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Friday, March 11, 2016

Bonifazio Graziani, Adae Oratorium, Filli Prodigi Oratorium & Five Motets, Consortium Carissimi, Garrick Comeaux

There is so much wonderful music from the late Renaissance-early Baroque period by masters more known to scholar-specialists than lay listeners that we should not be surprised that much has yet to see the light of day in recorded form. Today's disk of vocal gems by Bonifazio Graziani (1604-1674) (Naxos 8.573256) is a happy example of such things, Consortium Carissimi under director Garrick Comeaux doing the Adae Oratorium, Filli Prodigi Oratorium & Five Motets, all in first recordings.

The liturgical music situation in Rome around 1650 was lively and intense. Motets for vocalists and instruments were an important component of the Latin mass at the time and we hear five excellent examples here. The two Oratorios on the disk were slightly more ambitious works, longer and with a small choir in addition to the group of soloists. Both were likely performed during the Easter season as part of the Holy Year celebrations of 1650.

Graziani's music is excellently performed by Consortium Carissimi in period fashion, with very little vibrato. They are nicely seconded via the accompaniment of archlute, theorbo, viola da gamba, sackbut, harpsichord and/or organ depending on the work. The vocalists are top notch as are the instrumentalists. Graziani's music is beautifully crafted. It speaks to us eloquently.

Early music enthusiasts should not hesitate on this volume. It has everything going for it. Those who do not know the vocal music of the era well will no doubt respond readily too. It is a very beautiful recording!

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