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Sacred Oratorios - Released June 28, 2019 | Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

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Sacred Oratorios - Released June 1, 2019 | Passacaille

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Sacred Oratorios - Released April 12, 2019 | harmonia mundi

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Sacred Oratorios - Released April 5, 2019 | Philharmonia Baroque Productions

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Sacred Oratorios - Released March 29, 2019 | Mirare

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Composed by Dietrich Buxtehude in 1680 for the church of Lübeck, where he had been working for ten years, Membra Jesu Nostri describes the scars of the Passion of Christ through a cycle of seven cantatas. The work owes its title to a Latin manuscript written by a relative of Saint Bernard. Typical of the pietism of 17th century Lutheran Germany, the piece is a descent into the darkness of suffering and an ode to the promise of consolation. Grounded in rhetoric, Buxtehude’s music influenced a generation of innovative musicians. It would later be an inspiration to Johann Sebastian Bach, who traveled to Lübeck specifically to meet Buxtehude. Membra Jesus Nostri was written for a five-voice ensemble. It requires a set of soloists with three lower voices and two upper parts, as well as a subtle instrumental accompaniment featuring two violins, five viols, and one basso continuo chose by the musicians. Some authors have seen the influence of the “Versailles Motet,” which Buxtehude knew well, in this setup. The influence of Italian music, especially Monteverdi, which he may have known through his interest in Schütz’s music, is also clear. The work is the testimony to Buxtehude’s incredibly expressive power and deserves to be considered as a masterpiece among other spiritual compositions such as Schütz’s Musikalische Exequien, Bach’s Passions and, on an instrumental level, Biber’s Sonates du Rosaire.According to Philippe Pierlot, who can be heard on the record, “Buxtehude is appealing directly to our senses and making us experience the suffering of Christ. We can feel the wounds, the blows, and the heart when it ceases to beat. Thanks to the genius of his music, the composer not only moves his listener to intense emotion, but also enlightens him, giving him access to the deep meaning of the text it sings” © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Sacred Oratorios - Released March 15, 2019 | CPO

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Sacred Oratorios - Released March 8, 2019 | Oehms Classics

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Sacred Oratorios - Released January 18, 2019 | Paraty

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Sacred Oratorios - Released December 1, 2018 | Musikproduktion Dabringhaus und Grimm

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Sacred Oratorios - Released November 23, 2018 | Musique en Wallonie

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Sacred Oratorios - Released August 31, 2018 | Alpha

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There is no shortage of parallels to be drawn between Caldara and Vivaldi: both Venetians, both boasting an impressive body of work running to several hundred pieces of all genres, both died in Vienna (in the same street and in the same penury!), although Caldara had written more operas and oratorios than the Red Priest. And here is one of these very 32 known oratorios, Maddalena ai piedi di Christo written in Venice around 1698; it is "oratorio volgare", that is, recited in Italian, rather than Latin. Originally written as an accompaniment to spiritual exercises, the oratorio came to replace profane operas when the theatres were closed, especially from November to Lent. It took on the guise of opera, and used many of its techniques: naves and altars were (re)decorated and mechanisms and costumes were employed. In reality, it was nothing but an opera with a religious theme... The words and the plot of Maddalena ai piedi di Christo are perfectly suited to these months of penitence. It is a drama of the moral breakdown that tortures the sinner who has to choose between worldly and heavenly love, between living a life of luxury and truly promising herself to Christ. The Le Banquet Céleste ensemble, led by Damien Guillon (who also sings the alto part of Divine Love), takes to this rare piece with fervour. © SM/Qobuz
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Sacred Oratorios - Released April 27, 2018 | deutsche harmonia mundi

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Sacred Oratorios - Released March 23, 2018 | Glossa

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The indefatigable Antonio Florio, along with his associates from Cappella Neapolitana, has succeeded, with a work by Donato Ricchezza, in unearthing another major rediscovery from the Neapolitan Baroque. The labours of Florio – coupled with the ability to turn dry notes on a dusty manuscript into a sumptuous audio feast – can be no better demonstrated than with this release on Glossa of Los Santos Niños: “Oratorio di San Giusto e San Pastore”, written by a composer who was a pupil of the great Francesco Provenzale. Very little else is known about Donato Ricchezza (c1650-1722), apart from him bequeathing a quantity of scores to the Oratory of the Girolamini in Naples where he worked. The oratorio relates the story of the defence offered by the “holy children” – the brothers Giusto and Pastore, to be martyred in Spain during the Persecution of Diocletian in 303/4 – against the charge of being Christians, as levelled against them first by a soldier and then by the Roman governor Daciano. Marta Fumagalli (contralto), Federica Pagliuca (soprano), Luca Cervoni (tenor) and Giuseppe Naviglio (bass) vividly occupy these four vocal roles.Why Ricchezza chose this story in 1683 Naples is discussed by Dinko Fabris in his enlightening booklet essay. Meagre additional knowledge about Ricchezza says that he wrote eight other oratorios and, as a bonus, an aria from La gara degli elementi is included here, as are a pair of sinfonias by Ricchezza’s contemporary (and fellow pupil of Provenzale), Gaetano Veneziano. © Glossa

Sacred Oratorios - Released December 8, 2017 | New York Philharmonic

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Sacred Oratorios - Released November 24, 2017 | Bella Musica Edition

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Sacred Oratorios - Released October 6, 2017 | CPO

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Sacred Oratorios - Released April 7, 2017 | Sony Classical

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Sacred Oratorios - Released February 3, 2017 | Mirare

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Sacred Oratorios - Released January 1, 2017 | Classical Acoustica

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Sacred Oratorios - Released December 26, 2016 | Youkali Music