Thursday, March 7, 2019
Orazio Colombano, Psalms for Six Voices, Cappella Musicale Della Cattedrale Di Vercelli, Denis Silano
Orazio Colombano lived around 1554 through sometime after 1595. After studying the musical arts with one Costanzo Porta, he came to the Vercelli Cathedral to direct the church music of the somewhat modest group of vocalists and instrumentalists in 1579. The Psalms was his first work, a setting of the Psalms of the Vespers liturgy which at the time was to be sung for all obligatory feast days, preceding the Magnificat. The work is elaborately antiphonal, contrapuntally complex and masterfully wrought. The music was printed in Venice in the year it was written and so it has come down to us.
The performances are richly flowing and expressive with a cathedral-space headroom that sounds quite good on playback through my rudimentary system. The music may not be well known but has a youthful vitality yet a depth that bears up well in successive hearings. Happily recommended.