Princely Splendour: Choral Works from 18th Century Rome | Nimbus - Alliance NI6273

Princely Splendour: Choral Works from 18th Century Rome


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Label: Nimbus - Alliance

Cat No: NI6273

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 19th May 2014



Reports of music in Rome in 1770 provide valuable evidence about performance practice at that time. Even on common days, the choir of the Sistine Chapel comprised a (comparatively large) average of 32 singers (SATB-8,8,8,8), roughly the same size and balance as we have chosen for this recording.

Although it was sometimes the case with accompanied polychoral works (performed in the main basilica at St Peter's and elsewhere in Rome), for each choir to have its own continuo organ, it was also common in Roman churches for accompanied double-choir works to be underpinned by just one organ. For purely pragmatic reasons we have therefore used only one instrument. Pitch used for the a cappella works is A=440, for the accompanied items A=415.

Harmonia Sacra were formed by Peter Leech in 2009 specifically for the performance of late-Renaissance and early-Baroque music, and have received critical acclaim for 'stupendous singing' (Weston Mercury, 2013) as ‘a fine body of singers’ (Bristol Evening Post, 2009). They have established a reputation for fresh, uplifting performances. Members come from across the UK for intensive weekends of music-making. In 2011 the choir performed Victoria’s sublime 6-part 1605 Requiem to a packed All Saints’ Church, Weston-super-Mare, a highlight of the May music festival.

Their 2011 summer concert at St Thomas the Martyr featured Russian Orthodox choral works from the reigns of Catherine the Great to Nicholas II, followed by their BBC Radio 3 début with a programme about the court of Catherine the Great, narrated by Virginia Rounding.

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