Merula: Musica Sacra Il Demetrio & Maurizio Schiavo

Cover Merula: Musica Sacra

Album info



Label: Brilliant Classics

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Vocal

Artist: Il Demetrio & Maurizio Schiavo

Composer: Tarquinio Merula (1590-1665)

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)


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FLAC 44.1 $ 11.30
  • Jarquinio Merula (1595-1665):
  • 1Confitebor tibi, domine - "Sopra alla Chiacona"05:55
  • 2Credidi05:20
  • 3Laetatus sum07:40
  • 4Favus distillans - "Con tre Viole, overo tromboni"04:49
  • 5Nisi dominus04:58
  • 6Gaudeamus omnes04:00
  • 7Confitebor tibi, domine06:11
  • 8Cantate, jubilate04:49
  • 9Nisi dominus06:16
  • 10Laudate pueri05:03
  • Total Runtime55:01

Info for Merula: Musica Sacra

This selection of church music by Tarquinio Merula (1595‐1665) is taken from collections published throughout the composer’s career. From the First Book of Motets, which appeared in Venice when the composer was not yet 30 years old, to the Third Book of Psalms and Masses, the disc presents a stimulating conspectus of one of the most imaginative Venetian composers of his generation.

The great Monteverdi is the obvious point of reference among composers of his place and time, Merula covered all the musical genres of the time and made a significant contribution to the evolution of 17th-century music. A harmonically refined composer with solid mastery of counterpoint, at once whimsical, modern and rhythmically brilliant in his writing, Merula stands in the highest rank among Italian composers of the early Baroque. This recording, which focuses on his sacred works for voice and instruments displays the full wealth of his musical creativity and the surprising variety of the stylistic and formal strategies he employed in order to set the standard liturgical texts with a constantly fresh approach.

All the motets and psalm‐settings here illustrate Merula’s distinctive approach to word‐painting, including highly refined and experimental approaches which alter the metric flow of the music in surprising, but elastic and natural‐sounding ways. He thoroughly explored the gamut of expressive possibilities, ranging from madrigal‐like tenderness to the most sober, oratorical intonation of the sacred text; without disdaining, where appropriate, sheer vocal virtuosity.

Such virtuosity is conveyed here by the Italian early‐music ensemble Il Demetrio, led from the violin by Maurizio Schiavo. The vocal lines are sung one to voice to a part by five Italian singers with considerable experience and mastery of the Italian early Baroque style. All round, it’s an impeccably stylish recording.

Melanie Remaud, soprano
Antonella Gianese, soprano
Marta Fumagalli, alto
Paolo Borgonovo, tenor
Salvo Vitale, bass
Il Demetrio
Maurizio Schiavo, direction

Il Demetrio
ensemble founded in Pavia by Maurizio Schiavo, is one of the most lively and successful experiments in the Italian music panorama. The ensemble is specialized in baroque music and it stands out for its musicological research and for performing hitherto unknown works of the Italian repertoire. Among these rediscovered works, the opera Il Demetrio by J. Myslivecek; the Dixit Dominus, for soloists, choir and orchestra and the Tantum ergo, for bass, viola concertante and orchestra by A. Rolla; and Tre composizioni per la Settimana Santa (Adoramus te, Miserere e Christus factus est) for choir and string orchestra by A. Cagnoni. Il Demetrio ensemble is also dedicated to more recent repertoire, often suggesting curious and unusual programs (such as Paesaggi sonori, a collection of scores for silent lms by F. Vittadini, a composer and conductor born in Pavia) and organizing special events such as Lennon barocco, a concert programme featuring the most famous hits by the ex-Beatle John Lennon revisited in baroque fashion.

Maurizio Schiavo
took up musical studies in Ferrara, his birthplace, where he was initiated to the Violin by G. Adamo. After graduating with full marks under the guidance of S. Cicero, he studied baroque violin with E. Gatti, baroque viola and viola d’amore with M. Righini, composition with E. Sollima and with N. Castiglioni at the Milan Conservatory, where he graduated also in orchestral conducting (with G. Taverna) and opera conducting (with U. Cattini). With the ensemble Il Demetrio, which he founded, he performs baroque and classical repertoires, performing both as conductor and soloist. In additon, Maurizio Schiavo is also involved in musicological research. He has edited and performed works by B. M. Meda, A. Draghi, F. Corselli, J. A. Hasse, J. Myslivecek, G. B. Fioroni, A. Cagnoni and A. Rolla. He has contributed to a number of recordings both as instrumentalist and conductor, among which, as conductor, the rst recording of the Arie per soprano e orchestra (Il Quaderno dell’Imperatrice) by Farinelli and the Mottetti per alto e archi by J. A. Hasse. Maurizio Schiavo was artistic director of Armonie sul lago, a festival devoted to the rediscovery of Italian sacred and profane music of the 18th century.

Booklet for Merula: Musica Sacra

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