Sacred Music for the Poor at Santa Maria in Vallicella, Rome | Christophorus CHR77373

Sacred Music for the Poor at Santa Maria in Vallicella, Rome


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Label: Christophorus

Cat No: CHR77373

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Release Date: 10th February 2014



After the downfall of the Roman Empire, the 17th century was in many respects the only epoch in which Rome was a modern city. Unlike today, however, one encountered the most abject poverty in the city centre near the river, namely where the danger of high water and flooding was greatest.

La Vallicella is a neighbourhood in Rome that still exists today, centrally located at the bend of the Tiber between the Via Giulia and the shore road Lungotevere Tor di Nona, within sight of the Castle of the Holy Angel and St Peter’s Cathedral. In the Rome of the Counter Reformation, this area was overpopulated with people of mostly modest origins. It was noted for its high level of crime and a complete lack of facilities for the assembly and edification of its inhabitants.

It was precisely these conditions that caused the priest Filippo Neri (1515-1595), canonised shortly after his death and against his avowed will, to relocate his missionary activities to Vallicella during the second half of the 16th century. In the heart of this district, the beautiful church of Santa Maria in Vallicella (generally known simply as Chiesa Nuova, or new church) is still very impressive today, as is the prayer hall of the Philippian brothers affiliated with it, known as the Oratorium – a centre of liturgy and catechesis, initiated by Neri himself, in which music played a fundamental role.

Rome in those days was not only synonymous with colossal polyphony, multi-choral opulence and concertante virtuosity. In this urban environment, with its variety of everyday realities, the Oratorium movement of the Philippian brothers was one of the most active musical centres. They regarded music as probably the most important medium for the dissemination of their message.

From the second half of the 16th century onwards, they encouraged and stimulated multifarious and quite specific musical production. In addition, they drew from the ancient, uninterrupted medieval tradition of lauds and from the early Florentine Renaissance, creating a modernised version of sacred music in general, and ecclesiastical lauds in particular, in the oratoria, churches and streets of the Vallicella district.

This repertoire, a link between sophisticated and popular music, represents an important part of Roman cultural history, forming one of the most beautiful points of contact between folk and art music.

1. Giovanni Animuccia: Deh, venitene, pastori
Lauda a 4 from: Il primo libro delle laudi [...] composte per consolatione a requisitione di molte persone spirituali & divote, tanto religiosi, quanto secolari, Rom 1563

2. Francisco Soto de Langa: Cor mio dolente e tristo
Lauda a 3 from: Il Primo Libro delle laudi spirituali, Rom 1583

3. Francisco Soto de Langa: Nell’apparir del sempiterno sole
Lauda a 3 alla Madonna del Presepio di Santa Maria Maggiore di Roma from: Tempio Armonico, Rom 1599

4. Anonymous: Sinfonia
Manuskript Rom, c 1600

5. Francisco Soto de Langa: Faticosa è la via
Lauda a 3 from: Il Primo Libro delle laudi, Rom 1577

6. Emilio De’ Cavalieri: Il Ciel clemente
from: La Rappresentatione di Anima & di Corpo, Rom 1600

7. Anonymous: Mentre lo sposo mio
Lauda a 3 a Santa Maria del Refugio from: Tempio Armonico, Rom 1599

8. Anonymous: Canzona
Manuskript Rom, c 1604

9. Anonymous: Perché m’inviti pur
Lauda a 3 from: Il Terzo Libro delle laudi, Rom 1577

10. Luca Marenzio: Pietro così dicea
Geistliche Kontrafaktur des Madrigals a 4 Ero così dicea from: Canzona Profana a quattro voci [...] ridotta in Sacra dal Ven. Giovenale Ancina, Rom o.J.

11. Anonymous: Sinfonia “Sancta Maria”
Manuskript Rom, c 1604

12. Anonymous: Mentre il mio spirto langue
Lauda a 3 from: Il Quarto Libro delle laudi, Rom 1591

13. Virgilio Mazzocchi: Deh, ritorna al tuo Signore
Frottola a 5 aus der Kantate Dove ti porta il cieco affetto, Manuskript Rom, c 1650

14. Johann Hieronymus Kapsberger: Canario
from: Libro quarto d’intavolatura, Rom 1640

15. Francisco Soto de Langa: Signor, ti benedico
Lauda a 3 from: Il Terzo Libro delle laudi, Rom 1577

16. Giovanni Francesco Anerio: Dio ti salvi, Maria
from: Selva Armonica, Rom 1617

17. Anonymous: Perder gl’amici
Lauda a 3 from: Il Terzo Libro delle laudi, Rom 1577

18 Giovanni Francesco Anerio: Torna la sera bruna
Aria a 3 from: Selva Armonica, Rom 1617

19. Anonymous (Giacomo Carissimi?): Fuggi fuggi quel ben
Aria a 2, aus einem fragmentarischen Druck, Rom c 1650

20. Giovanni Francesco Anerio: O penitenza, gioia del core
from: Teatro Armonico, Rom

Bonus track:
21. Anonymous: La santa allegrezza
Tarantella napoletana popolare - Text von S Alfonso de’ Liguori - 18C

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