Lilius / Scacchi / Consortium Sedinum - Lmissa Sancta - Sacred Music Of The Masters Of


Format: CD
Rel. Date: 05/17/2024
UPC: 5908285287596

Lmissa Sancta - Sacred Music Of The Masters Of
Artist: Lilius / Scacchi / Consortium Sedinum
Format: CD

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Missa Sancta is the first album in a new CD series released under the label of the Academy of Early Music Foundation. The programme consists of works by Italian masters working at the court of the Polish Vasa kings, Sigismund III and Ladislaus IV. The achievements of Polish composers from the time of the Vasa dynasty, who included artists of such calibre as Adam Jarzebski, Marcin Mielczewski, and Bartlomiej Pekiel, have already been recognised and presented. It is therefore high time to restore and save from oblivion the works of Italian masters to whom we owe the development of 17th-century Polish music in the first place. Of the very numerous musicians who performed in the royal ensemble at that time, the figures of Marco Scacchi and Franciszek Lilius (Gigli) seem to have been most thoroughly studied and discussed by eminent Polish musicologists. Research publication by such experts as Anna Szweykowska, PhD, Prof. Zygmunt M. Szweykowski, PhD, Habil., as well as Aleksandra Patalas, PhD, Habil. - afford us precious glimpses ofthe musical world in that period.One of our aims in selecting music for this album was to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival in Poland of one of the most important Italian composers ever to have worked in the Polish territories. Born in Italy at the beginning of the 17th century, Marco Scacchi came to Warsaw in 1624 along with his Roman master Giovanni Francesco Anerio. He joined Sigismund III's royal court ensemble. Scacchi remained in the Polish kings' service for 25 years, first as a violinist and later as kapellmeister and conductor, as well as director of the royal theatre where the first drammi per musica were staged. Scacchi composed both sacred music (Mass cycles, motets, oratorios) and secular pieces (madrigals, stage works). His music represents two aesthetic trends in the Italian style of the late Renaissance and early Baroque: stile antico, which followed the Roman school traditions of Palestrina and Anerio, and stile moderno, a new direction mapped out by Claudio Monteverdi.Marco Scacchi's Missa Ascendit in coelum, whose first contemporary recording is presented here by Szczecin Vocal Project, comes from the collection of Missarum quatuor vocibus liber primus, published in Rome (1633). The same year saw the coronation of Polish king Ladislaus IV, who elevated Scacchi to the position of His Royal Majesty's Kapellmeister. In the extensive dedication to the new king included in the preface to that Roman edition, Scacchi extols Ladislaus IV as Christendom's saviour and defender. In agreement with it's subtitle, cantiones stylo antiquo concinnatas, the music contained in the 1633 collection closely follows the Roman tradition of four-part a cappella settings of the ordinarium missae. The Mass, based on the model of a missa parodia, musically derives from it's main theme, that of Scacchi's earlier (now lost) motet Ascendit in coelum. The setting is thus dominated by the characteristic thematic motif of an ascending hexachord, illustrating the eponymous ascension of Christ to Heaven. The same motif is also known from Palestrina's Missa Ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la. The successive movements of Scacchi's Mass open with imitative entries of the main theme, featuring such composition techniques as progression, inversion, and strict imitation. Canon is the technique applied in Benedictus (tres in unum) and Agnus Dei, with texture expanded to five parts. The slow rhythm of this Mass setting, with semibreves andminims as the dominant note values, bestows a solemn character on the whole, in agreement with the precepts of stile antico.The motet Vobis datum est exemplifies a different style of composition, namely, the new aesthetic of the early 17th-century stile moderno. The motet demonstrates Scacchi's interest in the theory of musica ficta. New types of harmony are introduced to illustrate the passage from the Gospel of Luke in which Jesus explains the meaning of his parable of the sower: 'Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.' (Luke 8:10, KJV). Those latter words, derived from the Book of Isaiah (6:9), comprise a hidden interpretation of the Gospel teaching. Of special note in Scacchi's five-part motet is the masterful second tenor part, in which dissonant note flattening is accompanied by the instruction nota bene, indicating that double accidentals ought to be applied in order to obtain enharmonic consonant harmony in relation to the soprano part. This device caused the motet Vobis datum est to be discussed in detail in the treatise Documenti armonici (Bologna 1687), written by Scacchi's Italian pupil Angelo Berardi. Today, the composition still remains an excellent example of the Vasa court kapellmeister's superb composition technique.The second Italian master who contributed to Polish musical culture under the reign of the Vasa kings was organist, composer, poet and clergyman Franciszek Lilius (Francesco Gigli). A major music composer of the 1st half o the 17th century, Lilius was born into a family of Italian artists residing in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. He received musical education from his father, a singer at the court of Sigismund III Vasa in Warsaw, and he studied in Rome with Girolamo Frescobaldi. Acclaimed as an outstanding musician during his work in the royal ensemble at the Warsaw court, he was later appointed kapellmeister of Wawel Cathedral ensemble in Cracow - a post he held until his death in 1657. During that time, he had the opportunity to collaborate with the greatest royal musicians, including Giovanni Francesco Anerio, Marco Scacchi, Tarquinio Merula, and Adam Jarzebski. Lilius predominantly composed sacred music. His works were known and performed throughout the Commonwealth as well as abroad, a fact confirmed by monastic and ecclesiastical inventories from Cracow, Przemysl, Lwow (now Lviv), Vilnius, and Gdansk, as well as Breslau (now Wroclaw), Luneburg, and Wolfenbuttel.Lilius' motet Confitebor tibi Domine and responsory Recordare Domine, included in the programme of this album, come from a 17th-century manuscript kept at the Archives of Cracow Cathedral Chapter. Composed for the Lent period, these pieces seem to have been frequently performed, judging by the considerable signs of wear and tear on the music manuscript. Maintained in the stile antico convention, the music applies contrasts between four-part homophonic textures and imitative three-part passages scored for the high voices.Missa Temopre Paschali, most likely the oldest of Lilius' surviving Mass cycles, was often performed in the composer's lifetime. We find it in five different Wawel sources, the first of which dates to 1625. As in the case of Scacchi's cycle of the ordinarium missae, Lilius' Mass is an a cappella setting - a tradition common among Polish (Mielczewski, Pekiel) and Italian (Anerio, Scacchi) composers working in the territories of the Polish Crown in the 1st half of the 17th century. Lilius' Mass is based on a plainchant cantus firmus placed in the tenor. Additionally, the Credo section utilises the melodies of such Easter songs as Chrystus Pan Zmartwychwstal ('Lord Christ Has Risen'), Chrystus zmartwychwstan jest ('Christ Is Risen'), and Wesoly nam dzien nastal ('A Joyful Day Has Come for Us'). One should note the affinity between Lilius' musical inspirations and the earlier Missa Paschalis by Marcin Leopolita (1540-1589), likewise at the Archives of Cracow Cathedral Chapter at Wawel, which features a similar set of quotations from Easter songs.By presenting this recording of works by Scacchi and Lilius, we wish to emphasise the importance and value of the compositions selected for this programme, which were present already four hundred years ago not only in Polish, but also in European musical culture. The recordings were made in the historical interior of the Bapt