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Much more impressive is the contribution of soprano Kaia Urb, in Melani's secular cantata Aura vezzosa [listen -- track 20, 0:00-1:26]. I can tell you that signor Melani (1639-1702) was maestro di capella at Bologna, Pistoia and Rome -- but only because I have a serviceable musical dictionary to hand. As for a text, let alone a translation, if anyone can provide one I'd be most grateful: a shame, as the piece is delivered both gracefully and with a fine sense of drama. As a duffer at Italian, it would be good to know what she's actually singing about. The occasional contribution of baroque trumpet is particularly effective by virtue of its understatement.

So, a proper curate's egg of a CD. When it's good, it's very good; but the final piece -- the putative climax -- sees Uku Joller doing to Telemann what he's already done to Meder and Biber, and that's simply more than I can stand.

Copyright © 23 March 2006 Rex Harley, Cardiff UK


Carmina Sanctorum - Music from the Middle Ages in Praise of Saints

RS 9804 DDD Stereo FIRST RELEASE 70'32" 1998 RS Records

Rondellus (Maria Staak, voice, symphony; Marilin Lips, voice; Veikko Kiiver, voice; Svea Juckum-Bentz, fiddle; Robert Staak, lute, symphony) with guests Marju Riisikamp, positive organ; Eve Kopli, voice; Tuule Kann, psaltery; Riho Ridbeck, percussion

Nicholae presulum (Florence Manuscript, 13th Century); O beate Stanislae (Cracow Manuscript, 15C); Flos ut rosa (Florence Manuscript); Salve sancta parens (English, early 14c); Salve virgo virginum (Florence Manuscript); Nostra phalanx; Exultet celi curia; Rex cunctorum (Codex Calixtinus, Santiago de Compostela, 12C); Flos vernalis (Robertsbridge fragment, c1320); Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179): Ave generosa; Ave Maria, Virgo virginum (Florence Manuscript); Hidegard von Bingen: O clarissima; Edi beo thu (English, late 13C); Beata Hedwigis (Cracow Manuscript); Barbara simplex animo (English, early 14C); Letare, mater ecclesia (Florence Manuscript); O Gloriosa Domina; Pulcherima de virgine (Buxheimer Orgelbuch, 15C); Gemma nitens (English, 14C); Hildegard von Bingen: Quia felix pueritia; Ave regina celorum (Florence Manuscript)


Music in Tallinn under Swedish rule

N/A Stereo FIRST RELEASE 69'34" 1999 Tallinn Baroque

Tallinn Baroque (Uku Joller, bass; Raivo Tarum, baroque trumpet; Tonu Joesaar, baroque cello, viola da gamba; Imbi Tarum, harpsichord; Kaia Urb, soprano; Elar Kuiv, baroque violin; Martti Mägi, baroque violin and viola; Imre Eenma, violone

Johann Valentin Meder (1649-1719): Jubilate Deo omnis terra; Johann Rosenmüller (c1619-1684): Sonata in E minor; J F I Biber: Nisi Dominus (Psalm 127); M Hahn: Mein Sünd sind Schwer; J V Meder: Chaconne; Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713): Sonata in D; Alessandro Melani (1639-1703): Aura vezzosa; Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767): Jauchzet dem Herrn, alle Welt


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