Cover The Cello at the Montecassino Abbey

Album info



Label: Brilliant Classics

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Chamber Music

Artist: Matteo Malagoli, Lisa De Polo, Cristina Centa, Alvise Mason, Hazar Mursitpinar & Alan Dario

Composer: Valentino Bertoja (1757-1820), Saverio Mercadante (1795-1870), Placido Abela (1814-1876), Ernesto Antonio Luigi Coop (1802-1879), Domenico Laboccetta (1823-1896), Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835), Domenico Corigliano (1770-1838), Pietro Ray (1773-1857), Sigismund Thalberg (1812-1871), Bonifacio Maria Krug (1838-1909)

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)


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  • Valentino Bertoja (1757 - 1820): Sixth Cello Duet in E-Flat Major: Sixth Cello Duet in E-Flat Major:
  • 1Bertoja: Sixth Cello Duet in E-Flat Major: I. Allegro Maestoso03:36
  • 2Bertoja: Sixth Cello Duet in E-Flat Major: II. Pastorale01:52
  • 3Bertoja: Sixth Cello Duet in E-Flat Major: III. Finale in Contradanza01:22
  • Saverio Mercadante (1795 - 1870): Elegia:
  • 4Mercadante: Elegia04:48
  • Padre Placido Abela (1814 - 1876): Concerto Armónico:
  • 5Abela: Concerto Armónico14:05
  • Saverio Mercadante: Solo:
  • 6Mercadante: Solo05:25
  • Padre Placido Abela: Concerto Armónico:
  • 7Abela: Concerto Armónico06:05
  • Saverio Mercadante: The Dream:
  • 8Mercadante: The Dream06:08
  • Ernesto Antonio Luigi Coop (1812 - 1897): La passione, Op. 40:
  • 9Coop: La passione, Op. 4007:13
  • Domenico Laboccetta (1823 - 1896): Barcarola:
  • 10Laboccetta: Barcarola04:04
  • Ernesto Antonio Luigi Coop: Pensiero lugubre, Op. 50:
  • 11Coop: Pensiero lugubre, Op. 5008:39
  • Vincenzo Bellini (1801 - 1835): Casta diva, che Inargenti:
  • 12Bellini: Casta diva, che Inargenti11:46
  • Domenico Corigliano: In Monte Oliveti:
  • 13Corigliano: In Monte Oliveti01:49
  • Plange quasi Virgo:
  • 14Corigliano: Plange quasi Virgo04:35
  • Sancta Maria:
  • 15Corigliano: Sancta Maria01:25
  • Pietro Ray (1773 - 1857): Salve Regina:
  • 16Ray: Salve Regina09:38
  • Saverio Mercadante: Salve Maria:
  • 17Mercadante: Salve Maria06:56
  • Sigismond Thalberg (1812 - 1871): Andante Religioso:
  • 18Thalberg: Andante Religioso03:15
  • Padre Placido Abela: Apertura:
  • 19Abela: Apertura03:13
  • Introduction to gratias Agimus:
  • 20Abela: Introduction to gratias Agimus01:16
  • Offertorio per l'organo Strumentato:
  • 21Abela: Offertorio per l'organo Strumentato05:50
  • Armonia pel tempo Dell'elevazione:
  • 22Abela: Armonia pel tempo Dell'elevazione04:23
  • Padre Bonifacio Maria Krug (1838 - 1909): Il Golgota:
  • 23Krug: Il Golgota05:59
  • Total Runtime02:03:22

Info for The Cello at the Montecassino Abbey

Rare manuscripts from the library of an Italian abbey, rediscovered and recorded for the first time. Just off the main road between Rome and Naples, the Benedictine abbey at Monte Cassino can date its foundation back to AD529, though it gained a more tragic renown during the Second World War as the site of exceptionally heavy Allied bombing in order to break Nazi defensive lines. The abbey’s surviving library of manuscripts (theological, musical and others) was mostly moved to Rome during postwar reconstruction, but local archives mined for this release have turned up a treasure trove of pieces which testify to a lively culture of chamber music at the abbey during the 19th century.

Several of the brothers must have been dedicated cellists of considerable gifts to judge from the surviving scores. They include a collection of six cello duets by Valentino Bertoja (1757-after 1820), a composer from the Veneto region to the north; the Duet No 6 opens this collection. The two most prominent monk musicians featured here are Padre Placido Abela (1814-1876), originally from Siracusa in Sicily, and Padre Mauro Liberatore (1810-1879) from L’Aquila.

It is Liberatore who arranged both sacred and secular pieces to give a starring role to the cello, such as ‘Casta Diva’ from Bellini’s Norma, and a then-popular aria from Mercadante’s Il giuramento. Abela composed ‘Concerti armonici’ for a trio of piano, harmonium and cello, and then a part for the string instrument in the liturgical inserts of his Missa solennis. Other composers wrote pieces specifically for Liberatore to play, such as the Barcarola by the Sicilian cellist and composer Domenico Laboccetta (1823-1896), and two composers local to Monte Cassino, Pietro Ray (1773-1857) and Domenico Corigliano (1770-1838).

This exceptionally rare repertoire is introduced in a booklet essay by the cellist Matteo Malagoli, who is the principal soloist on a collection of similar historical value from Brilliant Classics, of ‘Early Neapolitan Cello Music’ (96345) by Gerco and Francone.

"Founded in 529 AD by Benedict of Nursia, the abbey is still considered the ancestral monastery of the Benedictine Order. In 744 the archabbey was granted independence; it ended in 1503 when the territorial abbey fell to the Kingdom of Naples or, from 1860, to the Kingdom of Sardinia. Since 1927 Montecassino Abbey has been part of the then newly formed province of Frosinone (Lazio). The abbey also gained sad notoriety during the Second World War, when it was completely destroyed in the Battle of Montecassino. From 1948 to 1956 the abbey was rebuilt according to the original plans".

The instruments often used were piano, harmonium, flute, violin and cello. The cello however was the most important instrument, which is confirmed by the important solo cello scores and Methods stored in the local Archive, proof of the strong affection to this instrument.

The cello literature includes both sacred and secular works. Sacred works came only from the 19th Century but secular music originated from the 17th century (Rocco Greco and Gaetano Francone) till the late 19th Century Neapolitan era. The preservation of the Archive was in the hands of Padre Mauro Liberatore from L’Aquila (1810-1879), cellist, flutist and music arranger and Padre Placido Abela from Syracuse (1814-1876), organist, pianist and composer.

Matteo Malagoli, cello
Alvise Mason, organ
Lisa de Polo, piano
Alan Dario, cello
Angelo Liziero, double bass
Yukiko Shimizu, soprano
Ludovica Marcuzzi, Sopran
Flavia del Giudice, mezzosoprano
Milli Fullin, mezzosoprano
Raffaele Giordani, tenor
Cristina Centa, harp
Hazar Mursitpinar, baritone
Alberto Pelosin, conductor

No biography found.

Booklet for The Cello at the Montecassino Abbey

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