Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Praga Magna - Music in Prague During the Reign of Rudolph II
The early music ensemble Cappella Mariana add veracity to that last part of that statement with their latest release. It includes works by court musicians Alessandro Orolgio, Phillippe de Monte, and Jacob Regnart. All three wrote in a similar high renaissance style, with flowing counterpoint effortlessly weaving melodic lines in and out of one another.
Almost all the works on this release are sacred, giving the program an expansive, yet serene overall sound. The Cappella Mariana performs these pieces with precision, maintaining a transparent ensemble sound that is almost sensual in nature.
The program includes works by Palestrina and Orlando di Lasso, composers who were also performed in the imperial court. The music of Rudolph's own composers compares favorably to these acknowledged masterworks.
Rudolph II was a contemporary of Elizabeth I, and like the Virgin Queen, was indirectly responsible for a flourishing of musical creativity. In my opinion, Praga Magna is a beautiful recording of some unjustly neglected music. And I enjoyed every minute of it.
Praga Magna: The Music in Prague During he Reign of Rudolf II
Alessandro Orologio; Orlando di Lasso; Philippe de Monte; Liberale Zanchi; Giovanni de Palestrina; Jacob Regnart
Artevisio AV 0001-2