Magazine article Gramophone

Leopold I: Missa Pro Defunctis

Magazine article Gramophone

Leopold I: Missa Pro Defunctis

Article excerpt

Leopold I

Missa pro defunctis. Motetto de Septem Doloribus Beatae Mariae Virginis, 'Vertatur in luctum cythara nostra'. Stabat mater. Lectio prima: Nocturni pro defunctis Piae Claudiae Felici Cappella Murensis; Les Cornets Noirs / Johannes Strobl Audite (F) AUDITE97 540 (76' * DDD * T)

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Emperor Leopold I (1640-1705) was one of the most musically minded of the Habsburg Holy Roman Emperors. His cultivation of Italianate musical culture in Vienna included the employment of Cesti, Draghi, Bononcini and Conti; he also advanced the careers of native composers Schmelzer, Kerll and Fux. The emperor was also an able composer, and a recent recording of II lutto delPuniverso (Fra Bernardo) represented his interest in the sacred dramatic sepolcri, whereas the combined forces of Les Cornets Noirs, Cappella Murensis and Johannes Strobl explore some of Leopold's liturgical music.

A four-part Stabat mater in B minor (1678) is an episodic setting that offers plangent contrapuntal gestures, performed with consummate skill by the fine company of soloists (forming a coro favorito), with the doleful texture swollen by two extra ripieno singers on each part from time to time. …

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