Lux in tenebris: Liturgy & Devotion in 18th-century Naples | Arcana A437

Lux in tenebris: Liturgy & Devotion in 18th-century Naples


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Label: Arcana

Cat No: A437

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 22nd September 2017



One of the most talented singers of the new generation brings to light four gems for soprano and orchestra belonging to the great eighteenth-century tradition of Neapolitan sacred music.

The three composers are representative of as many generations of an industrious dynasty: Francesco Feo (1691-1761) was the uncle of Gennaro Manna (1715-79), who in turn was the uncle of Gaetano (1751-1804). Comparison between their scores allows us to observe the extraordinary development from the austerity of the late Baroque to the elegance of the galant style.

The Lamentations by the two Mannas were part of the liturgy of Holy Thursday (Officium tenebrarum), whereas Feo’s La sinderesi, a sorrowful meditation on sin and contrition, belongs to the form of the spiritual cantata and points to a private devotional environment. The short and bright Gloria by Gennaro Manna crowns the programme, symbolising the final achievement of a dimension of redemption and eternal salvation. All the pieces are characterised by the typically Neapolitan taste for purity of voice, with restrained virtuosity and radiant expressivity.

This is the third instalment of the new series devoted to Neapolitan music, in collaboration with the Neapolitan Centro di Musica Antica - Fondazione Pietà de’ Turchini.

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