave maris stella. The fact that my attention did not wane once in just under 80 minutes is testimony to the quality of both the music and the performances – I really did not want it to end! The recorded sound and the booklet maintain the quality – and when 13 of the tracks are claimed as world premiere recordings, that is all the more impressive. More please!

Brian Clark

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