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Cazzati: Motets

Cazzati: Motets

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Sinuously beautiful solo motets by a little-known contemporary of Cavalli, imaginatively programmed with instrumental interludes by their Italian contemporaries. A musical career seems to have been destined for Maurizio Cazzati (1616-1678). Growing up in a village outside Bologna, he took holy orders and became an organist in Mantova, where he wrote his first published music, a collection of psalm-settings, in his 20s. Having moved around the principalities of northern Italy, his decisive appointment came in 1657, as music director of San Petronio in Bologna. There he ruffled feathers by overhauling traditions and rejuvenating the ensemble of musicians and singers. In his own music, Cazzati likewise bent the rules to serve his purpose, or invented new ones. ‘Know therefore, O Reader, that the rules of Music are not Divine precepts,’ he once wrote, ‘but human opinions and diverse ones at that.’ It has been said before now that his instrumental music was more inspired than his sacred-vocal work, but this album demonstrates otherwise with a sequence of motets which evolves from the more liberal style of the 1640s to the more severe style of the late 17th century. He was among the pioneers of the instrumentally accompanied motet in which violin lines are skilfully woven around the sung text. On the other hand, the two solo motets show a stark contrast, with the intimate Salvum me fac against the virtuoso war-like Qui bella geritis. Three organ sonatas are also included, two of which were written by Cazzati’s own organists in Bologna: Giovanni Paolo Colonn, and Cazzati’s great enemy Giulio Cesare Arresti. A sonata by Bernardo Pasquini affords further contrast with the mostly grave devotions of the motets. All four performers here have extensive experience in the revival of little-known composers from the Baroque, and their stylish performances demand a reappraisal of Cazzati in the round.

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  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 1
    • Release Date:
    • Label: Brilliant Classics
    • UPC/Barcode: 5028421966632
    • Item Number: BRI96663