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Lamenti barocchi, vol. 1.

Slow tempos are again a problem in Sergio Vartolo's oddly assorted group of Baroque laments, Lamenti barocchi, vol. 1 (Naxos 8.553318, rec 1995). Although his group, Cappella Musicale di San Petronio, was recording in the music room of a palazzo, the tempos and pauses seem designed for the echo of San Petronio, and the lighter pieces in the collection (Sances's Cantada sopra il Passacaglio, Strozzi's Le tre grazie a Venere and Luigi Rossi's Hor ch'in notturna pace) lose all their impact as a result. The survivors are a very forceful and dramatic rendition of the Gregorian chant Lamentations of Jeremiah, declaimed as a Baroque lament by Michel van Goethem; Gloria Banditelli's (slow-)moving version of Monteerdi's Pianto della Madonna (Arianna's lament with a Latin text), which makes excellent Passiontide church music; and Luigi Rossi's huge Lamento di Mustafa e Bajazet, which runs to nearly 25 minutes in this leisurely interpretation, and which carries enough sense of immediacy to prevent it from becoming tedious, even with little arioso writing to break the recitative. The singers do a fine job throughout the programme; my quarrel is with Vartolo's direction, both for the slow tempos and for the irritating twiddly bits in upper registers in his continuo realizations.

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Title Annotation:Sergio Vartolo, Cappella Musicale de San Petronio
Author:Mabbett, Margaret
Publication:Early Music
Article Type:Sound Recording Review
Date:May 1, 1996
Words:206
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