sábado, 15 de junio de 2013

The Choir Project al día [15-VI-2013]

Giovanni Giorgi [?-c. 1762]: Ave Maria à 4.
Choeur de Chambre de Namur, Ensemble Clematis & Cappella Mediterranea - Leonardo García Alarcón.
Another pleasant surprise.

  We have very few biographical data about this composer. In "The New Grove. Dictotinaty of Music and Musicians" we can find this:
"(b 1st half of 18th century; d June 1762). Italian composer and priest. He is said to have come from Venice. In September 1719 he succeeded G.O. Pitoni as maestro di cappella of S Giovanni Laterano, Rome. He had a high reputation for his superior musical abilities. In January 1725 he went as mestre de capela to the court at Lisbon.

  Giorgi's early work was done chiefly in Rome. He completed a stylistic transition from the high Baroque to the pre-Classical in his works up to about 1758, which were long assumed lost. Giorgi drew together the various stylistic tendencies of the Roman School, to the point of using short instrumental overtures, whereby precedence is given to individual expression rather than liturgical function. The 16-part Missa ‘Servite Domino’, on the other hand, still bears the marks of Benevoli's style."

  The presentation notes of this album says:
"This recording is devoted to the works of a composer about whom we know practically nothing — meither his date of birth nor even his origins. All that we do know is that Giorgi held the position of maestro di cappella in San Giovanni Laterano in Rome in 1719 and that he ended his career in Lisbon, dying there in 1762. The discovery of his music was a life-changing experience for the young Argentine conductor Leonardo Garcia-Alarcon, music director of Clematis and the Cappella Mediterranea and now also of the Choeur de Chambre de Namur.Giorgi’s music contains many characteristic traits of Renaissance polyphony such as the use of the polychoral style as well as madrigalesque effects, although these older techniques are nonetheless put at the service of a new style of richly imaginative music with new harmonic colours. A concertante Mass with soloists and instrumental accompaniment forms the centrepiece of this recording, although several motets from Giorgi’s immense body of work are also included; one of these is the deeply moving Ave Maria that also provides the CD with its title."

  When I heard this piece for the first time I thought: wow, its really amazing. I knew nothing about this composer and I started looking for something about it. When I read some data, I was absolutely suprprised, because I never would have suspected that he lived in the eighteenth century. For me his style on this piece is clearly "stile antico", very renaissance -late Renaissance, of course- in the treatment of lines, voices, melodies, imitation -the fugue character is Baroque, obviously-, counterpoint... This composer is really interesting and this piece is fantastic, very impressive and exciting.

  This album is the first devoted entirely to Giorgi. This is an amazing recording. The music is absolutely surprising and very good, and the performers are fantactic here. Great job, specailly, by the excelent Choeur de Chambre de Namur: fantastci pithc, balance, sonority and expressiveness.

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