dda 25062
"Best Arts and Media Project 2007" - the American Society for the Study of Early Modern Women
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Motetti a cinque voci (1614)

Alessandro Grandi is widely regarded as one of the finest composers from Italy in the early 17th century but his music itself is little known. This premiere recording of his 16 Motets for Five Voices rectifies that  and demonstrates his extraordinary musical powers.  Also on the CD are musical items from the soundtrack of the film/live/multimedia work "Fallen", a collaboration between Musica Secreta and playwright Fiona Mackie.

Also avaialble by Musica Secreta: 'Sacred Hearts + Secret Music' (dda25077)

CD DURATION:  79.58  

AUDIO SAMPLE: O bone Jesu Christe (extract)  







Alessandro Grandi: Motetti a cinque voci:
Sancte Sebastiane
Ave Regina caelorum
Judica me Domine
O dulcis et o pia
O bone Jesu Christe
Anima mea liquefacta est
Iste cognovit iustitiam
Exaudi Deus orationem meam
Deus misereatur nostri
Quam pulcra est
Innova Domine signa
Quo rubicunda rosa
Quomodo dilexi legem tuam
Verus est inluctum cithara mea
Qui timetis Domine
Letaniae Beatae Mariae Virginis

L. Agostini: Veni sponsa Christi
St Catherine of Bologna: Salve Regina
Josquin des Prez: Agnus Dei III (from "Missa L'homme armé sexti toni")
G. de Wert: Vox in Rama audita est
Chant: Regnum mundi et omnem ornatum
J. des Prez: Ave Maria..virgo serena

review extracts: for full reviews click here

‘Grandi's fine melodic gift is in evidence throughout, as is his imaginatively responsive word-setting. [Musica Secreta's] deliciously mellifluous sound brings and extra level of exquisite intensity...really delightful. A very great treat.” – Elizabeth Roche (Early Music)

“Grandi…perhaps second in importance only to Monteverdi. Performances are decently polished and delineated” – Andrew Clements (The Guardian)
“the singing is never less than vivacious and artful. “- Anna Picard (The Independent on Sunday)
“The performances here would surely have delighted [the original dedicatee]. Overall this is beautifully refined music-making – sonorous, soulful and sincere.” – Simon Heighes (International Record Review)

“ The aims of Musica Secreta are of great interest to all musicians, The singing is first-class throughout the CD: clear, free, compelling, and with nearly impeccable intonation. Indeed, one of the advantages of freely arranging the music is that it can all be sung at a tessitura that suits the singers on hand: there is almost none of the pinched, slightly sharp, vibrato-less singing that one often hears in mixed-voice recordings. This recording is absolutely worth obtaining, for the sake of some really exquisite singing (not to mention the repertoire itself)” – Sarah MacDonald (The Consort)

“Although considered one of the finest composers of his day, Alessandro Grandi’s music is little known. This premiere recording of his 16 Motets for Five Voices is very welcome.” - New Classics
“[The transposition for female voices] works very well. The ladies of Musica Secreta sound beautiful. Grandi;s melodies fall eaily on the ear. An enterprising disc well worth hearing” – Richard Lawrence (Gramophone)
“Technically, aesthetically and tonally many-faceted, and reflecting the major change which marked the era, Grandi comes across as a powerful composer. A lively and full value interpretation, showing no weakness in comparison to the original mixed voice conception in terms of the effectiveness of the piece. With careful transposition, and the instruments filling the bass parts, this altogether succeeds as a convincing interpretation.” - Matthias Lange (Klassik.com)

“ Grandi's music is of excellent quality and shows the features of so much of the sacred music of the time. Musica Secreta is a very fine ensemble, and the five singers on this disc - Deborah Roberts, Tessa Bonner, Katharine Hawnt (soprano), Catherine King (mezzo) and Caroline Trevor (contralto) - have very nice voices which blend excellently. The booklet contains informative programme notes and all the lyrics with an English translation.” – Johan van Veen (MusicWeb)

“With great care, sensitivity, and musical judgement, the ensemble arranges and transposes the music so that it matches their vocal resources. An attractive humility and fervent earnestness comes through in the performances. Word painting is effectively interpreted and the performance and repertoire decisions are convincing..” - C. Moore (American Record Guide)

“ The performances here are clean-cut and shapely... with good recording, especially as heard in the lossless download, and with the booklet containing texts and translations” - Brian Wilson (MusicWeb Download Roundup)