Magazine article Gramophone

'A Quattro Cori': Benevoli Missa in Diluvio Aquarum Multarum

Magazine article Gramophone

'A Quattro Cori': Benevoli Missa in Diluvio Aquarum Multarum

Article excerpt

'A quattro cori' Benevoli Missa In diluvio aquarum multarum (a)

CFC Fasch Missa a 16 voci in quattro cori (b)

Mendelssohn Hora est (a)

NDR Choir / Philipp Ahmann with Christoph Harer vc Barbara Messmer won (a) Dennis Gotte theo (a) Klaus Eichhorn, (b) Jorg Jacobi org Es-Dur [F] ES2049 (75' * DDD)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The 1783 trip to Italy of the musician and writer JF Reichardt had far-reaching implications. He returned to his native Germany with Orazio Benevoli's large-scale In diluvio aquarum multarum for 16 voices and showed it to his colleague Carl Fasch, who in turn was so inspired by it that he wrote something similar. Together, these two pieces became the Berlin Academy's choral bagatelles until Mendelssohn arrived as a student, composing the 16-voice Hora est for his sister Fanny's 23rd birthday in 1828.

This repertoire remains as demanding today as it was then, and on the rare occasions they are performed these works are noticeable in their uniqueness as polychoral pieces that contain neither the stamp of Spem in alium nor the sound world of Schiitz or Gabrieli. …

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