Caldara: Missa dolorosa

Caldara: Missa dolorosa
Composer Antonio Caldara
Artist Ensemble La Silva
Nanneke Schaap direction
Format 1 CD
Cat. number 95482
EAN code 5028421954820
Release April 2017

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About this release

Antonio Caldara's magnificent Missa dolorosa was among his last settings of the mass. First heard on the feast day of the Seven Sorrows of the Virgin Mary, a week before Easter, the piece is characteristic of Caldara's seemingly effortless capacity for counterpoint writing. Written for the Habsburg emperor Charles VI, whose predilection for contrapuntal textures was well known, Caldara manages to weave emotional power into the music, using dramatic harmonies to underline the anguish in the text. Caldara's motets are also based on religious themes, using quotations from the Bible, plus psalms and well known prayers. The ten motets vary considerably in length, with some compact and others expansive; nevertheless, like the mass, they are all characterised by Caldara's expert contrapuntal writing. The English composer John Ravenscroft, who was based in Italy for most of his life, probably never met Caldara; however, their names were entangled when Ravenscroft's music was mistakenly published under Caldara's name in the 20th century. The addition of his dramatic Sonata – also an exercise in first-class fugal writing – is a tribute to an influence in common, as both men were likely pupils of Corelli.

This thoughtful and interesting programme comes from the Dutch Ensemble La Silva and its artistic director Nanneke Schaap. Formed in 1984, the ensemble mainly performs Baroque music, including works by Bach, Handel, Frescobaldi and Telemann. They are interested in exploring new ways of performing, particularly pursuing the connections between music and dance.
They have previously performed Buxtehude's Membra Jesu Nostri in collaboration with a modern dance ensemble, with the singers singing from memory and moving alongside the dancers.

Antonio Caldara (1670-1736) was an Italian Baroque composer. Born in Venice he was a chorister in the famous San Marco, where Legrenzi was his teacher. He soon spread his wings across Europe and held several important posts in Mantua, the Spanish court in Barcelona, Rome and eventually the post of Kapellmeister at the Imperial Court in Vienna.
Caldara left a substantial oeuvre, consisting of instrumental music in the tradition of Corelli, sacred music and operas.
This new recording presents several sacred choral works of great beauty and intensity. Caldara’s innate feeling for drama is reflected in the highly expressive vocal lines, as expected from a composer famous for his operas and oratorios.
Ensemble La Silva was established in 1984 by Nanneke Schaap, it consists of Dutch and Italian musicians well schooled in the Historically Informed Performance Practice.
The booklet contains scholarly written liner notes by a musicologist, as well as the sung texts and their English translation.

Recorded in Italy in 2000 and in the Netherlands in 2014 and 2015.
Contains liner notes by Caldara expert Brian W. Pritchard.
Contains the sung texts in Latin and English.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. I. Kyrie: Kyrie eleison
  2. I. Kyrie: Christe eleison
  3. I. Kyrie: Kyrie eleison
  4. II. Gloria: Et in terra pax
  5. II. Gloria: Domine deus
  6. II. Gloria: Domine fili
  7. II. Gloria: Qui tollis peccata mundi
  8. II. Gloria: Quoniam tu solus sanctus
  9. II. Gloria: Cum sancto spiritu
  10. III. Credo: Credo in unum deum
  11. III. Credo: Crucifixus etiam pro nobis
  12. III. Credo: Et resurrexit
  13. III. Credo: Et vitam venturi saeculi
  14. IV. Sanctus
  15. V. Benedictus
  16. VI. Agnus dei: Agnus dei
  17. Dona nobis pacem
  18. Suonata da chiesa No. 3 in B Minor: I. Grave 1’35
  19. Suonata da chiesa No. 3 in B Minor: II. Allegro
  20. Suonata da chiesa No. 3 in B Minor: III. Adagio
  21. Suonata da chiesa No. 3 in B Minor: IV. Allegro
  22. Crucifixus in A Minor
  23. Motetti for 2 Voices: Caro mea vere est cibus
  24. Motetti for 2 Voices: Ad dominum cum tribularer
  25. Motetti for 2 Voices: Ego sum panis vivus
  26. Motetti for 2 Voices: Transeunte domino
  27. Motetti for 2 Voices: Benedictus deus
  28. Motetti for 2 Voices: Transfige, dulcissime Jesu
  29. Motetti for 3 Voices, Op. 4: Exaudi domine
  30. Motetti for 3 Voices, Op. 4: Miserere mei domine
  31. Motetti for 3 Voices, Op. 4: Peccavi super numerum
  32. Motetti for 3 Voices, Op. 4: Laboravi in gemitu meo
  33. Ciaccona No. 12, Op. 2