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Handel: Caldara Vesper

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Disc: 1
1. Deus in adiutorium meum intende
2. Haec est regina virginum
3. Virgo Dei genitrix
4. Laetatus sum in his
5. Jerusalem quae aedificatur
6. Illuc enim ascenderunt
7. Rogate quae ad pacem
8. Propter fratres meos
9. Sicut erat in principio
10. Saeviat tellus inter rigores
See all 15 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Te decus virgineum - Allegro
2. Dixit Domino meo
3. Virgam virtutis tuae
4. Tecum principium in die virtutis
5. Juravit Dominus
6. Secundum ordinem Melchisedech
7. Dominus a dextris tuis
8. De torrente in via
9. Salve Regina
10. Ad te clamamus
See all 12 tracks on this disc

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Amazon.com: 1 review
A New "Carmelite Vespers" Dec 12 2014
By Paul Van de Water - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
During Handel's formative stay in Italy, he composed several well-know Latin choral works, including Psalm 110, "Dixit Dominus." In 1959 Dr. James Hall hypothesized that they formed part of a vesper service commissioned by Cardinal Colonna for the Carmelite church of Santa Maria di Montesanto. In the early 1980s H.C. Robbins Landon and colleagues published a "Roman Vespers" that attempted to reconstruct such a work. RCA recorded it in 1985 with distinguished soloists, including Judith Blegen, Benita Valente, and Maureen Forrester, under the direction of Michael Korn. Andrew Parrott recorded the work, with a few additions, in 1999 under the title of "Carmelite Vespers."

More recently, scholars have concluded that while Handel's music may well have been used at vespers on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the music for the annual service is likely to have been the work of several composers. The present recording presents an alternative reconstruction of a Carmelite Vespers, combining some of Handel's Latin church music with pieces by Antonio Caldera, who followed Handel in the employ of another patron, Cardinal Ruspoli.

This new album, by the Academia Monte Regalis under the direction of Alessandro de Marchi, is very well performed and recorded, and I strongly recommend it. Roberta Invernizzi offers a dazzling rendition of Handel's "Seviat tellus." Yet this recording doesn't replace the earlier ones, because it doesn't include the same works. The pieces by Caldara--"Haec est regina virginum," "Laetatus sum," and "Te decus virginum"--are enjoyable and well worth your acquaintance. But they do not make up for the Handel works that are not here--the antiphon "Haec est regina virginum" and the psalms "Laudete pueri" and "Nisi Dominus." I suggest that lovers of baroque music, in general, and Handel, in particular, start here. If your budget permits and your interests demand, get Korn or Parrott, too.

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