giovedì 1 gennaio 2015

Iacomo Carissimi - Jonah. Jephthah. The Judgement of Salomon

3 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 79 Mb

This disc presents three of Carissimi’s oratorios on Latin texts. Carissimi’s vocal style in the oratorios consists essentially of stile recitativo of the type familiar from Monteverdi alternating with aria-like writing; the forms are not separated as in later Baroque works but flow from one to the other without pause. The text is divided among a narrator ( historicus ) and several people or groups of people. 
The three works on this recording tell familiar stories. Jephthah vows that, if he is victorious in battle, he will sacrifice to God whoever first comes to meet him from his house. His daughter is the unlucky victim, and she merely begs for two months to wander in the mountains with her companions and lament her virginity. No angel intervenes to spare her life as in Handel’s oratorio. Handel was so impressed with the final chorus that he borrowed it for his oratorio Samson. The Judgment of Solomon concerns the dispute of two women over a child and Solomon’s command to divide the child in two as a means of discovering the identity of the true mother. Jonah recounts the story of Jonah’s being swallowed by the whale while attempting to evade God’s command to preach repentance to Ninevah, and Jonah’s deliverance and fulfillment of his mission.
The Gabrielli Consort and Players perform these works to perfection. Everything sounds right, tempos are not rushed, the members of the Gabrielli Consort sing beautifully in solo and choral work. Because the Consort has no altos, music assigned to altos is performed by high tenors. A toccata by Frescobaldi is played as the Prelude to Jephthah , which lacks its own.
This appears to be the only currently available recording of The Judgment of Solomon . I have Jephthah and Jonah on a Naxos disc that Brian Robins reviewed very favorably in Fanfare 29:1. I am not as enamored of those performances as was Mr. Robins. I find McCreesh’s disc preferable in every way. This disc was originally released on Meridian in 1987. Brilliant’s production duplicates the original in providing only the English text and in having only one track for each oratorio. The timing indicated for Jephthah on the back cover has its first two digits reversed. This is a great bargain, especially at Brilliant’s price.

FANFARE: Ron Salemi


Jephte, oratorio for 6 voices & continuo
Judicium Salomonis, oratorio for 4 voices, 2 violins & continuo
Jonas, oratorio for soloists, 5 voices, 2 violins & continuo

Gabrieli Consort & Players
dir. Paul McCreesh

2 commenti:

  1. Hi Bibixy,
    I wish you a happy, successfully and healthy new year 2015 and I hope you'll have the same pleasure sharing these gems with us as we have in founding these treasures of fine music here on your wonderful blog!
    All the best and greetings from